If you’re playing Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons (or Revised, or Pathfinder), I have a variant rule for you with regard to how the system interacts with Concealment. You could probably swap this in for Fourth Edition Concealment if you like, but do so at your own risk. This variant is intended to speed up gameplay.

Third Edition Concealment is obnoxious. You roll attack, and whether you hit or miss (and it only matters when you hit, believe me), you roll a second time to check if you really hit. This is actually similar to how Critical Hits behave, where you check to see if you hit, and if you roll a threat, you check to see if you really crit. It’s cute.

But it’s also time-consuming. Really, in most cases, rolling to confirm a critical hit is a real pain in the butt. But you know what’s even worse? Rolling Concealment once you’ve scored a critical threat. That’s right, even if you get an “automatic hit” against the target for rolling that glorious twenty, you can still miss.

In the case of standard Concealment, the miss chance is twenty percent (20%). In the case of Total Concealment, it’s fifty (50%). Here’s what I want you to do, instead of rolling your attack, and then rolling your percentile dice to confirm the hit or not, and it’s an idea I borrowed from the DnD Miniatures game, and further refined:

Next time you roll against something with Concealment, roll two d20s. Apply your attack bonus to the higher of the two values and compare it to the target’s Armor Class. The lower of the two numbers, unmodified, is compared to eight. Pretty quickly, you get to looking for the lower of the numbers. Are they both greater than eight?

You have a quick and easy answer in this case. If you’re worried about the numbers being messed up because you get to take the higher of two rolls, please remember that you don’t apply your attack bonus to the lower of the two rolls, and there’s a thirty-five percent probability one die will come up less than eight. One in three.

For Total Concealment (or Incorporeal creatures), use thirteen instead of eight. Then you’ll get the idea of just how hard it is to hit some of these stupid, stupid creatures. You have nearly a two-in-three probability of missing with one of your rolls, so getting that Total Concealment (or Incorporeality) is always, always worth it. Always.

Actually, this might really help with your Fourth Edition games, if you’re worried there isn’t enough of a difference between Concealment and Cover. I mean, a shield is Partial Cover, right? Why isn’t Concealment somehow, I don’t know, special? It’s mist or fog or magical darkness. Why does it only amount to a minus-two or minus-five?

Think about it. Try it. It’s faster, and rolling dice is fun!