Cover is rated in quarters (1/4 cover, 1/2 cover, 3/4 cover, and total cover), as shown on Table 5.10: Cover.
The listed Defense bonus is applied to the character’s Defense when any opponent on the other side of the cover attacks him. When an attack would hit the character if not for a cover Defense bonus, the cover is hit instead. The attack’s damage is applied to the cover, which must make a Damage save to avoid penetration. A special character is considered to possess a Damage save bonus equal to his Constitution score for this purpose. If the attack penetrates the cover, the remaining damage blows through and applies to the character.
|Example: Kevin is shooting at a villain holding a hostage. The hostage provides the villain with one-half cover, which grants the villain a +4 bonus to Defense. If Kevin misses by 4 or less, his attack hits the hostage instead of the villain.|
The listed Reflex save bonus is applied to each of the character’s Reflex saves made when he’s trying to avoid an effect originating beyond the cover (e.g. an explosion).
The Line of Sight diagram shows several examples of cover.
At any time, a character benefits from personal cover (the best cover available in his square, from gear, class abilities, a hostage, etc.) and scenery cover (the best cover available from intervening obstacles). The character’s personal and scenery cover are added together to determine the actual cover from which he benefits (maximum total cover).
|Example: After being shot a few times, Kevin’s target drags his hostage (1/2 cover) behind a short wall (1/4 cover). The villain benefits from 3/4 cover.|
If an attack hits this combined cover, the GC determines which cover was hit at random, with “both” as an option.
|Example: Following the previous example, an attack misses by 5, hitting the combined cover. The GC rolls 1d6, with a 1–2 indicating that the hostage is hit, a 3–4 indicating that the wall is hit, and a 5–6 indicating that both are hit (in which case, the situation demands that the damage must blow through the wall and then the hostage in order to hit Kevin).|
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