Cover is assessed in subjective measurements of how much protection it offers. The GM determines the value of cover. This measure is not a strict mathematical calculation, because a character gains more value from covering the parts of his or her body that are more likely to be struck. If the bottom half of a character’s body is covered, that only gives one-quarter cover, because most vital areas are still fully exposed. If one side or the other of a character’s body is covered, the character gets one-half cover.

The general rule of thumb for cover is, the character nearest to the source of cover gains its effects.

Cover Defense Bonus

Cover gives the Defense bonuses, presented in the table above, for different degrees of cover. Add the relevant number to the character’s Defense. This cover bonus stacks with other bonuses to Defense.

Cover Reflex Save Bonus

Cover gives the Reflex save bonuses, presented in the table below, for different degrees of cover. Add this bonus to Reflex saves against attacks that affect an area. This bonus only applies to attacks that originate or burst out from a point on the other side of the cover,

Degree of Cover Bonus to Defense Bonus to Reflex saves
One-quarter (standing behind a 3-ft. high wall) +2 +1
One-half (fighting from around a corner or a tree; standing at an open window; behind a
creature of same size)
+4 +2
Three-quarters (peering around a corner or a big tree or wall) +7 +3
Massive Cover: Nine-tenths (standing at an arrow slit; behind a door that’s slightly ajar) +10 +4
Total (on the other side of a solid wall)

Striking the Cover Instead of a Missed Target

If it ever becomes important to know whether the cover was actually struck by an incoming attack that misses the intended target, the GM should determine if the attack roll would have hit the protected target without the cover. If the attack roll falls within a range low enough to miss the target with cover but high enough to strike the target if there had been no cover, the object used for cover was struck. This can be particularly important to know in cases when a character uses another character as cover. In such a case, if the cover is struck and if the attack roll exceeds the Defense of the covering character, the covering character takes the damage intended for the target.


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