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Depending on the situation, a character may gain bonuses or suffer penalties due to cover. The DM judges what bonuses and penalties apply.
Cover provides a bonus to a character's AC. The more cover a character has, the bigger the bonus.
|Degree of Cover||Cover AC Bonus||Cover Reflex Save Bonus|
Cover and Attacks of Opportunity
Cover and Reach Weapons
If a character is using a reach weapon, another character standing between the attacker and the target provides cover to the target. Generally, if both of the other characters are the same size, the one furthest from the attacker has one-half cover (+4 AC).
Degree of Cover
Cover is assessed in subjective measurements of how much protection it offers a character. The DM determines the value of cover.
Cover and Reflex Saves
Add this bonus to Reflex saves against attacks that affect an area. For nine-tenths cover, a character also effectively has improved evasion. These bonuses, however, only apply to attacks that originate or spread out from a point on the other side of the cover.
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 DM 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 where a character uses another character as cover. In such a case, if the cover is struck and the attack roll exceeds the AC of the covering character, the covering character takes the damage intended for the target.
If the covering character has a Dexterity bonus to AC or a dodge bonus, and this bonus keeps the covering character from being hit, then the original target is hit instead. The covering character has dodged out of the way and didn't provide cover after all. A covering character can choose not to apply his Dexterity bonus to AC and/or his dodge bonus, if his intent is to try to take the damage in order to keep the covered character from being hit.
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