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The old adage "You can't hit what you can't see" is true. Visibility and an opponent's efforts to hide make it difficult to target someone with a ranged attack. Anything that makes a target difficult to see in ranged combat -- fog, mist, darkness, obstructions -- offers concealment. There are four degrees of concealment to consider, and the penalties associated with each may be applied to ranged attack rolls.

Barely concealed: -1 (Example: crouching behind an office chair)
Partially concealed: -2 (hiding behind the hood of a car, but with upper body exposed)
Substantially concealed: -3 (crouching fully behind a car, or poking up out of a foxhole)
Completely covered: Completely protected by an intervening barrier (all shots hit the cover automatically; see Cover below)



Cover provides protection for targets hiding behind it. Cover doesn't usually apply to close combat; opponents are within a yard or so of each other. In a ranged attack against a covered target (someone behind a closed door or inside a closed car), the cover is hit automatically (the bullets rip into the door or car).

A powerful gun or other ranged attack might penetrate cover to hit a protected opponent. Follow these steps to find out if an attack passes through. Note: These rules don't apply to hitting barely, partially or substantially concealed opponents (see above). Penalties (-1, -2 and -3) already apply to hitting them. These rules apply to targets that are fully protected by a barrier between them and the shooter.

  1. Deal damage normally to the full cover. (See Objects)
  2. If successes achieved in a single ranged attack exceed the cover's Durability, the ranged attack passes through the cover and hits the first target behind it.
  • Any successes rolled in excess of the cover's Durability are also taken by the object as Structure damage.
  • Damage that exceeds the cover's Durability is then rolled as a new dice pool against the target, but any armor worn by the target is subtracted from the pool. It is possible that the new damage pool might thus be reduced to a chance roll.
  • Once cover's Structure has been exhausted, the object provides no more protection.

Someone in a closed car or room who can be seen through a window is still considered to be under full cover for the purposes of conducting ranged attacks against her. Shots fired must pass through the window before the target can be hurt. All the rules discussed here for being behind full cover apply.[1]

Firing from Concealment

Being concealed helps protect your character, of course, but it also makes it difficult to conduct ranged attacks back at an opponent. Your character must pop up, fire, and then duck down again. If he fires back from shelter, the penalty to your roll is one less than the concealment rating of your character's protection. Thus, if he's substantially concealed (-3 to be hit) and fires back while maintaining that protection, your attack roll suffers a -2 penalty.

This is information about the mechanic. If both combatants are concealed, modifiers are cumulative.

This is a drawback of the mechanic. A character who is completely covered (under full cover) cannot stage ranged attacks at opponents. Doing so would compromise his cover and reduce him to substantially concealed, instead (attacks made against him would then suffer a -3 penalty).

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