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Finding and taking cover is an essential element of the game, at the core of combat and stealth.
There can be only one piece of cover per Side of the Battlespace, which means in turn that there can be up to 4 pieces of cover available in a single room, one per Side.
Players may request to use the command to determine what cover is available on their Side, usually during combat (see the section below for more details), although it is not necessary to be in combat to look at all available cover in the room; you must simply specify to the GM which Sides you want to check.
The command will return the type and characteristics of the piece of cover available. Sometimes, there will be none at all, so be prepared for that possibility.
There are two main uses for cover: stealth and protection from damage.
In all situations, taking cover counts as a non-combat action.
"Stealth" redirects here.
If this is the first turn of combat and you have a piece of cover available on your Side, then your character has the possibility to pass a check to slip behind cover without being noticed by enemies in the room. This is the stealth cover check.
To pass a stealth cover check, you must roll 2d6 + your current Agility (often shortened to 2d6+Agi). Regardless of the result you get, you will be considered to be behind cover, and the turn will end.
- If you get a result of 7 or higher, you will maintain stealth, allowing you to perform an action on the next turn without the enemy being able to see you or target you. As long as you maintain stealth, even if the enemies are technically alerted or aware of your presence, they cannot target you. With some care and a little luck, you can clear an entire room of its enemies without ever being attacked!
- If you get aresult of 6 or less, then stealth will be broken; you made noise, an enemy noticed you getting behind cover, or something else attracted their attention and made them aware of your location. You will still be behind cover (and benefit from its protection), and the turn will still end immediately, allowing you a chance to retaliate.
Other than failing a stealth cover check, the following things will break stealth:
- Firing an unsilenced firearm
- Firing a Taser
- Firing Tracer ammunition even with a silencer
- Whenever you and at least one enemy meet on the same Side (either due to you entering theirs, or them entering yours). As a rule of thumb, melee and Stealth are incompatible, though the GM may apply exemptions to that rule if they feel it's necessary.
- Taking cover and intentionally choose not to make a stealth cover check (see below)
The following will NOT break stealth; therefore you can do these and still maintain stealth:
- Firing a silenced firearm (unless also firing Tracer ammunition, which breaks stealth)
- Using a melee weapon of any kind (technically speaking - see above)
- Throwing weapons or items of any kind
- Firing Archery weapons of any kind, ballistic knives, nailguns,
- Generally, using any item in your inventory or any special ability that isn't a weapon should be safe, unless the GM decides for one reason or another that it's too loud/visible and would break stealth. If you're in doubt, ask them; their word is final.
|Tips for Game Masters|
| Should your players manage to maintain stealth and either damage, annoy, or otherwise attract the attention of enemies, without being able to eliminate all of them, the enemy's response should be appropriate to their level of organization and intelligence.|
Animals, monsters, or frightened intelligent creatures may do nothing, freeze in place, or even try to run away, while more intelligent, aggressive, or organized enemies are encouraged to seek cover, call for help or backup, or even try to root the player character out by deliberately moving (Non-combat movement) to another Side of the Battlespace in order to forcefully break stealth.
If you wish to devise particularly dangerous situations, you may also let enemy NPCs use stealth on the player characters, so that they can try and get the drop them instead! However, exercise caution. Do not hesitate to give hints to your players that something is off and/or that they should be extra careful, if you do not want to turn this into a player character slaughterfest...
Cover without stealth
If you really want to, it's perfectly possible to take cover without regard for stealth. In that case, you do not need to pass a stealth cover check; simply make sure that you have available cover on your side, and declare that you're taking cover without stealth. You will automatically succeed, but you are giving up stealth for the rest of this round of combat.
Stealth with multiple characters
Allied characters must each make their stealth checks in order to remain undetected from other parties.
If there are allied creatures in multiple states (one in Stealth, another not), then all creatures in Stealth act first. The order of priority is as follows:
- Creatures in stealth, non-combat actions
- Creatures in stealth, combat actions
- Creatures in the open, non-combat actions
- Creatures in the open, combat actions
Using cover for protection
If stealth was broken, or never an option to begin with, defensive properties of cover will come into play. There are many different types of cover, all with varying levels of protection, but all of them work on the same principles:
- Cover intercepts damage from ranged attacks, sent from another Side than your own
- This means that cover is of no use if the enemy is on the same Side as your own. Imagine an enemy soldier running towards you with a bayonet while you're in cover behind a pile of sandbags; he isn't going to mindlessly attack the sandbags, he's instead going to run around it to attack you!
- Cover does not last indefinitely; all pieces of cover have a certain amount of health, which is reduced by limb damage. If cover health falls to zero, then this piece of cover breaks down and cannot be used anymore.
- All types of cover have an Armor Class, with appropriate properties, including limb damage reduction. All types have an AC ranging between A1 and A5, therefore they all count as armored targets.
- Cover is of limited use against explosives. They will not protect from splash damage (unless they are blast-resistant), and bouncing explosives (such as VOG-25P grenades) are designed to ignore cover entirely.
- Blast-resistant cover will protect creatures from explosive splash damage. See Explosives for more details.
List of random cover types
- BR?: Is this cover type blast-resistant?
|Wooden barrel||24||A1|| |
|Empty plastic crate||30||A1|| |
|Flipped wooden table||36||A1|| |
|Wooden crate||40||A1|| |
|Flipped metal table||36||A2|| |
|Plastic crate full of garbage||42||A2|| |
|Metallic file cabinet||42||A2|| |
|Wooden crate with metal covers||53||A2|| |
|Metallic file cabinet full of papers||42||A2|| |
|Pile of garbage||60||A2|| |
|Pile of cinder blocks||67||A2|| |
|Washing machine full of destroyed clothes||66||A3|| |
|Empty dumpster||75||A3|| |
|Static tactical shield, 'Guardian' model||80||A3|| |
|Dumpster full of trash||85||A3|| |
|Improved tactical shield, 'Super Guardian' model||100||A3|| |
|Sandbag nest||83||A4|| |
|Static tactical shield, 'Defender' model||80||A4|| |
|Block of concrete||98||A4|| |
|Block of reinforced concrete||116||A4|| |
|Improved tactical shield, 'Super Defender' model||130||A4|| |
|Steel crate||90||A5|| |
|Static tactical shield, 'Colossus' model||150||A5|| |
|Blast shield||175||A5|| |
|Improved tactical shield, 'Titan' model||200||A5|| |