Unintended Targets

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For a quick reference on why this section is here, see this.

When attacking targets that have cover due to obstructions, there is a possibility that a missed attack would hit one of those obstructions instead. Likewise, attacks that miss a target or that can pass through a hit target (such as bullets) could potentially hit bystanders and objects behind or around the target.

GM Note

Let me first state that the rules listed here are experimental and expendable. I understand that these rules are adding extra steps to every attack roll and may end up slowing the game down. I hope that it will end up being quicker in practice than on paper and my goals with this mechanism are thus:

  1. To encourage more dice rolling from players when it isn’t their turn, thus keeping the game more engaging out of turn.
  2. To encourage environmental awareness by introducing the concept of collateral damage.
  3. To emphasize the tactical advantages and disadvantages of using people—particularly crowds—as cover. This also encourages Melee when engaged with multiple enemies.

If these rules end up slowing the game down too much or simply add more complexity without just compensation in fun and engaging gameplay, they will be scrapped completely. This is why they were given their own page instead of being integrated directly into either Cover or Weapons rules.


The following terms are used for rules on this page for ease of reference.

  • Defender: Any character, spirit, or mobile object (such as drones or vehicles) that is able to roll a defense test to evade attacks. Helpless and Surprised characters are still considered defenders, even though these statuses would deny defense tests.
  • Entity: Any character or object that can be targeted by your attack.
  • Intended Target (IT): The entity you initially tried to hit with your attack.
  • Obstruction: Any character or object that grants cover to the current target of your attack.
  • Secondary Target (ST): An entity that becomes subject to your attack due to missing the IT or when your attack hits and penetrates.
  • Stopped: When a fired round of ammunition hits an entity and does not penetrate. A stopped round is no longer eligible to hit targets. When all rounds fired by an attack are stopped, the attack is considered resolved and ends.

When to Use These Rules

These rules are to be consulted when you miss with a ranged attack or if you hit and the attack is able to penetrate the target entity. These rules may be ignored if one of the two following conditions are met.

  1. No Consequences: If there is nothing of consequence between or behind the IT, and collateral damage would have no significance to the plot or the game, these rules may be ignored.
  2. Area Effects: Because area effects automatically target all possible entities in the area, these rules aren’t necessary since each fired round continues through the area until all rounds are stopped anyway. At most, you may need to consult these rules if an attack penetrates.

Resolving Your Ranged Attack

These rules assume you are the attacker.

If the attack hit:

  1. Ignore all obstructions.
  2. If the attack penetrates, determine ST beyond the IT.

If the attack missed:

  1. Determine what obstruction is hit if the attack missed due to a cover bonus.
  2. If your net miss exceeded the cover bonus, determine a ST beyond the IT.

An attack is stopped when it hits a target (intended or secondary) and cannot penetrate it.
     Attack Progression: When a creature or object is targeted, meaning that it must resolve its defenses and resistance to the attack, then the attack is assumed to have passed any obstruction between that target and the attacker. This means that the further away from you that your attack progresses, more and more characters and objects are ignored as potential targets. This also means that those characters and objects no longer count as cover if the attack progresses any further. Cover is always determined from where the attack was last resolved, meaning that any target that is definitively hit or missed is the point from where cover is now determined (not you, the attacker).
     One Defense Test Per Attack: Regardless of how many times a single attack may approach a potential target, defenders only roll one defense test against any single attack. While their total hits for the test don’t change, their total result may decrease if cover they would normally benefit from becomes ignored due to attack progression.
     Range Penalties: Deviation from range still exists, even if your IT is within your closest range increment. Range penalties are normally dice penalties to your weapon test, but because your test is already rolled, any defender within range increments beyond the IT instead receive a cumulative +1 die bonus to their defense tests per range increment.

Hitting Obstructions

Attacking Through Cover
This assumes you are attacking through
every obstruction. These obstructions
may attempt to evade with a defense test,
but every obstruction otherwise takes the
damage and reduces it before your attack
reaches the IT.

To hit an obstruction, there must first be at least one obstruction between you and the IT and you must be attacking around cover. Secondly, your weapon test must miss the IT with a net loss equal to the IT‘s cover bonus or less. If these conditions are met, you then determine which obstruction is targeted instead.
     Note that missing an IT due to cover does not invalidate that character or object as a potential ST. This process of determining if an obstruction is hit is to confirm if an obstruction did actually impede the attack’s accuracy. If each obstruction proves evasive enough not to interfere with the attack (as in, the attack misses all obstructions), then the IT is denied their cover bonus and eligible to still be struck by the attack.

  1. Obvious Target: If there is an obstruction which obviously grants more cover than others, or if there is only one obstruction, it becomes targeted by default. If you glitch, the GM may ignore this rule.
  2. Defense Tests: All obstructions that are defenders roll their defense test to oppose your weapon test. If they have cover against you, they still gain this benefit, which adds to their test.
  3. Determine ST: The defender with the lowest defense test result is targeted. On a tie, the closer obstruction is targeted. If most obstructions are inanimate objects or tied obstructions are the same distance from you, you choose which obstruction is targeted (unless you glitch, in which case the GM decides).
  4. Resolve Attack Normally: You resolve the weapon test and effect of the attack against the new target normally.

STs Beyond the Target

If your attack is resolved against any target and either missed or hit and penetrated, then your attack progresses further. Note that this target and any obstructions between it and you are now ignored for purposes of cover and as possible targets.
     Determining a ST beyond an initial target is resolved in much the same way as determining a targeted obstruction. All defenders roll a defense test, benefitting from cover as normal. If a tie between defense tests or if multiple inanimate objects would be possible choices, you choose (or the GM chooses on a glitch) which one. The attack is then resolved against that target.
     Note that it is possible that you may miss your IT due to cover, target an obstruction, miss the obstruction, and then again target the IT if their defense test result (now with less cover) is lower than any other potential ST. Remember that each defender is only allowed one defense test against your attack. If an attack progresses well beyond the domain of the battle, the GM may arbitrarily choose where the attack ends up.

Penetrating Hits

Attacks are sometimes capable of puncturing completely through a target. This applies mainly to bullets. If your attack hits and the unresisted damage dealt equals or exceeds the target’s AV minus your attack’s AP, then the attack penetrates. However, the attack is treated as going through cover, meaning that the modified DV of your attack is now equal to the unresisted damage (not the amount before resolving the hit).
     Non-Penetrating Attacks: Weapons are considered incapable of penetrating a target unless they specifiy otherwise. Note that intentionally attacking through cover ignores this limitation. Only weapons like thrusting blades, firearms, EMP, and rail guns tend to be able to penetrate through targets normally.

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Unintended Targets

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