[RPG] Does cover affect melee attacks


In what circumstances would cover affect melee attacks?

If three characters are lined up as shown in the diagram, and the bottom-right man in armor makes a melee attack against the frog creature in the upper-left (through the woman's square, and around the corner), does the frog have half-cover from the attack?

Melee Cover Question

Best Answer

Unless otherwise state by some specific ability (i.e. sharpshooter)

Cover applies equally to all forms of attack

I'm going to steal a fair amount from my answer about reach weapons and cover here, as I think it's mostly the same.

With that in mind we can evaluate whether or not an attack from some position incurs cover from another position.


Walls, trees, creatures, and other obstacles can provide cover during combat, making a target more difficult to harm. A target can benefit from cover only when an attack or other effect originates on the opposite side of the cover...

... A target has half cover if an obstacle blocks at least half of its body. The obstacle might be a ... creature, whether that creature is an enemy or a friend. (emphasis mine)

p.250 and p.251 of the DMG have a chart/description.

To determine whether a target has cover against an attack or other effect on a grid, choose a corner of the attacker's space... trace imaginary lines from that corner to every corner of any one square the target occupies. If one or two of those lines are blocked by an obstacle (including another creature), the target has half cover.... cover image p 250 DMG

So, we can attempt the same exercise with your image and we see that if either the woman or the wall were not there, no cover would be gained. Since both are present, the target receives a bonus for half cover.