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You have to consider what the archer is actually aiming at. He isn't aiming at the entire body of the hiding goblin, he is aiming at the EXPOSED part of it (hence the increased AC), so a near miss doesn't necessarily mean that he would hit the covering goblin (especially if that goblin is only providing cover, so presumably he is watching out for arrows and ...


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No, not by the 5e rules as written. If you miss due to cover (half cover/-2 is standard for an intervening creature) or any other factor, you miss and there's no other consequences. However, this is a pretty common rule and/or house rule across the various editions of D&D. Second edition, in fact, just said that if you're firing into a melee then your ...



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