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Assuming in a battle in Savage Worlds (Adventure Edition) there are three Characters A, B, C standing in line: A -- B -- C

Can A hit C with a ranged single-target attack? (E.g. Bolt, Bow, Pistol)

If yes, does it also depend on whether B is moving or standing still?

If that's also a yes, does only a motionless B provide cover?

I always assumed A cannot hit C, but recently read up on the Innocent Bystander rule, which states "hits a random victim [...] directly in the line of fire to the original target". If the answer is really "no", how can there be a victim in the line of fire?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Concerning the last sentence, the way A could hit a random victim if there isn't one between A and C is if they're behind C. This isn't answering the actual question (which is how the presence of B affects A's attack) but it may clarify why such a rule would be relevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Jun 8 '20 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, that makes sense. I totally overlooked that a miss could happen for example because C was ducking (otherwise it would lead to the original question, not for A-B-C but for A-C-"victim behind C") \$\endgroup\$
    – Rayllum
    Jun 8 '20 at 22:09
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Can A shoot C? Yes.

The actions and movement of B don't change if A can target C. Those actions do change any penalties involved - notably Cover, but possibly other sources. See Cover & Obstacles on page 99 of Adventure Edition.

Sometimes characters have sufficient power to attack their foes through obstacles. (See Breaking Things to actually destroy intervening obstacles.) If a missed attack would have been successful without the Cover modifier and the GM thinks the target is likely to be hit, the obstacle acts as Armor.
If the obstacle is a person or creature, subtract its Toughness from the attack. Use the table below as a guide for other materials.

Penalties are situational and determined by the GM based upon the specific circumstances (see Comprehensive Modifiers on page 34).

Innocent Bystanders

Innocent bystanders can be in front, behind, or beside the target. The Mounted Combat rules highlight that the mount (or rider) counts as an innocent bystander when targeting the rider (or mount). As long as the bystander is in the cone of fire or beaten zone then they are valid for the Innocent Bystander rules. Note that some Hindrances and Edges (notably the Grim Servant o' Death setting hindrance and Berserk edge) can expand the possible innocent bystanders to almost comical degree.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the answer. Is there any source for the answer to the main question or is it just not mentioned otherwise in the rulebook? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rayllum
    Jun 9 '20 at 15:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Cover rules explicitly include shooting through characters to hit a target. I've added that to my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Jun 9 '20 at 15:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks again, that clears it up. The part of the rules you quoted automatically relates obstacles with cover modifiers; thus, B will "maximally" provide a cover penalty. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rayllum
    Jun 9 '20 at 19:07

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