Can a medium creature standing under a gargantuan/colossal four legged (or more) creature have total cover against air attacks?

Example: a summoner summons a colossal many legged creature and stand right under it. Is the summoner under total cover and also not under line of sight form any attack/spell that is not made form a creature at ground level? And also: can the colossal creature be moved around as a total cover shield against ground attacks? Generally speaking what are the tactical advantages to summon a gargantuan/colossal creature to make it a total cover / line of sight obstruction?

I am currently aware of the rule at PHB page 147 "you can't end your movement in the same square as another creature unless it is helpless. [...] You can however move through a square occupied by something 3 or more sizes bigger or smaller"

Are there any other relevant rules?

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    \$\begingroup\$ As you pointed out, you can't end your turn at the same space as other creature so that means you can't hide under them in any effective way. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8 at 12:07

2 Answers 2


There are some other relevant rules that could make sense in this situation.

Soft Cover: Creatures, even your enemies, can provide you with cover against ranged attacks, giving you a +4 bonus to AC. However, such soft cover provides no bonus on Reflex saves, nor does soft cover allow you to make a Hide check.

Total Cover: If you don’t have line of effect to your target he is considered to have total cover from you. You can’t make an attack against a target that has total cover.

Varying Degrees of Cover: In some cases, cover may provide a greater bonus to AC and Reflex saves. In such situations the normal cover bonuses to AC and Reflex saves can be doubled (to +8 and +4, respectively). A creature with this improved cover effectively gains improved evasion against any attack to which the Reflex save bonus applies. Furthermore, improved cover provides a +10 bonus on Hide checks.

Given these and the rule that you cannot stand in the same position as another creature at the end of your turn the ruling from the GM could the following.

The Summoner can stand underneath the creature (potentially in a hole such that they are in a valid space not overlapping with the collossal creature in 3d space) and they then have Soft Cover, Total Cover, or Varying Degrees of Cover.

They likely would have some other consequences as if they have total cover from above, the above attackers have total cover from below and the summoner would have to move out of cover and back in to target any other creatures. In which case, other creatures could have a reaction prepared from a Readied Action.


You have Cover, but not Total Cover.

The rules for cover grant +4 AC if a line of effect has to pass "through a square occupied by a creature," and this ruling is not expanded upon for size differences between the target and the interposing creature. Since creatures are nowhere mentioned as granting total cover, they do not grant total cover.

As an aside, the rules also state that "[w}hen you move through a square occupied by a friendly character, that character doesn't provide you with cover." This tracks, since one of the only times you can share a space with an enemy, grappling, doesn't grant cover either.

The rules lack the granularity you need to make this work smoothly.

AC and hit points are an abstraction, used to represent a creature moving around and being worn down in a battle. Part of the reason you can't gain total cover from a creature is likely because doing so would assume the creature isn't going to dodge or otherwise evade the attack, which could then go through to hit you.

Trying to rule this anyway would step on too many toes.

Your GM could theoretically rule that, if the creature was standing perfectly still and opted to make itself flat-footed, it could be used as cover. However, this would invalidate a few different abilities such as the Shield Ally ability of the Knight class or the tower shield's Cover ability. For better or worse, the system seems to treat total cover and shielding allies as something that requires a heavy investment or significant trade-off.


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