Stacking defend action

So last time I ran a game I threw a AOE at my players and exploded a lot of dice (rolled a 51). My players, trying to not get their party wiped started taking the defence action to shield the others. It got especially weird when a player wanted to defend a already defending player.

So it was, player A, B, C and D got hit by an AOE (mutlitarget attack).
player B defends player A. Negating any damage done to player A.
Then player C wanted to defend player B. So that Player B didn’t get any damage either.
(this was where I said there wouldn’t be any double defending during that session.)

It still resulted in player C also defending D. Which made sure only 2 players went down (the defending ones) instead of all of them.

So the questions are. Can you defend someone, when you are already being targeted by a multi-target. And can multiple people defend each, each jumping in front of another.

Hope you can give me some direction in this conundrum

RAW, you can clearly do that, no reason you couldn’t.

Narratively, in most cases you can, again don’t see a lot where youc ouldn’t, but varies from players, they way they defend, and the type of attack.

Also, there is the Sentinel Feat, which allows you to do multiple defend actions.

Just b/c 1 person is helping another not get hit, doesn’t mean someone can’t help THEM to not get hit. That makes perfect sense to me.

What is actually stacking would be the SAME person, doing 2 defend for the same target of the same attack. THAT I would not allow. (Failed to get a good defend, I have sentinel, so I do another defend for the same attack that I failed a moment ago).

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I can only agree with everything that @Great_Moustache has said and add a little titbit for actually stacking defend actions, instead of defending for each other:

Combined defend action:

In a heroic attempt to save an ally from a finishing blow, the party of heroes band together, combining their strength and deflecting the attack. Everyone participating in this defensive action will have to do so before any rolls are made. Once the participants have been chosen, they roll their usual defend action. The rolls will be added up and count as a single defend roll. All the participants need to spend a legend point to do this.

This is a house rule a player proposed to stack defend actions, which I allowed under the condition that it only works against finishing blows.