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Under the Multiattack description, it says:

You can use Multiattack to hit multiple targets at once by “walking” or “spraying” the Multiattack across an arc.

“Arc” is not defined anywhere. There are examples under Speedster and Warrior with Selective added, so it must be a restriction of some type. There is also an example of a Range Selective Multiattack under the Speedster.

Selective, non-Reach, Close attacks, obviously, let you attack any Close opponents you choose, but aside from this it is too vague.

  1. Is this a continuous “arc”?

For example: Non-Reach, Close attacks can multiattack across a chain of adjacent opponents, but can you “arc” across an empty area to hit nonadjacent targets?

  1. Is this a radial “spraying”, or a chain of adjacent targets?

For example: Two enemies are near you, adjacent to each other, while across the room is an ally between your enemies from your point of view. The meaning of “arc” affects whether or not you can Range Multiattack the enemies without hitting your ally. If there is a non-perceived target in the distance, “spraying” is even more problematic.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What is your question? If you just need "arc" defined then there are a number of dictionaries you can consult. If your question is about how the rules work then you need to clearly present the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Aug 3, 2022 at 21:16

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This has been a running question since 2e. As far as I know, there's been no formal definition, so it's up to the GM. Personally, I usually don't use a map, so I let my players know who's in an "arc", and if there are friendlies that would be hit. I've known GMs who require the spaces targeted to be connected by five foot squares on the map (and sometimes charging "targets" for empty squares to increase the attack penalty since spraying a magazine over a spread of fifty feet puts fewer bullets downrange than spraying a ten foot span).

In general, I allow Selective to choose to not hit spots in between, whether that's avoiding friendlies or decreasing the penalty for the span fired upon (say if the villain, his two lieutenants, and a dozen mooks are in a line, you might just want to fire at the villain and his lieutenants instead of the whole line to avoid a -15 penalty to hit).

I did post this in a Q&A with Steve Kenson, and he didn't remember what the intent was. He initially said that he generally lets players be selective in their fire without the extra, but when I commented that it's on the archetypes, he said that it probably ought to be useful there.

Lastly, in the Heavy Weapons Gadget Guide, the following is stated:

At the GM’s discretion, any 30-degree portion of the arc without a target in it can be considered a “target” for the purposes of the modifier, adding an additional –1 penalty.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. I wasn’t sure if some book explained it. Knowing there is no answer is much better than “get a dictionary” or “ask your GM”. I’ll just assume “spraying” is the key word, and you have to be careful with your machine gun around friends. And, “walking” would be a bonus for Move-by Action combined with Close Multiattacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wraithmoor
    Aug 3, 2022 at 23:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, "Walking" your fire is a term used for firing a line of shots (with a connotation that you're adjusting your aim based on seeing where the bullets hit). I could have sworn there was a Steve Kenson answer about close Autofire and Move by Attack (in 2e) to hit a row of targets, bit I can't find it. FWIW, Moveby Action only allows one attack in the middle of the move. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 4, 2022 at 1:13

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