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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A note on CF

I wanted to post about CF for a moment.  I've had some recent questions about it and its easier to address them here for everyone then to send out a half dozen emails on the topic.

Arduin Eternal uses CF for two primary reasons:

1.  Historical precedence
2.  Convenience

CF is one of the few areas where I bent due to outcry from the alpha testers.  The original game used an ACT system, where ACT was Action-Coordination-Timing.  Everyone had a certain ACT score and it was modified by your gear, weapons and then the situation/actions that occurred once a melee started.

It worked (IMO, really well, maybe too much so) but it was very mechanic heavy.  Book keeping for ACT was dreadful though its accuracy was without contest.

CF was picked up for the two reasons above.  It needed some expansion to fit into AE, which was done, e.g., expanding the counts to 40 and putting them on a every 7 count rotation.  Melee rounds were moved to 20 second durations instead of one minute time lengths. It was convenient and added familiarity back into the game.  Which was needed, probably even necessary at that point in time for AE.

So, before I digress to much farther, let me fire off the answers to the questions I've been getting.

CF is more than speed.  Often initiative is determined by a speed ranking but the ranking is too generalized to be accurate since it often dropped off aspects that were important.  All too often speed increases were given as physical bonuses and did not handle the mental and complimentary physical aspects.  My example has always been driving.  People love to drive, generally, and toodle along, doing 70, 80, 90 and even 100 on occasion in their various cars.  Most have zero issue doing it, especially on a highway.  Add 50 more to that equation or double it even, and the change becomes incomprehensible.    Moving at those speeds is something that takes a particular bent, one part mind, emotion, physical ability, and training.  Someone may have a knack for it, but its always honed before it hits its sharpest edge.  Its why those indy drivers practice.

So CF encompasses all these things.  The range of 40 and the every 7 sequencing is part of that.  Even when those caps are broken, which often occurs at the Epic and Mythic levels of play, and with some creatures naturally.  Elementals, for instance.  Some go on 40 and don't use an every 7 sequence for actions but an every 5 counts for actions.  This means they go 8 times a melee round instead of 6 times.  They are built, in all ways, for it.

CF is handy.  When running a large number in a melee or in an action dependent on CF, its very convenient to write out the CF and know exactly when everyone is going next without.

Anyway, a couple of points.


  1. Do you do anything special for those characters that would be going higher than 40 had there not been a cap?
    Say if the CF score would have been 47 do you then make that character a CF 40 going on every 6 counts instead of 7?

  2. As a house rule, yes. I'm playing around with allowing it. Essentially, every 5 points above 40 shortens the cycle of actions by 1, allowing them every 6 counts at 45, 5 counts at 50, etc.

    So, from 41 to 44 = no change (40, 33, 26, 19, 12, 5)
    45 - 49 = 1/6 or (40, 34, 28, 22, 16, 10, 4)
    50 - 54 = 1/5 or (40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5)


    I'm so so on it. I built the system with a hard limit of 40. I pretty only used higher recorded values to determine the outcome of a tie.