Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rules - examples or not?

I personally like when there are examples of rules in the rulebook. I think, that same time you read and try to digest the rules and after a new thing there is example how it works, it is faster and easier to learn when you actually see how that works. You might do few test rolls to try the mechanics, but if there are examples you see how the mechanics work while you read.

One quite recent example of this is Call of Cthulhu 6th edition. It was a while since I last time played it. Actually several years, almost a decade. I did remember the basics of the rules but didn't quite remember the insanity mechanics. Luckily, there was long example what explained everything from loosing minor amount of SAN to taking a small rest period in asylum. That example covered everything needed without need to read all the sanity rules. Really convient.

But now I'd like to know what you guys think about examples. Are they for good or for some reason bad? Share with me.


Kevin said...

Put me in the "I prefer examples in the rules" camp. One of the design elements I've embraced in my own ruleset KORE is to have an example after every rule description.

From a designer standpoint, I liked writing the examples because they helped me find issues or holes in the rules.

From a player (GM or player) standpoint, I like the examples because it help to more quickly understand how the rules are applied and get everyone on the same page.

My only issue with examples (and I have a couple in my own rules that I need to address) is when the examples raise more questions than they help resolve.

Unknown said...

I am exceedingly disappointed if there are no examples in a rule book. For me, examples clarify and show (instead of just state) a rule.

Unknown said...

Kevin and Callin, thank you for clarifying this topic. I have asked this around in forums and also in emails for people in forum I use the most.

I have to say, that only one person has been against examples. I just wanted to know as much about the opinions for this topic.

So, examples it will be.

Thank you both.