Home Forums General Game Design Consistent and/or Intuitive modifiers – How important? Reply To: Consistent and/or Intuitive modifiers – How important?


Actually, I would extend your plea for consistency beyond just modifiers, but also to the rules themselves.  One of my goals in rule writing is now very focused on what I call integrated procedures.  In many rules, the process for movement, firepower, melee, and morale/rally is distinct and very different for each, and what I try to do is make each of those processes identical, or very close to identical, with only the pertinent factors that are considered, and the results from the processes, varying. That is, you don’t add in one process , and subtract in another, use one kind of dice in one process and another  for other game mechanics.  You try to make the mechanics for the four key processes in any wargame (movement, fire,melee, morale) identical, and, therefore, easily and quickly learned by the gamers. The increments for variables in the rules also are in added dice, which are easy to anticipate, but, in themselves, variables.

In addition, making major variable negative impacts on these processes, reflect in as many ways as possible a common theme, such as The Rule of Six in DFII which makes most penalties in the game hinge on a single number-“6”.  This then serves as a mnemonic device for the gamers, and a convenient way for those odd and singular moments that can occur in games to be handled.  The answer is six!  In a game that uses D6’s, the use of the number 6 as a convenient demarcation between success or failure, again, provides for quick learning, and consistent applications of rules.

Consistency in any teaching document, which rules are, is essential.