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Rules are the instructions that players follow when playing a role-playing game. They are part of a game's system. Game mechanics are part of the rules.

Rules are sometimes contrasted with rulings, which are decisions made at the table (usually by a GM) without reference to rules.

Types of rules[]

  • Rules as written - This refers to the rules that are formally presented in a game's rulebook or supplements.
  • Rules as intended - These are the rules that work according to the designs and intentions of the designers.
  • Rules as interpreted - These are the rules used by players at a table, based on their understanding of the rules that they have received.
  • House rules - These are rules used by players at a table that intentionally deviate from their understanding of the rules received through formal channels.
  • Made-up rules - These are rules that players may believe exist in the rules as written or intended, but which do not.
  • Optional rules - These are rules included in the game text itself, but only as options for groups to use or not as they choose.

See also[]

  • Rules lawyer - A type of player who insists on adherence to the rules (sometimes only as long as it benefits them or their character) and may disrupt play accordingly.