No-Use Bonus

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The providing of bonuses to unselected actions to make them more like to be used in the future.

Some actions may be underused in games where players can choose between different actions. This may be because of specific races between players or that the game state currently makes some actions less valuable. To balance the use between all actions, those actions selected by no player during a turn may receive additional resources or bonuses as extra incentives for players to chose the actions next turn.


Puerto Rico (and San Juan) have a No-Use Bonus through the placement of a coin on the actions not chosen during a turn. Agricola has a weak form of No-Use Bonus in that some of the possible actions produce resources every turn, so those not chosen one turn will have double or more the "normal" amount of resources.

Using the pattern

No-Use Bonus is a pattern that can help load balance the use of the actions made possible by Role Selection or, less commonly, shared systems using Budgeted Action Points. The main design choices when introducing it consists of what Resource to add, although Money may be the most natural unless the actions already have some other Resources associated with them.


No-Use Bonus introduces a way for Resources to be Renewable Resources in a game. It also rebalances the value of the possible options in systems of Budgeted Action Points and Role Selection each time it is applied, and this value change is independent of the rest of a game state. By doing so it modulates the possibilities of Predictable Consequences in a game - some choices may become easier to predict (e.g. an action that has received several No-Use Bonuses is quite likely to be chosen) but other choices may be more difficult because players are introduced to new Trade-Offs between actions.

No-Use Bonus introduces a slight amount of Excise in games each turn, and this is a communal Excise.


Can Instantiate

Excise, Renewable Resources, Trade-Offs

Can Modulate

Budgeted Action Points, Predictable Consequences, Role Selection

Can Be Instantiated By

Money, Resources

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.