Looney Labs Fluxx Mailing list Archive

Re: [Fluxx] Hand Limits Optional

  • From"Tim Wezner" <tim.wezner@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 11 Aug 2008 15:59:02 -0400

Wow.  I didn't intend to open up such a pandora's box with that comment on hand limits.  Sorry about that. :-)  And sorry to just be catching up to the discussion I inadvertently started.  Robin helped me figure out my issues with the list (thanks Robin!), so I can chime in now.

My intent with that comment last week was just to illustrate that sometimes a card may have a function beyond what we initially see, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.  As long as it doesn't break the game, I'd say it's a good thing.  I come from a long background of CCG's, both casual playing and playtesting/design.  Part of the fun of those types of games is discovering new things to do with your cards and figuring out new decks and combos with old and new cards.  Often, we'd come up with stuff that the designer never intended or thought of.  Unless the combo was broken or abusive to the game, those things usually stayed in.

Personally I feel the same way here.  Just becuase it was never the original intent of the card,  or just because most people never realized they could do something with the card, doesn't necessarily mean the card now needs to be changed.  There are other cards out there that people (verteran fluxx players and newbies alike) assume work a certain way and miss some valid options.  A few off the top of my head that I've experienced in some games...
  • Cross Bonus - if I'm wearing a cross or have the cross keeper, I may play 1 extra card. 
  • rich bonus - if I have more keepers than anyone else, I may choose to play 1 extra card.
  • grandparent bonus - I may ignore hand limits
  • parent bonus - I may draw one extra card
  • trash a keeper - discard a keeper from in front of any player (including myself)
(And no, not all bonuses have the 'may'.  The no-hand bonus does not, which I interpret means you must draw those three cards before your new hand.)

People often play those cards above as if you must do those actions, as if those cards add to the mandatory draw or play rules.  Or they play something like trash a keeper and not realize that they can trash one of their own keepers.  But the options exist based on the wording, and I can think of some game instances where you might not want to take advantage of those bonuses or do some of those actions.  But just because some people don't realize that those options exist and it's become the common interpretation of those cards doesn't mean the options should no longer be available. 

As for Andy's question on what should be done on the wording of hand limits....  I personally don't see a need for change.  It's not an abusive strategy (it really doesn't come up all that often, honestly).  I'm not against changing the text for clarity.  Just because a card is established doesn't mean it can't be made better.  You updated the basic rules from previous versions.  But at the same time, even though I dislike changing the function of an established card that's a staple in every version, I don't think changing hand limits to take out the option would hurt the game much (as I said, it doesn't come up that much).  In fact, I doubt very few people would notice.

If I had to vote, I'd say I like option 2 the best, then 1, and 3 the least.  But whichever you choose, it wouldn't bother me too terribly much.

Have a good one!

On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 7:42 PM, Bryan Stout <bryan.stout@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
A little more detail.  (We had our daughter's 2nd wedding reception yesterday -- the first was a month ago in UT when she got married -- so I haven't had much time for a couple days.)

But then I started getting questions like this from Bryan Stout:

To clarify: Andy got statements like my which paragraph he then quotes.  He did not get questions on the matter from me.  I wasn't even on the list yet, and I was of the common interpretation of Hand Limits until I read Tim Wezner's email last week.

But that's all in the past, what about the future?

We're about to go to press with Monty Python Fluxx, plus we're about to reprint Zombie Fluxx as version 1.1 (with a few little tweaks) and later there's Martian Fluxx and someday Fluxx 4.0 and who knows what else. All of them will have Hand Limits. So what should I do for these and all future versions of Fluxx?

1) Keep using the traditional text because it's established
2) Re-write the text so that James et al will agree with the optional interpretation
3) Eliminate the option by re-writing the second paragraph as "This rules does not apply to you during your turn. When your turn ends, discard down to x."

We've been using option 1 for a long time, but I'm suddenly finding option 3 very attractive. Thoughts?

I like #3 best, as I said.  I hadn't listed the reasons:
a) It's the common interpretation of how Hand Limits work.
b) It's how Andy intended them to work.
c) I prefer that turn steps be done in strict order: Draw, Play, Hand Limit, Keeper Limit.

I also have a related request:

For future versions of Fluxx, please consider including a card that allows you to avoid some of the consequences of the dreaded Play All.  I don't mind that the game sometimes forces you to make others win, but I would like there to be a strategy to sometimes avoid it (besides trashing the rule itself).  It looks like Monty Python Fluxx will have the "Get On With It!" card which fulfills this role; I would like to see cards like that in other Fluxx games as well.  (I remember reading once that some player changed his Play All card to Play All But One; I like that idea too.)


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