Looney Labs Fluxx Mailing list Archive

Re: [Fluxx] Hand Limits Optional

  • From"Bryan Stout" <bryan.stout@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 11 Aug 2008 17:13:33 -0400
Hi Tim,
Welcome back -- I'm glad you got your problems fixed. 
Thanks for your comments.  I agree with the principles you've stated: I think it's fun to figure out new things to do with cards, even if they go beyond the intention of the author. 
In the case of the Hand Limits, though, there are other principles that outweigh that, at least for myself.  First, even though the flexible Hand Limit timing does not break the game, it "feels" wrong to many players.  Such a feeling is not an absolute veto, but it is something to take seriously.  A clearer wording in future editions can help eliminate that, however Andy decides. 
Second, and more important, I strongly prefer the strict order of turn steps: Draw, Play, Hand Limit, Keeper Limit.  There is a careful balance in game rules about the amount of constraints to place on the player: too many, and a player feels frustrated with the limited choices available; too few, and it feels too free and pointless.  (Robert Frost said that writing verse without rhyme or meter felt like playing tennis without a net.)  Fluxx already has a lot of options in its play; a strict turn order gives a good amount of constraints, forcing certain types of planning and tactics. 
This is my own taste, of course; your mileage may vary.  (It isn't required to vary, you just have the option :-)
----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Wezner
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 3:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Fluxx] Hand Limits Optional


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!