In the last set of new Fluxx cards I'd made -- Odds and Ends -- I had several cards that dealt with the discard pile. Making sure those cards work well was trickier than I'd have thought at first. For example, "Retrieve 1 Keeper" and "Retrieve 1 Goal" would allow an easy win by getting a Keeper needed for the current Goal, or vice versa. So I said the retrieved card could not be played in the same turn -- it is set aside face up, and added to the hand after the turn is over; that way the other players could see what might be coming and possibly do something about it.
Even trickier was "Muckraking", which allows players to draw from the top of the discard pile any time they may draw a card. A simple thing, which we do in many games like Uno, but this might break the game in Fluxx unless certain measures were taken:
First, make sure that all Action cards are discarded *after* their action, just like they say in their instructions. Otherwise, one could play Jackpot and draw 3 cards -- two from the draw pile, and Jackpot from the top of the discard pile. If the current rule says Play N, you'd get 2N cards in your turn; with Play All you could get the entire draw pile. Discard and Draw would cause similar problems. Take Another Turn would be worse -- you could take an unending number of turns in a row. So, make sure you discard Jackpot *after* you draw 3, Take Another Turn *after* your extra turn.
Second, specify an order for drawing and discarding, especially when they have to do it simultaneously -- e.g. Hand Limits or Eradication Bonus. When you can see the cards you may be getting, it matters who draws when, or who discards when. Therefore on the back of the title card for Odds and Ends I said that simultaneous drawing or discarding should go in turn order, starting with the active player. (Of course, anyone who does not actually discard, such as the active player during Hand Limits, is skipped in this order.)
When playtesting Muckraking, I wondered if it was too troublesome to include. But with the rules restrictions above, I think it fits in fine. I was also comforted that the issues with Muckraking also appear with Composting when the discard pile is very small -- Alison described the strictness of Action discarding on this list : http://lists.looneylabs.com/pipermail/fluxx/2005-November/000092.html . You can still do some snarky things with Muckraking, like:
1. Play Steal a Keeper and Taxation
2. Play Draw 2 and Use 'Em, play Steal a Keeper and Taxation again.
3. Play Draw 3, Play 2 of Them to play SaK and T a *third* time.
But this doesn't break the game like the perpetual loop would. This kind of play is rare and should be applauded when people think of it, rather than forbidden, IMO.
Any comments? Does drawing from the discard pile sound fun or problematic? Do you think players should be able to draw or discard in any order if the discard pile is available? Can you think of any game-breaking situations I haven't thought of?