Looney Labs Fluxx Mailing list Archive

[Fluxx] Are bonuses optional?

  • From"Bryan Stout" <bryan.stout@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 23 Dec 2008 09:34:21 -0500
There was another question I was planning to add to my last email of questions about Fluxx 4.0:

- Is the Poor Bonus optional? The way they are worded, it seems like the Rich Bonus is optional, but the Poor Bonus is not.

However, as I looked over other Bonus cards in all the Fluxx games, the question grew bigger, so I'm making a separate email about it. Your comments are desired.

In my search for the True Principle of Bonus Card Discretion, these are possibilities I've considered:

A. Explicit Language. If the card says "may" the bonus is optional, otherwise it's mandatory.

Sorting through the bonus cards by this rule, here are the results. The pertinent phrases from the cards are:

- Rich Bonus:  that person may play 1 extra card
- Party Bonus:  all players may Draw 1 extra card and may Play 1 extra card
- Weapon Bonus:  you may kill 1 of your Creeper cards
- Fake Accent, first part:  you may play 1 extra card
- Grandparent Bonus:  you may ignore any Hand Limit rules in play
- Parent Bonus:  you may choose to draw 1 extra card on your turn
- Child Bonus:  you may choose to play 1 extra card
- Judaica Bonus:  you may play 1 extra card
- Cross Bonus:  you may play 1 extra card

- No-Hand Bonus:  draw a new hand of 3 cards
- Poor Bonus:  that person draws 1 extra card
- Eradication Bonus:  all players draw 1 extra card at once
- Adrenaline Bonus:  draw and play 1 extra card during your turn
- Fake Accent, second part:  play 2 extra cards
- I Want to Sing!, both parts: draw 1 extra card ... draw another extra card
- Borders Bonus:  all players draw a card

This works pretty well, with an anomaly. In Fake Accent, it uses "may" for playing 1 card, but not for playing 2; but I don't think it's meant to be optional for 1 and mandatory for 2. I'm sure the "may" was implied for the second part as well.

B. Accumulation Bias. Drawing bonuses are mandatory, while playing bonuses are optional.

This seems to be the pattern above, so there's a good chance that's the intention. There are exceptions, though: Parent Bonus says you "may" draw an extra card; Party Bonus says "may" for both drawing and playing; and Adrenaline Bonus omits "may" for both. So I'm not sure.

C. Universal Discretion. All Bonuses are optional, whether or not they say "may".

This seems a reasonable interpretation of most cards, except that No-Hand Bonus, Adrenaline Bonus and Borders Bonus definitely feel mandatory to me.

D. Universal Compulsion. All Bonuses are actually mandatory. The "may" used is actually meant as an obligation, as used in many legal documents.

This also seems a reasonable interpretation for most cards, with exceptions: Parent Bonus and Child Bonus both say "may choose to", which reinforces the sense of being optional.

So, what do you think?

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