Get the MacGuffin FAQ

If you don’t see your question answered among these, please email us at:
FAQ@looneylabs.com

Q: Must one always discard the Object when using it’s power?

A: If it does not say you have to discard it to use the power, then no. Rock, Paper, and Scissors remain in play when you use their power. Money, on the other hand says you have to discard it from play in order to use its power. The MacGuffin and Backup MacGuffin’s power depends on the presence of other cards on the table or in your ownership, but if you’re able to use them, their power is to remain in play, essentially.

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Q: When a player is allowed multiple plays on their turn, are there any guidelines for timing between plays?

A: TLDR: Officially, no… BUT, when playing in any of our games which include interrupt cards which cancel a previous play (Surprise, Memo From Your Future Self, Stop Time) it’s good practice to play a little slower if you happen to be executing multiple plays, so that your opponents have plenty of time to play one of these cards, should they so desire.

Deliberately playing super-fast, “shotgunning” as one fan put it, is just rude, and, rather than avoiding arguments about interrupts, actually ends up causing them. So if you have someone who insists upon playing that way, feel free to implement a requirement of a full one-hippopotamus silent count between card plays. We think those worried about their second-to-last winning play being foiled by an interrupt will find that others are not as psychic as they feared. Read on…

So here’s a typical Surprise situation, which can cause a bit of controversy:

I recently won when the rules called for Play 2. I played my first card, a Keeper, and then a moment later I played a Goal card that caused me to win. My opponent then showed me that he had the Surprise card in his hand that could have stopped me from playing the Keeper, and we had a brief discussion about whether I should have left him more time to consider playing it.

In my opponent’s defense, I didn’t leave him much time to play his Surprise card that would have allowed him to take my Keeper for himself. In my defense, he didn’t really have any reason to play the Surprise card and take the Keeper – until he saw that my next play was the winning Goal.

So… are there guidelines on timing between playing consecutive cards?

Slapping them down so quickly that no one has a chance to do anything doesn’t seem entirely fair – but it also doesn’t seem strategic after playing a card to wait and look around at other players to see if they have any game response before playing the next card.

(Related question: A player doesn’t have to “announce” or “report” their play out loud, right? They can just play their cards and if other players aren’t paying attention, that’s the fault of the other players? We all want to have good sportsmanship, but you know how games can sometimes get, in terms of either other players not paying attention, or in terms of being very competitive!)

Here’s our response:
While we don’t have any official guidelines about exact timing of card plays, We recommend a slight pause between a two-card play like this when the active player knows it’s going to make them win. It’s rarely the case that the person with the Keeper-stopper will intuitively know that the necessary Goal is coming… until it gets there (or vice-versa: if they had the Goal-stopper, and you’d decided to play the Keeper last, they couldn’t know you’d have the winning Keeper to play after the innocuous Goal), so playing slow is often to your advantage, as the player who’s about to win.

In fact, playing casually, even pretending you don’t know what you want to play next, can be a great move. Playing slowly enough to allow a possible Surprise doesn’t have to mean broadcasting your impending win. (For example, looking significantly around the table as if expecting a challenge). Of course, announcing your your play is in no way required, but could even be part of your nonchalant act, depending on how you do it. (“Hmm… Well, there’s this Small Moon… and… let’s see… That’s No Moon, for the win!”)

That said, one often doesn’t have the presence of mind to think about deliberately hesitating. In real life, you’re usually just taking your play, and winning, at regular game speed.

Here is where the question is really about what your opponent was thinking, and they have to be honest about it: did it only occur to them to play the Surprise after you’d played the winning Goal? If you’d just accidentally played the Goal first, and then the Keeper, their Keeper-canceling Surprise would have gone through and prevented your win. But just as they couldn’t know your next play would be the end of the game, you couldn’t know they had a Surprise. For all you knew, they had the Goal-stopping Surprise, and it’s just chance which order you chose to play those two cards in. It’s not as though you deliberately played in such a way as to deliberately thwart a Surprise on your first play.

The thing to point out here is that, had you stopped playing after the Keeper, would it even have occurred to them to use the Surprise? Probably not, if they’re being honest. It’s extremely rare that one’s opponent is prescient or observant enough to realize that this play might be your second-to-last. People rarely want to squander a Surprise on the off-chance that your next play will be the winning one*. In the kind of situation you describe, the Surprise-having player usually just shrugs, and says “Darn! I had [the Surprise that would have prevented your second-to-last play], and I could have stopped that play, but it’s too late now… Oh well. Let’s deal again…”

Because, in the end, if they didn’t get that Surprise in after the applicable card, that’s the way it goes, and that’s the official ruling if people get – ahem – unruly.

*I mean, imagine it. If they’d canceled your Keeper before you’d played the winning Goal, your best reaction is probably simply to shrug as if mildly confused by such a powerful play, apparently for nothing, and make them feel like they just wasted their Surprise on a random Keeper play… heh heh. You don’t have to let them know they totally blocked your win. Meanwhile… you don’t have to get upset about missing that chance… it’s just Fluxx, and victory is snatched away at all the time in the course of any given game – usually completely by accident. Or you can let them know their spidey-senses were working, or congratulate them on how observant they are. It’s up to you.

Now let’s return to that “shotgunning” player who’s deliberately playing quickly so that nobody can slip a Surprise in on that penultimate play… It is, as the fan above pointed out, not entirely fair, and, moreover, it invites the argument “But you didn’t leave me enough time to play my Surprise!” If, on the other hand they had played it slowly, as described above, their opponent has no excuse to challenge the win, on the claim that they “were going to play a Surprise.” The opponent had plenty of time, but in the vast majority of cases, they won’t play the Surprise, because they have no idea what’s coming next. That’s part of the beauty of Fluxx!

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Q: Can the player who uses the Garbage Collector then pull it out of the discard pile?

A: Do you mean, can they pull it from the discard pile on the same turn as they use it? No, as in Fluxx, the Action you’re using isn’t in the discard pile until you’re done doing what it says.

If the move thus postulated were allowed, one could play it over and over again, without an end, and that would make it as powerful as the MacGuffin, which, of course, is not the intention.

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Q: What card sleeves work with Get the MacGuffin?

Short answer: A fan informs us that 75mm x 115mm should be right if you can find them, but we doubt that exact size exists (see below). They said that Swan has a 75mm x 128mm that works, but you’d need to trim the top down. No, unfortunately, they won’t fit back in the box that way, unfortunately.

Another fan has said that for many of his games he actually LAMINATES the cards, which might be a great solution for Get the MacGuffin.

More background: We did very seriously think about this question when we were figuring out the card specs. We looked at all the tarot-ish card sleeves that existed, and considered making our cards one of these sizes – but ultimately it didn’t make sense. Only one of them could really have worked, and it would have cost us a big bunch of cash to make tooling for this size card, and then the cards still wouldn’t fit back into the box.

At first we were considering putting the game in our 2 part box, with cards sized that would fit WITH sleeves on them. This would have been really cool, but ultimately it made more sense to go with a simple tuck box and a card size my printer already had the tooling for. This allowed us to give the game a $10 MSRP – which ultimately was way more important that the handful of folks who really really really wish they could sleeve the game.

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Q: With promo cards or the expansion added in to Get the MacGuffin, the cards will deal out completely with some group sizes. Is there still a Tomb?

A: There should always be a Tomb. If your Get the MacGuffin deck is not a prime number of cards for some reason, simply start the Tomb with one card, then deal out the rest of the deck as evenly as possible, and take the remainder and add them to the first set-aside card to form the complete Tomb.

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Q: If I have The MacGuffin, and my opponent has another Object in play, but no cards left, who wins? Is it a tie?

A: Note #4 in the Turn Options section. If someone’s turn comes around, and they have no cards in hand, but they have an Object in play, then they must take the turn option of discarding the Object. Ties can happen in Get the MacGuffin, but not in this way.

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Q: If I have the Crown on the table, and play the Assassin, am I required to destroy my own Crown? If I don’t have the Crown, but have the only Object in play, am I then required to take out my own Object?

A: To refresh, the Assassin reads:

If someone has the Crown in play, that player must immediately discard it.
If no one has the Crown in play, discard any Object in play or a randomly chosen card from another player’s hand.

If you have the Crown in play, and you play the Assassin card, sadly for you, the Assassin is required to take out the Crown. No ifs, ands, or buts.

On the other hand, if the Crown is NOT in play, you have the option whether to take out an object in play, or target another player’s random in-hand card.

It may seem cruel or counter-intuitive for you to be required to do something detrimental to yourself, but that only happens in the first case. That’s the spirit of the Assassin, its primary aim is to kill the monarch – but with no Crown in play, the Assassin actually becomes a much more versatile, and therefore more powerful card. It’s interesting how timing can change how powerful certain cards are in Get the MacGuffin, isn’t it?!

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