Non-Fluxx Promo Cards

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Q: What does the little star on the Throk-Trak Statuette mean?

…It says “If [star], ignore everything above. This just counts as something gold”.

A: The little star is a mark on the corner of Early American Chrononauts (EAC) cards, so that if you have both that and original Chrononauts (Chrono), and are combining them to play ÜberChrononauts, you can separate the decks when you’re done. Thus the star is meant to broadly indicate the EAC deck. (Rules for ÜberChrononauts are in the EAC rulesheet.)

What that star is indicating on the Throk-Trak Statuette, is that if you are playing with EAC instead of Chrono, you can ignore all of the wording about WW3, which applies only to Chrono, and the only thing you need to be concerned with about it is that it’s something Gold, which is useful in EAC because there is a Mission which requires gold items.

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Q: Can the card Don’t Do That (from the Plan C Expansion for Get the MacGuffin) cause the discard of an Item which remains on the table when its power is used?

A: Yes. If someone is using the power of The Crown to pass on their turn, or the power of the MacGuffin or Backup MacGuffin to pick it up and put it back down as a turn option, then using Don’t Do That will result in the discard of the Item in question. It would also cause Plan C to be discarded rather than put back in the owner’s hand.

However, the passive effect of having people call you Your Majesty does not constitute a “use” which could be stopped with Don’t Do That, so The Crown can only be discarded with Don’t Do That if the player is using the passing power.

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Q: What do the hieroglyphs on the Pyramid Papyrus mean in the Chrononauts Missing Artifacts expansion?

A: Here is a full translation of those hieroglyphs. They were created using this Hieroglyphic Translator. For more info on how this translation works, be sure to read the explanation of the system on that page.

do not quarry blocks (d nt cwary blccs)
use concrete to make them (us cncrt tu mayc zm)
see formula on back (si frmula awn bacc)

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Q: If an opponent plays Can I Use That and picks Don’t Do That from my hand, does that nullify their play so I’d get to keep Don’t Do That?

A: No. No matter how this plays out, you don’t get to keep Don’t Do That. Let’s run through some scenarios. We’ll call you Player B, and your opponent Player A (since it’s their turn).

Player A plays Can I Use That (CIUT).
They pull Don’t Do That (DDT) from the hand of Player B.

Player A must now play DDT as if they’d had it in their hand themselves.
Since there’s nothing which DDT can affect when it’s played during your own turn (unless some future susceptible card is created) DDT simply joins the used-up CIUT in the discard pile without having had an effect.

This is a pretty disappointing pull for Player A, but, on the other hand, Player B definitely does not get to claim Don’t Do That would act as though they had decided to play it, to prevent its own theft. Not only did Player B not decide to do that in a timely enough manner, it simply cannot protect itself once it is the target in question.

Don’t Do That can result in some pretty exciting plays… if you decide to use it. This is what Andy calls “The Curse of the Surprise” (after Surprises in Fluxx, which are similar to Don’t Do That). They have the potential to be so powerful that they become precious, and people hold back from using them… but, of course, they have no power at all if you don’t use them.

But could Don’t Do That have done anything, here? Well, yes, and no:

So, to lay out some of the more exciting ways this could have played out:

Player A plays Can I Use That (CIUT)

Player B plays Don’t Do That (DDT)
– they can decide to do this immediately after CIUT has been played
– they can decide to do this after Player A has declared they will target Player B’s hand
– they can even decide to do this after Player A has pulled a card to use…
as long as the card pulled is not DDT itself. At that point, it’s just too late, as DDT can’t protect itself.

In any case, if Player B had successfully decided to use DDT themselves, CIUT is now in the discard pile, having been canceled, and DDT has been used up, and is also now in the discard pile.

Was it worth it? Player A’s turn (and card) have been squandered, and, although Player B has lost DDT, they’ve saved some other card in their hand from being taken and used by Player A. After all, that’s just the way DDT works: you have to use it up to get its benefit.

Ironically, we have seen that this is exactly what happens if DDT is the card chosen. Either DDT is randomly chosen instead of some more valuable card, or it’s voluntarily sacrificed to prevent some other more valuable card from being picked.

So, even if we had ruled that Player B was allowed to use DDT after it had been selected by Player A… it still wouldn’t result in Player B getting to keep DDT. Either Player B successfully used DDT to stop the play, in which case it’s used up and discarded, or they didn’t successfully use it, and it gets picked by Player A.

It’s just way more exciting for someone to make a conscious decision to disrupt someone else’s play, rather than wait and have DDT accidentally chosen. And, really – if you have a more valuable card in your hand, do you want to risk having it taken, or throw DDT under the bus on purpose to save the other card?

Of course then you run the risk of broadcasting to the rest of the players that you have a valuable card in your hand… OR, to double-overthink it even further, you make everyone think you have something valuable in your hand.

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Q: Is there a list somewhere of all Looney Labs promo cards ever?

A: We used to keep a list like this on our site, but it got too difficult to maintain, especially as things went out of print and/or changed formats. Currently the closest options are:

Comprehensive list of Looney Labs stuff (including promo cards) by Mike Fogus

List on BoardGameGeek of (Fluxx only) promo cards

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Q: Are there any tweaks to the rules needed when one adds the Just Desserts expansion sets?

A: Although the expansions add additional icons and guests, they’ve been carefully balanced with the existing cards so that no changes to the rules are required.

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Q: The card Robin Hood from the Plan C expansion for Get the MacGuffin is a bit unclear on how many cards should change ownership. How many should it be?

…The card says “must give their choice of their cards.” We’ve been letting the “rich” player decide how many, and it’s always just one.

A: Sorry that card is worded a little ambiguously. Yes, you’ve been doing it right: the “rich” player is only supposed to give one card to the “poor” player. In the future, we should probably add the word “one” in there to read “must give their choice of one of their cards…”

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Q: In Get The MacGuffin, when I use the Third Eye (from the Plan C expansion) must I reshuffle afterwards? What if I have Tomb Robbers, and remember where the card I saw is in the deck?

A: There’s no requirement to shuffle the Tomb after you look at it with the Third Eye but the Tomb Robbers card requires that you draw a random card from the Tomb, so other players may insist that you shuffle those cards before drawing one if you’ve previously played the Third Eye.

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Q: Doctor Coffee’s favorite is anything with coffee; does this mean any dessert with coffee can be played for him even if it has 2 or 3 symbols on it?

A: Yes, any dessert with coffee will be accepted by him as a “favorite.” Doesn’t have to be just the “ace.” Other symbols are fine, since he doesn’t have any ingredient restrictions.

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Q: Why doesn’t the Conceptual Artist want Coffee, since she’s in the Coffee expansion for Just Desserts??

…Also, her favorite dessert doesn’t have an icon like all of the other favorites, is this a misprint?

A: TLDR: No, those cards are not printed incorrectly, though the dessert cards might be updated in the future.

In each of the Just Desserts expansions, there is a character who does NOT actually want the featured ingredient (the Vegetarian in the Better With Bacon expansion is the other example). On their cards, naturally, you won’t find the featured ingredient listed as a component of their favorite (or in the case of the Vegetarian, that ingredient is listed – as explicitly forbidden). For this reason, their favorite is a dessert from the original deck, and not a newly-printed card in the expansion.

Because we’re not psychic enough to see the future, those expansion favorites in the original deck do not have any “favorite” indicator for the expansion because we had no idea it would end up being a favorite. On future printings we might add the “favorite” indicator – which would, no doubt, generate questions from people who do not have the expansion, wondering what this extraneous symbol means. Or we might not add it, I suppose. We could add it, and maybe put a comment about it in the FAQ on the rules sheet. Who knows?

The Conceptual Artist, being a hipster/beatnik type person who might hang around a coffeeshop (which serves plenty of items which do not themselves contain coffee) might well like Coffee Cake, which is one of those items which doesn’t contain coffee. We felt it was quite amusing (conceptually, you know) for it to be an item that’s got coffee in the title, but not the ingredients. Notice she looks quite sleepy, unlike Mr. Jitters, an equally hipster-looking type, but clearly one who loves the bean (maybe a little too much!)

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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: Can I use It’s A Trap, I Have a Sword, or Skullduggery if someone uses Zap A Card to take one of my Keepers into their hand?

A: Quick answer: Yes.

Obviously, the more generic Belay That/Stop That (counter Action) would work, but the question here is about whether Zapping could trigger the Trap/Sword/Skullduggery. The card It’s A Trap! is intended to counter Keeper “stealing” in all general senses to include more than just the specific Action Steal A Keeper. It was originally conceived to counter Keepers with special stealing abilities, like The Captain in various Fluxxen, but it also works if someone is invoking Plunder (AKA City of Thieves, AKA Crime Happens, AKA Get Over Here) to steal one of your Keepers.

So, since Zap A Card essentially lets someone steal one of your Keepers, we would answer yes: you can use It’s A Trap or any of it’s siblings (I Have a Sword, Skullduggery) in response to someone Zapping one of your Keepers into their hand. Of course, in the case of the Trap, specifically, if they don’t have any Keepers in play themselves, you won’t get anything back, but you will still squander their Zap A Card, and prevent your Keeper from being taken.

Note that You Can’t Take This Guy From Me (Firefly Fluxx) has the same trigger, and can be invoked by all the same situations. Although there is no Zap A Card in Firefly Fluxx, there is a Plunder card, and Zap A Card is available as a promo, so it could be added to any deck.

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Q: How can I keep someone from cheating on the draw because they can tell which Loonacy cards are promos?

…I have the 2014 Xmas gift (Fruitcake Fun Pack) that has the extra loonacy cards with the fruitcake that I mixed in with the game. The coloring of the cards is a very slight shade off. Normally I don’t notice because I am not focused on that. But my 12 year old does. And that makes a difference if she picks first or not (basically, will a fruitcake at that moment benefit her).

A: Since we can’t fix the slight variations in cardback color that are bound to happen with promo cards, our best solution is to make the draw phase more structured:

Before the game, decide on a set draw order. Decide who will always draw first, and players will then draw in order around the circle.

Everyone will still hold their cards face down and look simultaneously, of course.

Yes, this means that observant players may still know that they (or another) has a card which is guaranteed to be playable, but at least it prevents the irritating “I’m just going to hover here and let someone else draw first because I don’t want that top card, because I know it’s a Fruitcake.”

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Q: What color does the Aquarius Dragon turn when you play Shuffle Hands?

We could tell what each of the other Aquarius Actions was supposed to do to the Dragon, but it wasn’t clear what Shuffle Hands would do, based on the art.

A: The intention is that the Aquarius (AQ) Dragon should work exactly like the Silver Dragon in Seven Dragons (7D), so, by extension, since the 7D promo card Shuffle Hands depicts the Rainbow Dragon art (and the instructions included with the Shuffle Hands 7D promo say that it turns the Silver Dragon wild) the Aquarius Dragon is turned fully Wild by the Shuffle Hands action in Aquarius.


When Aquarius was designed the original five actions clearly mapped to the five elements. When we added the sixth action (Shuffle Hands) there were no extra elements to map it to, so we used the “long hair babe” and a generic Aquarius landscape.

Then, when we made Seven Dragons, the whole concept of having the action-color map to a change of the Silver Dragon was new. Also, we did not include the sixth action, Shuffle Hands, but we made it as a promo card, and the obvious art was the sixth available dragon, the Rainbow Dragon, hence it’s obvious effect on the Silver Dragon was to have it go wild again (which is pretty powerful, and one of the reasons we made it a promo card instead of including three of them like there are in Aquarius).

Then we retroactively applied the Silver Dragon and it’s qualities to AQ, but the art on the AQ Shuffle Hands action was never intended to map explicitly to a particular element, so unfortunately, it’s not clear from the art what it does to the AQ Dragon.

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Q: Does Crazy Joe’s win condition always have to be within four consecutive rows of the time line?

In order for Crazy Joe to win, he must collapse the timeline. In UberChrononauts, this calls for 13 paradoxes within four consecutive rows. Does the same apply when playing regular Chrononauts with the Gore years expansion? There are five rows in the game, do the 13 paradoxes still have to be within 4 consecutive rows?

A: According to the laws of Temporal Physics, the “within four rows” rule applies any time there are more than four rows on the TimeLine. I realize this makes Crazy Joe’s difficult task all the more difficult, but ye cannot change the laws of temporal physics!

For details about how to figure out how many paradoxes per row counts if your rows are not eight cards wide, see:
In UberChrononauts, how many paradoxes per row…

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