Additional Rules from the Rulebook
You are never obligated to discard an Estate, even if you have one in your hand. However, if you do not discard an Estate, you must gain an Estate (if there are any left); you cannot choose to just get +1 Buy from this card.
The Secret History of Baron
In an article on Board Game Geek, Donald X. Vaccarino commented on the development of Baron:
- Going into development, the set had 20 kingdom cards. One day Jay said it would be better for him if it had 25. You know, stuff is cheaper at larger volumes. Having 25 kingdom cards was fine by me, so 25 it was. So I had to add five cards.
- This is one of them! I looked through the ideas file for stuff that fit the themes, and picked this as a supplement to the victory-cards-that-do-something-else theme.