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Atlas Games

Gloom (Second Edition)

Gloom (Second Edition)

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In Gloom, you control the fate of an eccentric family of misfits. Your goal is sad, but simple: make your characters suffer the greatest tragedies possible before helping them pass on to the well-deserved respite of death.

Play cards with horrible mishaps like Pursued by Poodles or Swindled by Salesmen on your own characters, while trying to cheer your opponents' characters with happy occasions. The transparent cards reveal or obscure the effects of cards below; in the end, the totals showing through determine your score.

May the most miserable soul win!

From the publisher, Atlas Games:
The world of Gloom is a sad and benighted place. The sky is gray, the tea is cold, and a new tragedy lies around every corner: debt, disease, heartache, and packs of rabid flesh-eating mice. Just when it seems like things can't get any worse, they do. But some say that one's reward in the afterlife is based on the misery endured in life. If so, there may yet be hope?if not in this world, then in the peace that lies beyond.

In the Gloom card game, you assume control of the fate of an eccentric family of misfits and misanthropes. The goal of the game is sad, but simple: you want your characters to suffer the greatest tragedies possible before passing on to the well-deserved respite of death. You'll play horrible mishaps like Pursued by Poodles or Mocked by Midgets on your own characters to lower their Self-Worth scores, while trying to cheer your opponents' characters with marriages and other happy occasions that pile on positive points. The player with the lowest total Family Value wins.

Printed on transparent plastic cards, Gloom features an innovative design by noted RPG author Keith Baker. Multiple modifier cards can be played on top of the same character card; since the cards are transparent, elements from previously played modifier cards either show through or are obscured by those played above them. You'll immediately and easily know the worth of every character, no matter how many modifiers they have. You've got to see (through) this game to believe it!

Each of the three expansions for Gloom adds one more player, thus with all three expansions, seven players can play Gloom.

What's New in Gloom Second Edition

  • Backwards compatibility is completely maintained between editions. You can use 2nd Edition expansions with your original edition core game, and vice versa.
  • The 2nd Edition core game has a sturdy new telescoping box, while 2nd Edition expansions have double-width tuckboxes.
  • Timing icons in the style of Cthulhu Gloom and Unquiet Dead are incorporated throughout the 2nd Edition.
  • Rules cards and icon reminder cards are included in each 2nd Edition set for easy reference.
  • The card list, and the effect texts of individual cards, have been polished for a better play experience. For example, complex cards like 'Body Thief,' and cards with delayed effects, have been removed.
  • Three Modifiers have been turned into Transformations in Unwelcome Guests 2nd Edition.
  • Residences and Mysteries have been reworked in the 2nd Edition so that you can no longer end up with unusable cards in your hand.
  • All the Story icons and a few family icons in the 2nd Edition have been redrawn by artist Todd Remick.
  • Gloom 2nd Edition uses the discard rule from Cthulhu Gloom.
  • Horror icons have been removed from the 2nd Edition, to save them for Cthulhu Gloom.
  • Death cards in the 2nd Edition have a central art piece, as Cthulhu Gloom does, as well as a blank Story icon at top right. Characters no longer flip upon death.
  • Event cards in the 2nd Edition have a center illustration and a blank icon in the top right spot, to give them the same silhouette as a Death card.
  • Guests in the 2nd Edition have reminder text in the family icon spot, as Cthulhu Gloom does.
  • 'Pathos Points' are now called 'Self-Worth Points,' to avoid unnecessary proliferation of game terms.
  • A number of mechanical changes have been made in the rule sheet. For example, timing icons, symbols on Event cards, and the new discard rule have been accounted for.


Condition: New

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Game Details

Suggested Ages: 13 and up
Number of Players:
2 to 4
Playing Time:
60 minutes

Designer: Baker, Keith
Scott Reeves
Publisher: Atlas Games


card game, hand management, humor, storytelling, Gloom, TableTop

Awards & Honors

2006 Games 100 Family Card Game Nominee
2005 Origins Awards Winner, Traditional Card Game of the Year


20 Character cards, 58 Modifier cards, 12 Event cards, 20 Untimely Death cards, rule cards, icon reminder cards and rules sheet