GTM #237 - Common Questions About Gloom of Thrones
by Atlas Games


Gloom of Thrones, the December release from Atlas Games, brings the misery of Gloom to the Umpteen Kingdoms of Eastereg. Wrest control of a noble family, make their lives miserable in every way, and deliver them to their ultimate fate. Which is, of course, death.

As your characters seek a moment of respite on the Porcelain Throne, your goal is to plague them with horrible mishaps like being Seduced by a Sibling or Tumbled from a Tower, while filling the lives of the other noble families with happy events like weddings and family reunions that will raise their Self-Worth score. The player with the lowest-scoring, most tragedy-afflicted family wins! When you aim for the Porcelain Throne, you'd best not miss...

Today, we're answering your most common questions about Gloom of Thrones


Is this an expansion for Gloom?

Gloom of Thrones is a standalone game in the Gloom series. It can be played by itself or combined with other Gloom games.


Does Gloom of Thrones have the same clear cards as other Gloom games?

Yes, it does. See-through cards make it easy to keep track of each Character's score — and their transparent machinations.


How do you win?

Just like in other versions of Gloom, the game ends when one family is completely eliminated. However, the first player to kill their family may not be the winner! After the game ends, each player totals the visible Self-Worth points on each of their dead Characters (living Characters don't count). The Porcelain Throne card is worth an extra -30 points, even if the reigning Character is still alive. The player with the lowest Self-Worth score is the winner.


How many people can play Gloom of Thrones?

Gloom of Thrones was designed for 2-4 players, each with five Characters in their family. To add a fifth player, reduce the families to four Characters and use the leftover cards to make a fifth family. Or, take turns choosing Characters until each player has a family of four. 


How long does a game take?

A game of Gloom of Thrones usually takes 45-60 minutes. Telling your Characters' tales of woe is what makes this game take about an hour — but it's also the best part! To play a shorter game, just remove one or two Characters from each family.


Can I choose my Characters or am I stuck with the pre-built families?

Normally, each player chooses a pre-built family of five Characters (all of which have a matching family sigil in the top corners). But if all players agree, the group can mix and match Characters to make new families. You can use any drafting method; the important thing is that every player ends up with the same number of Characters.


Can I play Gloom of Thrones with my other Gloom games?

Yes! Gloom of Thrones can be combined with all other Gloom games, base or expansion!

To combine games, remove all the cards that don’t get shuffled into the deck, like Characters and the Porcelain Throne. Then, shuffle together the remaining cards. Have each player choose a family of five Characters from the combined pool.

If you ever want to separate out your Gloom games, each card has unique game-specific deck icon in the lower left corner for easy sorting.!


Do you have any strategy tips?

Gloom of Thrones isn't really a strategy game — it's all about telling stories of ridiculous tragedy and transparent parody. With that said, here are a few ways to score high while doing so:

  • There are three spots where points appear on a Modifier card: top, middle, and bottom. These correspond with the rarity of the cards, from most common to least. Therefore, a Modifier card that affects the bottom space is the most valuable.
  • Discarding cards may help you if you have a bad hand.
  • Killing an opponent's Character prevents him or her from placing any more Modifier cards on that Character. It can be worth it to kill a Character with a negligible Self-Worth score, like -5.
  • In Gloom of Thrones, controlling the Porcelain Throne lets you play an Untimely Death card on an opponent as your second action. It's also worth -30 Self-Worth points.


How do I play these promo cards?

This issue of Game Trade Magazine comes with one of four exclusive promo cards to play with Gloom of Thrones. There are two Event cards you may have gotten: Game of Trades and Coffee Cup Out of Time. These can be played once, have special effects listed on the card, and must be discarded immediately after being played.

Your copy of Game Trade Magazine could also include two Untimely Death cards: Shot by a Scorpion or Went Dark In the Night. These cards bring a Character's woeful tale to a close, turning a worthless living Character into a valuable dead one. Remember, once a Character has died, their Self-Worth score is locked in permanently and they are removed from play.

Gloom of Thrones comes out in December, but if you're eager to get your promo card to the table, don't worry! They can be combined and played together with the other Gloom games.

Pick up this gloomy game at your friendly local game store, grab your promo cards, and settle in for some delightful regicide!