Last weekend I got the chance to play a game that has been languishing in my games cupboard for a while (much like many of the characters in said game), and I have to say, for a writer/storyteller like me, it's the best game ever!
The game is called Gloom and it is a card game whose objective is to do the worst things you possibly can to the characters in a family you play for. Beat them, poison them, lock them up, and generally make their already questionable lives as miserable as possible. AND the important extra dimension for me was that, when playing the actions on your cards, you can wax lyrical about HOW and WHY your character has ended up in the predicament you have chosen for them.
The ultimate goal, once you have totally ruined a character's life is, of course, to provide them with an untimely death!
For example, one of my characters was a diabolical nanny who was teaching the twins in her care all manner of dastardly things. She broke a few bones, an unfortunate event making her very uncomfortable, and because she was so ill, she was delirious and she met the most untimely of ends by falling down the stairs. And this then meant the twins could run riot!
When we started the game, we didn't think we'd remember all the plots that developed on the characters in our families, but the deliciously dark disasters delivered on the cards made it so much fun it was easy, even when those disasters could be shuffled by the game play.
This game can be played with fun and laughs even if you don't want to create the intricate details of death and disaster for your characters, but it goes up so many notches when you take the time to dive into the depths of your characters' depravity. This game requires creativity, cunning and just a touch of fictional sadism - it's great!
I loved it so much, I bought some of the expansion packs, Unhappy Homes, Unwelcome Guests and Unquiet Dead, all of which I am looking forward to playing as they add characters and more dimensions to the depths of Gothic endings that is Gloom!
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