SPECIAL ACTIONS In addition to the typical card-play actions (playing a Modifier, playing an Event, or playing an Untimely Death), two special actions are available to players on their turns. Discarding Your Hand: If you don’t like your cards, you can discard your entire hand. But keep in mind that you don’t get new cards until the end of your turn, so if you discard your hand as your first action, you won’t have any cards to play on your second action. Passing: You can always do nothing. FOR BEGINNERS To play an extremely simple version of Munchkin Gloom, ignore every card’s effect text. This can be a good way to learn the game for the first time, or to play with younger children. DRAWING CARDS Some effects change your draw limit. Your draw limit is simply the number of cards you draw up to at the end of your turn. If your draw limit is five (which is the default), you draw cards at the end of your turn until you have five cards in your hand. If you somehow have more cards than your draw limit at the end of your turn, your turn simply ends without any drawing of cards. A few Event cards say “Play this card as soon as you draw it.” If you draw one of these during your draw phase, it is resolved at the end of your turn, and you do not draw to replace it. Curses! FREE PLAYS Some Modifier and Event cards let you play additional cards as free plays. Free plays don’t count toward your two-action limit. If a card allows you to play an Untimely Death card as a free play, you can do it whether the free play came from your turn’s first or second action. EFFECT CATEGORIES There are three types of effects, which are identified by icons. Immediate effects are conclusively resolved right away when played. For example, “Draw one card.” CREDITS Concept & Game Design: Keith Baker Munchkin Creator: Steve Jackson Illustration: John Kovalic Producers: Jeff Tidball and Kyla McCorkle Tonding Additional Illustration: Jaume Fabregat Layout: Kyla McCorkle Tonding Publisher: John Nephew Steve Jackson Games Munchkin Czar: Andrew Hackard Playtesters: Teos Abadia, Kenna Conklin, Ryan Conklin, Veronica Ewing, Jason Hobson, Jonathan H. Liu, Richard Malena, DeeAnn Sole, and many more! Special Thanks: Cam Banks, Jessica Banks, Bob Brynildson, Jerry Corrick, Michelle Nephew, Lisa Olson, Phil Reed, and Travis Winter Ongoing effects continue to affect the game for as long as their effect text is visible. When it’s covered by another card, the effect ends. For example, “Your draw limit is increased by one card.” Responses can only be played during another player’s turn in response to some action that player has just taken. These are the only cards that can be played during another player’s turn. For example, “Cancel an Event card as it is played.” WINNING THE GAME The game ends immediately when all of the Characters in one party are dead — that is, when they all have Untimely Death cards on them. When the game ends, each player adds up the Self-Worth scores of all their dead Characters. (Each Character’s individual Self-Worth score is the sum of the point values currently showing in its stack.) The player with the lowest total — the one whose party is the most miserable — wins! © 2015 Trident, Inc., d/b/a Atlas Games. All rights reserved. Gloom is a trademark of Trident, Inc., d/b/a Atlas Games. Munchkin, the Munchkin characters, and the all-seeing pyramid are trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated and are used under license. Dork Tower characters are copyright © John Kovalic. This work is protected by international copyright law and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in USA. OVERVIEW In Munchkin Gloom, each player has a party of five Characters. Players try to make their own parties the most miserable, while cheering up the other players’ parties. Characters become sad or happy primarily by having Modifier cards played on them. Each Modifier card affects the Self-Worth score of the Character it’s played on. Players also play and discard Event cards for various immediate effects. As the game continues, the Characters’ individual stories end, one by one, as Untimely Death cards are played on them. When one entire party has succumbed to Untimely Deaths, the game ends. Self-Worth scores are then tallied, and the most miserable player wins the game. SET-UP 1. C hoose a Party: Each player chooses one of the parties and takes the five character cards with that party’s symbol on them. All chosen cards are laid face up on the table in front of their owners, where the other players can also see and reach them. In two- and three-player games, keep all five Characters. In a four-player game, each player chooses one Character to discard; this keeps the game from running too long. To play with five players, make a new misfit party out of the Characters rejected by the other players. Party Symbols Heroes Villains Wild Bunch Blenders 2. D eal the Cards: Set aside the Reference cards and any unchosen Characters. Shuffle the rest of the cards into a deck. Deal each player five face-down cards and put the rest of the deck in the center of the table. A discard pile will form next to it during play. 3. Begin!: Each player briefly summarizes the misery of their day so far. The player with the most horrible story will take the first turn. The game’s owner chooses which terrible tale is most miserable, if there’s a disagreement. QUICK-START RULES FOR TAKING TURNS The rules in this section will get you started playing Munchkin Gloom right away. Refer to the rest of the rules (starting at “The Cardinal Rule”) as questions come up. On your turn, you take two actions. An action is almost always used to play a card from your hand. How that works depends on what kind of card you choose. Generally speaking (and with some exceptions)… • Event cards have some immediate effect, and are then discarded. • Modifier cards are stacked on top of a Character and remain there. They alter that Character’s SelfWorth score, may have additional effects as described on the card, and may bear story icons. You can play Modifier cards on anyone’s Character, not just yours, as long as that Character doesn’t have an Untimely Death card yet. • Untimely Death cards are played on a Character, turning it from a worthless living Munchkin to a valuable dead one. You can only play an Untimely Death card on a Character with a negative Self-Worth score. An Untimely Death card can’t be played as the second action of your turn; it has to come first. After taking two actions, the player whose turn it is finishes by drawing back up to five cards. Play continues clockwise around the table. That’s it! Turns continue until one player’s whole party has Untimely Deaths, and the game comes to a close. See “Winning the Game.” BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! TYPES OF CARDS Munchkin Gloom is the most fun when players tell or continue a story with each action. You’re creating a macabre Munchkin adventure with the cards you play. How is it that Friar Tock came to be Charred by a Chicken? (Did he get the concept of cooking backwards? Did he perform freakish genetic experiments with dragon poultry?) Why did Holly Pick a Pal’s Pocket? (Practicing her sleight of hand? His loot was just that good? He wasn’t using it anyway!) You decide, and then tell the other players in an interesting way! There are no formal rules for Munchkin Gloom storytelling, and no right answers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Quite the opposite: Many Gloom players think of telling tales as very best part of the game! THE CARDINAL RULE Munchkin Gloom’s cards are transparent in some areas and opaque in others. As the game goes on, cards are often stacked squarely on top of each other. For example, Modifier cards are placed on top of Character cards. (As well as on top of previous Modifier cards, as the game continues.) As Modifier cards stack up, different Self-Worth values, card effects, and story icons will be covered up, sometimes replaced and sometimes simply concealed. The cardinal rule of Munchkin Gloom is that you only pay attention to what you can see. If Self-Worth points are concealed, they no longer affect that Character’s score. If a story icon is covered, that Character no longer has it. If an effect is hidden, it no longer does anything. ANATOMY OF CARDS Name: What the card is called. Modifier Card Character Self-Worth Points: Up to three point values Card in circles. Each Character’s Self-Worth score is the Name sum of the point values currently showing in its Self-Worth stack. Story Icons Story Icons: Up to three icons that have no effect Points on their own, but which frequently trigger or interact Deck with the effects of other cards. Icon Deck Icon: The helmeted Munchkin on every card indicates that it is from Munchkin Gloom, to Untimely help you sort it out from your other Gloom games Event Card Death Party if you wish. Icon Party Icon: A sun, moon, tree, or blender, indicating the party that Character belongs to. Story Effects: Special rules that do whatever they say. Icons There are three categories of effects: immediate, ongoing, and response. See “Effect Categories” for Deck more information. Icon Flavor Text: Delightful or dreadful bits of story and commentary that provide entertaining Effects (regular text) ambiance. Flavor text is distinguished from effect and Flavor Text (italics) text with italics. Portrait: A comic, entertaining, or disturbing image, delightful to behold. Some illustrations make it easy to tell cards apart by type. For example, Modifier cards don’t have illustrations, so it’s easy to tell what they are. Other pictures make it easy to tell living Characters from dead ones: All Untimely Deaths bear the same image, so any Character showing that picture at the top of its stack must be dead. Character Modifier Event Untimely Death Character Cards Character cards have names, portraits, party icons, and flavor text. Character cards lack innate Self-Worth points or story icons. Rather, they’re the basic foundations of your stories, where Modifier cards stack up.! Event Cards Event cards have names, effects, and a portrait image depicting the action, with a crow icon beneath it. These single-use cards are played from your hand, do what they say, and are discarded immediately. Modifier Cards Modifier cards always have names, and one to three Self-Worth values. Most Modifiers have one or more story icons, an effect, and some flavor text. But some Modifiers omit story icons, effects, and/or flavor text. Playing Modifiers is how you inflict misfortune on your own party and bring cheer to your enemies. Generally speaking, you’ll want to play Modifiers with negative Self-Worth on your own Characters and positive Self-Worth on other players’ Characters, but sometimes a card’s effect will make you want to do something else. When you play a Modifier card on a Character, stack it squarely on top of the Character you’ve chosen, and on top of any Modifiers previously played on that Character. You can only play Modifiers on living Characters (that is, Characters without Untimely Deaths) unless a card’s effect specifically says otherwise. Modifiers with effects affect the player who owns the Character that the Modifier was played on, and not (necessarily) the player who played the card. So if you play a card that says “Draw two cards” on another player’s Character, that player is the one who gets to draw. Untimely Death Cards Untimely Death cards have names, effects, and flavor text, and all share a common portrait image showing a duck on a tombstone. An Untimely Death card transitions that Character from living to dead. You can play Untimely Death cards on your own Characters or the Characters of others. However, there are two restrictions: • You can’t play an Untimely Death card as your second turn action, and • You can only play an Untimely Death card on a Character with a negative Self-Worth score. (That is, the sum of all of that Character’s visible Self-Worth scores must be negative before the effects of the Untimely Death are applied. This is Gloom, after all — only miserable heroes can die!) Once a Character meets its Untimely Death, set it aside in a way that makes it clear that it’s dead. A few Event cards can affect dead Characters, but not many.
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