This is a stand-alone, yet compatible variation of Gloom, just more Cthulhuy.
Game time: 30-60 minutes for 2-5 players.
The aim of Cthulhu Gloom is to win.
Winning is achieved by having the least victory points.
This is a card game where all the cards are made from transparent plastic.
Each player chooses a doomed family and endeavour to pile on as much misfortune and calamity upon its members as possible before killing them off, while giving the other players’ family members a good time.
After choosing a family of five (or four with the 4-5 player game with the fifth player having the odd family member from the other players) each player is dealt five cards and starts off with a five card hand limit. Two story cards are placed where all can see them.
2 plays are allowed per turn as well as any free plays that crop up as a result.
The cards are:
Modifiers: played on any living family member (even if it isn’t yours) to give them positive (happy) or negative (gloomy) points. Generally comes with some extra effect from changing hand limits to swapping cards. They also can sport symbols which many cards refer to.
Event cards: played on the discard pile to do whatever the card does.
Untimely Death: played on any living family member (not just yours) to bump them off. Can only be played as the first of the two plays (though can be followed with a normal second play) and only on a family member with negative points (having a miserable time).
A play can be used to claim one of the story cards, even if someone else already has it if they meet the requirements stated on the card. Story cards give some benefit to the player in some way.
The transparent nature of the cards means that each family member can accumulate quite a few symbols and points and other changing effects and each card may sport a printed section designed to deliberately obscure parts of the card below it.
The game ends when one player has bumped off their entire family.
Points are added and deducted for all dead family members.
The winner is the player with the lowest score.