Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gloom is delightful

The card game "Gloom," of course. In the spirit (and illustration style) of Edward Gorey, the game progresses as a series of events (some unfortunate, some rather happy) unfold upon the in-game characters. Each player is responsible for the members of a family, and attempts to make their own characters as sad as possible before meeting an untimely (and often hilarious) death, while simultaneously making other players' characters happy.

I just picked up the "Unfortunate Expeditions" expansion. (Who could resist the illustration of tentacly horror?) In perusing the deck of additional cards, I noticed that the new deaths are:
  • went down with the ship,
  • cashed in his last chip,
  • was shredded by a shark,
  • disappeared in the dark,
  • was sautéed by savages,
  • was crushed by cabbages, and
  • was interred in style.
Notice anything? Why yes, the deaths do occur in rhyming couplets! ... mostly. The anomaly is "was interred in style," which actually is a rather nice death and makes the character happier by 10 units.

I wondered, did the deaths of the original game occur in rhymed pairs? For our mutual edification, I have taken an exhaustive survey, and I find that some of them do:
  • was devoured by weasels / was overcome by the measles,
  • choked on a bone / died cold and alone,
  • drank too much rye / fell from on high / was baked into a pie / was choked on a tie,
  • ran out of air / died of despair / was slain by an heir
... and so on. However, some are only half-rhymes at best, or singletons:
  • was torn limb from limb / was consumed from within,
  • was burnt by a mob / drowned in a bog,
  • grew old without grace,
  • was galled by gangrene
... the last two of these have no partner in rhyming proximity.

The existence of these sets -- pairs, trios, and the rye/high/pie/tie quartet -- means that next time I play, there will be a new rule. If you can kill members of the same family with rhyming deaths, you will gain additional "sadness" units (i.e., negative happy units). I'm thinking of maybe also giving "sadness" points for applying rhyming events to a character, with super bonus sadness units for applying events which rhyme with the character's name.

Now, who wants to play?

This post's theme word is grue, "to shudder." He gave up the ghost with a grue.


UTOC said...

That's not how you spell measles!

I thought this might be a regional variation, but Google's autocorrect seems to agree with me here.

Lila is a complex system. said...

You're right, UTOC; I fixed it.

10000 said...