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Subject: Gloom VS. Once Upon A Time rss

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Antonis Vavayannis
Greece
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With the first look it appears that Gloom is much more interesting as a theme and must be more funny to play than OUaT, but most gamers seem to recommend the latter.

Are the games practically the same as gameplay goes? Do you have to make up stories as you go in gloom? Does it involve story-telling?

Can you provide funny stories with Once Upon A Time or do they turn out like boring kids fairytales?

 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Hereford
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Story-telling isn't an actual game component in Gloom; you place value modifiers on your cards to score. But each modifier has a one-line alliterative title, such as "beaten by beggars" or "was wondrously well wed", as well as icons that link the cards by general storyline. So it's a great deal of fun to link the modifiers played on each card by a mini-story.

Can't speak to Once Upon a Time.
 
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Diz Hooper
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Osaka
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I haven't played Gloom, but I have Once Upon a Time, and I can't really call it a game. If you play it as a competitive game, it a dismal failure. If you treat it as a storytelling aide, and use it with drunk RPGers, then you can get a few laughs out of it. Basically you just have to throw the rulebook out. I've never gotten it to work as a game using the rules it's shipped with.

 
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Marc B.
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Gloom is pretty much pathed by the modifiers and their "flavor text". It makes for a fun game and interesting stories but the cards you play set the story. It does not require a lot of creativity to play this game because the cards build the stories. We enjoy this game.

Once Upon a Time is much more freeform. You only have to use the item/person/place etc on the card in the story in a connected way. The story can be as silly, twisted, warped, or normal as the players want it to be because the players decide if the card played (and the connecting thread the player adds to the story to play it) makes sense. This game requires considerably more creativity because the players must build the stories to use the cards they play. We have made some "very interesting" stories playing this game. Funny, dark, romantic, you name it. You must be in a creative mood to play though. Great game! I recommend the Dark Tales expansion highly.
 
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Greg Hacker
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Until you asked this question, I never really thought about it, but there is sort of a shared element of storytelling between the two games.

Gloom is really more of a "game" than Once upon a time, in the sense that it has more strategy (mixed with a lot of luck) and suits players who are competitive a lot more. The cards that are played have humorous text, and if you have humorous minded or creative players, it is certainly possible to kind of have a thread of story as different cards are played on the characters. It really isn't a storytelling game per se, though.

Once upon a Time is more of a storytelling event than a "game," although several of the times we've played it, there has been a fairly competitive/strategic element to it. I think that players who have played before are better able to combine the storytelling with the game aspect, while new players are often focused on the storytelling aspect. The cards can lend themselves to kid-like fairy tales, but don't have to be played that way. If you are looking for more serious or more humorous stories, I would strongly recommended using the Dark Tales expansion--I think it really adds to the variety of directions the stories can go, particularly in the (darkly) humorous direction.
 
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J. Green
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Just so you know it's out there, there's a card game called Nanofictionary that's also a storytelling game and it's about making up stories and then judging who has the best one based on the cards you get. I can't remember all the gameplay procedures but it seems to be a little more gamey than Once Upon a Time, although the art isn't as good.
 
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Count Ringworm
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the nice thing about gloom is it can be as "story-telling" as you want. you could play it straight up without any storytelling at all and still get a decent game out of it, or you can get extremely elaborate in your story telling.

there's a great session report that demonstrates this quality. i've linked to it before, but i think it deserves all the attention:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/71881
 
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Stu Glennie
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Regina
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I own both of these games and like them both very much.

BUT.....

In my opinion WHO you play with is the deciding factor with these two games.

My youngest daughter (16) is a "goth" and really, REALLY, likes Gloom - its a blast to play with her as she gets totally involved in the story telling of her family's troubles and shows a fiendish delight when she kills them off. I try not to think too hard about her love for the game and the implications that might have! I have the Unhappy Homes expansion for this.

My youngest son (14) is into fantasy and D&D and really, REALLY, likes Once Upon A Time. He likes being able to make up the story to fit his ideas and has even used the story we made up once as a writing assignment for school. I have the Dark Tales expansion for this.

I have played both games with adults as well and the same thing goes there too - the people you play with have to be "into" it for the game to work.
Yes, it is true for any game but for this game is it more so than with a board game for example.

Bottom line, think about who you will be playing with and decide from there.
 
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