Gother Than Thou
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Gother Than Thou is a new card game of backstabbing and betrayal set within the gothic community. Cloves, Absinthe, Eyeliner, Boots. Everything you need to make it big on the scene is here, but so are Dire Fashion Blunders, Infections, Debt, and the dreaded Visit From Mom. Will you be the first to acheive 20 Goth Points and declare yourself Gother Than Thou? Or will you fall into sickness and debt, wallowing in your own misery?
Premise: Gother Than Thou, the self-proclaimed Most Pretentious Game Ever Made is a card game that both idolizes and parodies the Goth Community. The first player to get twenty Goth points at the end their turn, without being waylaid by sickness and debt, wins.
Rules: The rules are somewhat odd, so I will (with the permission of R. Hunter Gough) put them all here. Begin by shuffling the deck, and dealing each player five cards. Place the rest face-down in the middle of the table. Play begins with the dealer, and continues clockwise from whomever went last. In addition to the deck and the discard pile next to the deck, each player has an area in front of him-/herself called their Fate pile. The discard pile and all of the Fate piles are always faceup and are empty at the beginning of the game.
There are three different scores in this game, and each card affects at least one of them. At the beginning of the game, all scores are at zero. Only the cards in your Fate pile affect your score. The Anhk = Goth Points. The first person to end their turn with 20 Goth Points wins. Thats pretty simple, isnt it? (more about this later) The Skull and Crossbones = Sickness. Sickness can not go below zero. If you have a negative number of Sickness Points, then you are wrong and you actually have zero. Your maximum hand size (the maximum number of cards you can have in your hand) starts at five. For every point of Sickness you have, your maximum hand size decreases by one. If you ever have five or more Sickness Points, then you Swoon, meaning that you must discard all of the cards in your Fate pile. $ = Money. There are two kinds of Goths: Those who are in debt and those who arent. If your total money score is in the negative, then youre in debt and you dont get to draw from the discard pile.
How Your Turn Works:
1. If there are any cards in your Fate pile, you must discard one of them.
2. You must place one card, from your hand, on top of every players Fate pile (including your own). If you have fewer cards than there are players, then you must play all of your cards, but you can choose who you play them on, as long as no one gets more than one card.
3. You must draw exactly enough cards to refill your hand to its maximum size. If you are in debt, you may only draw from the top of the deck. If you are not in debt, you may draw either from the top of the deck or ANY card from the discard pile (or both). If you have more cards in your hand than your maximum hand size, you must discard down to your maximum hand size.
4. Play now continues back at step 1 with the player on your left. If you draw the last card from the deck, shuffle the discards and place them face-down to replace the deck. The first person to have 20 or more Goth Points at the end of their turn wins.
What this Means: Once you put the rules together, the game is actually fairly easy and fast-paced. There are 55 cards which are all playable on yourself or anyone else. Each influences at least one, and usually two, of the three types of points. Examples: Ancient Egyptian DooDad costs Money but gives you Goth (so does a Pet Named Hecate or a Big Tin Ankh). Wardrobe sale gives you Money but costs Goth (so does a Visit From Mom or a Gullible Roommate). Genital Piercings will cost you both Money and Sickness, but it gives you Goth. There are also cards which will only cost you Goth (such as Dire Fashion Blunder or Disturbing Southern Accent).
The Dish: Fun to play, especially if you get the joke. Some cards--like Sing This Corrosion to Me--will baffle the non-elite. But the game holds up well, especially for repeat games.
Strategy: Since so many of your cards are given to you by other people, there is very little strategy to your play. The strategy consists of trying to determine how to affect other people.
Art: The Art is the single most amazing aspect of this game. Consisting of black-and-white photographs, these cards are among the best designed Ive seen. They are simply beautiful.
Packaging: The game is solidly packaged and put together.
Value: Absolutely worth the money.
The Score: 8.6 on a Zero to Ten Scale.
I really enjoyed playing Gother than Thou the first few times. The game play was easy to grasp, the rules were well written (I hate complicated rules), and it was easy to teach new people quickly for pick-up games.
A few truths (ok, OPINIONS) about this game:
1) It IS more fun the first couple of times, when you aren't yet familiar with the cards.
2) It is much easier to win once you know what cards are in the deck (Save 'up all night crying on her grave...' for when you're 10 points from winning, and the game is yours).
3) It is a LOT of fun watching new players see the cards for the first time.
It's less fun when it's a bunch of people who have played before, but I still like it. I consider both this and Mausoleum to be good 'sitting in a diner waiting for your food' games.
I really like this game, though I've only played it once. The graphics are great, and overall it plays well. One thing that makes the game even more fun for me is that, since I live in Albuquerque, I recognize several of the people on the cards. Additionally it's quite humorous.
I highly recommend it.
Fifty-five irreverent cards display values (positive or negative) for Cash, Debts, Sickness, and Goth Points, often in vexing combinations. You are dealt five cards, and you begin each turn by placing a faceup card in front of yourself and all the other players. Next, you must discard one of your faceup cards. You win when your displayed cards total 20 or more Goth Points. Each Sickness Point reduces your maximum allowed hand size by one card; five make you "swoon" and discard everything to start from scratch. You must end your turn with your maximum hand, by discarding or drawing as necessary. Cards can be drawn from the deck or faceup discard pile, unless debt restricts you to the deck. In this dark scenario (best with three or four players), you'll experience the agony of relinquishing your cards, the frustration of rapidly fluctuating fortunes, and the chagrin of corrosive rejoinders.