Further into Gloom of Kilforth with a Halfling Ranger

March 20, 2020 | Sessions | 2 comments

Journey through a seemingly doomed world as a small sort of hero tries to turn back the darkness in Gloom of Kilforth.

I realized I was monopolizing my board game time with a single game… Which is exactly what I set out to do! Luckily, I’ve had the chance to clear off part of my game table to enjoy some different titles. Yet when I decided to sit down for a slightly longer session yesterday, Gloom of Kilforth was definitely at the top of my list. Onto another adventure!

Game Overview

Game Name: Gloom of Kilforth
Publication Year:
 Tristan Hall
 Ania Kryczkowska
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

I think I spoiled everyone with my lengthy session-stories recently! Rather than spend hours writing, though, I changed things up with a slightly more succinct account.

There is no question that this is an amazing narrative sort of game, though! Also, that’s a halfling ranger right there.

Pansy Wanderfoot

As usual, I randomized the class and race of my character. The combination of the halfling and ranger abilities seemed absolutely perfect. That’s a lot of hiding!

I also should point out that I love the artwork for many reasons. This female halfling stands in sharp contrast to the darker illustrations that dominate the play area.

However, there are plenty of hopeful or even happy images to come across! Kilforth still stands a chance.

Some female artwork has a little more skin than I prefer to see, but I don’t find it offensive in any way.

The First Part of a Tale

Pansy quickly left Sprawl City and explored many regions within Kilforth. Since she was so adept at hiding, I had the chance to reveal a lot of encounters.

In effect, I could pick and choose the right keywords to go after. Naturally, it wasn’t at all easy! That rarely happens.

She met many lone souls out in the wilderness who provided her with information. A trader, pilgrim, and farmer guided her path forward as she searched.

This chapter was one of the hardest to complete for some reason! It probably revolved around her low influence stat.

Freeing the Villagers

While the gloom closed in from all sides and orcs invaded from the northeast, Pansy tried to get closer to her goal.

She made no class distinctions, nor did she judge those whom she freed. A beggar and an ambassador were on equal footing, according to Pansy.

It was the smuggler who intrigued her the most. This mysterious figure offered to join her on her journey and point her towards the next group of trapped villagers.

On a side note, the smuggler’s ability gave my character another opportunity to remain hidden. So much hiding!

A Magic Show of Force

Soon enough, the smuggler led Pansy to another captured village. Granting them freedom would be no easy task.

The halfling traversed far and wide, searching for a way to learn the magic needed to defeat the captors. She found it, all alone in a dark corner of the world.

With the knowledge intact, Pansy charged forth to free this new group of villagers. But darkness was growing…

I had a most trying time finding some of these keywords! A spell was hard to come across without much gold, and the encounters just didn’t want to cooperate. Go figure.

Onward Into Doubt

Pansy’s expertise in sneaking across Kilforth meant that many enemies still lurked across the countryside.

She finally came face-to-face with a skeleton. With limited strength, it all came down to a bit of luck.

The smuggler introduced her to a thief, who was more impressed with her abilities. At the same time, the halfling felt strange among such company. Who were they?

As this saga reached its conclusion, I realized my character was in a pretty bad position. She was very limited in most statistics except for sneak… Not so good.

The Worst Luck for Poor Pansy

When the saga was completed, Pansy picked up a whopping 12 gold coins to go on a shopping spree with! I sent her back to Sprawl City to prepare for the final showdown. I don’t know how to explain how bad the cards treated her. It seemed criminal. After spending a bunch of actions to go through the market, she picked up 1 additional strength. Ouch.

From a purely mechanical standpoint, this sort of bad luck might have discouraged me and soured the experience. Once again, however, this is a board game about the narrative. Likely the halfling’s luck ran out somewhere in the dark forests. Or maybe she just missed the Shire and had someone named Frodo steal her lucky charm!

A Busy World

Once again, I used the standee bases to use vertical encounters. This isn’t the easiest thing to achieve, though!

Since my character left a lot of unresolved encounters in Kilforth, the cards were a little more apt to falling over. I blamed my clumsy old self, though!

Since I love the artwork so much, it was still worth the effort. Plus I got to work on my balancing skills… Cards aren’t ideal for these standee bases, but they work.

Another benefit of playing solo is not having anyone else to knock over your efforts! I only had myself to yell at.

Session Overview

Play Number: 4
Expansion: Encounters Expansion Pack
Accessory: Pimp My Gloom Expansion Pack
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Warrior Difficulty Level
Required Play Space: 44″ x 28″
Setup Time: 10 Minutes
Play Time: 2 Hours
Outcome: 7 Points (Loss)

Oh, Pansy. She met the Marquis of Pain in the wrong location and then was quickly destroyed by him. No!

Trouble with the Marquis of Pain

I now have a nemesis in this game. He seems to be impossible to defeat for me, although I can see a few areas where I failed. Someone forgot to review all of his abilities. He earned extra hit points based on the number of enemy keywords present in the locations. Effectively, he went from 12 hit points up to… 21 hit points. Good job, Jessica. Ha ha!

Everything came down to the final day, too. I wasted some time trying to find extra resources for my character. It was rather sad when she was defeated. Still, she managed to do 10 damage before succumbing. Next time, he’s going down!

And preferably I’ll actually end up in the right location. I guess Lava Canyon was overrun with too much lava, leading to a slight change in venue. Not that it mattered all that much. The Lonely Gorge was, sadly, an accurate place for Pansy.


1 Play


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Design & Theme



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Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


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Why do you like story-driven solo board games? Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game presents plenty of options, although a great deal of the experience comes from developing a narrative around the main character. Do you see how the game creates sweeping epics? There may be a level of randomness, yet I’m determined to return to Kilforth again!


  1. As a would-be world-builder, I like story-driven solo board games because it gives the opportunity to share a rich world via a compelling narrative.

    Taking decades of DnD-ish fantasy gaming and capturing it in an accessible format has been my aspiration. During these dark times, I’m working to realize that goal with a professional publication of my campaign, The Hidden Territories.

    • All the best to you, Tom! I admire anyone who creates games, and your idea sounds really interesting.

      Sometimes it’s really hard to find a way to mix a board game feel with a narrative that brings someone in. I love how it works here, yet there are a lot of options out there.

      Good luck with your campaign, and I hope everything goes well for you!


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