My personal quick reference for the Gloomhaven board game.
Other references are here.

Before Scenario:

  • Optionally visit Gloomhaven, where you can:
    • Complete a city event
    • Buy/sell items (sell for half of buy price)
    • Donate to sanctuary - 10g for 2 bless cards in your attack deck
    • Level up, create characters, retire, enhance cards
    • No trading money or items!
  • Take road event, unless scenario is linked to previous location
  • Choose next scenario from known places
  • Set out all map tiles, monsters for first room
  • Choose scenario level L (recommended: avg player level / 2 (↑))
  • Monsters - color in [NW,NE,S] corner for [2,3,4] players
    • Monster = [none,normal,elite] for color [black,white,yellow]
  • Each player chooses 2 battle goal cards and discards one
  • Players choose equipment and cards up to deck size


  • Each player either chooses two cards or announces a long rest
    • Players select one of the cards to “lead” (determine initiative)
  • Reveal all initiatives and draw ability card for each monster type
  • Players and monsters take turns, low initiative → high
  • Cleanup:
    • Shuffle any deck that turned up a shuffle symbol card
    • Move elemental infusion tokens down a notch
    • Any player may perform a short rest


  • Require at least 2 cards in your discard pile
  • Short rest: happens during clean-up stage between rounds
    • Regain discards and lose one at random
    • You may take 1 damage to lose a different one (once)
  • Long rest: uses your turn, with initative 99
    • Regain discards, selecting one to lose
    • Heal self for 2 and refresh all item cards
  • Discarded cards that are still “in play” may be regained, your choice

Player Turns

  • Perform actions for top of one card and bottom of other, in either order
  • Multiple parts of an action must be done from top → bottm
  • Parts of actions can be skipped (but not negative effects or experience)
  • Any card action can be replaced with default attack 2 / move 2
  • Stepping onto a door reveals a room:
    • Immediately lay out monsters and draw an action card for any new types
    • All newly revealed monsters act in the round they’re revealed

Monster Turns

  • Mobs activate elite → normal, in order of number on figure
  • Mob AI is based on focus target:
    • Focus = enemy an attack can be used on with the least movement
    • If no attack, focus is determined as for a melee attack
    • Ties broken by hex distance, then initiative
  • With focus chosen actions proceed:
    • Mob moves minimally to hit maximal targets including the focus
    • If ranged, mob moves to avoid disadvantage (even if it hits fewer targets)
    • If there was no valid focus, mob does not move or attack
  • For mob movement, traps are obstacles unless no other path exists
  • Mob heals prioritize whatever target is most wounded
  • Card bonuses (e.g. shield) are actions, and take effect during a mob’s turn
  • If a monster card consumes an element, all of that type get the bonus
  • Bosses: use a common action deck, and are neither normal nor elite monsters
    • Boss condtion immunities are listed on the card


  • Targeting:
    • Attacks with no listed range = melee (range 1)
    • Anything with a range gets disadvantage if used on adjacent target
    • Line of sight: any hex corner → any corner without touching a wall
    • Nothing can target an ally unless specified
    • “Ally” includes summons, does not include yourself
  • Damage resolution: (player chooses order within each step):
    1. Apply modifiers from the attack, active effects, elements, etc.
    2. Draw and apply attack modifier card
    3. Apply target’s defensive bonuses (e.g. shield)
  • Advantage / disadvantage = draw two cards, use better/worse
    • Rolling modifier = both for advantage, ignored for disadvantage
    • For ambiguous cards use whichever was first
  • AoE: hits red hexes per diagram (in any orientation)
    • Only one hex of AoE area needs to be in range
    • Each target requires LoS, and gets a separate attack modifier card
    • One attack can never hit the same target twice
  • Push/pull
    • Attacker chooses direction but target must wind up farther/nearer
    • Target can be pushed/pulled through its allies but not enemies
    • Counts as movement, but ignores difficult terrain
  • Shield: reduces damage of attacks (only)
  • Pierce: negates an equal number of shields
  • Add target: applies all effects of attack (except AoE), requires range
  • Retaliate: deals damage to adjacent attacker, after (each) attack is made
    • Does not itself count as an attack or a targeted effect
  • Summons: activate at initiative immediately before figure who summoned them
    • Use mob AI, as if following a Move +0, Attack +0 action
  • Damage from a given attack may be nulled by losing one card or two discards
  • Elemental infusions created in a turn become strong after that turn


  • Negative:
    • Poison: enemies add +1 to attack damage, any heal negates (and burns heal)
    • Wound: take 1 damage at start of own turns, any heal negates
    • Immobilize: no move actions, removed at end of own next turn
    • Disarm: no attack actions, removed at end of own next turn
    • Stun: cannot take any action except a long rest, removed at end of next turn
      • (players still must discard two cards unless resting)
    • Muddle: Disadvantage on all attacks, removed at end of own next turn
    • Curse: shuffle a curse card into attack deck (removed once drawn)
  • Positive:
    • Invisible: cannot be targeted by enemies. Treated as a wall by mobs
    • Strengthen: Advantage on all attacks, removed at end of own next turn
    • Bless: shuffle a bless card into attack deck (removed once drawn)

Terrain / Movement

  • Doors: act as walls until a player moves onto them (no cost)
  • Figures: enemies block movement, allies don’t. Cannot end turn on occupied hex.
  • Coins: looted by action (with range) or at end of your turn (own hex)
  • Treasure: looted like coins, numbered chests only once (ever)
    • Looted items are gained immediately, but only equippable between scenarios
  • Ground effects: (all ignored when figure is flying or jumping)
    • Traps: trigger when entered (unless flying/jumping), then removed
      • Damage versions deal 2+L, others apply a status
    • Hazards: like a persistent damage trap at half damage (↓)
    • Difficult terrain: cost 2 movement to enter (unless flying/jumping)
    • Obstacles: block movement but not shots or line of sight
  • For rules descriptions, “unoccupied” hex = no figures, “empty” = nothing but floor


  • Can own any number of items (but no duplicates)
  • Can carry one of each armor, 2 hands, and L/2 (↑) small items
  • Can use any number of items at any time, if usage conditions are met
  • Items defending an attack must be used before seeing the attack modifier card
  • “Spent” items are discarded, “consumed” items are lost (for the scenario)
  • Items never burn permanently unless sold back into the city supply

After Scenario:

  • Complete final round even after win/loss is triggered
  • Players gain looted XP and money (see below)
  • If successful:
    • Completed battle goals => checkmarks on player sheet => perks
    • Each player gains bonus XP: 4 + 2*L
  • Scenario rewards on success:
    • New locations: add stickers to board
    • Item: one item card to any one player
    • Item design: all cards for that item added to city supply

Levels table

Scenario Lv Monster Lv Gold conversion Trap damage Bonus XP
0 0 2 2 4
1 1 2 3 6
2 2 3 4 8
3 3 3 5 10
4 4 4 6 12
5 5 4 7 14
6 6 5 8 16
7 7 6 9 18

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