Our gaming group LOVES Gloom. I share in everyone's frustration with the printing, though. I'm already on my second (both 1st printing) set.
Will there be a 3rd printing that will fix even more of the problems? If so, roughly when is that due out? Because I was thinking of buying a 2nd printing set, so the typeface and design/look matches up with Unhappy Homes...and because my current set is wearing out...but obviously, I don't want to buy a 2nd printing if a new-and-improved 3rd printing is scheduled!
Just to clarify: When you play a positive-Pathos card on an opponent, and he gets an instant (not continual) positive effect, such as Unhappy Home's starred on the stage: "Randomly select and keep one card from each player's hand immediately when played"... it's the opponent who received that modifier/card who gets to draw those cards, not the player who played the card, correct?
I'll have to leave the rules questions to the experts (like Michelle or Keith), but I can field the "third printing" question.
The answer is that I do expect there to be a third printing, at some point in time...but I don't know when. In spite of its problems, Gloom continues to sell well; what I don't know is whether we're at a regular-ongoing-sales phase, or if we're still in the new-item-higher-sales phase. (For example, Lunch Money is going to be 10 years old this next May; it has spikes and dips, but basically I have a good idea of how many copies will sell in the average month, so I can tell you that our current printing of Lunch Money should last another 8-10 months (if I'm remembering correctly how many copies we have in inventory). With Gloom, I don't know if the last few months of sales should be typical over the coming years, or if they're unusually high.) I guess I could say that I would be surprised if we needed the third printing before the middle of 2006.
Then there's the other unknown, which is what kind of production quality we might be able to get on a 3rd printing. We might be ablet to get some further improvement with the current printer (I think the switch to the smooth plastic stock was a mistake, but otherwise there are some improvements on the 2nd printing). If we switch to another printer, we face the risk of them running into the same kinds of problems...plus we already know that the bids from other printers started at about 50% more expensive than the guys in India. That raises the twin conundrums of needing to hike the price again (something I'd rather not do); and needing to leave the game out of stock longer, so that when it does get reprinted there is enough pent-up demand to sell a lot of the print run right away.
Anyhow...long and short of it is that I can't say for sure when there will be a new printing, and I can't promise that it will take care of all the problems when it comes.
Having said that, I hope you can continue to play with your current set for a good long time. As long as you can play with the 1st printings, you may as well keep at it; maybe the 3rd will come along sooner (and better) than I'm expecting.