Gloomhaven holds the hearts of hardcore board gamers everywhere, thanks in part to its compelling campaign, euro-style mechanics, and range of unique Gloomhaven classes. Each of the different playable Gloomhaven characters brings something new to the table, with their own strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities shaping how you play.
Gloomhaven remains one of the best board games around (just check out our Gloomhaven review if you don’t believe us). This is currently a spoiler-free guide to the coop board game’s starter classes, which pairs nicely with our Gloomhaven board game beginner’s guide. If you’re looking for the core game’s unlockable classes or compatible classes from games like Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion or Frosthaven, watch this space – there’s plenty of class content to come.
Here are the six starter Gloomhaven classes:
- Inox Brute
- Human Scoundrel
- Orchid Spellweaver
- Quatryl Tinkerer
- Vermling Mindthief
- Savvas Cragheart
|Role||Melee Fighter, Tank|
It’s tough for an Inox to survive in the wilderness, so morality is rarely on their minds. Their harsh, nomadic lifestyles also teach them to be hench and hardy. This means two things: firstly, you don’t want to cross one in a fight; secondly, they can make a killing doing the more difficult jobs in Gloomhaven. Inox Brute is the name given to those that take these jobs.
In combat, the Inox Brute is all about dealing and absorbing increasingly large numbers of hits. They’re primarily a melee fighter, only occasionally dabbling in ranged and area-of-effect attacks, but their beefier-than-average health makes sure it won’t be too dangerous for the Brute to fight on the front lines. Expect level ups to offer a silly amount of ways to inflict pain.
|Role||Melee Fighter, Rogue|
Like many fantasy settings, humans are everywhere in Gloomhaven. Humans are particularly diverse and malleable in this setting, so they could plausibly set their minds to anything they’d like to do. It just so happens the Human Scoundrel has chosen a life of conniving, stealing, and backstabbing.
The Human Scoundrel functions exactly as you’d imagine the Rogue 5E to in a game of D&D. They’re nimble melee fighters who aren’t afraid to use poison and invisibility to gain the upper hand. When they’re not disarming traps and collecting loot, a Human Scoundrel is using adjacent allies to gain an advantage against enemies – usually by dealing a devastating backstab.
|Elements||Air, Dark, Earth, Fire, Ice, Light|
|Role||Ranged Fighter, Spellcaster, Healer|
Orchids are crystalline plant-like humanoids that live an awfully long time. Extended lifespans tend to bring them wisdom, though plenty of them still make the mistake of winding up in Gloomhaven. They’re not native to the area, and many of Gloomhaven’s inhabitants regard them as a bad omen. An Orchid Spellweaver values reflection and calm judgement, but they also know force is often needed to spread enlightenment.
This is one of the squishier starting classes in Gloomhaven. Their max health is pretty low, and though there’s a chance to recover some lost cards mid-game, their stamina is nothing to write home about either. What this class does give you is command over the game’s magical elements. Once mastered, the Spellweaver can be an effective ranged combatant, supporting the party with pot shots, elemental outbursts, and the occasional healing spell from afar.
|Role||Ranged Fighter, Healer, Support, Summoner|
Anyone can tinker, but nobody does it like the Quatryl Tinkerer. This is a surprisingly common profession for Quatryls, whose size-based inferiority complexes seem to drive them to achieve greater and greater expertise in a range of areas. Knowledgeable and helpful, a Quatryl Tinkerer is valued for their craft. They’re not bad to have on hand in a combat situation, either.
Tinkerers are at their best at the back of the battlefield. They mainly use ranged attacks, and they prefer to spend their time setting traps, summoning allies, and providing health or boosts to the rest of the party.
|Role||Melee Fighter, Summoner, Crowd Control|
If you ask the denizens of Gloomhaven to describe a Vermling, they’ll mention their corpse-eating tendencies, their small brains, and the fact they’re nearly-universally shunned. If you ask the author of this article to do the same, she’ll call them sweet little misunderstood rat-people who have more to offer than the lore implies.
The Vermling Mindthief harnesses powerful psychic abilities in combat. They’re masters of invisibility who inflict melee damage and then get straight out of dodge. Their mind control powers allow the Mindthief to summon swarms of rats as allies, and they can even possess other people (friends and foes) and force them to perform actions. Their augments are particularly potent, providing useful buffs of varying kinds to the Vermling Mindthief’s attacks.
|Role||Ranged/Melee Fighter, Tank, Crowd Control|
The rock-like Savvas people are known to covet power, choosing to impress the world with their mastery of elements. Those who don’t manage this feat choose to use their massive, craggy fists to pass on the same message. These are the Savvas Craghearts, the exiles with a penchant for hard punches.
The Savvas Cragheart isn’t afraid to hurt its friends in order to hit its allies. Sure, this class may heal them afterwards, but their tendency for friendly fire needs to be factored into any scenario. These are big hitters who also love to throw down obstacles and traps, so they play a range of roles in a party.