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Gothic Doctor - A Game of Monstrous Medicine's video poster

A quick tabletop card game for 2-4 players about curing monsters, foiling opponents, and becoming a partner. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on July 23, 2014.

A quick tabletop card game for 2-4 players about curing monsters, foiling opponents, and becoming a partner.

About this project

If you found out about Gothic Doctor after the project had ended, have no fear. We're figuring out the best way to make sure that you can get the game, so click the above image or click here to find out more information.

Tired of hiding in the city’s shadows, strange and terrifying creatures of legend come to your door looking to be cured of their conditions...

In Gothic Doctor, a standalone card game for 2-4 players, you take on the role of physician in a practice that caters to the monsters and miscreants of Victorian literature. Play cards from your hand to treat patients and affect gameplay. Choose your patients wisely to maximize your profits. But beware - your fellow physicians are out for themselves and will sabotage your best efforts to ensure their own success. Can you make these patients’ misfortune your opportunity - and earn more than your competition?

In Gothic Doctor, players will take turns using sets of Treatment cards from their hands, collecting money for the patients they treat. Any patient in the waiting room (the seven face-up cards visible to all players) is fair game. Treatment cards correspond to icons on Patient cards, as shown here:

Each Patient card contains information about the patient relevant to the game - and some flavor text telling you a bit more about the pictured patient, as shown here:

In addition to treatment cards, doctors can draw and play Action cards, which can affect gameplay in different ways, from allowing doctors to draw more cards to changing how patients are treated to interfering with other players' efforts.

Ultimately, the goal is to earn the most money in a single night in order to make partner in London's least-reputable - but most profitable - medical practice.

If you'd like to see the mechanics in action, check out the two videos below. The first runs through the basics of the game, and the second shows a few sample turns.

's video poster
's video poster

Also, here are some sample patient cards and sample treatment cards. The art on these is final, so these are some of the cards that you'll get when you back!

All Us Geeks: Megan said, "I enjoyed it! It's a quick game, which everybody knows I like. I loved the theme, ... it was quick to learn, and I thought it was good!" Jeff said, “It still plays really, really well, we still really enjoy it. We hope they get their funding this time because this is a great game that deserves to be made.”

Board Game Quest: "What you get is a very thematic game that is perfect for a pick up and play session. Since it’s so easy to learn and the game flows fairly quickly, Gothic Doctor will be right at home to open a longer night of gaming or as a quick game when you don’t have a lot of free time."

Chris & Suzanne Zinsli of Cardboard Edison: "We play many prototypes and Gothic Doctor is one of the best & one of our favorite games! From the moment we saw the cards, we fell in love with the game...the artwork & flavor text are amazing. The game is easy enough for casual gamers but also has enough strategy to keep serious gamers's just great all around!"

Cardboard Republic: "At the end of the evening, Gothic Doctor is a fun, light, filler card game. While some of the mechanics may feel like familiar territory, it is certainly not a clone of an existing product. (There are surprisingly zero clones in this game actually.) Rather, it is very much its own entity, providing a creative new spin on the classic monster epochs. Where else can you treat the Headless Horseman, Dracula, and a swath of mad scientists in the same night – all while getting paid for it? Just hope Dracula and his Brides aren’t showing up for couples therapy."

Indie Cardboard: "Gothic Doctor remains a solid introduction to games featuring both hand management and set collection. It's not overly deep or involved, and presents solid mechanics with a lighthearted theme alongside gorgeous, if at times gruesome artwork. The more involved variant rules help make this game even easier to recommend, offering a chance for players to experience something a bit more challenging should they decide to scrub up and operate on heavier games down the road."

Strangeland Games: "Gothic Doctor is a hand-management/set-collection card game with an engaging theme for those times when you want something you can sink your teeth into (HA!), but that won't take all night. [...] It's got a heavy emphasis on style and theme with a broad appeal to both novices and the more experienced."

Charlie Ecenbarger for Today in Board Games: "All in all, Gothic Doctor is that game I carry with me. It’s small enough to keep in a bag or in my car, and it’s simple enough to break out whenever a bunch of friends are around even if our intention is not to play games. The most memorable experience I had playing Gothic Doctor was at a bar a couple weeks back. I had the game in my backpack, because that’s where it always is, and eventually the conversation died down between the people there. So I busted out the game. Five minutes of explanation and we were rolling. Most of these friends do not play table top games outside of Monopoly or Pictionary, but not one of them asked to sit out of the second game. Perhaps Gothic Doctor never intended to be a pub game or a gateway game, or perhaps it did. Either way, it has found its home as the game that I’m certain anyone can enjoy in any situation. Not only is it a conversation piece due to the theme but it is a fun, engaging, and deceptively strategic game that player can get into."

Zero Fortitude: "It is a quick game to learn but that doesn’t mean the game play suffers any.  There is enough here to keep the game interesting each and every time.  It’s perfect to play while waiting for a bigger game to get set up such as Arkham Horror or to end a long night of gaming."

But if you're the kind of person who likes to check things out rather than take reviewers' advice - or if you just like free stuff - check out a free PnP version of the game. Most of the art in this version isn't final - but all of the mechanics are set! Check it out, share it with friends, and let us know what you think!

Check out the free PnP deck here!

Or, if you'd rather meet up in person and check the game out that way, here's a schedule of all the places we're planning on taking Gothic Doctor during the Kickstarter! Don't see your friendly local game store on there and think they'd be interested in having us demo the game there? Send us a message and we'll look into it!

Additional copy of the main game:

  • US: add $21
  • Canada: add $24
  • Elsewhere: add $27

Additional copy of the main game + deluxe expansion:

  • US: add $34
  • Canada: add $39
  • Elsewhere: add $47

Early edition to pick up at GenCon:

  • Add $30.
  • Please note, there is no shipping for this Add-On. If you are not attending GenCon, please do not choose this Add-On.
  • Also, please note that the version that will be available for pick-up and for limited sale at GenCon will not include any stretch goals, bonus patients, or anything of the sort. It will be the most basic version of the game - but that's how we'll be able to print it so quickly!

One additional add-on that we aren't able to offer ourselves due to Kickstarter's restrictions on third-party items is an accessibility kit for visually-impaired gamers.  Our friends over at 64 Ounce Games will be working on braille sleeves for the game in order to allow visually-impaired gamers to enjoy Gothic Doctor, too! If you'd like to check their website out for more information, you can get there by clicking here. Their store isn't going to be up and running until after they deliver the rewards to their backers - but if you're interested, let us know. We can notify you as soon as the sleeves are available!

Along with component upgrades, we'll be adding free bonus cards to our backers' rewards as we reach higher and higher levels of funding. These cards will not be sold in either the main version of the game or the deluxe expansion. To start, we've thrown in two copies of alternate Revenant art and the Bogeyman - but what we add next will be up to you.

We had a lot of ideas for patients for the game, but some weren't literature-based enough - like the Bogeyman, the Countess of Bath, or Krampus. Others just didn't work out for balancing issues - like the Red Death or Lucy Westenra. But each time we hit one of these kinds of stretch goals, we'll hold a poll for backers only to vote on the next Kickstarter-exclusive patient. Check out the possible options here and let us know which you're most excited to unlock - or suggest a few new ones. And back early so you can vote often!

And, because we care, we're starting out by giving a copy of the Bogeyman (you can see him in the header of this section) and two copies of a variant illustration of the Revenant to all levels that include stretch goals!

In addition to the traditional funding-based stretch goals, we’ll also be including social stretch goals for fans who help us to get the word out there about Gothic Doctor on Facebook and Twitter.

For every 100 shares (up to 1000) on Facebook and Twitter combined, we’ll add two copies of a new Action card to the game...permanently! You have the chance to make Gothic Doctor even better for the years to come! And the best part? You’ll get to vote on what those Action cards are! All you have to do to share is tweet a link to the Kickstarter or share the link we posted in our Facebook group for Gothic Doctor!

Check out our list of Action cards here and see what the options are - or, see what we’re missing and let us know what you’d like to see as an option! When we hit each of these social stretch goals, we’ll post a backer-only update where you’ll have 24 hours to vote via comments, and then we’ll add the most popular card to the game!

If we hit 1000 combined shares, we’ll figure out how many it’ll take to get to the next social stretch goal - but if you share our game 1000 times, we’ll probably be feeling very generous!

And remember, these are going to be permanently added to the game - so you have the chance to help us increase this game by at least 20 cards in exchange for helping us get the word out about Gothic Doctor!

Thanks for checking out our Kickstarter and helping us to make Gothic Doctor a reality! We'd love to know what you think in the comments here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Also, any thumbs you're willing to share on Board Game Geek for the game, the art, or the like would be much appreciated. Or, you can become a fan of Gothic Doctor on Board Game Geek by clicking here.

And speaking of Board Game Geek, we sponsored June's 24-hour contest. You can check out the original thread of the contest here - but now that the contest is over, you can help decide the winner here. After the voting's over, we'll work with the popular winner and our favorite (or our second favorite if our favorite wins) to tweak the game and then share the free PnPs with all of our backers!

If you want to check out some interviews that Doug (one of Gothic Doctor's co-designers) did with Jeff King from All Us Geeks chronicling the "road to relaunch," you can check out all of those interviews here. Or, if you're curious about the differences between this campaign and Gothic Doctor's first attempt at Kickstarter, you can check out a short post on our website here about how we lowered our funding goal or a longer post here about what we learned from our first Kickstarter.

Lastly, Meltdown Games is a proud member of the Indie Game Alliance, a network of designers and demoers dedicated to helping independent studios get their games to parts of the country that they themselves can't get to. If you're interested in being a part of that, check out IGA's website here to sign up!

Risks and challenges

There are numerous risks associated with any Kickstarter project, but we're taking every precaution that we can to avoid issues later on. All of the art that can be completed has been; we're only waiting on the 5 illustrations from the Medical License level and any stretch goals we hit - and once we have those, we'll be ready to get our game to our printer. The game's mechanics are final, so that won't cause a second's delay.

In terms of printing, we're working with AdMagic, which has a proven track record of streamlining the printing process and helping designers turn files into printed games. Of course, no matter how careful we are, there could be production or shipping problems. But with AdMagic's logistical experience, we're confident that they'll be able to help us overcome any complications that may arise.

Once the game is printed, we'll be working with Ship Naked to get the game to you, and they too have a proven track record of quickly getting games to the right place.

In addition, our previous - and unfortunately unsuccessful - Kickstarter campaign for Gothic Doctor taught us a lot about the process. Through careful analysis of that effort, we were able to see some of the places where we went wrong the first time and find ways to lower the overall funding required without sacrificing quality or our ability to fulfill the promised rewards. We wrote a detailed post-mortem after the first campaign, in which we discussed what we learned from the experience and what we could have done better. And if you're curious about how we were able to lower our funding needs, you can find links to both of those pages in our "Connecting With Us" section - since we can't post links in this section.

So, bottom line: we're dedicated to this project, we've learned a lot since our last campaign, and we're working with people who have a lot of experience.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    8 backers

    PHYSICIAN'S ASSISTANT ::: You'll get a personal thank you from us and the joy of knowing you helped us make our dream a reality. Also, you'll be able to stay in the loop with updates and information about Gothic Doctor!

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    Pledge $25 or more

    123 backers

    GENERALIST ::: One copy of Gothic Doctor, all stretch goals, and 10 Kickstarter-exclusive Dual Treatment cards. ::: Canadian backers, please add $7 for shipping. International backers, please add $11 for shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    2 backers

    GENCON PICKUP ::: Want to get Gothic Doctor at GenCon? We'll have an early version of Gothic Doctor there, so if you'll be there, you pick up a copy from us! Because of the production speed of these copies, it will be the basic version of the game: 156 cards. No stretch goals are included at this level. (Alternatively, you can add this to any level for $30, but you must pick this up at GenCon. None of these versions will be shipped.) ::: No shipping for this level (or add-on). All early versions must be picked up at GenCon.

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    Pledge $40 or more

    323 backers

    SPECIALIST ::: You'll get everything at the Generalist level (the game, all stretch goals, and the Kickstarter-exclusive cards) as well as the expanded version of the game: more patients and a new way to play the game, partial treatments! In addition, you'll get a slip cover for your game that will only ever be available through this Kickstarter. ::: Canadian backers, please add $9 for shipping. / International backers, please add $24 for shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    8 backers All gone!

    STAT! ::: Everything at the Specialist level (a copy of the game, all stretch goals, the Kickstarter-exclusive Dual Treatments, the expanded version of the game, and the Kickstarter-exclusive slip cover), plus, have a prototype copy of the game sent to you shortly after your pledge - and during the Kickstarter! ::: Canadian backers, please add $17 for shipping. / International backers, please add $47 for shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    MEDICAL LICENSE ::: In addition to everything at the Specialist level (a copy of the game, all stretch goals, the Kickstarter-exclusive Dual Treatments, the expanded version of the game, and the Kickstarter-exclusive slip cover), you'll have your likeness included on one of the five Kickstarter-exclusive Dual Treatments that will be going out to all backers of the game! ::: Canadian and international shipping included!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (22 days)