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12 days in a town devoured by plague. It's an enemy you can't kill. It's a game where you can’t save everyone
12 days in a town devoured by plague. It's an enemy you can't kill. It's a game where you can’t save everyone
7,139 backers pledged $333,127 to help bring this project to life.

On Top of the Table

Posted by Ice-Pick Lodge (Creator)


I’m Liu Sukhinina, and my job is making Pathologic the tabletop game. It’s time to come out of the shadow and tell you a little bit more about what it looks like. 

That's not a tabletop game. That's me.

First of all, please keep in mind that while the visual and narrative design of the tabletop game is created by the Ice-Pick team themselves, its gameplay is being developed by a different team that has more experience with board games. The team is: Fuad "Funt" Kuliev, Andrey "Lenoran" Salik, Elena "Joker" Vishina, and me. We’ve been making games for more than seven years. Each of us has their own experience and tastes, but if there’s something we do have in common, it’s our love for original Pathologic and desire to make a great engaging game based upon it. 

Making a tabletop Pathologic game is hard. There’s too much story, too much detail, too much weird charm that’s hard to put into words and that we desperately want to keep. We’ve tried different approaches, but in the end decided to use the main plotline of original Pathologic, the plot points and characters you know and love. 

Our main goal was keeping the key features of Pathologic: hard choices and the inevitability of sacrificing something. Or someone. The main characters of the game will be The Bachelor, The Haruspex, and The Changeling, each of them having several Adherents (Entwined? Binded? The translation hasn’t been finalized yet), just like in the original. And just like in the original, events will happen that will threaten their lives. If the main characters fail to intervene, the Adherents will—and keep in mind that their lives are much more fragile. 

On the other hand, we didn’t want to copy Pathologic—why do the same thing? And yes, a board game is always different from a digital one, that’s the nature of it: real people are always more stubborn, generous, and unpredictable than any computer-controlled character can be. Still, we wanted to go one step further and try to do something that the original didn’t dare to: grant real free will to The Plague. 

The Plague is one of the characters here. Quite an unusual one though. 

So what does it look like in the end? 

Tabletop Pathologic is intended for 2–4 players. Its events unfold on a well-known map of the Town. Players can choose to become The Bachelor, The Haruspex, The Changeling, or The Plague—unseen, frightening, and deadly. 

Each turn an event happens on the map. The doctors and their Adherents view it as a mission to be completed, which is their only way to win (and there can only be one winner in the end!). But these events are simply bait for The Plague, a signpost that helps it catch its victims faster. Each player (including The Plague) will have to evaluate risks and decide what’s more important: being cautious and maintaining security? Or making their step to the victory as quickly as possible? 

Or maybe spoiling someone else’s victory? 

Each doctor has their own deck of additional actions that allow them to influence what’s happening while demonstrating their worldview, character, and modus operandi. The Plague will have to move stealthily while infecting districts and trying to catch the victims whose death would be irreparable to the Town. 

This fight won’t be very long (one session takes 60–80 minutes), but it’ll be very tense. 

I’ll tell you a bit more about the game later. We have a working prototype that’s becoming more and more polished by day now. And we’ll keep you informed! You can learn a bit more about the game on our website.

Haevermaet Anthony, Danil, and 71 more people like this update.


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    1. Nickolai Leschov on

      Hi Liu!

      Where can I read more about you guys and the games you've made?

    2. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      Sorry, but Pathologic the board game is nothing like Discworld. If they do have something in common, it's the fact that both feature well-known and loved characters and events from their respective settings.

    3. Missing avatar

      Oksana Soldatova on

      Will it have smth in common wth DiscWorld boardgames?
      Especially Guards!Guards! and Ankh-Morpork? They are so brilliantly balanced and full of action - different kinds of action for different players.
      Anyway i'm looking forward this project)

    4. Missing avatar

      David E. Olvera

      I was so-so on the board game... but this allayed my concerns. I am looking forward to this project.

    5. Greg R

      And I 2nd a entry with a link to the entry. It will drum up support for the video game. ;)

    6. Greg R

      Please make lots of event and mission cards so variety and thus replayability is high. Your description kind of sounds like Eldritch Horror which is cool but after a few plays, the encounters get stale. You may want to take a look at Agents Of SMERSH or Tales of Arabian Nights. They have books of encounters but that might be a bit much but still worth a look. Dead of Winter is another game you guys should take a look at. Seems like the same feel as Pathologic where there's an objective, changing missions and increasing tension. Good luck and I can't wait to get your creation on my table! :)

    7. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Danko, it is! (Well, it will be—that's why it takes time to test and polish.) It's intended for 2-4 players, so having a duel (one of the doctors vs The Plague) will definitely be possible!

    8. Danko on

      Oh, and by the way - you would make me very happy if the game was balanced to play 2-player. Sadly it's often hard to find more company.
      I know it's best played with 4 people both gameplay-wise and story-wise, but if you could find time to balance it with just 2 players too - it'd be amazing.

    9. Danko on

      I certainly didn't expect such a detailed comment :) That's amazing. I can see you take tabletop games seriously. Keep up the good work! I will be sure to obtain the game, either by kickstarter or after release.
      (btw, going to try some of the team's recommendations as well. thanks!)

    10. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Danko, here's an answer from our tabletop team:

      "We don't know of a stealth game that's similar to ours. We've studied Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan and Fury of Dracula, for example. There are similarities, of course: someone's moving invisibly, placing traps and killing others. But you can say that about any stealth game :) And Pathologic is different from them (Fury of Dracula, for example, is a co-op, and Pathologic is a PvP game that can have temporary co-op elements).

      Each doctor has his own "action deck" that reminds you of Twilight Imperium, but once again Pathologic is different—we have more cards and different ways to obtain them. All in all, we can't find a direct analogy—we're doing our best to make Pathologic its own thing.

      Favourite games:
      Fuad Kuliev: Space Alert, Distant Plain (complex and interesting mechanics)
      Elena Vishina: Dixit, Munchkin, Android, and Japanese Mahjong (she loves it for being hard, intricate, and risky)
      Liu Sukhinina: Dixit (especially with home-made rules—telling a story instead of an association, for example), Munchkin (she loves manipulating, bluffing, and socializing while playing!), Space Alert, Discworld
      Andrey Salik: chess, Space Alert, Distant Plain, City of Horror."

    11. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Stephen "Stoibs" D, hopefully! But nothing to announce yet.

    12. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Andy Y, most of the team has lots of experience with developing LARPs and commercial gamification projects. Fuad Kuliev is also very experienced in making edutainment games and educational sports programs (>7 years), and Andrey Salik is a gamification specialist (>10 years). Obviously everyone on the team does P&P campaigns. Liu worken on an add-on to a game called Perimeter and lots of fan games based on Vangers: One For The Road.

      So yeah, the backgrounds are very diverse, you see, and it's hard to show off those projects—most (if not all) of them weren't intended for a wide audience (and were also made in Russian). But these are the people that very much live with the mindset of "see a thing—make it into a game", so we definitely trust them to make a game into a game (even though we completely understand that that's no trivial task).

    13. Missing avatar

      Vladimir Tyurin on

      Oh God, please don't eat the cat!

    14. Danko on

      Dear Lodge,
      I am a fan of board games. My favourite is Evolution: Origin of Species. What is your favourite? What game will Tabletop Pathologic be most similiar with?

    15. Stephen "Stoibs" D

      Any plans for a BGG entry at some point? May or may not drive exposure to this campaign.

    16. Missing avatar

      Andy Y on

      Do the members of the tabletop team have any other board game designs under their belts? I can't find any history of your team.

    17. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Alexander Polyansky, we're planning to include a figurine (or—most likely—figurines), yes! Its design is subject to change. But we really want to produce and use small Executors. :)

    18. Benjabby on

      @Keithgg Tabletop games really appeal to me, and I probably would play them more than video games but the only problem with them is that you need friends to play with you

    19. Missing avatar

      keithgg on

      As someone who's been moving more toward board gaming over video gaming recently, I'm super excited for this announcement. Looking forward to hearing more!

    20. Alexander Polyansky on

      It's really great and even uncommon to see a tabletop add-on. Usually player gets a card game with no particular attention to it, but you even have a website. Can't wait to hear more details! Won't it include a figure of The Executor like on the picture?

    21. Matthew White on

      @IPL. Thank you, that's what I meant. XD

    22. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Matthew, well, it's not strictly a 1-vs-All... Or rather it can be, but there's only one winner, so the doctors will have to go from co-op to PvP and back. They have to defeat The Plague, yes, but each of them also wants to win *in their own fashion*. Just like in the video game!

    23. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Serg Rogovtsev, it will be available for purchase later (and it's also available as an add-on).

    24. Serg Rogovtsev on

      Will the be any way of buying it, or is it limited to tier 3 backers?

    25. Fhoenix on

      Very nice cards.
      Only backed the PC game for now, but I'll probably be interested in buying the tabletop once it's out.

    26. KLIPST on

      Looks interesting. Will take it after the game's release

    27. Matthew White on

      I cannot wait! I love board games, and this one sounds awesome. A great first dip into 1vAll games.