Bad Medicine is a hilarious party game in which you are a pharmaceutical company making horrible drugs. It launched on Kickstarter in February 2015, made four times its funding goal, and delivered to backers later that year. Since then, it's received praise from The A.V. Club and HuffPo, and sold out in a matter of months.
It's been out of print since then. With your help, we can bring it back, with a great expansion!
In Bad Medicine, you and your opponents are huge pharmaceutical companies. Your goal is to create names and advertisements for new drugs to cure the current Malady, while downplaying any side effects that you'll never know about ahead of time.
Each card in the game has a little bit of a drug name, a little bit of a description, and a side effect. There will be one card dealt in the middle of the table; its side effect is the Malady to cure this round.
You'll get 7 cards. Of these cards, you choose 3 for the name of the drug on the top of the cards, and 2 for the description in the middle. Then you'll pitch your drug, telling everyone the name of your drug and how the two words you chose will treat the Malady.
At this point, each of your opponents will give you one card for the side effect on the bottom. Choose your favorite side effect, and explain why it's not as bad as it sounds!
The player whose side effect you chose gets a point. Everyone who gave you a card draws a new card. The next player now pitches their drug, gets side effects and chooses their favorite.
Once everyone has pitched their favorite drugs, everyone votes for their favorite drugs. Each vote is worth 2 points.
The Malady for next round is, of course, the side effect of the drug that got the most votes this round!
Here's a video of the game in action. It was filmed with prototype cards, but the gameplay is exactly the same.
When playing with 5-8 players, you'll team up with a different player every round. One of you will draw 6 cards, formulate a drug (including the side effect), and pass it to the other player face-down. The other player must pitch it without looking at it first!
Here's a video of the game being played with five players. Again, this was shot with the game prototype, but the gameplay for the base game hasn't changed since then!
Want to try the game? Download a limited print-and-play, with enough cards for one round!
I'm running this Kickstarter to fund two items: a new edition of the base Bad Medicine game, and a new expansion, Bad Medicine: Second Opinion.
Bad Medicine: Second Opinion will contain at least 60 extra cards (more if we hit stretch goals), and a new mechanism, Complications, that can add surprise cards to your pitch.
If you use this card in your drug's Description during your pitch, you must draw a random card and use its Description text in your pitch. If that card has a Complication icon, then you must immediately draw another card. In this example, you'll have to figure out a way to pitch "cleansing cartilage."
If the new card you draw has a Complication icon, then you must draw another card, and keep drawing them until you draw a card without a Complication icon. Then you must use the Descriptions from all those cards in your pitch!
Yes, there will be a few changes to the base game. I'll summarize them here, then go into them one-by-one.
- The base game will come with plastic discs to more easily keep score.
- Cards may be slightly different color than base game.
- We're offering a $5 add-on with just the base game cards, to guarantee you're up to date.
- No punchboard tokens in the base game; everything will be on cards instead.
- We're offering tokens as a separate $10 add-on.
- The base game box will be slightly deeper to properly acommodate sleeved cards.
- Base game cards will have Complication icons, but those can be ignored, and the game will work fine.
So, here are all those points in detail. First, a lot of people found keeping score with discarded cards cumbersome. So this new version of the base game will come with plastic discs to keep score instead. Much less fiddly, and it's not a stretch goal or an add-on; it'll be included as long as we fund!
Next (and quite importantly), Formal Ferret switched manufacturers since the last Bad Medicine Kickstarter campaign. This has let us do things we weren't able to do before, like better color-matching for expansions and more consistent component quality. The one downside is: we can't guarantee that the expansion will match your copy of the base game.
But I don't want you to have to buy a totally new version of the base game! If you pledge at the $15 level and add $5 to your pledge ($20 in all), you'll get a copy of the expansion,plus just the cards and discs from the new base game printing. These new cards will be guaranteed to match those of the expansion. You can swap those in for your old cards, and be ready to go in no time!
There's a few other things changing in the base game. First off, punchboard tokens will no longer be included with the base game. We'll replace things like the Corporate Logo, Malady, and Surgeon General tokens with cards. This will let us offer the base game for $20 instead of $30.
If you still want punchboard, don't worry, we have you covered! If you pledge at least $20 and add $10 to your pledge (i.e. select the $20 level but pledge $30), you will receive punchboard tokens as an add-on!
There's no pressure here; if you decide you want the extra cards or punchboard after the campaign ends, you'll be able to add it to your pledge in BackerKit, our third-party pledge manager.
Also, the box dimension will be roughly the same, but is going to be a couple of millimeters deeper. This will allow folks who sleeve their cards to store their cards in the game box more easily.
Finally, we'll take this opportunity to place Complication icons in the base game cards. These will be in the $5 add-ons as well. Not to worry, you can play without the Complication rules and the game works just fine!
- At least 60 cards. More will be available by unlocking stretch goals!
- 1 rules sheet (not pictured) This cover is just a sketch.
The actual cover will be slightly different. Box size is subject to change.
- 200 Drug Cards (number may change slightly)
- 8 rules reference cards
- 8 Corporate Logo cards (player colors - only 4 are pictured here, but there will be 8 in the box!)
- 50 plastic discs for scoring (pictured separately - see below)
- 1 Surgeon General card (first player marker)
- 1 Malady card (to denote what everyone is treating)
- 1 rulebook
The cover art for this edition of the game will look different! New art is coming soon.
The first edition of the game came with "vote pills" for the voting round. This edition has no vote pills included in the box. You'll vote by counting to three and pointing. If you would like vote pills (and other tokens), keep reading!
This edition of the game will come with 50 plastic discs for scoring. They're going to look something like this...
There will be two colors of discs, and they'll be different sizes, for 1s and 5s. The color and appearance of the disc hasn't been finalized yet, but they may look like a mini-poker chip above, or they may look like a tiddlywink or bingo chip.
The first edition of this game came with punchboard tokens. This edition will replace those tokens with cards. This allows us to offer the base game for $20 instead of $30.
In the first edition of the game, players voted by selecting one of their four "vote pills." in this edition, players will vote for their favorite drugs by counting to 3 and pointing.
Miss the tokens? We are offering the tokens separately as an add-on. Here's what the separate add-on will include.
- 8 Corporate Logo tiles (player colors)
- 2 Round markers (showing which round you are in)
- 1 Malady marker (to denote what everyone is treating)
- 32 Vote Pills (to show whose drug you are voting for)
If you pledge at least $20 and add $10 to your pledge (i.e. select the $20 level but pledge $30), you will receive punchboard tokens as an add-on.
More info is in Add-ons below!
Every backer will get a print-and-play copy of the base game and expansion, regardless of how much they pledged! Consider it a thank-you from me for being a part of this campaign!
Retailers: You will be able to order copies of the game as an add-on after the campaign is over. This makes things less risky for you! Message me for more information.
Fine print for the Marketing Department, Laboratory, and Surgeon General pledge levels:
All submissions must be made by April 15. All content submissions are subject to approval by Formal Ferret. Please, no advertisements for other products or services. Adult content is okay, but no slurs or hate speech please.
"A cheeky and sweetly cynical game." - Huffington Post
"Bad Medicine is terrifically funny and cleverly written. There are tons of cards to create daft-but-plausible names, and the benefits are ripe for unusual interpretation. Side effects are quite specific but plenty silly by themselves, especially in the right combinations. We managed to solve the obesity crisis by making our patients unable to swallow, although it led to their teeth falling out and being replaced with tiny tongues." - A.V. Club
"Bad Medicine is the kind of game that can be learned in moments, played in minutes, and enjoyed for hours. In no time, our pitchmen were hilariously trying to sell the drugs that the developers had slapped together. Bad Medicine is a perfect party game - clear, simple rules, minimal fussing with components, and constantly and consistently engaging gameplay - everything you need for a raucously good time." - Gameosity
"If your party is suffering from anxiety, boredom, or constipation, then Formal Ferret 'Pharmaceuticals' brings the cure with Bad Medicine. This party game features clever drug pitches, thousands of possible naming combinations and outlandish side effects to make everyone at the table bust a gut laughing. Bad Medicine is a must-have for any game collection." - Who, What, Why
"An uproarious game of making drugs and pitching them! How you present the drugs, and getting through them with a straight face is half the fun." - Gamers on Games
"It's a party game that allows you to bring your brain and have some good laughs... If you're a gamer and want to add a party game to your collection, this one will fit in." - Punching Cardboard
"This game is great fun and I think it spans almost any type of player, from the picky miniatures gamer... to casual Munchkin gamers, to strategy gamers who are just looking for something light in between the heavy thinking games. Or you know, if you think you’re a comedian after a few mai tais." - Game and a Curry
Kickstarter campaign graphics by BeBold Games
Clucky: Carrie Margulies
Doctor: Gil Hova
Written, directed, and edited by Gil Hova
Video production by Steve Landau
Production audio by Matthew Smith
Location Scouting by Banana Chan
Thanks to DiceBreakers for all their help!
"Gloom Horizon," "Nerves," and "Virtutes Instrumenti" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Risks and challenges
This campaign for Bad Medicine: Second Opinion will be my sixth Kickstarter campaign, with four of my first five campaigns successful. Of these four campaigns, three delivered within a month of the promised date, and the fourth is on track to deliver on-time. At this point, I've built up a great deal of firsthand experience when running a campaign.
There are many risks when backing a board game. We're dealing with mass manufacturing and logistics, so there's no way to eliminate all risk.
But I've learned enough to mitigate the biggest risks, from making sure all but the most trivial art is complete before launch to establishing relationships with fulfillment centers around the world to guarantee timely fulfillment of the game, without requiring backers to pay taxes or customs.
Between the connections I've made and the experience I've earned, I know I can fulfill this game close to its estimate of October 2018.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)