Rules and Regulations
Quick Start Guide
1. Deal 7 face-up Patients on to the table next to the Patient
Deck and 3 face-up Treatments next to the Treatment Deck.
2. Pick 2 Specialist Bonus cards (based on the first two different
classes of Patients drawn), along with 1 Generalist Bonus card
per doctor (player), and place them on the table face-up.
3. Deal 6 face-down Treatment cards and 1 face-down Action
Card to each doctor.
4. Turn Order:
a. The first doctor (the player who most recently went to a
physician or received their medical degree) sets the clock
to the starting position and advances it at the beginning
of each subsequent round.
b. Moving clockwise doctor to doctor, each doctor moves
through the Action, Treatment/Draw, and Discard
phases of their turn. Any Patients successfully cured by
a doctor move in front of that doctor and count toward
their final profit.
5. After the final round, each doctor tallies up their total profit,
based on Patients cured and Bonuses gained. The doctor with
the highest profit wins.
What's in the Box
- 50 Patient cards
- 68 Treatment cards
- 40 Action cards
- 6 Specialist Bonus cards
- 4 Generalist Bonus cards
- 4 Turn Order / Reference cards
- 8 +1 £25 counters
- Rule book
- Game clock
1850s London is a great time to be a doctor...
Especially if you’re willing to cater to the, shall we
say, less savory souls in need of medical treatment.
Any doctor who finished medical school can
take care of wounded journeymen and hysterical
housewives, but it takes a special breed of doctor
to heal vampires, spectres, or werewolves -
or even legends, like Frankenstein’s Monster or
The Invisible Man.
These denizens of London’s shadowy alleys
have decided to change their ways and need your
skills to help them emerge from the night, and
you’re willing to treat them - because they’re
willing to pay.
Thanks to an incident involving a former partner getting between
a mad scientist and some disgruntled werewolves, the practice
now has a vacancy, and only one of you can fill it. You and your
opponents must compete to prove you’re the doctor for the job
by earning the most money for the practice in a single night.
So, put your lab coats on, get your scalpels ready, and prove you’re
the best doctor for the job! But watch out: all of your opponents
want that partnership as well…
The doctor who earns the most
money for the practice in eleven
rounds is the winner! Doctors
earn money by curing Patients and
by earning bonuses for particular
combinations of Patients.
Shuffle the Patient deck. Place it on the table as shown in Table Setup.
Then, draw 7 Patient cards and place them face up on the table. These
Patients are in the “Waiting Room”.
Note: If at any point there are three identical Patients in the Waiting Room, discard the third
Patient and replace it. For example, if there are three Spectres in the Waiting Room, discard
the third one and replace it. This applies only to Patients with the same name, not Patients
from the same class - i.e., there may be three Phantasmal Patients in the Waiting Room.
Take note of the first two different Patient classes that enter the Waiting
Room. They determine the two Specialist bonuses in the game as follows:
Patient Class Specialist Bonus
Bestial type's bonus is 'Veterinarian'
Insane type's bonus is 'Psychiatrist'
Phantasmal type's bonus is 'Spectrologist'
Reanimated type's bonus is 'Coroner'
Sanguinolent type's bonus is 'Hematologist'
Scientific type's bonus is 'Toxicologist'
Remove the other four Specialist bonuses from the game. They will not be
used this game. The Demon class has no Specialist bonus - if a Demon is one of
the first two Patients drawn, use the next Patient drawn to the Waiting Room to
determine the bonus. Place these two Specialist bonuses on the table as shown
in Table Setup. Then, place the Generalist bonuses on the table as shown.
(See Bonuses for discussion of how to earn these bonuses.)
Shuffle the Treatment deck and deal each player 6 Treatment cards.
Then, place 3 Treatment cards face up on the table to form the “Medical
Library” (as shown in Table Setup). Finally, place the remainder of the Treatment
deck face down above the Medical Library.
Note: If at any point there are any identical Treatments in the Medical Library, discard the the
duplicate and replace it immediately.
If there are any Action cards that you do not want to include, remove them from
the Action deck and set them out of the game. Shuffle the Action deck and give
one Action card to each doctor. Then, place the Action deck face down on
the table as shown in Table Setup.
Place the +/- £25 counters on the table. These may be needed to adjust the
values of cured patients based upon certain Action cards. This completes setup
for the game.
The first doctor to play is the doctor who most recently visited a
physician or who most recently received their medical degree. Place the
Clock on the table near that doctor so all doctors can see it. This doctor will be in
charge of advancing the clock one hour at the start of each of their turns.
If any doctor has two pairs of Treatments (e.g., two Bandage Removals and
two Exorcisms) or one triple (e.g., three Holy Waters), they may discard their
Treatment cards and draw six new Treatment cards. This is not required. A
doctor may only mulligan during setup and may not do so at any other point in the
game. That doctor must keep their starting Action card. A doctor may mulligan
multiple times if the new Treatment cards have two doubles or a single triple.
When To Play, If Applicable (Red)
On each of your turns, perform the following three phases in the
1. ACTION Phase: If you have any Action cards in your
hand that you want to play, you may play one per turn.
2. TREATMENT/DRAW Phase: Cure a single
Patient from the Waiting Room and then draw up to 7 cards.
OR Do not cure a Patient and draw up to 10 cards.
3. DISCARD Phase: If you have more than 7 cards in
your hand, discard until you have 7 cards. End your turn.
Playing an Action
Most Action cards must be played at the
start of your turn - before you treat any
Patients, before you draw additional cards, and
before you discard cards. You may only play
one Action card per turn.
Some Action cards have red text on the card that indicates when they
are played. These will not be played at the start of your turn and do not
count toward the limit of one Action card per turn.
Curing a Patient
The way you earn money in Gothic Doctor is by curing Patients. You may cure
only one Patient each turn (except when permitted to cure more by Action
cards). Each Patient has 2, 3, or 4 Treatment icons in the top left corner of the
card. These Treatment icons indicate the Treatment cards that must be
discarded from your hand in order to cure that Patient.
On your turn, if you have the right combination of Treatment cards to cure
a Patient in the Waiting Room, you may discard those cards to cure that
Patient. Once you discard those Treatment cards, place that Patient face
up in front of you in your “Cured Pile”. All Patients you have cured must
remain visible throughout the game. As soon as you cure a Patient and place it
in front of you, immediately fill the empty space in the Waiting Room by
drawing a new card from the Patient deck. If there are three of the same Patient
in the Waiting Room, discard the third and replace it immediately.
Panacea is special
in three ways:
1. A Panacea is required for all Legends
(Patients requiring 4 Treatments). Your practice has
never seen these Patients before, and they’re paying
quite a bit to make sure that they’re cured.
2. Also, the Panacea acts as a wild card.
It can be played in place of any one other Treatment.
There is no limit to the number of Panaceas that
may be used this way when treating a Patient. (For example, you could
choose to use 4 Panaceas to cure a single Legend: 3 as wild cards and 1 as
the required Panacea.)
3. The Panacea is an expensive remedy for the practice to create and a
very powerful tool for a doctor to have on hand. So, you must spend an
additional draw to draw a Panacea from the Medical Library
(the three face-up Treatment cards). This will effectively lower your hand
size by one card until your next turn. However, when you take draws at the
end of your next turn, you are again drawing back to a normal hand size.
However, this only applies to Panaceas drawn face-up. Panaceas
drawn face-down from the Treatment deck count only as
a single draw.
Note: For example, on your turn, let’s say you treat a Vampire by using Fang Extraction,
Herbal Remedy, and a Panacea in place of Holy Water. You discard these three Treatment
cards from your hand, place the Vampire face-up in front of you in your Cured Pile, and then
immediately draw a new Patient from the Patient deck to fill the vacancy in the Waiting Room.
Drawing New Cards
After you have played all of the cards you’re going to play on your turn, take
your draws. In most cases, you will have cured a Patient and will draw back up
to 7 cards in your hand.
When drawing, you may take your draws from any combination of the
following three places:
1. The face-down Action deck
2. The face-down Treatment deck
3. The face-up Treatments in the Medical Library
You may draw from all three places on a single turn if you have
sufficient draws, or you may simply draw from one or two of these
places. All cards cost one draw to take - with the exception of the Panacea, as
Regardless of your hand size at the start of your turn, draw back up to
7 cards if you cured a Patient. Some Action cards - or having drawn a
face-up Panacea in a previous turn - may cause your hand to be smaller than 7
cards at the start of your turn. However, this does not mean that your hand is
Your starting hand has 6 Treatment cards and 1 Action card. But, your
subsequent hands can have any balance of Treatment and Action cards
that you would like. You do not need to have any Action cards in your hand - or
you could fill your hand with Action cards. It’s up to you.
Note: If any deck runs out, shuffle the corresponding discard pile and make that the
new draw deck.
Drawing After Not Curing a Patient
There are several reasons that you might not cure a Patient on your turn:
1. You are unable to do so with the Treatment cards in your hand.
2. An Action card prevents you from doing so.
3. You choose not to do so.
If you do not cure a Patient on your turn, you may draw up to 10
cards in hand, then discard down to 7.
This only applies to successfully curing a Patient. Playing an Action card at the start of your
turn does not prevent you from taking these additional draws. Also, if you attempt to cure a
Patient but are thwarted by an Action card, you may take these additional draws.
When taking extra draws after not curing a Patient, drawing a face-up Panacea
still costs 2 draws. However, it will not necessarily reduce your hand size at the
end of your turn. For example, let’s say that you play an Action card but do not
treat a Patient (and have 6 cards in your hand). You draw a face-up Panacea,
spending 2 of your 4 draws. You replace it with another face-up Panacea and
decide to draw that card as well, spending your last 2 draws. You would have 8
cards in your hand and need to discard only 1 card to reach your hand size of 7.
You may not discard cards before taking draws regardless of whether
you cured a Patient or not. The only ways to discard cards is by treating, by
the effects of Action cards, or after taking additional draws because you did not
cure a patient this turn.
Most of your money will come from the value of your cured Patients.
However, you are also able to earn two kinds of bonuses if you are able to treat
the right combinations of Patients.
During setup, the first Patients into the Waiting Room determined the two
available Specialist bonuses for this game. Each Specialist bonus is worth £75.
To earn a Specialist bonus, you must meet both of the following criteria:
1. You must have cured at least 3 Patients from that class, including
Patients with the same name.
2. You have treated more Patients of this class than any
other doctor in this game.
In the case of a tie - where two doctors have both cured the same number
of Patients from that class - neither doctor earns the bonus. As such, the
Specialist bonus can be lost over the course of the game by other doctors’
curing Patients or by a needed Patient leaving your cured pile.
Whereas each Specialist bonus can only be held by a single doctor, all doctors
in the game can earn the Generalist bonus. In order to earn the Generalist
bonus, you must have one of each of the six classes of Patients in
your cured pile - Bestial, Insane, Phantasmal, Reanimated, Sanguinolent,
and Scientific. (Note: This does not include the Demon class in the game.)
All doctors who have cured one of each class of Patient earn the Generalist
bonus. Other doctors’ treatment of Patients cannot affect your Generalist bonus
once you have earned it. The only way to lose your Generalist bonus is to no
longer have one of each class of Patient in your Cured pile.
The 11th turn of the game is similar to the other turns but has two key differences:
1. No Action cards may be played.
2. Any Action cards in play are discarded. Action cards affecting
doctors or modifying Patients in the Waiting Room are no longer in
effect. (For example, if a doctor has Tough Case played against them
and has not resolved it by the start of the 11th round, it is no longer in effect.) However, effects on cured Patients (such as the £25 bonus from Hypochondriac) are considered already resolved and are not affected.
End of the Game
After the end of the 11th turn, doctors tally their scores from cured Patients and bonuses. The doctor who has earned the most money for the
practice is the winner.
In case of a tie, the doctor who has cured the most Patients is the winner. If there is still a tie, the doctor who has cured the most Legends (Patients who require 4 treatments) is the winner. In the event that this, too, is a tie, all tied doctors are considered the winners.
Game Design: Doug Levandowski & John McNeill
Art: Jeff Drylewicz
Graphic Design: John McNeill (cards, icons, tokens, clock, rulebook), Doug Levandowski (rulebook), Steve Simzak (icons, box)
Official Playtesters: Arianna & Krista Bracy, Ben Brown, Brian Calvary, Frank & Linda Durant, Charlie Ecenbarger, Annie Galvin, Game and a Curry, Dawn & Matthew Gomez, Matt Gula, Bob & Liz Keith, KreativSnail & DragonMom, Andrea Levandowski, Cecie & Will Levandowski, Fatima Matos, Joshua Mattern, Brian & Elizabeth Rache, David Rache, Roberto Rodriguez, Eric & Jess Ryles, Aubrey & Carl Sebestyen, B.H. Snow, Ivan Turner, Karen Veltri, Chris & Suzanne Zinsli
And a big thanks to all of our Kickstarter backers who helped us make this dream a reality!
Gothic Doctor is a trademark of Red Shoe Games. Please contact
RedShoeGaming@gmail.com with any questions or concerns about the game.