Bad Medicine base game

Bad Medicine is a raucous party game of quick thinking and hilarious storytelling.

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.

Bad Medicine has individual-play rules for 3-4 players, and team-play rules for 5-8 players. Both result in games that are weird and hilarious.

Game overview

Each card in Bad Medicine contains a fragment of a drug name at the top of the card, a descriptive keyword in the middle, and a side effect on the bottom. At the start of the game, you’ll draw a random card and look at its side effect; that is the Malady to treat this round.

When you play Bad Medicine with 3-4 players, each player will get 7 cards that they’ll use to treat the Malady. Simultaneously, you’ll all silently choose 3 cards for your drug’s name at the top and 2 cards for their descriptive keywords. You’ll be left with 2 cards in your hand.

The first player reveals their 5 cards one at a time. They pitch their drug’s name and explain how the descriptive keywords they chose treats the Malady. When they’re done, each player gives them one of their 2 cards. The pitching player chooses one of these cards for their drug’s side effect; they’ll now have to explain why it’s not as bad as it sounds! The player whose side effect they chose gets 1 point.

Everyone redraws back up to 2 cards, and the next player pitches, and so on.

Once everyone has had a chance to pitch, everyone will vote for their favorite pitch. Of course, you can’t vote for yourself! You’ll get 2 points for each vote you receive.

At the end of the round, you’ll change the Malady. Obviously, it is the side effect of the drug that got the most votes this round!

When you play Bad Medicine with 5-8 players, you’ll form teams of two players every round. One player on a team “Formulates,” and the other player “Pitches.”

The Formulating player draws 6 cards, and must choose 3 for their drug’s name, 2 for their descriptive keywords, and 1 for their side effect. They’ll pass these cards to their Pitching teammate face-down.

Once all Formulating players are done, each Pitching player must pitch their drugs without peeking at them first!

At the end of the round, you’ll vote for your favorite team. Both Pitching and Formulating players get 1 point for every vote received. You’ll assign new teams next round.

In any player count, the player with the most points after 3 rounds wins!

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