In a mysterious steppe town, a plague breaks out that seems to have a will of its own. It's merciless and deadly. Three healers challenge it: a learned Bachelor; the Haruspex, the son of a local shaman; and the Changeling — a half-deranged girl who claims to be a saint. Each of the three knows how to save the town, but their methods are incompatible. Will they overcome their differences for the greater good? Unlikely.
And yet they are the town's only chance. The disease cannot be shot, it cannot be overpowered. The only thing you can do is outplay it.
The Plague aims to kill several preselected victims before the healers fulfill their missions. This role will likely fit the players who prefer to be sneaky, stealthy, upset others' plans, be a one-person team, and generally play main villain.
Others become the healers. Each of them has their own strong suits, but none can overcome the Plague on their own — so they'll have to cooperate, forging temporary alliances and executing common strategies. But the game only has one winner, who gets everything — while the rest will have wasted their efforts in vain. Thus the healers' roles are most likely to be of interest to the players who like to negotiate, cooperate, break their promises, negotiate again, keep an eye on a lot of events unfolding in every corner of the map, and then break their promises once more.
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- 2–4 players.
- An average session takes 60-80 min.
- Each player takes on the role of one of the three Healers or the Plague.
- Each Healer has their own playstyle and abilities, and the Plague's gameplay is completely different.
- The Healers’ goal is to resolve various Events while preserving as many of their Ward companions as possible. The Plague’s goal is to kill certain Wards.
- The Healers move through the Town on their own or send their Wards to do their bidding. The Plague moves around stealthily, showing itself only to kill its targets or set traps.
- Players will have to think their moves through carefully while trying to guess what the others plan to do. They will also have to talk, bluff, and manipulate.
- Every action has consequences. Players will have to evaluate risks and take on responsibility for their Wards.
- 1 Game Rulebook
- 1 Town Map
- 4 Character sheets (three for the Healers, one for the Plague)
- 4 Quick Reference sheets (three for the Healers, one for the Plague)
- 3 Healer pieces
- 9 Ward pieces
- 12 black piece stands
- 12 white piece stands
- 9 Obituary cards (to choose the victims for the Plague’s Hit List)
- 1 Blockade token
- 3 Pact tokens (one per Healer)
- 24 Plague Strains
(used by The Plague to infect The Town)
- 3 Ticker tokens (used to mark how close each of Healers is to winning the game)
- 1 Plague’s Notebook (to write down The Plague’s movement and actions)
- 15 Event cards
- 30 Prescription Cards (10 per Healer)
- 45 Resource counters:
15 Coins, 15 Secrets, and 15 Keys
Tabletop Pathologic has an official soundtrack — you are welcome to play it during gaming sessions.
To study Pathologic Tabletop in full detail before actually buying it, you can download and read the complete rulebook.
If you play Pathologic Tabletop a lot, sooner or later the Plague’s Notebook may run out of space. To solve this, you can simply download this blank page and print out as many as you need.
Pathologic Tabletop is based on a survival adventure of the same name. The original video game was released in 2005 to a critical success, a number of rewards, and — later — a cult classic status.
The plot of the video game is quite similar to the tabletop: the same characters duel the same elusive and merciless foe in the same town. However, in the original game, the player only controlled one healer at a time — and could not control the Plague at all. This makes the tabletop version a fresh experience for both newcomers and the old fans who want to look at the same story from a new angle.
Through the Plague’s eyes, perhaps.
"Truth is the name of the god I find worthy of worshipping. No matter what happens next, I will unveil the truth — and then I will act as my conscience commands me to act. I will be the one performing the surgery. Medicum morbo adhibere."
The Bachelor’s starting resource, a Coin, doesn’t necessarily stand for wealth, but rather authority: the local powers that be respect the big-city celebrity and eagerly take orders from him. He can enforce quarantine measures, limit the movement of other characters, and otherwise influence the social processes in the town.
The Bachelor’s main resource is his administrative power.
"Any choice is the right choice as long as it is willed.This how it is. I have to make the panacea if I am ever to fulfill the duty my father had entrusted to me."
The Haruspex’s starting resource, a Secret, highlights the fact that he is privy to the mysteries impenetrable to others. As a local, he always knows which shortcut to take and how to obtain water.
The Haruspex would rarely find himself empty-handed — finding resources is his strong suit.
"It would take a miracle for us to get out of here without causing irreversible damage. But then — am I not a miracle-worker? Untie my hands and let me do what I can!"
The Changeling starts with a Key since she unlocks hearts and doors with equal ease. Clara can change a person’s fate — for example, shielding them from the Plague, which she sometimes can control.
However, the Changeling uses her talents to different ends, often focussing on hindering other Healers first and foremost.
"We put our trust in him, yet he was not prepared to face the calamity. Having devoured him, the Sand Plague ventured further into the Steppe, seeped through the earth down to its subterranean waters… and then the pestilence took over these lands."
The Plague acts very much unlike other characters: invisible and lethal, it is also slower. Instead of healing, it kills. And whenever there is doubt (say, a game ends in a draw), it wins.
But no matter how competitive the Bachelor, the Haruspex, and the Changeling get, the Plague is their common arch-nemesis, so if you step in its shoes, be prepared to stand alone against the sometimes united force of other players.
If you have a question regarding the rules, mechanics, components, or future fate of the game, please take a look at the FAQ—perhaps you'll find the answer there.FAQ