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 the folks at the lab may have discovered.
Did we mention your company is huge? It's huge enough that the people who formulate the drugs and the people who pitch the drugs don't really talk to each other, so don't be surprised when the person pitching your company's drug is just as surprised as everyone else when she sees what it actually does...
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.
In a 3-4 player game, each player gets seven cards, and chooses three cards for their drug names and two cards for their descriptions. Once everyone has chosen their cards, everyone pitches their drug in turn. While one player is making his pitch, the other players pass a card to the pitching player. The pitching player chooses one card to incorporate into his pitch as a side effect, and explain why it's not as bad as it sounds. The player whose side effect got chosen gets a point!
In a 5-8 player game, players split off into teams. One player on a team gets six cards, and chooses three cards for their drug names, two cards for their descriptions, and one card for its side effect. He passes them all face-down to his teammate, who won't see the cards until she starts her pitch!
After all players have made their pitches, everyone votes on their favorite drug. Players score points for getting votes, and teams rotate every turn. The player with the most points after four rounds wins!
The Second Edition incorporates several changes:
Bad Medicine: Second Opinion will include 100-150 new cards for Bad Medicine and a new mechanism that can add "surprise" cards to your pitch.
So you've proven your worth in the past. We know you can run an ordinary TV network. Big deal. We have a bigger challenge for you. Here are 12 unique Network Executives, each with their own weird characteristics. Every Executive has powers, but they also have significant liabilities. Can you master each executive's idiosyncrasies, draft the best Season 0 cards, claim your true status as a Mogul, and come out on top?
The Networks: Executives, a full expansion for The Networks, changes the gameplay in a few ways. First, the players all choose a Network Executive at the start of the game. Each Network Executive has their own advantages and drawbacks. Second, there is a new deck of Show Cards with a different mix of Genres. Each Genre now has an equal chance of appearing, unlike in the base game where Reality and Sports shows were less common. However, Sports Shows now have a higher upkeep, and Reality Shows don't get you as many Viewers on average as another Show with a bunch of Stars. Third, players no longer automatically get starting Public Access Shows, Stars, or Ads. Instead there is a starting "Pilot Season" draft in which players pick their starting TV shows. These starting Shows determine a player's starting resources, like Stars, Ads, and extra money. Fourth, you now get a Mogul Card when you get your first 5-Show Genre Bonus or your second 3-Show Genre Bonus. These Mogul Cards act like supercharged Network Cards, so they're worth picking up!
Please note that the card backs are slightly darker than the base game and may be noticable during play.
A mini-expansion for The Networks, consisting of cards unlocked by Kickstarter stretch goals.
The Networks: Telly Time, an expansion for The Networks, features nine genres and a new "noughts-and-crosses" way to get a genre bonus, with the shows in this item likely to be familiar to those from the UK. Telly Time comes in a small tuckbox, which contains 59 cards and 35 small plastic chips. Most of the cards are new TV shows.
45 of the cards in Telly Time are brand new Shows. There are three new Genres represented:
Note that you must have The Networks base game in order to play Telly Time! The Networks: Telly Time is partially compatible with The Networks: On the Air. The designer doesn't recommend playing it with the Shows from On the Air, but it will work just fine with the Stars, Ads, and Network Cards from On the Air.
The Networks: Telly Time is fully compatible with The Networks: Executives. Mogul Cards work the same way, except that you pick them up when you move the marker on your Genre-Bonus-O-Meter to the end.