FAQ in the Box: Game Play

Don Gusano answers some questions that have been asked by players of Quack in the Box.


 Q: How many players can play?

A: There is no hard cap on the number of players. The game gets slower as you exceed 8 people, with a precipitous decline in patient survival due to the large number of malign “Anytime” cards in circulation. This condition can be ameliorated with extra beer.


Q: How do you decide on how many Infamy points before the angry mob burns down your office?

A: The “Infamy Threshold” is decided by mutual assent at the beginning of the game. For a shorter game, 5-6 is suggested; for longer, 10-12.


Q: An Anytime card redirected one of my Treatments onto Dr. Bob’s Patient. What happens in terms of getting money and infamy?

A: If the Patient survives, then you get all the money from the Treatment. If the Patient dies, you and Dr. Bob split the Infamy (round up).


Q: In the rules it says “when all but 2 players have succombed to the angry mob or fled to Switzerland” that triggers the endgame round. But for a 2-player game that means you start in endgame! How do you decide when endgame starts?

A: Sorry. You must follow the rules dogmatically. Or, decide at the beginning of the game (when picking your Infamy Threshold). Options include when everyone has fled to Switzerland or been mobbed, or when all but 1 player has fled to Switzerland or been mobbed.


Q: My hand keeps filling up with Anytime cards and I have no Treatments! Can I discard cards?

A: No (although there is an Anytime card that permits that). If you roll and have to play more Treatments than you have in your hand, you must play all the Treatments you do have and then play an Anytime card.  If you have no valid target for the Anytime card you can discard it instead.


Q: Do I collect money at the end of every round of Treatments, or only when the Patient leaves my office (either dies or is cured)?

A: After every round. When your patient dies, you don’t get paid for any Treatments performed that round, but you get to keep your current bank balance including payments for previous rounds.


Q: How do I keep track of money?

A: The Don suggests paper and pencil. Play money works too. Plastic surgeons may opt to use real money.

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