A humorous party game for 3-8 players. Players take on the role of a Psycho!Therapist and attempt to treat people with problems ranging from weird to WTF?!
This game is like something out of Whose Line Is It Anyway, and Machine of Death.
Cards: There are a variety of cards in Psycho!Therapist. Each is described below:
TYPE Cards: These cards have adjectives that describe the way the client presents themselves, such as Angry, Friendly, Groggy, etc.
CLIENT Cards: These cards typically identify your client’s occupation, such as Doctor, Lawyer, Ice Cream Truck Driver, etc.
PROBLEM Cards: These cards provide a description of the kind of problem the client has, such as a phobia, being on probation, or medical illness that is related to the behavior.
BEHAVIOR Cards: These cards describe the specific action the person is taking that is deviant, dangerous, dysfunctional, or causes distress such as: Giving play by play commentary on other people’s behavior, doing inappropriate things on the copy machine, or poking an eye out (Mama told you it would happen!)
TOOL Cards: These cards list objects, some very specific (a 10 foot pole) and others up the players imagination (something that begins with the letter B) that the player uses to enhance their chances of a successful treatment. These also contain a modifier (+5, +10+) which is added to their dice roll to determine success or failure.
DICE: The dice included in the set are called Percentile Dice. There is a tens dice and a ones dice. The scores range from 01 to 100 (a roll of 00,0). Thus a roll of 40 on the tens dice and 7 on the ones dice equals a result of 47%.
MODIFIER Cards: these are double sided, with +10 (in green) on one side and -10 (in red) on the other. These are used when players either make exceptionally good rolls (critical success) or exceptionally bad rolls (critical failures).They only last until they are played on their next turn.
GAMEBOARD and PLAY MATS
The Mats are included to help you keep score in terms of Therapeutic Successes, Therapeutic Failures, and to keep track of the Tools you use.
The Base Mechanic: Players will come up with imaginative treatments for the clients described in the game. Patients are made up of a Type, Client, Problem, and Behavior. So when creating a random patient for the game, you draw one of each card and place them together (Game mode determines if they are laid out in the center of the board, or stacked with only the TYPE card on top face up).
All patients have a Base Chance of Success of 50% to start (though this can decrease if a Player fails in their attempt at Psycho!Therapy). Players then describe their treatment plan with the patient in an attempt to cure them. Using the Tools adds to the chance of the Players success. Players will rarely have more than 3 Tools, but the bonuses are cumulative. Whenever Tools are used, they modify the Base Chance of Success (hence, a player using all three tools that have +5 modifiers now has a 65% chance of success).
Once the treatment plans have been described (and in some modes the Clinical decides which player’s treatment plan sounds best), the modifiers from the Tools are added together, the player rolls the dice and tries to get the target number or below in order to have a therapeutic success.
So if Player 1 had used all three tools and gained a +15, they would need to roll 65 or less on the percentile dice (50% Base Chance + 15 from the Tools = 65% chance of success).
A Role-playing Suggestion:
Completely Optional but very fun: Instead of just drawing the cards and focusing on the solution, the game can be a lot more fun when other players decide to improvise things the client might say or do. Remember that they will generally be compliant with the therapist and the use of tools (refer to the Type cards – hence, in the case of a Belligerent Client, the therapist might just have to make them use the tools despite their stubbornness, a Shy client might have to be coaxed or encouraged to use them). This opens the window to some really funny one-liners and statements!
Also, don’t be afraid to invent other objects that help place the Tools in context. You can certainly use other things besides your tools, they just don’t add to your chances of Therapeutic Success (see the example in the next column where Mark used an emergency air mask).
When Tools are generic, such as “a flask containing a liquid”, you get to choose all the details!.
To help with the characterization of the patient, think of any stereotypes about the Client first. Then, think of what would be frustrating to them about their job. What would they complain about? This is a good way to get a funny initial feel for the Client. You can even name them if you want!
Winning And Losing The Game
See the different modes for specific win/lose conditions. In general, the game continues until a Psycho!Therapist reaches 4 Therapeutic Successes, or there are no more clients to treat (either all in jail or have become Serial Killers).
Alternate Rule #2 (for Court Ordered or Dark Mode): If having no winner bothers you, the person with the most Therapeutic Successes when the game stops is considered the winner.