In Citadels, you are a medieval ruler trying to complete your city before your opponents can build theirs. Expand your city by adding new districts, but be sure to invest wisely: Some districts are more valuable than others, but cost more gold to build.
There is more to ruling a city than gold, however. Lords, ladies, and other nobility all have a role to play. The game changes each turn as each player secretly chooses a new role -- the Assassin, Thief, Magician, King, Bishop, Merchant, Architect, or Warlord -- and the power that comes with it.
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Citadels is a card game of bluffing, deduction, and city-building for two to seven players, ages 10 and up.
Object of the Game
In Citadels, you and your opponents play the leaders of rival cities increasing their prosperity by building new districts. The game ends after one player builds eight districts, and the players receive points based on what districts they have in their cities. The player with the most points wins.
These cards represent the various districts that you can add to your city. Each district card has a cost, represented by a number of gold coins along the card's left edge. In order to put a district card into play, you must pay its cost in gold.
Each district card also has a color in the bottom left corner, which tells you what type of district it is:
Noble (provides income to the King)
Religious (provides income to the Bishop)
Trade (provides income to the Merchant)
Military (provides income to the Warlord)
Special (provides special benefits described on the cards themselves)
These cards represent the leaders of the players' cities. There are 18 character cards in the game, eight of which are used in the basic game. The other 10 characters are bonus cards, which are used in the expansion game (described later in these rules).
Each character card has a rank number from 1 to 9.
• Gold Counters: Players collect and spend gold over the course of the game. The gold is collected in a central "bank" before the game begins.
• Crown Counter: The player with the crown counter chooses his character first each round (see below for details).
• Score Counters: You may use these counters to help keep track of your points at the end of the game.
• Character Counters: Each of these counters corresponds to one of the 18 character cards. Character counters are only used in the expansion game (described later in these rules).
Setting up the basic game
1. Before the game begins, remove all the bonus character cards (with stars below their numbers) from the game.
2. Shuffle the eight remaining character cards together into one deck. This is called the Character Deck. If you have still some deck protectors from the good old times when you played Magic the Gathering, I suggest you use them for the character cards, which are to be shuffled A LOT during each game.
3. Shuffle the district cards together into one deck. This is called the District Deck.
4. Deal each player four random district cards from the District Deck.
5. Each player receives two gold from the bank.
6. The oldest player receives the crown counter.
Playing the game
Playing the game with 4-6 players is described below. If you are playing with 2, 3, or 7 players, see the special rules on the next page.
Citadels is played in a series of rounds. There are four steps in each round.
Step One: Remove Characters
• Draw one card from the Character Deck and set it aside, face-down in the center of the table, without looking at it. This card will not be used this round.
• Draw up to three cards (depending on the number of players, see below) from the Character Deck and set them aside face-up. These cards will also not be used this round. Note: If you draw the King card to be set aside face-up, immediately replace it with another card from the Character Deck, then shuffle the King back into deck.
# of players
# of face-up cards
Step Two: Choose Characters
The player who has the crown takes the Character Deck and secretly chooses a character. He then passes the remaining character cards to the player on his left, who also chooses a card, and passes the remaining cards to the left. This continues until each player has chosen one card from the Character Deck. The last player chooses from the two remaining cards, and places the last card face-down in the center of the table.
Step Three: Player Turns
Once all the character cards are passed out, the player who has the crown calls out the names of each of the char-acters, in the order of their rank numbers. (He first calls out "Assassin" (#1), then "Thief" (#2), and so on.) If none of the players has a given character, the player with the crown moves onto the next character.
When the name of your character card is called, you must reveal your character card, place it face-up in front of you, and take your turn. When your turn is over, the player with the crown calls the name of the next character card. In this manner, play proceeds in the order of the character cards.
On Your Turn
On your turn, you must first take an action, then you may build a district card.
1) Take an Action: At the beginning of your turn, you must either
• take two gold from the bank,
• or draw two district cards from the District Deck, choose one to put in your hand, and put the other on the bottom of the deck.
2) Build a District Card: You may build one district card into your city (that is, play it from your hand onto the table in front of you). In order to do so, you must pay the cost of the district, in gold, to the bank. You may choose not to build a district card if you wish. You may never have two identical districts (two castles, two markets, etc.) in your city.
Each character also has a power. You may use your character's power once during your turn. (The powers of each character are summarized on their cards and detailed at the end of these rules. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the detailed powers before playing.)
Step Four: End of Round
After all the characters have been called, the players return their cards to the Character Deck, which is shuffled, and a new round begins.
When a player builds an eighth district, the players finish the round. The game ends at the end of that round. At the end of the game, each player receives points as follows. (You can use the scoring counters to help keep track of how many points you receive.)
• Points equal to the total costs of all the districts in a player's city
• + 3 points if a player has districts of each of the five colors
• +4 for the first player to build eight districts
• +2 for each subsequent player to build eight districts
Two- or Three-player Game
In a two- or three-player game, both players play with two characters apiece. The game is played normally, except that each player plays twice each round (once for each character). Players do not have to seperate their gold or their districts between their characters, as they still only have one city. A player can, for example, keep the money earned by his first character to build an expensive district with his second character.
If you are playing with two or three players, skip the first two steps of the round ("Remove Characters" and "Choose Characters") and follow the following instructions instead:
1. The player who has the crown (Player A) takes the Character Deck, discards the top card face-down in the center of the table without looking at it, and secretly chooses a character for himself. He then passes the remaining six character cards to the other player (Player B).
2. Player B chooses one card from the Character Deck for himself, and chooses another to discard face-down in the center of the table. He then passes the remaining four cards to Player A.
3. Player A takes one of the four cards into his hand, places one more card face-down at the center of the table, and passes the last two cards to Player B.
4. Player B takes one card and places the last card face-down at the center of the table.
The player who has the crown takes the Character Deck, discards the top card face-down in the center of the table without looking at it, and secretly chooses a character for himself.
He then passes the remaining character cards to the player on his left, who also chooses a card, and passes the remaining cards to the left.
This continues until each player has chosen two cards from the Character Deck. The last player chooses from the two remaining cards, and places the last card face-down in the center of the table.
During the "Choose Characters" step of a seven-player game, when the seventh player gets one character card from the sixth player, he also takes the face-down discarded card. He then chooses one of these two cards and discards the other one, face-down.
Variant: Shorter Game
The game ends when a player has seven districts, not eight.
Each character has a power. You may use your character's power once during your turn. Each character's power is summarized on its card, but is detailed in the list below.
Note: Characters who receive income for having certain types of districts in their cities (the King, Emperor, Bishop, Abbot, Merchant, Diplomat, and Warlord) may receive the extra gold at any time. You may receive your income either before building new districts (if you need the gold in order to build the districts), or after building new districts (if the newlybuilt districts give you income). All income must be received at once, however. If you receive income at the beginning of your turn, you cannot receive additional income from any districts you build during your turn.
1 - Assassin
Announce a character you wish to murder. The player who has the murdered character says nothing, and says nothing when the character is called to take his turn. The murdered character misses his entire turn.
2 - Thief
Announce a character from whom you wish to steal. When the player who has this character isc alled upon and shows his character card, you take all of his gold. You may not steal from the Assassin or the character that the Assassin murdered.
3 - Magician
At any time during your turn, you may do one of the following two things:
• Exchange your entire hand of cards (not the cards in your city) with the hand of another player. This applies even if you have no cards in your hand, in which case you simply take the other player's cards.
• Discard any number of cards from your hand to the bottom of the District Deck, then draw an equal number of cards from the top of the District Deck.
4 - King
You receive one gold for each noble (yellow) district in your city. When the King is called, you immediately receive the crown counter. You will now call for characters, and will be the first player to choose your character during the next round. If no King is chosen during the next round, you will keep the crown counter. If you are murdered, you skip your turn like any other character. Nevertheless, after the last player has played his turn, when it becomes known that you had the King character, you take the crown counter (as the king's heir) and you choose your character first on the next round.
5 - Bishop
You receive one gold for each religious (blue) district in your city. Your districts may not be destroyed by the Warlord.
6 - Merchant
You receive one gold for each trade (green) district in your city. After you take an action, you receive one extra gold. Therefore, you can either receive three gold, or draw a card and receive one gold.
7 - Architect
After you take an action, you draw two extra district cards and put both in your hand. You may build up to three districts during your turn.
8 - Warlord
You receive one gold for each military (red) district in your city. At the end of your turn, you may destroy one district of your choice by paying a number of gold equal to one less than the cost of the district. Thus, you may destroy a cost 1 district for free, a cost 2 district for 1 gold, or a cost 5 district for 4 gold. You may destroy one of your own districts. You may not, however, destroy a district in a city that is already completed by having eight districts.