In Citadels, each player leads a city and seeks to
increase its prosperity by building new city districts.
The game ends after one player has built his eight
district, after which a winner is determined by
Building the most impressive city however, is not
an easy task. Only by influencing nobles, merchants,
and other powerful characters of the realm will you
Citadels includes district cards, character cards,
reference cards, gold counters, and the wooden
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 exhibits
a color on its bottom left hand corner,
which tells you what type of district it is:
Yellow Noble (provides income to the King)
Blue Religious (provides income to the Bishop)
Green Trade (provides income to the Merchant)
Red Military (provides income to the Warlord)
Purple Special (provides the special benefits
described on the card itself)
Fourteen of the purple district cards are bonus
cards marked by a white star. Before you play your
first game, remove these cards. Rules for how to use
the bonus district cards are found later.
These cards represent the
characters that players will seek
to influence during every game
round. There are 8 basic
characters in Citadels, but in this
edition you will also find 10
additional bonus character cards
marked by a white star. These
bonus characters are not used in
the basic game. Before you play
your first game, remove these cards. As with the
district bonus cards, we will teach you how to use
them later in this rules set.
In addition to a special ability, each
character card has a rank number
between 1 to 9. This is printed on the
upper left hand side of the card.
Each player should be given one of these cards at
the beginning of the game. They are useful for
gameplay, especially during your first few games.
These represent the gold needed to build district
cards. They should be placed on the table in a
central “Bank” at the beginning of the game.
The Wooden Crown counter
The player who has the Crown is the first player to
choose a character card during the next
round. The Crown switches owners
whenever another player uses the ability of
the “King” character.
SETTING UP THE BASIC GAME
To prepare Citadels for play, follow these steps:
1. Remove the bonus character and district cards
(marked by a white star).
2. Shuffle the eight remaining character cards
together into one deck. This is called the Character
3. Shuffle the remaining district cards together into
one deck. This is called the District Deck.
4. Each player is then dealt four random district
cards from the District Deck.
5. Each player receives two gold from the bank.
6. The oldest player receives the Crown.
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
later in this rules set.
Citadels is played over a series of
rounds. There are four steps to each
Step One: Remove Characters
First draw one random card from the
Character Deck and set it facedown
in the center of the table
without looking at it. This card
will not be used this round.
Then draw a second set of cards from the
Character Deck and set them faceup in the middle
of the table (the number of such faceup cards
depends on the number of players, see the table
These faceup cards will not be used this round.
Special rule: If you draw the “King” character to
be faceup, immediately replace it with another
random card from the Character Deck, then shuffle
the King back into the Character Deck.
Step Two: Choose Characters
The player who currently possesses the Crown
now takes the Character Deck, looks at the cards,
and secretly chooses a character from here. He then
passes the remaining character cards to the player on
his left, who also secretly chooses a card and passes
the remaining cards to the left, etc. This continues
until each player has chosen one card from the
Character Deck. After the last player has chosen, the
single remaining unchosen card is placed facedown
in the center of the table.
Step Three: Player Turns
Once all players have chosen a character card, the
player who has the Crown now calls out the name of
each character one-at-a-time in the order of
numerical rank. In this way, he will first call out the
“Assassin” (#1), then the “Thief” (#2), etc. If no
FACE UP CARDS FOR 4-7 PLAYERS
player reveals that a character when called, simply
proceed to call out the next character in rank order.
When the name of your character card is called,
you must reveal your character card, place it faceup
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 to every character in order of their rank
number, giving all players one turn (unless
assassinated, of course).
On Your Turn
On your turn, you must first take an action, after
which you may build a district card.
1) Take an Action: At the beginning of your turn,
you must do one of the following:
• Take two gold from the bank,
• Or, draw two district cards from the District
Deck, choose one card to put in your hand, and
place the other card on the bottom of the District
2) Build a District Card: After you have done
one of the two things above, you may build one
district card in 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
The gold cost of building a district card is
equal to the number of gold coins printed on
the upper left hand side of the card.
You may not build a district so that you have two
identical districts (two “Castle” cards, two “Market”
cards, etc.) in your city.
The Special Abilities of Characters
Each character has a special ability, also called its
power. You may use your character’s power once
during your turn. The powers of each character are
summarized on their respective cards and explained
in detail at the end of these rules. Be sure to
familiarize yourself with the detailed powers before
playing your first game.
Step Four: End of Round
After all the characters have been called, each
player returns his character card to the Character
Deck, which is shuffled, and a new round begins.
When a player builds his eighth district, the game
ends after the current round is completed. At the end
of the game, each player receives points for all of
• A player receives a number of points equal to the
total combined gold cost of all the district cards in
his city at the end of the game
• If a player has at least one district in each of the
five colors, he receives 3 points
• If a player was the first player to build
eight districts, he receives 4 points
• All other players that have
managed to build eight districts at the
end of the game receive 2 points
The winner of the game is the
player with the most points.
Two- or Three-Player Games
In a two- or three-player game, all players play
with two characters each. The game is played
normally, except that each player will have two turns
during each round (one turn for each character).
Players do not have to separate 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, the
rules for preparing the character deck and choosing
character cards is changed in the following ways:
1. The player who has the Crown (Player A) shuffles
the Character Deck and places a random character
card facedown in the center of the table. He then
secretly selects a character card from the remaining
cards and passes the remaining six character cards to
the other player (Player B).
2. Player B selects one card from the Character
Deck for himself, and then chooses and places
another card facedown in the center of the table. He
then passes the remaining four cards to Player A.
3. Player A selects one of the remaining four cards
for himself, after which he chooses and places
another of the cards facedown in the center of the
table. He then passes the remaining two cards to
4. Player B takes one of the remaining cards, placing
the last card facedown in the center of the table.
The Three-Player Game
The player with the Crown takes the Character
Deck, places a random card facedown in the middle
of the table, and then secretly chooses a character
He then passes the remaining character cards to
the player on his left, who also chooses a card, and
then passes the remaining cards to the left, etc.
This continues until each player has chosen two
cards from the Character Deck. The last player will
select one of the two remaining cards, and place the
last card facedown in the center of the table.
The Seven-Player Game
A seven player game of Citadels plays much like
the normal game, with one exception:
During the “Choose Characters” step of a sevenplayer
game, when the seventh player is handed the
last character card from the sixth player, he secretly
looks at the facedown card on the table. He will then
choose one of these two cards, placing the other card
facedown in the center of the table, allowing no
other player to look at it.
This edition of Citadels includes 10 extra bonus
Character cards (each marked with a white star), and
14 extra purple district cards (also marked with a
white star). You can add these bonus cards to your
Citadels game for more fun and variety.
The bonus Character cards can be used in the
Before the game begins, players may agree to
remove one or two of the original eight character
cards and replace them with the bonus characters of
the same rank numbers. For example, you may agree
to remove the Merchant (#6) and replace him with
the Alchemist (#6).
If you decide to use one of the rank 9 characters
in a four- to seven-player game, you must place a
number of random faceup at the beginning of each
round, as detailed in the table below.
When using a rank 9 character
card, you can play Citadels with
eight players. When playing
with eight players, simply
use the rule for the sevenplayer
game in which the
last player may chose
between the remaining
character and the
facedown character in the
middle of the table.
FACEUP CARDS FOR 4-7 PLAYERS
WHEN PLAYING WITH 9 CHARACTERS
The Bonus District Cards
Before the game begins, players may agree to add
2-3 additional purple district cards to the District Deck
from the 14 available bonus district cards. If players
wish to use more than 2-3 of the bonus district cards,
they should remove one existing purple district card
for each additional bonus district card used.
If players agree, the game can be made shorter by
playing to seven districts instead of eight.
Every character in Citadels has a unique special
power. You may (it is not mandatory to use the
special power) use your character’s power once at
any point during your turn. Each character’s power
is summarized on its card, and detailed below:
Note: Characters who receive income for certain
types of districts in their cities (the King, Emperor,
Bishop, Abbot, Merchant, Diplomat, and Warlord)
may use their power to receive this gold at any point
in their turn. Thus you may choose to receive your
income either before building new districts (if you
need the gold in order to
build the districts), or
after building new
districts (to gain
income from the
newly built district).
You cannot, however,
Announce the title of another character
that you wish to murder. The player who has
the murdered character must say nothing, and
must remain silent when the murdered
character is called upon to take his turn. The
murdered character misses his entire turn.
Announce the title of a character from
whom you wish to steal. When the player
who has that character is called upon to take
his turn, you first take all of his gold. You
may not steal from the Assassin or the
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).
• Place any number of cards from your hand
facedown at the bottom of the District Deck,
then draw an equal number of cards from the
top of the District Deck.
You receive one gold for each noble
(yellow) district in your city.
When the King is called, you immediately
receive the Crown. You will now call the
characters, and you will be the first player to
choose your character during the next round.
If there is no King during the next round,
you keep the Crown. 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 murdered King’s character card, you
take the Crown (as the king's heir).
You receive one gold for each religious
(blue) district in your city. Your districts
may not be destroyed by the Warlord.
You receive one gold for each trade
(green) district in your city. After you take
an action, you receive one additional gold.
After you take an action, you draw two
additional district cards and put both in your
hand. You may build up to three districts
during your turn.
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, etc. 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.
Design: Bruno Faidutti
Illustration: Julien Delval, Florence Magnin, Jean-Louis Mourier, Jesper
Ejsing, Bjarne Hansen
Graphic Design: Cyrille Daujean, Brian Schomburg, Scott Nicely, Richard
Spicer, Christian T. Petersen
Editing & Rules: Darrell Hardy, Christian T. Petersen
Citadels and Citadels: Dark City Expansion are a trademark of Fantasy
Flight Publishing, Inc. Copyright ©2006 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All
rights reserved. No part of this product may be reproduced without specific
permission from the publisher.
After you take an action, announce the
title of another character that you wish to
bewitch, then immediately end your turn.
When the bewitched character is called upon,
its player must show his character card, take
an action, and then immediately end his turn.
You now resume this player’s turn as if you
were playing the bewitched character, using
all that character’s powers (including the gold
bonus of the Merchant or the two card bonus
of the Architect) in your city.
If the King is bewitched, the King player still
receives the Crown counter. If the bewitched
character is not in play, you do not resume
your turn. The Thief cannot steal from the
Witch or the bewitched character.
2) Tax Collector
After another player has built one or
more districts in his city, that player must, at
the end of his turn, give you one gold (if he
has any gold left). If the Assassin or the
Witch has already built a district card, their
players must pay you one gold as you reveal
that you have the Tax Collector.
You may look at another player’s hand
of cards and take one card. You may then
either put this card into your hand, or pay to
build it in your city. If you build it in your
city, it does not count towards the one district
building limit, which means you can build
another district as well. During this turn, you
may build district cards identical to another
district already in your city.
You receive one gold for each noble
(yellow) district in your city. When the
Emperor is called, you immediately must
take the Crown from the player who has it
and give it to a different player (but not
yourself). The player who receives the Crown
must give you either one gold or one district
card from his hand. If the player has neither a
gold nor a card, he does not have to give you
anything. (Note that, like the King, the
Emperor may not be in the faceup discarded
You receive one gold for each religious
(blue) district in your city. The player who
has the most gold must give you one gold. If
there is a tie for the player with the most
gold, or if you have the most gold, then you
do not receive the gold.
At the end of your turn, you receive
back all the gold you spent to build district
cards this turn, but not the gold you spent for
other reasons (paying the Tax Collector, for
example). You cannot spend more gold than
you have during your turn.
After taking your action, you may
either receive an additional four gold or
draw an additional four cards. You may not
build any district cards.
You receive one gold for each military
(red) district in your city. At the end of your
turn, you may take a district from another
player’s city in exchange for a district in your
city. If the district you take has a higher cost
than the district you give, you must pay the
difference in gold to the player with whom
you make the exchange. (The Great Wall
affects this cost.) You may not take the Keep
district, or any districts in the Bishop’s city.
Note: If you are using the Diplomat in your
game, you must remove the Cemetery from
the deck, as it will not be used.
You receive three gold if you are sitting next to the King (or the Emperor). If the
King has been murdered, but was sitting beside you, you receive three gold when this
becomes known (that is, immediately after your turn). Note: Do not use the Queen in a
game with fewer than five players.
You may “beautify” one or two of your
districts by placing your gold on one or both
of them. The value of a beautified district
(and therefore the cost of destroying or
exchanging it) is increased by one. This also
increases the number of points you receive
for the district at the end of the game. There
can be only one gold piece on any one
Bruno Faidutti’s Credits: Thanks to all who helped me test and tune this game,
specifically Nadine Bernard, Maud Bissonnet, Scarlett Bocchi, Frank Branham, David
Calvo, Brent & Maryann Carter, Fabienne Cazalis, Pitt Crandlemire, Isabelle Duvaux,
Thierry Fau, Philippe Keyaerts, David Kuznik, Serge Laget, Myriam Lemaire, Pierre
Lemoigne, Tristan Lhomme, Hervé Marly, Bernard Mendiburu, Hélène Michaux,
Steffan O'Sullivan, Philippe des Pallières, Jean-Marc Pauty, Pierre Rosenthal, Fred
Savart, Mik Svellov, and Irène Villa (I name only the most assiduous, constructive
players, and the prettiest girls). Thanks to all the attendants at my Vth Ludopathic
Gathering and at Alan Moon's Xth Gathering of friends. Thanks to Marcel-André
Casasola-Merkle, since one of the core systems of Citadels comes directly from his
game Verraeter. Thanks to Ron Magin, Bernd Brunnhofer, Dirk Geilenkeuser and
Volker Weitzel. Thanks to all those who took part in the Ohne Furcht und Adel
character contest held by Hans im Glueck, and specifically to Ben Baldanza, Peter
Küsters, Gary Wong, Andrea Navratil, Christoph Heinzl, Stefanie Kethers, Alexander
Klein, Jonathan Degann, Holger Traczynski and Holger Baumgartner, whose ideas
inspired some of the new expansion characters. Thanks to Christian Petersen, of Fantasy
Flight Games, who was very patient with all the troubles with the English language
version rights. Most of all, thanks to Cyrille Daujean, whose help with designing,
testing and supporting this game was invaluable.