Citadels is a game of city-building and intrigue for two to eight players. In Citadels, each player is striving to complete his own city, consisting of eight separate districts. As the players labor to build their cities, they are also forced to vie for the benefits granted by enlisting the support of certain formidable Characters. Timing and careful planning take vital importance in the uncertain business of city construction, and a successful prelate must be willing to bluff and able to switch his plans at a moment’s uneasy notice.
Players start with a number of building cards in their hand; buildings come in five colors, with the purple buildings typically having a special ability and the other colored buildings providing a benefit when you play particular characters. At the start of each round, the player who was king the previous round discards one of the eight character cards at random, chooses one, then passes the cards to the next player, etc. until each player has secretly chosen a character. Each character has a special ability, and the usefulness of any character depends upon your situation, and that of your opponents. The characters then carry out their actions in numerical order: the assassin eliminating another character for the round, the thief stealing all gold from another character, the wizard swapping building cards with another player, the warlord optionally destroys a building in play, and so on.