Characters of Citadels

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Characters of Citadels


Citadels is a popular card game that has captured the hearts of many players around the world. Its unique gameplay and strategic elements make it an exciting and engaging experience. In this article, I will introduce you to some of the key characters that you will encounter in the game of Citadels.

The King

The King is a powerful character in Citadels, and his presence is felt throughout the game. As the King, your goal is to expand your city and establish your dominance over the other players. You have the power to confer advantages to certain characters and influence the direction of the game. However, be careful not to become too powerful, as it can make you a target for other players.

The Assassin

The Assassin is a mysterious character who excels at eliminating other characters. With a stealthy approach, the Assassin can take out other characters and disrupt their plans. It’s important to use the Assassin wisely and strategically, as eliminating the wrong character can backfire and make you a target for revenge.

The Thief

The Thief is a cunning character who specializes in stealing from other players. With nimble fingers and quick thinking, the Thief can acquire valuable resources and disrupt the plans of other players. However, be careful not to get caught red-handed, as it can lead to dire consequences.

The Magician

The Magician is a powerful character who can manipulate the flow of the game. With a wave of their wand, the Magician can swap characters, rearrange resources, and create chaos. It’s important to use the Magician’s powers wisely and strategically, as they can have a profound impact on the game.

The Warlord

The Warlord is a fearsome character who excels at destroying buildings. With a powerful army at their command, the Warlord can lay waste to the cities of other players and disrupt their plans. It’s important to use the Warlord’s destructive powers judiciously, as overusing them can make you a target for retaliation.


In conclusion, the characters of Citadels play a vital role in shaping the outcome of the game. Each character has their own unique abilities and strategies, and it’s important to understand their strengths and weaknesses. By mastering the art of playing these characters, you can elevate your gameplay and emerge as the victor. So, choose your character wisely, plan your moves carefully, and may fortune favor you on your journey through the world of Citadels.

In Citadels, every character has a special power that makes them unique. You can use your character’s power once during your turn, but it’s up to you whether you want to use it or not. You can find a summary of each character’s power on their card, and more detailed information is provided in the following pages.

Keep in mind that some characters, like the King, Emperor, Bishop, Abbot, Merchant, Warlord, and Diplomat, receive income from certain types of districts in their cities. These characters can use their power to receive this income at any time during their turn. You have the choice to receive your income before building new districts if you need the gold to build them, or after building new districts to gain income from the newly built district. However, you cannot do both.


Got any targets? I’ve got the perfect way to shake things up. Let’s choose a character that will make the game just a little more interesting. The character you choose is going to have a tough time because once they’re picked, their voice goes unheard and their turn is skipped. Talk about a cold shoulder!

Introducing the Thief

Let’s talk about a clever move you can make during the game. I call it “Character Theft.” Here’s how it works: when it’s the turn of the player who has a certain character, I have a chance to steal all of their gold. There are two characters, the Assassin and the Assassin’s target, that I can’t steal from.


When it’s my turn, I always have two choices:

  • I can swap my entire hand of cards (not the cards in my city) with another player’s hand. This works even if I don’t have any cards in my hand – I just take their cards instead.
  • I can put any number of cards from my hand facedown at the bottom of the District Deck and then draw the same number of cards from the top of the District Deck.

The Ruler of the Land

When you have noble (yellow) districts in your city, you earn one gold for each of them.

As soon as the King is summoned, you immediately receive the Crown. You now get to choose the characters, and you will be the first player to choose your character in the next round. If there is no King in the next round, you get to keep the Crown. If you are murdered, you have to skip your turn just like any other character. However, after the last player has taken their turn, it is revealed that you had the character card of the murdered King, and you become the King’s heir and take the Crown.

Hey there! Did you know that being a Bishop in the game has some amazing perks? Let me tell you all about it. So, as a Bishop, you get rewarded with one gold for every religious (blue) district you have in your city. That’s pretty cool, right? And here’s the best part – no one can destroy or exchange your districts, not even the Warlord or the Diplomat. Talk about a win-win situation!

Being a Merchant

I love being a merchant. It’s such a rewarding role in the city. As a merchant, I get to earn gold by trading in green districts. For every trade district I have in my city, I receive one gold. How cool is that?

But that’s not all. As a merchant, I also receive an extra gold after I take any action. It’s like a bonus for all the hard work I put into the city.

Being a merchant is a double-edged sword, though. On one hand, it’s amazing to see my wealth grow with every trade and action. But on the other hand, I have to carefully manage my resources and make smart decisions to maximize my profits.

It’s important to remember that being a merchant requires strategy. I need to choose the right districts to trade in and consider the potential risks and rewards. By understanding the market and keeping an eye on the city’s needs, I can make the most out of my role as a merchant.

If you’re looking for a role that combines strategy and financial gains, then you’ll love being a merchant. It’s a challenging yet fulfilling job that keeps you on your toes, constantly looking for opportunities to elevate your wealth.

So, are you ready to become a merchant? With these factors in mind, you can make informed decisions and thrive in this role. Just remember to seize every opportunity and strategize wisely. The city is depending on you!



When you take an action, you get to pick two more district cards and add them to your hand. You can build up to three districts on your turn.


Once you take an action, you can choose to draw two district cards and include them in your hand. It’s up to you to decide whether to construct up to three districts during your turn.

When you have a military (red) district in your city, you earn one gold. At the end of your turn, you have the option to destroy a district. To do this, you must pay a number of gold pieces equal to one less than the cost of the district you want to destroy. For example, if you want to destroy a district that costs one gold, it’s free. If you want to destroy a district that costs two gold, you need to pay one gold. And if you want to destroy a district that costs six gold, you need to pay five gold. You can only destroy your own districts, not those in other players’ cities.

There is one restriction, though. You cannot destroy a district in a city that already has eight districts (or seven districts if the Bell Tower is in play) and is considered complete.

Bonus Characters

I’m a witch. Well, not a real one, but I love learning about witchcraft and all things magical. There’s something fascinating about the power and mystery that surround witches. Don’t you agree?

Let’s dive into the world of witches and explore what makes them so intriguing. Whether you’re a curious onlooker or an aspiring witch yourself, there’s plenty to discover and ponder. So grab your cauldron and broomstick, and let’s get started!

Once you make a move, you can enchant another character by announcing their name and then ending your turn. When it’s the enchanted character’s turn, their player must reveal their character card, take a turn, and then end it right away. The enchanted character can’t use their special ability before you take control. Now it’s your turn to play as the enchanted character, using all their powers in your city. You can benefit from things like the Merchant’s gold bonus, the Bishop’s protection from Warlord attacks, or the Architect’s bonus of two extra cards. You still have to pay your gold and use your own cards to build districts.

Hey there! Let’s talk about what happens when the King gets bewitched in the game. So, if the King player gets bewitched, they still keep the Crown marker. That’s an important thing to remember.

Now, here’s the thing: if the character who got bewitched is not in the game, then your turn doesn’t continue. It’s like a pause in the game.

Oh, and one more thing! The Thief can’t steal from the Witch or from the character who got bewitched. That’s a rule you need to keep in mind.

Tax Collector

Hey there! So, here’s the deal – whenever someone else in the game builds a district in their city, guess what happens? Yep, you get a little bonus! At the end of their turn, they have to hand over one gold coin to you. It’s like a little tax for your troubles. But hold on, there’s more. If that sneaky Assassin guy has already built a district card during that round, his player has to cough up some gold when you bust out the Tax Collector! Pretty sweet, right?

Magic User

Hey there! Did you know that in this game, you have the ability to take a sneak peek at another player’s hand of cards? That’s right! And not only that, you get to choose one card from their hand. Now you have two options: you can add this card to your own hand or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can pay to build it in your city!

If you decide to build the card, here’s the cool part: it won’t even count towards your one district building limit! That means you can go ahead and build another district as well. How awesome is that?

Oh, and here’s an extra tidbit: you’re allowed to build district cards that are the same as ones you already have in your city. So go ahead and collect those duplicates and build your empire!


When you have noble (yellow) districts in your city, you earn one gold for each one. If the Emperor is chosen, I immediately take the Crown from the player who has it and pass it on to someone else (not me). The player who gets the Crown can decide to give me either one gold or one district card from their hand. However, if that player doesn’t have either, they don’t have to give me anything. If the Emperor gets killed, the Crown remains where it is. (Just so you know, the Emperor, like the King, cannot be in the faceup discarded character cards).


Hey there! Did you know that in your city, you get one gold for every religious (blue) district? Yep, it’s true! And get this: if you have the most gold, or if there’s a tie for the player with the most gold, then guess what? You don’t get any extra gold. Bummer, right? But hey, at least you still get those sweet rewards for all those religious districts. Keep building and raking in that gold!


When you finish your turn, you get back all the gold you used to construct district cards during that turn. However, you don’t get back any gold you spent for other purposes, like paying the Tax Collector. It’s important to note that you can’t spend more gold than you have during your turn.


When you take your turn, you have two options. Option one is to receive four extra gold coins. Option two is to draw four more cards. However, you won’t be able to build any district cards during this round.


You know what’s cool? You get one gold for every red military district you have in your city. Pretty awesome, right? But wait, it gets even better. At the end of your turn, you have the option to trade one of your districts for a district from another player’s city. It’s like a swap meet for buildings!

Now, there are a few rules to keep things fair. If the district you take has a higher cost than the one you give, you have to cough up the difference in gold to the other player. Gotta keep those transactions balanced. Oh, and there are some districts you can’t swap. The Keep district is off-limits, along with any districts in the Bishop’s city, or in a completed city of eight districts (or seven if the Bell Tower is in play). Also, if you’re playing with the Diplomat, say goodbye to the Cemetery. It doesn’t mix well with the Diplomat, so it’s gotta go.

So, go ahead and strategize. Stock up on those military districts and make some lucrative trades. It’s your city, after all. Get trading!

If you want to make one or two of your districts look nicer, you can place a gold on each of them. This will make the districts more valuable, so if you want to destroy or trade them, it will cost more. Beautifying your districts also means you’ll earn more points for them when the game is over. Just keep in mind that you can only have one gold piece on each district.


If you happen to be sitting next to the King (or the Emperor), you will get three gold. And even if the King has been murdered but happened to be sitting next to you, you will still receive three gold once this becomes public knowledge, right after your turn. But remember, this special ability is connected to the King/Emperor card, not the Crown marker. It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t include the Queen if you’re playing with less than five players.

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