In Atelier, players play the role of master 19th-century painters managing their ateliers (workshops). Players roll dice, then use those dice to instruct students and acquire paint to render masterpieces of art.

By completing masterpieces and acquiring patrons, players vie to become the most famous painter of their time.


  • 1 Instructional Booklet
  • 1 First Master token
  • 1 Starting Player token
  • 20 Inspiration tokens
  • 40 Painting cards
  • 16 Patron cards
  • 4 Player boards
  • 60 Paint cylinders
  • 16 dice
  • 48 Student meeples


  1. Shuffle the Painting cards to form a deck. Draw 7 cards from the deck and lay them faceup in the center of the table.

  2. Shuffle the Patron cards to form the Patron deck.

  3. Separate the Paint cylinders into four piles based on color (Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow).

  4. Give each player the following items:

    • 1 Player board
    • 1 set of 12 Student meeples
    • 4 dice of the matching color
    • 1 Inspiration token
  5. Place all remaining Inspiration tokens and the First Master token near the decks.

  6. Randomly choose a player and give them the Starting Player token.

    1 Patron Deck - 2 Painting Deck - 3 Faceup Paintings - 4 Inspiration Tokens

    5 BLUE Paint - 6 GREEN Paint - 7 RED Paint - 8 YELLOW Paint

  7. Deal 2 Patron cards to each player. Each player chooses 1 to keep and places the other facedown on the bottom of the Patron deck.

  8. Starting with the player to the right of the starting player and proceeding counter-clockwise, each player places one of their Student meeples in front of one of the 4 Paint piles.

    Players can place their students at a pile that has already been chosen by another player. Once all players have placed a student you are now ready to begin the game.

Anatomy of Painting Card

1 Paint Cost - 2 Victory Point Value - 3 Painting Power - 4 Students Returned 5 Painting Category - 6 Masterpiece Symbol

There are four categories of Paintings:

A. Impressionist B. Post Impressionist C. Realist D. Romantic

Painting Powers

Some paintings, in addition to giving players victory points, have special powers associated with them. Some are used immediately after you paint the painting, and others have powers that may be used on your turns.

For painting powers that can be used during your turns, you may use them at any point on your turn and on the same turn you paint them.

Game Play

Atelier is played in rounds. During each round, players take turns using 1 or more of their dice to accomplish tasks. Turns proceed clockwise around the table until all players have used all 4 of their dice.

Once the round is over, all players recover their dice, pass the Starting Player token clockwise, and start the next round.

At the start of your turn roll all your active dice. Then you must perform either A or B:

  1. Spend 1 or more of your active dice to take the corresponding action(s) as listed on your Player board (see Dice Actions). Move the chosen dice to your Player board; they are now spent and you cannot use them for the rest of the round.

  2. Spend 1 active die of any value to take an Inspiration token. Move the chosen die to your Player board; it is now spent and you cannot use it for the rest of the round.

    Player Board Setup

    In addition to performing A or B players may also do the following at any point during their turns:

  3. Spend Inspiration tokens to take inspiration actions (see Inspiration Actions).

  4. Use powers on paintings that you own (including paintings you've painted this turn).

If, at the start of your turn, you have already spent all of your dice, your turn ends immediately and play automatically passes to the player on your left.

If you are forced to end your turn, you cannot take any actions, including spending Inspiration tokens.

Dice Actions

1-2. Place Student:

Place 1 of your students (meeple) from your Player board at 1 of the 4 Paint piles. If you have no students in your pool you cannot take this action.

3. Move Students:

Move 0-1 students belonging to each player from a Paint pile to another Paint pile.

The chosen students do not have to come from the same Paint pile nor do they have to go to the same Paint pile. You must move at least 1 student, but you do not have to move a student for each player.

4. Collect Paint:

Collect 1 paint (cylinder) from each pile where you have the most students. In a 4-player game, you also collect 1 paint from each pile where you are tied for most students (you do not collect paint for ties in a 2 or 3-player game).

5. Paint a Painting:

Select 1 of the 7 faceup paintings (card). Spend the required Paint cylinders as listed on the painting, returning them to the respective Paint piles, and place the painting in front of you.

If the painting has a student requirement, you must return that many students from Paint piles to your Player board if able (otherwise remove as many students as possible).

If the painting has a "When Painted" ability, perform it at this time. Replace the painting with the top card of the Painting deck.

6. Gain 1 Paint

Gain 1 cylinder from any Paint pile, even if you don't have a student there.

Inspiration Actions

1. Reroll

After rolling but before spending any dice, spend 1 Inspiration token to reroll ALL of your active dice (you cannot reroll only some of them).

2. Paint a Painting:

Spend 2 Inspiration tokens to take the Paint a Painting action as if you had spent a die.

3. Draw a Patron:

Spend 3 Inspiration tokens to draw the top card of the Patron deck. You may look at it, but keep it facedown until the end of the game.

End of the Game

Once any player has painted their 3rd painting with the Masterpiece Symbol (see Anatomy of a Painting Card), that player takes the First Master token (worth 4vp). This triggers the end of the game. Complete the current round, and then play 1 more final round.

Once the final round is complete, players total their score from paintings, patrons, and the First Master token. The player with the highest score wins.

If there is a tie, the player with the most paint is the winner. If still tied, the player with the First Master token wins. If neither tied player has that token, the tied players share victory.

Example Round

Alice is the Starting Player in a 3-player game. On her turn she rolls a 1, 2, 3, 6. She places her 1 and 2 onto her Player board, and places 2 students in front of the Red and Blue Paint piles. She then passes her turn.

Bill rolls 1, 2, 6, 6. He moves his 1 and 2 onto his Player board and places 2 students. Avoiding Alice's students, he places his students in front of the Green and Yellow Paint piles.

He also spends both 6's to take 2 Paint cylinders of his choice. Bill has spent all 4 dice and cannot take actions for the remainder of the round.

Carol rolls a 3, 4, 4, 5. She moves the 3 to her Player board to gain an Inspiration token. Her turn ends immediately and the turn passes back to Alice.

Alice rerolls her 2 active dice and gets a 4 and 5. She uses her 4 to gain Paint cylinders from the piles where she has the most students at (1 Red and 1 Blue), then she uses her 5 to paint 1 of the face-up paintings.

The painting is replaced from the top of the Painting deck and the turn passes to Bill. Since he is out of dice, Bill's turn ends immediately and the turn goes back to Carol.

Once Carol uses her remaining 3 dice, the round is over. Players each receive their 4 dice back, the Starting Player token passes to the left, and a new round begins with the new Starting Player.

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