Thee peaceful (Templars' Abbey is a rare leaven of tranquility for road weary travelers. And so you found it when you arrived late last night. That serenity was shattered this morning with the discovery of the lifeless body of Brother Adelmo at the foot of the Monastery cliffs.

Did the usually nimble-footed Brother slip to his death? Or did someone help him in his fall? All signs point to foul play… and the Abbot has asked you and your companions to investigate and find the answer to the question, "Who killed Brother Adelmo?"


Components

  • 1 Board map representing the Templars' Abbey
  • 6 Monk miniatures cast in stone resin (1 per player)
  • 6 Deduction notebooks (1 per player)
  • 90 Illustrated cards:
  • 1 pad of 50 Suspect sheets
  • 3 Wooden Monk dice
  • 1 Mass bell for calling the monks to Mass
  • 1 Rules booklet

Setup

Place the Abbey's board map in the center of the table. Each player chooses a colored monk miniature and puts it in the Chapel (Ecdesia). These miniatures will be the players' pawns throughout the game.

Place a color Suspect sheet inside a Deduction notebook and give it to each player. The Deduction notebooks are used to hide the players' Suspect sheets from each other. They also display a summary of the Abbey's various rooms, and (under the suspect sheet) some common investigation strategies.

Separately shuffle each stack of Library books, Scriptorium books, and Event cards, and place them face down on the board, in their respective positions. Put the Crypt cards in their respective spot as well. Cards played through- out the game are then placed back under their respective pile.

Shuffle the 24 Suspect cards, and place one, face down, under the Abbey's game board. This is the culprit, whose iden- tity players will compete to discover.



Place 5 (if three or six players) or 3 (if four or five players) Suspect cards face down on the matching suspect position in the upper corner of the Abbey's board.

Deal all remaining suspect cards to the players:

  • 3 players - 6 cards each
  • 4 players - 5 cards each
  • 5 players - 4 cards each
  • 6 players - 3 cards each

Give the Mass bell and the eight Mass cards, stacked in chronological order (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sexte, None, Vespers and Compline) to the first player (determined by rolling one of the Monk dice). If the dice shows the color of one of the monks that is not in play, re-roll until it does. The same rule will apply to all dice rolls throughout the game.

The first player puts the Mass cards in front of him. At the beginning of his first turn, he will place the bell on the circled 1 on the topmost Matins card.

Two dice are now rolled to determine the last two monks who have been to confession. Place one dice each in the two confessionals.

You are now ready to explore the Abbey and discover the murderous culprit!


Object of the Game

An important stop on the pilgrimage to Saint-Jacques, the Abbey of the Templars is currently home to twenty-four monks. These monks have traits and physical characteristics as diverse as the orders they represent.

Each monk has five important characteristics:

  • Order: Templar, Franciscan, Benedictine 8 monks of each order
  • Title: Father, Brother, Novice 6,9 and 9 respectively
  • Hood: hooded, unhooded 12 each
  • Facial Hair: bearded, clean-shaven 12 each
  • Girth: fat, thin 12 each

Each investigator's job is to carefully question the monastery's inhabitants and search through the Abbey's various rooms to accurately uncover and reveal the specific characteristics (order, title, hood, facial hair and girth), and the name of the culprit.

Players accumulate victory points for accurately revealing the culprit's specific characteristics (correct order, title, hood, facial hair and girth) and name.



They lose points when making an incorrect revelation or accusation. The revelations and accusations are recorded throughout the game; the corresponding victory points attributed and totaled at the end of the game, once the culprit has been caught.

The winner is the player with the highest number of points then (often, but not always, the one who found the culprit).

Note: the following rules are written for3-5 players.


Game Play

Players play in successive turns, clockwise, starting with the first player of the turn. Each turn consists of the following:

  1. Move Mass Bell (first player in turn only) - If you are the first player of the turn, move the bell one spot (from 1 to 2, from 2 to 3, etc..). on the topmost Mass card. If the bell is already on 4, move it off the card, immediately call the Mass, and apply the Mass card's effects.

  2. Move Pawn - Move your pawn one or two steps in any direction on the board. Each room of the Abbey is delineated by a color change on the floor and counts as one step, regardless of the room's size. The move is mandatory and a 2-step move cannot be used to immediately come back to the same room.

  3. Encounter - If your pawn ends its move in a room already occupied by another player's pawn, you must ask that player a question. (See The Questions, below).

  4. Action - Proceed with any actions relevant to the room your pawn now occupies.



Questioning Others

If your pawn ends its move in a room already occupied by another player's pawn, you must ask that player a question. If multiple pawns are present, you may choose to question whichever player you want.

The questioned player may either:

  1. Make a vow of silence by putting his finger to his mouth, thus declining to answer; or

  2. Answer your question, in which case he will then also get to ask you a question in return. You are then bound to answer that question.

As all players have taken a vow of honesty, all questions must be answered truthfully, to the best of the players' knowl- edge or recollection.

You may ask any kind of question, as long as it can be answered without giving a suspect's name. You may, however, supply one or more names as part of your question.

Examples of questions:

  • "How many bearded monks do you have in your hand?"
  • "Do you have the 'Father Sergio' card?"
  • "How many Benedictines have you crossed out from your suspect^ list?"
  • "Have you eliminated 'Father Bruno' from your list of suspects?"
  • "Are you going to Chapter Hall?" (Obviously, your opponent is then bound by his answer).



Rooms In The Monastery



Different activities take place in various rooms within the Abbey. Below is a description of the rooms and what takes place in each of them.

Note: The board is labeled in the common language of the Abbey-Latin. For the convenience of those who were sleeping during Latin class, the room names and their Latin equivalents are provided in English.


The Chapel (Ecclesia)

The Chapel is where all players start the game. This is also where all players return for Mass, every time they have played through four complete turns.



Confessional (Confessorium)

The Confessional is where both sins and secrets are revealed. Randomly draw a Suspect card from the hand of the last player who visited this same confessional, as indicated by the color of the monk dis- played on the upturned face of the dice.

Then, turn the dice to your own pawn's color, to show that you are now the last player to have gone through this confessional.

There may be only one pawn at a time in each confessional.

Beware: One of the confessionals can only be entered through the Courtyard (Aula), not directly from the Chapel.


Cells (Cellula)



A Monk expects his cell to remain private. If you dare a visit, you may randomly draw a Suspect card from the hand of the cell's owner, indicated by the color of the cell. There may be only one pawn at a time in each cell.

Beware: the owner of a cell may enter it even if there is already another pawn in it.

In this case, the intruder is caught in the act. He must immediately give back the card he took from the cell's owner (if he doesn't have this card anymore, then another card is drawn randomly from his hand). The intruder is then moved to the Chapel for Penance.


Scriptorium

There's no telling what secrets a lucky monk might learn from a book found in the Scriptorium. Take a ''Scriptorium" card.

Special books, (designated by a star on the card) can be removed from the scriptorium. Don't show the card but keep it in front you, face down, to use it at the appropriate time indicated on the card.

For plain books, (no star) read the card's text aloud. Its effects apply immediately.

If there is a die on the card, roll a die to determine which other player is effected.



Library (Bibliotheca)

The most precious books and forbidden texts are kept out of sight in a remote alcove of the library.

Only the players with the fewest cards in hand can step into the library. This means that, to enter the library, a play- er must make sure that: 1. no other player has fewer cards in hand than he does, and 2. at least one player has more cards in hand than he does.

A player may only visit the library once during the entire game.

When you are within the library, draw a ''Bibliotheca" card and read the text aloud. Its effects apply immediately.


Parlor (Parlatorium)



News from the secular world outside of the Abbey arrive in the Parlor.

If there are still Suspect cards in the suspects draw pile on the game board, draw the first one and add it to your hand.

If there are no Suspect cards remaining, you may ask the player of your choice to show you a Suspect card. You must specify one or two (no more) characteristics of the Suspect card you want to see (i.e. " Show me a Templar " or " Show me a bearded novice ").

If the questioned player has one or more cards of the specified type, he shows you one (and only one). If he has none, he may say so and does not have to reveal any cards. The vow of honesty still applies here.


Crypt (Crypta)



Praying over the holy relics of Saint Galbert, entombed within the Crypt, fills you with rapture!

Draw a "Crypta" card. You may use later at any time during the game to immediately play an extra turn after ful- filling your normal turn. Each player may only have one Crypta card at a time.


Chapter Hall (Capitulum)

The great meetings of the Abbey take place in the Chapter Hall. You may make a Revelation orbring an Accusation. You have no obligation to do either.



Courtyard (Aula) and Cloister (claustrum)

and other empty rooms...



These rooms provide living space for the Abbey's inhabitants, but have no other purpose. Moving through them counts as one of the two steps you are granted each turn. Please note that the Cloister is made of four distinct, separate spaces.


Events In The Monastery's Life

Mass

Despite the customary silence, rumors circulate best during services. Mass is held in the Chapel (Ecdesia), every four turns, and marks the rhythm of monastic life. During Mass:

  1. The pawns of all the players are placed in the Chapel (Ecdesia).

  2. Each player simultaneously gives one or more suspect cards, as indicated by the Mass card, to the player on his left. If a player does not have enough suspect cards in hand, he just gives all the ones he had, keeping the ones he receives.

  3. An event card (designated with an illustration of the Abbey on its back) is drawn, its text read aloud, and its effect applied immediately. Some events, as shown by a die on the card will only affect a specific player or room, determined by a dice roll.

  4. Give the deck of Mass cards and bell to the player who played last during the previous game turn (i.e. the play- er sitting to the immediate right of the player who called Mass). This player becomes the first player of the new turn. At the beginning of his first turn, he moves the Mass card that was just played to the bottom of the deck, revealing the next one and placing the bell on the 1 position.


Revelations

Monks can go to the Abbot who presides over the Chapter Hall (Capitulum) to make a revelation. A revelation is a public announcement to all the players that you have discovered one (and only one) characteristic of the guilty monk.

All revelations are written down on a piece of paper, and verified at the end of the game, once the culprit has been revealed. Each correct revelation is worth +2 points, each false revelation -1 point.

  • These are valid revelations: "The culprit is a Franciscan", "The culprit has no hood", "The culprit is a Father".

  • These are invalid revelations: "The culprit is a bearded Franciscan" (you must specify only one characteristic), "The culprit is not a novice" (you must positively specify a characteristic, the negative declaration doesn't reveal whether it is a Father or a Brother).

You cannot make a revelation that has already been made, but you can make a revelation that contradicts a previous one. If another player revealed that the culprit is Benedictine you cannot make the same statement, but you may announce that he is a Franciscan.


Accusation

No accusation can be made as long as there are still Suspect cards to be had from going into the parlor.

To make an Accusation, a monk must visit the Abbot in the Chapter Hall (Capitulum) and publicly name the monk he suspects is the culprit.

If the accused monk's card is in another player's hand, this player must show it to all to prove that the accused is innocent. The pawn of the accuser who wronged him is then moved to the Chapel for Penance (see below), and the player who made the unjust accusation loses 2 points.

If no player has the accused monk card in hand, the accused must be guilty (confirmed by the card hidden under the game board). The game ends and the player who correctly named the culprit scores 4 points.

Calculate each player's score. (See Scoring below) The player with the highest score is declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the player who found the culprit is the winner.


Penance

A player caught in the act of searching another player's cell or making a false accusation must repent. The same applies to the first player if he forgets to move the Mass bell (or call Mass every fourth turn) at the beginning of his turn, before moving his pawn.

By common agreement, players may also decide to impose a penance on a player who makes a mistake by playing out of turn, asking a forbidden question, or gets too excited and spills consecrated wine, coffee or whisky on the game board.

The pawn in penance is placed in the Chapel (Ecdesia) where he must spend a whole turn praying. He therefore skips his next turn, and may neither ask nor answer questions while there. If a pawn goes to penance just before the Mass, he must skip his first turn after Mass.


End of the Game

The winner is the player with the most points (not necessarily the one who found the culprit). When the culprit is discovered, players calculate the score as follows:

  • Each right revelation +2
  • Each wrong revelation -1
  • Discovery of the culprit (correct accusation) + 4
  • Each false accusation -2

In the event of a tie, the winner is the player who discovers the culprit.

Players may decide to play multiple games and add the total number of points to determine the overall winner.



Variants

Players who want a less uncertain, more tactical, game can modify the rules as follows:

  • Close the Library and burn those dangerous books.
  • Remove all event cards.
  • A player with two books in hand may not step into the Scriptorium.

Shorter game variant

  • Use the six-player movement and turn rules.
  • Remove the Matins Mass card and start the game with the Laud cards.

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