Splendor is a strategy board/card game featuring cards, gem tokens, and up to 4 players. The objective of the game is to be the first player to reach 15 prestige points.
Splendor is a resource management game in which two or more players compete to collect the most prestige points. The game uses 40 gems chips (white, blue, green, black, and red), 90 development cards, and 10 noble tiles. On your turn, you may collect gems, buy a card, or reserve a card.
Official Rulebook Edit
In Splendor, you take on the role of a rich merchant during the Renaissance. You will use your resources to acquire mines, transportation methods, and artisans who will allow you to turn raw gems into beautiful jewels.
Contents 40 tokens
7 Emerald tokens (green)
7 Sapphire tokens (blue)
7 Ruby tokens (red)
7 Diamond tokens (white)
7 Onyx tokens (black)
5 Gold tokens (yellow)
90 Development cards
40 Level 1 cards
30 Level 2 cards
20 Level 3 cards
10 Noble tiles
Game setup Shuffle each development card deck separately, and then place them in a column in the middle of the table in increasing order from bottom to top (O;OO;OOO). Then reveal 4 cards from each level. Shuffle the noble tiles and reveal as many of them as there are players plus one (example: 5 tiles for a 4 player game) The remaining tiles are removed from the game; they will not be used during the game. Finally, place the tokens in 6 distinct piles (sort them by color) within reach of the players.
Game with 2 or 3 players With 2 players Remove 3 tokens of each color (there should be only 4 of each remaining). No change for gold tokens. Reveal 3 noble tiles
With 3 players Remove 2 tokens of each gem color (there should be only 5 of each remaining). No change for gold tokens. Reveal 4 noble tiles.
There are no other changes
Game overview During the game, the players take gem and gold tokens. With these tokens, they purchase development cards, which are worth prestige points and/or bonuses. These bonuses allow players to purchase subsequent development cards for a lesser cost. When a player has enough bonuses, they immediately receive a visit from a noble (which is also worth prestige points). As soon as a player reaches 15 prestige points, the current turn ends and the player with the most prestige points is declared the winner
The development cards To win prestige points, the players must purchase development cards. These cards are visible in the middle of the table and may be purchased by all players during the game. The developments in hand are the cards which the players reserve throughout the game. Developments in hand may only be purchased by the players holding them.
The noble tiles The noble tiles are visible in the middle of the table. At the end of their turn, a player automatically receives a visit from a noble if that player has the amount of bonuses (and only bonuses) required, and they get the corresponding tile. A player cannot refuse a visit from a noble. Receiving a noble isn't considered to be an action. Each noble tile is worth 3 prestige points, but players can only get a single one per turn.
GAME RULES The youngest player begins. Play then proceeds clockwise. On their turn, a player must choose to perform only one of the following four actions.
- Take 3 gem tokens of different colors
- Take 2 gem tokens of the same color.
This action is only possible if there are at least 4 tokens available in that color before the player takes the 2 tokens.
- Reserve 1 development card and take 1 gold token (wild).
- Purchase 1 face-up development card from the middle of the table or a previously reserved one.
Selecting tokens If there are not enough tokens available to take three of different colors, you may take two tokens (or even one). A player can never have more than 10 tokens at the end of their turn (including gold tokens). If this happens, they must return tokens until they only have 10 left. A player can return all or some of those they've just drawn. The tokens owned by a player must be visible by all players at all times. Reminder: players may not take 2 tokens of the same color if there are fewer than 4 tokens available of that color.
Reserve a development card To reserve a card, a player simply needs to take a face-up development card from the middle of the table or draw the first card from one of the three decks (level O;OO;OOO) without showing it to the other players. The reserved cards are kept in hand and cannot be discarded. Players may not have more than three reserved cards in hand, and the only way to get rid of a card is to buy it (see below). Reserving a card is also the only way to get a gold token (wild). If there is no gold left, you can still reserve a card, but you won't get any gold.
Buying a development card To purchase a card, a player must spend the number of tokens indicated on the card. A gold token can replace any color. The spend tokens (including any gold) are returned to the middle of the table. A player may purchase one of the face-up development cards in the middle or a card in their hand that was reserved on a previous turn. Each player makes distinct rows with the acquired development cards by sorting them by color, and staggering them vertically so that their bonuses and prestige point values are visible. The bonuses and prestige points granted by each card must be visible to all at all times.
Important: when a development card from the middle of the table is acquired or reserved, it must immediately be replaced by a card of the same level. At all times during the game, there must be 4 face-up cards of each level (unless the deck in question is empty, in which case the empty spaces also remain empty).
The bonuses The bonuses a player has from development cards acquired on previous turns provide discounts on the purchase of new cards. Each bonus of a given color is equal to a token of that color. Thus, if a player has 2 blue bonuses and wants to purchase a card which costs 2 blue tokens and 1 green token, the player must only spend 1 green token. If a player has enough development cards (and therefore bonuses), they can even purchase a card without spending any tokens.
The nobles At the end of their turn, each player checks the noble tiles in order to determine if they're receiving a visit from one of them. A player can be visited if they have (at least) the quantity and type of bonuses indicated on the noble tile. It is impossible to refuse a visit from a noble, which is not considered to be an action. If a player has enough bonuses to be visited by more than one noble at the end of their turn, that player chooses the noble to be received. The tile obtained is placed face-up in front of the player in question.
END OF THE GAME When a player reaches 15 prestige points (don't forget to count your nobles), complete the current round so that each player has played the same number of turns. The player who then has the highest number of prestige points is declared the winner. In case of a tie, the player who has purchased the fewest development cards wins.
The author: Marc André Good-looking, tall, blond, athletic, Marc André has a godlike body worthy of a game designer. (Oh darn! They've stuck a picture in here! I'll have to find something else...) Born in 1967 (that's incredible, I'm as old as the Space Cowboys!), in the South of France, where children are forced to learn how to play chess as early as 4 years old. Actually, no, it's just that in my family, a playful mind is a way of life, or not, it's all in how you see it. I've thus grown up alongside thinking games as much as boardgames of all sizes and shapes, for players young and old. Then came the 80's and its revolution: roleplaying games which freed up imagination and creativity. It was a revelation! One day I'd make games too! I got on that right away, first with roleplaying games, then fighting games to play with my buddies, and finally, much later, boardgames. Now, Splendor is my second published game. How did I do it? Thanks to my super psychic hypnotic powers during important meetings (with Sébastien Pauchon and CROC). To finish, I'm dedicating this game to CROC who has my complete sympathy and consideration, to my wife and son, who have all my love.
The artist: Pascal Quidault "No, but really - what's your real job" Artist. A horrible job if there's one. Normally lost in worlds of Heroic Fantasy or Science Fiction for gaming platforms or literary ones, it was time for me to buy myself a conscience back. Born in 1976 (a wee lad in comparison). Quickly, the evidence of an age limit being required to stand the horrible working conditions among the Space Cowboys was discovered: humor, puns, centuries-old references, and even honest and good camaraderie. Revolting. Using brushes and styluses for almost 10 years for various French and worldwide publishers, I also teach digital art to a youth looking to walk down this road to perdition. Accumulating the vices, I also play various sorts of games: boardgames, roleplaying, strategy, wargames... The possibilities to collaborate on the first game by the Cowboys was thus the fruit of an intense debate which lasted a few microseconds. Much thanks to Philippe Mouret and the Space Cowboys team for their confidence and their patience, as well as Splendor's daddy: Marc André. I'll finish by admitting a terrible secret: I've played Splendor and I loved it. My soul is definitely lost.
Translation: Eric Harlaux
Revision: Eric Franklin
Overall strategy in Splendor involves:
- Selecting the right gems at the right time as to give you an advantage
- Purchasing the right cards as to give you an advantage
- Reserving cards at the right moment to help yourself and or block an opponent
- Identifying opponent's actions that might give clues to what they are planning
5-Player Variant Edit
For the 5-player variant of splendor, the only changes are that a player may have up to 8 gem tokens in their hand instead of 10, and 6 nobles are placed out on the table to be equal to the number of players +1.