You are an abbot of a medieval monastery competing with other abbots to amass the greatest library of sacred books. To do so, you need to have both the workers and resources to run a well-functioning scriptorium. To acquire workers and resources, you use a limited supply of donated gold. In addition, you must be on good terms with the powerful bishop, who can help you in your quest.
The object of the game is to score the most Victory Points. You win Victory Points by winning any of the 5 categories. The categories (different colours and symbols identify these). This is determined by the numbers in the upper left corner on the cards. At the start of the game, each category is worth 3 Victory Points. As the game progresses, the values on the Value Board will change and some categories will become worth more or less Victory Points than others. The game is divided into 2 stages: a Donation stage and an Auction stage. During the Donation stage, players acquire free cards according to an established plan. In the Auction stage, players purchase cards in auction rounds. After the two stages, winners of each category are determined and Victory Points awarded. The player with the most Victory Points wins.
The game involves a good deal of strategic planning, some bluffing, and a little bit of luck. The rules are easy to understand, but you have to play it a few times to develop a playing strategy. Its a game for 2 to 4 monks, with lost of player interaction along the way, each game is equally fun and challenging.
I personally have always felt this game is a real gem, it doesn’t outstay its welcome and it is so easy to learn and teach and hits just the right spot of skill, luck and bluffing. If you want to see how the game is played then I’ve included an link here to an excellent instructional video.