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The Pillars of the Earth Description

The Pillars of the Earth

Produce, craft, and recruit to build a cathedral in this classic worker placement.


The setting is England at the beginning of the 12th century. The construction of what is to be the greatest and most beautiful cathedral in England begins. Builders compete against each other to contribute the most to this cathedral's construction and, in so doing, score the most victory points. To play the game, first players must use workers to procure raw building materials, and then use craftsmen to refine the materials into victory points. What actions will you take on your path to victory? Will you seek an audience with the king perhaps, to get to the metal you need? Or should you avail yourself of the support of influential personalities? A brief stay in the monastery could be as beneficial to you as strong ties to your craftsmen. Your workers may also be used to produce gold, the currency of the game. Players are given three master builders each turn, each of which can do a variety of tasks, including recruiting more workers, buying or selling goods, or directly obtaining victory points. Getting early choices with a master builder costs gold, as does purchasing more capable craftsmen. Players must strike a balance between earning gold to fund their purchases and earning victory points. Transport yourself to Medieval England as described by Ken Follett in his best-selling masterpiece novel, Pillars of the Earth.

--description from the publisher

The Pillars of the Earth: Expansion Set

Discover even more about the 12th Century history of Kingsbridge Cathedral.


With this expansion, new elements of the novel come into the play. The players can put mercenaries for the crusades at the disposal of the king, send their building masters to Toledo, or take over the office of the tax collector. And with the enclosed material, the game can be played with a fifth or sixth player.

--description from the publisher

The Pillars of the Earth Quick Info

Time to play: # of players: Recommended Age:
Clock indicating 60 minutes or more 2 to 4 players recommended Recommended for ages 12 and up
90 to 120 minutes 2 to 4 12+
Complexity: Player Dynamic Skill:
A head with a puzzle inside piece half filled with blue to indicate medium complexity rating arm wrestling to indicate light competition between players Circle of arrows around a gear around a dollar sign to indicate strategy with money
2.82 / 5 Light Competition Economic Strategy


The Pillars of the Earth Additional Resources

Suggested Use

Community Building

6 figures joined by a circle to indicate Community Building

Please refer to the books and articles listed on the Board Game: Home page for general readings regarding board game play and psychology.  

Link to the Library Catalog

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