Mystery of the Abbey: Rules

The peaceful Templars’ Abbey is a rare haven 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?”

Inside the box rest:

   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:
            24 Suspect cards, 8 Library book cards, 6 Crypt cards,
            18 Event cards, 24 Scriptorium book cards, 8 Mass cards
• 1 pad of 50 Suspect sheets
• 3 Wooden Monk dice
• 1 Mass bell for calling the monks to Mass
• 1 Rules booklet
• 1 Days of Wonder Web Card


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


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 for 3 – 5 players. Rule changes for 6 players are described at the end of this booklet, page 8.


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 3 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. (See Mass page 7).

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.


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’ knowledge 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 suspects’ 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).

For further examples of questioning tactics and strategies, draw from the experience of famous investigative monks like those featured on the inside cover of your Deduction notebook.  


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 displayed 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 (See Penance on page 7-8).

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

 • 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 player 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.

• 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 fulfilling 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 or bring an Accusation. You have no obligation to do either.  

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.


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

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

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 player 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 position.  

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.

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.

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.

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 (Ecclesia) 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.

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.


With six players, all the standard rules apply, with the following exceptions:


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

Shorter game variant


Use the enclosed blank cards to design additional Scriptorium book or Event cards of your choice. Do not hesitate to post your best suggestions on our forum at


Game design by Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget
Illustrations by Julien Delval and Emmanuel Roudier
Graphic Design by Cyrille Daujean
Bibliography: Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose;
Ellis Peters, the “Brother Cadfael” mysteries;
Paul Harding, the “Brother Athelstan” mysteries.

2003 Days of Wonder, Inc. 221 Caledonia Street,
Sausalito, CA 94965

Days of Wonder and Mystery of the Abbey are trademarks of
Days of Wonder, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Enclosed in your game box is a free Days of Wonder WebCard. To use it, visit: and click on the New Player Signup button on the home
page. Then just follow the instructions.

The website is filled with information: discussions of effective investigation strategies; links to the authors’ web sites; and a forum where you can keep up with the latest game information, new books and events developed by other players, rules variations, and more.

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