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In Four Taverns, everyone is competing to have the best tavern in the land. And how do you measure success for a tavern? Customers. No, wait – awesome customers who have done great things that inspire others to come drink with them and your tavern. Thus, you're going to support adventurers on their quests to do great things, which will ideally bring renown upon you and your tavern in the end.
In game terms, each player starts with a hand of adventurers and some coins. Two or three quests are laid out face-up, and each quest shows the strength of the adventurer party – in terms of warrior, wizard, cleric and rogue – required to complete the quest. On a turn, you draw two adventurers cards, then play any number of cards (including zero) – paying their costs at the same time – in order to complete quests and gain the income and renown associated with it. When a quest is completed, all other adventurer cards are discarded.
Why not just hold adventurers in hand until you can send out a massive party all at once? Your tavern is tiny at the start of the game, so you need to keep sending out adventurers in order to make room for more. As you gain renown, though, you'll increase the size of your tavern and have room to hold more adventurers in wait. Champions are special adventurers who fulfill two roles at once, and special action cards bring spice to the game play.
The first player to collect twenty renown wins.