Meutre àl'abbaye
Murder at the Abbey

Published by MULTISIM (
Designed by Bruno Faidutti ( and Serge Laget
Translated by Catherine Soubeyrand

1 hour
3 to 6 players

Principle of the Game

This morning, the body of Brother Adelme was found, cut to pieces, below the monastery. It looks like the poor monk has been murdered. Investigating among the monks, the players must discover who is guilty of this crime.


Setting Up of the Game

The 24 suspects cards are shuffled. One of these cards is secretly placed, face down, under the gameboard. This is the guilty monk. The goal of the players is to discover who he is.

The other suspects cards are distributed, in equal number, among the players. The remaining cards are put, face down, in the parlor.

Number of players Number of cards by player Cards in the parlor
3 7 2
4 5 3
6 3 5

The book cards are shuffled and placed face down near the Scriptorium. The event cards are shuffled and placed face down near the Chapel. Cards played during the game are put under the relevant pile.

Each player takes a memo sheet on which are represented the 24 suspects and a monastic order card which is also used to hide information from the sight of the other players.

Each player chooses one pawn which is put in the chapel. A die is thrown to determine the first player of the first turn. The shadow on the sundial (the normal die) is put on square number 1 in the Cloister with its upper face showing the number 1. The die is moved to the next square without turning it each time the turn comes back to the first player. (The upper face of this die shows the number of cards that each player will exchange at the next mass).

Two dice are thrown to determine the two last players to have been to confession. Place one of these two dice on each confessional. If one die shows a color that is not in use by the players then that die is thrown again (the same rule applies each time this will happen during the game).

Game Turn

1. During your turn you can move your pawn one or two squares. The move is mandatory; a pawn cannot remain on the same square for two turns in a row. Pawns may not move directly from one Confessional to the other.

2. If your pawn ends its move in a square which already contains at least one other player's pawn, you must ask one question of one of these players (see Questions).

3. You should then proceed with the actions allowed by the square on which your pawn is located.


If your pawn has ended its move on a square where there was already the pawn from another player, you must ask this player a question. You may ask one of many different kinds of questions but it must be possible to answer your question without having to give the name of a suspect. However, you may supply one or more names as part of your question.

Examples of Questions

"How many cards do you have in your hand showing bearded men?"

"Do you have the card of "Brother Halluin"?"

"How many people do you still suspect?" (it is obvious that to such a question, your opponent must answer honestly).

"Have you eliminated father Arnoul from your list of suspects?"

"Are you going to the Chapter House?" (it is obvious that if your opponent answers "yes" to this question, he is obliged to abide by his answer).

The questioned player may either put his finger in front of his mouth to indicate that he has made a vow of silence, or answer your question. If he answers, he has the right to ask you one question and you have to answer.

The Mass

When each player has played four times then the monastery sundial indicates that it is time for Mass.

1. All the pawns are placed in the chapel.

2. Despite the customary silence, rumors circulate best during the services. During the first Mass, each player must give a card of his choice to the player on his left. During the second Mass two cards are given. During the third Mass three cards are given and so on. If a player does not have enough cards, he just gives all the cards he has and keeps all the cards he receives. Then the die on the sundial is turned to show the number of cards to exchange at the next Mass.

3. An event card is drawn and its effects are applied. The effects of some events, as shown by a die drawn on the card, only apply to a specific player. A die is thrown to determine which player will be affected.

4. The last player of the four previous turns becomes the first player for the next set of turns. The normal die is again placed on the number 1 on the sundial. The game proceeds as in the first turn.

Locations and their Effects

Properties of the different locations (squares) in the monastery.


You randomly take a card from the hand of the previous player to have made a visit to the same Confessional, as indicated by the upper face of the die.

Then the die is turned to show that now you are the last to have been to this confessional. There may only be one and only one pawn in each Confessional at any given time.


Randomly take a card from the hand of the indicated player (each cell has the color of one player).

There may only be one and only one pawn in each cell at any given time. Except that the owner of a cell may enter it even if there is another pawn already in the cell. The intruder must immediately return the last card that was taken form the owner of the cell (if the player does not have the card anymore then another card is randomly drawn from the intruder's hand). The intruder is then moved to the Chapel for penance.


Nobody knows what he will find when he takes a book from the rich library of the abbey.

Take a "Book from the Scriptorium" card.

If there is a star (*) drawn on the card, it means that this book can be taken away from the Scriptorium. Keep the card with you so as to use it at the appropriate moment.

Otherwise, immediately apply the consequences. If a die is drawn on the card, it means that you have to throw a die to determine the other player who is concerned.


In the basic game, the Library square is not used and is considered to be unreachable.

The most precious books and the forbidden texts are kept out of sight in a remote room of the library. At the beginning of the game, the seven "Books from the library" cards are shuffled and placed face down near the Library.

Only the players with the least number of cards in their hand are allowed to go to the library. A player must fulfilled two conditions to be allowed to enter in the Library: no other player may have fewer cards and at least one player should have more cards than him. Each player is allowed to go to the Library once and only once during the game.

Once you are in the Library take a "Book from the Library" card as in the Scriptorium and immediately apply the consequences.


News from the outside world arrives in the Parlor.

If there are still suspects cards in the parlor, take the first and add it to your hand.

If there are no more suspects cards, you can ask the player of your choice to show you one card for which you have specified one or two characteristics ("Show me a Dominican", or "Show me a bearded novice"). If the questioned player has one or more cards of the concerned type, he must show you one of them. Otherwise, he must say that he has none of them.


When you go to the Crypt in order to pray on the holy relics of Saint Galbert, you receive a cross that you may use later to immediately replay your normal turn. Each player may only have one cross at a time.


You may bring an accusation or make a revelation. There is no obligation to do either.


A revelation means to publicly announce to all the players that you have discovered a characteristic of the guilty monk. The possible characteristics are: bearded man, hairless, novice, Friar, Reverend Father, white frock (Dominican), brown frock (Franciscan), black frock (Benedictine), frock with a hood, frock without a hood, fat, thin. The revelations made during the course of the game are recorded, they will be used to tally points scored at the end of the game.

Examples of revelations:

"The guilty monk is Franciscan"

"The guilty man has no hood"

"The guilty man is a Reverend Father".

It is forbidden to make a revelation that has already been made. If a player has revealed that the guilty monk is "Dominican" then you cannot announce the same thing but you are allowed to say that "he is Franciscan"! A revelation must explicitly mention one characteristic of the guilty monk. You cannot reveal that "he is not Franciscan", because you have not indicated his order (he may be Dominican or Benedictine). In the same way, you cannot say that "he is not a novice" but you can reveal that "he is hairless" or that "his frock has no hood".


As long as there are cards in the Parlor, no accusations can be made.

If you think that you have discovered the guilty monk, then you publicly announce who he is.

If you are wrong, another player must intervene so as to prove the accused's innocence by showing the suspect's card to all the players. Your pawn is then moved to the Chapel for penance.

If you were right and no player intervenes then the game is over. Tally up everyone's points to find the winner.

Accusations and revelations can only be made during your turn and your pawn must be in the Chapter House.


A pawn caught in the act of searching a cell or having made a false accusation must repent. By common agreement players may also decide to impose a penance on a player who makes a mistake (trying to play before one's turn, trying to ask a forbidden question, etc) or gets too excited.

The pawn in penance is placed in the Chapel where he must spend a turn praying. He may neither ask nor answer questions while there. If a pawn goes to penance just before the Mass then he must spend his first turn praying after Mass.

Tallying Points

After the guilty monk has been discovered then tally up points. Each player earns:
Each true revelation +2
Each wrong revelation -1
Discovery of the guilty monk
(a true accusation)
Each false accusation -2

In case of a tie then the player who discovered the guilty monk wins.

The players may play a few games and total the points scored in all games to determine the overall winner for the evening.

Questions and Answers

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions:

Q: Is my pawn allowed to use its two points of move to leave the Scriptorium and then immediately go back in?

A: No, a pawn cannot end its move in the square from which it started because this would be like making no move, which is forbidden.

Q: Am I allowed to ask my opponent a question which he cannot answer with certainty, or that requires him to remember of past events ?

A: Yes. All of the questions, even the most hazy or subjective, are allowed. Your opponent must be sincere when answering but you must be aware that he can be wrong!

Q: Do I have to ask a question about suspects for whom my opponent has seen the cards or can I ask him a question about suspects he has removed from his list?

A: Both types of question are possible, and your opponent can possibly ask you to clarify your question. If he thinks that he is not able to answer, you can modify it.

Q: How should I record all this information ?

A: The cards circulate a lot, it would be impossible and noteworthy to record all the information. Make a note of the information you are absolutely certain. You can trust the deductions of the other players but record in different ways the suspects you have seen personally and the others you have deduced from the behavior or the answers of the other players.

Q: Should I be certain before making an accusation or a revelation ?

A: There is no obligation. You can take the risk of making a wrong revelation, which costs one point in order to get ahead of the other players.

Strategic Variant

If the players wish to have a less uncertain, more tactical game, they may make the following simplifications:

Remove the Library and its books.

Remove the events.

A player with two books in hand cannot go to the Scriptorium.

The 8 "Book from the Library" cards


This text is so frightening that you scream with fear and disgust. Alarmed, the pawns of all the other players rush in disorder into the Scriptorium.

Ask each of the players to show you one card, each time specifying one characteristic of the required card (for example, show me a Dominican).

Histoire secréte de l'abbaye
Secret History of the Abbey

Look at one card, chosen randomly, from the hand of each of the other players. Then shuffle all the cards and give them back to the players.

Traité des plaisirs
Treatise of Pleasures

At last, you understand the motivations of the inhabitants of this sad place. Look at all the cards from another player of your choice. But before you may look at his cards, he may decide to hide one and only one card that you will not see.

Evangile de Judas
Gospel of Judas

What a mess in this heretical text! Exchange all your cards with those of another player of your choice.

Miroir du monde
Mirror of the World

Look at all the cards of another player as indicated by the roll of the die.

Livre des propriétés des choses
Book of the Properties of Things

What a strange compilation! Take three cards from the Scriptorium.

Le rire d'Aristote
Aristotle's Laugh

In spite of the calamities overwhelming the abbey, this improbable book gives you exceptional drive. Go immediately to the square of your choice and take another turn.

Traité Magico-cabalistique
Treatise on Cabalistic Magic

There are texts which disturb the mind. Immediately make a revelation, which will be tallied up at the end of the game only if it is true.

The 18 "events" cards


An inquisitor arrives at the monastery in order to investigate. All the pawns are sent to the Chapter House, where the players must make a revelation. (Each player secretly records his revelation on a sheet of paper and they are all simultaneously revealed. So several players may make the same revelation).


The old sister of one of the monks, determined by the die, comes to visit him. His pawn is put in the Parlor.


Franciscans are suspect. Each player must show, if he has any, one Franciscan card.


Benedictines are suspect. Each player must show, if he has any, one Benedictine card.


Novices are suspect. Each player must show, if he has any, one novice card.


Brothers are suspect. Each player must show, if he has any, one brother card.


Dominicans are suspect. Each player must show, if he has any, one Dominican card.


The Abbot decides to walk in procession around the monastery in order to implore the help of the Lords. Nobody will be able to investigate and the game immediately proceeds to the next mass.


The abbot declares one hour of silence in memory of Brother Anselme. Until the next mass, the players can only ask questions for which it is possible to answer by "yes" or "no".


The abbot imposes a penance on two monks, who are sent to their cells in order to scourge themselves and to mortify their flesh. Two pawns determined by two dice throws are each put in their own cell.

Clef perdue
Lost Key

The Prior has lost a key. Throw a die to determine which room will remain closed until the next mass.

Red & Orange Scriptorium
Blue & Green Parlor
Yellow & Purple Chapter House


What a hubbub when monks come out of the church! One card is randomly taken in the hand of each player. These cards are shuffled and randomly distributed between the players.

Corvée de pluches

The pawn determined by the die is sent to the Chapter House to peel the turnips (this is BEFORE potatoes, remember).

Un deuxième cadavre!
A second body!

Friar Raymond has just been discovered murdered. All the players go to the graveyard. The pawns are put outside of the monastery, in front of the parlor. They will begin their next turn by going into the abbey by the door.

Livres interdits
Forbidden books

The abbot is angry: some monks of the abbey are keeping books forbidden by the Church. The books from all the players are brought back to the Scriptorium.


The abbot's sermon is especially moving and has filled the monks with a new energy. Until the next mass, the pawns of the players may move three squares per turn instead of two.

Prière individuelle
Individual prayer

The abbot sends all the monks to pray in their cells. Each pawn is put in its own cell.


A group of monks was in town where everyone saw them watching the work at the new cathedral. Each player chooses one of his cards and shows it. All the disclosed cards are removed from the game. (Place them face up on the side of the board.)

The 24 "Book from the Scriptorium" Cards

Apocalypse de Jean
Apocalypse of Jean

Will the prophecies of the Apocalypse help you understand the events happening in the monastery? Play this card when a die must be thrown to determine a player. No die is thrown, and you choose the player.


Will this text help you understand what will happen in the monastery? Look at the three next event cards. Remove one of them and place it at the bottom of the pile.

Bréviaire enluminé
Illuminated breviary

The reading of the breviary fills you with energy. Keep this card and use it to move one supplementary square.

Cantique des cantiques
Song of Songs

The sensuality of the text fills you with enthusiasm. Take another turn and you can make a three squares move.

Cartulaire de l'abbaye
Cartulary of the Abbey

What strange information about the abbey. Keep this card, and play it during the mass to look at the cards that a player of your choice gives to another.

Chronique du monastère
Chronicle of the monastery

Even the monks have an history. Randomly take a card from the player determined by the die.

Chronique du monastère
Chronicle of the monastery

So many old secrets are buried in the chronicle of the monastery... Randomly take a card from the player determined by the die.

Chronique de Saint Théodule
Chronicle of Saint Theodule

You discover that it is today Saint Theodule's feast, protector of the city. In the general excitement, due to the recent events, it has been forgotten. All the pawns immediately go to the mass.

Cité de dieu
The City of God

The work of Saint Augustine fills you with joy and energy. Keep this card and use it to move one supplementary square.

Grimoire de Haute Magie
Book of High Magic

The racket you make trying to read, in vain, those cursed incantations creates a great disorder in the monastery. Move as you wish the pawns of all the other players. It is forbidden to put two pawns in the same square.

Logique Aristotélicienne
Aristotilian Logic

Keep this card and use it when you are in the parlor. If the player you have asked to reveal a card cannot show it to you, you can ask him for another, and so on until he shows you one.

Manuel des Inquisiteurs
Manual of Inquisitors

Keep this book and use it on your turn to make a revelation or an accusation, wherever you are.

Manuel de rhétorique
Manual of Rhetoric

How the art of asking questions is useful!

Keep this card and use it when a player takes a vow of silence in order to avoid answering one of your questions. Then he must answer and he cannot, in return, ask you a question.

Patristique Byzantine
Byzantine Patristic

It is in Greek; it cannot be read! But this text is of great interest for the librarian. Keep this card and play it to go to the library when you have one more card than the player who has the least.

Plan du monastère
Map of the monastery

There is an underground, forgotten network under the monastery. Keep this card and play it so as to go directly from the Crypt to the Parlor, the Criptorium or the Chapter House.


The reading of the psalms fills you with energy. Keep this card and use it to move one supplementary square.

Règle Bénédictine
Benedictine rule

Keep this card and use it after having asked your question, and possibly having answered one, so as to remind player of your choice, whose pawn is on the square where your pawn just arrived, of his duty. His pawn is sent to the Chapel (he does not have to stay in the chapel during his turn).

Règle Dominicaine
Dominican rule

Some of the monks present seem to have unorthodox books. Take a book from another player, without looking at it before, and keep it.

Règle franciscaine
Franciscan rule

Silence is needed for asceticism and meditation. Play this card before asking a question. Then you have a word with him about what interests you, and he answers in the same way.

Somme théologique
Theological Survey

What depth in the work of the Doctors of the Church! This text requires such an intense reflection that you forget the troubles in the monastery. Play this card during the mass so as to give one card less to your neighbor than the other players.

Texte alchimique
Alchemic text

This book is so fascinating that you forget the mass. Keep this card and play it so as not to go to the mass. Your pawn stay in its current square. You neither receive nor give any cards.

Textes cryptographiques
Cryptographic texts

This book is very mysterious, incomprehensible, but behind there is an overhanging stone. When you push it, a secret passage opens and you arrive in the Confessional of your choice.

Traité Néo-platonicien
Neo-platonic Treatise

The hermetic texts sometimes carry hidden verities. Randomly look at two of the cards of the player determined by the die.

Traité d'astrologie arabe
Treatise on Arabian Astrology

Will the course of the stars help you to understand what happened last night in the monastery? Randomly look at two cards, each one taken from the hand of a different player of your choice. Exchange the two cards before giving them back.



You must ask a player, whose pawn is on the square where you just arrived, a question. He does not have to answer, but if he answers then he may ask you one question which you must answer. Then you can use the capacities of the square on which you arrived.


Take a card from the last player to have been here.


Take a card from the cell's owner.


Take a cross. It may be used to play again once during the game.


Take a book card.


Take one suspect card if there are still such cards.

Otherwise, ask a player to show you one card with one or two characteristics of your choice.

Chapter House

You can make an accusation or a revelation.


Every four turns all the pawns go to the chapel to celebrate mass. Each player gives cards (1 at the first mass, 2 at the second, and so on) to the player on his left. After the mass an event card is drawn and the last player becomes the first.


Only the players with the least number of cards in their hand may go into the library. Each player is allowed to go into the library only once during the game.

Take a book card.


Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose"

Ellis Peters, "Brother Cadfael" twenty books published


Authors of the game: Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget
Illustrations: Jean-Paul Krassinsky
Graphical Design: Cyrille Daujean, Jean-Paul Krassinsky

"Meurtre à l'Abbaye" is a registered trademark.

Published by:

éditions MULTISIM
22 rue des Carmes
75005 PARIS

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell