CATAN | Pyroclastic Edition
Creative destruction for the whole family

Created by Wells Packard (c)2021, revised 07/22/22
bugs & sugestions

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Building Costs

Exchange Rates

Attack Table

Pyroclastic Rules Building Info Practicum
∘ General
∘ Roads & Bridges ∘ Winning
∘ Volcano
∘ Settelments ∘ Strategy
∘ Gold
∘ Cities ∘ Statistics
∘ Fish
∘ Castles ∘ Inventory
∘ Powder Kegs
∘ Capitals
∘ Scuttling
∘ Sloops, Sloops
∘ Mutiny
∘ Schooners
∘ Piracy
∘ Ships of War

Development Cards
35 Leadership Cards 1/4 VP each.
44 Stimulus Cards Harvest and Action

Achievment Cards | 2 VPs each
Longest RoadLongest Sea Lane
Largest ArmyLargest Navy
Land GrabberHarbor Master
Good ShepardCircumnavigator

Board Setup

The Big Island has 36 hexagonal tiles: 9 across and 5 sea tiles one each side. There is a volcano instead of a desert, and river tiles are optional.

Laying out the board

1. Randomly place the 24 sea-hex tiles, alternating between the plain sea and ports, in a hexagonal outline, five tiles per side.

2. Set Volcano tiles aside and place remaining resource tiles randomly, starting from the edge of the sea and spiraling inwards.

3. The last ore tile placed is moved to the center spot and is replaced by the first volcano tile.

4. Place the (2/12) button on the volcanic hotspot, and the rest of the ID buttons randomly on the remaining terrestrial hex-tiles.

5. Stack the rest of the volcano tiles on top with the volcano’s hotspot on top.

6. Roll to see who goes first.

7. Each player is dealt 5 development cards before placing settlements.

8. Each player in turn places one settlement on an intersection, then place a road on an adjacent edge.
- Settlements must be at least two road segments apart from any other settlement.
- Port settlements my choose to build a Sloop instead of a road.

9. Then, reversing the direction, the last player goes first, placing their second settlement, a city and an adjacent road (or Sloop),

10. Each player starts with 2 resource card per hex available to the second settlement (city) they placed. Volcano settlements received gold instead of ore.

10. Each player starts with 1 free Sloop placed on the seahex nearest a settlement.

Order of Play

  1. Starting with the first player, resume clockwise rotation of turns.

  2. Players may only build and trade with others during their own turn.

  3. Knights may be played before OR after rolling the dice.

  4. Ships may be moved before OR after rolling the dice.

  5. Only one development card may be played per turn, and not the card that was just picked up.

  6. Unless blocked by a special knight, follow the instructions on that card and proceed.

    On their turn, players roll two dice to determine the following events:

3 thru 11 = Harvest

  • All players who have a settlement on a tile with the number rolled, get a resource card for that tile's resource type.

  • 1 card per settlement
  • 2 cards per city.
  • The roller is responsible for distributing cards.

    Generaly this is group-service, players help and hand cards to each other, please make sure everyone is good before you continue.

2 or 12 = Kaboom
Pyroclastic Event

  • Player rolls one die to determine direction to move the volcanic hotspot.

  • Any settlements on the edge of the new hotspot are (destroyed) flipped over.

  • All roads, bridges and Sloops on the edge of the new hotspot are (destroyed) returned to their owner.

  • A Tsunami strikes the opposite coast, taking one resource card from every seaside settlement effected.

  • All Sloops and ships are moved one full hex away from land. Note: this may change who has the longest sea route.

  • All fish cards held by all players are returned to the bank.

7 = Robber and Fish

  • When a 7 is rolled, any player with more than 7 cards must forfeit half of them, rounding down, (e.g.: a player holding 11 cards, must give up 5 of them)

  • The player who rolled the 7 must move the robber to a new terrestrial hex-tile, and then blindly take a resource from a player's hand who has a settlement on that hex-tile.

  • If the player has a played a pirate or nautical knight leadership card, they may opt to place the robber on a port hex tile, taking a card from its owner and shutting it down.
  • After the robber is done stealing, all players may claim fish resource cards, 1 fish card for every Sloop, ship and seaside settlement, 2 fish cards for each port.
    fun fish facts

A player ends their turn by passing the dice.

Pyroclastic Rules

Before beginning, players should come to consensus on the following variants which (like free parking) will tweak the game mechanics and affect duration of play.

Unless specified below, basic Catan rules apply.

Disputes and reparations for player error, and perceived flaws in game mechanics may be resolved by uninterested players. Changes to rules must be approved by consensus.

Jump Start Accelerators
Players are dealt out 5 development card each before choosing starting settlements.
The second settlement placed is a city.
Players start with resources cards from their second starting settlement (1 card per hex).

Expanded Trade
In addition to resource cards, players may trade anything; buildings, Sloops, ships, roads, development cards, even promises.

Alliances & Pacts
Players may make any agreements between themselves but cannot be held to them. Only one player can win, but messing with others has its own rewards.


Fish Gold Limited Resources
If a player earns a resource card that is not available from the bank, they may choose to invoke the robber. If the resource is still not available, they get nothing.

New Development Cards
76 to be exact, each player starts with 5 dev cards before choosing their first settlements. About half are stimulus cards, with the rest being leadership cards worth 1/4 VP each. There are no regular knights, so it is always worth buying cards, but is now the right time?

Powder Kegs
With sulfur from the volcano, player can mix potash and charcol, and make black powder. Fill a keg of it and you have enough to blow up a settlement and a few roads. Playing a Powder Keg development card does not require any additional cost, OR you can buy one for 4 wood, 3 gold (yellow cake sulfer), and you need someone to deliver it, a knight or a pirate card must be played at that time. Kegs may puchased and held as a deteriant, or played immediatly. Scuttling
Players may sink, scuttle, or destroy their own property on their turn. Sinking is free, Unbuilding costs 2X the building fee

If player owns ships of war and cannot maintain the crew, they must lay that tokens on its side, floating helplessly. Any player may capture it by playing a pirate card, or by sailing into the same hex and feeding the crew. If the ship is in port, that settlement owner may also sieze the crew by feeding it.

- going rouge in style.
Any player that suffers a pyroclastic loss, is down to just one sellement, can no longer develop inland, or just clearly has no hope of winning, may declare themselves a pirate by yelling, "Arrr!"

Abdication & Unification
Should a player decide that they cannot continue playing anymore, they may resign and turn over all their holdings to another, usually the player with the weakest position. Or the remaining players may negotiate carving up assets, or opt for total removal of abandoned assets, and play out claiming the newly available land.
The consolidated resources may not excede the building limits for a single player, i.e.: 16 roads, etc. Holdings over the limit must be removed.

Hex-ID Numbers
We have replaced the 2 and 12 resource hex ID tokens with a 3 and an 11 respectively. This speeds up the game and clearly reserves 2 and 12 for the volcano.

The Volcano:
During setup, the last ore hex placed becomes the location of the active volcano. The ore hex is moved to the center, or other empty space.
Stack up all the volcano tiles on that spot with the hotspot on top. The volcano’s origin hex ID is, and remains 2 & 12.
  1. The volcano is activated by a dice roll of a 2 or 12.

  2. The robber is sent far out to sea.

  3. All fish are returned to the bank.

  4. A single die is rolled to determine the direction (1-6) of the lava flow, and the hex tile in that direction is covered up by lava.

  5. Moving the Volcano
    The volcano hotspot flows under the fixed ID buttons in the direction determined by the dice.
  6. a.

  7. All hex tiles covered in lava retain their resource roll ID number and may be built upon, and when that number is rolled, gold is harvested. The volcano’s origin hex ID remains 2 & 12.

  8. Any roads and settlements touching the new lava tile are destroyed. Roads are returned to their respective players, and settlements are reduced to rubble (flipped over).

  9. Any player may now build on or near this location.

  10. The prior owner need not have a road leading up to it in order to claim the site, but they must rebuild with the appropriate resources as if it were new.

  11. This site cannot be rebuilt if a new settlement is placed less than 2 roads away.

  12. A volcanic eruption triggers a tsunami which strikes the coast in the opposite direction, washing away one resource card for every seaside settlement on that side of the board. Example, rolling 5 flows the lava in the (5) direction and the wave hits in the opposite (2) direction.

  13. When not exploding, volcano tiles act as resource tiles, and once established settlements can harvest gold when that tile's number is rolled. As such, gold is provided if a player's starting settlement placement is on the volcano.

Cannons Attack Table
Shots cost 1 ore, a roll = or > is a hit.
Player must indicate target before rolling.

Same Hex One Hex Two Hex
Sloop/Barge 2 3 5
Sail Sloop 4 6 --
Sloop 4 5 6
Frigate 4 5 6
Battleship 4 5 6
Road 5 -- --
Settlement 4 5 --
City 5 6 --
Castle 6 -- --
Capital 4 6 --

Building Costs Table

To build or upgrade requires these resources:
Roads | 16 max
Must be built adjacent to settlements, or another road.

Bridges | 3 max

Settlements 1 VP | 6 max
Must be spaced 2 roads, or 1 bridge apart.
Yields 1 resource card.

Cities 2 VPs | 4 max
Upgraded from a settlement
Yields 2 resource cards.

Castles 2 VPs | 2 max
Upgraded from a city,
Requires 1 leadership card per castle.
Yields 2 resource cards.
Cannon fires once per turn, cost 1 ore.
Castles cannot be attaced or robbed.

Captial 3 VPs | 1 max
Upgraded from a castle,
No cannons, No protection from robber.
Requires 1 royal leadership card
Yields 3 resource cards.

Sloop | 16 max
Sloops are small sailboats for exploring. They are created in a port, and can be upgraded for commerce, colonisation and conquest.
Move 1 hex per turn at no cost.
Individually, sloops can move freely, but when lined up along the edges of sea hexes they form shipping lanes, the nautical equivalent of roads. Starting from a port, they build out along the edges of sea tiles to connect with other ports. If the port is unoccupied, you my build a settlement.

New Sloops may be placed at the end of shipping lane, but technically they are placed at the port, and every other Sloop moves one space outwards. Sloops my be placed along the coast if unoccupied by a road, but do not count as roads, for achivement, as they have thier own goals.

Schooner 1/4 VPs | 8 max
Upgrade from a sloop, requires 1 leadership card,
Move 3 hex per turn costs 1 food card.

Friget 1 VP | 3 max
Upgrade from a Schooner,
Requires 1 captian, OR 2 leadership cards per ship,
Move 4 hex per turn costs 1 food card.
Mantainance, 1 food card every turn.
Cannon fires once per turn, cost 1 ore.

Battleship 3 VPs | 1 max
Upgrade from a Friget,
requires 1 captian AND 1 royal per ship,
Move 5 hex per turn costs 1 food card.
Mantainance, 2 food cards every turn.
Cannon fires twice per turn, cost 1 ore per shot.

Powder Keg
Purchase may used on next turn, or held as a deterant. Play with a Knight to distroy any intersection along your own road, OR play with a Captian to distroy any port. Castles are immune, Capitals are reduced to cities. Cities and settelments are obliterated, same as volcanos.

The Good Shepard | 2 VPs
This Achievment Card can be purchased with a dozen or so sheep by anyone, starting at 12 wool cards, and increasing by 1 wool each purchase.

The holder gets 2 victory points AND the ablity to negate the effects of the volcano, if the holder sacraficices a sheep to the bank after 2/12 is rolled and before the directional roll.

Remember, only the person who's turn it is can trade with others.

Development Cards
Purchase Simulus and Leadership cards

36 Leadership Cards | 1/4 VP each
After being played, Leadership are also used to protect fortified cities and command strong ships, in addition to building the largest army.

Unless specified otherwise; all LCs when played can move robber and steal 1 resource from an opponent who has a settlement on the robber's new hex tile.

16 Knights of the Round Table | 1/4 VP
These knights can retaliate immediately when attacked by another knight. Move the robber, and take 1 card from an opponent.

Table of Knights

Note that the Black Knight is special

2 Kings | 1/4 VP (Royal Knights)
May attack as a knight, or block any attack. Move the robber, take 2 cards from an opponant.

2 Queens | 1/4 VP (Royal Warriors)
May attack, or block any attack. Move the robber, take 2 cards from an opponant.

2 Princess | 1/4 VP (Royal Warriors)
May attack, or block any knight. Move the robber, take 2 cards from an opponant.

2 Princes | 1/4 VP (Royal Knights)
May attack as a knight, or block any knight. Move the robber, take 1 cards from an opponant.

4 Sea Captains | 1/4 VP (2 are Knights)
Attack by moving the rober/pirate to any port and take 2 cards, OR upgrade a ship.

4 Pirate Captains | 1/4 VP (2 are Queens)
Attack ports by moving pirate to any port and taking all gold and fish from another player, OR seize any mutinous ship, OR upgrade a ship.

2 Fishy Captains | 1/4 VP

Take all fish from all players, AND upgrade any Sloop or ship to a schooner.

2 Royal Thieves of the Forest | 1/4 VP
Take all resource cards from all players, shuffle, and deal them back out again evenly, keeping any extras for yourself.

2 Court Jesters | 1/4 VP
This royal fool lest you play as many development cards as you want on this one turn.

2 Zen Masters | 1/4 VP
This card can block any attack any time. Take 1 resource card from the attacker’s hand and give it to another player, one who is suffering most. Once played, you may take an new development card.

44 Stimulus Cards

8 Road Building Cards
Place 2 new roads as if you had just bought them.

You can trade this card if you cannot build more roads.

6 Ship Building Cards

Place 2 new sloops anywhere as if you had just bought them, OR upgrade any sailing ship by one class.

4 Market Day Cards

Take any 3 resource cards from the bank.

4 Monopoly Cards

Name one resource type and all players must give you all the cards they hold of that type.

4 Powder Keg Cards

Destroy any intersection, flip any non-walled settlement and return roads to owners. Anyone may build here; the previous owner may do so without roads.

4 Kaboom Volcano Cards

All Sloops in ports must leave to an adjacent sea hex. A volcanic eruption is triggered without a tsunami. Roll for direction of flow.

2 Tsunami Cards

Every player must give up 1 resource card for every seaside settlement.
All fish are discarded and Sloops are moved one hex away from land.

2 Ship-Sails-In Cards

On this turn you may trade 2:1 any resource including gold, AND you may move one of your ships to any port.

2 City Building Cards

Player may upgrade any settlement to the next level if they meet its leadership requirements.

2 Cornucopia Cards

Draw 1 card each of brick, wheat, wood, wool, and ore.

2 Sheep Dog Cards

Collect all sheep from every player and deal them back out evenly, keeping any extras for yourself.

2 Ewe Cards

Playing this card doubles the number of sheep in your hand, once played, no cards can be used or exchanged until your next turn.

2 Go Fish Cards

Instead of loosing a card to a knight, take all of theirs, they may now pick any two from the bank.

2 Fast Food Cards

Everyone gets fish as if a 7 had been rolled, and you draw 2 new devleopment cards.

Achievement Cards

Longest Road | 2 VP
Achievement card for the player with the longest uninterrupted line of 5 or more roads, this may include bridges, but not Sloops.
If a player builds a settlement that intersects another players road, that road is split in two.
Largest Army | 2 VP
Achievement card for a player with more than 3 knights and warriors in your hand that have been played.
Land Grabber | 2 VP
Achievment for being the first player to build 16 roads, 5 Settlements, 4 Cities, and a Capital.
Good Shepard | 2 VP
Held by the last player to purchased it for 12 or more cards. Price increases by +1 sheep each time. The holder of this card may sacrifice 1 sheep before any roll to block the effects of a pyroclastic event.
Longest Sea Road | 2 VP
Achievement card for a player with longest Maritime Trade Route, a contiguous line of Sloops that link two or more ports. The number of Sloops is limited to the number of sea hex tiles.
Harbor Master | 2 VP
After building settlements in 3 ports, the player who controls the most ports is named the Harbor Master
Largest Navy | 2 VP
Achievement card for a player with 4 or more ships, schooner or better.
Circumnavigator | 2 VP
Achievement card for the first player to sail all around the Big Island.


The Winner gets to clean up the game and put it back in the box.

Strategic Thoughts:

  1. It is always worth buying a development card, but is now the right time?

  2. Playing a knight is like a mini embargo or sanction, target them well.

  3. Consider the Wood/Brick path to road building, settlement expansion, and Longest Road.

  4. Consider the Wheat/Wool/Ore path, for development cards, Largest Army and Good Shepard.

  5. Consider fish your friends, ports and ships are a path to piracy.

  6. There is a 5% chance of Kaboom each roll, then, a 1 in 3 chance of it killing you.

  7. Experience sugests that volcano only errupts 2 to 3 times per game, but you never know.

  8. Once the Volcano has flowed a bit, look for 8s 6s on a lava hex for easy gold.

  9. Consider a port as a starting settlement for immediate trade.

  10. Consider a port as a starting settlement to build Sloops towards another port.

  11. Consider purchasing a powder keg and displaying it as a deterant.

  12. You can use a powder keg on your own castle to remove approaching roads.

  13. So far, there is no rule against building a bridge without a river...hmmm.

  14. If women cannot be knights, they they can't be blocked as such.

  15. All pirates and nautical knights are captians or of higher naval rank.

  16. Jesters count as royal leadership cards.

  17. A port with 2 Sloops, is 4 fish every time a 7 is rolled, and can be traded for anything.

  18. If you have 7 good cards and couple of fish, you can drop the fish before any roll to avoid the robber.

  19. If you have 7 cards and a bunch of fish, save to fish to give to the robber.

  20. Rob from the rich, unless someone is building too near.

  21. Fair trade builds good will.

  22. Minor territory agreements at start great for both players.

  23. If you can't win, take someone else down with you.

  24. Its only a game.

Trade and Exchange Rates

Probablility Table

Free Trade
  • On their turn, a player may exchange anything with any other player that they mutually agree upon.
  • When you upgrade a ship in another's player's port, you pay them, instead of the bank.
  • You can't trade at another player's port if it has ever been attacked.

  • Bank Trades
    Any player, on their turn, may exchange with the bank:
  • 4 of one type of resource card for 1 card of another, except gold.
  • 1 gold card for any other resource card.
  • You can only buy gold with a generic port 3:1.
  • You can not trade fish for gold.
  • i>
    A generic Sea Port may exchange 3:1
  • 3 of one type of resource card for 1 card of another, except gold.
  • 4 fish, for 1 card of another, except gold.
  • 4 of one type of resource card, except fish, for 1 gold card.
  • You can not trade fish for gold.

  • A specialty Sea Port may exchange 2:1
    2 of that resource card for 1 card of another, except gold.

    A Schooner on a generic sea port may exchange 3:1
    3 of 1 type of resource card for any 1 card of another, except gold.
    4 of 1 type of resource card for 1 gold card. You can not trade fish for gold.

    A Schooner on a specialty sea port may exchange 2:1
    2 of 1 type of resource card for 1 of the specialty.

    A Frigate on an opponants specialty sea port may exchange 1:1:
    Any 1 resource card, except fish, for 1 card of the port specialty.

    A Battleship on an opponants generic Sea Port may exchange 1:1:
    Any 1 resource card, including fish, for any other, except gold.
    1 gold cards for 2 of any other card.

    ID Button Ratio Chance So...
    1:18 5.56% It happens
    1:18 5.56% Infrequently
    1:12 8.33% Here and there
    1:9 11.11% Very good
    1:7 13.89% Almost best
    1:5 16.67% Fishy at best
    1:7 13.89% Less then best
    1:9 11.11% Quite likely
    1:12 8.33% Now and then
    1:18 5.56% Once in a while

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