Lords Of Waterdeep: How To Play – Simplified

Lords of Waterdeep - How to Play Simplified


Our Rating:

In this game, you are a powerful Lord that is trying to gain control of a valuable city! You must use your trusty workers to go out an collect valuable resources for you. You will use those resources to complete quests, gaining you points and thus making you a more powerful and amazing leader! Be the one with the most points (completed quests) in order to be the ultimate Lord of Waterdeep!

Number of Players

Time to Play


2 - 5

60 - 120 min


Want to see what our thoughts are on this game? Check out...
Lords of Waterdeep Review

This game has made it onto a couple of our favorites lists...
Best Board Games for Beginners
Best  Worker Placement Board Games

Note: These simplified rules for Lords Of Waterdeep are to help you decide if the game is right for you and your group, or to help you get started quickly…not to be all encompassing.

Rules Overview

Lords of Waterdeep is a fairly simple game to get a hang of, but it is some of the intricacies that can be overwhelming at first. Since the creators over at Dungeons and Dragons, did a good quick play guide (see below), we will only focus on the broad overview of the game, so that way when you read the rules (or quick play), you can spend more effort on those intricacies.

In general, in Lords of Waterdeep, you will be placing your workers (Meeples) on the available game board spaces, and in turn receiving item(s) for that space. You will collect these items (coins, cubes, cards) to help you complete your end mission of completing as many ‘Quests’ as possible.

The Setup


Each player will get a player board, a set number of Meeples (depends on the number of players), 2 quest cards, 2 intrigue cards, one Lord card and 4 gold to the starting player (each subsequent person gets 1 more gold than the person beside them).

Note: If you’re curious as to what each card does, we had a section below on the cards and what they do.

Game Board

To setup the game board, you must turn face up 4 quests cards and put them in the open space at the Cliffwatch Inn, as well as 3 building tiles in the spaces at the Builder’s Hall. You must also put 3 VP tokens on each space of the rounds tracker. Intrigue cards are shuffles and placed face down on their designated spot as well.

Game Play

One at a time, each person will place one Meeple onto an open space on the game board, continue clockwise until no one has any Meeples left. If anyone has a Meeple at the Waterdeep Harbor space at the end of the round, these are then re-assigned to a different space.

Each space provides some sort of resource or action you can take. These are clearly marked on the game board. Some allow you to take cubes, other cards, build buildings, or even take the first player token. More on these in the ‘Spaces’ section below. After the action is taken, players can then complete quests (i.e. pay for them with cubes and coins).

Items that are collected are placed on your individual player board in their designated spots for use as needed.

End of Round

At the end of the round, players collect their Meeples, the 3 VPs on the round tracker are distributed on the building tiles. Then the next round begins as it did before. A quick note here is that in the fifth round, everyone gets an extra Meeple to use for the rest of the game.

End of Game

The game ends at the end of the eighth round.  Players now tally all the points they earned from all their completed quests. Keep in mind here that your Lord may grant you extra points for different factions.



This is your character for the game. It is kept secret and your Lord has an area of concentration which they are good at. You get bonus points for completing quests/objectives in their area of expertise (this is noted on the card).


These are generally what you need to earn Victory Points throughout the game. You can get these at the Cliffwatch Inn, and complete them by paying the required resources shown on the card. There are different factions/types for the quests (some are more valuable with different Lords), and the reward for completing the quest is on the bottom.

Some quests are noted to be ‘plot quests’ which have an ongoing benefit for the rest of the game.


These are random bonus or effect cards. They allow you to gain resources, or even attack players (mandatory quests or removing cubes). Many of these will affect all players of the game, some just you.


These can be bought by players (cost in the corner on the tile), but are under the players control for the rest of the game. In fact, they get a ‘rent’ when other players land on them (again noted on the tile). These are generally more valuable than the free spaces in the middle of the game board.


There are a few unique spaces on the board that allow you to preform different actions. Some of note.

Cliffwatch Inn

Gain quests here, but note that there are 3 different spots for Meeples, each with a different action/benefit, which is noted on the board.

Castle Waterdeep

This spot allows you to take the first player token as well as an intrigue card.

Builder’s Hall

This spot allows you to purchase buildings and put them into play on the game board.

Waterdeep Harbor

This is where you go to play your Intrigue Card. The extra benefit of this spot is you get to re-assign that Meeple at the end of the round (in turn order).


So there you have it, a very simple breakdown of how to play Lords of Waterdeep. For the most part, the gameplay is very straight-forward with the actions and rewards being noted on the game board itself. As always, remember to check out the full rules for any clarification, since this was meant to be a broad overview.

About the author


I love playing board games with my family and friends when I am not busy playing sports or working away. Check out my full Bio on the About Us page!

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