In Ora et Labora, each player is head of a monastery in the Medieval era that acquires land and constructs buildings - little enterprises that will gain resources and profit. The goal is to build a working infrastructure and manufacture prestigious items - such as books, ceramics, ornaments and relics - to gain the most victory points at the end of the game.
Each player has a landscape with a Clay Mound, a Cloister Office, and a Farmyard, He receives livestock, grains, coins, or clay when he places his clergymen onto these buildings. How many goods he receives depends on the position of the goods indicator on the production wheel. Whenever a goods type is taken, the corresponding goods indicator is moved back to 0. Each time the production wheel is rotated at the start of a round, all production is increased.
There are two other goods at the start of the game: wood and peat. These can only be obtained when a forest or moor card is removed from a player's landscape. Players can buy additional landscapes to add to their starting landscape. These landscapes can provide room to build buildings with building materials as well as settlements with food and energy. Some of the buildings are special cloister buildings. Since these must always be built adjacent to other cloister buildings, a cloister of ever-increasing size develops that the player can be rewarded for with the House of Brotherhood.
The settlements are of special interest in the game. They must be cleverly built next to other buildings and settlements so that they are worth as many points as possible at the end of the game. Whoever has carried out God's work with prayer and hard work at the end of the game is the winner.
Ora & Labora includes two sets of game rules - a shorter, narrative set and a longer, more detailed set. A solo game lets players read the rules and immediately "try out" the game.
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