Development cards are build-able cards that have varying effects that come in The Settlers of Catan and some of its expansions. In the base game, Development cards are built using and can not be played the turn they are drawn.
Base game card types
In the base game, there are 25 development cards: 14 knight cards, 5 victory point cards, 2 road building, 2 year of plenty, and 2 monopoly.
- Knight card - lets the player move the robber
- Road Building - player can place 2 roads as if they just built them
- Year of Plenty - the player can draw 2 resource cards of their choice from the bank
- Monopoly - player can claim all resource cards of a specific declared type
- Victory Point card - 1 additional Victory Point is added to the owners total and doesn't need to be played to win.
Catan: Seafarers uses the base game development cards which function exactly the same except for the following exceptions:
- Road Builder - a player can place 2 roads OR 2 ships OR 1 road and 1 ship
In Cities and Knights
Catan: Cities & Knights does not use development cards but uses Progress cards. These are generated through a combination of city improvements and dice rolls but function much the same as regular development cards.
In Traders and Barbarians
There are a couple of scenarios in Catan: Traders & Barbarians that use their own sets of development cards with varying abilities.
- Knighthood - place 1 knight on one of the sides of the castle hex
- Black Knight - place 1 knight anywhere on the board
- Intrigue - move a barbarian from 1 hex to another of your choice
- Treason - obtain 2 gold AND move 2 barbarians to another of your choice
Traders & Barbarians scenario
- Victory Point card - same as base game but called "Glassmaking," "Quarry," and "Toolmaking"
- Road Building - same as base game
- Knight card - same as base game but you move barbarians instead of the robber
- Swift Journey - if you've moved your wagon, you may move it again
In Explorers and Pirates
Catan: Explorers & Pirates does not use development cards or anything similar.