These variants for The Settlers of Catan and its expansions are created by fans for play by other fans. Unlike the basic and advanced scenarios, these require few changes to the rules and often only the addition of one new rule. The ending conditions of the game is rarely changed and there is usually only one or no new pieces required to play.
Absolute Trade Route and Largest Army
Only the player with the longest trade route retains the Longest Trade Route Special Victory Point card. Likewise, only the player with the most soldiers retains the Largest Army Special Victory Point card. If the bearer of either card looses their majority to another player, the card is returned to the side of the board until a player takes the majority.
The Empires Of Catan
Development cards are still used. Buildings such as Library or Temple are assigned to certain settlements/cities/metropolis'. Knights and ships are used to attack settlements, cities and metropolis'. Using a knight, a ship, the pirate or robber to attack. Dice are thrown to determine the winner of a fight or a siege. If the attacker is victorious, then they can chose to pillage the structue, taking it down a level (eg. Metropolis to city) or Conquer it. Pillaging allows the player to receive Resources, Conquering allows the player to replace the structure with their own.
For every knight killed, City Conquered or Destroyed, or road destroyed you gain a Political Point. These can be spent to declare a commodity/resouce as a commodity of war, making it forbidden for a neutral party to trade in this. It can also be used to create a Peace Treaty. Political Points can also be gained in peace, allowing you to create trade pacts and alliances, which cost resources to break. Treaties can be constructed, which are official and cannot be broken.
In this variant, the standard Robber instead acts to help the players as The Banker. As usual, the Robber/Banker starts off in the desert and is only moved once a 7 is rolled. Once rolled and moved however, the Banker does not force players with 7+ resource cards to discard half of their hand, nor does it block off production from resource hexagons or allow for a card steal. Instead, when a 7 is rolled, the player who rolled the dice gets to take any resource of their choosing. The banker is still moved to a different hexagon once a 7 is rolled, but whichever hexagon that the banker is on produces 1 additional resource of that kind for each settlement/city that borders the respective space. Knight cards still move the Robber (banker), but again, no card is allowed to be stolen.
"The Banker" variant is used at an attempt to make the game a bit less competeitive and/or frustrating, and also makes the game much quicker. If the players involved in the game still want the relaxed, less competeitive atmosphere that this variant offers, but don't want to shorten the game time, a card limit may be implemented, only allowing for a maximun set number of cards in had at anytime (10 for example) and once this limit is hit, no more resource cards may be received.