In each round (or governorship), each player in turn selects from one of the available roles, triggering an event that usually affects all players, such as producing goods or constructing buildings. The person who picks the role gets a privilege, such as producing more goods or building more cheaply.
Though similar in concept to Puerto Rico, the game has many different mechanisms. In particular, the game includes no colonists and no shipping of goods; goods production and trading are normally limited to one card per phase; and trades cannot be blocked. Victory points are gained exclusively by building, and the game ends as soon as one player has put up twelve buildings.