In "The Era of Prosperity," you as the prince or princess promote cultural development in your principality and raise your people's spirits.
In "The Era of Explorers," you board your ships to set out on a journey to faraway islands and encounter foreign peoples and pirates. If you can take the lead when discovering, victory is almost yours!
In "The Era of Sages," a true era of enlightenment begins. Wise women and men intervene in the fate of Catan and cause many an event to take a turn for the better.