In Catan seafarers expansion, when playing the road building card, can a settlement be built between building a free road and building a free ship?


No, it cannot. From the official Catan FAQ:

Development Cards – Progress – Road Building - May I use a Road Building card to build 1 road and 1 ship?

Yes. You must build them one after another though. You are not allowed to first build a road via a Road Building card, then build a settlement adjacent to that road by paying the required resources, and finally use the Road Building card once again, this time to build a ship.

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The original German (I've the first German edition) uses the word sofort meaning immediately so from that I'd say no. Later and American/English versions may differ.

However, under what circumstances can you not immediately follow the placing of the two roads with placing a settlement between them, within the same turn?

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  • You need to use a settlement to switch between road and shipping lane. – Nick Feb 21 '15 at 18:13
  • Furthermore, consider that dev cards don't need to be played during your build phase. That further supports the position that it cause the immediate placement of roads rather than add two to your pool – ikegami Feb 21 '15 at 21:15
  • Thank you @Nick I'd forgotten that - not played seafarers for a while. – Cheeseminer Feb 21 '15 at 21:57

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