Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title
Published Title Score Editor's Choice
Published Title Score

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Gwent: Playing Innkeeps

Nathan Garvin

When you first arrive in Velen, the only Gwent-related lead you’ll have is the quest Gwent: Playing Innkeeps. As the name suggests it tasks you with seeking out various innkeepers throughout the region, defeating them, and taking their unique card. This page will provide a walkthrough for Gwent: Playing Innkeeps, including where to find all three innkeepers and what unique cards you’ll win for defeating them in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Use our handy table below to jump to the place you need.

Quest Objectives

Starting Gwent: Playing Innkeeps

This quest will begin after you defeat the Scholar near the beginning of the game - potentially before you leave the tavern in White Orchard for the first time! Despite this quest’s early start, you won’t be able to advance it until you reach Velen, and even after that there are complications. You must defeat Stjepen before you can challenge the other two targets, and Stjepen just happens to run an inn in Oxenfurt, which is closed off due to the war. You’ll need to secure some Transit Papers or a Letter of Safe Passage to get past the guards. You can complete the quests Fake Papers or Contract: Woodland Beast to get Transit Papers, although you should read the linked pages, as there are fail states for both quests that will see you leave empty-handed. You can also just advance the Bloody Baron questline to obtain a Letter of Safe Passage, but this is significantly more effort.

(1 of 1) Defeat the Scholar in White Orchard and he’ll tell you about Stjepen, one of several innkeeps you can challenge in Velen/Novigrad.

Defeat Stjepen

Once you have access to Oxenfurt, making your way to the center of town, just south of the notice board to find the inn Stjepen runs. Stjepen is a surprisingly competent opponent considering he’s the second quest Gwent player the game mentions, but he can be defeated with little more than the starter deck, assuming you bought the cards sold by the innkeeper in White Orchard. Stjepen will use weather cards, Spy cards, Medic cards, and will even toss your own Spy cards back at you with Decoy. Mostly, however, he’s just willing to toss 10 strength cards on the table, like Black Infantry Archer, which can seem overwhelming in early Gwent games. Getting some more Northern Kingdoms cards with the Tight Bond ability can really turn the tables, however, and the outcome of this match can depend heavily on draw luck.

(1 of 3) Find Stjepen at his tavern in Oxenfurt.

When you defeat Stjepen he’ll forfeit the Yennefer of Vengerberg card, a 7 strength Hero card with the Medic ability. Quite useful in numerous decks, including the Nilfgaardian Empire and Northern Kingdoms decks. It’s a great boon if you can get your hands on it early, which also makes it a shame that Stjepen gatekeeps the rest of the quest.

Defeat the Innkeeper at the Inn at the Crossroads

After defeating Stjepen you’ll be able to challenge two more innkeeps, including the Innkeeper at the Inn at the Crossroads. He has a nasty habit of not appearing when you visit, but if you wait a few hours (he seems to like showing up around noon) he should appear. If you provoked the bandits during the quest The Nilfgaardian Connection you may not be able to challenge him at cards until some time passes. When you do get him to play cards with you, you’ll find he fields a rather uninspired Nilfgaardian Empire deck, making use of weather cards, and high power cards like Black Infantry Archer, but he’s not nearly as crafty as Stjepen. About the only new thing you’ll see out of him is the Scorch card, which will destroy the card(s) with the highest power on the board. Defeat him and he’ll give you the Menno Coehoorn card, which is a 10 strength Hero card with the Medi ability, exclusive to the Nilfgaardian Empire deck.

(1 of 3) Wait at the Inn at the Crossroads until the Innkeeper deigns to grace you with his presence.

Defeat Olivier

The final innkeeper you have to best (although you can play him second, if you prefer) is Olivier, the proprietor of The Kingfisher. You’ll find this luxurious tavern in the heart of Novigrad, just northeast of the Hierarch Square signpost. Unlike the other two innkeeps, Olivier fields a Monster deck, albeit one with plenty of holes in its roster. You can expect to see the odd Hero card like the 10 strength Leshen, but he’ll generally stick to weaker staples, like Ghoul and Arachas cards. As with most Monster decks, the cards with the “Muster” ability are your primary threat, as they’ll summon all duplicates of said card from deck and hand, turning an otherwise unimpressive 4 strength Arachas into a 12 strength trio of Arachas cards. His leader card, Eredin: Commander of the Red Riders will also apply the Commander’s Horn effect to his close combat row, doubling their power. If you see this, you may just want to forfeit the round rather than burn resources trying to overpower Olivier. Best Olivier and you’ll get the Tibor Eggebracht card, a 10 strength Hero card for the Nilfgaardian Empire deck.

(1 of 3) Last up is Olivier, proprietor of The Kingfisher in Novigrad.

Defeating each innkeep will earn you a modest amount of EXP, in addition to obtaining whatever unique card they have. Defeat all three and this quest is over, although there’s no unique completion reward.

No Comments
Guide Information
  • Publisher
    CD Projekt
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, Switch, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    24 June 2015
  • Last Updated
    12 July 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin (Haeravon)

Share this free guide:

You are Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster-hunter known as a Witcher. You’ve fully regained your memories since your miraculous revival and escape from the Wild Hunt, and have cleared your name of the false accusations of regicide. In the wake of the assassination of Foltest, king of Temeria, the north have been rent by warfare as Nilfgaard launches its third major invasion, and the northlands have been united under the insane king Radovid. Overshadowing these petty politics is the mysterious return of Ciri - Geralt’s adopted daughter, who is now being pursued by the Wild Hunt.

The guide offers the following:

  • A full walkthrough that’s more than just a listing of quests-it’s an “ideal chronological order” that will get you through the whole game and allow you to see and do everything the game has to offer.

  • Side quests, including monster contracts and treasure hunts for obtaining powerful Witcher sets.

  • Descriptions of decisions, quests, and events that influence the various endings of the game.

  • Crafting and Alchemy information.

  • General strategies on how to take down foes large and small, monstrous and humanoid, boss or mundane.

  • Information on how to complete all the Gwent quests and obtain all the Gwent cards, including detailed Gwent strategies.

  • Trophy/Achievement information.

MASSIVE UPDATE: 7th September 2016 ongoing

  • Added DLC quests “Fool’s Gold” and “Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear”.
  • Organisational changes in the Velen section of the walkthrough to reflect the increased level of Griffin School Gear.
  • Organisational changes throughout the walkthrough to provide a “no skulls” path through the game.
  • Added Death March difficulty tips and commentary throughout the guide.
  • More XP reward numbers included.
  • Walkthrough now includes additional information based on patch changes.
  • Various typo and grammar fixes.
  • Added DLC pages for Blood & Wine, Heart of Stone
  • Lots more quality of life improvements

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: