Hierarchy Rules


An abstract game of order and power 

Summary of Play

Players take turns playing a card from their hand on top of the last card that was played. If a player can't play a card, they lose the game. The game is played with open hands, so your opponent always knows what you have. 

The goal is to checkmate your opponent by playing a card that your opponent cannot play on top of.

Setting up 

Each player is dealt half of the deck (7 cards) face up in front of them. The player who was dealt the Impostor goes first. 

Going first is a slight disadvantage, since you run out of cards first. If you start a turn with no cards, you lose the game since you cannot play a card. 

Strategy varies wildly based upon players being dealt certain combinations of cards, like the Baroness and the Queen.

The Goal 

The goal is to play a card that none of your opponent's cards can be played on top of. Cards can only be played on top of another if the number is higher, or if the card specifically says that it can be played.


The Knight can be played atop the Dragon, because its ability allows it to.

The Baroness can be played atop the Dragon, because its number is higher. The Serf cannot be played atop the Dragon. Its number is lower and its ability does not allow it.


The player with the Impostor goes first. They play a card from their hand to start the pile. 

Then players take turns playing cards on top of the pile. When a card is played, it becomes the new top card of the pile.

Play continues until one player cannot play a card (either because they have no valid moves, or because they have no cards left at the start of their turn). That player loses the game.

Cards that refer to royalty refer to any card with a crown as its symbol. This is the Baroness, the Queen, and the King.

It's a good idea to stack cards in the pile sideways, and staggered based on who played each card. This way, you can easily see how many cards are in the pile (for the Baroness and the King), as well as see who played what (for the Surgeon and the Impostor).

Card-Specific Rulings

The Serf (3): The Serf must be played as a 3, but counts as a 7 once it has been played. (e.g. It cannot be played atop the Knight, but the Knight cannot be played atop it either.)

The Tower (4): The Tower can be played normally on top of lower numbers. It can also be played on top of higher numbers IF you also discard a card. The discarded card doesn't go in the pile, it just is simply removed from the game.

The Surgeon (5): When you play the Surgeon, you choose a card that your opponent has already played. It is removed from the pile and put back in their hand. Then your opponent does the same for you. This only happens if there are 2 valid cards to put back, and the Surgeon itself is not a valid card.

The Sorcerer (8): When the Sorcerer is on top of the pile, all cards in players' hands are considered to have no text besides their number. In other words, only cards with a printed number higher than 8 can be played atop the Sorcerer.

The High Priest (11): The High Priest can be played atop the Queen (12) and the King (13).

The Impostor (?): The Imposter can use the Tower's ability to be played on top of anything as long as another card is discarded. All restrictions applied to the copied card apply to the Impostor. For example, the Impostor can't be played as the Baroness if the pile has 7 or more cards in it.

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