Archers was a card game for 4–8 players enjoyed in northwest Faerûn, circa the Year of Wild Magic,1372 DR. Gambling on the outcome of the game by choosing the winner was common. Wagering on the second-, third-, and even fourth-place winners was common for games with more than four players. This game was offered at the High Flagon gambling hall and inn, located just outside Waterdeep.[1]


This game used the same three-suit deck of sixty cards that was used to play High Dragon, and kept the same rankings (a Hero ranked higher than a Knight and a Knight beat a Minstrel, etc.). The dealer gave each player one card face down and then dealt hands of two cards. Players were allowed to look at the two cards in their hand but not the face-down card.[1]


Known rules included:[note 1]

The object of the game was to accumulate five additional face-down cards in a "booty" pile. After a player was chosen to go first, that player began the game by "shooting an arrow" at another player.[1]

Shooting an ArrowEdit

To shoot an arrow, the attacker (called the archer) revealed one card from their hand and indicated another player as the target. The defending player then revealed one card from their hand and the player with the highest-ranked card won the exchange. Hand size was required to stay at two, so archer and defender each received a card to replenish their hands after an attack.[1][note 2]

  • If the archer won, he or she acquired the defender's face-down card, looked at it, and then chose to keep the card as booty or to move their face-down card to the booty pile and replace it with either the newly won card or a card from their hand.[1][note 3]
  • If the defender won, hands were replenished[note 2] and the defender became the archer and proceeded to shoot the next arrow at any other player, including the previous archer.[1]
  • If both attacking and defending cards were the same rank, then the two combatants exchanged face-down cards without examining them.[1][note 4]

The first player to acquire a booty of five cards was the winner.[1]



  1. These rules do not completely describe all the mechanics of the game. The gaps are left to the reader to fill in.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The source does not explicitly say that new cards are acquired, but it is presumed that "arrows" cannot be reused.
  3. The source does not indicate how a losing defender acquires another face-down card.
  4. Presumably, a new archer was then chosen.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ed Greenwood (December 2002). “Elminster's Guide to the Realms: The High Flagon”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #302 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 77.