Last updated 1 May 2001 My thanks to Malcolm Ryan, who has corrected some errors I had on this page, and posts a FAQ for Nomic here.

The original designer of the game, Dr. Peter Suber, has a web site about it at his site

Malcolm also introduce me to another site listing Nomic-like games, located at

Following is a list of the rules for Nomic. It is no doubt one of oddest logic games ever devised. The players add rules that change the existing rules until they reach such a deadlock that one player cannot make a legal "move". I guess you just have to read the rules! I believe these same rules were published by Douglas Hofstadter in "Metamagical Themas". There is supposedly some place on the net where folks actually play this, but I don't know the link. There is a listing of played games here if you'd like to see some sample games.

There is no board, and the entire game consists of the rules and the modifications to them that the players create. Good luck.

               Initial Set of Rules of Nomic

                     I. Immutable Rules

101. All players must always abide  by  all  rules  then  in
     effect,  in  the form in which they are then in effect.
     The rules in the Initial Set are in effect  whenever  a
     game begins.  The Initial Set consists of Rules 101-116
     (immutable) and 201-213 (mutable).

102. Initially, rules in the 100's are immutable  and  rules
     in  the  200's are mutable.  Rules subsequently enacted
     or transmuted ( i.e. changed from immutable to  mutable
     or  vice versa ) may be immutable or mutable regardless
     of their numbers, and rules in the Initial Set  may  be
     transmuted regardless of their numbers.

103. A rule change is any of the  following  :  (  1  )  the
     enactment,  repeal, or amendment of a mutable rule; ( 2
     ) the enactment, repeal, or amendment of an  amendment,
     or  ( 3 ) the transmutation of an immutable rule into a
     mutable rule, or vice versa.  ( Note : This  definition
     implies  that,  at  least  initially, all new rules are
     mutable.  Immutable rules, as long as they  are  immut-
     able, may not be amended or repealed; mutable rules, as
     long as they are mutable, may be amended  or  repealed.
     No rule is absolutely immune to change. )

104. All rule changes proposed in the proper  way  shall  be
     voted  on.   They  will  be adopted if and only if they
     receive the required numnber of votes.

105. Every player is  an  eligible  voter.   Every  eligible
     voter must participate in every vote on rule changes.

106. Any proposed rule change must be written down before it
     is  voted  on.   If  adopted, it must guide play in the
     form in which it was voted on.

107. No rule change may take effect earlier than the  moment
     of  the completion of the vote that adopted it, even if
     its  wording  explicitly  states  otherwise.   No  rule
     change may have retroactive application.

108. Each proposed rule change shall be given  a  rank-order
     number  (  ordinal  number ) for reference. The numbers
     shall begin with 301, and each rule change proposed  in
     the  proper  way  shall  receive  the  next  successive
     integer, whether or not the proposal is adopted.

     If a rule is repealed and then re-enacted, it  receives
     the  ordinal number of the proposal to re-enact it.  If
     a rule is amended or transmuted, it receives the  ordi-
     nal  number  of  the proposal to amend or transmute it.
     If an amendment is amended or repealed, the entire rule
     of  which  it  is a part receives the ordinal number of
     the proposal to amend or repeal the amendment.

109. Rule changes that transmute immutable rules  into  mut-
     able  rules  may  be adopted if and only if the vote is
     unamimous among the eligible voters.

110. Mutable rules that are inconsistent  in  any  way  with
     some  immutable rule ( except by proposing to transmute
     it ) are wholly void and without effect.  They  do  not
     implicitly transmute immutable rules into mutable rules
     and at the same time amend  them.   Rule  changes  that
     transmute  immutable  rules  into mutable rules will be
     effective if and only if they  explicitly  state  their
     tranmuting effect.

111. If a rule change as  proposed  is  unclear,  ambiguous,
     paradoxical,  or destructive of play, or if it arguably
     consists of two or more rule changes compounded  or  is
     an amendment that makes no difference, or if it is oth-
     erwise of questionable value, then  the  other  players
     may  suggest  amendments  or argue against the proposal
     before the vote.  A reasonable amount of time  must  be
     allowed  for  this  debate.   The proponent decides the
     final form in which the proposal is to be voted on  and
     decides the time to end debate and vote.  The only cure
     for a bad proposal is prevention: a negative vote.

112. The state of affairs that constitutes winning  may  not
     be  changed  from achieving n points to any other state
     of affairs.  However, the magnitude of n and the  means
     of earning points may be changed, and rules that estab-
     lish a winner when play cannot continue may be  enacted
     and ( while they are mutable ) be amended or repealed.

113. A player always has the  option  to  forfeit  the  game
     rather  than  continue to play or incur a game penalty.
     No penalty worse than losing, in the judgement  of  the
     player to incur it, may be imposed.

114. There must always be at least one  mutable  rule.   The
     adoption  of  rule changes must never become completely

115. Rule changes that affect rules needed to allow or apply
     rule  changes are as permissible as other rule changes.
     Even rule  changes  that  amend  or  repeal  their  own
     authority  are  permissible.  No rule change or type of
     move is impermissible solely on account  of  the  self-
     reference or self-application of a rule.

116. Whatever is not explicitly prohibited or regulated by a
     rule is permitted and unregulated, with the sole excep-
     tion of changing the rules,  which  is  permitted  only
     when  a  rule  or set of rules explicitly or implicitly
     permits it.

                        II. Mutable Rules

201. Players shall alternate in clockwise order, taking  one
     whole turn apiece.  Turns may not be skipped or passed,
     and parts of turns may not  be  omitted.   All  players
     begin with zero points.

202. One turn consists of two parts, in this order: (1) pro-
     posing  one rule change and having it voted on, and (2)
     throwing one die once and adding the number  of  points
     on it's face to one's score.

203. A rule change is adopted if and only  if  the  vote  is
     unamimous amoung the eligible voters.

204. If and when rule changes can be adoted without  unanim-
     ity,  the  players  who  vote against winning proposals
     shall receive 10 points apiece.

205. An adopted rule change takes full effect at the  moment
     of the completion of the vote that adopted it.

206. When a proposed rule change is defeated, the player who
     proposed it loses 10 points.

207  Each player always has exactly one vote.

208. The winner is the first player to achieve 100  (  posi-
     tive ) points.

209. At no time may there be more than 25 mutable rules.

210. Players may not conspire or consult on  the  making  of
     future rule changes unless they are teammates.

211. If two or more mutable rules conflict with one another,
     or  if  two  or  more immutable rules conflict with one
     another, then the rule with the lowest  ordinal  number
     takes precedence.

     If at least one of the  rules  in  conflict  explicitly
     says of itself that it defers to another rule ( or type
     of rule ) or takes precedence over another  rule  (  or
     type  of  rule  ), then such provisions shall supersede
     the numerical method for determining procedence.

     If two or more rules claim to take precedence over  one
     another  or to defer to one another, then the numerical
     method must again govern.

212. If players disagree about the legality of a move or the
     interpretation  or  application  of  a  rule,  then the
     player preceding the one moving is to be the Judge  and
     to decide the question.  Disagreement, for the purposes
     of this rule, may be created by the insistence  of  any
     player.  Such a process is called invoking judgement.

     When judgement has been invoked, the  next  player  may
     not  begin  his  or  her  turn without the consent of a
     majority of the other players.

     The Judge's judgement may be overruled only by a unani-
     mous  vote  of the other players, taken before the next
     turn is begun.  If a Judge's  judgement  is  overruled,
     the  player  preceding  the  Judge in the playing order
     becomes the new Judge for  the  question,  and  so  on,
     except  that no player is to be Judge during his or her
     own turn or during the turn of a teammate.

     Unless a Judge is  overruled,  one  Judge  settles  all
     questions  arising from the game until the next turn is
     begun, including questions as to his or her  own  legi-
     timacy and jurisdiction as Judge.

     New Judges are  not  bound  by  the  decisions  of  old
     Judges.   New  Judges  may,  however, settle only those
     questions on which the players currently  disagree  and
     that  affect  the completion of the turn in which judg-
     ment was invoked.  All decisions by Judges shall be  in
     accordance  with all the rules then in effect; but when
     the rules are silent, inconsistent, or unclear  on  the
     point  at  issue, then the Judge's only guides shall be
     common morality, common logic and  the  spirit  of  the

213. If the rules are changed so that further play is impos-
     sible,  or  if  the legality of a move is impossible to
     determine with finality, or if by the Judge's best rea-
     soning, not overruled, a move appears equally legal and
     illegal, then the first player who is  unable  to  com-
     plete a turn is the winner.

     This rule takes precedence over every other rule deter-
     mining the winner.