Rules for the game of Symbology
Number of players per game - 4
The bones* are shuffled face down on the table, and each player draws five or seven bones depending on the total number of bones (20set/29set). The player with a blank bone is the designated the leader. In the set 20 there is no blank to start the game. The person with the bus and heart starts the game. In set 29, the player with the blank must lead by playing that blank face up on the table. The Leader decides on the orientation of the game clockwise or counter clockwise. (Only for set 29) As the bone is placed in the center of the table the leader takes the remaining tile that was left from the draw and places any one of his tiles with the blank. The leader opens the game with a statement about him or her.
The next player, and all players in turn, must play a bone with an end that matches one of the open ends of the layouts. Most of the symbols don’t repeat meaning the matching has to be done conceptually. Because there are symbols the players must describe in their own words how the bone they are playing connects to the bone it is being connected to. Every time a player plays the next player rolls the dice and creates a statement of connection that applies to the category displayed on the dice. For example if the dice reads S the player that rolled the dice has to tell a story relating the 2 symbols that the player is connecting. The S is the only category that requires a player to tell a story for 2 minutes. If the player ends the story before 2 minutes the player can’t play their tile and is skipped. Each side of the dice is a different category. If a player matches two of the same symbols the next player is skipped and the player that made the match does not have to respond or say a statement. There are six categories on the dice.
X= switch one bone with the player across from you and play their bone, they receive a bone from you
L=Lie relating two symbols (RTS)
T= True story RTS
S = 2 minute story (RTS)
M=Metaphor (RTS) and skip next player
F= free turn
All die categories have to respond to the symbols being connected
For example: The heart symbols expresses heart problems to me and I feel the heart symbol connects to the cross symbols because if you have a heart problem you may need to go to the hospital. The cross symbols is associated with hospitals.
If the other players see the connection as a valid connection the play continues. If someone objects about the connection made the group has to decide if the player placing the bone has the right of way or has to pass. Play continues until one of the players goes out (finishes all their bones) and wins the hand. Players who can’t match symbols must pass.
There isn’t a point system in Symbology and the point of the game is not to win or lose but to share your definition of symbols and how you make the connection. Winning is possible and this just means that you have finished your hand of bones.
After the first hand, the winner of the previous hand is usually the leader for the next. By some rules, however, the lead rotates player to player across hands.
Bones* tile, domino, a small piece of wood with two symbols on it
played in * is relevant to the actual space the game is occupying for example a living room, an outdoor porch, the back yard or any room in a house.