These are the rules that we tested:
To set up:
Each player has a set of posy tiles in their own colour.
Shuffle them and then lay out the first 9, face-up, in a 3×3 grid, setting the rest aside. This is your posy board.
Place your rose garden next to your posy board.
Next, place the 4 “start” Forbidden Word cards face-up in the centre and deal out 5 of the remaining Forbidden Word cards to each player. Set the rest of the pack aside.
Shuffle the pack of flower cards and place them face-down where everyone can reach.
Shuffle the rose tiles and stack them within reach. You can do multiple stacks for ease of access.
To play (standard game):
On your turn, play one Forbidden Word card from your hand, then draw one Flower card. You are now the describer.
As the describer:
Keep your flower card hidden. Flip the sand timer and begin describing your flower, without breaking the rules:
– Do not say the common or Latin name, or any part of the name
– Do not use any of the forbidden words
– No “charades” techniques for syllable or word clues, or “sounds like”
– You may not respond to questions from the guessers
You may use gestures, hum tunes, allude to shared experience – anything to describe the flower without using its name!
If your flower isn’t guessed in time or if you use a Forbidden Word, it goes in the compost heap for this round.
As the guesser(s):
Try to guess the flower before the other guessers! If you are successful, place the flower card in your bouquet. The player with the biggest bouquet at the end of each round gets a bonus rose!
If the guessed flower is on your 9-tile posy board, flip that tile. First to make a straight line of 3 in any direction (across, down, or diagonal) wins the round, and the rose.
End of round:
Unguessed cards from the compost/discard pile and are shuffled back into the pack, along with bouquet cards, at the start of the next round. Forbidden Word cards continue to accumulate throughout the game, so even if you get the same flower twice, it will be harder to describe the next time! Reset your posy board**.
**We will test whether you reset or re-deal the posy board each round – at this point, you flip the tiles back over but you don’t re-deal the whole selection.
End of game:
First to fill their rose garden wins the game!
Younger players, or players who know less about flowers, can use a player guide which shows the image and name of each flower in the pack.
Once you are comfortable with the game, try shuffling all the Forbidden Word cards and dealing out any 4 to start. Increase difficulty by making a 4×4 posy board.
I plan to start with the base game and a deck of 18 cards, with the possibility of expansions/stretch goals. The variety of cards and its impact on replayability is an important part of this test, too.