I had the privilege of sitting down with Monocle Society Founder Kyle Kinkade, and the new Chief Operating Officer of Monocle Society, Mike Fehlauer, to talk about their revolutionary storytelling game, Weave. As Mike put it, Weave is the “most accessible, easy-to-learn gateway to role playing: half-role play, half tarot, all story.” That’s a pretty bold claim to make for a card game: “most accessible.” Feeling in an especially prying mood, I asked what makes Weave so accessible. How does that look?
I’ve already touched on this in my last article introducing Weave, but I’ll mention it again: Weave embraces its technology through the Weave app. Thanks to the app, your game is amazingly portable; you can literally carry it in your pocket, on your phone.
Because the app is free, the only cost to play Weave is a deck, and just to push that app a little further, it’s constantly being updated with rules errata, new editions, and innovative features. This makes the game accessible in so many different ways!
Not only does it make the game extremely affordable for those of us with lower incomes, but it also ensures the latest version is accessible to players who aren’t as familiar with the rules, or who perhaps struggle to learn a game system and its intricacies. New players don’t have to worry about an errata adjusting a rule in their printed book, because the app is the rulebook. No table discussions about if that rule is current, or if it was adjusted; just look on the app: easy.
Another point I touched on a bit in my last article was the rules design. Weave has always focused on accessibility to new players, as both Mike and Kevin shared.
Monocle Society performed several studies, looking to see where the hangups were to joining new TTRPG groups. Among the things mentioned were, the front-loaded time investment to make a new character, the amount of time to play a single session, the amount of time for combat to resolve, and synchronizing everyone’s schedules to be able to meet up and play.
See a common theme?
Time is such an important and scarce commodity in our society. People seldom have a four-hour block they can afford to carve out for a hobby, even one as beloved as tabletop gaming.
In my own personal experience, I’m familiar with several people who express interest in playing a TTRPG, but they “just don’t have the time right now.”
With Weave, time is something the creators focused on saving for their players. As mentioned, the app already streamlines much of the experience. The cards do a lot of the heavy lifting here, too. Because Weave combines Tarot, each card reveals events and themes that flow through the story, with each storyteller joining them into a grand tapestry of a plot… dare I say, “Weaving” it all together? (I know, I’m terrible.)
That’s right, though: those colorful, stylized cards are used to build characters, build a world, and even tell a whole story!
One of the most apparent things about Weave is its unique artistic style. With bold, contrasting colors and minimalist elegance on each of the cards, the game’s aesthetic appeals to a broad range of ages. However, what’s more is that the colors aren’t only for design appeal.
There are certain things many of us take for granted: our abilities, our senses, etc. There are people who know the struggles of disability, but even in the context of sight impairment, the creators of Weave made a conscious choice to make the game as accessible as possible.
Those sharp, contrasting colors with the bold patterns? Totally purposeful. As Kyle put it, “We designed the cards with colorblindness in mind.”
Kyle shared that his son experiences colorblindness, and he wanted to ensure that he had a game he could play with his family. By designing the cards with such vivid contrast, it not only flavors the game with artistic style, but it also enables people to play who might not have been able to otherwise.
Is Weave the ‘most accessible’ game?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that definitively, but I will definitely say that Weave has grounds to make that statement.
But what do you think? Have you played Weave? Do you know of other games that focus on accessibility in a variety of contexts? We want to hear from you in the comments!
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Steven Partridge is an aspiring author and experienced tabletop gamer.
As a child, he dreamed of growing up to be a dinosaur, but as with many children, his childhood dreams were dashed when the rules of reality set in. However, our valiant Steven never allowed this to sway his ambition. He simply… adjusted it to fit more realistic aspirations. Thus, he blossomed into a full-fledged nerd with a passion for the fantasy genre.
When he’s not working on his debut novel or filming YouTube videos, Steven can be found lap swimming, cooking up some pescatarian cuisine, or playing D&D with his friends. He works in the mental health field and enjoys sharing conversations about diversity, especially as it relates to his own place within the Queer community.