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.”
Picking up the thread of Weave
Before this interview, I was peripherally aware of Weave as a tabletop card game, having seen some videos here and there within various gaming communities. After the interview, I was excited to pick up my own copy and make it a game night staple with my friends.
I can’t even begin to touch on how much Kyle, Mike, and I discussed. So, I’ll be writing three articles, each detailing different aspects of Weave and how it re-contextualizes the entire RPG genre.
What made it all so convincing? That’s what we’re talking about today.
For those who aren’t familiar, Weave is a tabletop card game that combines character sheets, dice, tarot, and a revolutionary app to facilitate storytelling for players, literally worldwide. The game advertises itself as “storytelling redefined.” Little did I know just how thoroughly these two simple words sum up one of the most fascinating games I’ve learned about.
How does it work?
In Weave, every player makes a character, much as they would in any tabletop role playing game.
Creating a character can be really intimidating for new or younger players of TTRPGs.
During our discussion, Kyle said, “When we were coming up with Weave, [we asked], ‘Why is it hard for casual gamers to get into role playing games?’… There were certain metrics causing a lot of friction.”
Among these “friction-inducing metrics” were combat and character creation. Weave simplifies these concepts with the deck and the app. Each card can be scanned with the app, and based on the story’s setting, each reveals options for application.
Rather than dive in-depth into the specifics of how to play Weave, let me refer you to Monocle Society’s YouTube channel, where you can find a playlist of quick, easy-to-understand videos that teach new players exactly how the game works, step-by-step.
Is the app necessary to play?
The short answer is yes, but when I asked this question, Kyle and Mike helped me understand exactly why the question was a sort-of non sequitur. As a player of other RPGs, I was thinking of the app as a sort of useful tool or accessory to the game, but it’s really so much more than that.
To put it in Mike’s words, “It’s not just a reference material; it’s a way to play the game. … We consider the phone to be another component in the game.”
Essentially, the app is an equal aspect of game play, just as are the dice, the cards, and even the player and storyteller. Thinking about the app as an accessory wasn’t really accurate, because part of what makes Weave so revolutionary is how integral the app is to the game.
Weave embraces the nuances of technology, incorporating classic RPG elements, for an experience unlike anything seen before.
What makes this app so special?
The app facilitates game play. Weave embraces its technology as a means of building its own community. Among features for this app, Kyle and Mike shared “the ability to have a friends list.” It’s an easy way to reconnect with people you’ve played with in the past.
Now, this might seem odd, considering that most RPGs require you to assemble a group and build characters prior to a session, but this is where Weave gets really innovative! Kyle and Mike shared that the Weave app is currently working on a way for people to connect with others nearby who also have the app.
According to Kyle, after asking someone to play, “The storyteller then taps their phone onto your phone.” You can play a quick game virtually anywhere!
“If you’re stuck in a convention line, instead of going through Facebook, you can play a full roleplaying game on-demand.” — Kyle Kincade
Sounds like a great idea to bring to Gen Con, eh? Instead of waiting in lines, bored, why not try connecting with others who play Weave?
My mind was absolutely blown when I realized the possibilities this poses and just how incredibly convenient this RPG is to carry with you — quite literally in your pocket, courtesy of the app!
There are so many other aspects to this game that I cannot wait to share, as a result of our conversation, but I think this wraps up your introduction to Weave. It truly is “storytelling redefined.”
What do you think?
Have you played Weave? What do you think about the exciting innovations around the corner for the app? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Don’t forget to connect with Monocle Society on social media, through their links, below!