Weave

Rules Overview

Weave 2020.1

Weave is a storytelling game that uses cards and dice to interact with any world in our collection. Using roleplaying, imagination, and a little help from us you can learn how Weave a tale with you and your friends.

Setting up

What is a Season?

A season is a series of episodes that build up to an epic conclusion–just like TV shows. Seasons are comparable to campaigns in tabletop role playing games. There’s no limit on how long a season runs. Depending on what best suits how you want to tell the story.

What is an Episode?

An episode is a single session of the overarching season. Each episode has its own conflicts and resolutions while building up a larger narrative across a season. While Story cards can help provide direction, the narrative of each episode is ultimately up to the storyteller and players.

How do I start a Season?

To begin a new season as the storyteller, select a playset from the Library menu, then select to create a new episode with a memorable name. Follow the prompts to scan in three story cards drawn from the story deck. These will give you options for the Theme, Location, and Featured Character for your first episode.

Once you have selected qualities from each card and named your first episode, you will be taken to the Storyteller screen for your new season with the first three cards in the timeline of your first episode.

Creating More Episodes

The storyteller can scan in more cards for new episodes play by selecting “New Episode” from the menu. This will clear all the story elements from the previous episode, allowing the storyteller to scan in new qualities. As your season goes on, you’ll want to avoid reusing Themes, Locations, and Bosses from past episodes, unless the story calls for it.

 

What is an Episode’s Timeline?

A Timeline is the narrative series of Story Cards that are played out over time. The Foundation refers to the first three cards of the Timeline as the Foundation, which feature these three qualities–Theme, Location, and Featured Character. Storytellers use these qualities by interpreting them and applying them as a unique narrative for the players to experience.

Theme

Themes suggest a plot for the episode, but are intended to be open to interpretation. The storyteller chooses how to implement a Theme, and it’s up to the players to determine how to navigate and address the Theme.

Featured Location

A Location can appear anywhere over the course of the episode. It is usually a setting where the game starts or ends, or it could be a place the characters discover along the way. Additional Locations can be scanned in at any time, but the first Location may be significant for the season’s story.

Featured Character

A featured character plays a special part in an episode, and could be and NPC, Enemy or even a big bad boss character that may stick around in the Season. Either way the Featured Character should play a pivotal role in helping (or hindering) the player cast.

 

How do I add players?

After creating a season, the storyteller can invite up to as many players as they’d like within the season. Choose to invite a player or create a local character.

Invite by Username

If the player has their own device with the Weave app and has created an account, you can invite them to the season by typing their username or from the friend list. The player will receive an in-app invitation and can use their device to create their character or select a previous character from a compatible playset. When completed, the character will also be visible on the storyteller’s screen.

Create a Local Character

Alternatively, if the player does not have their own device, the storyteller can create a character for them. The player can still create the character, but it will only be accessible from the storyteller’s device.

 

How do I create a Character?

You can create a character by either accepting an invite, or creating one on your own. Follow the prompts in the app. You’ll begin by selecting a Core Suit to represent your character’s strengths. Then select four Story Cards drawn from the Story Deck to see options for Backstories, Talents, Flaws, and Assets. Select one option from each Story Card, name your character, and you’re ready to begin playing Weave!

Core Suit

Start building your character by selecting your Core Suit–Flames, Brooks, Gales, or Stones. The suit you select becomes your character’s Core Suit. A Core Suit determines the character’s natural strengths. You can read more about what each suit represents in the app before making your selection.

Backstories

Backstories provide defining moments in a characters life. When woven together, multiple Backstories can determine a character’s history. Backstories also determine the number of dice you will roll for Challenges of each suit.

Talents

Talents are a character’s innate abilities. Talents may be used in or out of combat in any number of creative ways. Talents each have a type of mechanic, and sometimes a Trigger, that affect gameplay.

Flaws

Flaws are negative aspects of a character. Flaws each have mechanics that may negatively affect a character’s actions. Players are encouraged to use their Flaws for storytelling moments during the game.

Assets

Assets are props or resources–anything that may be of use to character. Assets could be items, weapons, vehicles, companions, or contacts.

Introducing your Character

If this is the first episode of the season, each player should take turns introducing their character. This can include their name, Backstories, Talents, and Flaws, as well as other character or physical traits the player has decided. While players are describing their characters, the storyteller should ask if and how each of the characters know each other.

 

How do I use a Character Sheet?

Character sheets are visible to the player who created them and the storyteller for the season. While players can only access their own character sheet, the storyteller can reference the sheets for every character in the season. The sections on a character sheet include the dice bonus from Backstories, Strikes and Wounds, and a character’s chosen qualities.

Backstory Dice Pool

The dice bonus backstories add to a character’s dice pool are listed at the top of the character sheet. The base dice pool for any Challenge is three. A character can add additional dice to the base pool up to the Challenge suit’s value in their dice pool.

Strikes

A Strike track is placed beneath the suit bonuses. You can mark Strikes a character has received from Challenge rolls on this track until you reach the character’s maximum cap. When the character reaches it’s Strike cap, all Strikes are cleared and a wound is taken to the character. Strikes on the track are removed at the beginning of a new scene.

Wounds

Wounds are designated by heart symbols below the Strike track. Depending on the story, Wounds don’t have to be represented in the story as physical injury, but they are in essence damage on the Character. When a Character reaches their Wound cap, they narratively reach the end of their journey and are no longer considered playable.

Qualities

Aspects like Backstories, Talents, Flaws, and Assets are all considered Qualities of a Character. Qualities are narrative components of what makes a Character unique, and usually come with unique game mechanics that require a successful Check roll.

 

What are Mechanics?

Mechanics are special rules that usually are part of a Quality. Mechanics have three types: Passive, Standard, and Lucky. Standard and Lucky mechanics may optionally have a Trigger associated with the Mechanic’s Check roll.

How do Mechanics work?

Standard Mechanics must be activated by passing a Challenge. Weave symbols may be rerolled to meet a Standard Mechanic Trigger requirement, but do not count as successes towards it. Once the Challenge has been passed, and potentially the Trigger requirement met, the mechanics can be applied to gameplay.

How do Triggers work?

Triggers are additional rules that are activated when a Quality’s Check dice result can match all of the suits associated with the Trigger. Weave symbols rolled do not count toward the Trigger requirement, the symbols must match exactly.

What is a Passive Mechanic?

Passive Mechanics are special rules that are always considered active in the game.

What is a Lucky Mechanic?

Lucky Mechanics must also be activated by passing a Challenge. Lucky Mechanics always have Triggers that may amplify the effect of the quality. Both Weave and Strike symbols may be rerolled to meet a Lucky Trigger requirement. Once the Challenge has been passed, and potentially the Trigger requirement met, the mechanics can be applied to gameplay.

 

What is Character Level?

As you play multiple sessions with a Character in Weave, you will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their growth over time by leveling up. Leveling can be done at a pace that works best with your season: every episode, every other episode, at landmark story moments, etc. Character Level five is the maximum level that a Player Character can have.

How does a Character level up?

Player Characters that are not at their maximum are eligible to level up at the end of each episode played. The Storyteller is able to start a Player Character’s level up process directly from their Character Sheet.

 

 

Playing the Game

How do I start an episode?

No idea what to say here, maybe I talk about how you can start a new episode by either creating a new season, or creating a new episode in an already existing season. Maybe we should mention the foundation? Is that still a thing?

Leveling Up

At the start of a new episode, the storyteller can begin the leveling process by selecting the Level Up button on individual character sheets.

How do I start playing?

If this is the second or later episode in a season, the storyteller may ask players to recap what happened in the last episode before starting the new one. The storyteller can ask additional prompting questions to help remind players of characters they met, of challenges they overcame, and where the last episode ended. 

The Storyteller will start the episode with an opening scene. The opening scene may use the Location Story card from the foundation as the setting, may narratively introduce the characters, or establish the Theme from the foundation.

 

What is a Scene?

Scenes are moments in the story, just like scenes in a film. Scenes tend to change when the location changes, a new obstacle is presented, or when it feels most natural for the story, and help both the player and storyteller control the outcome of the game.

Playing a new Story Card

During a scene, the storyteller may play a Story Card to add a new element to the story. These cards can be placed face up on the table as they are played to create a tarot-style spread for the scene. At the end of a scene, any Story Cards that were played, except the first three of the episode, should be shuffled back into their respective decks.

 

Story Card Qualities

Story Cards contain various story elements a Storyteller can use in a scene. When you narratively need a new element to the scene, the Storyteller selects the type of element they would like to add from the Timeline of the current Season. The qualities on Story cards include Locations, NPCs, Enemies, Subplots, and Assets.

What is a Location?

A scene generally takes place in a single Location, but additional Locations can help advance the story. Usually, the characters will move to a new Location after completing a scene.

What is a NPC?

An NPC, which stands for Non-Player Character, is a character that is played by the storyteller. NPCs can communicate information with the characters, aid them in their endeavors, or provide an obstacle to overcome.

What is an Enemy?

Enemies, also played by the storyteller, can add complexity to the story, but they don’t need to be related to the episode Theme or Boss. Challenges or combat are usually required to circumvent or overcome Enemies.

What is a Plot Twist?

Plot Twists add depth to an episode, throwing a wrench into Characters’ plans or opening a window of opportunity to progress into the next scene. Plot Twists range from narrative obstacles, secondary plot points, or large-scale events impacting a Characters’ progress. If players resolve a Plot Twist that was introduced by the Storyteller, the players that resolved it may gain an additional Story Coin for use later in the Episode.

Assets

Whether for fun or a functional purpose, Assets are props or resources that Characters can use. They may be additional inventory, important to overcome a Challenge or somehow central to the plot.

 

What are Challenges?

Challenges are used whenever Characters are facing difficult obstacles or attempting a difficult task. Challenges are played in one of four suits. Each suit represents a different type of Challenge the characters may face and the associated actions they may attempt.

Stones Challenge

Stones represents physical Challenges, like constitution, athletics, or endurance. You may play Stones Challenges when a character needs to lift something heavy, physically exert themselves, or withstand difficult conditions.

Flames Challenge

Flames represents mental Challenges, like knowledge, memory, or intelligence. You may play Flames Challenges when a character needs to use magic, recall important information, or accomplish a focused mental task.

Brooks Challenge

Brooks represents social Challenges, like charisma, charm, or presence. You may play Brooks Challenges when a character is using deception, persuasion, or insight or trying to achieve a goal using their personality.

Gales Challenge

Gales represents reaction Challenges, like perception, agility, and dexterity. You may play Gales Challenges when a character is dodging an attack, moving quickly, or being stealthy.

 

Story Coins

Inside of Weave, both players and their Storyteller have the opportunity to push luck in their favor by using Story Coins. By spending a Story Coin on a Challenge, a Storyteller may increase the base level of the challenge, while Players may spend a Story Coin to lower the base value of a Challenge, in some cases even automatically passing a challenge.

How does a Storyteller gain Story Coins?

Storytellers start out the beginning of every Episode with one Story Coin for each suit. When a Storyteller issues a Challenge, the Storyteller gains a Story Coin matching the suit of the Challenge. The Storyteller may either choose to spend that Story Coin for it’s Challenge, or save the Story Coin for future Challenges. Additionally, a Storyteller may gain the value of Story Coins rolled in an Enticement if the targeted player decides to resist the Enticement.

How does a Player gain Story Coins?

Players can gain Story Coins in one of two ways; by either accepting an Enticement or by performing an Epic Pass. When a Player accepts an Enticement, the get a Story Coin Roll by the app after accepting the Enticement. When a player performs an Epic Pass, they receive a Story Coin Roll from the app.

What is a Story Coin Roll?

A Story Coin Roll is a special Mechanic that gives Story Coins to the Player or Storyteller who performs it, and only be made when gaining Story Coins, unless other wise specified in a playset. To perform a Story Coin Roll, the app rolls a single die. If it is a Weave symbol result, the die is re-rolled, increasing the value of the result. Strikes are re-rolled, and do not increase the value of the result. If it is a suit, the Player or Storyteller receives the value of the result for that suit.


Playing a Challenge

The Storyteller determines which Challenge suit best fits the narrative situation and issues a Challenge to the player. The player receiving the challenge must roll to beat the level of the Challenge issued. The Storyteller may choose to increase the Challenge Level beforehand by spending a Story Coin.

Negotiating the Challenge Suit

Once a Challenge has been established, the player has the chance to negotiate the suit of the Challenge. If the player describes how their character could perform the action using a different suit, and the storyteller agrees, the Challenge suit changes. However, the Storyteller can disagree about changing the suit and explain how the nature of the challenge best fits the original suit. The choice to change the suit or keep the original suit should always be made to further the story and create interesting character moments.

Setting a Challenge Level

All Challenges start at one and can be escalated by spending Story Coins or from a Mechanic on the Player’s Character Sheet. The higher the level, the more difficult a Challenge will be for the player to overcome. The difficulty of the Challenge should narratively match the Challenge Level. If the Storyteller does not feel that they still cannot set the Challenge Level, the Challenge does not have to take place, and in addition the Storyteller can instead choose to issue an Enticement.

Gathering Dice for the Challenge

For each Challenge, a player starts with a base pool of three dice. Players may add one die for each of their Backstories that correspond to that Challenge Suit and one additional die if the Challenge matches a character’s Core Suit. These dice bonuses are calculated and listed by each suit at the top of a player’s character sheet. The player gathers their base pool of dice, adds any bonus dice for that suit, and rolls the total number.

Passing a Challenge

When a player rolls their dice pool for a Challenge, they count successes for each symbol matching the Challenge suit and each Weave symbol. The player may then re-roll any dice showing the Weave symbol, adding additional successes, until no more Weave symbols remain. Once the player has finished rolling and rerolling, if their total number of successes is equal to or greater than the Challenge Level, the player passes the Challenge.

Marking Strikes

A player should also count any Strike symbols rolled during their Challenge. They’ll mark the total number of Strikes in the track on their character sheet.

Epic Pass

If the total number of successes from a dice roll is two or more successes higher than the Challenge Level, the roll is considered an epic pass. The Player gains an additional Story Coin Roll, and works with the Storyteller to describe how the successful challenge played out.

Epic Fail

If the total number of successes from a dice roll is at least two below the Challenge Level, the roll is considered an epic fail. The player marks one wound on their character sheet.

Taking a Challenge as a Storyteller

During a scene, the storyteller may have an NPC or enemy beat a Challenge to accomplish their actions. When a Storyteller issues a Challenge, they announce what a character is attempting to do and the Challenge suit. The storyteller rolls an appropriate dice pool for that character and determines successes and Strikes as normal.

 

Strikes & Wounds

Strikes can be accumulated from Strike symbols being rolled during Challenges. Strikes eventually become Wounds, and Wounds negatively impact a character’s ability until they are healed.

Receiving Strikes

Challenges can have consequences. For each Strike rolled during a Challenge, the player marks a Strike on their character sheet. While Strikes can be physical damage, they can also take the form of insecurities, distractions, or anything that best suits the story. 

Receiving Wounds

Once a character has reached their limit on Strikes, they mark one Wound on their character sheet. Wounds affect a player’s dice pool. Strikes are cleared when a scene ends, but a Wound will stay with a character until they find a way to heal themselves.

 

Checks

Checks can be issued in situations where the success of an action is not guaranteed, but the stakes are not high enough to require a Challenge. Checks are also useful when you want to quickly issue a low-stakes Challenge to all the players at once. Storytellers may issue a Check at any time.

How are Checks different from Challenges?

Like normal Challenges, the base dice pool for a Check is three. Unlike Challenges, only one die can be added if a character’s Core Suit matches the suit of the Check. Dice pools for Check will only ever consist of three or four dice. Also unlike normal Challenges, Strikes rolled do not count against the character.

Passing a Check

The level of a Check is always Challenge Level One. Checks should be used to help set the scene rather than to resolve a dramatic moment. Success in a Check should result in progress for the character, possibly gaining them a narrative advantage. Failing a Check should result in the character missing an opportunity, possibly placing them at a narrative disadvantage.

Common Uses for a Checks

Most commonly, Checks are used to activate Talents. However, Checks may also be issued for numerous other reasons. Gales Checks may determine turn order in combat or test a character’s perception. Flames Checks may test a character’s ability to recall information. Brooks Checks may involve testing a characters willpower. Stones Checks may involve testing a character’s constitution.

 

Encounters

Encounters are fast-paced moments that requires players to act in a turn order. Encounters can be combat, quick-response events, negotiation, or more. Each player’s turn includes two actions that could be completed in approximately 10 seconds.

Determining Turn Order

The player who’s character caused or started the encounter may take an initial turn. After their actions, the storyteller issues a Check to determine turn order. While Gales is the most common suit for turn order, the suit of the Check may vary depending on the type of encounter. In the event of a persistent tie, the players and Storyteller should discuss and agree on the order, with the Storyteller having final say.

Taking an Action

A character can make two actions in their turn that take approximately 10 seconds in total to complete. Activating a Talent, using an Asset, and moving are all considered actions. Players may also discuss taking additional, creative actions that are not specified. The storyteller may also issue Challenges for additional actions.

Using Talents as Actions

Standard or Lucky Talents can be activated by rolling the assigned Check according to the Talent’s mechanic type. If successful, the Talent’s mechanic is applied to the gameplay. If a roll also meets a Talent’s Trigger requirements, the Trigger mechanic is also applied. The Trigger is automatically included with the Talent action.

Using Assets as Actions

Because Assets are not innate abilities, using an Asset requires a Challenge to determine its success. On a pass, the Assets mechanic is applied to the gameplay. The more successes rolled in the Challenge may impact how successful the Asset will be. Remember to mark any Strikes rolled.

Non-Player Actions

The storyteller controls actions for NPCs, enemies, and the environment. The storyteller can describe these actions in between player actions. These actions are handled the same way as any player actions. 

Reactions

Once per round during an encounter, a Character may make a bonus Action after being targeted by a Combat Challenge.

Movement

As one of the actions on their turn, a player may choose to move closer to or farther from an Enemy. A single-action movement allows a player to move one range band. A double-action movement allows them to move two range bands.

Range Bands

Range bands are a flexible framework used to communicate the distances between characters, objects, and Enemies. Weave uses three range bands: Melee Range, Short Range, and Long Range. Characters within Melee Range are close enough to use close combat weapons to attack a target. Characters within Short Range are at an optimal range to attack a target with most ranged weapons. Characters at Long Range are outside the optimal range for most weapons and will have to move closer to attack a target.

Ending an Encounter

An encounter ends when a resolution is reached or an outcome has been determined for each character or event in the scene.

 

Combat

Combat is a type of action that involves attack another Character in the scene. Combat follows most of the same rules as any other encounter.

Combat Challenges

As an action, a player may choose to perform a Combat Challenge. Players choose how they will make their attack and choose a target in an appropriate range band. Making a Combat Challenge using an Asset requires a Challenge to determine its success. An attack using a Talent follows Talent mechanics.

Combat Challenge Suit

The suit for a combat Challenge is determined by the storyteller based on which suit best fits the action the player wishes to take. As with normal Challenges, the player may negotiate the suit of the Challenge with the storyteller.

Combat Challenge Level

The level for a combat Challenge is determined by contesting dice pools for the suit matching the Challenge. The Challenge Level begins at one. The Storyteller then raises the challenge level by subtracting the dice pool value of the Character performing the combat challenge against targeted dice pool value. A Combat Challenge’s Level may never be below one.

Passing a Combat Challenge

The player rolls their full dice pool for the suit matching the Challenge. On a pass, the attack will deal at least one Strike to the target. Each success rolled beyond the requirement to pass the Challenge Level also deals a damaging Strike to the target. Add the additional effects or Strikes dealt by the Asset’s mechanic. Remember to mark the Strike track with any Strikes rolled during the challenge.

 

Enticements

Enticements offer rich narrative moments that also include gameplay benefits. Enticements are both a reward for a player who leans into their flaws and an opportunity for the Storyteller to add drama to the plot.

Playing an Enticement

Enticements can be played by the Storyteller after a player announces their intent for an action but before the action resolves. The Storyteller can use a Flaw from the character to explain why it could negatively affect the outcome, or use common sense inside of the Scene. The Storyteller then issues an enticement to the Player from inside of the App. The player then chooses to either accept the enticement and fail their action, or try to resist it and continue their action.

Accepting an Enticement

If the player accepts the enticement, the Challenge immediately fails without any strikes or consequences. The app then issues the Player a Story Coin based on an in-app die roll.

Resisting an Enticement

If a player resists the enticement, the Storyteller then receives the Story Coin that the player would receive, then issues a Challenge to the player, adding any Story Coins to increase the Challenge Level.