Got my copy of Wield in this week. So I read it. I'll admit it: I sort of got the book blindly. I'm a Wield is interesting because it offers a unorthodox subject for a rpg. Normally, in RPGs you have characters wield powerful artifacts and magical items. In Wield, you instead play those powerful items. I am a +John Wick fanboy- usually I pick up his latest RPG for ideas to farm from. That and they are interesting games. They always have something different going on.
Its akin to getting to be the One Ring or Excalibur. And in this sense, Wield does deliver a ideal set of tools to do that. I haven't run it yet, but the bare bones of its character generation section alone got my brain inspired. You would conclude that being the powerful item used by another as not be practical. Wield takes this problem and turns into a interesting idea: your Wielder is played by one other players at the table.
Note that this means each player is playing two characters: the item, the other being the wielder for another's item. Heroes (or pawns, if you are a ancient uber weapon of doom) are pre generated characters, emphasizing that you are first your item (or vatcha), first. You play someone else's wielder, but that character is sort of temporary- you can drop them, control them, whatever.
This part makes me really curious about Wield. It puts the item first as the driver of each player's story. Wielders get the shaft- but how that comes about, and the interaction between them and their vatcha really intrigues me. Using player for important NPCs- that is a golden concept for me.
I feel re-inspired about other ideas based on my first read through of Wield. Even though its more of a vanity book- I'll be honest, the editing needs work, I kinda dislike the mechanical crunch in it, and dislike some of the interior art. Despite this, I think its a solid concept. I want ways to give my players ways to do more at the table. RP is the main reason I GM anymore.
I like Wield, but its going to sit on the shelf until I feel like the perfect opportunity rolls by.
How to use it in other games:
Wield inspires an idea Wick has planted in my head before. Use your players for significant NPCs. Especially ones that should be tied to particular players. That's the immediate use you can take from it.
A deeper take from it? Let your players play NPCs that aren't people, that affect specific people. Assign Icons, for instance, to specific players if you are using something like them. In D&D, you can do the same thing with alignments- each player gets to play an alignment, and you the GM can designate goals for each alignment in each adventure. Give these Icons or Alignments some sort of points they can give to push control over PCs.
That's me musing over it right away; I think Wield has kickstarted something in my head at least.
Thanks for reading! Reading Materials are my review-style articles: I explain my opinions on a thing I've read, then I try to explain my first musings on the subject. Comments are welcome, unless they promote bigotry. Good ideas are praised, while bad ideas are ignored. Great ideas are stolen outright. See you around the bend...