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Deliria: Faerie Tales for a New Millennium by Phil Brucato
Review by Steve Sawicki
Smoke, Mirror & Muse Inc Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 1932115005
Date: September, 2003 List Price $39.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

I've played a lot of games and read a lot of rule books and I've been pretty fascinated with the effort that goes into putting a rule book together for a fantasy role playing game. Role-playing requires players to have some understanding of the world in which they move. Rule books have run the range from being fairly simple outlines to being massive volumes of data, information and history. I've always found something in the middle to be about right for me. I never wanted to be so bogged down with information that playing required constant checking but I did want enough information to have some sense that the world in which my characters moved was consistent and coherent.

Deliria is a different game and the rule book reflects that. It's designed to draw you in, developed around story telling concepts that have been with us probably forever. In fact, the designers reflect that they are not so much providing you with rules as they are faerie tales for a new age. But don't be fooled, this is not a simple game system. You'll probably have to read through the book a couple of times to figure it out and even then there will be things you'll have to go back for. On the other hand the book is not written like a typical manual. This book is more like an instruction manual to a different world so instead of being given charts and tables (and don't get me wrong, there are charts and tables in the book) what you generally get is a descriptive passage sometimes told in prose form. As well, the book is copiously illustrated so that it looks more like a book of fairy tales than a game manual.

All of the major gaming areas are covered, world building, character generation, magic, creatures, superior beings, etc., and it's all done in a very intuitive and friendly way. There are also lots of hints on how to play, how to role-play, how to develop and stay in character and how to move in the created world.

Of all the roleplaying books I've seen I have to admit that this one is the most complete in terms of creating an entire atmosphere and trying to present an entire package to you. Other books and systems may have more monsters and more magic and more character abilities but this book will help you learn how to create all that stuff on your own. And, to top it off, it's a fascinating read even if you aren't into gaming.

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