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Shiny happy sparkly

Phil Brucato turned up at Gen Con this year with a game called Deleria, which was pretty clearly his vision of what Changeling should have been. And I’m a mark for shiny things, so you can tell where this is going. I pre-ordered.

The book came in the other day. It’s a big hardcover with really shoddy binding. The inside is glossy and full cover and more or less a design mishmash that actually works fairly well. It’s got a hodge-podge feel to it that makes sense given the subject matter, and the art (lots of Photoshop manipulations) is OK.

There’s a ton of setting fluff. The tone of the writing — well, it didn’t work for me, but it wasn’t awful. It’s written from the point of view of an elder in a youth culture, if you see what I mean. Gentle yet hip, and pointedly so in both ways. I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t like it.

The fluff does get the setting across, and the setting has the right feel. It’s an attempt at Faerie done De Lint style, with the changes that have come with the modern world reflecting into myth. It’s not as smooth as De Lint, though. For example, Brucato has the Internet manifesting in Faerie as a kind of kudzu, and faeries can’t deal with technology. Except when they can. Brucato’s trying to move beyond the nostalgia factor, but he can’t quite bring himself to make that final break.

I’d talk more about the rules, but the book is sufficiently baroque that I’m having trouble extracting actual game mechanics. You have stats, and you have a difficulty number, and you draw a card and add or subtract it from your stat depending on the suit. There’s also a big magic system thingie which looks to be mostly freeform.

Summary: forgettable.

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