Deliria: An Introduction

Deliria is a modern fairy tale game using popular tropes and highly developed characters to slowly play out the complexity of humanity and morality by putting ordinary characters in extraordinary circumstances. It has been said it is Changeling done right. I cannot attest to this as I have never played Changeling and so far, never will.

As a system, I find Deliria a little broken, but not so broken that I don't love it and don't embrace it. It uses a complex character creation method that brings to life the character in ways I have yet to see another system do. It uses playing cards and a simple stat/skill set instead of dice. It focuses on who you're playing, not what you're playing, and encourages role-playing over conflict resolution through skills and stats.

I'm running this game and have been for a few months now. This is not my first nor last time running it. In fact, thank you Phil Brucato, Deliria is my go-to campaign system. This game of Deliria is an on-going drop-in episodic style campaign I'm running for the local gaming club I just happen to be a part of.

The campaign is set in modern day Toronto with a Neverwhere meets NightWatch kind of feel to it. There's a little bit of Dead Like Me in the style of play as well. Characters are Clerks, the ones in charge of making sure the fairy world doesn't interfere with our world too much, and that humans don't bug the fairies too much, to put it simply.

The Clerks are special and over-powered for humans, but most of their powers are borrowed or bargained from much more powerful fae that live within the city. They have a boss, Gedney, and he gives them their assignments and simply tells them to fix the problem any way they can. Thus is the life of a Clerk.

I have about fifteen players right now. The game's players rotate depending on when they can make a game and when they can't. There's no steady number of people every week. As I find having a steady game with the same people gets a little distressing trying to coordinate schedules, this was my friendly option and so far, as an experiment in my own gaming style, is going well.

Now, in general, as a game master, I do not pre-plan my games. They flow from the players and myself in a sort of organic sand-box style game that I love and adore. But then again, my steady gaming group is amazing. Running these types of games for my club, however, I always found challenging.

People in TAG, my club, mostly seem to veer towards traditional gaming styles. They play characters in a story of my creation where they have little or no free thought of their own. Somehow, people seem happy to do this instead of finding the best place where both character and story mesh together. One of my biggest challenges for Deliria was trying to find a middle-ground where my long-term story and freedom focused gamers and the newcomers that were accustomed to being rail-roaded would both be happy.

- Having a rotating roster of characters whom all have secrets, wants and obstacles I need to know.
- Doing some rail-roading and pre-writing for each game instead of free form
- Finding a middle ground between newbies and old gamers to allow both a fluid style of gaming
- Encouraging new comers to jump in (I've never been great at this)
- Finding a way to explore chaos and order, loss of innocence, and loss of privilege as themes in the game, as well as the issues of poverty within Toronto and those we forget every day