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Search for "Aria Worlds"

I have been searching far and wide for a copy of "Aria Worlds" by now defunct Last Unicorn Games Inc. It was released in mid-1994. ISBN is 096459031X. I have run through all the major out-of-print companies on the web and ebay without success.

This book was recommended by a friend for use in TU world building. I am surprised it is so difficult to find. Was it that good or that bad??

Anyway, any leads would be appreciated.
Well, it looks like Last Unicorn Games was bought by <evil ominous music> Wizards of the Coast

So, since it's not on their site I guess they bought it to remove it from competition so it'll never be seen again :(

I'll try to check the oldies rack of my not so local FLGS when I'm in the city this weekend but I'm doubtful.
Thanks Far-trader. If the recommendation I received is good, it will make a welcome addition next to my World Builder's Handbook, World Tamer's Handbook, and First In. Thanks for the help.
"6/5/2000 - Wizards of the Coast signed a letter of intent to acquire Last Unicorn Games."

Aria was two, expensive for the time, books of extremely dense text that evidently didn't sell well. Various factors 5+ years later including property being stolen from their offices and a balancing act with their later Star Trek game and a CCG resulted in most LUG employees working for WotC when they were acquired. Paramount shopped the license around as was their right and Decipher got the Star Trek license.

By that time Aria was long dead and gone. Since then it's become near-legendary both from its comprehensiveness and complexity. You literally could both create a complete fantasy world and game the progress of an entire tribe/nation on that world. The only RPG I can think of that it would compete with *might* be the current Fantasy Hero book, which wasn't around then.

Search rpg.net for Aria for several reviews of both books. There used to be some supportive websites out there but I've no idea if they're still around.

Aria had an odd die mechanic that required calculating your target on the fly. I could dig it out and describe it exactly, but there's not much point.

Character creation was very interesting, but it took a lot of work to get going, and the sixteen stats didn't help much.

On the other hand . . .

The text of the books is, shall we say, beautifully written. It's so beautifully written and throught provoking that reading a few paragraphs often caused me to sit back and think, not in confusion, but in inspiration about ideas and peoples and places.

The sections on world building and interactive history are great.

Aria Worlds expands heavily on the world building sections in Aria.

The artwork on the cover and interior was excellent to great (for my tastes, anyway).

The book was, however, badly in need of a second edition that revised the basic die mechanics, and tightened up character creation substantially. It also seriously needed to tighten up combat mechanics descriptions, as well (yes, the books were a little over-written).

It also had a framework to create custom magic "systems". They were all based on the mechanics of the game, but where the magic came from, how you cast spells, etc., could all be customized (sort of, you have to read it to understand).

It's the interactive history sections, including the parts where PC skills can be rolled to effect histories and the politics of nations, that you'll be most interested in.
Originally posted by Sigg Oddra:
Try asking the same question over at the http://forum.rpg.net/ roleplaying open forum.
Thanks Sigg. I did that and may have some leads. Unfortantuely, I am now forced to deal with the wanna-be Warren Buffets – hoping to make their fortune by buying low and selling high in the rpg book trade. Reminds me of a bunch of comic book guys sitting around trying to value issue 1 of RoboGeek. Never cared for baseball cards for the same reason. It’s a big turn-off and adds to geek sterotype.

Maybe I am being to harsh. I don't 'collect' things so I have never understood the over-valuation.
Originally posted by Sigg Oddra:
Any idea if they ever come up on ebay, and how much they go for?
It is possible to sometimes get bargains...
I don't know really. From old posts I expected to pay about $40.00. I found Aria Roleplaying (the first book) for $36.00 on Amazon Marketplace. I've seen that listed other places for over a hundred dollars via internet retailers. It really isn't that big a deal. I'll blow $200 on a saturday afternoon of 18 holes of golf and have nothing but a poor score card to show for it.

I just don't want to hassel with these guys who think they are on chicken street. I received a number of replies on RPG.net asking me how much I was willing to pay for the book. Please! I would most likely give whatever they asked for it if the book was in good condition. It's just a pain to deal with them.

Thank the lord for PDF publishing. No such thing as out of print anymore (hopefully).

Anyway, rant is over.