First let me say a couple of things off the bat:
The job of designing a game system that would reproduce the events in the Dresden Files books is one I wouldn't have undertaken on a bet, but these guys have managed to figure it out. Kudos for that.
I'm currently running a game of DFRPG, or trying to. Everything I'm going to say is from the heart and from experience. This is the first time I've played anything like this kind of RPG (I run Call of Cthulhu, D20 and Savage Worlds) and it has been an uphill climb to get a grasp of the system.
CAVEAT: There is an official help forum you can access to get answers to questions on this game. Unfortunately, it requires a confirmation email which for reasons beyond me never reached me in several attempts to sign up, preventing my access to the knowledge base it represents. Read accordingly.
This is a review of the Hardback version of the Your Story book for Dresden Files Roleplaying Game.
The game system may have started life as a FATE-based one, but it morphed in the process into something that bears no resemblance I can see to the currently downloadable version of FATE. If you have prior experience of FATE-style games I've no doubt you'll have an easier ride learning DFRPG. I don't, and got no helpful insights from reading the current FATE rules.
The rules system is by necessity very involved (not difficult; involved). It is my opinion that a GM new to FATE-style games would need to read just about the entire book before it began to make complete sense. This has certainly been my experience. Skimming the rules proved to be inadequate to running the game this time (I'm a GM of 35 years standing in many other game systems).
I also find myself paging madly back and forth as I examine this or that aspect of the game. I don't doubt this is a learning curve issue but that curve is extremely steep, much steeper than any other system I've had in my hands.
Is it all worth it? I think so. I'm certainly still running a game twice a month for a keen group, though three months and six sessions in we're still having problems with the mechanics because they are so different to our gaming community's other RPGs. I think the payoff will be worth it. I hope so.
Clearly I'm not the best person to talk to on the mechanics, and I'll happily cede that the other reviewers have more knowledge and a better take on the whole thing. My perception of the game system complexity isn't why stars fell off this review.
[EDIT 11/22/13] I never did properly understand how the "Fate Point Economy" worked from the information in this book, but because I often don't know when I'm beat I picked up a copy of Fate: Core System and after a few minutes reading had my Fate Point Economy epiphany. Now I want to try the DFRPG again.[/EDIT]
Production-wise the book is a hardback, with a cloth binding to which the signatures have been stitched. It should last for many many games providing you don't get it wet (glossy pages don't survive moisture well). Well done Evil Hat for getting the book's construction right.
The pages are glossy, as I said, with full color illustrations derived (I think) from the graphic novels. Each page is colored and decorated as though it were part of a spiral-bound magical notebook, and the text is littered with post-its, blue highlighter and marginalia purportedly between the collaborators of the design team.
And that's why the stars fall off this review.
The graphic designers have gone to a great deal of trouble to make the book look like a work-in-progress, with notes from "Billy" the RPG designer and "Harry" a playtester, and with the occasional aside from "Bob". Sometimes this stuff clarifies a rule, much as a sidebar would in any other rulebook. Sometimes they are simply running in-jokes.
I found the joke content got old (very old very fast) when I began to struggle with the internals of the system itself. It got in the way. It used space, driving up cost of ownership. It was distracting. It was, and remains, annoying. Your mileage may vary.
The index is also particularly vexing. In at least one case the only reference to the subject I was looking for resolved (eventually, after much searching the page text) to a stupid joke post-it. Call me finicky, but indexing the jokes in preference to actual useful entries is unhelpful and worth dropping one star. Indexing them at all was a questionable decision in my opinion.
So, to sum up: Flexible (but complex) game rules with a steep learning curve for Trad. RPG fans, achieves the very difficult goal of modeling events in the DF books, sturdily bound but marred for me by the desire to "gussy up" the contents in a way I found intrusive and unhelpful.
You are going to need FUDGE dice. Cheapest option for the GM: Fudge Dice GMs Multi-Color. [EDIT 11/22/13] It seems the vendor in this listing has gone insane and repriced these dice according to the "used kidney" listings instead of the "game accessory" one. I think these guys have a more realistic expectation, though it pains me to say it since my review is on the original page I linked. No more "helpful" votes for that literary gem then.[/EDIT]
Most evocative sets (in my opinion) for anyone: Q-Workshop: Set of 4 - Carved Ancient Fudge d6 Black & Yellow Fudge Dice and Q-Workshop: Set of 4 - Carved Ancient Fudge d6 Beige & Black Fudge Dice. I think the beige set works best (the dice look like carved bones) but that is just my opinion.