Apr 22, 2020

Labrytinth - The Adventure Game

Have you ever wanted to grab a few friends and test yourself against the Goblin King and his Labyrinth? Now you can thanks to River Horse Games!

Let's start by looking at the book. Much like the Labyrinth itself, things are not what they seem at first glance here.

They made an interesting choice by cutting a small area out of the pages so that the custom dice can be stored in the book. It's a neat idea but I can easily see it leading to tearing a page if your finger gets hooked in there. Also, the owl in the bottom corner is on every page and you can flip the pages to make his wings flap.

Removing the dust jacket finds a replica of Sarah's book! For me, this alone is worth the price of admission. I'd be happy just to have this on display. But, there is adventure within!

Only the first 35 pages are dedicated to rules and that includes the standard "intro" stuff you find in any RPG as well as character creation. The majority of the book lays out the scenes players will face. The last 13 pages are glossy and have photos from the movie and publicity stills.

The Game

Note: The game master is referred to as the Goblin King. I use GK for the person running the game and Goblin King for the in-game character.

Unlike other RPGs you might have played, this one doesn't have a lot of stats or numbers to keep track of. Character creation comes down to a handful of choices. You pick one of seven kin (races), each with their own traits/flaws. Dwarves work in a variety of jobs and start with job-related equipment. Fireys can detach limbs. Goblins have Goblin features, which may help you blend in. Humans get to pick two traits. Knights of Yore are honorable and can train a steed. Horned Beasts can control a type of object but are very big. Worms (yes, you can play a worm!) can climb well but are very small.

Traits are things you're good at like being athletic or singing. Flaws are things like being cowardly or overconfident. When doing a test, the GK assigns a difficulty of 2 (Piece of Cake) to 6 (It's Not Fair!) and you roll a die to beat it. If a trait applies to the roll, you roll two dice instead of one and take the better. If you have an applicable fault, you still roll two dice but take the lower result. Rolling a 1 (the Owl) is always extra bad news.

Once you've created your group, you figure out what the Goblin King took from you. Maybe he took a physical object or maybe it's something like your singing voice. The game master is encouraged to create their own Goblin King or Queen but, I mean, it's Labyrinth! Channel your inner Bowie!

The characters make their way through the Labyrinth over five chapters and each chapter will have multiple scenes. Fans of the movie will recognize these chapters: Stonewalls, Hedge Maze, Land of Yore, Goblin City, and The Castle. The all have about 20 possible scenes except for the Castle which has 12.

You start at the beginning (shocker) with Chapter 1, Scene 1. As you play through scenes, the GK is told when to mark progress, which is the scene number. When you leave a scene, you explore by rolling a die and adding your current progress number. The result is the number of the next scene the GK goes to. This gives plenty of variety to play again. You may even encounter characters or places from the movie! If your exploration number is greater than the number of scenes in a chapter, you move to scene one of the next chapter. And of course, you only have 13 hours to defeat the Goblin King and failing tests can result in losing time.

The book is packed with enough scenes and random encounter charts to have multiple adventures. I think it'd also be a fun resource for shaking things up in your regular RPG by dropping the players into the Labyrinth!

The scene writers did an excellent job of capturing the feel of the world. The original art is spot on and, as you can see above, some of it is right from Brian Froud. Even if you never play it, it's a good way to get a little more Labyrinth in your life beyond the movie. 

No comments:

Post a Comment