Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Adventure Game
This beautiful collectors’ item contains a full epic adventure which can be played both by expert roleplayers using their favourite RPG rules system, and by fans of the Labyrinth who are not roleplayers, using the streamlined rules system included in the book!
In this hardback book (Approx. 280+ full-color pages) you will find:
A Perfect RPG For Jim Henson Fans of All Ages [ edit ]
First off, despite its (long) title, "Jim Henson's The Labyrinth: The Adventure Game" is a role-playing game .. just a more introductory/simple one. And since even the acronym of the name is a mouthful (JHTL:TAG), we're just going to refer to it as "the Labyrinth RPG".
As its name would suggest, this game was made specifically for fans of Jim Henson's unique and beloved cult classic: The Labyrinth. If you haven't seen the movie (preferably recently) you can still play the game, but you're going to miss out on a huge part of its setting and atmosphere.
On that note it's worth mentioning that while The Labyrinth has fans of all ages, and the game is officially recommended for ages 6+ ... not every 6-year old will be ready to watch a movie where (among other things) puppets rip their own heads off and juggle them. As such, the main age restriction of the game is simply that the child needs to be old enough to enjoy the movie.
But children (of any age) who do love the movie will find themselves completely at home in this game. It does an amazing job of bringing players back to the movie's world, with all it's strange flora and fauna, from the tiniest worm to the massive Bog of Eternal Stench itself. Along with their fellow companions, the players will get to journey through the Labyrinth to recover something of importance that was taken from them by Goblin King (who also happens to be the "game master" character).
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Adventure Game, First Edition - Rules SummaryCollapse
Character Creation [ edit ]
As an "adventure" (ie. introductory) role-playing game, the Labyrinth RPG has a very simple character creation process.
First, the player selects a "kin" (ie. race) for their character. The game provides seven different kin options, all from the movie, ranging from the smallest, an actual worm, to the ogre-sized horned beasts. In-between are plenty of interesting options, including the Fiery (ie. the previously mentioned head juggling puppets).
Each kin can have traits (benefits) and flaws. For instance, the Fiery can detach their limbs and start fires on their fingers (both traits), while the Horned Beasts have the flaw of being Very Big, and the trait of being able to control an object (as Ludo controlled rocks in the movie). It's worth noting that Goblin King (GM) can treat a flaw as a trait, or vice versa, depending on the circumstances (eg. the Horned Beast flaw of being large could act as a trait whenever their size would be an asset).
Next, a player gets to pick an extra Trait (two if they chose Human as their kin). There are only six traits to choose from, although the player can also invent their own, and each one is a pair, such as "lifting and pushing" or "singing and dancing". After that the player picks a Flaw, such as Coward or Selfish. Again, there are six options to choose from, or the player can also invent their own Flaw.
Finally, the player picks a name for their character, and then the group as a whole has to decide what object(s) the Goblin King stole from them (and which will serve as the adventure's objective).
Core Mechanics [ edit ]
The Labyrinth RPG is a d6 based system, and in fact the book comes (carved into its pages) with two d6s. Whenever chance is involved in a task the Goblin King (GM) assigns a difficulty from 2 to 6, and then the player must roll equal to or higher. A 1 always fails, and the Goblin King may opt to add extra unfortunate results (much like "critical failures" in other games).
If a trait applies to the task the player gets to roll two dice and pick the higher result, whereas if a flaw applies then they roll two and keep the lower. Gear can work similarly to a trait, if applicable (eg. climbing shoes when climbing). Players can also lower the difficulty of another player's action by helping them.
Finally, the game has special rules for exploring the Labyrinth itself, since (being a magical Labyrinth) it defies a simple map. Essentially each significant location is a two-page "scene" in the book, and the book comes with ribbons for marking which scene the party is at.
The book also has a separate ribbon for marking the party's overall progress, and this works a bit like a save point in video games (with only certain scenes allowing you to "change your save point"). For instance, at the start of the game both ribbons are at scene #1 (the outer wall of the Labyrinth). When the party complets it they roll a die and then go to 1 plus the roll (ie. one of scenes #2-7). When they leave that scene they again go to one of scenes #2-7 ... unless one of those scenes lets them save progress, or sends them to a specific location (eg. falling through a trap might get you sent directly to the Oubliette).
Finally, if the party doesn't complete their quest in 13 hours of game time, they lose, but there's no need to break out a stopwatch. Only special events (often the result of failed checks) can make the players "lose an hour".
Combat [ edit ]
This game is a non-combat game, and as such has no rules for weapons, hit points, etc.
It does have the concept of "action scenes", which are similar to combats in other systems in some ways (each player takes turns taking actions, and there can be several rounds). However, there is no way for the characters to even be hurt, physically; at worst they simply lose time.
A Simple but Fun Way to Experience The Labyrinth [ edit ]
Whether you grew up in the 80's when the movie was released, or you just watched it for the first time the other day, there's something special, perhaps even a bit magical, about Jim Henson's The Labyrinth. It's cast of unique characters, assortment of incredible settings, and struggle to defeat the goblin king (David Bowie himself) made for an incredibly immersive fantasy world to escape into.
Adventure Role-Playing Game does an amazing job of bringing players back into that world, with each page introducing something which both feels completely new, and which feels very much like it was taken from the movie. Furthermore, to ensure replay value, many of the scenesi include variable options. For instance, in one scene the party encounters an NPC held inside a cage, who can be one of six different possible options (one even being Hoggle, from the movie). The next time you play it that cage (if you even encounter it) will have someone completely different in it, and of course Goblin Kings are welcome to introduce their own modifications, or even completely new scenes.
It's also worth noting that since most of the book is just fun Labyrinth-themed encounters, it's also possible to use this book without its rules, adapting it instead for a game like Dungeons and Dragons. But for those specifically looking for children's RPGs, the included rules are all you'll need to let your "goblin king" take a bunch of explorers on an adventure through the incredible setting that is Jim Henson's Labyrinth.