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:
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.