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Labyrinth Lord

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Labyrinth Lord

Labyrinth Lord
Designer(s) Daniel Proctor
Publisher(s) Goblinoid Games
Publication date 2007 (original); 2009 (Revised Edition)
Years active 2007-present
Genre(s) Fantasy
Playing time Varies
Random chance Dice rolling
Skill(s) required Role-playing, improvisation, tactics, arithmetic
Website http://www.goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html

Labyrinth Lord (LL) is a fantasy role-playing game written and edited by Daniel Proctor and published by Goblinoid Games. It emulates the rules and feel of classic era Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) using the Open Game License (OGL) from Wizards of the Coast. LL borrows its inspiration from the 1981 D&D basic set edited by Tom Moldvay.[1]

Compatibility with classic Dungeons & Dragons

Any adventure written to be played with classic D&D can be run using LL with little or no adjustment. However, there are a few differences between the two games. Rather than being released in separate Basic and Expert boxed sets like the version of D&D that it emulates, all of LL's rules are contained in a single volume. Another deviation from the source material is that characters can advance to 20th level (the 1981 Expert set only included levels up to 14). In addition, the cleric class in LL can cast spells at first level, unlike in the Basic and Expert rules. LL includes most of the same monsters, spells, and magic items as classic D&D, except for those designated as "product identity" by Wizards of the Coast. In some cases, these have been replaced with similar alternatives.

Distribution

Goblinoid Games was the first retro-clone publisher to both make most content open under the Open Gaming License (OGL) and create a free trademark license with few restrictions. The material contained in the LL rules is available to others with few restrictions, allowing fans and other publishers alike to create their own derivative material for use with the system.[2] This is known in gaming circles as the Open Gaming Movement. The term retro-clone was coined by Goblinoid Games to describe its reproductions of classic D&D and other games and has caught on among RPG fans, who now use it to describe the recreation of any out of print and non-supported RPG rules created under the OGL. Besides Labyrinth Lord, other retro-clone RPGs from Goblinoid Games include GORE (which emulates Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu and RuneQuest) and Mutant Future (which emulates TSR's Gamma World).

Labyrinth Lord is available as a free PDF download at the Goblinoid Games web site, and hardcopy versions of the rules can be purchased from the Lulu print on demand service and are available in hobby stores through traditional distribution networks. Additionally, Goblinoid Games has announced a partnership with Otherworld Miniatures, who will begin selling a line of official Labyrinth Lord miniatures starting in August 2010.[3]

Reception

Labyrinth Lord was a runner up in the Indie RPG Awards Best Free Game category in 2007,[4] and it received an Honorable Mention in the Best Game category of the 2010 ENnies.[5]

The Escapist recommended Labyrinth Lord in their 2009 Holiday Buyer's Guide. Comparing its tone to 4th Edition D&D's "zany, over-powered sensibility", they wrote, "Labyrinth Lord feels like a Vietnam War movie, where the dungeons are dark, wet, and terrifying, goblins murder all your friends with spiked-pit traps and crossbow bolts from the shadows, and you start to develop a thousand yard infravision stare from the spell shock."[6]

Labyrinth Lord has been translated in German, with the subtitle Herr der Labyrinthe under the original English title.[7] Bastian Ludwig made a positive review in Ringbote - das online Spielemagazin published by Pegasus spiele,[8] and also reviewed Labyrinth Lord material released in German, Die Larm-Chroniken (Morritz Melhem, Mantikore-Verlag 2010).[9] An Italian translation, subtitled Il Signore dei Labirinti has been published in 2009 under the Goblinoid Games logo.[10]

References

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