In the time I have been coming to Lab I have made some really good friends, I also encountered some real difficulties which seemed to engender some resentment at times.
The difficulties were in desperately trying to understand the system and the effects that were being thrown around. Getting to grips with the basics of Labyrinthe is fairly straightforward and easy to pick up as you go. The real difficulty is in learning the next tiers effects that get thrown at you as your character progresses.
When you know the system and what most of the effects are it makes it much easier to hear and react to them when monsters declare them. If you are not used to hearing something then you end up not understanding if it’s not spoken clearly and at a reasonable pace. I suppose it’s a bit like that effect used quite famously by [----] whereby your brain only need to read the first and last letters to understand a word, the letters in between are less important in terms of order. When a monster shouts an effect, if it’s something you have heard a million times, then even if you only half hear it because he’s speaking at a rate of approximately 50 words per second you can still know what’s just happened to you.
The advice I generally get is “do more low level dungeons to learn stuff on”...this sounds like good advice but for the fact that on low level dungeons you don’t get hit with high level effects...the only way to learn is to do which means spending time playing at all levels and scramble to learn as fast as possible all the while more experienced players and monsters become a little frustrated with you. Many people at Lab are helpful and sympathetic, but not everyone is. The problem is further compounded if (like me) you periodically have to go a few months between playtimes.
The point of this post (I really am getting to it) is to point out that what would really help someone like me and presumably other people who struggle to learn what the hell just got thrown at them is some sort of guide of expectation so that I can get an idea of what to buff up on before coming on a dungeon.
We have threshold tables so why not have another threshold table that lists the sort of effects you are likely to encounter?
I’ll get the ball rolling to illustrate what I’m getting at.
Most monsters do singles
Most monsters do Doubles
Dark bolt - description
Most monsters do Quads, a few will do Quin.
Super Missile – description
Encountered at all levels
Cause Fear - description
Obviously a list like this could go on for a very long time, I think what would be most helpful would be the general and most common effects you are likely to encounter from monsters.
If anyone feels like filling any of these in - then post below and I’ll edit this one, trust me, if you ever end up on a dungeon with me you won’t regret filling some of this out.
Thanks for reading and apologies for the metric ton of text.
It really depends on the Ref. I've seen Annihilation on a max 1K!
Best thing is be a warrior (you get hit by all the effects so learn them quicker ), don't be afraid to ask. Find someone you know will be sympathetic (I'm always happy to help) and ask what was that I just took, Or what did that do to me...
Another thing that is a great help (Mr. Dale does it on High level events) is in the non standards a little nudge like "look up your green mana acid effects for sunday". Makes it easier to learn a few of the effects for the day! Admittedly it can be a spoiler but if you are new maybe say to the ref any effects that I won't know I should read up on for the event.
I sympathise - but do take courage from people like myself who have been playing for years and are utterly oblivious to what is going on. "Hang on...what does that do again?" "What am I taking from 6 disruptions? Oh, I'm dead." People seem to tolerate us.
No easy answer, my suggestions:
(1) Monster ~ part of the A-Ref job is to ensure that monsters understand parts, its a good way to learn them.
(2) Find out what things Kill you outright / do you a lot of damage and stopping effects, so you can react approrpiately, everythign else you can fudge to a degree and don't be afraid to ask.
When things are hectic and noisy at higher levels even experienced players might have to ask "What was that?" Its a big system, get to grips with recognising the basics and its a good starting point.
Referees tend to write sectsions in themes with the same type of effects re-curring, have a word with your ref once you've handed him your battleboard at the start of the day and just ask what to expect to make sure you have an idea. We do try and be accomodating. Some particulary organised referees (SonOf) will warn parties in advance if they need to check up on parts of the system to make sure they know what they take from some standard effects that might be rare.
Some refs will explain the standards as well at the start of the day.
Interesting posts. For my first return recently Jo put me on a 2k dungeon. I received the dungeon in advance and Phil rang me and guided me through some of the bits that passed over my head.
I know I was not very imaginative when it came to casting roles but Lee and Fi put up with my 1 second memory of what was that verbal again?
Tell you what though, learnt a lot in that one monstering experience, may have started out of depth but I can still swing a sword and put up a fight!
It also inspired me to look at the casting verbals - I am not into playing casters but atleast I can try and get the jest of the more traditional spells being thrown around - fireball, lightning bolt etc.
It's the resistances which got me - but the ref knew and guided me when needed.
What I personally think should happen is this.
Ref on writing dungeon makes short list of (1) effects likely to crop up and (2) books they are in / which immunities and resistances apply. Alternatively, a-ref does this on reading dungeon.
Players who feel nervous about system familiarity can ask to see the list. If the ref thinks they are not taking the mick, he sends them the list. Possibly the player has to declare first what their exact points spend is, and then can't play the dungeon as any other character or with any other spend. That way, points spends are not influenced by what's on the list. Such safeguards are not needed for 90% of players but there's always that special 10%...
PS obviously you won't get everything on your list as a ref might stat "Grey Wizard, all handbook 1st-8th, 200 mana"...
Difficult one this - no easy way, only things suggest is scanning through the books and try and remember a few of them.
In an attempt to be helpful, the most common effects are;
Stopping; Parlaysis, Petrification, Freeze, Voice of power, Halt, Stasis, Suspend life.
Dommination; Beguile, Spiritual mastery, Power word frenzy, Bronze related spells, kneel before the master.
Character killers; ToD, Anhilation
Magical Damaging effects; Pain 12tblp / Agony 18tblp / Torment 36tBLP, Dart 3/1, Blasts 12/2, Bolt 24/4, Disruption 36/6.
Spiritual damaging effects; Causing cause wound 6/6, cause serious12/12, Cause grevious 35/6, shadow strike 18tblp, soul lance 20% to goodly, 10% tblp if neutral, steal life essence 4/1 per charcter lvl including MC & MR's, Spirit bolt 18tblp, Dark sundering 36tblp.
Crowd control effects: Bind / entangle / Gravity well / Vanish / Trip / Gust of wind / repulsion / water cannon, wall of anything.
Other favourites: Incineration (lose your eyes), Heart of Ice (Loc Zero chest), Ebon claw 48tblp + halt, + lots more.
Get outs; Walk on's, Walk through walls, Shifts, Jumps, Passwall, Spirit form, Mana form,
Read on them bud :0)
I know i've missed loads! Lost enthusiam heh
Weapon Destruction effects: Disintegrate, Shatter, Warp, Rust, Melt
Hide mantics in a dark pit.
They already did, it's called the caves :-)
In all seriousness, monstering an extended length is probally were i learnt the most - monsters have time to chat amoungst themselves ask questions etc,
Highly recommend taking a week end or a week out - if real life permits.
I played Labyrinth many years ago, and have recently regained an interest in LARP's and thought I would have a look at it again, but probably wont return to be honest as I remember being VERY frustrated with an element of the system. Spells, I LOVE playing Mages in all the games I play and enjoy role playing characters but found with Labyrinth hated the fact that I cast 2 spells and was knocked uncurious, then hit once by a monster and killed, didn't last very long in the game, the next time, I just cast one spell but die to me know being so weak and no one prepared to heal me pretty much stayed so far back in battle so I didn't die that it became hard to role play or get involved. Would love to play again but would really have to overhaul this taking damage to cast spells system to balance the classes a lot more as the magical classes already are a lot physically weaker than there fighter counterparts already without making it harder to use the 1 skill they have that warriors don't, mages don't dare come to the front to use there weapons as we could dire so we stand back and fire spells into the battle makes us feel involved and part of the combat and not fearful that throwing an arrow spell at a goblin is likely to kill me so I had better hide. Its a shame as other than this bugbear I really enjoyed it and met some really great people.
Characters can now be started at 4th Level - hopefully removing some of the frustrations you (and many others) had with the system. I think everyone agreed that playing a 1st Level wizard was just no fun - so it's been changed.
I myself played a little 20+ years ago and was persuaded to come back for a friends birthday do. It took alot of persuading i remember alot of flaws with the way things used to be run. I have been back about 3-4 months nows and it night & day on how it used to be.
1) As the other Giles said you now start at level 4 which for casters makes a huge difference.
2) Everyone gets a potion allowance of 5x 6 point healing potions(more if your an elf) which is often paid for by the brief in low level dungeons. This will counter any casting damage you take.
3) In general people , both players and monsters are far more interested in actually roleplaying these days than when i played previously.
4) In the average party 50% of characters will be none front line types, This means even if you not getting stuck into melee you will have plenty of others to roleplay with and are not just stood arround at the back.
5) Most dungeons are a mix of combat / roleplay / puzzle encounters . I have seen silver wziards (information wizards, no combat spells) really shine on adventures for example.
6) Lastly the people and the community is really great, very supportive and generally great people to hang out with.
Give it a try on a pre 8th dungeon, I would be very surprised if you dont enjoy yourself.
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