I have loved the movie Labyrinth for more than three decades. It’s still in my top five movies of all-time. It was the first movie I watched in my teen years where the girl was allowed to rescue herself. It was a marvel to see Sarah take control of her fate, to face down Jareth, and to declare “You have no power over me.”
When I was asked to be a guest author for the new Labyrinth RPG by River Horse Games, I had to say yes. I liked the way the RPG is set up to help new gamemasters run the game while giving old pros all kinds of options to play with. Using the new ruleset, I had to think my way around the scenario I set up—an oubliette scene, of course. It appealed to my creepy sensibility.
I’ve thought about Labyrinth over the years, remembering how it influenced me and, eventually, my writing. Sarah is not a perfect character. She’s flawed in a very human way, but she’s allowed to grow while on her hero’s journey. This is something I keep in mind as I write. A perfect character is boring. One who can work through their flaws and make new mistakes is interesting and much more relatable.
I look forward to seeing what the new players to the Labyrinth RPG do with the set up and new play system they’ve been given. I hope it brings new fans to the movie and old fans into gaming. I think it’s the best of both worlds.