The Labyrinth Move in Abstract Labyrinths

Just want to hear people’s thoughts on using Jason Cordova’s Labyrinth Move on things like romantic relationships and the like. Little weird, I know. :stuck_out_tongue:


Could you expand on this a little bit? Are there things you have dug into trying to apply it to other things? If so did you run into any issues?

And for those who don’t know @jasoncordova’s Labyrinth move:


I haven’t tried it, I just thought of the idea of using that move as a way to abstract relationship building, kinda like in Persona 3, 4, and 5.


I don’t think it’s weird at all. We do say that we navigate relationships, after all… I’m assuming you want to use the idea “obstacle” instead of “guardian”, and these obstacles can be many things — illness, “I need my me time”, having an affair, an argument, etc. The treasures you might take along the way by spending holds could be purely of the flesh (and it could be very passionate and romantic), or they could be those absolutely euphoric moments in a budding relationship, filled with romantic highlights but platonic. Or both. Is that along the lines of what you were thinking?


You know, obviously the original Labyrinth Move was for navigating spaces that would be impractical to map at the table because of their size, and I think it works really well in that context. A lot of people have drifted it quite a bit to apply it to other types of spaces, and I assume those efforts have been successful? Not really sure. What you’re proposing here is really interesting. On the face of it, it seems like it could work. “Each time you do A to woo Character Y, roll… gain hold… spend X hold to have senpai notice you (or whatever).” It could work. It’s pretty abstract, and I probably wouldn’t want to apply it to a player character (for consent reasons) but it’s a cool thought experiment, for sure.


I dunno about representing romance (and thus love & sex) as something to solve or unlock in another person. That seems a rather redpill-y way to mechanize relationships.

(not saying you hold such views, but that the mechanic seems to express that sort of attitude)


I thought you could use a romance version for a mingling at a party or speed dating event, or ‘hey how does your romance go over the term’-so a love letter than you then weave into the plot.

you could weave in some win-lose 7-9 results

  • X is what you want but not want you need.
  • Y works well with you, but your family or friends want them dead.
  • X is wealthy and pleasant, but alas no fireworks in the bedroom.

I agree that with points gathered to get something from somebody romantically doesn’t sound like a good idea straight away. But I totally see many others ways you can bring a Labyrinth Move similar mechanic to a well defined romantic situation.

In my World of Aventurien Labyrinth Move you can unlock the next dungeon level only after everybody in the party has triggered the Move at least once. No matter if with success or failure. Full success let’s you be prepared for an encounter and discover something useful or valuable. Partial success only one of these.

If I apply that to characters going to a flirtative party, the two options I would offer would be along the line: learn something about yourself, or learn something about the world.

The point about everybody having to trigger the Move to move on has turned out a) as helping on spotlight distribution but also b) on encouraging players more to think out of the box of their assumptions about what their character would do at such a party.


Ha ha. For regular romance narratives, it would be an unsatisfying choice–but it is spot on for the Persona mode of hitting stages of intimacy/understanding with a largish group of NPCs. I like the idea that you hitting an obstacle means you have to figure something out or change something about yourself before you can try to move further in the relationship.


I think this would be really cool for negotiating a court, swaying important people, making an impression, that sort of thing


Yeah, definitely! I wouldn’t use this move in Monsterhearts, lol. Maybe use the Labyrinth move like this in games that already use this sort of thing, like Dungeon World or Rhapsody of Blood.


Aside from romantic relationships, I can see this Move being totally useful in a spy or heist game to represent legwork. Especially if you use Gerrit’s version where everybody has to do the Move one time.

Or maybe for Big Magic prep in Monster of the Week - the GM could just tell the players how much hold they would need to acquire all ingredients needed, and then let them roll for that.