Saturday, August 27, 2022

Commentary On 'Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth' By Janet Trautvetter, Kerry Lloyd, Kevin Hardwick, and Richard Meyer For The Thieves World Rpg Setting

 “The more I see of what you call civilization, the more highly I think of what you call savagery!”

― Robert E. Howard, King Kull

"In this second volume of the Haven city series, GMs will find detailed descriptions of over 120 shops, taverns and residences, numerous random encounters, and hundreds of NPCs, creating an ever-changing tapestry of events, personalities, conflict and intrigue."

"Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth" is one of those rare box sets that has only come across my table a couple of times
"Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth" published by Gamelords back in 1983 it clocks in at  80 pages, with 10 pages of maps stapled to center of book of the box set. Recently DM Steve ordered a copy from Different & the box set came in today. And the bottomline is that I'd love to have a copy of it. And I will be coming up because let's face facts gamers are nothing if not completists. So why is "Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth" so good?! Because it feels like it came out of '83 and reads like a Sword & Sorcery novel's setting book.  This blog picks right up from way back here. 

Why is  'Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth' still important & usable today in our OSR scene?! Haven set's the city of the same name & 'the Labyrinth' is one the most  infamous sections of the fantasy city. A section with 120 businesses that in one way or another are connected with the Thieves guild.And this underground world of crime translates into hard core underworld politic & danger if the player's PC's are not careful. 
Now let's take 'Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth' totally different direction & that is as a destination point for the campaign setting of the Hyperborea rpg. If Haven is a city that comes alive during the Spring months of Hyperborea. Then it would stand to reason that this region of crime, fencing, trade, vice, and worse would be geared perfectly for pirates & sea dogs as well as normal thieves.  
Remember we're dealing with Hyperborea here and since the Green Death there are literally miles & miles of ruins, forgotten tombs, dungeons, and the underworld.So it stands to reason that 'Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth' is also going to be cattering to tomb robbers, artifact sellers, and worse. 
Haven is one step away from being a completely black market city on the maps in Hyperborea. 

 'Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth' is also useful for Castles & Crusades as an alternative system for the Thieves PC class & as a clandestine system for the other classes that are interested in leading a life crime.  'Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth' is the perfect urban underworld campaign setting to get into the seadier aspects of Castles & Crusades. Haven is perfectly pitched as an Elizabethian era shady setting where the player's PC's can unload all that ill gotten gain. And perhaps blow off some stream among the sleazier & shader aspects of Haven. 
Haven can also offer the PC's oppertunities for adventure if they happen to climb into the ranks of a thieves guild. There are plenty parts for wizards, illusionists,warriors, even knights to play in a city of thieves. The guild can come at the party with plenty of jobs. And because  'Haven 2 Secrets of the Labyrinth'  is from 1983 it's a good bet that there's plenty to deal with in Haven. 

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