Saturday, July 14, 2018

What's New at Labyrinth: 7/13/2018

What's New at Labyrinth: 7/14/2018
Hi everyone! Another busy week is drawing to a close. Cap it off with a visit to Labyrinth and see all the new stuff!

Round House
 A "round house" is a traditional structure from southeastern China: a massive, circular building designed to hold an entire extended family clan. Coming from Taiwanese designer Eros Lin, Round House places you in the shoes of a family head, leading a clan from within one of these redoubts. Move your family members around the Round House, maximizing your agricultural yield while preserving your security. An intricate strategy game with a historic flair.

Magic The Gathering: 2019 Core Set
The newest set for Magic: The Gathering is out! This core set brings in a new block of cards to the table, as well as five brand-new Planeswalker decks! Core sets are simpler mechanically than themed sets, and are intended to be an excellent starting point for new players. Come by and take a look!

Sorcerer & Stones 
In Taoist philosophy, a Xian is the peak of human enlightenment, a person who has refined their mind and body and obtained immortality. In Sorcerer & Stones, players become supplicants, racing to achieve this lofty status through enlightenment and possessing the spiritual stones necessary to refine your ki. Players must carefully manage their hands and board to obtain immortality.

Mystery of the Temples 
In the world of Mystery of the Temples, the Magic Academies tasked with researching new forms of magic have turned to the sealed temples of old in search of new finds. The temples, however, are protected by curses mighty and dark. The players are Curse Breakers, accomplished mages who must travel across the world and carefully assemble collections of sacred gems. Order your gems correctly to defuse a curse and claim the wealth that lies behind them!

 Legend of the Five Rings: The Fires Within 
The third Dynasty pack in the Elements Cycle, the Dynasty pack The Fires Within focuses on the most dynamic of the five elements, as well as adding new powers for the Mantis, Crane and Unicorn. Strange allies rise up, and mighty powers stir in Rokugan. Will you channel the fires of the earth, or be burned to a cinder?

Illimat: The Crane Wife 
The expansion to the beautiful, melancholic card game Illimat, The Crane Wife adds a new dimension to the trick-taking game. With new cards, tokens and Luminaries, this is definitely worth grabbing for any fans of the original game. 

Mystic Vale: Twilight Garden
The ground-breaking, card-crafting-deck building Mystic Vale is back again with yet another stupendous expansion! Twilight Garden adds the brand new Leader cards--with powerful abilities that can be improved over the course of play--and the Curse cards, which offer great power at a price. Take up the fight against the wither with this wonderful addition!

Smallworld: Underground
Back in stock after some time away is the stand-alone expansion for Smallworld: Smallworld Underground. If you think things are cramped on the surface, wait till you see the underworld. This standalone expansion adds a new board and several new races to the battle for territory. Definitely worth a play.

7th Sea Second Edition 
Also back in stock is the core rule book for 7th Sea! We just had our staff-led session of this swashbuckling RPG and it was a hit. Set in a Renaissance that never was, you must assume the mantle of heroes in an age where the world is changing. Will you tip the balance? 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Guild of Heroes Report for Summer Camp (6/18-6/22)

We've recently had what might be the most exciting event yet for our Guild of Heroes: a week long Dungeons and Dragons summer camp! Our heroes of Niln set off to explore the Astral Sea while our campers learned a bevy of new D&D skills in the store. Here are some photos and stories that we collected from each day.

First things first: Dungeons & Dragons. As soon as we had all of our campers collected, we set off on our first quests. Recently, the Guild uncovered signs of the ancient High Elves, nearly a thousand years gone. We learned that when fleeing the conquest of the early Giant Empire they had sought refuge in the Astral Sea. The Guild was nearly finished assembling a vessel that would take them there, but were missing three vital components. Heroes were dispatched to collect them, including a number of new heroes we would come to meet. Their number included our first Monk, the last class not yet represented in the Guild!

In the afternoon we made our first trip outside, heading to a local park for a special version of Capture the Flag. Heroes split into teams, choosing to be Barbarians, Bards, Clerics, Rogues, or Wizards. Each had special abilities to be used, and it made for a very exciting back and forth!

On Tuesday morning, we began our first lesson: designing backstories and locations. Each camper told us about their character's place of origin, answering questions like "Who or what controls your hometown?" or "How do people from your hometown recognize each other?"

That afternoon, our vessel, the G.S. Potato, launched, piercing the moon to crash ruinously in the Astral Sea. Luckily, our crash site was near an abandoned fortress, replete with a trio of derelict ships on which we could hazard the silvery waters around us. Three groups set out, exploring the strange demiplanes that dotted the seascape, each returning with stories of wonder and terror.

Wednesday, we began with one of the most anticipated activities: painting. Campers brought in miniatures of their own or painted the figures we use during adventures in the store. From glimmering swords to shadowy robes, or even unicorn manes with all the colors of the rainbow, the campers produced a truly stunning group of miniatures.

That afternoon, it was back to the astral sea for another set of valiant adventures, as another three groups of heroes quested further into the planar spheres intersecting the waters. Some fought eldritch beasts, others grappled with dinosaurs or played games with demigods, and all fought to save and protect newfound friends from around the multiverse.

Thursday morning, our heroes woke up from their beds in the strange fortress only to be trapped within their own nightmares, running through a bizzare maze, filled with monsters and other dangers.

Outside of the fiction, after three days of playing with Labyrinth staff behind the DM screen, our campers finally got a turn! Given wet erase dungeon tiles, and guidelines for filling them, groups of campers worked together to design small dungeons. The dungeons were mapped on the tiles with an accompanying worksheet for the key. Once ready, the dungeons were tested, with many of them proving to be far too deadly!

Thursday afternoon, we went out to have a picnic in Lincoln Park, when we were surprised to find another resident of the nightmare realm, a wizard who had been trapped far longer than we had been. He shared what he knew, snippets of a spell that would break the seal entrapping the members of the guild. The rest of the spell could be gleaned from three mystical guardians, each found in a different location both fictional and real.

After gathering the material, verbal, and somatic components of the spell, we reconvened for the casting. The pieces were assembled and we broke free from the enchanted slumber! Needless to say, the fortress was abandoned, and we decided to seek passage home.

Friday was the culmination of the week, featuring Dungeons & Dragons, pizza, and more Dungeons & Dragons. Beset by the danger of the astral sea, the Guild sent scouts to seek a way home. One party investigated the ruins of a warrior horde who had roamed the planes, only finding their animated bones. A second group followed rumors of a people more peaceful, druids who reached out to distant planes for trade, not war. They too had fallen and their ruins now swarmed with victims of a myconic plague, more fungus than flesh. The final group followed rumors of a dungeon full of portals, and defeated creatures and hazards from the Elemental Planes of Fire, Water, and Air.

Each group was surprised when they discovered the three sites were in fact branches of a gargantuan complex, and the junction between them held the way home: a great portal yet unactivated. Three final forays yet deeper and deadlier yielded three objects of power, which, when used, opened a great portal, and the guild was finally able to return home!

And Beyond…
We think camp was an amazing experience for everyone involved, and we’re delighted to have welcomed so many new heroes to the Guild. Many of you have already gotten the free miniature that came with membership, used the 10% off book discount, or signed up for our next adventures. We continue to run three hour D&D adventures every month, with our next events on July 22nd. There will be sessions in the morning and in the afternoon. If those have filled up by the time you find them, you may sign up for our waitlist to be called for openings. If you want to get ahead of the line, on that same date of July 22nd, signups will open for the next sessions on August 25th, also available in the morning and in the afternoon. We hope to see you there!

Friday, July 6, 2018

What's New at Labyrinth: 7/6/18

What's New at Labyrinth: 7/6/18
Happy belated Independence Day, everyone! Now that the festivities have died down, come swing by Labyrinth to see all the cool new stuff we've gotten!

Cataclysm: A Second World War
Cataclysm is the latest offering from legendary studio GMT Games, and it's shaking the World War 2 Wargame genre at its roots. Starting off well before the war, Cataclysm is a true grand strategy game that requires its players to manage domestic politics, logistics, and supply in a sandbox game where anything can happen. Will history repeat itself? Or will you carve a new path?

Trash Pandas
Trash Pandas  is a game of card management and dice that sees players take on the role of everyone's favorite garbage bandits, raccoons! Roll your dice to dig through garbage and claim valuable prizes, but push your luck too far and you'll get busted! Perfect for gamers of all ages.

Lowlands is a strategy game where players compete for wealth by developing their farm, but must also cooperate to build up the communal dikes that keep out the hungry seas. Maintaining this balance is the core of the game--will you serve honorably and protect your community, or will you bilk the system to enrich yourself while risking everyone around you?

Magic Maze: Maximum Security
The Magical Mall is fed up with the constant stream of ne'er-do-well adventurers lifting their goods, and they've stepped up security! This expansion for staff-favorite Magic Maze adds 14 modules to complicate your game, either adding new powers to make the game easier or new foes to obstruct you. Each one comes with a tutorial scenario to teach you how to integrate the module into the full game. Steal boldly!

The Tea Dragon Society
The Tea Dragon Society is a painfully cute deck-building game of love and trust. Based on the award-winning graphic novel of the same name, players build and play decks centered around their relationships with the eponymous Tea Dragons. With beautiful art and solid mechanics, this game is a joy to play. 

Exit: Dead Man on the Orient Express
The Exit series takes us to a classic scenario: On a luxurious train car, someone has been murdered! Dodge danger and solve puzzles to get out alive. As with all the Exit games, these are single-use puzzle boxes, as the components are consumed as you play, but that one use is a ton of fun!

Senshi is a game of balance and careful strategy. As monks competing to be named the next leader of their temple, players must master 4 mental and physical traits by moving tiles from one pile to another. Victory goes to the one with the tallest pile in any stat; however, having the shortest pile in another stat disqualifies you! Achieve balance to win.

For fans of improvisational hilarity, News@11 is a must play. Each player is a news anchor in a world gone weird. Players must improvise news segments from subject cards drawn, with the subject returning and growing wilder over three rounds of play. Great for parties!

Junk Orbit 
Trash collection for fun and space! Junk Orbit is a game of orbital physics where players work as salvagers, picking up trash from orbital cities and selling it to other cities who have use for it. To move, you fire some junk out the hatch and move the other way! Tagging a city with your thrown junk gets you cash, too, so plan your moves carefully and sell your way to victory.

Star Wars RPG: 30th Anniversary Edition
Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game is turning thirty, and with that comes this absolutely gorgeous Anniversary Edition! With beautiful slipcovers and wonderful quality, this package is perfect for old-school collectors and new players to get into this classic alike!

Game of Thrones LCG: The March on Winterfell
The plots of Westeros continue to unfold in the second chapter pack in the Shadows cycle. With new players such as the Queen of Thorns entering the field, subterfuge, trickery, and sheer underhanded methods are more powerful than ever. After all, when treating with liars, even an honest man must lie.

Legend of the Five Rings: Tainted Lands
The Crab Clan takes center stage in Tainted Lands, the second Dynasty Pack in the Elements cycle. The Crab are Rokugan's mighty shield, manning the wall against the beasts of the Shadowlands with the obdurate might of Earth. But their sacrifices go unappreciated, and unsupported. The power of dark magic is tempting; what price honor in the face of victory? The choice is yours remain honorable, or embrace power at any price.

Pokemon TCG: Forces of Nature

The forces of nature arise in this new Pokemon box set! Dedicated to the mighty Cloud Trio, this box contains the never-before-seen Thunderus and Tornadus GX, and an oversize foil card featuring them alongside Landorus! An exciting addition to any collection!

Pop'n'Play Greeting Cards

Finally, we've gotten in a set of these adorable Pop'n'Play cards. Not only are these cards cute, but each one unfolds into a pop-out game you can play! What better way to deliver well-wishes with style?

That's all for this week. Check in next week for another edition of What's New at Labyrinth!