Labyrinthe History Club History
It is thought that some of the first Live Role Playing events in the UK were held by Treasure Trap in 1982, where regular events were held at Peckforton Castle. These events quickly became popular, attracting significant attention from players, locals and the media (one of the Treasure Trap events even featured on Blue Peter). A number of other new clubs sprang into existence when Treasure Trap closed two years later, using rules systems which closely resembled those used by Treasure Trap. One of those clubs was Labyrinthe, founded by Pete Garner in 1985 running under the name of Garner Adventure Tours.
After using a number of overland sites around Kent, late in 1985 the club relocated to the caves site in Chislehurst. Over the next few years Pete and his team undertook a huge amount of development work in the caves, building walls and crawl-throughs to add even more atmosphere and character to the caves. The work paid off, and the club quickly became one of the largest and most active clubs in the country. AD+D was very popular at the time, X-Boxes were just being dreamed of and online gaming was the stuff of science fiction so Labyrinthe became a very popular release from every-day life.
Pete continued to run Labyrinthe for many years, and only in 1993 did he hand over the reigns to Jan Mc Mannus, who had been a club member for many years and had supported Pete in the running of Labyrinthe in the years prior to the handover. Running the caves under the name of Mannerism, Jan brought a new era of creativity to the club. Keeping the fundamental core rules in place, Jan and his team set about evolving a huge game-world background. New publications were introduced to bring this deep and involving background to the members, and a huge amount of work went into making the weekly adventures at Labyrinthe cohesive and involving (it had previously become a bit of an in-joke that most brave adventurers had defeated at least 30 Nazgul and the Witch King had died at least 15 times that year). Plot lines developed which really brought meaning to the background at Labyrinthe. Adventures and the actions of the players started to actually have an effect on the world and the players around them. Alan Morgan was amongst the team that worked with Jan on this, and after Jan had introduced the concept of Play by Mail (whereby players’ characters could continue to interact with the game world even when they weren't on an adventure) Alan took responsibility for that area of the club as the demand consistently grew.
Simon Morgan had been involved with Labyrinthe throughout this time, and had founded and built a successful business manufacturing and selling weapons and shields for LRP players, selling his kit at the caves as well as other LRP events and over the Web, trading as Eldritch. In 2001 Jan passed over ownership of Labyrinthe to Simon who quickly stamped his own very personal style on the club.
In May of 2006, Simon transferred ownership of Labyrinthe over to Phil Branscombe, Duncan Mathias and Andy Byatt, and Labyrinthe UK Ltd was formed. Some of the club members that were amongst the first to join way back in 1985 are still with us (and some may recognise themselves in the photos of those early years in this section of the website) and we're happy to say that we are seeing an increase of new club members as well, despite the existence of online role-playing games. Labyrinthe is now concentrating on building on work that the previously owners put into the club. We have an extensive building program underway, modernising and adding to the building work that was done back in the 80's`. The system remains firmly based on the original rules, which are well suited to the smaller group events run at Labyrinthe rather than the large scale "fest" events sometimes run by other systems, but we still remain very focused on providing and developing an involved and engaging game world for the club members to immerse themselves.
Over the coming months there are a number of new developments planned, and we hope that club members new and old continue to enjoy the events run by Labyrinthe.