Welcome to Labyrinths & Liontaurs!
"a well-designed and fun game that is perfect for fans of fantasy RPGs."
From a review by Google's AI chatbot, Bard.
Use your imagination. Visualize a photograph of an isometric view of a 3-D "dungeon" set up, with twisty little passages, all alike -- and populated with liontaur minis. Close your eyes and see it. Good job. Now you've enjoyed the cover artwork for Labyrinths and Liontaurs.
If you own or even know of a photo like this, a real photo, a nice color high-res photo, let me know. If it's not yours, I can track down the owner, or at least try. If it is yours, then you get an art credit, and a portion of the revenue from this work. (See "Cash" below).
Are you new to role-playing games? Maybe you've heard of Dungeons & Dragons, the great-grandaddy of the genre. If you are a complete newbie, go visit the Getting Started Page. Also check out the Wikipedia article on Role-playing Games; there are lots of good links there, so head down the wiki rabbit hole and learn about this great hobby.
Okay, now that I've sent the newbies away, let's get down to it. Labyrinths & Liontaurs is an RPG in the tradition of Dungeons & Dragons (Third Edition) and Pathfinder (First Edition). That means I took two games I love and fixed them. This is game equivalent of the Harry Potter fan fiction where the magic actually makes sense; characters act intelligently; and the economy is not based on the gold standard, enslaved house elves, and problematic goblins.
What I've done with this game is taken the core of Pathfinder, subtracted some stuff here, bolted on some 3E D&D stuff there, and added a few original ideas that I hope are improvements. I can do this because both these games are based on the wonderful Open Game License. For more info on that, every page footer has a link to OGL info page for your edification. The gist is, L&L is my own version of "D&D Done RIght!"
If you've figured out that your game author is a real blatherskite, and you just want to get to the rules, then go to the game contents here. Do not return to this page, but do bookmark the Contents. That's what I use as my go-to link to L&L. You should too.
On the other hand, if you want to learn about the changes I have made, my "improvements" to the game, and why I made them, then wade through a lot more of my blather on the design notes page here.
Credits, Copyrights, and Cash
I stand on the shoulders of storm giants. There's a lot more on this legal stuff in the OGL info, but suffice to say that I am deeply grateful to Gary Gygax, who once sent answers to a teenage Cayzle's AD&D rules questions; Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams, the D&D 3E designers; and Jason Bulmahn and the other designers of the Pathfinder game.
I'm also very grateful to my many playtesters, especially [[insert list here after I get some]].
I should also mention that although I have always depended on the kindness of strangers, any errors or omissions in Labyrinths & Liontaurs are mine alone. Therefore, I do always welcome feedback, corrections, and suggestions. Reach out to me via email at email@example.com or on the Twitter @cayzle.
This game is released freely online at my site at cayzle.com/LnL. Some day there will be a PDF version at my free downloads page. If you have paid a couple bucks for a PDF version on a site such as Drive-Thru RPG, well, by charging a couple bucks there, I can get them to include it in the charitable bundle assortments that they offer on the regular, so I hope you do not mind having made a contribution to a worthy cause -- either to a genuine charity or even to myself, and it is much appreciated.
But seriously, the L's in L&L also stand for labor and love. I'm not making anything from this, I release it freely into the OGL ecosystem, and I hope other people will enjoy it. The note on "cash" above is a joke -- if I do pay anyone out of my own pocket for art, I'll make sure they are okay with releasing that art freely as well. Speaking of free art, with the availability of new AI-generated digital images, I've put my money where my mouth is and used character portraits created by DALL-E on each of my class pages. I feel a little dirty doing it -- in a perfect world, I'd have the means to commission real human artists. Ah well. If it matters, it is very very hard to get those bots to draw anything resembling a liontaur!
Like Cory Doctorow says, quoting Woody Guthrie's copyright notice for "This Land Is Your Land" ... "Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do." That's my spirit with this game, within the limits of the Open Game License, of course. Well, okay, one exception. The name of the game -- "Labyrinths & Liontaurs" -- is "product identity," that is, a trademark not covered by the OGL. If you fork my game, give it your own darn name!
The makers of D&D Third Edition and Pathfinder First Edition released the core essence of their games to the general public in the form of "System Reference Documents." Other people took those docs and put them online freely, as reference materials. My main source for L&L is a version of the Pathfinder 1E SRD put online ages ago, and I cannot find the name of the creator or where I found it. I grabbed the source files a long time ago and hosted my own copy of the PF SRD on my own site here. It includes the Advanced Players Guide and no other splat books, so that dates it to aroundabouts 2010-ish. For a great many pages in L&L, I just take the source code for that old SRD and edit it as I see fit. I also have copied and pasted text from a similar copy of the 3.5E SRD located here on my site.
This website uses that borrowed code, hand-tweaked html, and a smidgen of css to get the job done. The background color (#ffddff) and red headings are design choices made in the 20th Century, when Cayzle's Wemic Site was first launched, and I see no reason to change now. The preferred font for all text is "Calibri," and the preferred font size is "big," because old grognards like me have bad eyes, and because I think it looks better on mobile devices. That's also why tables look the way they do. Back in the day, this was a Geocities site, and it migrated with Geocities to Yahoo Small Business web hosting, where it lived through 2020, when Yahoo gave up the Web hosting game.