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Thread: Holmes Basic D&D (plus house rules): Any takers?

  1. #1
    got a giant beard jdrakeh's Avatar
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    Holmes Basic D&D (plus house rules): Any takers?

    I'm thinking about running an old school Holmes Basic D&D PbP campaign (with house rules) set in either Greyhawk or Pellinore. Any takers?
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    WIS is my dump stat! Fenris's Avatar
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    Here? PbP? I would be interested. Which ones were the Holmes rules again?
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    Hulk not smash...LOVE! Queenie's Avatar
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    I have no idea what you are talking about! lol
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    diaglo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Here? PbP? I would be interested. Which ones were the Holmes rules again?
    the 1977 Basic D&D set with the blue box

    Holmes is 2edD&D and in 1978 became 3edD&D.
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    I want watermelon! Bagpuss's Avatar
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    I don't have access to those rules but I do have the D&D Rules Cyclopedia is that close enough?
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    diaglo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss View Post
    I don't have access to those rules but I do have the D&D Rules Cyclopedia is that close enough?
    nope. that is the mentzer version. which is multiple editions later.
    holmes 2edD&D is this one sorta:
    FWIW, I'm on the design team and I pretty much find WoW as fun and interesting as banging my head against a brick wall.-- Mike Mearls

    I mean, I never GET any but that would be preferable. --Rel

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    I want watermelon! Bagpuss's Avatar
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    So was this a solo adventure you were planning then?
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  • #8
    diaglo's Avatar
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    3edD&D included B2 Keep on the Borderlands in the boxed set. and chits instead of dice b/c they couldn't keep up with the demand.
    FWIW, I'm on the design team and I pretty much find WoW as fun and interesting as banging my head against a brick wall.-- Mike Mearls

    I mean, I never GET any but that would be preferable. --Rel

  • #9
    freaking RIPPED Rodrigo Istalindir's Avatar
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    Re: Holmes Basic D&D (plus house rules): Any takers?

    Quote Originally Posted by diaglo View Post
    3edD&D included B2 Keep on the Borderlands in the boxed set. and chits instead of dice b/c they couldn't keep up with the demand.
    That was my 1ed.

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    Stage Name: Jackie! COMMUNITY SUPPORTER Nerfherder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodrigo Istalindir View Post
    That was my 1ed.
    Ditto, although mine had dice not chits.
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  • #11
    I want watermelon! Bagpuss's Avatar
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    Looking at the box I think that was my first D&D experience as well, although the got the later Basic, Expert, Master, Immortal sets as well.

    So how much changed between Holmes and these later editions of Basic?
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    diaglo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss View Post
    Looking at the box I think that was my first D&D experience as well, although the got the later Basic, Expert, Master, Immortal sets as well.

    So how much changed between Holmes and these later editions of Basic?
    everything.
    FWIW, I'm on the design team and I pretty much find WoW as fun and interesting as banging my head against a brick wall.-- Mike Mearls

    I mean, I never GET any but that would be preferable. --Rel

  • #13
    That's Wacist! Mistwell's Avatar
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    I liked Holmes and it's what I started with (and B1, I think, was the module that came with it? [ Edit - Yeah Diaglo's picture shows B1)

    It's not that far off from OD&D. If I recall correctly, all weapons deal the same damage (d6), for example. Some of the references are still to the OD&D books, and I think there is even a Chainmail reference in the rules at one point.

    I've never played in a PbP game. jdrakeh, we sometimes bump heads in the Senate. Would you be comfortable with me in your game, or do you think it best if we don't go there? And, would a total newb to PbP be something you're cool with?
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  • #14
    That's Wacist! Mistwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss View Post
    Looking at the box I think that was my first D&D experience as well, although the got the later Basic, Expert, Master, Immortal sets as well.

    So how much changed between Holmes and these later editions of Basic?
    Quote Originally Posted by diaglo View Post
    everything.
    Don't listen to Diaglo. The Expert set goes over the differences between the Holmes basic book and the Moldvay basic book, and they are relatively minor.

    From another site, here are the differences I found (other than some tonal changes):


    • Holmes has initiative in order of dexterity (high to low). Moldvay has players roll group initiative.
    • Combat in Holmes is based on OD&D, which was based on Chainmail (more wargamey). The weapons all do 1d6 damage. Moldvay gives weapons individual damage ratings.
    • The spell Magic Missile requires a to-hit roll in Holmes, but not in Moldvay.
    • Holmes offers dozens of spells (level 1-3). Moldvay cuts this spell list a lot (from 18 to 3 3rd level spells, for instance).
    • In Holmes, not all ability scores have modifiers. Moldvay makes every ability count and provides bonus charts for each one, and most fall into the same seven bands (-3 to +3).
    • There are differences in advancement for classes. Elves in Holmes need far more XP to advance than in Moldvay.
    • Holmes has no surprise rules. Moldvay does, but they're essentially brought back in from OD&D.
    • Moldvay adds monster morale.
    • Moldvay adds automatic hits on a 20 and automatic misses on a 1.
    • Holmes carries forward the OD&D class name "Fighting Man." Moldvay shortened that to "Fighter" (probably copying Gygax in AD&D).
    Last edited by Mistwell; May 16th, 2013 at 10:56 PM.
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  • #15
    got a giant beard jdrakeh's Avatar
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    Many replies since I last checked in!

    diaglo has the right of it concerning the Holmes rules (except that they did ship with chits instead of dice at one point, and some printings shipped with B2 instead of B1). The best approximation you can find is Blueholme, here. It's a free download from RPGNow and very closely mirrors the original Holmes rules. It will work with my house rules (linked to in the first post). If enough people don't have access to the actual Holmes rules, we can play using Blueholme.

    Also, Mistwell, later editions of Basic D&D simply aren't very good approximations of Holmes. They are, really, entirely different games. You're also incorrect about some things (frex, Holmes Basic does include rules for surprise). But, really, that's a topic for another thread.

    Would I feel comfortable with you in my PbP? Sure. I don't see why not. I know we butt heads a lot in the Senate, too, but I think you're generally a pretty good guy. I don't see any reason why we couldn't leave our Senate flare-ups in the Senate. Also, I'm pretty new at running Play-by-Posts, so this is probably a good opportunity to get your feet wet.

    As to the game I'm proposing - Yes, I'm wanting to run a PbP here. I figure we can use Invisible Castle for dice rolls. We'll start with one adventure (module) and see if people are interested in continuing further after that.
    Last edited by jdrakeh; May 17th, 2013 at 03:46 AM.
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