"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Holmes Introduction


A Happy Easter to those that celebrate. We have had a bunch of family in town for the weekend. This morning everyone went over to my brother's house and I decided to stay home for some "me" time. While the Masters is on TV, I began to flip through my second favorite version of D&D - the eclectic Holmes Basic.

INTRODUCTION
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantastic, exciting and imaginative game of role playing for adults 12 years and up. Each player creates a character or characters who may be dwarves, elves, halflings or human fighting men, magic-users, pious clerics or wily thieves. The characters are then plunged into an adventure in a series of dungeons, tunnels, secret rooms and caverns run by another player: the referee, often called the Dungeon Master. The dungeons are filled with fearsome monsters, fabulous treasure and frightful perils. As the players engage in game after game their characters grow in power and ability: the magic-users learn more magic spells, the thieves increase in cunning and ability, the fighting men, halflings, elves and dwarves, fight with more deadly accuracy and are harder to kill. Soon the adventurers are daring to go deeper and deeper into the dungeons on each game, battling more terrible monsters, and, of course, recovering bigger and more fabulous treasure! The game is limited only by the inventiveness and imagination of the players, and, if a group is playing together, the characters can move from dungeon to dungeon within the same magical universe if game referees are approximately the same in their handling of play.
- Page 5: Dungeons & Dragons by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, Edited by Eric Holmes

A few things I find interesting while likely reading too much into it:
1. Reading the second sentence I am struck by how much it sounds like Moldvay’s race = class.
2. The strong focus on the dungeon. It doesn’t talk about games of political intrigue or exploring the wilderness.
3. The last sentence is really neat. It talks about taking your character “on the road”. While I have heard stories from the “old days” about people taking there character to different games, I have never actually seen it. It would make playing an Adventure Path difficult.

1 comment:

  1. "3. The last sentence is really neat. It talks about taking your character “on the road”. While I have heard stories from the “old days” about people taking there character to different games, I have never actually seen it. It would make playing an Adventure Path difficult. "

    My first D&D experience was in a game club. Lots of tables, you went to a table, asked the DM what level is the dungeon? And You took out an appropriate level character of yours, he had a look at it, and if he didn't find anything objectionable, you could play there that night. It was at the time when the 2nd edition came out, so maybe you pulled out a second edition ranger, and played with a party, with a first edition monk, an UA barbarian and maybe even somebody brought something from the Oriental Adventures... At the end of the club night, you wrote your xp, and next time maybe you went to another table, another DM... Eventually it broke up. Too much monty haul DMs, munchkin players, and the appearing campaign boxed sets steered us away from this type of play. We began to play fixed parties, and campaigns. But looking back, that original experience, which in my case, lasted for about a year, was extremely cool too!

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