Monday, January 9, 2012

Vote Bluebook for 5E!

WOTC: In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play.

Me: Take the Holmes Basic Rulebook, clean it up a bit to make it fully compatible with AD&D 1E, expand it to 10 character levels but keep it under 50 pages. There's your 5th edition "Core". Sell it in a box with an awesome module at a price that will place one under every Christmas tree in the land. Then re-release a streamlined AD&D 1E as your 5E optional "Expansion". Done.


  1. That would be pretty close to perfect, although i'm thinking that it would include a solo adventure that would get you to level 3, and cover levels 1-5.

  2. Simple and elegant! I third this proposition!
    Holme's sensibilities are timeless: roleplay anything(race and/or class[with details hashed out between players and DM]) you want, an eclectic world of danger in the Underworld(but 'normal'[and its resulting intrigues] life exists outside this mythic realm), rules as guidelines rather than strictures, fast, loose combat, and an emphasis on playability and fun! Not to mention that his writing style is very conversational and exuberant; he loves to play, and you should too! It's inspirational, especially as he embraces characterization of even mundane NPCs, and accordingly motivates players to get in their PCs 'heads'(even if they only 'live' for one adventure!).

    Great suggestion! As you might remember, there were D&D Box Sets everywhere 'til about 1988 or so, and the Big Black Box(The New, Easy To Master Dungeons & Dragons Game, handling levels 1-5), sold in gamestores, department stores, book shops, and Wal-Mart appeared in 1991 and hung around in various incarnations(it turned in the Classic Dungeons and Dragons Game[Same game, minus beginner learning cards and with a 'portrait' box rather than 'landscape'] in '96 (IIRC) until '99 when it was replaced by a stripped-down AD&D 2nd Edition game, which was on the market for about 5 minutes, it seems. It was a success for TSR(I had plenty of friends that had it, and knew of more, in my personal experience), it could work again: Pathfinder's Beginner Box shows some promise in that area, I'd say.

    Man, I'm so glad I finally got a copy(just the book, sadly) 3 years back after reading so much about the 'Blue Book' online. It's a treasure. Now, I need the Box, Geomorphs, monochrome B1: In Search Of Adventure Module(I have the re-issue, thankfully), and Low-Impact Dice or Chits(for the Prison Edition! ;-)) for the authentic 'feel'....

  3. @Aaron. Levels 1-5 would work, but I was thinking more of it being a simple yet fairly complete game (i.e., you can reach "name" level). Meepo's Holmes Companion adds these levels (including the necessary spells) in about four pages.

    @Tony: Thanks. Great name for your new blog!

  4. @Verleran. Thank you for the comments. Congratulations on getting your Blue Book! If you like Holmes' writing style you should definitely check out his 1981 book on FRPGs.

    And I agree that WOTC should try for something that can get it back into the boardgame section of toy stores, and Target/Walmart, etc.