Monday, February 18, 2013

Holmes Basic - Cook Expert Reference Sheet

Screenshot of Reference Sheet - download link is below


Inspired by the recent release of the pdf of the 1981 Expert Set, edited by David Cook with Steve Marsh (aka "Cook Expert"), I've put together a single page reference sheet for using Holmes Basic with the Cook Expert Set. It's a "bridge" table covering levels 1-6, and includes To Hit, Saving Throws, Character Advancement, Spell Numbers, Turn Undead and Thieves' Abilities. In all cases, the rules for Holmes Basic take precedent, using the Cook Expert set to fill in higher level material not covered by Holmes. I've used the style of the Holmes Basic Tables, including a similar font (Futura Book BT). I've written before that in some ways the Cook Expert Set is an official expansion for Holmes Basic. But as Wayne R on the Semper Initiativus Unum blog recently wrote on Holmes Day: "In the Cook/Marsh Expert rulebook there is advice on integrating Holmes but unfortunately it's all backward. The Expert book should be used for adding the levels above 3 to Holmes, and additional spells, monsters, and magic items, and the wilderness rules that Holmes left out".

Download link (Google Docs):
Holmes Basic - Cook Expert Reference Sheet - v1.0

If you find any typos please post a comment and I'll revise the sheet.

You may note the bottom of the sheet says "Zenopus Archives - Holmes Ref". I've created a new subpage on the ZA website called "Holmes Ref" that will gather together tables for running Holmes Basic. "Ref" refers to both "reference" and "referee", and is a tribute to the Judges Guild Ready Ref Sheets. The only other table currently included is the single sheet Monster List by HD, but others will be added eventually with the idea of referees being able to create custom DM screens depending on what combination of Holmes and other rules they are using. Next up will be a version of the Reference Sheet using OD&D instead of Cook Expert for the higher levels.

11 comments:

  1. Great idea! Let me know if you'd like a PDF of my expanded Holmes wandering monster tables for your Holmes Ref section.

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    1. I put a link up to your blog pages from the Holmes Ref page. Perhaps I'll just leave them like that since they'll stop by your blog to download them?

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  2. Love the ready refs sheets idea. Could you make the experience levels go up to 9th level on the Holmes/Cook Bridge sheet?

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    1. 9th because it's name level in Expert? That is a good idea, although I don't think I could fit it all on one sheet. But I could move the Combat table to another sheet with other combat information (missile ranges, B/X variable damage), and then have all of the character info through level 9 on one page.

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    2. Very cool Zen! It always kinda bugs me when people say "Cook Expert", Cook was the line editor, but according to Steve Marsh, it was Marsh who wrote all but a small portion (wilderness map) of the text.

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    3. Dan, thanks for that info, it does sound familiar. Do you have a link to where Steve discusses that?

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  3. A nice open licensed font that is similar to Futura is
    Universalis ADF
    No big deal, I'm just a fan of the GNU, SIL, MIT, BSD license efforts, so I like to get the word out there.

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    1. Thanks. I downloaded the Universalis & installed it and took a look. It's nice, though a bit "stretched taller" than Futura.

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  4. ya nice work. I can not wait for the write up of the odnd ref sheets since that is the one i am using.

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