Thursday, July 3, 2014
Holmes in the New Basic
The new D&D Basic Rules are out, available as a free pdf download from the Wizards website. They are longer than expected for a free pdf, 110 pages with no art (except for the last page which shows the art from the Starter Set) and this only covers material from the Player's Handbook. Later releases will include monsters from the Monster Manual, to make it a complete game.
Holmes is nicely included in the credits on the first page, being the first name listed for "further development" of the "original game", and followed by his Basic Set successors in order.
The new rules use Dexterity for initiative, though rather than directly comparing Dexterity scores as in Holmes Basic, Dexterity checks are compared (d20 roll + plus Dex modifier).
DMDavid notes a reference to the Bugbear Lair (Cave H) from the Caves of Chaos in B2, which Gygax wrote for Holmes Basic, in the humorous disclaimer on the first page:
Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”
Rob Conley at Bat in the Attic references Holmes Basic when reviewing the new rules:
"Like the Basic DnD Holmes Blue Book there are references to the larger rule set embodied by the 5e PHB, DMG, and MM. I am fine with that as obviously one purpose of this FREE PDF is to be a very large brochure to sell the core rulebooks."