Saturday, January 24, 2015

Third Level Spell Sheet

Click for a larger view. Follow the link to download

Above is a screenshot of a new single-page reference sheet for use with Holmes Basic, providing descriptions for the third level spells. Download the 1-page pdf here. There's also a link on my Holmes Ref page, where you can find other reference sheets.

Use these spells for NPCs, scrolls, or to take your Magic-User up to sixth level. See my Holmes/OD&D Bridge Sheet for M-U spell progression beyond third level. In fact, with this information you have most of what you need for 4th-6th level. (Perhaps for a "E6" game?)

The Holmes Basic rulebook listed first, second and third level magic-user spells, but only provided descriptions for the first and second level spells. From the Holmes Manuscript we know that this was the Holmes' decision, perhaps to whet our appetite for the full game.

I've provided the missing descriptions by following in the footsteps of Holmes in preparing Basic. I went through the same books that he used - mostly OD&D Vol 1, Greyhawk and Swords & Spells (for some Area of Effects) - I rewrote the descriptions for the third level spells for clarity and brevity, as he did for the lower level spells.
I tried to keep the tone similar to Holmes Basic. For fun, I also illustrated Monster Summoning I, showing a M-U summoning a Gelatinous Cube off the Level 1 table to deal with an ogre.

One note: the detail about when a Hasted character attacks each round comes from the first edition of B2 (for Holmes Basic), page 21, where Gygax clarifies this.


  1. This is the kind of neat reconstruction work people really love. E6 is a good descriptor too. At levels 7-10, the game becomes different, so going to level 6 is cool.

  2. This is great, thanks for sharing!

  3. Great idea! Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Awesome. I am already using your Holmes for 4-6th.

  5. Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone! More reference sheets on the way, as time permits.

  6. This is totally awesome! It's too bad that Holmes and Gygax didn't originally have the "Basic" set go to 6th level in the first place - glad to see you correcting this!