Saturday, June 20, 2020

Scrum in Miniature: The Lost Art of Games Workshop's Holmes Basic

Scrum in Miniature: "Magic Swords (p. 35): Tom Wham (TSR, top) / Chris Baker, a.k.a. Fangorn (GW, bottom)"

My fellow Scrum Club member Joe has started a series called the "Lost Art of D&D" on his blog Scrum in Miniature, and the second installment covers the replacement art by John Blanche and Fangorn that was used by Games Workshop in the first printing of Holmes Basic rulebook, first released in December 1977. The post goes through the rulebook and shows each replacement work contrasted with the original from the U.S. version (example above).

In a 2001 interview, Gary Gygax was asked about the UK version, and responded:

"Yes, I saw the work, and I approved. Ian [Livingstone] and Steve [Jackson of Games Workshop] convinced me that their audience didn't like the illustrations used in American versions of the game, so I gave them the okay to produce their own. I had a copy of the Basic Set rules, but it was lost when Lorraine Williams took over TSR..."

Lost Art of D&D No. 2: Games Workshop's Holmes Basic (1977)

After Games Workshop attained the license to print a co-branded edition of TSR's 1977 Dungeons & Dragons basic rules book, they set about putting their own stamp on it, designing a new cover and replacing a number of the illustrations they deemed too crudely drawn for their U.K. market.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me wish there was a.pdf available of the GW edition...