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Note: Many older posts on this blog are missing images, but can be viewed at the corresponding page in the Internet Archive


The Forgotten Smugglers' Cave: Index of Posts

An index of posts describing the Forgotten Smugglers' Cave, an adventure for Holmes Basic characters levels 2-4.                    ...

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Black Gate on "The Joy of Starter Kits"

(image linked from the Black Gate column)

Here is a recent column about recent RPG beginner sets on the Black Gate Magazine Editor's Blog that leads with their distant origins in original one, Holmes Basic:

They all have their roots in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set, the granddaddy of all Beginner Boxes, created by J. Eric Holmes and based on Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson’s original boxed set from 1974. The D&D Basic Set was first published by TSR in 1977. It was the way I learned how to role play, and I wasn’t alone — the D&D Basic Set sold hundreds of thousands of copies in the late seventies, and was so successful it was constantly updated and kept in print by TSR, with revisions in 1981, 1983, 1991, and later.

Read the rest here:

The Joy of Starter Kits

The Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977). Cover by David C. Sutherland III There's lot of ways to get into role playing these days. But recently the industry has embraced the Starter Kit (sometimes called the Beginner Box, Essentials Kit, Beginner Game, or something similar) in a big way.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

RPGForge on Beyond the Door to Monster Mountain and the Legacy of Zenopus

RPGForge, a newish blog that I have recently become aware of, has two posts from the last week that should be of interest to readers here. Each presents a detailed and thoughtful take on the topic at hand.


The first, from December 15th, is a review & adaptation (to their preferred RPG system) of my one-page dungeon Beyond the Door to Monster Mountain:

Beyond the Door to Monster Mountain

SPOILER WARNING: I'll be discussing this micro-dungeon in detail so AVOID if you want to play through it yourself. Zenopus Archives is a great site dedicated to 'Blue Book' or 'Holmesian' D&D - nothing to do with Sherlock but rather Eric Holmes who authored the first Basic D&D rules in 1977.

The second, from December 16th, is titled "Legacy of Zenopus" and takes a deep delve into the Zenopus sample dungeon:

Legacy of Zenopus

Gygax was a weird polymath with a fascination for medieval details but Holmes was the more orderly mind and, as an author, a better stylist to boot. In place of Gygax's long-winded and rather scholarly disquisitions, Holmes was the master of the poignant detail that lodges in the imagination.