This is the blog. Click here to go to the Zenopus Archives website.

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.                    ...

Monday, June 7, 2021

Virtual NTRPGCon 2021: The Prison of Doom

Mezzo the Unknowable,
pregen for The Prison of Doom

NTRPGCon 2021 was this past weekend, and while I didn't make it there in person this year, I did participate in one virtual game yesterday morning, Jonathan Perkel's The Prison of Doom, a dungeon for Holmes Basic based on one that he originally wrote as a kid back in the 1980s. I've known Jonathan a while; we first met at NTRPGCon in 2016, and then a few years later there he played Boinger the first time I ran In Search of the Brazen Head of Zenopus, and the last time I attended in person, I played in a DCC game of his. He's also the one who started the Holmes Basic Facebook group, which these days has over 2,000 members, making it the largest community of Holmes fans.

Here is the description of The Prison of Doom from the event listing:

"Long ago, the evil wizard Madrax built a a fearsome prison dungeon into which he could banish any threat to his rule. Will you be the first to escape? 

This game will be played using the classic HOLMES BASIC system with a few house rules. It harkens back to those late 1970s and early 80s adventures where the dungeons didn't really make a lot of sense, but were lots of fun anyway."

The genre of the scenario is dungeon escape, like A4 In the Dungeon of the Slave Lords; but I'll refrain from giving any other spoilers here since he's planning on running this again at future cons, but suffice to say that obstacles were overcome, monsters were meleed, treasure was taken, and Jonathan included a number of Holmesian touches in the dungeon.

For play he used several of my Holmes Ref sheets, including the character sheets for the pregens, and the M-U and Cleric Spell Reference Sheets, all of which can be found on the Holmes Ref page here. Because one attendee was a no-show, I ran two PCs, Mezzo the Unknowable and Lafsit the Battler, with names Jonathan generated from the Holmesian Random Name Generatoralso found in automated format in the upper right sidebar of this blog.

Jonathan added a few interesting "house rules" to the Holmes Basic base, which among others included dual wielding if your Dex was over 13, which worked the same as wielding a 2-handed weapon; the light/regular/heavy weapons rules from Blueholme, where light weapons take the worst of 2d6 for damage, and heavy the best of 2d6; and a bonus spell for clerics and magic-users for high prime requisites.