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Topics - Vile Traveller

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BLUEHOLME™ / BLUEHOLME™ and BLUEHACK™ Compatibility Logos
« on: September 17, 2017, 01:43:39 AM »
I have finally gotten around to sorting out the compatibility licences for BLUEHOLME™ and BLUEHACK™! It's pretty simple stuff, drop me a line if you fancy sticking a compatibility logo on your product.   8)


« on: September 10, 2017, 05:15:17 AM »
Some of you might know that I have developed a set of "visual notes" for the Known World of BLUEHOLME™, based on the Avalon Hill Outdoor Survival map. Well, I've been updating it in preparation for my next project ...  8)

Classic D&D / "Guidon" D&D Draft
« on: July 19, 2017, 08:18:16 AM »
So, I'm sure everyone has heard about the discovery of the OD&D draft?


BLUEHOLME™ / BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Kickstarter
« on: March 11, 2017, 07:26:05 AM »
At long last! Everything is almost ready for the launch of the Kickstarter that will fund the interior art for the BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules. Still waiting for a couple of quotations to come in from artists, then I need to do the maths, and push the "go" button - probably in early April. You can have a look at the preview here:


Kickstarters / BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
« on: January 14, 2017, 10:48:57 PM »
I expect the Kickstarter to fund the internal art for the BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules will launch in early February (after I get back from my Chinese New Year holiday).

I thought I'd ask here, as I respect your opinion: What do you think of this Kickstarter video, created with the help of boardmember Alex Karaczun of Mischief Inc.? Would it get you to pledge your life savings?  ;D


Classified / BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules Clearance Sale
« on: August 08, 2016, 04:06:03 AM »
I'm clearing out the last few copies of BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules here at the Dreamscape Design Mansions. These are saddle-stitched, the cover is a little less shiny and the pages are a little thicker than the Lulu version. I'm sending these babies across the globe for US$9.99 including air mail. PM me if you're interested!


BLUEHOLME™ / BLUEHACK™ - A Little Bit Of Fun
« on: July 30, 2016, 04:54:43 AM »
A little side project distracted me this month, but it's almost done except for the cover. If you know about The Black Hack (TBH), and you know about Holmes, you pretty much know what BLUEHACK™ is all about. 22 pages or so of 6" x 9". I'll try to finish the cover in a week's time, when I get back from Japan.

Other Games / Space: 1977 - Collaborative Subsector Building
« on: July 18, 2016, 10:04:24 AM »
As an experiment I've started up a collaborative venture over on the OD&D - Campaigns and House Rules Discussion forums to put together a subsector using the 1977 edition of Classic Traveller. Primarily this means using the "jump routes", which disappeared in the second edition. There's still plenty of room for more world-grabs, if you're interested:


Classic D&D / [Holmes] The Holmes Cleric
« on: June 23, 2016, 09:04:04 AM »
I came across this little tidbit today, and it got me thinking about what the distinguishing characteristics of the Holmes cleric might be. From NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS, page 8 of the Blue Book:

"[...] clerics want some assurance of having a place of worship in which to house themselves."

Note, not "[...] in which to pray." but "[...] in which to house themselves."

It seems clerics are more concerned with their physical comforts than their spiritual duties - the Father Ted approach to clericism.  :D

What other little snippets have you found that characterise the Holmes cleric? And yes, I am deliberately reading too much into the wording!

Classic D&D / [Holmes] Movement Rate of Skeletons & Zombies
« on: May 15, 2016, 01:29:32 AM »
One to throw out there - skeletons and zombies as written in Holmes.

Zombies, by nature, are slow and only get an attack every other round. But zombies move at 120 feet per turn, while skeletons move only half that, 60 feet per turn, even though there is nothing in the description to indicate they are unusually slow.

Has this ever struck any of you as odd? Have you house-ruled it? I tend to try to make these Holmes quirks work, so how would you justify it in-game?

General Discussion / CAS Documentary Indiegogo
« on: May 09, 2016, 10:55:01 AM »

I don't know who's doing it or anything, but I thought a documentary on Clark Ashton Smith might be of some interest to the folks here.

BLUEHOLME™ / BLUEHOLME™ ... Journeymanne?
« on: March 25, 2016, 11:17:29 PM »
As the final edit of the Compleat Rules (predictably) is taking longer than predicted, it's entirely possible that another little project of mine might hit the virtual bookshelves a bit sooner. Not-Quite-Compleat, but considerably More-Journeymanne-Than-Prentice.


Classic D&D / [Holmes] Clerical "Book of Spells"
« on: March 20, 2016, 04:00:47 AM »
One of the things I have been mulling over recently is clerical spell casting in Holmes D&D. Now, the only reference to clerics actually using spell books is in the lists which are headed Book of First Level Spells and Book of Second Level Spells. That may or may not be a typo, but I run with it. I think of them as a type of holy text, only available to senior members within the church hierarchy. I also like to keep them huge and untransportable, both because it seems in line with their magic-users' counterparts, and it feels appropriate to have such ostentatious and valuable items as part of a cleric's paraphernalia.

However, unlike magic-users, clerics don't need to study their books in order to memorise their spells. There is not even anything to say they must pray or meditate for a certain amount of time to choose their "spells for the adventure". Of course, there is also nothing to say that they have any way of regaining spells cast until they return home.

How do you run your Holmes clerics? Do they have books? Can they write scrolls? Is there any way for them to re-charge their spells during the course of an adventure?

« on: March 11, 2016, 09:24:56 PM »
Firstly, I must offer my humble thanks to our landlord for letting me have my own corner of these marvellous boards for discussion of the BLUEHOLME™ Project. It's a truly happy and inclusive place in my mind-map of the intertubes, and it's a joy and a privilege to talk to you all. :)   

Okay, down to business. A "what is it" post might be useful to have at the top of the forum, so here we are. Well, the simple answer is this (to paraphrase Matthew's post from Dragonsfoot):

BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules is a close emulation of Holmes for levels 1-3.

BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Rules covers levels 1-20 in the Holmes style, based on the Blue Book as well as his other books, articles, and short stories. It builds on the elements that set Holmes apart from the other editions, such as scroll creation and non-portable magic books, as well as concepts like allowing players to play pretty much any race. In terms of content, it expands on Prentice (and the Blue Book) by introducing additional elements, but only if they are mentioned by Holmes in his writings. These are not necessarily identical to their counterparts in OD&D, Strategic Review, or Dragon Magazine - the intent is always to stay with the "Spirit of Holmes".

  • Additional classes: assassins, druids, illusionists, monks, paladins, and rangers
  • Additional monsters mentioned by Holmes, e.g. Angles, Cyclopians, Dreenoi, Green Grabbers
  • Not in the rules, but in the adventures, a setting based on the Outdoor Survival map and the OD&D implied setting detailed by Wayne Rossi, incorporating locations taken from - you've guessed it - Holmes's other writings.
To sum up, the BLUEHOLME™ Project will bring to the table another, but hopefully distinctively different, flavour of OSR play based on Dr J. Eric Holmes's vision world's most popular role-playing game.

BLUEHOLME™ / BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Sub-Classes
« on: March 11, 2016, 09:22:55 PM »
As I'm combing through the BLUEHOLME™ Compleat files with a microscope and a fine-toothed comb, I have decided the classes need some tweaking. Specifically the sub-classes as identified in Holmes, that is:
There are sub-classes of the four basic classes. They are: paladins and rangers (fighting men), illusionists and witches (magic-users), monks and druids (clerics), and assassins (thieves).
Up to now I've simply had these all as separate classes. Sub-classes in AD&D have always been treated as such in all but name, as far as I understand - I admit I'm no Expert on Advanced;)

However, the more I look at it the less satisfied I am with this approach. 5E may have influenced me as well, with it's way of splitting classes into different archetypes at 3rd level. That's not something I want to do, but I do think the sub-classes should be more closely related to their basic classes than they tend to be BtB. So - and I apologise in advance for the inevitable delay this will cause - I've decided to re-work these somewhat.

First of all, I will re-order the text so that the sun-classes fall under their basic classes. At the moment all classes are listed alphabetically, which I've never been happy with from an aesthetic viewpoint - it doesn't seem right leading with assassin, or having illusionist as the first magic-user class type. Instead, each sub-class will now follow its basic class in the text.

Secondly - and this comes from the avowed goal of the BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Rules (BCR) as an extrapolation of Holmes Basic, rather than simply an expansion using OD&D and the supplements - I want to re-examine the sub-classes as really being more closely related to their basic classes. Taking the monk as an extreme offender, as written this is more a sub-class of the thief than a sub-class of the cleric. Sticking to the core principles of BCR I will work with what I have courtesy of Holmes - basically just the mention of "monk" on p.7, and possibly Brother Ambrose from The Maze of Peril as an example - and the monk becomes more of a Friar Tuck figure than a Kwai Chang Caine.

In other words, the sub-classes will become variations of their parent classes rather than completely new classes with little or no relation to the basic class they spring from. This is another reason for re-organising the order of the text, because the sub-classes will no longer have separate advancement tables - they will have the same experience requirements and hit dice as their basic class. Saving throws and to-hit rolls may vary, e'g' clerics are now more martial than monks, and assassins are more martial than thieves.

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