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Author Topic: [Holmes] Clerical "Book of Spells"  (Read 2434 times)

Offline Vile Traveller

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[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?

Offline Dizzy

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Re: [Holmes] Clerical "Book of Spells"
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2016, 07:36:49 AM »
I like your interpretation Vile. I think that could serve as a good adventure hook too. Oh you need me to cast Resurrection? Well it turns out someone stole our deity's book of spells from the temple a couple of weeks ago, and we'd like it back.

I'd keep it the same way that clerics don't have to study their books for spells. I'd say they still need to pray for them (but I'm not a real Holmesian so I can't say if that would work by the book). I'd let them write scrolls. That is in Holmes isn't it? That they can write scrolls at any level?

Offline Serian

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Re: [Holmes] Clerical "Book of Spells"
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 10:36:42 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.

This is neither a typo, nor is it specific to the Holmes basic set. The original reference is in OD&D's  "Men & Magic" (1st printing, p 35):
(It makes perfect sense, since Holmes basic *is* OD&D.)

Quote from: Gygax

BOOKS OF SPELLS:
Characters who employ spells are assumed to acquire books containing the spells they can use, one book for each level. ...
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 10:38:26 AM by Serian »

Offline Professor thork

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Re: [Holmes] Clerical "Book of Spells"
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 11:35:12 AM »
The major point of Holmes (as I understand it) was to create the simplest "read and play" version of the game up to that point. This was intentionally aimed at the non-war gaming community, for the purpose of attracting a consumer base--quickly. Dr. Holmes (though he inserted some original thought into the edit) drew the vast majority of his material from the 3 LBBs and supplements; there is (as I read it nowadays) a clear assumption that the material he included (or didn't) assumes the DM, and perhaps the players, will fill in any missing pieces if they so desire from either the original/or other source/s. And, since the new player/DM is encouraged to obtain (either the original source material or) AD&D to continue playing beyond level 3, the newly discovered material within will automatically begin to fill in those gaps and explain whatever may have been confusing within the H77 version.

The "Book of 1st/2nd level spells" for clerics found on p.17 of Holmes, to me, was the Dr.s way of putting things. This is not how such is presented in M&M, at all. In fact, the SPELLS TABLE for both magic users and clerics found on pages 21-22, does not mention "Books" at all. So, how one interprets Holmes Edition, is up for grabs, and purely an individual's perceptive response to the material presented.

Offline Vile Traveller

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Re: [Holmes] Clerical "Book of Spells"
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 07:32:26 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts, all! One of the things I like about Holmes is that a few oddities crept in, either due to the way the good doctor understood things, or some haphazard editing by TSR during the transition between OD&D and AD&D.

Keep 'em coming, though - how do you handle your Holmes clerics? :)