Save For Half episode # 11: "No home like Blueholme”
Now that we've given our views on the Holmes Basic D&D game, your Triumphant Trio give the Blueholme Journeymanne RPG a gander. This retro-clone of the Holmes game moves beyond the Prentice rules with levels 1-3 and instead carries characters from levels 1 to 20, from beginner to the heights of power and prestige. Thrills, chills, and 3d6 in order await you in this latest show!
No Alignments were harmed in the making of this show, except by DM Mike!
Yes, that's the main reason. I often stepped back when I needed a term from something, trying to ignore what came after Holmes and developing a term that made more sense in its context. Thus, "multi-classing" really refers to characters with multiple but essentially separate classes, whereas BLUEHOLME™ combination classes are actually a new class created by - you guessed it, combining two or more basic classes.
To be absolutely honest, though, at times it comes down to preference. Dungeon master is (probably, I'm not sure) trademarked, so I went with the other common term of the time, referee. Games master wasn't prevalent back then, OD&D used referee, and I personally find it a much better term for a neutral arbiter who lets the dice fall as they may ("the dice never lie!") than the sort of megalomaniac "games master" conjures up in my mind. I've never liked the term "race" (being brought up in Germany might have something to do with it), quite apart from which species is simply a more accurate word. Same with creatures rather than monsters - come on, kobolds are puppies! I went with fighter rather than fighting man because both get used in Holmes, and fighter is more versatile (not to mention shorter). The other point I can think of is mail and plate instead of chainmail and platemail - and that really is purely personal, because all those fighters in the art are wearing plate (and anyway there's no such thing as chainmail, nor platemail).
Oh, and of course it's armour, not armor, but that's just me correcting that spelling mistake you guys across the pond make all the time.
Oh, one other point re: race-as-class, well that didn't technically arrive until Moldvay (and I do like it there). Holmes may be de facto race-as-class, but really what it's saying is that halflings and dwarves can only be fighters, and that elves get to be fighters and magic-users at the same time, but "there are special rules for hobbits*, dwarves, and elves who wish to be thieves - these are given in ADVANCED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS."**
* Yes, it says "hobbits"!
** Yes, those post-manuscript ADVANCED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS insertions by TSR are why I keep saying BLUEHOLME™!
Hm. I hadn't thought of that but you're both quite correct on the terminology. Still, I'm an old coot who likes the prevalent terms in use. I do agree that referee is better, but that just might be my old Traveller roots sneaking in.
Mike, duly corrected and reschueduling (phonetic) his armour list!
Glad you liked it! I'm still serious about trying to bug our DM into moving to BH instead of 2E. Wish me luck!
2ed was the second D&D we had in Brazil, and most of my D&D experience came from it. I loved the game, but as time passed by, i understand now that i didnt use many things, house ruled others, and today i think i gamed more with the "core" of the pre-3ed editions.
Class and race, thac0 (yeah, i know, not so popular), we didnt care about alignment, aaaannd...pretty much this is it. We tried skills for many years, and everybody got it wrong (we thought we had to buy the Horse Riding skill to....ride a horse), so one day we set free. Came back to BD&D (the big black box from the 90's was our first D&D in Brazil), and now i do think that less is more.
So, Blueholme looks like a excellent choice for me
We played B/X for years with almost no outside contact. It was only after I moved to the UK and discovered White Dwarf Magazine that I realised those different logos meant something. We just assumed D&D was evolving with each book and we just kitbashed and shoehorned and it was fine. 😁
One of the joys of the Internet and social media is the spread of information turning what was a quite insular hobby into one where your preconceived notions are often challenged. For example our group of High School/Uni chums played 1E (amongst many other games...) and we had a certain interpretation of the rules. Coming back to a RAW 1E campaign after a break of 20 odd years from 1E gaming we determined to read the rules "properly" to see how they differed from our prior knowledge of the rules and found quite a few surprises - but not as many as some of the surprising, but logical, interpretations that come up from players in other countries posting in interest groups on social media as responses to rules queries.
The depth of knowledge of some folk out there is astounding and their rules interpretations may be quite different, but not necessarily wrong, from some we had assumed.
As 1E is restricted in subjectivity by more specific and voluminous rules than Classic I sometimes wonder how much more varied the interpretations might be in systems with lesser numbers of rules.
Everyone is writing a Retroclone in their own mind
A friend told me once: "First, you play the rules "wrong" Then, you play the most right way you can. Last, you play as you wish"
That was very true to me. We used to do a lot of funny things, like "label" in items ("you found a healing potion", "you found a +1 sword"), problem wit money (we got like 50k gold pieces, put in our pockets, went to the village and change it for diamonds worth 5k each. Like every village have that amount of money waiting for us).
Then, in AD&D2ed, we used every single rule we as written (or as we thought it was written).
Last, we did a lot of house rules, ignored many stuff, add others....
<nod> IMO, you make house rules to better fit your view of the game. Something T. Foster said once over at dragonsfoot stuck with me; (paraphrased) "You learn how to resolve grenade-like missiles not so you can always use that rule, but you know the intended effect and result so that when you do change it you can do it while hearkening back to that original intent."
Changing rules is fine in any RPG, but its a good idea to know what the intent of that rule you wish to change is, so that when you do change it you're not taken off guard by any unexpected effects.
Again though, if you and your group know the changed effects and agree with it, then go for it!