Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gary Con Bound!



I'll be at Gary Con for the first time this year, from Fri at 11 AM until Sun at 4 PM.
The event is being held in the same hotel (now the Grand Geneva) as Gen Con X, almost forty years ago in Aug 1977. This was the year the Holmes Basic set debuted and the first Gen Con that J. Eric Holmes attended. This summer is also Gen Con 50.

I'll wear the above homemade id in addition to my official GC badge. Please say hello. 

Here is my schedule of games: 

Fri
12-4 Acrid Herald (espionage RPG) scenario with Merle Rasmussen (author of Top Secret)
4-8 "The Last Great Adventure - in 3D" AD&D adventure with Harold Johnson (author of C1 Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan)
9-12 Gen Con 50 celebration at Horticultural Hall, original home of Gen Con

Sat
8-12 Orc's Drift CHAINMAIL game
12-2 Caves of Chaos - Cave G - 5E adaptation of B2
2-4 Dungeon! boardgame with the designer David Megarry
4-6 Auction run by Frank Mentzer
7-12 Battle of the Brown Hills CHAINMAIL written by Gygax, run by Paul Stormberg

Sun
10-12 Dragon Lairds card game with Tom Wham (a Holmes Basic artist!)
12-4 Braunstein IV: Banania with David Wesely


(I signed up late for the con, so I am not scheduled to run any games, though I will bring my Basic Rulebook)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fantastic Exciting Imaginative zine


A different perspective...

Fantastic Exciting Imaginative is a new zine of content for Holmes Basic or any old-D&D, compiled by Jon Wilson (aka bygrinstow) of the Appendix M blog. Contributors were drawn from G+ and include Jon, Paul Wolfe, JV West, Robert Fairbanks, Shane Ward, Tony A. Rowe, James George, Robyn George, Grandpa Chet, and myself. Jon is the primary artist, with one piece each by Denis McCarthy and Chris Holmes (!)

The name comes from Holmes' first line in the Introduction to the Basic Rulebook: "Dungeons & Dragons is a fantastic, exciting and imaginative game of role playing for adults 12 years and up".

For the theme, Jon's brilliant idea was to compile material inspired by each piece of art in the Basic rulebook (2nd/3rd edition) by the artists David C. Sutherland III, Dave Trampier and Tom Wham. Multiple contributions per artwork were accepted. For instance, my main contribution is the Regal Lizard Man*, a write-up of the lizardman in Sutherland's artwork accompanying the Foreword (shown in the header of this blog). But the same art also inspired the Iguanadyte by Robert Fairbanks. My other minor contribution is the Harpy Axe, a magic item inspired by the Harpy battle scene, which appeared previously as part of a list of "Lesser Magic Items" in the zine Dungeon Crawl.

Click here to download the free zine from DTRPG**
(It's only available in pdf, but the pdf does include a version optimized for printing at home).

*Inspired by the Regal Horned Lizard of the American Southwest
**link includes my Drivethrurpg affiliate # that gives me 5% credit if you do buy something while you are there

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sample Dungeon in Gridmapper

Click here for a larger view
I recently became aware of a browser-based mapping tool called Gridmapper by Alex Schroeder. It looked easy & fun to use, so I tested it out by making a replica of the Sample Dungeon map (original by J. Eric Holmes, Basic rulebook version probably by David Sutherland. See them side-by-side in this post). Above is my current draft. 

Alex recently added the cave wall icons ("grotto"), which is essentially for this map, which mixes dungeon and cave walls. However, Gridmapper doesn't allow for water in the same square, or for partial water squares, hence the blockiness of the water areas. 

I added the thaumaturgist's tower, which is described in the text but not shown on the map.
Where icons were available, I've also added some notable features for various rooms; for fun I'll let you figure them out for yourself. 

(Just noticed I left the compass direction off the map)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Character Sheet - New Draft


This is the latest draft of the character sheet for Holmes Ref. The original version is in Holmes Ref 1.0, and a previous revised draft was posted back in November. I made some significant revisions after that, but then it fell off my radar over the holidays. I just dug it out again, and made a few more changes.

Revisions
  • Streamlined design
  • Added "Holmes Basic" in a font similar to that used for the original D&D logo (Quentin Caps)
  • Added icons representing Skull Mountain and the Tower of Zenopus
  • New "Background" section that can be used for the optional OD&D Backgrounds, or simply for player-generated character background. Included here is a spot for "Heir", which is the designated relative who inherits your character's equipment/treasure upon death, mentioned on page 8 of the Holmes Basic rulebook
  
Feedback/comments welcome! 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Eastern Wizard Miniature

Photo from auction listing by Billy Galaxy Toys

Another painted Minifig mini from the J. Eric Holmes collection. This one is SS67 Eastern Wizard, from their Sword & Sorcery line. Note the "SS" stamp on the base.

Some of the figures from this line were inspired by the Conan stories. At first glance, this figure appears to have an unnatural "crab claw" hand, but I think he's actually holding a crescent shaped object. Anybody have any idea who he's supposed to represent, from Conan or another S&S story?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Green Dragon Miniature


Photo from auction listing by Billy Galaxy Toys

This is a Green Dragon, painted & mounted on wood, from the J. Eric Holmes collection. Billy Galaxy Toys out of Portland, OR has been auctioning hundreds of miniatures from his collection on Ebay. This auction sold, but others are still available.

Of note, Holmes used the name of the Green Dragon Inn from Tolkien as the name of the tavern in Portown in the Holmes Basic Sample Dungeon, and in the Boinger and Zereth stories. This was apparently independent of the same usage in Greyhawk City. 

The figure is from the Minifigs Mythical Earth line, one of the first line of fantasy minis, produced starting in 1972 per the Lost Minis wiki. They were meant to represent Middle-Earth characters, although were named generically. This mini is ME58 Dragon, obviously representing Smaug from the Hobbit.

Another photo from the same auction, showing the dragon with two other unpainted Minifigs minis that it was auctioned with, ME49 Gondor Knight and ME59 Eagle. Unfortunately, the right wing is missing from the dragon


Photo from auction listing by Billy Galaxy Toys

Friday, February 17, 2017

Holmes Basic at DunDraCon 2017

If you are going to DunDraCon, the long running convention in the San Francisco area, there will be a session of Holmes Basic on Saturday. The GM is running an adventure that I wrote, Beyond the Door to Monster Mountain.

Screenshot of the Event Listing. Click for a larger view