As I mentioned in my Day 1 entry in the 2021 Character Creation Challenge, I never owned the blue covered Basic Dungeons and Dragons rulebook by Eric Holmes when I first started playing D&D. A friend had a copy, another had the Basic/Expert version of the rules and I owned the first Basic set from BECMI. We all compared notes and basically picked what we liked the best for our games. That all changed on December 18, 2004 when I found a copy at a local thrift store. How do I know? When I opened this book for today’s challenge, I found the receipt for the purchase. After tax, I only paid 52 cents for this book that was in very good shape. It even still had the chits attached for those players who did not have dice (this was early in the gaming industry and not a lot of people had the different shaped dice). I actually remember the trip well. I had no cash on me at the time so I had to use a card to pay for the book. Not wanting to run my card for half a buck, I looked all over the store to see if I could find anything else to buy. I even tried to look for some article of clothing for my wife. But with no luck, I tried to buy the book with my card and prayed that the store wouldn’t state that there had to be a minimum purchase. Luckily for me they were just fine running a card for such a small amount. Whew.
For this character, I’m going to use the oldest dice I own and let them decide what type of character this is. Just a straight 3d6 down the line. The dice rolled the following: Str- 16, Int- 10, Wis- 12, Con- 8, Dex-11, Cha- 6. He’s not to good looking and not of the best of health, but he’s pretty strong. So fighting man it is. No ability score can be lowered below nine, so I can’t take away anything from Intelligence to put towards Strength, but I can lower Wisdom by 3 to raise Str by 1. So Wisdom now equals 9 and Strength equals 17. Had Intelligence been higher, I might have considered an Elf character, but I’m happy with a strong, but slightly ugly fighting man (not fighter in this rule book). There were bonuses for high Dexterity and Constitution in the RAW, but nothing for a high Strength.
I ended up with 4 hit points. So Cylath will have to be careful until he gains additional levels. Next it stated I should roll for my gold and pick my equipment. 3d6x10 later I’ve started out with 110 GP. I outfitted Cylath with pretty standard equipment that a fighting man would need. I really wanted a horse but I didn’t have enough money to get one. For an alignment, It had the nine standard. I elected to go with just Neutral. I found the section on Savings Throws and wrote them down.
Cylath was the first son of one of the town guards in his small village. When he became the age of 20, his father could see that Cylath was not into the life of a farming village. The father revealed that he had once been an adventurer before settling down and felt that Cylath should set out to find his fortune and see where fate would take him. If he couldn’t make it as an adventurer, there would always be a place for him back at the village. If he could make it and find riches, he could return and help the family. Cylath jumped at the chance to get out of the sleepy village that held no interest for him. His father provided some of his old adventuring equipment and set his son off into the world.
Now I want to find some friends and go on a dungeon crawl. Here is a scan of the character sheet.
The rule book actually referred the reader to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition Player’s Handbook for the higher levels. I can also see where a lot of items were changed for the B/X version of the game. I think that’s part of the reason I’ve enjoyed the #CharacterCreationChallenge. It reminds me of the differences when you see the rules as written (RAW).
There was no official character sheet for the Holmes-Basic edition. I even checked with a Holmes centric Facebook group. (Note to self: Holmes-Basic and Blueholme are not the same book) Luckily the internet came through and I found a character sheet for Holmes-Basic here.
I found two more blogs of participants that have been posting characters and added them to the Character Creation Challenge page. The It’s Mister Wilson entries because of his reviews. Besides posting a character, he also talked about what he liked about a game and what he would consider changing.
Coming Up Next:
The Men In Black Role Playing Game by West End Games