Saturday, January 30, 2021

Holmes Expanded: Magic Items

The magic item tables in the Greyhawk supplement are comprehensive, listing all previously described magic items, but poorly organized.  I found it challenging to locate entries, and so re-organized items according to type, and in alphabetical order.


A collection of magic items, illustration by David C Sutherland III, from the Basic Set Rulebook (1977), edited by J. Eric Holmes


Magic Items Die Roll:

01-20    Sword
21-25    Miscellaneous Weapons
26-40    Armor
41-65    Potion
66-85    Scroll
86-90    Ring
91-95    Wand or Staff
96-00    Miscellaneous Magic

Letter in parenthesis indicates classes which may employ the items.


Swords:

01-30    Sword +1
31-35    Sword +1, Locating Objects Ability
36-40    Sword +1, Wishes Included (2-8 Wishes)
41-45    Sword +1, +2 vs. Lycanthropes
46-50    Sword +1, +2 vs. Magic-Users and Enchanted Monsters
51-55    Sword +1, Flaming, +2 vs. Trolls (Pegasi, Hippogriffs, & Rocs), +3 vs. Undead (Ents)
56-60    Sword +1, +3 vs. Dragons
61-65    Sword +1, +3 vs. Trolls (Clerics)
66-68    Sword +2
69-70    Sword +2, Charm Person Ability
71-74    Dragon Slaying Sword +2
75      Sword +2, Nine Steps Draining Ability
76-77    Sword +3
78-79    Sword of Cold +3, +5 vs. Fire Using/Dwelling Creatures 
80      Sword +4
81      Holy Sword +5
82      Dancing Sword
83      Sword, One Life Energy Draining Ability
84      Sword of Sharpness
85      Vorpal Blade
86      Sword –1, Cursed
87-00    Sword –2, Cursed


Miscellaneous Weapons:

01-15    10 Magic Arrows +1
16-25    3-30 Magic Arrows +1
26-29    2-12 Magic Arrows +2
30      1-8 Magic Arrows +3
31      Arrow of Slaying
32-36    Axe +1
37      Axe +2
38      Axe +3
39-43    Magic Bow +1
44-45    Crossbow of Accuracy (+3)
46-47    Crossbow of Distance
48-49    Crossbow of Speed
50-52    2-16 Magic Crossbow Bolts +2
53-63    Dagger +1 vs. man-sized opponents, +2 vs. goblins and kobolds
64-68    Dagger +2 vs. man-sized opponents, +3 vs. orcs, goblins, and kobolds
69-80    Mace +2
81      Mace of Disruption
82-86    Spear +1
87      Spear +2
88      Spear +3
89-91    Cursed Spear of Backbiting
92-96    War Hammer +1
97-99    War Hammer +2
00      War Hammer +3, 60’ Throwing Range with Return


Armor:

01-20    Shield +1
21-40    Armor +1
41-50    Armor & Shield +1
51-57    Shield +2
58-64    Armor +2
65-70    Armor & Shield +2
71-73    Shield +3
74-76    Armor +3
77-78    Armor & Shield +3
79-80    Shield +4
81-82    Armor +4
83      Armor & Shield +4
84-85    Shield +5
86      Armor +5
87      Armor + Shield +5
88-93    Shield of Missile Attraction –1
94-99    Armor of Vulnerability
00      Armor of Etherealness



Potion bottles, illustration by David C Sutherland III, from the 1st printing of the AD&D 1e Dungeon Masters Guide (1979)

Potions:

01-03    Animal Control
04-06    Clairaudience
07-09    Clairvoyance
10-12    Delusion*
13-15    Diminution
16-18    Dragon Control**
19-21    ESP
22-24    Extra-Healing
25-28    Fire Resistance (F)
29-31    Flying
32-34    Gaseous Form
35-37    Giant Control**
38-41    Giant Strength** (F)
42-44    Growth
45-48    Haste (F)
49-52    Healing
53-56    Heroism (F)
57-59    Human Control
60-62    Invisibility
63-66    Invulnerability (F)
67-69    Levitation
70-72    Longevity
73-75    Plant Control
76-79    Poison*
80-82    Polymorph (Self)
83-85    Super-heroism (F)
86-88    Treasure Finding
89-93    Undead Control
94-96    Oil of Etherealness
97-00    Oil of Slipperiness

*Referee will mislead players to the best of his ability in order to either make them believe it is a useful potions or to taste the poison, for even a small sip will suffice to kill

**Referee to roll to determine which one of the various types will apply to the effects of the potion


Scrolls:

01-20    Any one spell
21-35    Any two spells
36-45    Any three spells
46-50    Any seven spells
51-60    Cursed scrolls, curse affects the reader immediately
61-70    Protection from elementals
71-80    Protection from lycanthropes
81-90    Protection from magic
91-00    Protection from undead


Rings:

01-05    Animal Control
06-18    Contrariness
19-38    Delusion
39-40    Djinn Summoning
41-45    Fire Resistance
46-50    Invisibility
51-55    Plant Control
56-60    Protection +1
61-62    Protection +2, 5’ radius
63      Protection +3
64-65    Regeneration
66-67    Shooting Stars
68-69    Spell Storing
70-71    Spell Turning
72-73    Telekinesis
74-78    Water Walking
79-93    Weakness
94-97    Three Wishes
98      Many Wishes
99-00    X-ray Vision


Wands, Staves, and Rods:

01-04    Wand of Cold
05-09    Wand of Enemy Detection
10-14    Wand of Fear
15-18    Wand of Fire Balls
19-23    Wand of Illusion
24-27    Wand of Lightning Bolts
28-32    Wand of Magic Detection
33-42    Wand of Metal Detection
43-46    Wand of Negation
47-50    Wand of Paralyzation
51-54    Wand of Polymorph
55-59    Wand of Secret Doors & Traps Detection
60-63    Staff of Commanding (C,M)
64-67    Staff of Healing (C)
68-71    Snake Staff (C)
72-75    Staff of Striking (C,M)
76      Staff of Power (M)
77-78    Staff of Withering (C)
79      Staff of Wizardry (M)
80-81    Rod of Absorption (M)
82-83    Rod of Beguiling (M,T)
84-93    Rod of Cancellation (All)
94-98    Rod of Lordly Might (F)
99      Rod of Resurrection (C)
00      Rod of Rulership (All)


Miscellaneous Magic Items:

Table I: 01-30

01-03    Amulet vs. Crystal Balls and ESP (All)
04-05    Amulet of Inescapable Locating (All)
06-09    Bean Bag (All)
10-12    Bag of Devouring (All)
13-14    Bag of Holding (All)
15-17    Bag of Transmuting (All)
18-19    Bag of Tricks (All)
20-22    Elven Boots (All)
23-24    Boots of Dancing (All)
25-27    Boots of Levitation (All)
28-31    Boots of Speed (All)
32-34    Boots of Traveling and Leaping (All)
35-36    Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals
37-39    Bowl of Watery Death
40-41    Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals
42-44    Brazier of Sleep Smoke
45-46    Censer of Controlling Air Elementals
47-50    Censer of Summoning Hostile Air Elementals
51-55    Crystal Ball
56-59    Crystal Ball with Clairaudience
60-62    Crystal Ball with ESP
63-65    Crystal Hypnosis Ball
66-70    Medallion of ESP, 3” Range* (All)
71-75    Medallion of ESP, 9” Range* (All)
76-80    Medallion of Thought Projection
81-82    Scarab of Death
83-84    Scarab of Enraging Enemies (All)
85-87    Scarab of Insanity (All)
88-92    Scarab of Protection (All)
93-94    Stone of Controlling Earth Elementals (All)
95-98    Loadstone (All)
99-00    Luckstone (All)

Table II: 31-60

01-06    Animated Broom (All)
07-08    Beaker of Plentiful Potions (All)
09-14    Broom of Flying (All)
15-19    Decanter of Endless Water (All)
20-22    Drums of Deafness (All)
23-24    Drums of Panic (All)
25-26    Efreet Bottle (All)
27-32    Flask of Curses (All)
33-34    Flying Carpet (All)
35-38    Gauntlets of Ogre Power (F,C,T)
39-41    Gauntlets of Dexterity (All)
42-44    Gauntlets of Fumbling (All)
45-47    Gauntlets of Swimming and Climbing (F,C,T)
48-49    Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity (All)
50      Girdle of Giant Strength (All)
51-52    Helm of Brilliance (All)
53-58    Helm of Evil/Good (All)
59-63    Helm of Reading Magic and Languages (All)
64-66    Helm of Telepathy (All)
67-68    Helm of Teleportation
69-70    Horn of Blasting (All)
71-75    Horn of Bubbles
76-78    Horn of Collapsing (All)
79-83    Horn of Valhalla, Silver (All)
84-86    Horn of Valhalla, Bronze (All)
87-88    Horn of Valhalla, Iron (All)
89-90    Jug of Alchemy (All)
91-92    Necklace of Missiles (All)
93-94    Necklace of Strangulation (All)
95-00    Rug of Smothering (All)

Table III: 61-75

01-05    Bracers of Defense, AC 6 (All)
06-10    Bracers of Defense, AC 4 (All)
11-15    Bracers of Defense, AC 2 (All)
16-20    Bracers of Defenselessness, AC 12 (All)
21-25    Cloak of Protection +1 (M,C,T)
26-29    Cloak of Protection +2 (M,C,T)
30-31    Cloak of Protection +3 (M,C,T)
32-34    Displacer Cloak (All)
35-36    Dust of Appearance (All)
37-40    Disappearance Dust (All)
41-46    Elven Cloak (All)
47-51    Eyes of Charming (All)
52-56    Eyes of Petrification (All)
57-58    Gem of Brightness (All)
59-62    Gem of Seeing (All)
63-66    Jewel of Attacks upon the Owner (All)
67-71    Poisonous Cloak (All)
72      Mirror of Life Trapping
73-76    Mirror of Mental Prowess (All)
77-81    Mirror of Opposition (All)
82-83    Rope of Entanglement (All)
84-85    Rope of Climbing (All)
86-87    Rope of Constriction (All)
88      Talisman of Chaos Supreme (All)
89      Talisman of Lawfulness (All)
90      Talisman of the Sphere
91-92    Trident of Commanding Water Creatures (A)
93-94    Trident of Submission (F)
95-96    Trident of Warning (F,C,T)
97-00    Trident of Yearning (All)

Table IV: 76-90

01-05    Arrow of Direction (All)
06-12    Chime of Opening (All)
13-14    Cube of Force (All)
15-19    Figurines of Wondrous Power, Ebony Fly
20-24    Figurines of Wond Power, 2 Golden Lions
25-28    Figurines of Wondrous Power, 3 Ivory Goats
29-30    Figurines of Wond Power, Marble Elephant
31-33    Figurines of Wondrous Power, Onyx Dog
34-38    Horseshoes of Speed (All)
39-53    2-5 Javelins of Lightning (F)
54-55    Lyre of Building (All)
56-60    Mattock of the Titans (F)
61-65    Pipe of the Sewers (All)
66-68    Portable Hole (All)
69-74    Robe of Blending (All)
75-78    Robe of Eyes
79-80    Robe of Powerlessness (All)
81-85    Saw of Mighty Cutting (F)
86-90    Spade of Colossal Excavation (F)
91      Sphere of Annihilation
92-96    Wings of Flying (All)
97-00    Wizard’s Robe

Table V: 91-00

01-05    Book of Exalted Deeds (C)
06-10    Book of Infinite Spells (M,C,T)
11-15    Book of Vile Darkness (C)
16-40    Deck of Many Things (All)
41-45    Libram of Gainful Conjurations
46-50    Libram of Ineffable Damnation
51-55    Libram of Silver Magic
56-60    Manual of Bodily Health (All)
61-65    Manual of Gainful Exercise (All)
66-70    Manual of Golems
71-75    Manual of Puissant Skill at Arms (F)
76-80    Manual of Quickness of Action (All)
81-85    Manual of Stealthy Pilfering (T)
86-90    Tome of Clear Thought (All)
91-95    Tome of Leadership and Influence (All)
96-00    Tome of Understanding (All)

Note: All Manuals, Books, Librams, and Tomes are indistinguishable from one another until opened.  Their covers are blank and impenetrable by either commune or contact higher plane spells, although a wish will reveal its general contents, and a second wish would reveal its exact nature.  After being read by one individual the work vanishes completely, unless the reader gained no benefit from the contents.  In the latter case he cannot rid himself of the item and must hide it away and guard it against use by someone who could gain from it.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Holmes Expanded: Balrog to Zombie

For my expanded monster list, I included all of the creatures with stats appearing in OD&D + Greyhawk, as well as most of the new monsters appearing in The Strategic Review (only leaving out the Denebian Slime Devil).

For aquatic monsters mentioned in OD&D vol. 3, I used stats from the Blackmoor supplement, and for monsters provided with only partial stats in Greyhawk, I consulted the AD&D 1e Monster Manual (the source of some creatures for the 2nd printing of Holmes).



A fighting man faces a group of monsters.  Illustration by David C. Sutherland III, from the AD&D 1e Monster Manual (1977).


The following list includes all of the monsters from the 3rd printing of the Holmes rulebook, supplemented with everything from OD&D + Greyhawk as well as The Strategic Review and can be used with the wandering monster tables from Greyhawk and Eldritch Wizardry:


Balrog - from OD&D vol. 2 (see Balrogs in the Blue Book)
Bandit - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Basilisk - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Beholder - from Greyhawk
Berserker - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Black Pudding - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Blink Dog - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Brigand - from OD&D vol. 2
Buccaneer - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes manuscript
Bugbear - from Greyhawk/Holmes

Carnivorous Ape - from AD&D 1e Monster Manual
Carrion Crawler - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Catoblepas - from The Strategic Review #7
Caveman - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes manuscript
Centaur - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes manuscript
Chimera - from OD&D vol.2/Holmes
Cockatrice - from OD&D vol.2/Holmes
Crocodile - from OD&D vol. 3/Greyhawk

Dervish - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes manuscript
Dire Wolf - from Greyhawk
Displacer Beast - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Djinni - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Doppleganger - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Dragon (White, Black, Green, Blue, Red, Brass, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Golden) - from OD&D vol. 2/Greyhawk/Holmes
Dragon King - from Greyhawk
Dragon Queen - from Greyhawk
Dragon Turtle - from OD&D vol. 3/AD&D 1e Monster Manual
Dryad - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes manuscript
Dwarf - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Efreet - from OD&D vol. 2
Elemental - from OD&D vol. 2
Elf - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Fire Beetle - from Blackmoor/AD&D 1e Monster Manual/Holmes 2nd printing (Nov 1978)

Gargoyle - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Gelatinous Cube - from OD&D vol. 2/Greyhawk/Holmes
Ghoul - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Giant (Hill, Stone, Frost, Fire, Cloud, Storm) - from OD&D vol. 2/Greyhawk/Holmes
Giant Ant - from AD&D 1e Monster Manual/Holmes 2nd printing (Nov 1978)
Giant Beetle - from Greyhawk/Blackmoor
Giant Centipede - from AD&D 1e Monster Manual/Holmes 2nd printing (Nov 1978)
Giant Crab - from OD&D vol. 3/Greyhawk/Blackmoor
Giant Fish - from OD&D vol. 3/Giant Pike (AD&D 1e Monster Manual)
Giant Frog - from Blackmoor
Giant Leech - from OD&D vol. 3/Blackmoor
Giant Lizard - from Greyhawk/AD&D 1e Monster Manual
Giant Octopus - from OD&D vol. 3/Blackmoor
Giant Rat - from Greyhawk/AD&D 1e Monster Manual/Holmes 2nd printing (Nov 1978)
Giant Scorpion - from Greyhawk/AD&D 1e Monster Manual
Giant Slug - from Greyhawk
Giant Snake - from Greyhawk/Constrictor (AD&D 1e Monster Manual)
Giant Squid - from OD&D vol. 3/Blackmoor
Giant Tick - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Giant Toad - from Greyhawk/Blackmoor
Giant Weasel - from Greyhawk/AD&D 1e Monster Manual
Gnoll - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes 2nd printing (Nov 1978)
Gnome - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Goblin - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Golem (Flesh, Stone, Iron, Clay) - from Greyhawk/The Strategic Review #4
Gorgon - from OD&D vol. 2
Gray Ooze - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Green Slime - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Griffon - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Harpy - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Hell Hound - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Hippogriff - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Hobgoblin - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Homonculous - from the Greyhawk errata
Horse (Light, Medium, Heavy, Draft; Mules) - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Hydra - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Invisible Stalker - from OD&D vol. 2

Kobold - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Lammasu - from Greyhawk
Leprechaun - from The Strategic Review #3
Lich - from Greyhawk
Lion - from Greyhawk/AD&D 1e Monster Manual
Lizard Man - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Lurker Above - from The Strategic Review #3
Lycanthrope (Wereboar, Wererat, Werebear, Weretiger, Werewolf) - from OD&D vol. 2/Greyhawk/Holmes

Manticore - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Mastodon - from Greyhawk/AD&D 1e Monster Manual
Medusa - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Merman - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes manuscript
Mind Flayer - from The Strategic Review #1
Minotaur - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Mummy - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Naga (Water, Spirit, Guardian) - from The Strategic Review #3
Nixie - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes 1st printing (1977)
Nomad - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes manuscript

Ochre Jelly - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Ogre - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Ogre Mage - from Greyhawk
Orc - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Owl Bear - from Greyhawk/Holmes

Pegasus - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Phase Spider - from Greyhawk
Pirate - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes manuscript
Pixie - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Purple Worm - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Rakshasa - from The Strategic Review #5
Roc - from OD&D vol. 2
Rust Monster - from Greyhawk/Holmes

Sabre-Tooth Tiger - from Greyhawk/AD&D 1e Monster Manual
Salamander - from Greyhawk
Sea Monster - from OD&D vol. 2/Greyhawk
Shadow - from Greyhawk/Holmes
Shambling Mound - from The Strategic Review #3
Shrieker - from The Strategic Review #3/Holmes
Skeleton - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Slithering Tracker - from The Strategic Review #5
Spectre - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Spider (Large, Huge, Giant) - from AD&D 1e Monster Manual/Holmes 2nd printing (Nov 1978)
Stirge - from Greyhawk/Holmes

Titan - from Greyhawk
Treant - from OD&D vol.2/Holmes manuscript (Ent)
Triton - from Greyhawk
Troglodyte - from AD&D 1e Monster Manual/Holmes 2nd printing (Nov 1978)
Troll - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Tyrannosaurus Rex - from Greyhawk/AD&D 1e Monster Manual

Umber Hulk - from Greyhawk
Unicorn - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Vampire - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Will O' Wisp - from Greyhawk
Wight - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Wind Walker - from The Strategic Review #3
Wolf - from Greyhawk/AD7D 1e Monster Manual
Wraith - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes
Wyvern - from OD&D vol. 2

Yellow Mold - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Zombie - from OD&D vol. 2/Holmes

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Holmes Expanded: Wandering Monsters

The wandering monster table in Holmes was revised between the 1st and 3rd printings, as discussed at Zenopus Archives here and here.  In considering which creatures to include in an expanded monster list, I used the wandering monster table from the Greyhawk supplement:


Wandering monster table from the Greyhawk supplement (1975), reformatted in the style of the Holmes rulebook.


Holmes does not include entries for giant beetles, giant scorpions, giant slugs, giant snakes, giant toads, or giant weasels, although these are covered in Greyhawk.  (Giant ants, giant centipedes, and giant rats were added in the 2nd printing.)  For stats on giant hogs, see this post.

James Ward provides an expanded version of the table for level 4 in his article "The Wandering Monster", published in The Dragon #15 (June, 1978).  This includes stats for carnivorous apes (differing from the stats published in the AD&D 1e Monster Manual).

Other monsters not appearing in Holmes, but covered in Greyhawk include beholders, golems, lammasu, liches, ogre magi, phase spiders, salamanders, titans, umber hulks, and will o' wisps.  (Balrogs were removed from OD&D vol. 2, but you can view the deleted entry, here.)


The Wilderness:

Wilderness wandering monster tables were originally presented in OD&D vol. 3, although were updated and greatly expanded in the Eldritch Wizardry supplement.  (I provided an in-depth review of the expanded tables in this post.)

Eldritch Wizardry incorporates monsters from the Blackmoor supplement, as well as The Strategic Review #s 1-5, 7, but also lists multiple creatures (mostly animals) that would not get proper stats until the publication of the AD&D 1e Monster Manual.

Of course, one approach would be to simply use the Monster Manual, which is actually more compatible with Holmes than with the AD&D 1e Players Handbook or Dungeon Masters Guide, as discussed in this post at Zenopus Archives.

However, the AD&D 1e Monster Manual makes changes to monsters as presented in OD&D and the Holmes rulebook, and so I wanted to come up with an expanded list of monsters purely for use in an expanded Holmes game (see tomorrow's post).

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Holmes Expanded: Clerical Spells

Holmes lists clerical spells from 1st to 2nd level, adding two new 1st level spells and two new 2nd level spells.  (See also "Clerical Spells" at Zenopus Archives.)

Greyhawk lists six clerical spells from 3rd to 6th level, as well as eleven 7th level spells (ten were originally listed, but "Gate" was added in the errata).

The spells in italics are reversed for evil clerics, suggesting that clerical spell books might come in two forms ("white" magic and "black" magic).


Book of First Level Spells:
1. Cure Light Wounds - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Detect Evil - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Detect Magic - from OD&D vol. 1
4. Light - from OD&D vol. 1
5. Protection from Evil - from OD&D vol. 1
6. Purify Food and Water - from OD&D vol. 1
7. Remove Fear - Holmes
8. Resist Cold - Holmes
A Book of First Level Spells includes the six 1st level spells from OD&D vol. 1 as well as two new spells.

Book of Second Level Spells:
1. Bless - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Find Traps - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Know Alignment - Holmes
4. Hold Person - from OD&D vol. 1
5. Resist Fire - Holmes
6. Silence: 15’ Radius - from Greyhawk
7. Snake Charm - from Greyhawk
8. Speak with Animals - from OD&D vol. 1
A Book of Second Level Spells includes the six 2nd level spells from OD&D + Greyhawk as well as two new spells.

Book of Third Level Spells:
1. Continual Light - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Cure Disease - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Locate Object - from OD&D vol. 1
4. Prayer - from Greyhawk
5. Remove Curse - from OD&D vol. 1
6. Speak with Dead - from Greyhawk
A Book of Third Level Spells includes the six 3rd level spells from OD&D + Greyhawk.

Book of Fourth Level Spells:
1. Create Water - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Cure Serious Wounds - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Neutralize Poison Turn - from OD&D vol. 1
4. Protection/Evil 10’ - from OD&D vol. 1
5. Speak with Plants - from OD&D vol. 1
6. Sticks to Snakes - from OD&D vol. 1
A Book of Fourth Level Spells includes the six 4th level spells from OD&D vol. 1.



A cleric casts Raise Dead on a deceased adventurer.  Illustration by David C. Sutherland III, from the AD&D 1e Players Handbook.

Book of Fifth Level Spells:
1. Commune - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Create Food - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Dispel Evil - from OD&D vol. 1
4. Insect Plague - from OD&D vol. 1
5. Quest - from OD&D vol. 1
6. Raise Dead - from OD&D vol. 1
A Book of Fifth Level Spells includes the six 5th level spells from OD&D vol. 1.

Book of Sixth Level Spells:
1. Animate Objects - from Greyhawk
2, Blade Barrier - from Greyhawk
3, Conjure Animals - from Greyhawk
4, Find the Path- from Greyhawk
5. Speak with Monsters - from Greyhawk
6. Word of Recall - from Greyhawk
A Book of Sixth Level Spells includes the six 6th level spells from Greyhawk.

Book of Seventh Level Spells:
1. Aerial Servant - from Greyhawk
2. Astral Spell - from Greyhawk
3. Control Weather - from Greyhawk
4. Earthquake - from Greyhawk
5. Gate - added in the Greyhawk errata
6. Holy Word - from Greyhawk
7. Part Water - from Greyhawk
8. Raise Dead Fully - from Greyhawk
9. Restoration - from Greyhawk
10. Symbol - from Greyhawk
11. Wind Walk - from Greyhawk
A Book of Seventh Level Spells includes the ten 7th level spells from Greyhawk, as well as "Gate" from the errata included in the 3rd printing.

Evil Cleric Spells:
Cause Light Wounds
Detect Good
Darkness
Protection from Good
Contaminate Food and Water
Cause Fear
Curse
Continuous Darkness
Cause Disease
Cause Serious Wounds
Protection from Good, 10’ radius
Dispel Good
Finger of Death
Energy Drain

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Holmes Expanded: Magic-User Spells

In running a Holmes-based campaign encompassing a complete OD&D + Greyhawk edit, it was necessary to tabulate lists of magic-user spells from 4th to 9th level.

Holmes lists magic-user spells from 1st to 3rd level, adding three new 1st level spells and two new 2nd level spells.  Greyhawk lists sixteen magic-user spells from 4th to 6th level, but only nine 7th level spells, eight 8th level spells, and ten 9th level spells.

I decided to add three new 7th level spells and two new 8th level spells from the AD&D 1e Players Handbook, to balance out the magic-user spells from 7th to 9th level.


A magic-user casting "Dancing Lights".  Illustration from the AD&D 1e Players Handbook (1978)


Book of First Level Spells:
1. Charm Person - from OD&D vol. 1/Greyhawk
2. Dancing Lights - Holmes
3. Detect Magic - from "Detection" (II), Chainmail 1e
4. Enlargements - Holmes
5. Hold Portal - from OD&D vol. 1
6. Light - from "Wizard Light" (I), Chainmail 1e
7. Magic Missile - from Greyhawk
8. Protection/Evil - from "Protection from Evil" (III), Chainmail 2e
9. Read Languages - from OD&D vol. 1
10. Read Magic - from OD&D vol. 1
11. Shield - from Greyhawk
12. Sleep - from OD&D vol. 1/Greyhawk
13. Tenser's Floating Disc - Holmes
14. Ventriloquism - from Greyhawk
A Book of First Level Spells includes the eleven 1st level spells from OD&D + Greyhawk, as well as three new spells.  See also "Book of First Level Spells" at Zenopus Archives.

Book of Second Level Spells:
1. Audible Glamer - Holmes
2. Continual Light - from "Wizard Light" (I), Chainmail 1e
3. Darkness - from "Darkness, 5' r.", Greyhawk
4. Detect Evil - from "Detection" (II), Chainmail 1e
5. Detect Invisible - from "Detection" (II), Chainmail 1e
6. ESP - from OD&D vol. 1
7. Invisibility - a special ability of Wizards, from Chainmail
8. Knock - from OD&D vol. 1
9. Levitate - from OD&D vol. 1
10. Locate Object - from OD&D vol. 1
11. Magic Mouth - from Greyhawk
12. Mirror Image - from Greyhawk
13. Phantasmal Forces - from "Phantasmal Forces" (II), Chainmail 1e
14. Pyrotechnics - from Greyhawk
15. Ray of Enfeeblement - Holmes
16. Strength - from Greyhawk
17. Web - from OD&D vol. 2/Greyhawk
18. Wizard Lock - from OD&D vol. 1
A Book of Second Level Spells includes the sixteen 2nd level spells from OD&D + Greyhawk, as well as two new spells.  See also "Book of Second Level Spells" at Zenopus Archives.

Book of Third Level Spells:
1. Clairaudience - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Clairvoyance - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Dispel Magic - from the ability to cast a counter-spell, in Chainmail
4. Explosive Runes - from Greyhawk
5. Fire Ball - missile equivalent to a large catapult, from Chainmail 1e
6. Fly - from OD&D vol. 1
7. Haste Spell - from OD&D vol. 1
8. Hold Person - from OD&D vol. 1
9. Infravision - a special ability of Wizards, from Chainmail
10. Invisibility, 10' r. - from OD&D vol. 1
11. Lightning Bolt - missile equivalent to a heavy field gun, from Chainmail 1e
12. Monster Summoning I - from Greyhawk
13. Protection/Evil, 10' r. - from "Protection from Evil" (III), Chainmail 2e
14. Protection/Normal Missiles - a special ability of Wizards, from Chainmail
15. Rope Trick - from Greyhawk
16. Slow Spell - from OD&D vol. 1
17. Suggestion - from Greyhawk
18. Water Breathing - from OD&D vol. 1
A Book of Third Level Spells includes the eighteen 3rd level spells from OD&D + Greyhawk.

Book of Fourth Level Spells:
1. Charm Monster - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Confusion - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Dimension Door - from OD&D vol. 1
4. Extension I - from Greyhawk
5. Fear - from Greyhawk
6. Growth of Plants - from OD&D vol. 1
7. Hallucinatory Terrain - from OD&D vol. 1
8. Ice Storm - from Greyhawk
9. Massmorph - from "Concealment" (III), Chainmail 1e
10. Monster Summoning II - from Greyhawk
11. Polymorph Self - from OD&D vol. 1
12. Polymorph Others - from OD&D vol. 1
13. Remove Curse - from OD&D vol. 1
14. Wall of Fire - from OD&D vol. 1
15. Wall of Ice - from OD&D vol. 1
16. Wizard Eye - from OD&D vol. 1
A Book of Fourth Level Spells includes the sixteen 4th level spells from OD&D + Greyhawk.



A magic-user conjuring a fire elemental.  Illustration by David C. Sutherland III, from the AD&D 1e Monster Manual (1977)

Book of Fifth Level Spells:
1. Animate Dead - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Cloudkill - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Conjure Elemental - from "Conjuration of an Elemental" (V), Chainmail 1e
4. Contact Higher Plane - from OD&D vol. 1
5. Extension II - from Greyhawk
6. Feeblemind - from OD&D vol. 1
7. Growth of Animal - from OD&D vol. 1
8. Hold Monster - from OD&D vol. 1
9. Magic Jar - from OD&D vol. 1
10. Monster Summoning III - from Greyhawk
11. Pass-Wall - from OD&D vol. 1
12. Teleport - from the "Transference" spell, from Dungeon!
13. Telekinesis - from OD&D vol. 1
14. Transmute Rock to Mud - from OD&D vol. 1
15. Wall of Iron - from OD&D vol. 1
16. Wall of Stone - from OD&D vol. 1
A Book of Fifth Level Spells includes the sixteen 5th level spells from OD&D + Greyhawk.

Book of Sixth Level Spells:
1. Anti-Magic Shell - from OD&D vol. 1
2. Control Weather - from OD&D vol. 1
3. Death Spell - from OD&D vol. 1
4. Disintegrate - from OD&D vol. 1
5. Extension III - from Greyhawk
6. Geas - from OD&D vol. 1
7. Invisible Stalker - from OD&D vol. 1
8. Legend Lore from Greyhawk
9. Lower Water - from OD&D vol. 1
10. Monster Summoning IV - from Greyhawk
11. Move Earth - from "Moving Terrain" (VI), Chainmail 2e
12. Part Water - from OD&D vol. 1
13. Projected Image - from OD&D vol. 1
14. Reincarnation - from OD&D vol. 1
15. Repulsion - from Greyhawk
16. Stone to Flesh - from OD&D vol. 1
A Book of Sixth Level Spells includes the sixteen 6th level spells from OD&D + Greyhawk.

Book of Seventh Level Spells:
1. Charm Plants - from Greyhawk
2. Delayed Blast Fire Ball - from Greyhawk
3. Drawmij's Instant Summons - AD&D 1e Players Handbook
4. Mass Invisibility - from Greyhawk
5. Monster Summoning V - from Greyhawk
6. Mordenkainen's Sword - AD&D 1e Players Handbook
7. Phase Door - from Greyhawk
8. Power Word Stun - from Greyhawk
9. Limited Wish - from Greyhawk
10. Reverse Gravity - from Greyhawk
11. Simulacrum - from Greyhawk
12. Statue - AD&D 1e Players Handbook
A Book of Seventh Level Spells includes the nine 7th level spells from Greyhawk, as well as three new spells from the AD&D 1e Players Handbook ("Drawmij's Instant Summons", "Mordenkainen's Sword", and "Statue", which appear as "Summon Object", "Sword", and "Statue" in BECMI).

Book of Eighth Level Spells:
1. Clone - from Greyhawk
2. Incendiary Cloud - AD&D 1e Players Handbook
3. Mass Charm - from Greyhawk
4. Mind Blank - from Greyhawk
5. Monster Summoning VI - from Greyhawk
6. Otto's Irresistible Dance - AD&D 1e Players Handbook
7/ Permanent Spell - from Greyhawk
8. Polymorph Any Object - from Greyhawk
9. Power Word Blind - from Greyhawk
10. Symbol - from Greyhawk
A Book of Eighth Level Spells includes the eight 8th level spells from Greyhawk, as well as two new spells from the AD&D 1e Players Handbook ("Incendiary Cloud" and "Otto's Irresistible Dane", which appear as "Explosive Cloud" and "Dance" in BECMI).

Book of Ninth Level Spells:
1. Astral Spell - from Greyhawk
2. Gate - from Greyhawk
3. Maze - from Greyhawk
4. Meteor Swarm - from Greyhawk
5. Monster Summoning VII - from Greyhawk
6. Power Word Kill - from Greyhawk
7. Prismatic Wall - from Greyhawk
8. Shape Change - from Greyhawk
9. Time Stop - from Greyhawk
10. Wish - from Greyhawk
A Book of Ninth Level Spells includes the ten 9th level spells from Greyhawk.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Holmes Expanded: The Witch

Here is my writeup of the witch class for Holmes, as described in "Another Look at Witches and Witchcraft in D&D" by Ronald Pehr, from The Dragon #20 (November, 1978).  (The article includes rules for advancement to 18th level and 1st to 8th level spells).



Illustration of a witch, from Dragon #114 (October, 1986)


Witches may be considered to bear the same relationship to druids as a magic-user towards a cleric of his own alignment.  The witch uses her harmony with nature to increase her knowledge and power.  Witches are neutral, dedicated neither to good nor evil as humans know the terms; however, an individual witch may have either good or evil tendencies.

Witches need at least 13 in both Intelligence and Wisdom.  Working in harmony with nature and exerting influence over people requires a Charisma of at least 9.  Witches have the same restrictions on weaponry and armor as magic-users.

At 1st level witches can brew poisons, narcotics, and hallucinogens.  These cannot be used to coat weapons, the victim must imbibe them — perhaps mixed into his wine.  For each experience level, a witch can brew a 1 die draught/day.
Poisons do actual damage, a Save vs. Poison giving only half damage.

Narcotics are sleep drugs.  If the drug ratioed over victim’s hit points is 1 or more, it acts as the Sleep Spell.  If less than 1, it is the percentage effect on Dexterity and Movement.  Save vs. Poison halves the duration and percentage effect.

Hallucinogens cause Confusion, as the Confusion Spell.  The percentage chance of Confusion each turn is the ratio of the drug over the victim’s hit points.  Save vs. Poison halves time of effect and percentage each turn.

At 2nd level witches can make a bag of holding.  The witch puts her essence into this, so there may be only one bag of holding per witch in existence at any one time.  It can be used by no other person and if lost or destroyed it takes a month to make another.

At 3rd level witches can brew love potions.  For each experience level, the witch can brew a 1 die draught/week.  The victim is not actually charmed, the potion instead beguiling the victim into believing the witch is their most trusted friend or respected mentor.  If the ratio of points of brew to hit points of the victim is 1 or greater, the effect lasts one week with a 15% chance/day cumulative thereafter of wearing off.  Lesser percentage is the chance each day it will wear off, never lasting more than a week in any event.  Save vs. Poison negates the potion entirely.


Witch Spells:

Book of First Level Spells
1. Control Vapour
2. Cure Wounds
3. Detect Evil
4. Detect Illusion
5. Detect Magic
6. Detect Poison/Disease
7. Faerie Fire
8. Reflected Image

Book of Second Level Spells
1. Bless
2. Detect Invisible
3. Detect Trap
4. ESP
5. Locate Object
6. Pacify
7. Purify Food and Water
8. Read Languages
9. Speak in Tongues


First Level Spells:

Control Vapour – Range: 10 feet x level of spell caster; Duration: 1 turn
Gas or vapour may be controlled and moved about, with a movement of 60’/turn. A gas with intelligence, such as an Air Elemental, saves vs. magic.

Cure Wounds - Range: 0
The witch can heal from 1-6 points of damage by touching another person.

Detect Evil - Range: 120 feet; Duration: 6 turns
Same as the magic-user’s spell except for duration and range.

Detect Illusion – Range: variable; Duration: 3 turns
Same as the illusionist’s spell except the range is whatever distance can be seen.

Detect Magic - Range: 60 feet; Duration: 2 turns
Same as that for magic-users.

Detect Poison/Disease – Range 0
The witch can detect the presence of poison or disease by touching the poison or diseased creature.

Faerie Fire – Range: 60 feet; Duration: 6 turns
Same as that for druids.

Reflected Image – Range: 40 feet; Duration: 1 x level of spell caster in days
The witch may form a picture on any reflecting surface.


Second Level Spells:

Bless - Range: 60 feet; Duration: 6 turns
Same as that for clerics.

Detect Invisible – Range: 10 feet x level of spell caster; Duration: 6 turns
Same as that for magic-users.

Detect Trap - Range: 30 feet; Duration: 2 turns
Same as the clerical spell “Find Traps”.

ESP – Range: 0; Duration: 12 turns
Same as that for magic-users, except that the witch must be touching the one whose mind she wants to read.

Locate Object – Range: 60 feet + level of spell caster in 10s of feet; Duration: 2 turns
Same as that for magic-users.

Pacify – Range: 60 feet; Duration: 4 + level of spell caster in turns
The witch can make a hostile foe feel friendly, although he will in no way be charmed or subject to her will. The spell will affect from 1-8 creatures of 6 hit dice or less.

Purify Food and Water - Range: 10 feet
Same as that for clerics.

Read Languages – Range: 0 feet; Duration: 2 turns
Same as that for magic-users.

Speak in Tongues – Range: 0; Duration: 2 + level of spell caster in turns
This spell enables a witch to understand the language of any intelligent entity and communicate with that entity in its own language.


Evil Witch Spells:

Witches with evil tendencies have basically the same spells as do those with good tendencies.  However, spells in italics are reversed for evil witches.

Give Wounds
Detect Good
Curse
Contaminate Food and Water

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Holmes Expanded: Character Classes

Although I started running Holmes-based games using the Basic Set rulebook, I soon incorporated rules and character classes from the OD&D supplements and The Strategic Review articles.  Below, I provide an overview of the range of options.


The three original D&D character classes, a fighting man, a magic-user, and (probably) a cleric, battling a horde of pig-faced orcs.  From the Basic Set rulebook (1977).  Illustration by David C. Sutherland III.


Fighting Men:

I used percentile Strength and Dexterity-modified Armor Class (-1 for every point over 14) from the Greyhawk supplement, as well as the Greyhawk paladin.

I also used Joe Fischer's Ranger sub-class from The Strategic Review #2.


Magic-Users:

Holmes states a "magic-user acquires books containing the spells, the study of which allows him to memorize a spell for use." which implies that magic-users accumulate a set of magical books, not a single personal spell book as with AD&D and B/X.

I had magic-users start with a Book of First Level Spells.  Higher level Books of Spells were obtained through adventuring or other means, such as from enemy magic-users.  (In fact, the thaumaturgist from the sample dungeon in Holmes possesses two such books).

I used Peter Aronson's Illusionist sub-class from The Strategic Review #4, although would recommend The Complete OD&D Illusionist from Jon Peterson's blog.

My go-to for the Witch sub-class is from The Dragon #20, from which I extracted a version for Holmes in a post on the OD&D Discussion boards, here.


Clerics:

Holmes states "Characters who employ spells are assumed to acquire books containing the spells they can use, one book for each level." which presumably includes clerics.  There is no % chance to know clerical spells, as they are divinely bestowed through prayer.

(See also OD&D Clerics for the origins of the cleric class).

I used the Monk sub-class as presented in the Blackmoor supplement (which I nowadays suspect was indeed Brian Blume's invention).

I also used the Druid sub-class, originally conceived by Dennis Sustare, as presented in the Eldritch Wizardry supplement.


Thieves:

I used the rules from the Greyhawk supplement for demihuman thieves.

(Darrold Wagner, the creator of the thief class, was recently interviewed on the Save or Die! podcast, which is highly recommended and can be accessed, here).

I also used the Assassin sub-class as presented in the Blackmoor supplement, although nobody ever chose to play one.


Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings:

The dwarven cleric is described as an NPC class in the Greyhawk supplement.

For elves, we split xp and rolled for hit dice on the fighting man xp progression table (where they are listed with men, dwarves, and halflings) and % chance to know spells on the magic-user xp progression table.  (See this thread on Dragonsfoot, for more discussion).

The elven cleric is described as an NPC class in the Greyhawk supplement.

For halflings - there's a totally different feel to the game, if you call them hobbits.

(See also OD&D Demi-Humans).


Half-Elves:

There are rules for half-elf clerics in the Greyhawk supplement.


Additional Character Classes:

The Holmes manuscript states:

Thus, an expedition might include, in addition to the seven basic classes, an African witch doctor/magic-user, a centaur, an Amerindian medicine man/cleric, a lawful werebear, a Japanese Samurai fighting man and a half-human, half-serpent Naga.

Readers are referred to this post over at Zenopus Archives for more discussion.


Finally, we also experimented with a few of the character classes for OD&D published in The Dragon, such as The OD&D Alchemist and A Plethora of Obscure Sub-Classes.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Holmes Basic

The D&D Basic Set was released in July, 1977, representing the first major reorganization of the original D&D rules, but only covering character levels 1-3.  Higher level play still required a copy of the original rules and supplements, which remained available for another few years.


D&D Basic Set (1st printing, 1977).  The painting for the iconic cover illustration by David C. Sutherland III was rediscovered in a warehouse in 2013.


The set included a 48-page rulebook edited by Dr. J. Eric Holmes, along with Dungeon Geomorphs Set One, Monster & Treasure Assortment Set One, and a set of polyhedral dice.  (The Dungeon Geomorphs and Monster & Treasure Assortments were later replaced with introductory modules.)

Dr. Holmes was an associate professor of Neurology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.  You can find out more about him, here.  The recording of a neurology lecture he gave at a science fiction convention recently surfaced, and can be accessed, here.

Zach Howard posted a fascinating, multi-part, in-depth analysis of the Holmes manuscript, comparing it to the published version of the D&D Basic Set rulebook, in a series of posts over at Zenopus Archives a while back.  Printing history and related info is available, here.


D&D Basic Set rulebook (2nd printing, 1978).  The monochrome blue cover has led to the rulebook's informal name, the "Blue Book"


Although various references to AD&D are made throughout the rulebook, the core hardcovers for AD&D 1e had not yet been published, and turned out to be slightly incompatible.  Holmes Basic is therefore regarded as a distinct version of D&D.

My own introduction to RPGs came a few years later, through the 1981 Basic Set, edited by Tom Moldvay, although I remember catching glimpses of the enigmatic Holmes rulebook from time to time, invoking the mysterious origins of the game.

When I started playing D&D with my son, I turned to Holmes as a Rosetta Stone to explore the original D&D rules and supplements, using them to cover higher levels of play, in addition to the OD&D variants published in The Dragon.

Over the next few weeks, I invite you to join me as I post about my experiences running a Holmes-based campaign, including my interpretations of the rules, as well as the methods I used for expanding play beyond the scope of the original rulebook.