Sunday, September 26, 2010

My First Look at Holmes

I just received a near mint Holmes Basic Rule Book. Never actually read one previously.

Some quick thoughts as I am away from my computer:

Why be a Fighting Man in the Holmes rules? A cleric with 15 con has the same HP, same armor, same thaco.

What ever happened to the promised Witch class for AD&D?

- Posted from my iPhone


  1. My favorite class race to play in D&D is Human Fighter. Sadly, in every version of the game (especially with OD&D and 1e and 2e) the Fighter gets hosed. As you pointed out, the Cleric is better at fighting AND it gets spells.

    Regarding that witch class, I think there was an issue in Dragon that presented one. If I recall correctly, the issue was blue-ish, with a woman in a gauzy dress atop the head of a stature under the moonlight.

  2. Christian is correct, there was a pretty cool witch class in an old Dragon, with the cover he describes, I forget the issue number.

  3. What's often overlooked is that, in OD&D, fully one-fifth of all magic items are magic swords, which a cleric cannot use. Likewise, of the other magic weapon types, a cleric can only use the magic war hammer. This may not seem like a big deal, but, in Holmes (as in pre-Supplement I OD&D), there are no bonuses to hit or damage from high ability scores, so being able to wield any kind of magic weapon, including the commonest type encountered in treasure, is a major benefit of the fighting man.

    As for the witch, there was never any intention of adding such a class to AD&D. So far as anyone can tell, it was purely an invention of Holmes inserted into the text and not removed by the editors at TSR.

  4. A 1st level fighter gets a d8 for HP whiel the cleric gets 1d6, so the best HP a cleric with a CON of 15 could hope for would be 7 and a fighter may have 9. The fighter gets to use those magic swords as Maliszewski mentioned and he gets to use bows and crossbows.

    As for the witch it turned up time and again in early dragon mag.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition