DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories
 Publisher Info











Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
BLUEHOLME™ Character Records
by Dwight F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2018 16:46:53

Something here for everyone. Class specific and general. Nicely done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Character Records
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

BLUEHOLME™ Character Records
by Sébastien G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2018 03:38:05

Exactly what i want. This is a must for my Blueholme Prentice Rules!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2017 14:04:13

Blueholme Journeymanne Rules was a Kickstarter by Michael Thomas. It extends his retro clone of the Holmes Blue Box Basic from 1977, Blueholme Prentice Rules for levels 1-3. The Journeymanne rules extend things to level 20. It is fitting that this was in 2017, the 40th anniversary of the Holmes Blue Box.

I got my start with the Holmes Blue Box way back in 1977, so this is my 40th year of D&D! Like many who backed this Kickstarter, it was for the nostalgia, and to finally get past level 3. Back in the day, we didn’t make the connection to the OD&D books, or we would have gotten them. The Holmes basic text told us we needed AD&D, so anything else was “basic,” and for little kids. How wrong we were. Had we ignored that, we would have gotten the original books and perhaps gone beyond 3rd level before the Player’s Handbook finally came out in 1978.

I backed at the level of the PDF and hardback. The PDF was completed a few months ago, with several weeks allowed for backers to read. I wish I had time before the cutoff to read this, I had too many Kickstarters deliver from November to December, and I ran games at two conventions the first two weeks of November. I found a couple of issues I will report elsewhere. I’m kicking myself for not digging in and reading the PDF.

The printing and shipping was via Lulu, and the quality is what I expect from Lulu. It is a serviceable book, and the cover and text look good.

All the basics are covered, species instead of races, classes, abilities, equipment, spells, monsters, treasure, adventures, encounters, and campaigns. This is 117 pages with table of contents, index, backer list, and OGL taking up 5 pages, and one more for a sample character sheet. With the PDF, it is easy to print out character sheets, or use one of the many basic/OSR character sheets, or do it old school and write it out on notebook paper or index cards.

What I Liked:

  • Art – A gorgeous cover and many interior illustrations.
  • Classes have all the information for a class in one place:
    • Description
    • XP table
    • Spell table
    • Other class specific tables, like turning undead, and a paragraph or two on strongholds.
  • The Introduction ends by pointing out that there are no “rules,” but rather guidelines.
  • Old School
    • Initiative is based on DEX. Roll off on a d6 to break ties. (This is how Metamorphosis Alpha does it.) This was also in Holmes.
    • Both magic users and clerics have spell books, and the books are so big, they can’t take them adventuring.
    • Looser rules on what levels magic items like potions and scrolls can be created, like in Holmes.
    • Less fiddly bits on spells.
    • Streamlined combat.
    • The monster section mentions that the listings are the average or typical of the type. Players can find some much tougher or weaker than what is listed.
    • The Class section mentions “non-standard” races, and in fact any “monster” can also be a classed character, although weaker and having to advance in levels.
    • Weapons all do d6, but there is a variant rule.
  • Many new monsters, or variations on the standard ones.
  • A section on Unusual Treasures, whether magical or mundane.
  • The section on campaigns is far from comprehensive, but hits key points to keep in mind for designing your own campaign setting.

What I’d Like to See:

  • More
    • I really struggled trying to decide what is truly “missing” or poorly executed here. This is a well executed retro clone of what a “complete” ruleset might look like from Dr. Holmes. This is meant to be a light set of rules for quick play. Characters are easy to generate in a few minutes, and play can commence right away.

Adding to this would have to be done carefully to avoid bloat. It is OSR, so monsters, spells, and magic items are easily available from multiple sources, many of them free.

Conclusion Whether your interest is the nostalgia for the early days of the hobby, or a simple rule set for quick play, or for the kids to run their own games, this fits the bill.

I first posted this review on my blog: http://followmeanddie.com/2017/12/30/blueholme-journeymanne-rules-review/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2017 17:27:54

I've taken a keen interest in the OSR again and I've been exploring what separate Holmes' Basic from B/X and BECMI. Thanfully, Michael Thomas of Dreamscape Design allowed me access to a PDF copy of his Blueholme Journeymanne Rules for review purposes.

For those not in the know, Blueholme Prentice and Journeymanne Rules are based on Dr. Holmes version of the first Basic DnD published by TSR, which only went to 3rd level (as so do the Prentice Rules).

The Journeymanne Rules go all the way to 20th level.

Some key aspects of Dr. Holmes and the Journeymanne Rules are that weapons only do a d6 of damage, not all Ability scores modify things in the game, Races and Classes are separate, there are far more spells than in B/X by Moldvay and Cook, and nearly any Race or Creature in the game can be used by a player.

First let's talk about the look of the book, which is 121 pages. The blue cover is well illustrated and find the imagery inviting. It channels the feel of it's inspiration very well. The interior art is all black and white and I find it's quality to be exceptional and for the pieces to hit the right tone.

What drew me to read the Blueholme Journeymanne Rules was that it delivered a complete ruleset across 20 full levels. And it fully delivers on it's mission.

If you are familiar with DnD or most retroclones you know what to expect for Ability scores. However, in Blueholme Strength and Wisdom Ability scores provide no bonus.

Races are not specifically laid out, because with some advice in Chapter 6 any monster can be used as a Race for your game and it's up to the Dungeon Master to determine what Classes are open. Additionally, the Monster descriptions provide a good overview for the DM to use.

The Classes are the Big 4 we all know and love. The biggest change I've noticed is that Fighters get a damage bonus starting at level 4, which I approve of as a fitting class feature.

Combat is as you expect with Descending AC and AC that defaults to 9 unarmored, but a section of siege weapons is included.

The Creatures section is very extensive and takes up nearly 30 pages.

The Spell section is much longer than what I've seen in DnD B/X or Labyrinth Lord and also covers nearly 30 pages. I'm very impressed with the amount of Spells presented and they go up to 7th level for Clerics and 9th level for Magic-Users.

One of the bright spots for me, as a tool for newer DMs, is Part 8's focus on running Campaigns and breaking things down by Setting, Goals, Villain, Sub-Plots, Factions, and Rumors. And further defining the setting by the Underworld, Wilderness, and the Realm.

What impresses me about Blueholme is that is very much draws inspiration for the very roots of our hobby, but it's treatment highlights how playable those roots still are, while fleshing them out and extending the game itself.

I really can't recommend Blueholme Journeymanne Rules enough. The Prentice Rules are free if you are intrigued and if you like what you read then please pick up the full rules.

Michael's work has shown me why 30+ years later Dr. Holmes version of DnD is not merely relevant but very, very playable and of a style we often don't associate with other editions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
by Alan P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2017 07:08:00

I rarely read a rulebook cover-to-cover (especially while watching college football), but when I bought the Journeymanne Rules yesterday, I simply could not put it down. Now, in the interest of fairness, I do own a (signed) copy of the Prentice rules, so I knew where this is going, but this is the first time I have seen my beloved blue box rules exanped to its fully potential.

And something unique: I loved the author's interpretation of the Underworld as a vast complex carved out by Lovecrafitan forces. This, I believe, brings the dungeon back to the forefront of a series of game rules sets that has gone too far (in my opinion) into complex GOT-like plots. I love dungeon crawls... I sometimes wonder if I'm part of a growing minority. Nonetheless, this is a superb interpretation of D&D.

I hope a hard-copy will be available soon... I'll buy two.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
by David B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2017 16:30:21

A very well crafted retroclone. One of the best on the market.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Bluehack™
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2017 08:29:37

Solid translation of the old D&D rules to the Black Hack.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bluehack™
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Bluehack™
by Luca C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/06/2016 16:59:07

This is exactly how a "condensed" RPG must be written. Very light and easy to understand, very well organized, without lacking any important information and updated at the speed of light!!! Well done! It's a pleasure to pay for products like this; and even more pleasure to play it; just read it and then free your thirst for adventures :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
by dave a. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2016 22:42:09

First impressions. May not be correct.

Page 5 has no modifiers for strength listed.

Movement is unclear. Is running is permitted in combat or only sprinting? Charging into combat? Fleeing from combat? What is the movement rate?

pg. 12-13

Running for armoured man is 540 ft per turn (normal turn or combat turn?) 1 round =10 seconds normal turn = 60 rounds =10 minutes combat turn =10 rounds =100 seconds So an armoured man can run 54 ft per round? As opposed to 15 ft sprinting per round?

Many tabletop gamers use the 1 inch = 5 feet rule. It might be neater if all movement were a multiple of 5. The 7 ft move of an armoured and loaded character for example.

pg. 14 Armour Class

What is the base AC of an unarmoured character? AC 9? There is a table of adjustments, but it's not stated what you are subtracting them from. A listing of AC per amour type would be good.

What actions are permissible in a round? Can you move then attack (melee/missile/spell) in the same round? Or attack and then move? Ex. An archer kiting a slow opponent.

Is the +2 extra attack against retreating combatants limited to melee weapons or can missile and spell attacks be made?



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Hello Dave, thanks for taking the time to look into the BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules! I have some answers to your questions: BLUEHOLME™, like the Holmes on which it is based, has no modifiers for high or low Strength, only and XP modifier if if it is a prime requisite. Sprinting, or combat speed, is the fastest movement possible, and is not intended for use outside combat. As you say, there are 60 rounds in 1 turn, so sprinting (combat) speed of 15 feet per round for an armoured or loaded character would translate to 900 feet per turn compared to a running speed of 540 per turn. Movement rates are given per normal turn, not per combat turn, which is I think where your confusion arises. Combat turns only really affect spell durations. I will endeavour to clarify this next time the rules are updated. I see where you're coming from with 5-foot steps for the convenience of battlemaps, but with the large variety of movement rates for non-character creatures and the fact that BLUEHOLME™ is not generally designed for grid combat, it was decided that accurate granularity and scaling was preferable. Absolutely correct about armour class - unarmoured = AC9, an unforgivable oversight, which will also be corrected in the updated version. A character can move and perform one other action in a round (usually attack or cast a spell). The attack can happen at any point in the character's movement, e.g. a character with 15 feet of movement could move 5 feet, attack, and move another 10 feet. Note that, as BLUEHOLME™ combat is less rigid than with a battlemat, it doesn't matter that much - characters within 10 feet of one another are assumed to be engaged in melee combat. The +2 bonus to attack fleeing characters only applies to engaged characters, i.e. those within 10 feet of the retreating combatant. However, if you as the referee want, there is nothing to stop you from granting missile attacks the same benefit. Generally speaking, BLUEHOLME™ - like most OSR games - is intended to allow referees a great deal of freedom in interpreting things in their own way. Does magic missile have a visual component? Do clerics represent a monotheist church, or do they worship multiple panthons? If the answer is not explicit in the rules, you can pretty much do whatever you prefer. I hope this answers at least some of your questions. If you'd like to chat further, you can contact me via https://dreamscapedesign.net/contact/ - I would be happy to hear from you.
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2016 11:51:38

Updated, upgraded, and this is still the "basic" version - can hardly wait for the completerish rules. If we can still call them "rules," after the excellent introductory essay "THERE ARE NO RULES."

inspiration to count as a new game, and actually much easier for a non-gamer to understand. It deserves six stars out of five. Like all retro clones, it can't really be D&D without beholders - which is why I don't buy printed versions of retclones. (I add a copy of the Greyhawk beholder description and illo to my own printed copies of retclones - and to my copie of Tunnels & Trollsas well as Runequet. I recommend you do the same.

*jeep!

-Grandpa Chet



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for the kind review! FYI the \"Journeymanne Rules\" - which cover levels 1-20 for the basic four classes, plus additional spells, monsters, magic items, and the like - are pretty much ready for art, so keep an eye out for a crowdfunder within the year. Pity about the old beholder, but then Holmes never mentions it in his works so it doesn\'t really qualify for BLUEHOLME™. Carrion crawlers and displacement beasts are more of an issue, as they are not only in the Holmes rules but Chris Holmes (Dr J. Eric Holmes\'s son) drew some great illustrations of them in the original Holmes Basic manuscript. Thus they will show up, in the grand OGL tradition, under pseudonyms. ;-)
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
by Michael E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2015 08:31:45

I couldn't afford the original Holmes Basic D&D set so I was advised to get this one instead and I have to say it's brilliant! The fact that it was free only adds to the fantastic worth of this volume.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hope you are getting some good use out of it, whether gaming or just reading!
BLUEHOLME™ The Necropolis of Nuromen
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2015 13:29:16

Dreamscape design has done a complete ground up revamp and improvement to the Blueholme adventure The Necropolis of Nuromen from the interior outward with lots of little blends and bobs to it. The adventure clocks in at at twenty pages of pure adventure with a fairy tale feel to it on steroids. This is a great adventure to throw a beginning party of adventurers into. This adventure features additional background, new maps, and an entire follow-on mini-adventure starring the notorious outlaw Lothar the Lawless. The reasons why this is such a great adventure are also laid out by the author, this is a modular quest designed to let the referee introduce a group of 1st level characters to the thrills of Underworld exploration as they attempt to unravel they secrets of the evil necromancer’s lair and deal with some bandits, too. But does it live up to the hype? I actually think it does. Right out of the gate the party of adventurers is brought into a situation that draws them in and brings them close to the edge of a campaign setting that will provide them with weeks if not months of play. This adventure lays out everything from back history to full blown dungeon crawling in one go along with NPC's, some monsters (well lots of them) and some solid weird pulpy fairy tale adventuring right into the center of the whole affair. The prose is cleaned up and the layout solidly done and everything has been put together in a nice easy to read style. On the whole the adventure flows very well in the reading and is very easy on the eye. There are a ton of public domain artwork scattered throughout but these are perfectly suited to the whole affair and add to the adventure without distracting at all from the whole. The adventure is keyed to be regionalized and local to it's environment, rumor tables link back into the implied campaign setting, things make sense on a local level, and forces are all evenly matched to the weird of the setting. This is a perfect adventure for players who will or could migrate into a Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign along the way or vice versa with Blue Holmes. If you already have a copy of The Necropolis of Nuromen, then go back to Drivethrurpg and grab the updated PDF. You won't be sorry the maps are very well done. The fact that this adventure has a fully realized dungeon at its center and side makes this a great starting point to bring players into the Holmes mindset over and over they get a taste of the weird while maintaining the integrity of their PC's. In the middle of all this there are several places, events, and monsters that can end their 1st level snow flake existences and lives like blow torches. That's not an easy balance to pull off but The Necropolis of Nuromen does this with wit, charm, style and a sense of the fairy tale wrapped around a core of a solidly done adventure. My advice is to grab this one, some friends and get into the middle of a BlueHolmes style of play. Everything is right here to bring home the vibe and weirdness of a fully functional dungeon crawl that can play havoc with PC's while everyone has fun. This adventure brings home that old school vibe of play with a sense of terror and weirdness while creating an adventure that is actual fun to play. The Necropolis of Nuromen is a great adventure for both veterans and beginning players of old school OD&D and Blueholmes style games.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ The Necropolis of Nuromen
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

BLUEHOLME™ The Necropolis of Nuromen
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2015 03:25:44

This has been one of my go-to adventures for new players and characters for a long, long time. Before it was a Blueholme adventure in fact - it used to live on the author's website free for the borrowing.

However, with this latest update, the Blueholme version really shines. Amazing cartography, a starting location and safe haven, outstanding layout, great editing.

Any referee using any system will find a wealth of resources within these pages - not to mention a brilliantly scripted old-school module.

I'm really keen to see much more from the Blueholme stable AND from Justin Becker.

5-stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
by Greg L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2015 13:15:01

I just downloaded it and I can't read it for love nor money....I can see that there are words there but I can't read it, blurred and the letters are not filled in....



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
I suggest trying it on a different PDF reader, or re-downloading it. From time to time people have issues with PDFs from DTRPG, but it\'s usually solvable.
BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2015 06:59:09

If you have an imagination this is all you will ever need in regards to rules sets. The perfect page count for simple fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 15 (of 24 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates