Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blue Book, Cover to Cover

Throughout 2008 and 2009, David "Sham" Bowman produced an excellent 40-part series of blog posts in which he commented upon the entire text of the LBBs. Called "D&D Cover to Cover," it was a great way explore this seminal work of the hobby and I suspect most readers learned quite a lot from it. I know I did.

Seeing as I've lately been immersing myself in the Holmes "Blue Book" and writing often about what I'm finding in its pages, I figured it'd be worthwhile to do so in a more systematic fashion through a series of blog posts modeled on Sham's own. I doubt the series will run to 40 entries, but who knows? In any case, I'll likely make the first post Saturday or Sunday and we'll see where things go from there.

14 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to this. I got my start in D&D with the Holmes edition, checked out from the public library! I never owned the book and went straight to AD&D afterwards but now I've gone and ordered myself the box set and can't wait to see it again.

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  2. Do you have the first printing or one of the later ones? And if so, do you also have some of the later ones so you can compare them? Just curious. I'm looking forward to this!

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  3. I have the second printing and have a very thorough list of the changes made in the various printings, so I will try to note the differences where I think they're significant.

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  4. I quite enjoyed Sham's cover to cover, as I wasn't very familiar with the 1974 iteration at the time.

    I re-acquired Holmes last year (I haven't seen "my" copy since 1985 or so...), so I'm looking forward to this series quite a bit.

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  5. This should be interesting: a textual critique and deconstruction of Holmes Basic. I'm look forward to reading it!

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  6. I've already started something similar over on my own blog (http://mahney.blogspot.com). I've been going through every D&D product in order, and I'm currently in the middle of Holmes. It's not really up to the level of Sham's analysis, as most of my focus is on where it differs from the earlier products.

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  7. LFTI

    (Looking forward to it :-))

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  8. I have a copy at home, not sure what printing. I have some intention of using it as basis for the next game I run..

    Torn over using old school descending AC and saving throws, though.

    Definitely looking forward to your analysis as I gear up for this.

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  9. What nostalgia for the ole days and old games reminds me of is that not everyone has the same playing style and interests. Some people were immediately bored by early versions of D&D and wanted more, but for some of us, we didn't need more than some basic rules and we spent all the rest of the time just having bloody fun playing. We explored dungeons, bashed on monsters, let our imaginations run wild.

    Rules did not matter; my group ignored and did not understand most; we were playing D&D-the-game like we would play chess-the-game or checkers-the-game -- to have fun playing and adventuring, not reading rules.

    That is what I bemoan the most about modern gaming. I don't care that people are making more complex games -- gamers differ and some love more complex games. I bemoan that a lot of game makers and sellers don't do much for those people who don't want more sophisticated games.

    I've seen clones and fan games galore, so I'm not ignorant. But, what really strikes me as someone who's catering to me and other gamers would be the guy who makes a rule book of 48 to 64 pages and then scads of modules and material to play with it. And add-ons if you want more detail.

    Instead, today it's scads and scads of rules and often not a lot to play with them unles you make your own up or prowl 3rd party offerings you can't even guess about...

    When 25+ years ago my brother brought home this "new D&D game" with a blue cover and a simple module, we had fun for weekends. Didn't need more than that and imagination...

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  10. I've seen clones and fan games galore, so I'm not ignorant. But, what really strikes me as someone who's catering to me and other gamers would be the guy who makes a rule book of 48 to 64 pages and then scads of modules and material to play with it. And add-ons if you want more detail.

    You're not alone in wanting something like that. I'd love to see such an approach adopted.

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