Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Be a Hero!

This advertisement appeared in the November 1979 issue of Boys' Life magazine. Though I was in the Scouts at that time and, of course, subscribed to the magazine, I can't recall seeing this ad, though the fact that it appeared a month before I discovered D&D might explain it. 

Regardless, the ad has a number of aspects worth mentioning. First, the terms "adventure gaming" and "fantasy gaming" appear just as often as "role playing." Likewise, the ad uses the phrase "swords & sorcery role playing." Unless I am mistaken, that particular formulation is unique to Holmes Basic, though I'm prepared to be corrected on this point. Second, take note of how the ad boasts of the game's "large instruction rulebook," which strikes me as odd. Third, there's mention of "five special dice." I personally find that amusing, since most people I know who had the Holmes set had the version with the chits.  


  1. Yeah, if you bought the D&D Basic Set in November 1979 you were definitely getting chits, not dice

    1. Mine certainly did. Chits in Dixie cups will always be part of my early D&D memories. Don't think I owned a proper polyhedral set till 81 or 82 - whenever I bought the Runequest boxed set, anyway.

  2. I think the "large" is in reference to the digest-sized OD&D booklets.

  3. My first D&D game was with guys from my scout troop. I am pretty sure every group I played with from the age of 12 to 18 had at least two scouts.