Saturday, May 8, 2010

John Eric Holmes 1930-2010

Word has been spreading throughout the fantasy role-playing blogosphere about the passing of John Eric Holmes. For those of you that don't know, he was the writer of the infamous 'blue book' rule set of 'Basic' Dungeons & Dragons. It was his rule book that captured my imagination as well as thousands of other youth int he late 1970's and first pulled me into this hobby of Role-playing games over 30 years ago.

I have always returned to his Blue Book over these thirty plus years. It was my opinion that his rules, though eventually amended with the term 'Basic', was a very gritty, adult version of the game before the it was filtered down to a more acceptable version marketed towards a larger mainstream audience of families and children. And it was all packed into just 48 pages. This was even before Advanced Dungeons & Dragons came out set the bar for hundreds of pages of detailed hard-bound rules.

And let's not forget his infamous Zenopus' Tower complete sample dungeon adventure which were part of his rules. It is truly a classic and still stands up after all these years as my players can attest to!

Though Gygax and Arneson will forever always be the pillars of the hobby, it was John Eric Holmes that was the gateway for many.

Dr. John Eric Holmes passed away on March 20, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Holmes' Basic was a masterpiece - so clean and perfect. I think that if it went beyond Level 3 is could have become a true standard edition of D&D.