Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blueholme - Retro Clone Review

I decided to start doing reviews of Retro Clones, this will hopefully be a ongoing series.  Obviously this is not a new idea whatsoever, but its something I'd like to do.  I've talked a lot about different clones & systems over the course of this blog.  If you have been a regular reader you know that I've had some difficulty even deciding which clone to run, as all of them are fantastic.  So without further ado, here is my review on Blueholme.

First off, a little background information from me, I did not grow up with B/X, Holmes or any original versions of the "world's greatest role playing game".  My background is AD&D 2ed.  The first thing I love about Blueholme Prentice Rules, is its like 60 pages, a quick and easy read.  Having not been entirely familiar with the Holmes version of D&D, I had a few surprises, which I quite liked.  Remember I grew up with THACO, and Variable weapon damage and initiative.  The weapon speed thing and all damage being d6 only, totally threw me for a loop.  But this is the way holmes wrote it, and the way it was faithfully covered in Blueholme.  I like it cuz its deadly! But it also can give the hero's a chance.  ex 4 PC's (1d6) are up against a dragon, the most damage the Dragon can do is 1D6/1D6 + Breath Weapon.  Now obviously if you start off as a lowly Wizard (1d4 HPs) sure you might die in the first encounter.  But from what I gather the whole point of Holmes was not so much the hack n slash, but how could the PCs go about getting the treasure without having to always resort to violence.

Another thing that I adore is the same attack table for all classes.  This is crazy easy compared to having to look up THACO by Class and Level that I was used to! (2e).

I absolutely love the following: 

The layout and artwork
The Monsters (these are all basic monsters, a lot from myth and legend)
The treasure tables (they are easy to use and easy to look up - side note I need a PC with an "Elfin Cloak And Boots"

Blueholme Prentice rules covers levels 1 - 3.  Dreamscape design (the creators of blueholme) are presently working on hard on the compleat rules - see their blog for more information on this.