Flying Dungeon Stocking Table by the Bluebook
One Deadly Dungeon

In Memoriam

Coming, as it does, between the original edition and Advanced D&D, the Basic DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (1977) edition is in many ways curious. Intended to be only an introduction to the game, it lacks much that was already part of OD&D. Modifiers for high and low ability scores, initiative, variable weapon damage—these aspects, which today we consider “basic” to the game, were missed even by players of the era. “Holmes Basic” was never intended to be played as a stand alone game. Yet we do!


The editor of this booklet, Dr. J. Eric Holmes, is an associate professor of neurology at the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine. In addition, he is a devoted DUNGEONS & DRAGONS player whose background as a writer eminently qualifies him to prepare a work such as this one.

In addition to authoring a college-level textbook in his own field, Dr. Holmes has also completed two novels in the area of fantasy literature. His versatility is further demonstrated by his valuable work on this volume for Basic DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. (Basic D&D, 46)

Editors, like authors, write their own bios. Having written a few, I detect an anomaly in that above. One is generally not so effusive in a bio. Furthermore, “eminently” and “versatility” hint of Gygax. The co-creator praises the editor.

Be that as it may, Dr. Holmes proves his versatility as well as his value to our hobby year after year. It’s in its fifth decade, and we can still examine, interpret, write reams about, debate, house-rule, expand, and play this curious edition of the world’s most fabulous game.

John Eric Holmes


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