Translate

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

BLUEHOLME™ & BLUEHACK™

I have been meaning to write about BLUEHOLME™ for sometime now, but had never gotten around to it. So now the time is "write" and away we go. There are many other games I want to write about and, time permitting, eventually I will. There is no particular order in which I do these things nor is there any particular order to when and which blogs I highlight. I just go as the winds of the cosmos move me.

Back on 20 September, 2012, the owner of Dreamscape Design (and blog writer) posted on the topic of "Blueholme: A Simulacrum". He had discovered the Holmes edition of D&D and he said this: After
reading all about it, I was shocked, nay dismayed, to find that there has never been a legitimate OGL clone! This must make it unique among the editions.
And so, in just a short while, I will give you – BLUEHOLME™, the Free Fantasy Adventure Game, for 1st to 3rd level characters!
Thusly, he proceeded to write and publish what is know as the BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Edition or BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules. This version covers the first three levels of play as does the Holmes D&D itself. This was originally going to be a "No Art" pdf, but then some great people in the community hooked him up with links to free public domain art. Here is the image for the cover of this edition: 


By that point he was already thinking of the BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Edition which would cover play above third level. 

Then on 24 November 2012, he posted this update, BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules: Spells Preview as he was trying to get it finished and up at RPGNOW for Christmas. He did get it uploaded before Christmas and then had a little bit of fun getting it moved to active status so people could get it, and it went live on 10 January 2013. He also released BLUEHOLME™ The Maze of Nuromen an introductory adventure. 

Then the reviews: 

Over at Adventures and Shopping they said:
This is an easy to play, simulacrum of a hotly debated D&D transitional system.
I'm still flipping through my copy. Impressive. A worthy addition to the collection - looks pretty loyal to the J Eric Holmes ruleset.
Over at The World Beyond they said: 
Now... the only thing missing is some ole players from 1982 and a print-on-demand version :-) Have a look and see what you think. 
 Over at Dispatches From Kickassistan they said:
 ...every review that I write (maybe the word "review" is wrong; "educated opinion" is more accurate) is inspired by that work in that the work actually managed to inspire me to write about it, rather than it just being something I've read to review.
The presentation is clean and neat, the ruleset exceptionally clearly defined and well-organized.
...but yet retains a solid feeling of uniqueness and character that feels scholarly and sophisticated, as if high-brow-ifying Holmes Basic. And why not? Why can't the scholarly effort of Dr. Holmes to clarify OD&D be celebrated in a sophisticated, erudite retroclone?
 In fact, if Dreamscape Design ever does the Prentice Rules in POD, I will be one of the first guys in line. In fact, I'll take two. At least.
I find myself in agreement with the above reviews, it is indeed very well done. 

Then in this post BLUEHOLME™ Compleat: In Progress  he begins to give us teasers about what will be in the final version. (Also he notes that you will only need this one book to play from 1st to 14th level.)  In a 17 March 2013 progress report, he notes that the BLUEHOLME™  Prentice Edition had at that point gone well past 1000 downloads and that the adventure Maze of Nuromen, was doing nearly as well. Then on 7 April 2013 he announces the cover for the Compleat Edition:


 Art work by Mr Jean-Francois Beaulieu.

On 20 October 2013 as he writes the final chapter of the Compleat version he announces:
BH1: The Shrine of Sobek, will be a (free) stand-alone module featuring a step-by-step example of those rules in practice. The contents of the latter as of this moment feature a small beginner’s Underworld maze, a campaign map and a section of the Wilderness between the Shrine and the character’s home base, and the base itself: Blueholme, a small frontier port town at the north-western edge of the Realm.
Then on 26 December 2013 he posts:
As you probably know by now, the Holmes manuscript revelations on the Zenopus Archives Blog have set up a mini-earthquake in the BLUEHOLME™  Compleat Rules.
And he tell us of the revisions he is making as a result of having more of Professor Holmes own words to work with. On 5 January 2014 he provides Ye Compleat List of Creatures. He has some intervening Real Life events that slow things down, and he also does an update to tidy up the BLUEHOLME™  Prentice Edition. He also works on more adventure modules. The BLUEHOLME™  Prentice Edition 2nd printing was completed and available as of  18 October, 2014 along with a new cover:

On 25 November, 2014 he receeived his proof copy of the softcover POD version of BLUEHOLME™  Prentice Edition 2nd printing and by 19 December 2014 they went on sale at Lulu. Then for the next several months updated are published concerning all of the projects that the author has underway.

On 30 December 2015, he tells us the Compleat edition is nearing completion with the help of many proofreaders and play-testers, along with more original art to complement the cover. Yea, play-testers; how cool is that. Then on 26 March, 2016 he announces that there will also be forthcoming a BLUEHOLME™Journeymanne Rules that will be somewhat in between the Prentice and the Compleat Rules. 

As an aside in early Feb 2016 Kickstarter was run for a game called The Black Hack (based on OD&D - but ultra light) and it was released on sale as of 23 March 2016. Our BLUEHOLME™ author was intrigued and started working on a little experiment called BLUEHACK™ which is a mashup of Holmes D&D and The Black Hack. As I write this it is my understanding that BLUEHACK™ will be released in the not too distant future and then we should find out about proposed release dates for the BLUEHOLME™Journeymanne Rules, BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Rules as well as the modules that are also in progress.

Again I am really impressed that play-testing is being done and that our author is also working a full time job, is married and has a family. I look forward to his next update as I also await his new products.

3 comments:

  1. Also: the author is a true-blue great guy and well deserving of your patronage.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gentlemen, I'm blushing! Thanks for the praise, it's the fact that people actually like the stuff I produce that keeps me going. I must try and finish off that BLUEHACK™ thing this weekend ...

    ReplyDelete