Theory of a Basic Set Part 2

So, after yesterday's post about the first Basic Set, the Holmes Blue Book, let's recap by saying that the Holmes set lacked vital rules for playing beyond a certain point. It wasn't a working but simplified version of AD&D (e.g., missing rangers, some spells from each level, some monsters, some treasure, etc). Rather, it stopped working entirely at a certain point.

Matt's Monday Mayhem: The Theory of a Basic Set

Dungeons & Dragons has used the concept of a "Basic" version since fairly early in the game's history. With the game first being published in 1974, the Holmes Basic set came out in 1978, four years later. Together with an expanded Monster Manual, the Basic Set ("Holmes Basic," or the "Blue Book") was an integral part of the marketing plan for the first radical step in rules revisions that TSR was to make: the new "Advanced" D&D.

Keying the Map, or Mapping the Key

This is a question I asked on my "general" blog, but it's probably of interest here, too:

Options in Swords & Wizardry

Yet more chaotic and rambling musings from the Den of the Shadow Frog!

“Variation and difference are desirable, but both should be kept within the boundaries of the overall system. Imaginative and creative addition can most certainly be included; that is why nebulous areas have been built into the game.” (E. Gary Gygax, Preface, Dungeon Master’s Guide, 1979)

Foster Creativity

Sure, its often easy to dismiss a kids silly, or plagaristic ideas as trivial. I mean my kids usually add material into their games after watching Indiana Jones or Lord of the Rings—but remember, this is their experience base, they learn initially what they see. Only by doing this over and over again can they unlock what they don’t see.

Matt's Monday Mayhem: Cyclopean Deeps Report

My main news for the day is that I've finalized the manuscript for Chapter 9 of the Cyclopean Deeps. Those of you who are counting are probably asking yourselves ... "What happened to chapters 7 and 8?" You didn't miss anything; Chapter 9 is at the center of lots of activity and evil plots that connect with other chapters, so it made better sense to write chapter 9 first. Chapter 7 is so far along that it will probably be finished in a couple of days. 8, 10, 11, and 12 are in various stages of completion.


My name is John Ling, and since December I’m Frog God Games’ Lead Pathfinder Developer. I wanted to take a quick moment and introduce myself to our fans. I’ve been gaming since sometime in the early 80s, when my best friend received a red box with a very cool picture of a dragon on the front and some very weird dice inside. I played a human fighter / magic user (yes, very much against the rules — we were rebellious almost-teens), and I’ve been hooked on gaming ever since.

The Living Dungeon

A musing from the den of the Shadow Frog.

The concept of the living dungeon is vintage old-school circa 1974 per 0e: Volume III - The Underworld and Wilderness Adventures. An appropiate adjective would also be earliest or first. This was a time when I had no concept of an RPG and was beginning my kindergarten year. 

Waterloo, Wargames, and Whiteboards

The Battle of Waterloo played out its blood-drenched course on June 18, 1815, 199 years ago, bringing the age of Napoleon to an end. Next year my wargaming group here in Houston has plans to celebrate the 200th anniversary with a tabletop battle using 15mm miniatures. Does anyone else out there do any historical wargaming? Other types of wargaming?

Kids at the Table I

So here is Papa Frog’s blog post number one. I was assigned Tuesday as my day, so the current plan is that every Tuesday I am going to post up a few hundred words about something that is happening here in Frogland.

Before I get into today’s topic, I do want you all to know that a VERY significant announcement will be made in early July. Pay attention to my blog the following week and I will go into great detail on it.


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