Saturday, December 10, 2011

Am I Just Being a Stickler?


While looking back over the Holmes' edited blue-book for Mythopoeic Monday's Holmesian Meditation, I do not find that it anywhere calls itself Basic D&D, as a title.  It is titled simply, Dungeons & Dragons, and the title Basic seems to have been added to the box of the Basic Set; keeping in mind that the box and rulebook were available separately and that originally Holmes conceived of the idea of a clear, introductory book to D&D (not AD&D, which is inserted everywhere in the book later by Gygax as a marketing move), keeping, as Holmes says in the preface, to the basics.  That makes me want to be a bit of a stickler and not refer to Holmes' book/rules as Basic D&D (which is now freed up to specifically refer to Moldvay's explicitly titled Basic Rulebook), but as Dungeons & Dragons edited by Eric Holmes, or simply, the Holmes edition -- which could be abbreviated happily as D&DH.  Thoughts?  Or am I overlooking something?

5 comments:

  1. HD&D, maybe, to keep with the pattern of OD&D/AD&D?

    Or use the 0e/1e/2e etc pattern and call it Helium? ;)

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  2. Read what Holmes himself thought and then decide. You can't beat original sources.

    http://swordandshieldrpg.blogspot.com/2011/07/holmes-compares-his-basic-d-boxed-set.html

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  3. Thanks, Fenway5. Unless I am missing something, Holmes' comments on Moldvay's Basic Set don't really seem to me to challenge my perspective here. He's speaking in the context of a review of Moldvay's rulebook and boxed set in D&D's official organ, comparing the two and favorably recommending the new Basic Set. So he speaks of Moldvay as a second edition, when technically, his book had a second (and third) edition of its own. Even at this later date, he still does not refer to his rulebook by a title, but as "the first Basic Set rulebook" -- the title being on the box. So it still sounds to me like calling his D&D "Basic D&D," as a title, is something that may have come about at some later point, retrospectively, and is not in the book itself. A small point, and maybe one not particularly important to anyone but myself, but somewhat interesting to me if true.

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  4. Pere Ubu: HD&D has a certain symmetry, which is nice. I'd be fine using that. The Helium joke, alas, soared just high enough that I had to think about it. :-)

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  5. Even by the time I started playing with the Mentzer set ('84), no one I knew called it "Basic D&D." It was just D&D. The books were the Basic Set, but the game was D&D, while Advanced was AD&D.

    It wasn't until 1999 or so when I joined WotC's message boards that I first heard it referred to as "Basic D&D." Of course, I could have been out of the loop.

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