A quick status report: work on the BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Rules manuscript is proceeding apace. The cover art is ready for layout (adding titles, logos and such), as can be seen from the teasers appearing here. Once the text is complete there will be a period of play testing – with a simulacrum this is not as long as it tends to be for a game written completely from scratch, as many of the components of game play have been in use for decades. The next step will be layout of the body text, which will give me the exact sizes, content and number of interior art pieces that I will need to commission. I have already approached several artists with regard to this, so I know that the look and quality of this new artwork will live up to the standard set by the public domain art used for the Prentice Rules and the Maze of Nuromen (you know who you are!). Depending on the total cost, this may need crowd funding to finance. Good art costs gp.

BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Cover

So, with that out of the way, I’d like to take a moment to give an overview of what exactly the “Compleat” in BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Rules means. As I’ve said before, the Prentice Rules were meant to cleave as closely as possible to the original “Blue Book”. The Compleat Rules will inevitably have to interpret the possible ways of expanding beyond those first three levels, but the intention is to limit such expansion to appropriate sources like the 3LBBs of OD&D and their first supplement and other contemporaneous writings. The first edition will still be a simulacrum, albeit one of a “what-if” edition of the rules.

Firstly, this will not be the “Expert” to the Prentice Rules “Basic”. The Compleat Rules are intended to stand on their own as a complete (!) rule book, so it does not assume that users have read the Prentice Rules. Compleat will have everything the player or referee needs for 1st through 20th level campaigns. That’s right, I said 20th level.

Character classes will be expanded to include a brand new “witch” class, while character races no longer exist as such. Instead, simple rules will be included to allow most monsters to be used as characters – obviously this will require varying amounts of effort on the part of the referee and player depending on the monster in question, but it’s a far simpler process than one might think.

The Spells, Monsters and Treasure chapters will be considerably expanded. New spells for higher-level clerics and magic-users will be included, as well as a a whole new group of spells for witches. New monsters will be strictly limited to those that can be associated (however loosely!) with the other RPG writings of Eric Holmes, including his most successful character race, the insectoid dreenoi. The latter are taken from the StarGuard! game with the kind permission of the author John McEwan. Even with this limitation, there will be a lot of new monsters – many familiar, but often with peculiar twists appropriate to Holmes. Treasure, specifically magical treasure, will include many more items again adapted to suit the Blueholme view of the game universe.

Finally, in terms of rules, in addition to the expanded character-related sections there will be rules for stronghold building for high-level characters as well as underground, wilderness and urban adventure design. Compleat Rules will also feature a lot more examples and advice for players and referees.

That’s it! I hope you’re all looking forward to it as much as I am!