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As I’m combing through the BLUEHOLME™ Compleat files with a microscope and a fine-toothed comb, I have decided the classes need some tweaking. Specifically the sub-classes as identified in Holmes, that is:

There are sub-classes of the four basic classes. They are: paladins and rangers (fighting men), illusionists and witches (magic-users), monks and druids (clerics), and assassins (thieves).

Up to now I’ve simply had these all as separate classes. Sub-classes in AD&D have always been treated as such in all but name, as far as I understand – I admit I’m no Expert on Advanced! ;)

However, the more I look at it the less satisfied I am with this approach. 5E may have influenced me as well, with it’s way of splitting classes into different archetypes at 3rd level. That’s not something I want to do, but I do think the sub-classes should be more closely related to their basic classes than they tend to be ‘by-the-book’. So (and I apologise in advance for the inevitable delay this will cause) I’ve decided to re-work these somewhat for the BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Rules.

First of all, I will re-order the text so that the sun-classes fall under their basic classes. At the moment all classes are listed alphabetically, which I’ve never been happy with from an aesthetic viewpoint – it doesn’t seem right leading with assassin, or having illusionist as the first magic-user class type. Instead, each sub-class will now follow its basic class in the text.

Secondly – and this comes from the avowed goal of the BLUEHOLME™ Compleat Rules as an ‘extrapolation’ of Holmes Basic, rather than simply an expansion using OD&D and the supplements – I want to re-examine the sub-classes as really being more closely related to their basic classes. Taking the monk as an extreme offender, as written this is more a sub-class of the thief than a sub-class of the cleric. Sticking to the core principles of BCR I will work with what I have courtesy of Holmes – basically just the mention of “monk” on p.7 of the Blue Book, and possibly Brother Ambrose from The Maze of Peril as an example – and the monk becomes more of a Friar Tuck figure than a Kwai Chang Caine.

In other words, the sub-classes will become variations of their parent classes rather than completely new classes with little or no relation to the basic class they spring from. This is another reason for re-organising the order of the text, because the sub-classes will no longer have separate advancement tables – they will have the same experience requirements and hit dice as their basic class. Saving throws and to-hit rolls may vary, e.g. clerics are now more martial than druids who are more martial than monks.