The Holmes Witch

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barna10
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The Holmes Witch

Post by barna10 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:08 am

The Holmes edition mentions: "There are a number of other character types which are detailed in ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. 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)"

Did Gygax ever give clarification on this? More material?

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Havard
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Re: The Holmes Witch

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:18 am

According to this list of OD&D Classes, there were two versions of the Witch Class presented in Dragon Magazine. One appeared in #5 and another in #20. The one in #20 (p 11) is published after the release of Holmes so I assume it would be compatible. It was written by someone named Ronald Pehr so I don't know if you would consider it official? This class goes up to 18th level. The author suggests that this could work as an NPC class and also possibly be allowed for PCs.

BTW, the way I read the quote it suggest that the Witch and other subclasses are available in AD&D rather than for Holmes?

Edit: The Secret of Witchcraft appears for BECMI in Gaz3 and Wise Women appear in Gaz7 also for BECMI.

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Re: The Holmes Witch

Post by barna10 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:28 am

Thanks. I've never looked at Gaz3...interesting stuff!

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Re: The Holmes Witch

Post by Zenopus » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:34 am

See my response to the same post over on Dragonsfoot
When asked about this on Enworld in 2005, Gygax wrote: "That mention slipped by me, and all I can assume was that either Eric was planning to force such a class upon me, or else someone editing the work thought it a good joke to play. I never had a PC class of that sort in mind for the game." See: Gygax on Holmes

However, having seen the Holmes Manuscript for the rulebook, we now know that Holmes himself didn't include that reference to a witch as a magic-user subclass, although he did mention a witch doctor later in the same paragraph. You can see the original text of the paragraph here: ...And a Half-Human Half-Serpent Naga

So either Gygax had completely forgotten about it 28 years later, or someone else at TSR added it in without Gygax's knowledge.

A "Witchcraft Supplement" did appear in Dragon #5, March 1977, which was presumably right during time that the Holmes Basic set was being put together at TSR (Holmes photocopied the manuscript in Feb '77 for mailing to TSR and the set was first on sale in July '77). It's more of an NPC opponent than a character class, but perhaps it gave someone at TSR the idea that the witch should be added as a class for AD&D? Perhaps it was on the drawing board for AD&D for a short period of time before falling aside?

A more standard OD&D Witch Class did appear later in the Holmes-era in Dragon #20, Dec 1978.

Another D&D/AD&D version appeared in Dragon #43, Nov 1980, at the end of the Holmes era.

Yet another version for AD&D appeared in Dragon #114, Oct 1986.
https://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/view ... 6#p1922236

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