[Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

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Tim Baker
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[Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:58 am

I came across a blog post that mentioned Holmes Basic D&D featured "the Dungeon [as] a semi-intelligent and ever-changing NPC." He provides his rationale in this post and this one. This sounds exactly like the living dungeons of 13th Age!

Have you ever heard this argument before? Do you agree with it?

If you're familiar with 13th Age, had you ever heard anything about these hints in Holmes Basic leading to the game's living dungeons?
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Re: [Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by agathokles » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:44 pm

I'm familiar with 13th Age, but not enough with the Holmes Basic (I'm more of a Mentzer/BECMI guy).
Indeed the argument is similar. AFAIU, it is found in some OSR games too (Anomalous Subsurface Environment?) as well as in OSR blogs.

Not my cup of tea, though.

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Re: [Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by shesheyan » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:56 pm

I certainly had that impression when I started playing D&D with B/X. Random encounters tables, critters, fungus, gelatinous cube and the various humanoid clans of the Caves of Chaos. It was all very much «alive». Its how we played it at first. But when we switched to AD&D we changed our focus to campaign oriented design and adventuring.

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Re: [Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by Yaztromo » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:39 am

There is actually a published RPG adventure book where the dungeons are actually underground living creatures that change and grow... regrettably, I don't remember the title, right now...
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Re: [Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:11 am

Yaztromo wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:39 am
There is actually a published RPG adventure book where the dungeons are actually underground living creatures that change and grow... regrettably, I don't remember the title, right now...
Are you thinking of Belly of the Beast?
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Re: [Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:09 am

Here it is! The eyes of the Stone Thief! http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread ... tone-Thief :cool:
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Re: [Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by Tim Baker » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:51 am

Yaztromo wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:09 am
Here it is! The eyes of the Stone Thief! http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread ... tone-Thief :cool:
I love this adventure. I'm running it for one of my groups, now.
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Re: [Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by Dread Delgath » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:00 pm

My players do not understand the concept of 0e's 'mythic underworld', and this series of blogposts (Blood of Prokopius) elucidates this idea very well!

I've not run a dungeon as 'alive' as an entity in and of itself, but I do treat it as faintly conscious, but not really aware of the invading players. I treat the environment as belonging to the monsters who live there - and they are more in tune with how the dungeon works than the player characters ever will.
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Re: [Holmes Basic] Living Dungeons?

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:18 am

Dread Delgath wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:00 pm
I've not run a dungeon as 'alive' as an entity in and of itself, but I do treat it as faintly conscious, but not really aware of the invading players. I treat the environment as belonging to the monsters who live there - and they are more in tune with how the dungeon works than the player characters ever will.
Cool idea! Given D&D's tropes, it makes great sense.
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