Exploring the Underworld of Holmes Basic Dungeons & Dragons

In 1977, TSR published the first introductory set for Dungeons & Dragons. This Basic Set included a monochrome blue rulebook (the Blue Book) edited by Dr. J. Eric Holmes from the original D&D booklets (the Little Brown Books) by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and the first supplements. Holmes also created a Sample Dungeon for the rulebook in which novice adventurers from Portown explore the dungeon beneath the ruined tower of the wizard Zenopus. This set served its role ably until 1981 when it was replaced by a revised Basic Set. Some still find Holmes Basic, as the rules are popularly known, to be a concise 48-page introduction to OD&D or AD&D, and others have been inspired to use it as the basis for expansion to an entire game of its own. Many gamers involved in the current "Old School Renaissance" (OSR) started with the Holmes Set.
11/5/18 Things I've Written Published Elsewhere (other than the Zenopus Archives blog/site)
8/3/18 Updated Photo Gallery; Added new quote to Gygax on Holmes
3/18/18 J. Eric Holmes Photo Gallery (under construction)
6/17/17 Holmes Ref 2.0 - new 18 page compilation of reference sheets
5/18/17 Portown Rumors - 3-page pdf of 20 rumors heard in Portown
4/6/17 Character Record - a new full-page blank character sheet for Holmes Basic characters.
6/18/16 Holmes Ref 1.0 - 10-page pdf compilation of reference sheets
5/30/16 Cleric Spell Reference Sheet Levels 1-6 - sheet with 1st to 6th level Cleric Spells.
Magic-User Spell Reference Sheet Levels 1-3 - sheet with 1st to 3rd level M-U Spells.
5/16/16 Holmes Manuscript blog series complete; index of posts is here
2/21/16 Character Creation Worksheet - A single page worksheet for creating a Holmes Basic character
5/17/15 - Beyond the Door to Monster Mountain - one page introductory adventure
3/25/15 - First Level Pre-Gen Party added to Ref Sheets page
2/1/15 - Backgrounds for Human Characters added to Ref Sheets 

Previous Updates
         Art by the late David C. Sutherland III from the Holmes Basic rulebook
                                            Note the eyes in the skull!

Links of Interest:

Follow the Zenopus Archives blog for the latest discussion

Join the Holmes Basic G+ community

Blog Roundup (index of Holmes-related posts on other blogs)

Forums for discussion of Holmes Basic

Holmes Basic Testimonials

Maze of Peril by J. Eric Holmes for purchase from Space & Time books
(original publisher, requires a check)

Grodog's Greyhawk - Greyhawk Online (one inspiration for this site)