c John Eric Holmes Reading and Panel Discussion at North Texas RPGCon #8, Saturday, 4 June 2016

John Eric Holmes Reading and Panel Discussion

North Texas RPGCon #8, Saturday, 4 June 2016, in Dallas, Texas


This page shares the details and downloads from the John Eric Holmes reading and panel disscussion held at the North Texas RPG Con in June 2016. John Eric Holmes (affectionately abbreviated as JEH, like H. P. Lovecraft's HPL, Robert E. Howard's REH, Clark Ashton Smith's CAS, and Edgar Rice Burroughs' ERB) was the editor for the first Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set published in 1977.

John Eric Holmes Panelists (left to right): Chris Holmes (Hawaiian Shirt), Zach Howard (Holmes Basic shirt), and Allan Grohe (Black Blade tie dye shirt)


The description in the event catalog read as:

Event Name: J. Eric Holmes Reading and Panel Discussion
GMs: Chris Holmes, Zach Howard, and Allan Grohe
Dates: Saturday 9-11am in Centerport Table 2
Duration: 2 hours
Event Description: An informal seminar about the many contributions of J. Eric Holmes to the D&D game, moderated by Chris Holmes (son of JEH and co-author on some projects), Zach Howard (host of the Zenopus Archives website and blog, Holmes scholar, and Acaeum member), and Allan Grohe (editor of JEH's _Tales of Peril_, from Black Blade Publishing). Chris Holmes will read from JEH's fiction, and discussion will span JEH's game designs, fiction writing, home campaign, the Holmes Basic manuscript, and perhaps a slide show as well. Handouts will be provided. Participatory Q&A during the panel discussion and presentation are encouraged. The seminar will be recorded and posted online after the convention.

The Panelists

The three panelists were:

  • Chris Holmes: Chris is one of John Eric Holmes' sons, and began to play D&D in 1975 in JEH's home campaign using the Spartan "Warlock" variant rules for D&D. Chris illustrated several of the Boinger and Zereth stories written by his father, and his web site is at http://www.holmeswest.com/.
  • Zach Howard: Zach began playing D&D with the Holmes Basic set, and has done extensive research into the development and history of Holmes Basic. His Zenopus Archives blog is at http://zenopusarchives.blogspot.com/ and the associated web site is at https://sites.google.com/site/zenopusarchives/.
  • Allan Grohe: Allan also began to play D&D with Holmes Basic, and is the co-founder of Black Blade Publishing, and is the editor for Tales of Peril.

Resources to Download

These downloads will allow you to vicariously experiene the reading, and to learn some more about John Eric Holmes.:

  • Recording of JEH Reading (.m4a audio file format, 17.35 MB): Allan's audio recording of the panel discussion and reading at the convention. It's 36:39 in duration, but the recording only begins after Chris Holmes compelted his introduction, and just as Zach Howard began his intro (because I didn't remember to begin recording when we started---doh!)
  • JEH Reading Handout (.pdf file format, 1.1 MB): a six-page handout provided to attendees at the reading, it includes pictures of John Eric Holmes, Chris Holmes, a short bibliography of Boinger and Zereth extracted from Zach's work, an unpublished early draft of the Eye of Araz dungeon from JEH's Fantasy Role Playing Games book, and scans of the character sheets for Boinger, Zereth, and Murray the Mage.
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  • JEH Reading Slides (.pdf file format, 1.6 MB): Allan prepared a deck of 16 powerpoint slides to use during the reading and panel discussion, but unfortunately the projector we were to use was missing the cords needed to connect to the laptop, so the slides were not shared during the presentation.
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Pictures from the Reading

Jonathan Perkel graciously shared pictures that he took from the reading:


Chris Holmes reading from the Entrances chapter of Maze of Peril


Chris Holmes signing a messenger bag for one of the reading attendees


A great picture of Chris Holmes (in funky geometric patterns shirt, holding the Holmes basic blue rulebook) together with Zach Howard (in a red Trampier minotaur D&D shirt) at the North Texas RPG Con #8 in June 2016


John Eric Holmes Panelists (left to right): Chris Holmes (Hawaiian Shirt), Zach Howard (Holmes Basic shirt), and Allan Grohe (Black Blade tie dye shirt)



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