[Comparison] Modvay/Cook BX and Blueholme: Journeymanne Rules

A forum for discussing table top role-playing game systems, supplements, or anything else related.
Post Reply
Posts: 381
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:55 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

[Comparison] Modvay/Cook BX and Blueholme: Journeymanne Rules

Post by Cloak-n-Dagger » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:50 pm

Last week when Anacalgon and I were talking about running games for GaryCon, I mentioned using Blueholme or BX to run my adventures, instead of White Box: Fantasy Medieval Adventure Game, like I did last year. He asked what the differences were so I thought I would take brief moment to do an initial comparison between the two.

Rolling stats in both Blueholme and BX require rolling 3d6 down the line, however in Blueholme, a small section give alternate methods for rolling if the default is not acceptable. The same standard 6 stats are used in both BX and BH.

The bonuses from stats differ quite a bit between the two systems:

In BX, most stats convey a bonus or penalty ranging from -3 to +3 which may apply to a die roll, or may affect other stats such as HP, saving throws, AC, initiative, etc.

In BH, Strength and Wisdom do not convey any bonuses or penalties. Intelligence allows bonus languages for scores of 11 or higher, Con allows HP bonuses or penalties between -1 to +3, Dexterity bonuses and penalties range between -1 to +1, and Charisma affects the number of followers that PC may have.


In BX aside from the four basic classes, fighter, cleric, magic-user, and thief, there are also three racial classes, dwarf, elf and halfling.

In BH, the only character class options are the four basic classes. Racial classes are not available.

There are a couple of class differences that stand out:

Magic-users have expanded spell lists, compared to BX. In BX, each spell level consists of 12 individual spells, BH has expanded the lists to 20 spells within each spell level. (I may list out the new spells, per level in a later post)

For clerics, spells are also kept in a prayer book, similar to a magic-user's spell book, however unlike the M-U, the cleric has access to ALL spells of a known spell level from which to choose. The cleric's turning table is also different in BH than BX. In BX, a cleric turns based on specific undead types such as Zombies, Skeletons, Wraiths, etc. In BH, clerics turn based on the HD of undead creatures. In BX it's also easier for a cleric to gain automatic turns, such as automatically turning Skeletons at 2nd level. In BH, clerics do not gain automatic turning until 4th level.

For thieves, the thief skills primarily remain the same, however three new skills appear in BH that are not in BX, these abilities are Read Languages, Read Scroll, and Use Wand. BH uses percentiles for ALL skill rolls, where as BX uses a d6 roll for Hear Noise.

In BH, players are allowed to play multi-class characters, BX allows only single class.

In BX if you want to play anything other than a human, you must select one of the three racial classes.

In BH, there are no races to select by default other than human. Racial selections can be of any species that the Referee has deemed allowed and acceptable. The section on races in the book, suggest that it may be easier for the party if the races are "human-like", however anything the referee allows is an option.

In BH, alignment for characters runs the same gamut as AD&D or 2nd Edition with not only Lawful, Chaotic, and Neutral, but also Good and Evil.


“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” ~ Wilfred Peterson, American Author

Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:44 pm
Location: Nebraska

Post by Ancalagon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:35 am

Good info. Keep 'er comin'!

Post Reply