While that computer D&D adventure still languishes unfinished on my hard drive, remembering it did get me thinking about how such a game might look using the Holmes basic rules. I approached this project similar to how I did my expanded wandering monster tables: extrapolating from just the information in that blue Dungeons & Dragons rulebook, supplemented by Gygax's work in module B2, The Keep on the Borderlands.
Without further ado, here's the supplemental rules for playing humanoid characters using the Holmes rulebook:
HUMANOID PLAYER CHARACTERS
KOBOLDS (1-4 damage)
Level Points Hit Dice Notes
1 (Kobold) 0 ½ +3 save (except vs. dragon)
2 (Guard) 600 1+1 +3 save (except vs. dragon), can have 1-4 gt rats
3 (Chieftain) 2400 2 +3 save (except vs. dragon), bodyguard of 1-6
GOBLINS (1-6 damage)
1 (Goblin) 0 1-1 -1 to hit in daylight, can see in the dark
2 (Guard) 750 1+1 -1 to hit in daylight, can see in the dark
3 (Chieftain) 3000 2+1 can see in the dark
ORCS (1-6 damage)
1 (Orc) 0 1 -1 to hit in daylight
2 (Guard) 1000 1+1 -1 to hit in daylight
3 (Chieftain) 4000 3 -1 to hit in daylight; bodyguard of 1-8
HOBGOBLINS (1-8 damage; min 14 strength)
1 (Hobgoblin) 0 1+1 +1 morale (including save vs. fear)
2 (Guard) 2000 2+1 +1 morale (including save vs. fear)
3 (Chieftain) 4000 3+1 +1 morale (including save vs. fear)
GNOLLS (2-8 damage; min 16 strength; max 9 intelligence)
1 (Gnoll) 0 2
2 (Guard) 1250 2+1
3 (Leader) 5000 3 bodyguard of 1-6
BUGBEARS (2-8 damage; min 17 strength and min 15 dexterity)
1 (Bugbear) 0 3+1 surprise on 1-3
2 (Guard) 5000 3+1 surprise on 1-3
3 (Chieftain) 20000 4+1 surprise on 1-3; bodyguard of 1-4
A player can adjust any humanoid character’s strength score in the same manner as fighting men. Bugbear characters may also alter their dexterity the same way as thieves.
All humanoids do the indicated damage, regardless of weapon type. If a humanoid character acquires a magical weapon, the appropriate bonuses will, of course, apply.
Humanoid characters begin play with the armor typical for their kind (leather for orcs and kobolds, leather & shield for goblins and hobgoblins, chainmail for gnolls and bugbears) and may wear other types of armor, if they can find any of the right size. Kobolds can use armor suitable for halflings, goblins may wear armor sized for dwarves, and all others except bugbears are able to fit into man-sized armor. Bugbears will have difficulty finding new armor large enough to fit their giant frames.
When gaining a level, humanoids reroll their hit points using the new hit dice number (instead of rolling one die and adding it to the current total like other characters). If the new number is greater than the previous hit point total, use the new amount. If the new roll is less than or equal to the previous amount of hit points, just add 1 to the previous total and use that as the character’s new hit point amount instead.
In order to become a chieftain or king, in addition to gaining the required amount of experience points, the character must defeat the current occupant of that position in the tribe. While players are free to challenge a leader to single combat in order to accomplish this, nonplayer humanoids are under no such delusion, and will not hesitate to sic their bodyguards on any challenger!