This is an quote that was pointed out on Dragonsfoot in a thread about Holmes Basic D&D from 1979 or so. The thread was about the color of dice found in the boxed set, but a poster found an interesting passage about dice use and some other folks commented on the fact that they had friends who used a d20 (numbered 0-9 twice) and a d6 to create the results of a d20 (as if it was numbered 1-20).

Anyway, the quote from Holmes Basic:

Holmes wrote:

*Players need not be confused by the special dice called for in DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. By using the assortment of 4-, 6-, 8-, 12- and 20-sided dice, a wide range of random possibilities can be easily handled.*

For a linear curve (equal probability of any number), simply roll the appropriate die for 1-4, 1-6, 1-8, 1-10, or 1-12. If some progress is called for, determine and use the appropriate die (for instance, 2-7 would call for a 6-sided die with a one spot addition). For extensions of the base numbers, roll a second die with the appropriately numbered die. **For example, to generate 1-20, roll the 20-sided die and 6-sided die, and if the 6-sided die comes up 1-3, the number shown on the 20-sider is 1-10 (1-0), and if the 6-sider comes up 4-6, add 10 to the 20-sided die and its numbers become 11-20 (1-0).** This application is used with the 12-sided die to get 1-24. If 1-30 or 1-36 are desired, read the 6-sided with the 20- or 12-sided die, with 1-2 equalling no addition, 3-4 adding 10, and 5-6 adding 20. This principle can be used to generate many other linear curves.

Interesting that Holmes' solution from "back in the day" is pretty much the same thing suggested recently for folks who want to play the DCC RPG but don't have the extra dice needed. (The solution that a lot of old timers scoffed at as being too complex or too unwieldy.)

Holmes even uses the d24 as an example!