Thursday, October 22, 2015

Magic-users in B/X D&D

I was surfing the web a little while back when I came across a post (probably by JB of B/X Blackrazor) that pointed out one of the flaws with the lower levels of the 1977-1991 "Basic" D&D game: until about 9th level, there's literally no reason to play a magic-user instead of an elf.

Let's look at this in more detail.
  • Magic-users have a d4 Hit Die, while elves have a d6.
  • Magic-users are limited to daggers for weapons (although many people house-rule to let them use staves, per AD&D), and cannot wear any armor. Elves can use any weapon and wear any armor, although the latter would seem to prevent them from casting spells; the usual house-rule solution I've seen is to let them wear leather armor only.
  • Elves also have infravision and an enhanced ability to detect secret doors.
The only advantage to a magic-user is seen at higher levels, since elves are capped at 10. The downside of this is that most players would be unwilling to wait that long, since a magic-user in a small party is unlikely to survive even to 2nd level.

No comments:

Post a Comment