I was amazed today to read this long explanation of how Magic works, considering that it was written in August, 1975.
Doesn't it pre-dates the AD&D magic system? (I mean, everything that it describes without taking into account the spell points system). That is, the maximum spell level attainable by magic users, how many spells he can cast, etc...
Also, i find it highly commendable that, as you can read, a distinction has been drew between magic and miracles.
Whereas we find an amusing look at how much a character is entitled to progress during each adventure, and where we are told the first basics of how Magic works.
Here i am. Continuing this virtual reading room of "The Complete Warlock", page 5.
I decided to start this series about "Fantasy RPG history", basically because that has always been what i started this blog for. Due to my chronic lack of time nowadays, what i can allow myself is reading with you, page after page, a set of rules. This slow method allows me to keep up the blog without having to succumb to the "time is tyrant" syndrome.
One drop at a time. One page at a time. In my personal experience, in this way you can do pretty anything, from reading a book to whatever. I learnt in life that if you try waiting for the right time to sit down and have plenty of time ahead of you, it is likely that will never happen. So i learnt to take advantage of every single set of minutes in my life to accomplish my goals.
Ok, let's go back to rpg.
Keep in mind that i am reading the very first version, contained in "The Spartan" magazine (orange cover), dated August 1975 and NOT the final version that you see in the image over my laptop.
I think the differences are not overwhelming, but i'm not sure. Also, i would appreciate if folks out there who are more conversant with OD&D than me (i definitely am NOT conversant with that game) may point out differences between these two games, because as far as i am concerned, it seems to me that "The Complete Warlock" was made as a response to it (again, let us never forget that it was written in August 1975 and OD&D was published just one year before [though on the RPG encyclopedia it says 1973]).
So, without digressing. Here we learn that Constitution score is also will (or will force), and that dexterity also means "quickness of mind".
Also, pay attention to the fact that magic users act in order of their dexterity score, because that score represents "quickness of mind and eye for both archery and magic". This is news to me. I never saw in a fantasy game that mages should act during the round according to dexterity, and i have no idea if in OD&D is the same.
Last, the second part of each phase is called "archery", and in this phase we read that not only missiles are hurled, but this is also the time when "dragon breath" takes place. Another news for me.
Does this mean that just because "dragon breath" is not a "melee" attack but instead takes place from a distance, it has to be considered "archery"?
Here, at the dawning of Dungeons & Dragons (only one year after its appearance on the market) there were already guys around trying to tweak its rules.
What i love in this first page is the fact that mages can use magical swords in addition to (normal) daggers. This is quite fascinating. I can easily imagine a group of adventurers entering a dungeon chamber where they find a loot in which there is a sword. The mage uses a spell in order to see if it is enchanted and once he realizes it is, he starts an argument with the fighter because both wanted to take possession of it. But at the same time, isn't it a bit illogical for a mage to be able to wield a sword, albeit magical? I am not 100% sure that i would implent this rule without thinking about it.
Last unusual thing we see here is the characteristic named "Size". We will see later what it means and its functions in the game.
A fantasy-genre mini-RPG published in a 3''x5'' ziplock bag(!). It has 2 attributes (Physical and Mental) which are randomly determined, and 3 classes (Fighter, Wizard, Bard). All rolls are on 2d6. Combat is by comparing Physical of attacker and defender on a chart. Other rolls (Muscle or Idea rolls) are all the same chance of success, but higher attribute lets you try more rolls per day.