OSR Old school wizards, how do you play level 1?

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Wanted a thief with better weapons? Multiclass or have the stats to be an assassin.

Want to be a fighter who casts spells? Demihuman multiclass, human with the stats and levels to switch class, human with the stats and levels in paladin or ranger. In 2e there was even a specialty priest of a sea god who had all the mechanics of a fighter plus a little bit of priest spell casting.
Never played 2E; I went straight from BECMI to 3E. That does sound more lenient than BECMI, for sure.

The red-box Basic Rules had an even easier approach: they baked in a lot of the top multiclassing choices into core classes. So if you wanted to be a thief with better weapons, play a Halfling. And if you wanted to be a Fighter who cast spells, choose Elf or Cleric. Even today, years later in 5E, I still prefer that approach. At Session Zero, if one of my players wants to multiclass, we will work together to create a single new "core" class to accomplish it. It's not nearly as difficult as the internet bogeymen would have you believe.
 

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Voadam

Legend
I have it that a F-MU can wear all the armour she wants but she's not going to cast a thing while in it* even if the spell is verbal-only.

* - with a few very rare and extremely expensive exceptions such as Elven Chain or armour specifically enchanted to allow arcane casting; Elven Chain starts around 50K g.p. in my game even for basic +0, and armour with 'arcane aid' (my name for that enchantment) starts well into six-digit pricing. Even uber-rich PCs tend to balk hard at prices like that. :)
I see you are one of those who turned their backs on the wisdom of 1e for the new-fangled RAW 2e by the book changes. ;)

2e PH page 62:

Wizard: A multi-classed wizard can freely combine the powers of the wizard with any other class allowed, although the wearing of armor is restricted. Elves wearing elven chain can cast spells in armor, as magic is part of the nature of elves. However, elven chain is extremely rare and can never be purchased. It must be given, found, or won.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I don't think that they forget how, I think it's like what happens when your sword-proficient Fighter dual-classes into Cleric. It doesn't matter that you're proficient, your class says "no edged weapons".
Except being a Fighter grants you access to all weapons.

It's a question of whether one reads the rules as inclusive (if either class gets something then the multi gets it too) or exclusive (if either class doesn't get it then a multi doesn't either).

Most of the time I read them as inclusive, because reading them as exclusive quickly leads to things like a Cleric-Fighter can't cast spells because a Fighter can't cast spells.

So, if a Fighter can become proficient with any weapon then so can a Fighter-MU, or a Fighter-Cleric unless there's a specific divine ban (and if that same deity supports Paladins there ain't no divine ban!).

Oh, and I should probably note that I tossed out dual-classing (i.e. the weird Human-only variant) in about 1992, and also banned triple-classing for anyone. Multiclassing works the same for everyone regardless of species.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I see you are one of those who turned their backs on the wisdom of 1e for the new-fangled RAW 2e by the book changes. ;)

2e PH page 62:

Wizard: A multi-classed wizard can freely combine the powers of the wizard with any other class allowed, although the wearing of armor is restricted. Elves wearing elven chain can cast spells in armor, as magic is part of the nature of elves. However, elven chain is extremely rare and can never be purchased. It must be given, found, or won.
Yep, except we were about eight years ahead of 2e in doing this. :)
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Except being a Fighter grants you access to all weapons.

It's a question of whether one reads the rules as inclusive (if either class gets something then the multi gets it too) or exclusive (if either class doesn't get it then a multi doesn't either).

Most of the time I read them as inclusive, because reading them as exclusive quickly leads to things like a Cleric-Fighter can't cast spells because a Fighter can't cast spells.

So, if a Fighter can become proficient with any weapon then so can a Fighter-MU, or a Fighter-Cleric unless there's a specific divine ban (and if that same deity supports Paladins there ain't no divine ban!).

Oh, and I should probably note that I tossed out dual-classing (i.e. the weird Human-only variant) in about 1992, and also banned triple-classing for anyone. Multiclassing works the same for everyone regardless of species.
So does this let Fighter/Druids wear metal armor?
 

G

Guest 7042500

Guest
A first level magic user is also light foot. As an experienced wargamer, I inow how to use light foot.
 

fuindordm

Adventurer
Whether it allows a character to use a weapon not permitted is not specifically defined other than weapons permitted being a separate thing. Similarly for a thief or magic-user putting on plate mail it is not defined what happens, it is just stated as a prohibition.
I think the intention was that a MU who tried to use non-permitted weapons would get a low rating for "acting appropriately to their class" when training time comes around, but the same to-hit penalty as a permitted weapon. Similar to the restriction for dual-class characters limiting themselves to the tools of the new class during the first N levels.
I don't have a citation, this is just my inner ChatGPT finding an answer from the AD&D gestalt construct in my brain.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I think the intention was that a MU who tried to use non-permitted weapons would get a low rating for "acting appropriately to their class" when training time comes around, but the same to-hit penalty as a permitted weapon. Similar to the restriction for dual-class characters limiting themselves to the tools of the new class during the first N levels.
Makes sense. Then again, I don't use either of those things ("acting appropriately" rating or dual-classing) in my games and haven't for decades, so I don't have to worry about these considerations. :)
I don't have a citation, this is just my inner ChatGPT finding an answer from the AD&D gestalt construct in my brain.
Good line! I might steal it sometime. :)
 

GreyLord

Legend
Play your Magic-User more like Gandalf (notice how few spells he actually casts per day) and less like Elminister in Battle when he is high level.
 

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