I happened to be looking through the Basic edition character sheets today (long story). Anyway, when I go to the spell lists section for M-U's and clerics, I was struck at how few and simple the spells were in B/X. And that gave me an idea.... I think I'm going to steal those basic spell lists, and use them for my campaign. Each level has about 6 spells (maybe 8) that are readily known, and these are what you're going to have a chance to learn when you want a new spell. And they will be VERY basic spells. Anything else, and the mage has to do some wheeling, dealing and journeying. Anything with a person's name in it will be EXTREMELY hard to get ahold of. I haven't thought about how this will work with clerics yet... I'm thinking of leaning more towards the idea of clerics spells are less spells, per se, and more prayers/invocations/rituals. This, there will be some commonly known prayers
, but for others, you would have to consult with a higher up in your church (because some of those rituals will be more like heretical witchcraft, don't you know). In both cases, he more you invoke magic/the power of the deity, the easier it is to tap into this resource, which would explain how magic-users or all stripes advance. I now realize that this is subconsciously a lot like rituals from 4ed, but since I haven't read 4ed, and don't know how they work, I'm blissfully ignorant. 8)
Not only do I feel this puts the "umph" back in magic, but I can tinker with the magic limitations too. Instead of having mages memorize spells, I can more easily swtch to a spell point type of system, because if you only know 3 first level spells, you shouldn't need to constantly rememorize them. It makes magic much more "organic", which I don't think is necessarily a bad thing. It also makes sense that if a cleric knows the prescribed prayer for a certain situation, then they should be able to use it any time. I have't quite figured out a rationale for prayers yet... I was thinking of something along the lines of you need to invoke the proper words for the deity to take notice. I might allow clerics to try and invoke prayers ("spells") without knowing the proper prayer, but having a HEFTY chance of failure.... or perhaps the chance of offending said deity with your presumptuousness, and never being able to invoke that prayer again.
By the way, I'm thinking this all out loud, because it helps me visualize my ideas. 8)
So, for mages....there would be six basic spells in every level, representing the most common manipulation of magic. I'm thinking, straight coversion of spells, with a first leevl spell costing 1 point, a second level spell costing 2 points, etc. Then, I just convert the spell table, by adding up how many points the available spells per level would equal. So, while it means you may be able to cast stronger spells earlier, or MORE stronger spells, the drawback is A) you would have to spend more time tracking down the spells you would want to use, B) you would likely end up casting fewer spells per day, if you cast more higher level spells, and C)I would think that your master would not reveal higher-level spells until the appropriate time (ie. if a mage doesn't usually get access to say, 4th level spells until say, level 7, then any 4th level spells he has beofre level 7 will have to be ones he finds on his own.... he won't learn the invocations for the 6 regular spells until 7th level). I think this might work... it's pretty straightforward.
In other news, I'm thinking of starting my campaign by using the Retrn to the Keep on the Borderlands in the Yeomanry. I have the text document that "fixes" the keep to make it a little more useful, and when I was reading it, something caught my eye. The reference to turning Nergul into Nerull is fine, but instead of making Erishkital a demon queen... I'm going to change her into the Raven Queen. It works, and maybe I can do something usefull with that down the road. I'm going to use her as a heretofore unknown minor goddess of death, make her real obscure. Just for fun, mostly.
Time to start writing down all these house rules... I've already decided I'm going to test-run the campaign with some old gamer friends n the summer, work the kinks out, and then run it in the fall with the group I want to indoctrinate. 8)