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BX Spells in Labyrinth Lord
As mentioned in my previous post, the two big areas in LL that diverge from B/X is in spells and armor. I addressed armor with a pretty quick house rule, but spells are stickier. What I'm talking about here specifically is not the details of any given spell, but the spell lists available to spell casting characters at given levels.

I did a close comparison of the spell lists, noting which spells were added, removed, and renamed in Labyrinth Lord. Here's a PDF of my results:


Now, the renames I don't really care about, and they're few enough. I will probably used the old names simply out of habit, but it's easy enough to remember that Arcane Lock and Wizard Lock are the same thing.

Ignoring the renames, the magic-user spell list is very easy to follow the difference. Basically, LL just adds three more levels of spells. To be honest, my players will likely never see these levels either way, so the difference is pretty moot. However, I tend to agree with Mr. Maliszewski's opinion on this, that removing effects like wish, symbol, and the mass spells will lead to a less fragile world and one more in line with the kind of settings I enjoy.

The cleric spells, however, cause me more problems. Again, chopping off the top levels we get rid of annoying effects like Restoration, Resurrection, etc. However, the cleric spell list has modifications starting at third level and does adds something I really don't like -- direct damage clerical spells. You see them as early as fifth level with Flame Strike and then again at sixth with Blade Barrier. I don't mind adding another cure spell (Cure Critical at 5th), and I do kind of like the idea of clerics able to Animate Dead just as magic-users do, though I'm not crazy about them doing it at 3rd level, two spell levels before magic-users.

Ultimately, I think the answer is to simply stick to the B/X spell list wholesale. I could try and find a middle ground here, but either way I'm stuck with writing up and distributing to my players an entire spell list. And that's just much easier to do when I'm just copying them from one place to another.

Taking a page from Delta's book, I created a spell book for any future LL games I run. Mine isn't nearly as fancy as Delta's, who actually wrote his from scratch (and it's quite good, I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in a nice OD&D or Swords & Wizardry supplement). Instead, I just took scans of the B/X books and did a straight OCR on the spells, and then cleaned up the formatting a bit.

I'm hesitant to post a link to the file. Then again, if WotC really cared enough about my blog's tiny readership getting this small piece of their work, let them send a cease and desist. I'll take it right down.

December 9th, 2009 - 02:33 pm | Comments (0) | PERMALINK

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