Ok, so, I'm starting up a game soon of B/X D&D soon, and I'm looking to help out the magic-user class a bit. We're just finishing a game of D&D 5E; I played a sorcerer in that game, and one of the newer players is looking to maybe try a magic-user, having seen my sorcerer in action.
For those who don't know, early D&D was pretty rough on lower-level magic-users. No cantrips, start with one 1st level spell per day, once it's cast you're pretty useless until you get a full rest. So, I'm trying to buff that up a little bit, so that the new player taking on a magic-user for the first time doesn't get discouraged. Here are the options I've come up with so far:
#1 - use the INT modifier as an X in 6 chance that the magic-user retains the spell after it is cast. So, if a magic-user has a +2 INT modifier, after each spell is cast, they roll a d6. If it's a 1 or 2, the spell is retained and can be cast again. I like this because the whole X in 6 thing is very in-line with the specific B/X D&D ruleset I'm using (Lamentations of the Flame Princess). The down side is that it could make high-level magic-users VERY powerful, and high-level magic-users are fine. 🙂
#2 - the Spells Per Day table becomes the Spells Known table. A magic-user can cast the spells they know as often as they'd like, however, the level of the spell cast is the amount of fatigue the magic-user takes. Fatigue temporarily reduces CON on a 1:1 basis until the magic-user rests. The down side of this is that it could significantly weaken a high-level magic-user.
#3 - magic-users become like sorcerers, in that they have a separate list of spells they know and don't have to memorize spells on a daily basis. So if a 2nd level magic-user can cast 2 1st level spells per day, and knows 4 1st level spells, they can pick which spell they cast at casting time, and can cast one spell as many times as they'd like, up to their Spells Per Day table maximum. This is neat, but it doesn't really help the lower-level magic-user, it just makes them a bit more versatile.
Any thoughts? Additional tweaks I hadn't considered?