Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Poll Results are in: Old School Spell Level Caps for the Win (Barely)

There can be only one - well, not really. Everyone has their own preference of where to cap spell levels at.

The preferred cap for 38% of the poll responses was 6 magic-user / 5 cleric, which corresponds to OD&D.

Right behind that was 9 magic-user / 7 cleric, which of course matches up to AD&D. That came in at 33%, but by pure numbers only a difference of 7 votes.

Capping at level 9 for magic-users and clerics is a 3x concept if I'm not mistaken, and came in at 24%.

Honestly, it's a bit across the board, and not one answer was overwhelming in it's responses.

Kinda tells me a have a nice cross section of mostly OSR type readers on this blog, but also a chunk of 3x / Pathfinder / why play a game with levels in it readers too.

That's okay, in the near future I should have my copies of Drinking Quest in hand. I suspect that game will appeal to readers and gamers of all editions and rule sets ;)

(there were 127 total responses to the poll - thanks to all who took the time to respond)


  1. My most common system at the moment is Pathfinder which I recently GMed for 2 years. Despite that I chose wizard 6 and cleric 5 because of design issues. Raise Dead, teleport and disintegrate are capstone spells (as you can see in games of a similar era like Rolemaster).

    By expanding the level range, you introduce extremely hard to balance magical abilities to the game. If Raise Dead is a fifth level spell, then you need to have even more awesome versions of raise dead in levels 6 to 9.

    I think recognizing the original design space for spells leads to a much improved game. By your mileage may vary.

  2. My preference for 6 and 5 is straightforward: I've never played in a game where a PC was high enough level to cast a 6th level spell. I've never played in a game where the party was high enough level to be feasibly able to beat a caster capable of 6th level spells in direct conflict. So for me, anything above 6th level is redundant.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition