First Time Playing a Magic-User in Years (Blood Island)
It's been a while since I've played a magic-user in a D&D / OSR ruleset, or any ruleset for that matter. I tend to regard them as one trick ponies at early levels (sleep anyone?) who then need to cower in the back of the party and soak up expo, sleep, rinse and repeat. Not my usual idea of fun - YMMV.
Now, in +Joe D 's Blood Island setting / OSR houserules magic-users use both the M-U and Illusionist spell lists, including those in Unearthed Arcana. He also allows you to prepare more spells than you can cast, so at first level I can have 4 ready but only 1 spell to cast per day - one of those four. Yes, you get some versatility without gaining more firepower. It's a nice compromise.
Did I mention one of my spells is Phantom Armor, the illusionary AC 3 plate mail? Armor you can sleep in and still wake up rested and ready to prepare for a new day of spells. At least until I get hit and it disappears ;)
The Minotaur for Old-School Essentials
*Requirements:* Minimum STR 9, Minimum CON 9
*Prime Requisite:* STR and CON
*Hit Dice:* 1d10
*Maximum Level:* 8
*Armor:* Leather, including shield...