Wow. That last post went over remarkably well with the one player who uses a magic-user in my games. Considering that Luke actually came down harder on my "week-to-week house rules," I'm tempted to not even throw this up on the blog...but I have a few minutes before I bundle Diego off to the Greenwood Seafair parade. Here goes:
One of my few whiny complaints regarding B/X is its use of "languages" and the ability to speak languages. There are multiple things I dislike about the system (personally, I would prefer something similar to D6 Star Wars's "language" skill roll, using INT as a modifier...but I digress). Mainly, though, its silly that Intelligence, more than even Charisma, feels like a "dump stat" for PCs.
At least, for those that don't have it as a prime requisite.
There are advantages to having at least an average Intelligence (literacy...helpful for treasure maps and certain magic items), but I'd hesitate to count "bonus languages" as one of those advantages. The number of languages is so few (compared to, say, AD&D) and the number of possible languages so great (goblin, hobgoblin, and bugbear are all separate, for example) that the ability to communicate is more a spin of the roulette wheel than a crap shoot.
And who really wants to talk to an orc anyway?
So here's what I was thinking: for magic-users and elves, Intelligence provides a bonus to both spells known and spells that can be cast as follows:
9-12 .....No Bonus
13-15 .....One bonus 1st level spell
16-17 .....One bonus 2nd level spell (if 3rd level or greater)
18 .....One bonus 3rd level spell (if 5th level or greater)
All bonuses are cumulative (of course).
Again, this is a bonus both to spells known (i.e. the spells in one's spell book), and the number of spells that can be cast each day. It provides the wizards with a little more choice and some extra "tactical options" (so they're not limited to stocking that sleep spell all the time). And I don't think it's a "game breaking" bonus; just a little something at the lower levels to help out.