Cleric’s With Spell Books?

I did that post last week about stuff I was going to mess around with in White Box (Swords & Wizardry/Fantastic Medieval Adventures type) and an astute reader in Tenkar’s Tavern pointed out something pretty interesting. Something that had totally passed me by. In original White Box D&D, clerics used spell books.
That’s right. It’s right there on page 34 of Volume 1: Men & Magic. “Characters who employ spells are assumed to acquire books containing the spells they can use, one book for each spell level. If a duplicate set of such books is desired the cost will be the same as the initial investment for research…Loss of these books will require replacement at the above expense.”
So note. It doesn’t say Magic-Users. It’s characters who employ spells. There’s only two classes that do that. Magic-Users and Clerics. In the paragraph just above the one I quoted, it talks specifically about Clerics and Magic-Users researching spells to expand their spell list. Additionally, there’s nothing about clerics praying for spells or magic-users memorizing their spells. It does say this, ” The number in each column opposite each applicable character indicates the number of spells of each level that can be used (remembered during any single adventure) by that character…A spell once used may not be reused the same day.” That’s a bit poorly worded but then a lot of stuff in LBB is. There’s another interesting bit. That’s the first sentence in the description of the Clerics. “Clerics gain some of the advantages from of the two other classes (Fighting-Men and Magic-Users)..”
Plus there’s the bit about spell research for clerics with same costs as magic-users. Now I dug out my Holmes and Metzger books. And cleric spells work they way we’ve become accustomed. Hmm. This is all pretty interesting and some good food for thought.

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