Saturday, June 25, 2016

Giant Spreadsheet of OD&D, Holmes, AD&D and B/X Spells

In preparation for writing some new material for Seven Voyages of Zylarthen, I made an Excel spreadsheet of most of the canonical old school spells.

Others have put together similar lists, but I haven't found any that did it in this format.

If you like, you may download it from my public Dropbox here. I hope you find it useful.

The spreadsheet has a distinct line for each spell (including an additional line for its reversed version, if applicable) and lists which publication(s) it appeared in, including how it was named and numbered within that publication.

I did this fairly quickly so undoubtedly I made some mistakes. If anyone finds any, I would be grateful if you would point them out.

I count 482 distinct spells with an additional 55 reversed versions. They were introduced in this sequence:  

Men & Magic (1974): 90
Greyhawk (1975): 65
Strategic Review - Illusionists (1975): 25
Eldritch Wizardry - Druids (1976): 36
Holmes Basic (1977): 9
Players Handbook (1978): 122
Moldvay Basic set (1981): 0
Cook Expert set (1981): 1
Unearthed Arcana (1985): 134

Total: 482
Additional Reversed: 55

General Notes:
  1. I included the Illusionist spells in Strategic Review #4 because they would later become part of the canon. I did not include any other spells from Strategic Review or Dragon Magazine, although some would of course turn up later in Players Handbook or Unearthed Arcana.
  2. The publication dates are rough and may be off by a month or two. Obviously some spells had their genesis before they were officially published.
  3. The Cook Expert set seemed to include one spell - Striking - which I could not find in any other source. That seems odd to me and it's possible I missed the fact that it has some other name in AD&D.
  4. I didn't include cantrips. I am not a masochist or insane.
  5. Each distinct spell also includes its lowest and highest level according to the different versions by class and publication. All but 17 spells varied by no more than one level. The three greatest variances were Maze - 9th level Magic-User spell in Greyhawk, 5th level Illusionist spell in Players Handbook - Confusion and Create Water - 1st level Cleric spell in Players Handbook, 4th level Cleric spell in Cook Expert. Obviously, the precise description of these spells varied accordingly.
  6. Each spell also points to its reversed version, if any.
Notes on Seven Voyages of Zylarthen Spells:
  1. The spreadsheet also lists its Zylarthen counterpart, if any. As many of you know, for Zylarthen I ditched the Cleric as a player character, but gave non-player character High Priests, Evil High Priests and Witches their own somewhat distinct lists.
  2. In keeping with my methodology of including material only through mid-1975, most 1st to 6th level Magic-User spells from Men & Magic and Greyhawk were included as Zylarthen Magic-User spells, but the list was rounded out with some Cleric spells.
  3. High Priests and Evil High Priests were given many of the Cleric spells I didn't use, plus some 7th to 9th level spells from GreyhawkWitches were given a mix of extra Cleric, high-level Greyhawk and Illusionist spells. 


  1. I thought "Striking" was a spell corresponding to the magic item "Staff of Striking". Not sure what the real need was, but it increased symetry between items and spells.

  2. Great list. One thing I noticed -- the spell Quest is marked as not appearing in Zylarthen. It actually appears in the additional spell descriptions (Vol.3, p.24), however it is not used in any of the preceding spell lists (EHP/HP/Witch), as far as I can tell. I had assumed it was supposed to replace Geas on the Witch list, since the outcome of a curse rather than death seemed to fit the theme.

  3. Yes, exactly. This was a double mistake--a mistake in the text and on the spreadsheet. I thought I had corrected it on the spreadsheet but it must have been only on my desktop copy.

    Zylarthen was fairly thoroughly proof-read but a number of mistakes crept through. The worst area, by far, was the section on EHP, HP and Witch Spells. The mistakes are:

    1. Darkness is erroneously marked as an "additional" spell on the Evil High Priest spell list (1st level). It's actually meant to be the same as Darkness, 5' Radius, which is a normal 2nd level spell. There is no additional description for it under Additional Spells.

    2. The alphabetical order of the spells is messed up in the list for EHP spells (2nd and 4th levels).

    3. Teleport appears twice on the list of Witch spells (5th level). One of them should be replaced by Dispel Good, which does have a blurb under Additional Spells.

    4. As you note, Quest should replace Geas as a 6th level Witch spell on the list. There is a description of it under Additional Spells. And, of course, it should be marked as such on the spreadsheet.

    Let me know if you noticed any other mistakes in the spell section of the text.