from the Afterword:
Assuming you haven’t just skipped straight to this afterword, you have read through the collection of stories and articles that have been gathered by our host, Greg. And if so, you don’t need me to explain Vancian magic to you – the stories and articles contained in these pages do just that. If you haven’t read them, go and do so now.
However, more than just explain Vancian magic, this volume gives the reader a history and a context for the famous, or infamous, depending on your bias, magic system of the world’s first roleplaying game. Next year marks 40 years since the release of D&D. It would be fair to say that it will also mark 40 years of criticism of the Vancian magic system.
Like it or loath it, what is clear is that the magic of D&D is a foundational aspect of the game. Swap it for an entirely different system and you end up with a very different game. Reading the various articles in this volume written by Gary Gygax, it is obvious that much thought went into selecting a system that was quick and easy in execution, while providing progression through increasing levels of power. This achievement is often overlooked.