So, yesterday, while playing the latest session of my Dwimmermount campaign -- I'll post a recap tomorrow, most likely -- the characters paid a visit to Morna, the high priestess of Tyche in Adamas. She's 9th level, making her one of the highest level characters in the campaign to date. While the PCs interacted with her, I was idly flipping through my OD&D reference sheets, when it suddenly struck me that there are no spells above level 6 in the LBBs.
Now, I already knew this was the case. I've been playing this campaign for nearly a year now and I'd been immersed in OD&D for far longer than that. Yet, somehow, I guess this fact had never really sunken in. I'm very fond of the Greyhawk supplement to OD&D and use a lot of its contents. Since its the origin of spell levels 7 through 9, I suspect I just naturally elide that material into my recollections of the LBBs. Plus, years of playing AD&D has probably warped my brain in a similar fashion. I simply assume that magic-user spells go up to level 9 and cleric spells to level 7.
Anyway, as this revelation started to sink in during play, I began to consider the possibility of not allowing the existence of spells above level 6 in my campaign. Odds are the PCs will never rise high enough to be able to cast such spells anyway. Both MUs and clerics need to be 12th level to reach such power and I simply can't imagine the characters ever amassing sufficient experience to achieve it. Without levels 7 through 9, there'd be no wish, limited or otherwise, no mass X spells, no symbols, power words, or holy words, no gate, no astral spell, no restoration, and no raise dead fully. The result would be a game that was recognizably D&D but without most of the spells that are regularly deemed "world breaking" or that undermine the seriousness of death and energy drain. Likewise, the planes would be much more inaccessible and distant, making travel there more remarkable (or even non-existent). In short, limiting spells to levels 6 and below would go a long way toward bring OD&D more in line with the kind of fantasy that appeals to me most these days.