From from the 1st edition Sourcebook:
"The search for a 'new & improved' simulation of magick (sic) began
primarily as a result of an increasing dissatisfaction experienced
with the pioneering efforts of *D&D* and *Warlock*. The problem with
these and similar "first generation" simulations was twofold: magic
was too easy to do and too "unrealistic" (if such a term can be used
in the context of fantasy). Magic is too easy when, for example,
magical research can be done merely through the expendature (sic) of a
few weeks and a few 1000 Gp.
"In playing *C&S*, one character found that he had to spend over six
months of game-time enchanting a two foot piece of elm which was only
one out of 22 other ingredients he had to enchant.
Magical simulations which are too easy and predictable have tended to become
more "weapon technology" to better burn, blast, or otherwise crush an
ever increasing horde of unknown and unaccountable monsters.
"An easy magick simulation has benefits on the side of playability and
far more serious dissatisfaction was felt with the lack of realism.
The lack of realism is due primarily to the first generation
simulations being culled from fantasy literature: Tolkien, Howard,
etc. (I recall that in '76 Gygax wrote an article tracing the theory
in *D&D* to DeCamp and Pratt's *Incomplete Enchanter*) rather than
occult sources such as Paracelsus' *Hermetic Chemistry* or the *Lesser
Key of Solomon*. It is true, of course, that the magical theory found
in the *Incomplete Enchanter* was derived from that classic study of
Magic and Religion, Frazer's *Golden Bough*.
In neither work is anything said about the world view of magic which underlies the famous
so-called Laws of Magic. Pratt, as is well known, in his own work
took a serious attitude toward magic as an Art which was neither easy
to practics (*Well of the Unicorn*) nor easy to acquire (*The Blue
"Fantasy literature rarely draws out more than one or two kinds of
magical practice with the result that simulations based solely on such
a source end up with only one kind of magic user who is able to learn
and practice all magic there is by merely increasing in experience. A
glance, however, through the twenty or so volumes of *Man, Myth, and
Magic* will easily persuade one that magic is an extremely complex
subject, there being as many different modes of magical practice as
there are human personality types and cultural levels.
diversity has always been a feature of the real history of magic as
ones finds in Robert Burton's *Anatomy of Melancholy* (c. 1621):
"Many subdivisions there are in the practice of magick, and many
several species of sorcerers, witches, enchanters, conjurors,
etc. They have been tolerated heretofore, some of them, and
magick hath been publicly professed in former times,. . . While
it is now generally censured and contraindicted by several univer-
sities, though practices by some still.