Rob, when I read about your old D&D games in the early 1970s, it seems that the PCs mostly tended to be human magic-users or human fighters. That makes sense given that the original rules have only 3 classes (fighters, magic-users, and clerics), and given the strict level-limits on demi-humans.
But what I'm wondering about are clerics. Did the early players in the Greyhawk campaign just not show much interest in playing clerics?
Tom Champeny played a cleric from the start. I suppose that some figured that if they were going to be spell-casters that they wanted the "neat" attack and detect spells. I dunno. I never questioned player choice in homebrew; that only came up with PM adventures. Then again at higher levels PC henchman would often fill out the cleric spot for healing and turning. Remember, that we allowed solo adventures, and that would include whatever henchmen or hirelings folks wanted to bring with them. It hadn't "descended" into the entrenched style of PC "party always/only" as it has today (again, under the PMA model).
Interesting. So, Rob, while you're talking about clerics... were clerics forbidden from using edged weapons more so that magical swords would remain the domain of fighters? Or was "archetype" a consideration for the cleric?
Or was it more of a, "Uh, I guess we'll let someone play this NPC healer concept as a PC" and the baggage from that was that of course no NPCs healers would have had access to magical swords?
More play balance, again; and coupled with Gary's conception of how clerics in the Middles Ages were wont to figuratively "club" adherents into submission. Note the comparison with MU's and you'll get the balancing part, as they can wield daggers (then, later, staves) only. I discarded this intrinsic rule in WoK as a game contrivance only. In retrospect, if a cleric's mace had broken and he needed to save a commoner from a monster's attack and the only available weapon was of the edged kind, would the cleric just sit and watch, or perhaps melee with fists only, or grab the sword and start slashing? You be the judge.