I was thinking about the witch class/archetype over this last weekend. In particular to D&D4 vs. Old School D&D.
One thing that D&D4 (and even Pathfinder) has is a simple basic magical attack for the witch/warlock. In D&D4 it is Eldritch Blast, Pathfinder has their hexes and since you can cast 0 level spells at-will there is a great one called Daze. Stun an opponent from far away so the fighter types can take care of them.
The one thing that magic using classes in old-school games lack is a basic magic attack. Something that is magic, does a little bit of damage and can be used repeatedly.
The Magic-User/Wizard has the infamous "Magic Missile" spell, but at one use per day it isn't the kind of thing I was thinking of. D&D4 splits MM into two basically two types, one that always hits and does a small amount of damage (like the older versions) and one that does more damage, but requires a to-hit roll.
In the Buffy RPG witches get a basic TK power, which can be used as a basic attack. In WitchCraft there is a skill called Magic Bolt that is basically a magical attack.
The issue I am having is that a basic attack like this is not very "witchy". Sure it features in a lot of modern supernatural books like The Dresden Files, but I have been wracking my brain all weekend to think of a time when say a witch from fairy tale or myth used one. Curses, hexes, evil eyes yes, some sort of blast? Not really. Harry is also a Wizard, not a witch, a difference that I have quite been able to tell in the books, but it has been mentioned. Compare that to Rachel Morgan of the Hollows Books. Rachel has a lot of magical fire power, but if she wants an "attack" spell she mixes up a potion and puts it into the balls of a paint ball gun.
I think if I wanted to add witches to any old-school game an attack spell would need to be of a non-active kind, like a curse, hex or even TK. Wizards would need something similar, but I think theirs would be more damage causing, sort of like an at-will magic missile.
I suppose this is one of the reason I do like newer games, it does give the lower level magic using types more to do. Sure the idea is that fighters are your low-level fire power and wizards are the high powered ones and that is great; from a group dynamic perspective. From an individual perspective it means a lot of time "doing nothing" (not really, but you know what I mean) during combats.
So thoughts everyone?
What do you think of an at-will style magical attack for magic-using types (not clerics though)? Something like a magic missile, but say does less damage, maybe only 1 pt per level?
Not very Old-School I know, but want to see what people think.