Some people should not play a magic-user -- especially in an old school game where every spell you find in a scroll or spell book is a real treasure. A real treasure even if it is not a well known and most desirable spell. The author of 20 of the Most Useless Dungeons & Dragons Spells Ever is apparently one of those people who should stick to either playing a character class that does not need a lot of imagination to play or stay with newer versions of D&D where you generally get the good spells if you want them.
Sure, some of the spells on this list aren't ones most people would choose to take, but if they are the random spell you find on a scroll in an old school game, you're going to copy it into you spell book and expand your spell knowledge. All of the spells on the list would be useful in some circumstances and a few would be useful in many circumstances. For example, the author puts Hold Portal and Tenser’s Floating Disc on his list of the 20 most useless spells. Theses are two of the most useful low level spells in old school spell lists. With the exception of those two spells, none of these spells will ever been on a wizard's list of spells he'd most like to find. However, all the other spells on the list could be useful at times to a player willing and able to think outside of the box. Playing a spellcaster in old school D&D isn't a walk in the park and if the player can't think up good uses for the spells you find (instead of the spells you wish you had found), he's going to have a much harder time of it.
The Lazy Days of Summer RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early D&D, Empire of the Petal Throne, and early TSR games items items described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will be held as described in the above linked post. The highest donors will have a separate chance to receive an Artists of TSR portfolio. These are in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!
As of the time of this post $300 dollars have been donated. That's about 8% of our goal and about 40% of the way to the first drawing trigger point of $750 dollars..