The original Dungeons & Dragons arcane class, roughly equivalent to the current (fourth edition) wizard class. At the beginning of a game, a magic-user would have only one spell (typically, sleep or magic missile), could have as little as one hit point, and couldn't wear any armor. A sucky character for the first several adventurers, and not likely to live very long.
Al-Kazak Elam, first level magic-user, enters the dungeon with his fellow adventurers.
Dungeon Master: You're attacked by a kobold (rolls dice). The kobold has initiative, attacks, and (rolls) does one point of damage to (rolls) Al-Kazak.
Al-Kazak Elam: Dead again. First room. Again.