I've quoted and cut and et cetera, but I've given up on that.
Those who are following the thread can figure it out.
I still maintain that most system-type restrictions on spellcasters are only in place to maintain 'play balance'. Several posters have expressed that this is sometimes, if not always, necessary, for (it seems) one or two reasons:
1) Spellcasters may be rare in the setting.
2) Non-spellcasters may feel impotent.
My answer to #1: Yeah, so? PCs in ANY game probably should not be considered to be a statistically correct cross-section of society. Those type of people get a job, get married, have kids, and die peacefully in their beds. PCs are NOT those people.
If spellcasters are rare in the world, then
(1) restrict magic to NPCs, or
(2) accept the fact that there will be a statistically improbable number of spellcasters in the group. This doesn't mean that there's a spellcaster behind every bush, it just means that 'birds of a feather flock together,' and you're more likely to see several travelling together than see a lone one.
Perhaps you want to say that people are mistrustful of magic - fine, but that's not a system mechanic issue; it's a roleplaying issue.
Perhaps you want to say that magic is very difficult or dangerous. Fine, but you better know WHY. If it's because it has a taint of evil, then again, that's a RP issue or a add-on mechanic issue. If it's just to restrict players from choosing spellcasters, then just go ahead and outlaw it for PCs and be done with it.
My answer to #2: (apologies - I think I may ruffle some feathers here, but I'm not trying to attack anyone, and if you give it a moment to think about it, you might agree I have a point) Any non-spellcaster who feels like they can't have fun playing in a group where one character has more power / ability might be suffering from a lack of focus. It's not a competition between characters, it's a 'role-playing' game. If you're trying to 'win' the game, you're not thinking in the right direction (IMHO). It's not what you have, it's what you do with it.
As others have said, it's the GM's responsibility to see to it that all characters have their chance to shine. I don't see it being the system's responsibility to limit certain abilities so that the job is easier.
Granted, this does require a good GM, and good players (or a majority of them). If the GM does their job, though, there will be opportunity for the non-spellcaster to shine, and feel they are contributing.
It's the same as in most fantasy games, the player who doesn't choose to be an elf, and instead chooses a human, is severely hampered compared to his pointy-eared companions, unable to see in the dark, having to sleep, and other assorted benefits of elfdom. You CHOOSE to play what you choose to play. Not having fun? Choose something else to play.
A very good correlation in BRP is the Stormbringer races. With one Melnibonean in the group, you're looking at the same problem.
You simply can't compare mundanes and supernatural beings - that's why they have the prefix 'super'; means above average. They're NOT the same, you can't equalize them - and you shouldn't.
Just play the character, not the charace's stats - the way to truly 'win' the game is to have fun, and it just might be possible to have a goal that doesn't involve dealing more or as much damage / round as the next character.