The original game had four player characters: the barbarian, the dwarf, the elf, and the wizard.
At first glance, the classes seem pretty equal. The distribution of Body Points and Mind Points seem fair (Body points are "hitpoints" and Mind points are used to resist magic, not as "mana")
The rule is:
Barbarian: 8 Body 2 Mind
Dwarf: 7 Body 3 Mind
Elf: 6 Body 4 Mind
Wizard: 4 Body 6 Mind
Each character has 2 Defense, which represents no armor. A defense point has a 1/3 chance of defending against a wound. Later, a character (unless he is a wizard) may upgrade his armor.
All characters move the same, by rolling two 6 sided dice.
Each character starts with a weapon, which determines what his initial Attack value is. Barbarian starts with the Broadsword(3 Attack), the Dwarf and Elf start with the Shortsword (2 Attack), and the Wizard starts with the Dagger(1 Attack).
In magic, there are 12 spells available to the characters, 3 each in four "elements". The Wizard picks an element, then the Elf picks an element, and then the Wizard gets the two remaining elements.
It is obvious why the Wizard is limited to no armor and only weapons that can do 1 Attack point of damage.
The Elf gets to use whatever weapon he wants, and in addition gets three spells.
The Dwarf may use any weapon he wants, and in addition has a natural 5 in 6 chance of successfully disarming traps(the other characters have a 1 in 2 chance, but only if they have a toolkit). He may not cast any spells.
The Barbarian may use any weapon he wants. He gets no spells.
Seems a little out of balance to me. The barbarian gets the shaft.
If we presume that the Dwarf's ability to disarm traps is equivalent to the Elf's three spells (all else is equal between the two characters), then the Wizard is over this by six spells, and hence is limited in weapons and armor. That balances it out.
But the only thing the barbarian has is his initial weapon, which does not give him anything special.
At maximum equipment (BattleAxe, Plate Mail, and a Helmet), the Barbarian, Dwarf, or Elf is a 4 Attack and 5 Defense. But the Dwarf is still disarming traps 5 times in 6, and the Elf still has those three spells, and so they are both "better" than the barbarian.
So, anyway, I feel that the Barbarian should have something to compensate. That is all.