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Author Topic: Frozen Lightning, Water School, Level 3  (Read 2210 times)
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Fox
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« on: 01 May 2008, 06:11:31 »

Water Spells, Frozen Lightning (Level III)

Frozen Lightning is an early Water spell known in particular for both its characteristic lightning appearance as well as its ranged and area of effect attack despite being a Sphere I spell. Frozen Lightning lights up streaks of frozen Water ounía in the air, simulating lightning, which cause painful damage against the intended target as well as secondary targets and locations that they touch at random. Despite the name, Frozen Lightning is not 'true' lightning--it only looks like it.

Spell Effect.
Frozen Lightning manipulates the Sphere I Water property of ice in the air in short bursts in order to provide flashes of lines of crystalline shards. These bursts are extremely quick, requiring fairly good concentration from the caster and thus being fairly advanced for a Sphere I spell. The lightning effect is caused by the quickness of these bursts, as the lines of Water ounía are frozen instantly, and then unfrozen just as quickly before their weight can pull them to the ground.

These flashes are extremely cold, especially when cast at higher levels, much moreso than natural ice. Even a second of contact with the ice bolts will cause severe pain and frostbite directly at the point of touch against living targets, and mounds of ice when it strikes non-animate objects.

Frozen Lightning appears like lightning due to both the quick-firing nature of the bolts (which seem to appear all at once and then disappear just as rapidly, often repeatingly), as well as the random and uncontrolled position of the lines, as the mage simply freezes ounía on the spot rather than moving them into direct lines. This spell often causes formations of frozen vapor where each line previously appeared, and sometimes flashes of light from the refraction of light through the brief crystalline lines.

Low-level magi usually aim at a single target (though often hit multiple targets due to the chaotic nature of the spell), while high-level magi are known to aim at multiple targets. Targets that are aimed at usually are struck by the majority of the ‘bolts’, though in lucky situations all the arcs may collide with other objects instead.

Frozen Lightning is not particularly deadly on its own, even for high-level magi, so its use tends to be more for shock factor or torture, though its widespread effects are also useful against armies or large groups of people (especially since armor or weapons that have been impacted by an arc often become frozen and brittle). However, high-level magi using other Spheres are known to convert the spell into more fatal versions against single-targets.

Casting Procedure.
The mage concentrates on the Water ounía in the air, focusing towards a specific target. As this is a Sphere I spell instead of a Sphere II, the positions of the ounía are not manipulated in any fashion, which causes the chaotic and ‘lightning-like’ look of the spell. The mage usually focuses primarily on two targets, himself (usually from his hands and fingers) and the target (or multiple targets). Once he has concentrated on the focuses, he concentrates on quickly increasing the influence of the Water ounía in the air between the two focuses and activating the coldness property. In order for the spell to be particularly harmful, the mage must be adept at raising the influence of the coldness property of the ounía to exceedingly high levels.

As soon as the mage has frozen the Water ounía in the air (often appearing as arcing lines reaching from the primary focus to the secondary focus, though often branching off and even impacting other objects and targets), he must just as quickly lower the influence of the property of coldness in the Water ounía, in order to prevent the ice from crashing down to the ground. The ice will often turn to vapor at this, and will sift a bit. Immediately after, the mage may again activate the property, freezing the vapor, which has often shifted to new positions and thus causes each casting to appear completely different from the former.

The mage cannot control these lines. He simply focuses on the Water ounía in-between him and his target and hope that they will reach. There is generally enough Water ounía close enough to each other however that the lines will arrive at their destination, often striking at various positions on the person’s body, along with various random spots around the room and even at other individuals as well. The ice that touches a person’s skin (and through light clothing) will be extremely cold, causing intense pain and frostbite. Heavy, weather-resistant clothing can lower the strength of the spell unless it happens to strike at an exposed location (like the person’s face), though the mage has no control on where it strikes.

Low-level magi often cast this spell in short bursts. High-level magi however are known to cast the spell in alternate ‘parts’, manipulating some part of the air ounía at different times from other parts, thus making the spell appear continuous, the ‘lightning’ arcing continually over and over again, always in random, sharp lines.

Magical Formula.
Not defined yet. 

Focus/Target.
The focus of the spell is generally a point at the caster’s location and a separate point at the intended target’s location. All the Water ounía in the air between these two focuses are crystallized during casting, though often the spell will exceed the ‘borders’.

Reagents.
Throwing water into the air (and, if close enough, on the target) will increase the amount of Water ounía that can be affected. If the water lands on the opponent, just freezing the water itself and ignoring the air can simplify the whole process.

Spell Class.
Sphere I, Transformation (Physical Representation of the Water School).
 
Range.
The typical range for Frozen Lightning rarely exceeds 4 or 5 peds, though some arcs may travel farther than or shorter than this distance. In addition, the spell generally has a vertical and side to side range of 1 ped, from one focus to the other. Some arcs will move out of this, but in general the majority of the crystalline lines are within this cylinder of focus. Obviously, if the mage wishes to make the spell afflict a larger area, he will increase the vertical and horizontal range out further, though this is more difficult.

In addition, the longer the range cast at, the less likely the flashes will touch the target. At close ranges, only just barely beyond arms length, most if not all of the flashes will impact, thus increasing the spell's deadliness.

Casting Time.
Blinks. Very short blinks. Frozen Lightning is designed for speed. Casters who are not powerful enough to enact the quick-firing changes in elemental influence necessary for this spell are advised not to use it.

Duration.
Due to the amount of concentration needed to create such quick changes in elemental influence, this spell often quickly tires out a mage. Unlike other Sphere I spells which can often last for quite some time so long as concentration is maintained, Frozen Lightning can rarely be cast continuously for longer than a minute without breaks. Even high-level magi will grow fatigued from only a few minutes of the spell.

Counter Measures/Enhancing Measures.
Enhancing the spell is fairly easy. Some high-level magi use some of their Sphere II teaches in order to make the arcs more deadly. Applying Sphere II, they cause the ounía in the air to move into the person’s body before initiating the freezing process. This, obviously, will cause the bolt to materialize within the opponent’s body, potentially fatal.

In addition, it is always recommended to alter the surrounding environment with lower level spells in order to make the air colder. This lowers the amount of work needed to sufficiently freeze the Water ounía and brings this spell’s difficult level of concentration down to a more reasonable level.

To counter the spell, Water Magi can focus on keeping the ounía under their own control, thus preventing the spell from taking effect. Fire Magi can also keep the air warm, making it harder to freeze the Water ounía to deadly quantities.
« Last Edit: 02 May 2008, 14:35:57 by Fox » Logged
Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #1 on: 01 May 2008, 07:04:55 »

I like it! :)

However, I get a split impression from the description. On one hand, it seems the caster creates bouts of ice shards that strike opponents and damage them (by impact). On the other hand, the caster throws out a magical effect that freezes water in zigzagging lines, and if these lines touch something, then that also freezes (not necessarily completely, of course). I understand the second view to be what you intended (correct me if not), and I think the spell would benefit from clearing this up. Especially "fires bolts of lines that collide against the target" gives me the impression of solid lines that damage by force of impact.

Is using this spell a good or a bad idea if it rains?

Also, can you get a frostbite effect from such a short-time exposure to the cold?

Last, does the caster need to reverse the effect to disappear a line? Sphere 1 effects do not last long unless maintained -- would the line disappear by itself quickly enough? (Question for everyone, I guess)
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Fox
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« Reply #2 on: 01 May 2008, 08:25:01 »

However, I get a split impression from the description. On one hand, it seems the caster creates bouts of ice shards that strike opponents and damage them (by impact). On the other hand, the caster throws out a magical effect that freezes water in zigzagging lines, and if these lines touch something, then that also freezes (not necessarily completely, of course). I understand the second view to be what you intended (correct me if not), and I think the spell would benefit from clearing this up. Especially "fires bolts of lines that collide against the target" gives me the impression of solid lines that damage by force of impact.

The second view was what was intended, so I'll shift the wording a bit to clarify that. It's like lightning, the effect is pretty much an instantaneous flash and anything touched is affected, but it doesn't actually move while 'active' to hit something.

Quote
Is using this spell a good or a bad idea if it rains?

Very good, as evidenced by the reagents. You don't even have to use the 'lightning' part, you can just target and freeze the water dripping over the target's body.


Quote
Also, can you get a frostbite effect from such a short-time exposure to the cold?

The exposure is worse than normal cold, and even though the exposure itself is short, the aftereffects aren't. Afterall, dip your hand in a frozen pool and then pull it back out immediately. You aren't really being touched by it anymore, but if left untreated you might get frostbite. As this is even worse than dipping your hand in a pool of water, which just makes you cold, if your hand gets 'zapped' by this spell it's likely to get half-frozen at least. The 'bolt' may disappear, but your hand would still be half-frozen.

Quote
Last, does the caster need to reverse the effect to disappear a line? Sphere 1 effects do not last long unless maintained -- would the line disappear by itself quickly enough? (Question for everyone, I guess)

Yep, I believe I mentioned this in the entry:

Quote
As soon as the mage has frozen the Water ounía in the air, he must just as quickly lower the influence of the property of ice in the Water ounía, in order to prevent the ice from crashing down to the ground. The ice will often turn to vapor at this, and will sift a bit.

It's a continuous process of raising and lowering the influence of the property.
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Fox
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« Reply #3 on: 02 May 2008, 13:12:42 »

I've updated the spell a bit according to Silfer's comments on the terminology. It should be more clear that this spell is simply flash-freezing already existing lines of Water ounia in the air rather than actually firing impacting, moving bursts.
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #4 on: 04 May 2008, 01:21:08 »

These are all great ideas Fox!
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« Reply #5 on: 21 May 2008, 22:36:58 »

Bumping so I don't forget about it.  Fox, do you want to wait for the commandments discussion to conclude first or would you rather have this finished as soon as possible? 
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Fox
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« Reply #6 on: 21 May 2008, 23:37:12 »

Bumping so I don't forget about it.  Fox, do you want to wait for the commandments discussion to conclude first or would you rather have this finished as soon as possible? 

I'm taking a break from spells for now, so yes, it can wait.
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