The Basic Concept of Blood Magic
To use blood magic in role-play is to have a character make use of charms, runes, and spells to supernaturally manipulate the ancient force of blood. At its most intuitive level, a magician using blood magic has the ability to manipulate blood around at his will so long as he has the runes and physical energy to continue. As with most magics, there is a direct correlation between the experience/skill of a magician, the quantity of blood he can control at once, and the intricacy with which he can control it. So, a mid-level blood-magician could either roughly control a large volume of blood or could delicately control a small volume of blood.
The ways to combat an enemy with blood magic are really only limited to the creativity of the player and his character. That being said, there are three common techniques for attacking with blood magic. These include draining, drowning, and drilling.
"Draining" is perhaps the most intuitive way to attack an opponent with blood magic. The basic premise of this technique is that, once the enemy has a wound deep enough to break through his skin and reach blood vessels, the mage would use his magic to slowly accelerate the rate at which blood drains out of his wounds. The mage would slowly draw blood out of the enemy and into his own control, preventing the wound from clotting or closing up. Eventually, if not stopped, this could see an adult male bleed completely out by a simple gash in his arm. If it didn't kill him, though, it would at least exhaust him and limit the movement of oxygen through his body. Note that the enemy must already have an opening in his body through which the blood is drawn; this technique is not strong enough to pull blood directly out through the skin.
"Drilling" uses the corrosive properties of blood as a fluid to simulate the effects of a drill. To supply the blood for the spell, the mage could pull blood out of an enemy (only if the enemy has an open cut on him self first), cut himself and take blood from himself, or take blood from an already-fallen body. In this technique, the mage would accelerate a cone of blood in a spinning motion to, quite literally, create a drill out of blood. At high enough rotation speeds, this would produce the same effect as stabbing the enemy with a rapier or arrow, puncturing skin and any weak armor. This method of fighting with blood has to be aimed, as it is used like a projectile. To do critical damage by drilling, the mage would aim to hit a vital part of the opponent's body, especially organs, but it can also be used to disarm the enemy by damaging arms, tendons, etc.
"Drowning" is an offensive tactic that attempts to suffocate the opponent by clogging his respiratory system with blood. Blood to supply this spell can be gained in the same way as "Drilling." The magician would take, for example, bubbles of blood and manipulate them to such that they cover the mouth and nose of the opponent. He would have to make a continual effort to hold the blood in place, or could aggressively attempt to push the blood down into his opponents mouth, nose, and lungs. The end goal of such an attack would either be to make the opponent pass out or completely suffocate. The best bet for this technique is to take a small quantity of blood and manipulate it with intricacy, speed, and skill, but it is also possible to try drowning the opponent by engulfing him in a massive sphere of blood, should the mage come across such volumes of it.
Defending with blood magic is just like attacking with it - the possibilities are limited only by creativity. Two basic ways to defend against an assailant include healing and veiling.
"Healing" is the second half of the attack style "draining." One could also try "draining" blood from a pre-existing pool of the substance, instead of from an enemy. For the "healing" variant, one takes blood from a pre-existing source, preferably one outside of an opponent for minimal resistance, and actually take it into yourself through a wound that you have. This replaces blood cells that might have been lost from injuries, such as when a wound didn't clot soon enough. However, be aware that if the blood is poisoned or contaminated, regardless of the cause being fungal, parasitic, toxic or some other reason, you may have the same conditions soon afflicted upon yourself. Draining blood from an enemy into yourself wouldn't be very effective, as you'd have the spell take time to drag it out of them, and then into you. Very little blood would end up in you, compared to that of a different source like a pool of blood.
"Veiling" works as a sort of debuffing defense. The idea is for a blood mage to fill the air thickly with red, vaporous blood to obscure the opponent's sight and, depending on thickness, also distort noises. A combatant who cannot sense the enemy blood mage would have a hard time landing an accurate blow and would also allow the mage to enact surprise attacks or evasions if he snuck around. This defense method is best used with blood that has already been spilled from a fallen body, since it would take quantities larger than could easily be drawn from one victim.
Defending Against It
The key to staying safe from blood magic is to either disable the mage, dodge the spell, or prevent it from hitting you. Disabling the mage is a basic idea - if he can't cast the magic spells, you won't be harmed by them. The way to go about disabling him depends on your combat style. Dodging spells works mostly for projectile-type fighting methods, particularly "drilling" attacks that throw dangerous objects at you. The simple answer for these is to get out of the way or out of range. If all else fails, though, prevent the spell from colliding with you by using some kind of barrier method. Put another element - especially ice or earth - between you and your enemy blood magician. Jump behind a hunk of ice or a building or rock. To prevent a blood mage from draining your blood out of a wound, avoid getting open wounds. If this isn't possible, then cover/wrap the wound with a substance that blood can't seep through - standard cloth does not work for this, leather does work, and anything similar to plastic would work for this. (Although in the time setting of RuneScape, using plastic would be unrealistic.) Wooden, cosmic, dragonfire, or ceramic shields work well against blood magic, and any kind of leather armor will weaken the effects of a magical spell or, even better, cancel them entirely.
If you're going to be hit by the spell to the point of it being lethal, there's one other thing you can do as a suicide tactic: poison yourself. This way, if the magician draws the blood from you into themselves, they can then find themselves poisoned. Having a terminal illness caused by parasites that infect your veins, capillaries and arteries is another thing to make them regret draining you for healing purposes.
Blood magic has a number of practical uses outside of combat. The following is a list of potential ways to use blood magic in everyday or commercial life.
- This would be very handy in a clean-up service from a combative city, like Falador, or anywhere that sees a large battle or tournament and would like to quickly erase the bloody mess.
- A blood mage is a useful support mage for healing comrades in times of conflict.
- A blood mage would be a handy friend for vampyres.
This category addresses traits that players, often new ones, give their blood mage characters but that aren't actually legitimate or acceptable traits in users of blood magic.
- Just because you can use blood magic doesn't mean that you can use all of it effectively in every way. A 28 year old human would be competent if he had committed a lot of study to the one element or style of magic, but the realm of expert is not yet within his grasp. Remember, if everyone is a prodigy, no one is a prodigy.
- Typically, role-players accept generating one level of spell per turn. That means an ice spell the size of a low-level missile would be at full power immediately. In contrast, to build up to an blood barrage, your magician would have to avoid the enemy for a few turns in order to operate it at full power.
- Given the archaic nature of ancient magicks, no character without close knowledge of zaros or intensive practice at a school of magic like the wizard's tower would know how to use blood magic.
- Many people who cast "draining" blood spells aren't aware of how they work. Many wrongly assume that the enemy immediately gets blood sucked out of his body. If this were true, blood spells would be auto-hits. Instead, there must be a deep, open wound through which the blood can gradually be drawn.
- Blood magic healing is less efficient than the lunar magic "heal other" technique.
- As with most magics, metal conducts blood magic. Blood magic that comes into contact with an enemy in metal armor would most likely accelerate through the armor and continue on its trajectory.
- Also like most magics, leather weakens blood magic. Blood magic that comes into contact with an enemy in leather armor (especially dragonhide) would lose a lot of its power and do much less damage than it otherwise would have.