This page addresses information about fire magic, otherwise known as pyromancy, and its in-character uses as they applies to World 42 roleplaying. Any valuable contributors are welcome to add, especially as new content or ideas come out in-game.
The Basic Concept of Fire Magic
To use fire magic in roleplay is to have a character make use of charms, runes, and spells to supernaturally manipulate the elemental force of fire. At its most intuitive level, a magician using fire magic has the ability to move fire 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 fire he can control at once, and the intricacy with which he can control it. So, a mid-level fire-magician could either roughly control a large volume of fire or could delicately control a small volume of fire.
The ways to combat an enemy with fire magic are really only limited to the creativity of the player and his character. That being said, these are three common techniques for attacking with fire: burning, entrapping, and boiling.
"Burning" is probably the most intuitive way to attack an enemy with fire magic. In this technique, the fire mage would project a volume of fire at his opponent with the intent of directly burning him or otherwise catching him on fire such that he would be damaged by the fire's natural consuming properties. This would, obviously, damage the opponent by burning his body. One key way to use this technique, since there is no simple way to go directly for an opponent's vitals with fire, is to aim for his hair or cloth garments so that they will continue burning even after the magic has been dispelled. Note that this kind of attack is a projectile and can be dodged by the opponent.
"Entrapping" is a technique that sets the opponent's environment on fire instead of his body and clothing. For example, a fire mage might commit arson against the home of an enemy in his sleep, or the building he is fighting his enemy in (and then use magic to protect himself from the fire). The end result of this is that the fire would build in its own natural way, hopefully fast enough that the enemy would not be able to escape. The mage could also, say, encircle his opponent in a ring of fire out in a field. However it happens, the end result of this method is always the opponent enclosed in fire.
"Boiling" is a half-way between the two aforementioned attack techniques. The goal of this method is to heat up the opponent, particularly his environment/clothing (and especially metal armor) such that he begins to boil inside of it. Not only would this begin to burn his skin, but the profuse sweating that comes of it would also dehydrate and exhaust the opponent. At extremes, this could even boil the enemy's blood and internal organs. It is also very difficult to dodge, and is really only best evaded by shedding the heated garments.
Defending with fire magic is just like attacking with it - the possibilities are limited only by creativity. Two possible ways to defend against an assailant with fire are disabling and veiling.
"Disabling" is a defensive way to handle an assailant in that the fire mage uses his power over extreme heat to make the opponent unable to hold his weapon. This works especially well with metal items, but is effective on just about anything except leather. The mage would channel heat into the attempting attacker's sword/bow/staff/etc such that continued use would burn his hands. This can also be applied to gloves or clothing, and in desperate cases where the opponent has no weapon, it can be applied to a mass of air in front of the mage that the opponent need run through to reach his victim.
"Veiling" is a sort of debuffing tactic to use against an assailant. The premise of veiling is to somehow throw a veil over one of the enemy's senses. For example, if fire in the area had caused the air to fill thickly with smoke, he would have a hard time seeing or smelling his opponent to attack or defend. Similarly, when faced with a wall of blindingly bright tongues of fire, he would have difficulty seeing much else beyond it or hearing footsteps over the cracking roar.
"Cauterizing" is the process of burning one's flesh in order to stop bleeding or prevent a spread of infection. A mage skilled in the arts, and in pain tolerance, would be able to close an open wound using fire. A mage willing to Cauterize themselves should also be prepared to get the wound checked immediately, and such a method should only be used for emergency and temporary uses. This technique could be used most effectively against a blood mage, whom may rely on an open wound to combat properly.
Defending Against It
The key to staying safe from fire 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 "burning" attacks that would be harmful upon contact. 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 water or earth - between you and your enemy fire magician. Jump behind a building or rock. Elemental, glass, or ceramic shields work well against fire magic, and any kind of leather armor will weaken the effects of a magical spell or, even better, cancel them entirely.
Fire magic has a number of practical uses outside of combat. The following is a list of potential ways to use fire magic in everyday or commercial life.
- A fire mage would be in high demand around the snowy, cold polar regions of the map.
- He could easily put his abilities to work in a forge, firefighting, or in a kitchen.
- Fire has mesmerizing qualities, and a mage could probably make a living with performance art.
This category addresses traits that players, often new ones, give their fire mage characters but that aren't actually legitimate or acceptable traits in users of fire magic.
- Just because you can use fire magic doesn't mean that you can use all of it effectively in every way. A 23 year old human would be competent if he had committed a lot of study to the one elemental magic, but the realm of expert is not yet within his grasp. Remember, if everyone is a prodigy, no one is a prodigy.
- Typically, roleplayers accept generating one level of spell per turn. That means a fire spell the size of a fire strike would be at full power immediately. In contrast, to build up to a fire wave, your magician would have to avoid the enemy for a few turns in order to operate it at full power.
- As with most magics, metal conducts fire magic. Fire 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 fire magic. Fire magic that comes into contact with an enemy in leather armor (especially dragonhide) loses a lot of its power and do much less damage than it otherwise would have.