This page addresses information about ice magic, otherwise known as cryomancy, and its in-character uses as they apply 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 Ice Magic
To use ice magic in roleplay is to have a character make use of charms, runes, and spells to supernaturally manipulate the ancient force of ice. At its most intuitive level, a magician using ice magic has the ability to manipulate ice 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 ice he can control at once, and the intricacy with which he can control it. So, a mid-level ice-magician could either roughly control a large mass of ice or could delicately control a small mass of ice.
The ways to combat an enemy with ice 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 the ice. These include smashing, stabbing, and encasing.
"Smashing" is the most basic missile method of using ice magic. Taking advantage of the solid force ice is capable of mustering, an ice mage intending to smash his opponent would generate a hunk of hard ice - likely similar to a rock - and hurl it like a projectile at his opponent. The shape of this projectile is flexible and can be a large round hunk, a wide sheet, a rod of earth, or just about anything the mage is talented enough to craft. Ideally, this attack would work much like crushing weapons, intending to batter and break the enemy's body into submission. While these attacks can be dodged by the opponent, a well-aimed collision to the head, chest, or limbs could easily break bones or knock the opponent back and out.
"Stabbing" is more or less the same as "smashing." The variation, though, is that the form the mage gives his ice has a sharp point, and as a projectile the ice works more like an arrow or javelin than a plain rock or glacier. With stabbing, the mage intends to pierce through the enemy's defenses. While these can be dodged by the opponent, a well-aimed collision to a vital point on the opponent's body could easily deliver an irreparable and quick death. Also note that this same process can be used to create a slashing attack.
"Encasing" is probably the favored way for a mage to attack an opponent with ice. In this strategy, the mage gradually chills the air around the opponent such that the condensing water vapors around him crystallize and, eventually, freeze him in a case of ice. This works fastest on a still opponent, but can still be delivered to a moving target over a longer span of time. After a few seconds, the ice would solidify such that the encased victim is stuck in place and can't move until the stops fueling the spell and the ice melts again over a length of time relative to the strength of the spell. Also, if the target is organic, the cold would likely cause severe and painful muscle cramps or frostbite. Encasing has the potential to work at a much quicker pace if the target was previously struck with a water spell, or was encased in water or a humid environment to begin with.
"Crushing" would be a style used after some sort of Encasing or Disabling method was used. With this method of combat, the mage would focus on the ice surrounding either a limb, join, or possibly even the entire body, condensing it with great force so as to crush the target inside, causing fatal injuries and likely death. This method would be more practical for advanced mages whom focused on water magic as much as they did ice, as the process for setting up the scenario could prove to be tedious otherwise.
Defending with ice magic is just like attacking with it - the possibilities are limited only by creativity. Three basic ways to defend against an assailant include encasing, shielding, and disabling.
"Encasing" doubles over as a defensive method as well as an offensive method. It follows the exact same design as listed in the section above. While the encasing attack is painful, its freezing, paralyzing affects also protect the mage. An opponent whose body is frozen in place can neither attack nor pursue for at least several seconds; this gives the mage an opportunity to disarm the opponent or to escape on foot or otherwise.
"Shielding" sees the ice mage physically blocking his assailant from attacking by separating the assailant from himself with a wall of solid ice. One way or another, the mage puts a barrier of ice between himself and the enemy. He could do this in several ways. The mage could surround himself in a sort of icey egg such that the opponent couldn't reach him from any angle without passing the barrier. He could also throw up a long wall of the ice that the opponent would have to run around to pass safely, giving the mage a fair chance to escape on foot.
"Disabling" is a defensive way to handle an assailant in that the ice mage uses his power over the cold to make it harder for an opponent to fight. The mage would channel frost into the attempting attacker's space or equipment such that it would be difficult for him to handle his weapon or maneuver. For example, the mage might freeze just the air around the assailant's sword hand, painfully freezing them together like a tongue to a metal pole. He might also freeze only the assailant's feet, causing him to stumble and have difficulty walking on numb limbs. Furthermore, a focused clump of ice on, say, the assailant's hands would burn them and make it more burdensome and painful to hold anything at all. This can also be applied to gloves or clothing.
Defending Against It
The key to staying safe from ice 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 "smashing" attacks and "stabbing" 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 fire or earth - between you and your enemy ice magician. Jump under water or behind a building or rock. Wooden, cosmic, dragonfire, or ceramic shields work well against ice magic, and any kind of leather armor will weaken the effects of a magical spell or, even better, cancel them entirely.
Ice magic has a number of practical uses outside of combat. The following is a list of potential ways to use ice magic in everyday or commercial life.
- He would be particularly useful in controlling ice in the polar regions of the map.
- An ice mage would be handy for wealthy food connoisseurs, particularly with refrigeration.
- Practicing ice skating outside of Winter
This category addresses traits that players, often new ones, give their ice mage characters but that aren't actually legitimate or acceptable traits in users of ice magic.
- Just because you can use ice 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, 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 ice 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 ice magic.
- Many people who cast "encasing" Ice Spells aren't aware of how they work. Many wrongly assume that the enemy immediately gets iced over. If this were true, ice spells would be auto-hits. Instead, they take a few turns to form completely.
- As with most magics, metal conducts ice magic. Ice magic that comes into contact with an enemy in metal armor would most likely accelerate through the armor and continue on its trajectory, not to mention give the person in the armor a really nasty chill.
- Also like most magics, leather weakens ice magic. Ice 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.