The Basic Concept of Water Magic
To use water magic in role-play is to have a character make use of charms, runes, and spells to supernaturally manipulate the elemental force of water. At its most intuitive level, a magician using water magic has the ability to move water 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 water he can control at once, and the intricacy with which he can control it. So, a mid-level water-magician could either roughly control a large mass of water or could delicately control a small mass of water.
The ways to combat an enemy with water 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 water. These can be described as slapping, drilling, and drowning.
"Slapping" is the use of water's natural mass and surface tension to hit an opponent with blunt force. In this technique, the mage would accelerate the water in his control towards an enemy and at some point form it into a semisolid wall or sheet. At high enough speeds, this would be the same as swinging a rock of concrete at the enemy and at lower speeds it would do damage not unlike a nasty belly flop. To do critical damage with this technique, the mage would operate the water not unlike a blunt-force weapon like a mace or warhammer, intending to crush the opponent's bodily structure.
"Drilling" uses the corrosive properties of water to simulate the effects of a drill. In this technique, the mage would accelerate a cone of water in a spinning motion to, quite literally, create a drill out of water. At high enough rotation speeds, this would produce the same effect as stabbing the enemy with a rapier or arrow, puncturing his skin and any weak armor. This method of fighting with water 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 water. The magician would take, for example, bubbles of water 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 water in place, or could aggressively attempt to push the water 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 water 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 water.
Water Magic could also be noted to give a significant boost to Ice Mages, as the ability to conjure and freeze water could provide for lethal combinations.
Defending with water magic is just like attacking with it - the possibilities are limited only by creativity. Three possible ways to defend against an assailant with water include using barriers, mists, and boosts.
"Barriers" use the surface tension and density of water to slow down or stop an assailant. A water mage would, for example, raise a thick wall of water between himself and his enemy. This wall would significantly slow the opponent down, as he would have to wade his entire body through the water. It would also disrupt the approach of any ranged weapons, particularly if the wall had any sort of current that would skew trajectory. In addition, an enemy approaching at a high speed would hurt himself trying to run straight through one of these barriers, not entirely unlike running directly into a wall or belly-flopping onto the surface of a pool.
"Mists" work as a sort of debuffing defense. The idea is for a water mage to fill the air thickly with water vapor to obscure the opponent's sight and, depending on thickness, also distort noises. A combatant who cannot sense the water 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.
"Boosts" help a water mage to defend himself by using his element to enhance his own abilities. When evading, the mage could step out of the way and accelerate his top speed by having a small burst of water also push him. In an environment with a body of water, he could easily move the water around himself to torpedo through far faster than a natural swimmer. He could also use water to help him reach places that would otherwise be difficult to access (and much harder for an armored assailant) by leaping and boosting himself up with a geyser, ascending farther than he would normally go. This method, like most others, is flexible given the environment and circumstances.
Defending Against It
The key to staying safe from water 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 and "slapping" 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 fire or earth - between you and your enemy water magician. Jump behind a building or rock. Wooden or ceramic shields work well against water magic, and any kind of leather armor will weaken the effects of a magical spell or, even better, cancel them entirely.
Water magic has a number of practical uses outside of combat. The following is a list of potential ways to use Water magic in everyday or commercial life.
- A water mage could assist on ships, affecting currents, tides, and the water under a vessel.
- He could participate in an irrigation system, increasing its efficiency.
- A water mage would be useful in the Kharidan desert for just about anything, especially when near the river Elid.
- He could have a hand in directing precipitation and watery weather systems, especially with the help of an air mage.
This category addresses traits that players, often new ones, give their water mage characters but that aren't actually legitimate or acceptable traits in users of water magic.
- Just because you can use water 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 a water spell the size of a water strike would be at full power immediately. In contrast, to build up to a water wave, your magician would have to avoid the enemy for a few turns in order to operate it at full power.
- It's considered poor form to pull water out of a dry environment. For example, a water mage in the desert would either have to store water in a waterskin or would have to use water runes to actively generate the element with every spell. What he can't do is condense water vapor out of the dry air to create a barrier wall.
- As with most magics, metal conducts water magic. Water 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 water magic. Water 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.