Last week I talked about elements in fiction. Today, I’ll make that helpful . . . entertaining . . . I promised a list, so I’m going to do it. Don’t say I never deliver even if the end result makes dogs howl at the moon. Sorry. That’s my excuse for avoiding karaoke. Now on to the sane stuff.
- Have some rational reason for when one element will trump another. You can go easy with ‘water puts out fire’ or go different with ‘fire evaporates water’. This tends to be a ‘rock-paper-scissors’ type of deal to avoid one element being stronger than the other, but this is only for combat magic.
- Not every spell has to be an attack one. Air spells have flight and shields. Water spells can help cross a desert. Fire spells can create light. Earth spells . . . can be used to turn a regular bed into a massaging one. My point is that you need to think beyond offense with these things. Magic is also defensive and helpful outside of the battlefield.
- Remember what happens to various materials when they interact with certain elements. Specifically, fire can ignite flammable items and water can destroy delicate materials. Air can toss lightweight things around too. Earth . . . can knock over an expensive vase.
- There is a difference between magically created elements and their natural counterparts. The latter can be handled easier than the former. A regular bucket of water can douse natural fire, but won’t get very far with magical fire. After all, if you can defeat a dragon’s flame with the local well then it isn’t that big a danger. This isn’t to say a lot of water can’t do the job like ducking the beast into the ocean.
- Everyone laughs at the one who masters Earth magic. At least until they’re swallowed by the very ground they’re standing on.
- Mix and match elements for interesting creatures and spells. A flaming bolt of lightning can take a lot out of a caster, but the effect is worth it. This can be done with defenses and other spells too. Though it really depends on your system.
- Try to figure out if an alcohol-based spell school would be from water or earth. I guess it depends on the potency.
- Just have fun and forget the rules.