I hope it's not too brazen to make my first post my first thread, as well. I was tasked with developing a system of magic for a fantasy RPG I'm involved with. I wanted to step away from the traditional schools, and look at the magic in terms of what's happening. I won't elaborate, for sake of keeping some things under wraps, but I'll talk a little about "casting" lightning, and how it sort of works. My understanding of electrostatic discharges is limited. If I'm doing my reading right, what's essentially going on is that if a strong negative charge and strong positive charge are within a certain proximity, and their charge (or charge difference? I can't recall) is strong enough, than it causes a discharge, which has a visible spark, even through such a poor conductor as air. In looking up lightning strikes, there seems to be a phenomenon called a "leader", which in most of the illustrations and other graphical representations I've seen, is something like a series of "feelers", that search for a source of positive energy, and upon making contact, the discharge occurs. With this as a basis, the way I've thought of casting lightning is that the spellcaster has the ability to draw "negative energy" (electrons) from the air, or around a source (most specifically, their target) and store the energy, to some extent. The breaking point is either when the fields that they've created (by absorbing a lot of negative energy from a source, presumably that source becomes very positively charged) either exceeds the "dielectric field strength" of air (thanks, wikipedia), or the caster may be able to "release" the energies, or otherwise induce their own leader without necessarily building up that much charge, if they so choose. Of course, please correct me where I'm mistaken, but I'll ask the following questions based on the assumption this is accurate: 1. I'm also aware of "positive" lightning, which is often much more powerful and dangerous. Is this simply due to the greater distance it has to travel, as it often comes from higher altitude clouds? If so, is the strength of an electrostatic discharge correlated, or at least can be extrapolated in some fashion, from the distance it has/had to travel? 2. What may be some complications of this method of "casting"? My understanding is the human body does not really store electricity, but ignoring that, and presuming the caster is not in danger of electrocuting themselves, via some defense mechanism, are they in danger of discharging into the ground around them? Should they wear insulating or conductive footwear, if so? Are the mechanics of the leader well enough understood that it shouldn't be so straightfoward as "the caster makes their own" (basically; should the leader be a phenomenon outside the caster's abilities)? I appreciate any and all productive input. If more information about the system is necessary to answer the question, I may be able to divulge some of it. Thanks in advance, -Cav.