In the PersonaMUSH combat system, much like that of most of the Persona games, each sort of attack has an elemental property. These describe the nature of the attack and generally how its damage is derived: a slash with a spectral blade (or a real one) interacts differently with a character's defenses than does a sudden gust of supernatural wind.
There are fifteen regular elemental classifications on Persona MUSH. These are Slash, Pierce, Strike, Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Nuclear, Ice, Elec, Gravity, Light, Dark, Nerve, and Mind for the regular elements. There are additionally two other elements, Heal and Almighty, that are used for certain abilities and effects. With the exception of Heal and Almighty, a character on PersonaMUSH may be resistant or weak to any of these elements.
Personas (and Shadows, for the Shadow-Possessed) impart their own elemental affinities on the character using them, meaning that characters with such supernatural abilities will interact differently with these elements than would a normal human. These override the natural affinities of a human, which is a resistance to Light-based attacks. Demons and roaming Shadows naturally have their own affinities, as well.
Typically, one can be either Strong to an element, Weak to an element, or Neutral against an element. In the absence of a special descriptor, neutrality is the assumption.
These matter primarily in combat, but can occasionally have out of combat relevance in a minor way: someone with a Weakness to Water attacks, for instance, might find getting left out in the rain a more unpleasant prospect than others, and someone with a Fire Strength might be a little more comfortable in warmer temperatures. These are no more than slight flavor: they don't provide any protection from the elements or cause debilitating weakness. Additionally, those with a strength or weakness to Dark, Light, Mind or Nerve receive no special benefit or drawback outside of combat.
Elemental affinities are passive benefits: a character assumes the elemental strengths and weaknesses of the currently-slotted Persona or Shadow.
These do have combat effects, though the IC mechanism of precisely how one is strong or weak to a given element can vary. In the case of a fire weakness, this could be reflected by having a difficult time evading or being near fire, or simply being extremely flammable; a fire strength could mean that fire avoids the entity, or simply that it doesn't have much effect on it.
Regardless of why, a Weakness (Wkn) means that more damage is taken from attacks of that element, and that effects attached to attacks of that element are more likely to land. Thus, a Burn effect from a fire spell is more likely to apply. For a Strength (Str), the opposite is true: less damage, lower effect chances. In this case, the same Burn effect is less likely to apply.
Elemental aspect for an attack is completely separate from whether the attack is Physical, Magical, or Primal, though certain elements will tend to be associated with one or the other. Attacks only have one primary element, but their damage can be 'split' with another element through the split tags, meaning that each half of the attack will interact with elemental affinity separately (see Attack Modification Tags).
There are also abilities that can change one's elemental affinities during combat: a Break ability will remove any strength from that element temporarily, rendering the character Neutral. It has no effect against neutral resistance or an already existing weakness. A Wall ability will impart a strength, rendering the character Strong against the element. It has no effect against a neutral resistance or an already existing strength.
You can view your own elemental affinities under +stats.
List of Elements
Though an individual attack may be physical or magical depending on how it is used, each element has been classified according to typical conditions for the sake of organization. There are three classifications: Physical, Magical, and Special. Heal and Almighty fall outside these classifications. Each element's classification is noted in its description.
- Slash (SLS) - Application of force meant to cut, slice apart, or gash a target. Slash attacks are categorized broadly as 'Physical'.
- Pierce (PRC) - Application of force over a very small area or meant to go through an enemy, such as stabbing or pointed projectiles. Pierce attacks are categorized broadly as 'Physical'.
- Strike (STR) - Application of force over a broad area, or simple blunt force trauma. Strike attacks are categorized broadly as 'Physical'.
- Fire (FIR) - Attacks based on combustion through heat. Generally, burning. Fire is categorized broadly as 'Magical'.
- Water (WTR) - Attacks associated with liquid, especially but not only water itself. Water is categorized broadly as 'Magical'.
- Wind (WND) - Attacks making use of rapidly displaced air or of sound. Wind is categorized broadly as 'Magical'.
- Earth (EAR) - Earth attacks make use of rock, the ground more generally, or living 'planetary' force to deal damage. There's some overlap with the Physical-classed elements since rocks make good weapons themselves, but an attack should usually be one or the other. Earth is categorized broadly as 'Magical'.
- Nuclear (NCL) - Attacks relying on combustion through intense pressure. Similar to (and associated with) Fire, but generally with less burning and more attempted obliteration. Nuclear is categorized broadly as 'Magical'.
- Ice (ICE) - Attacks relying on a lack of or sudden absence of heat: snow, frozen things, and so forth, and also with an association of stasis. Associated with Water. Ice is categorized broadly as 'Magical'.
- Elec (ELC) - Attacks based on electrical force, such as lightning bolts or other applications of such current. Associated with Wind (as part of storms). Elec is categorized broadly as 'Magical'.
- Gravity (GRV) - Attacks reliant upon crushing or movement through gravitational force, mass, and weight. Associated with Earth. Gravity is categorized broadly as 'Magical'.
- Light (LGH) - Attacks based on the sacred or the divine, or on attempted exorcism. Possession of Light attacks need not imply 'goodness', simply association with some form of divinity or higher law in concept. Normal humans are resistant to these attacks in general because it's difficult to exorcise a human from the human realm. Light is categorized broadly as 'Special'.
- Dark (DRK) - Attacks based on chaos, the unknown, or opposition to the sacred. Possession of Dark attacks need not imply evil; a night goddess, for instance, could have power over Darkness to represent both being and protecting humans from the terrors of the dark. Dark is categorized broadly as 'Special'.
- Nerve (NRV) - Attacks primarily targeting the body and its proper functioning, which may be psychic in nature, such as poisonous gases or waves of exhaustion. These can affect the mind, but typically work somewhat indirectly upon it. Associated with the Poison, Exhaustion, Enervation, and Charm ailments. Nerve is categorized broadly as 'Special'.
- Mind (MND) - Psychic attacks or attacks primarily affecting the functioning of the mind itself, such as illusions or emotional assaults. Associated with the Rage, Fear, Panic, and Illusion ailments. Mind is categorized broadly as 'Special'.
- Heal (REC) - Abilities meant to bolster the target or restore function or capability in some fashion. Heal is not categorized.
- Almighty (ALM) - Attacks that bypass elemental properties entirely, delivering raw force or effect regardless of one's affinities. These aren't always the most powerful attacks, but elemental properties offer no special defense or weakness to them. Almighty is not categorized.
For examples, each of these elements has an associated Ability Group, save for Heal, which has the Recovery group. Check +ability/help or see Ability Lists for more.