# Lightning and Water

What happens when a lightning-based spell or other magical effect strikes water? Is it conducted? How far (and deep)?

the few articles that popped up suggest that a lightning bolt hitting water will dissipate quickly due to spreading out in all directions rather than taking the path of least resistence.  They said the lethal radius for fish was between 30' and 10', but hard to say what it would be for humans.  Also apparently the effect doesn't go very deep before becoming nonlethal.

Based on that, i'd say half damage in a 10' radius out from a single point (no putting the lightning bolt in the water), and no damage if you would be counting rounds of breath.

If you want to base it off of real-world lightning, you could get some useful info about lightning behavior from this What If.

I once saw a lightning bolt strike the surface of a lake and it spread out quite spectacularly in all directions. I'd say the energy dissipated on the surface and didn't go very deep at all..

In 1st edition ADD I believe that the rule was that a lightning bolt cast underwater had the same effect as a fireball.  In ACKs that would be (caster lvl)d6 electrical damage to all in a 20' radius at the point the arc was to start (i.e. in a point w/i the spell range of 180').  I would rule that anyone with the collegiate wizardry would be aware of this effect.

One minor point that is very easy to forget: in ACKS, a fireball is 10’ radius. (20’ diameter)

g [quote="Aryxymaraki"]

In 1st edition ADD I believe that the rule was that a lightning bolt cast underwater had the same effect as a fireball.  In ACKs that would be (caster lvl)d6 electrical damage to all in a 20' radius at the point the arc was to start (i.e. in a point w/i the spell range of 180').  I would rule that anyone with the collegiate wizardry would be aware of this effect.

-jojodogboy

One minor point that is very easy to forget: in ACKS, a fireball is 10' radius. (20' diameter) [/quote]

Good catch.  I double checked but misread the 'diameter' in the spell description- just saw the 20' and assumed radius.

[quote="Aryxymaraki"]

In 1st edition ADD I believe that the rule was that a lightning bolt cast underwater had the same effect as a fireball.  In ACKs that would be (caster lvl)d6 electrical damage to all in a 20' radius at the point the arc was to start (i.e. in a point w/i the spell range of 180').  I would rule that anyone with the collegiate wizardry would be aware of this effect.

-jojodogboy

One minor point that is very easy to forget: in ACKS, a fireball is 10' radius. (20' diameter) [/quote]

It's actually a major point with huge implications for mass combat, but almost no one notices it!

[quote="Alex"]

In 1st edition ADD I believe that the rule was that a lightning bolt cast underwater had the same effect as a fireball.  In ACKs that would be (caster lvl)d6 electrical damage to all in a 20' radius at the point the arc was to start (i.e. in a point w/i the spell range of 180').  I would rule that anyone with the collegiate wizardry would be aware of this effect.

-jojodogboy

One minor point that is very easy to forget: in ACKS, a fireball is 10' radius. (20' diameter)

-Aryxymaraki

It's actually a major point with huge implications for mass combat, but almost no one notices it!

[/quote]

And a major point to make dungeon-casting a fireball a bit safer for the adventurers! (Ah, the days when I had an AD&D DM who would count out the area by volume - and backwash the party in the process.)