In RPGs, magic and physical are very distinct. Some characters have good physical attacks, and they are usually incapable of, or very poor at, magic. Some characters have good magic attacks, but they usually do inferior physical damage. Some characters use magic to heal, and they usually are also only capable of causing very poor amounts of physical damage.
Magic-using characters and character classes are usually considered mentally strong but physically weak; they are adept at destroying their adversaries without getting terribly close to them, but against multiple enemies they function best with the help of a tank, although magic-using characters may also have access to area of effect spells that work against multiple enemies.
Magic is generally split into at least four elements, as originally posited by the ancient Greeks.
- Fire makes things hot, potentially burning them; opposes Water
- Water makes things wet, may also cause drowning; opposes Fire
- Earth calls upon the power of the Earth, often via earthquakes and large rocks; opposes Wind
- Wind is embodied by tornadoes and the weather; opposes Earth
Some video games have other elements:
- Ice freezes things, potentially causes them to shatter; opposes Fire
- Lightning causes Electrical damage; opposes Water
- Life calls upon the power of the living, possibly involving plants; opposes Shadow
- Holy may offer restorative powers; opposes Shadow
- Shadow calls upon the power of darkness; opposes Holy