The "Cloud" damage spells are pretty anemic right now. They are:
- short duration
- long casting time
- low damage
That's a pretty bad combination. Only one of them has been cast in my games. I've decided to revise them to make them competitive with the other spells in the same colleges. The easiest way to do that is make their damage really count - have it mostly ignore armor DR!
These changes are in line with what the various "Touch" Melee spells were like before I weakened them (and made them more consistent in damage with their Missile relatives.)
As written, except replace the line "Armor protects normally" with the following:
"Sealed armor and natural DR protects normally. Other armor provides no protection."
As written, except replace the line "Armor protects in the usual fashion" with the following:
"Sealed armor and natural DR protects normally - however, sealed metal armor only provides DR 1. Unsealed armor provides no protection."
This seems pretty workable. It's not an instant monster-killer, since even a few DR will stop the lower levels of this spell. It's suddenly useful against armored foes, too.
I should not have to say this, but Spark Cloud does not provide a stunning effect. I know I will get asked. GURPS doesn't normally explain what isn't included, but my players routinely ask on anything sort-of lightning related. And off-topic but related - the reason Lightning spells don't cause fires is largely because they can't do enough damage - tight-mean burning attacks like those need ten times as much damage to ignite a fire. That's 30+ damage in a single hit to light clothing on fire . . . a fireball at that level is incinerating most of what you've got.