Though they may live their whole lives without knowing it, all beings are born with a slight affinity to a certain element on the Wheel of Magic. Note that not everything depicted on the Wheel is actually an affinity (see a full list later in this post).
All characters (including non-mages) get a very small resistance to their favored element and get very small bonuses and penalties based on their preferred environment, but this bonus/penalty is not going to factor very heavily into gameplay (this is more a character aspect than a gameplay element).
You should try to pick an affinity that suits your character's personality and what kind of environments he/she prefers. Think of it in part as another way to help pinpoint your character's personality, and who they truly are.
No one affinity is more powerful than any other affinity.
Pure Affinities include:
- Fire - Bonus to fire spells, penalty to water spells, weak when surrounded by water.
- Earth - Bonus to earth spells, penalty to air spells, weak when far from solid land.
- Air - Bonus to air spells, penalty to earth spells, weak when closed off from the open air (underground, underwater, etc.).
- Water - Bonus to water spells, penalty to fire spells, weak when dry.
Leaning Affinities are not necessarily affinities on their own at all; they are just another term for the Pure Affinities that are leaning in a particular direction. For instance, someone with Lightning affinity could be a Fire affinity leaning Air, or an Air affinity leaning Fire. Thus, in a sense, these affinities are somewhere in-between the two. The leaning affinities are:
- Magma - Smaller bonus to both fire and earth spells, smaller penalty to air and water spells, weak when cold.
- Clay - Smaller bonus to both earth and water spells, smaller penalty to air and fire spells, weak when dry.
- Frost - Smaller bonus to both air and water spells, smaller penalty to earth and fire spells, weak when hot.
- Lightning - Smaller bonus to air and fire spells, smaller penalty to earth and water spells, weak when closed off from the open air (underground, underwater, etc.).
Lastly, Extremely Rare Affinities are almost never seen in ordinary mortal creatures. They generally only occur in someone touched by gods or demons. Only in extremely rare and unique birth situations (often induced by natural phenomena, such as an eclipse) do they occur in ordinary, Midgardian individuals. They always result in the bearer of the affinity having an unusual appearance (for instance, the light elf Surandil, who was born during an eclipse, has blue hair and colorless eyes thanks to his Shadow affinity, which in part resulted in him being shunned from his own people). These extremely rare affinities are:
- Light - Bonus to light spells, penalty to shadow spells, weak when in total darkness. Extremely rare affinity.
- Shadow - Bonus to shadow spells, penalty to light spells, weak in brightly-lit environments. Extremely rare affinity.
As mentioned, all characters, magical or mundane, have an affinity. Again, for more information on affinities, please see the Affinity wiki page. If anyone has questions, feel free to ask in the Errant or Wulfgard Q&A threads, depending on the nature of your question (gameplay-related or lore-related). For more information on how one's affinity affects magic, please see the Magic thread.