Thanks for the answers, they helped me to grasp these spells better.
I understand the desire to rule the spell a bit fuzzy... especially since I run the game the last several rounds without minis... which leaves the group with a more time to contribute to the narrative by describing their actions... something which they left more or less in my hands while they focused on the minis and the map.
The only thing I throw around is the area in which the stress damage is applied, which in turn is dependent on the situation. My reasoning is that it would unnerve me to see coming down a lightning in some hundred feet - especially without a building over my head. A more or less medieval fantasy peasant would probably think that nature or a higher power is gunning for him.
Also the spell is a damn nifty way to impress the common folks. "Dare to touch me!", dramatic pause, lightning strikes behind the wizard, rumbling thunder "And heaven himself will strike you down!".
I would even with a direct hit apply that 60 ft. area anyone suffers a direct hit. So it wouldn't hit only 1 being... my reasoning goes into "It's a damn lightning"
territory. Also it is a 5th level spell... so it seems fine.
To top it of... I would also apply a morale penalty throw. I do this as a rule of thumb with most area spells. Seeing some of your friends, relatives or general other sentient beings at least, burned by fire, acid that smelts parts of the victim or shocks them with electricity... this will erode anyones will to fight and leave many beings with permanent mental scars.
Thanks again for the help.
P.S.: You Crafty Guys did a terrific job with the Reaper and the Infernalist. I had a mighty fine time with a Reaper 10/Infernalist 10. I was allowed to buy the undead state and since I had access to level 9 spells we ruled that Dark Pact I would just be added to Dark Pact II. The character was a blast to play - despite the limited spells for now. Tainted hits very, very hard... especially because we play with corrupting magic.
The scenes were hilarious. The "dreaded" necromancer helping out repairing a palisade with undead mules and horses to haul logs. Check. Killing beavers with Cause Wounds I, Mass to aquire undead lumberjacks to bring down the trees in the first place. Check. Getting hanged by pissed off peasants. Check... and finally getting freed by his mini-pit fiend (his Imp).
And weirdest of all, he wanted to genuinely help and was in general the nicest being in the whole group. He just happened to be undead and in league with the forces of hell... and was steadfast about it.
P.P.S.: I could also say the same about the Chaneller and the Conjuror... the first a half elf with charge mastery and wrestling supremacy. Weak as he was, thanks to athletics he ripped through them like a scythe through wheat.
The other a grizzled human conjuror/alchemist hunting down exotic components (read: dragon bones, demon blood and so on). He had quite a weak spot for elementals and would often bottle them in his fancy flasks to unleash them on short notice in dangerous situations. Its quite easy to pick a fight with the old, mumbling man... until the same old guy crushes nonchalantly a tin flask ornamented with runs... and the whole things goes down south fast when the trouble maker stares into an swirling sentient entity made of fire.
I love this game... so many points to drive home that narrative and rules sit on the same side of the fence.