this video shows the Risen 2 lightning texture and then the corresponding particle effect.
the texture had 3 greyscale masks put into RGB channels.
the particle effect was bound to the hero, and was always spawned 200-300 meters away from him. the particle chose randomly, where the particles were spawned arund the hero. the sequence itself was also random. the effect was supported by light effects in the sky. and sounds. both was not neede to be in synch with the lighning, since this is also not the case in reality