I have a friend trying to convert Earth Dawn and Shadow Run to GURPS, one thing hes trying to get is pattern items and thread magic. Trouble is the description I am given is not helpful towards building a system. So I asked him if he ever read Madwand by Roger Zelazny as that might be where they got the idea. I read this book as a teenager so hopefully remember it well enough. Here is my attempt to describe that system.
Magic is both a force and a material. Magicians can see it as threads floating in the air and will it to move. Sophisticated mages can even learn to tie it in knots and anchor these threads to objects so they can carry the threads with them and not be so dependent on what happens to be nearby. Later on in the book the protagonist learns to perceive and shape the threads as clouds and possibly other shapes, granting new ways to use them. Some of my inspiration for converting this system is The Stuff of Raw Magic (GURPS Thaumatology, p. 277-229)
Bind Thread (Raw Mana)
Using a Thread
- Provide 5 energy to power a spell or magic working.
- Fixate or stabilize and enchantment by providing 100 energy to an appropriate enchantment or the duration of an appropriate spell.
- Grant a +3 skill bonus to casting an appropriate spell.
- Directly affect a subject it is in contact with. Each thread counts as a Thrust attack (ST5 +Magery) or effect effect for the purpose of manipulating something or doing damage to it. The exact effect varies by aspect.
Threads of Many Colors
- Black is water aspected and can extinguish fire, cool, or even freeze things.
- Blue is air aspected and manipulates the air, it does damage as a gust of wind and can clear things, its especially suitable for area and cone attacks.
- Brown is earth aspected and can physically crush or move objects without harming them.
- Green is life aspected and especially suited to healing. Treat damage as healing.
- Red is aspected towards fire and can do burning damage
- Yellow is spirit aspected and can manipulate emotions. Treat as a QC between its effective ST and the Will of the subject to incite or inspire a given emotion.