I was reading the Talisman enchantment example in MRE pg. 89 and noticed something I found a little strange... The talisman in the example gains a shape bonus from the depiction of a crown. That seems to imply that merely engraving an image into something gives the image's shape bonus to the item.
Is this correct? If it is, I'll probably house-rule that a depiction of a given shape only give one-half the listed bonus (round up)...
Well, what about a tapestry depicting a crown? Or a spoon with a crown emblem on the end of the stem? What about a spoon made from the gold that belonged to a crown?
I think you're right to question, but personally I'm prepared to be a little more lax on what constitutes a shape for the purposes of providing a bonus. And if I don't think something is significant enough, I'll say so; if you want the engraving of a crown to give you a bonus, it can't be a thumbnail etching on the underside of the enchanted saddle. Make it worth seeing and you'll get the bonus.
yes - so long as part of the enchanted device has the specified shape, then it counts.
I'd not necessarily count an engraved image of a crown, but a miniature crown on the end of a staff would certainly count.
Do not forget that
a) the number of bonus items is limited in a Talisman
b) activating a bonus takes time, and represents an investment by the owning magus
c) the bonus benefit you get for spell-casting and lab totals has a limited umber (MT score) no matter how many S&M items you include... you don't simply add them all without limit.
As such, adding extra S&M items is merely a way to broaden the scope over which the magus may claim bonuses, and a way to fill out the bonus to the max. allowed (MT score).