Shape & Material Bonuses - where do people get their inspirations

Hi guys, a question for those of you who have played around with adding shape and material bonuses not listed in the books (or indeed those of you who have added them to the books). As part of my groups November writing project we're playing around with enchanted food and are looking to get ideas for bonus for various ingredients - particularly spices.

The main thing I was wondering is where do/did you get ideas for the bonuses for materials and shapes and how did you set the potential bonuses they could grant?

Looking for some inspiration for a list of new material and form bonuses for food - there are a few things in the various cannon books around but I'm mainly wondering where people draw inspiration for the bonuses for materials and forms?

legend, folklore, sometimes fairly obvious symbolism or myths.

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In my campaign I am playing with a Maga with a better version of Vulgar Alchemy, and she has got the following bonuses:

Leaf: +4 herbam
Egg: +3 Creo
Wine: +4 Mentem
Tesseract: +4 Vim

In progress but not yet completed:
Rod Asclepius: +6 healing Humans
+? Diagnosis

Not even started:

Pipe/tube: +? Control flow of fluids
Honeycomb: +? Control insects
Peacock Feather +?
Pyramid: +? Preservation
Honey: +? Happy marriages
Rusty Iron: +? Perdo

Not quite what you asked for but I thought it might spark some ideas.


You can also look up modern-day wiccan / crystal / whatever stuff. There are a number of lists out there of the properties of different things. It may not be the same, but it tends to have roots in the same places. Meanwhile, if there is nothing to go on it might give that inspiration you need.

Wine +4 Mentem?

Not all Mentem spells seem to match with wine. Party inducing ones or pleasant emotions, sure. Truth inducing ones (“in vino veritas” and al that), sure. Perhaps, sleep inducing ones too.

But fear inducing ones, or telepathic communication, ... I don’t know.

Don't forget spells to obfuscate communication! (wine)
Pyramids have a lot of possibilities, for one thing the tetrahedron was associated with fire in Greek elements and geometry, death, preservation, necromancy all make sense. Some sources would suggest a vim connection as well...
peacock could be to improve appearance or to increase vanity
honey is connected with healing, as well as preservation and sweetening of food.
not even sure how you have a tesseract in a medieval setting... I mean sure the shape can be made but the concept for what it means and the word itself were not in existence until the 19th century. If you do allow it I'd give it a small bonus for spells involving regios.