Symbols as shape/material bonuses?


In the interest of the players making their talismans, we came to wonder about using SYMBOLS as part of the shape/material bonuses.

My main concern is using the Caduceus (The rod of Hermes) as the crown of a staff. What kind of bonus would a Caduceus be and what might it be worth?

I am loathe to declare it "Medicine" or "Healing," as it is a common misconception due to it's similarity to the Rod of Asclepius, which IS the symbol for such things.

I figure "Travel" might be an appropriate bonus, but are there any others?

Feel free to post any other "emblem/symbol" bonuses you might have in mind.

Allowing symbols to substitute for S/M bonuses completely undermines the whole concept of S/M. Just rubber-stamp the appropriate symbol on anything - a muffin - and you're good to go.

This sounds more along the lines of the Verditius Runes, which gave a small bonus and one separate from S/M.

But I'm generally a conservative SG. If this works for you, if you want to open that door, then there are literally thousands of "symbols" that you could use, and more that you could make up.

Symbols, portraits, writing and images falls under the major supernatural virtue Craft Magic, which is used by the Rustic Magi in House Ex Miscellanea. By RAW, the rest of the Order cannot use these things normally when crafting items. But like many other things, if you with it in your saga, then go for it.

My only argument against this is the whole issue of "potent magic," which also uses the S/M table. According to that, you can theoretically make dagger-shaped Raspberry Tarts of Virulent Poison and still get the +3 "Poisoning" bonus for the dagger-shape of the foul pastry.

Are the rules concerning use of S/M different for potent magic than they are for enchanting? I know that the number of S/M "objects" you can gain a S/M bonus from is limited to your Magic Theory.

I don't have my Mysteries book with me, but according to an example in there, a small "hearth-shaped" token works just as well as the gigantic one you may have in your home.

Crosses are "symbols," and if something as abstract as a "Thunderbolt" isn't a symbol of some sort, then I'd love to know what this S/M bonus really is.

If I'm completely missing the concept of the S/M bonus, please give me a page reference and correct me, as I'd love to know if I've been doing something stupid for the past couple of years!

If this IS the case, I'd suspect using "Symbology" in your enchanting would be a major breakthrough (and thus, virtue) of some sort not stackable with Verditius runes.

I consider myself pretty conservative, as well, but according to you I don't seem to be getting the S/M concept.

I'd love to correct this if I am doing it wrong. Got a specific page reference?

Interesting. HoH: Societates is the only Ars book I don't have save for RoP: Faerie.

In this case, he is talking about the shape being part of the item. What bonus would the shape of a caduseus have vs shape of doorway, shape of a sword, shape of bracelet, etc......

I am talking three dimensional significant presence, not just a carved symbol.

Travel is likely the good bonus, +2 I think.

Methinks I should learn to express myself a bit better...and I'm an English teacher... :blush:

Yes, Ladypheonix, the above example is an Elder staff with a Silver caduceus as the crown of the staff itself.

Aaah. Well then.

What about a bonus for flying, since the staff was originally born by Iris, who had wings? She travels on rainbows to deliver messeges... some sort of visual illusion bonus?

Oh. Nice!

I'd forgotten about "Hera's Little Helper."

Travel, Flying and Visual Imaginem bonus. That sounds about right. Thanks!