I'm trying to make my first Talisman, but I'm a little confused by the rules.
It says it takes one season to "attune" the talisman, but it later uses the word "attune" for adding bonuses. Plus, I'm confused about the amount of vis I need to use to open it, since the shape and material doesn't matter. Do I only have to open it with as much vis as I intend to use for the effect I'm about to instill? Does opening it still take a full season?
I want to start small, and just put a Level 15 effect on a ring (lab total 33), make it a talisman, and attune the hazel stone to give a bonus to divinations. Will that take one, two or three seasons?
Two seasons. Well, technically three, but the wording is weird and gets houseruled a lot.
You're right, their usage of the word "attune" was confusing, because they used it both for making something your Talisman and adding bonuses, and the opening rules are funky.
The first season is actually spent opening the item the normal way, as it must be opened before it can be made into a Talisman (a sad thing for young magi who want a priceless gem as a talisman for flavor purposes).
The second season is spent on the first usage of attuning, which makes the item your Talisman.
The third season is spent both instilling the effect (if your Arts are high enough to do so in a single season) and using the second version of the word attuning, which gives you the hazel bonus to Divination. These are both season-long activities individually, but you're allowed to attune Talisman effects in the same season that you invest an effect in the Talisman.
You have to at least prepare a device for enchantment before you can attune it as your talisman. You can also attune an enchanted item as your talisman if you prepared it and instilled all of the effects into it. So, shape and material matter, as does your magic theory score. After it is prepared (one season), attuned (another season) you can put in vis up to your magic theory score, opening up further enchantment spaces.
It would take 3 seasons, a season to prepare, a season to install the effect, and a season to attune. The attunement and the effect can be done in any order after the item is prepared, but you gain an additional bonus when instilling effects into your talisman, so you might be able to increase the overall magnitude of the enchantment.
Eh? It's pretty clear to me. Any ambiguity in that area is whether one can actually receive a bonus the first season you attune an item as your talisman. That is not explicitly stated, and I have always house ruled that the initial season of attunement gives you a bonus. But it has always been prepare an item for an enchantment, and then instill an effect or attune it and then do the other one.
Hazel stone? I'm pretty sure the "hazel" shape & material bonus refers to the wood of the hazel tree, as traditional dowsing rods are made out of hazel. Admittedly, the shape & material bonuses are vague enough that some kind of pictorial representation of a hazel or sculpture of one would work just as well as using the material.