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Basic Cooking Guide

Note: This is a legacy guide from T4. Some information may not apply or be accurate for T6. This is a rough starter guide for anyone who is interested in cooking, but is getting overwhelmed by the statistics, spreadsheets, database links, pictures and graphs that are present on the subject. I'll make the disclaimer that this is written according to the best of my knowledge - there are a number of rumors that I've heard about cooking, but I'm going to ignore those for the most part. Despite all my protestations, it's entirely possible that I'm mistaken about something here.

The Basics

Cooking is accomplished by combining ingredients in a Kitchen with a cookpot. A recipe must be a minimum of 7 deben worth of ingredients (and each additional 7 deben = another serving). There are two components to every recipe - one or more bases, and one or more additives. Bases are defined as the item with the highest quantity in the cookpot (so 2 bases would require identical quantities). Additives are everything else. A common simple recipe or ratio is 6d of base and 1d of additive (I'll refer to that as 6:1, frequently, or base:additive). Your Cooking skill level determines how many bases you can use in a recipe without achieving muddled results. There's also a limit to the total number of ingredients (not quantity) you can add to a pot (which is 21)

I'm going to assume that everyone here has one of two goals in cooking: Masterpieces and/or Stats, and I'll tailor the next sections to those specifically. There are a number of tools used in cooking, depending on personal preference - spreadsheets, online databases, graphs, and pictures. They can mostly be found on the Recipes page. You'll want to know where those are and find something comfortable for you to use when cooking.


Masterpieces provide Gastronomy points; at 7, 49 & 243 gastronomy, you receive a permanent Perception increase. In order to achieve a masterpiece (MP), you need to a) cook a dish with a significant duration, and b) get lucky. Essentially, an MP is possible whenever you cook a dish with a duration that meets a certain level (I'm guessing ~30 minutes). When you cook that dish, you have a % chance of creating a masterpiece. I'm going to hypothesize that the longer the duration, the better that % chance. There are other rumors or theories abounding about an avatar's special ingredient, or certain recipes or combinations allowing MPs, and I would argue that those are not true. You can cook the same recipe 49 times with no luck, and the 50th time, you could get an MP off of it. I've tried rearranging the ordering of the ingredients, the quantities I add at a given time, etc., all with no noticeable effect.

bortox comments:

  • There is no random chance. I don't know the mechanics behind how MPs are decided, but it's not random. This tale, I've cooked 82 MPs so far, out of 170 attempts, which is right around a 50% success rate, some of which have had relatively short durations for the cooking level (30ish mins for a cooking 5 recipe) -- bortox
  • Here's my technique for cooking masterpieces. This write up is going to assume a cooking level of 5, and it's going to use letters for base/additive pairs, so A is one base/additive pair, and B represents a different one.
    • First, find a recipe that gives a masterpiece. Use base/additive pairs which are cheap, because you are going to burn through a lot of them. So now you have your first masterpiece, let's call the recipe ABCDE.
    • Now, take the first four pairs, ABCD, and start adding other pairs, until you make another masterpiece. Let's call that one ABCDF. For the next recipe, take the new pair, plus 3 old ones, so for this example, we'll take BCDF. Now try to match those 4 up with another new pair that will give a masterpiece, which we'll call GBCDF. Do that again, so you'd have GCDF to find yet another masterpiece, which then would be GHCDF.
    • Keep repeating that process, and eventually you'll isolate pairings which give good odds for creating a masterpiece. --bortox

end bortox comments

So, how do you create a high-duration recipe? This is where the first half of the cooking data comes in. All (most) of the cooking ingredients have been plotted on an (x,y) graph. The closer two items are to one another, the higher the duration when you mix them. Something called potency also effects this to a lesser degree, but I'm going to leave out that part for simplicity's sake. So, using whatever tool, data, or picture you'd prefer, you want to find two ingredients that are very close together. Generally, people try to use common ingredients (honey, mutton, camel meat, etc) as bases, and herbs as addditives (with mushrooms being able to fill both roles). Then, find two more points that are close together. And again. After finding several sets of these base:additive pairings, mix them together in the pot and cross your fingers. But dont' be discouraged if you don't get an MP your first few times.

A couple of points to remember:

  • Keep your base & additive close, but try to keep each pair far from the other pairs, or you risk getting the wrong match. An additive chooses the closest base to it. I like to pick one pairing from each quadrant of the graph.
  • I suggest Cooking 3 as the minimal needed to obtain an MP reliably. I have gotten MPs at Cooking 2, but they were fewer and farther between.
  • Once you have gastronomy of 7, you can "critically evaluate" a dish, which allows you to see the stats & the exact duration of that dish. This is very helpful in determining if you did everything correctly, and may be worth buying MPs for. I aim for about 50 minutes, but lower results can hit an MP.
  • Hashing: If you eat the same MP twice, you won't get two gastro points for it. Because the data that tracks this is based on a hash, you'll sometimes find that even different recipes tell you that you've gotten a similar flavor, and that you don't get any gastro. We call that hashing, and it will happen about 10-20% of the time, more as your gastro gets higher (that's an estimate, I've heard higher numbers). I've hashed 10-12 times on about 65 MPs.
  • There are a lot of pairings that have been pre-selected for you. Check the Recipes page.
  • Note on high-duration. We are now seeing recipes with 5+ hours of duration. In almost all cases I'm noticing that the additive is not '1'. I've run several tests and found that increasing the additive seems to help duration. ~Koinif


Probably the main purpose of cooking is to increase your stats, to make some task easier - Endurance for flax processing or digging, Constitution for smoking the hookah, Perception & Focus for dowsing, or Strength & Dexterity for carrying are but a few examples. Masterpieces, while great for gastronomy points, tend to have lousy stats (my guild laughs at my MPs, because they all have huge negative stats). In order to really get good stats, we're going to go back to our tools and look at another piece - the +/- data. I'd strongly suggest dachennian's database (again, available from the Recipes page) for this, but if you're more comfortable with other formats, that's fine. (Said database exists nowhere) You can also find these for herbs on the foraging page.

I consider stat recipes to have two components: Power and Duration. A good recipe should have a high stat value (power), but it should also last long enough to be useful (duration). A +25 END recipe isn't much good if it only lasts 6 seconds. So, when designing a recipe, I want pieces of both.

The first thing to do for a stat recipe is to decide what stats you want to increase, which ones you don't want to decrease, and which you don't care about. For example, I want to stir concrete, so I want a high STR and a high END, but I don't want my DEX to drop, because I have to walk across my camp to the stirring vat. PER, CON, and FOC, I don't care about. Dach's database allows you to plug that in, but however you choose to get that info, go grab *all* the additives that meet those criteria. Filter out the ones that you don't have in stock or don't want to use. Now, we go back to our (x,y) graph.

Power: When I'm looking for power for my stat recipe, I'm looking for a clump or grouping of my additives. Find three or more of these ingredients that are relatively close to one another, and then find a base that's in that same area. Bases do have stats themselves, so for really strong recipes, you want to find a base that matches your criteria, but I don't sweat that part too much early on. When I talk about relative closeness, I want additives that are going to mix with the base I intend them too - I'm less worried about duration, and more about Additive1 mixing with BaseA, instead of BaseD.

Duration: For duration, you're looking for the same thing you were looking for with masterpieces. Look for additives on your list that are very close to a base. Here, you want to keep one base mixing with one additive. The more additives attached to a base, the lower the duration. As I mentioned above, you want to make sure that the base you choose is far enough away from the power base, or you'll end up attaching the wrong base to the wrong additive. Each addtiive chooses a base based on how close it is.

So, now you mix power & duration pairs together, and you have your recipe. Things to note:

  • The more additives a base has attached, the more potent the stats, but the lower the duration.
  • For Cooking 4, I frequently use a 3-to-1 power base, and 3 1-to-1 duration bases, for recipes of about +10/+12 stats and ~45 min duration.
  • Two 2-to-1 power bases will generally provide less power than one 3-to-1. Add more additives to a single base for higher power. Add a second power base when you can't find enough additives clumped together.
  • The more specific the stats you want, the fewer additives you'll find that match those. There are no + everything additives, and trying to find high str/dex/per/foc food for dowsing is much harder than just finding high per/foc food (for example).

A note on stat recipes & additive quantities (advanced)

In T3, there was some discussion about adding multiple quantities of an additive being wasteful. Because of the way that additives & bases interact (with bases overriding the interaction) in T4, I would argue that the additive quantity is very important now. When I'm crafting a very strong recipe, I test each base:additive pairing against multiple additive quantities to determine the best reaction. That means that for my very, very good recipes, I end up with Base(6):Add1(3):Add2(1):Add3(5); Base2(6):Add4(1):Add5(3) combinations, etc. It also means that crafting a very strong stat recipe consumes a much larger amount of additives. To that end, I do keep some of my recipes private because of the relative cost. I use several hundred herb additives to craft a 20+ stat recipe. This also means that moving from a 6-quantity base to a 9-quantity base involves re-crafting the recipe entirely (you can make educated guesses about the multiplier, but nothing guaranteed).

Anything Else?

Other things that strike me here:

  • The more of an additive you use, the higher the relative potency or "additive potency" of that ingredient, and the more it should boost your stats. A 6:1 base-additive pair will generally have lower stats than a 4:3. Bear that in mind when you start to make larger servings - you'll take a small hit to stats (and duration) mixing 23:1 recipes. If you're really trying to max stats, mix 2:1 ratios (if you can afford the herbs).
  • This tale, we have seen issues where the base "overrides" the additive when two ingredients get very close together. There seems to be a different threshold distance for this for different ingredients, and it's still under investigation (it may be related to the additive potency I just mentioned). You may want to keep your duration pairs a little further apart to be safe. To be safest, test the duration pairs and the power pairs ahead of time by cooking them individually (again, this can be costly if you're using rare herbs).
  • Record everything you do. Even recipes you may consider abject failures can give researchers like me more data to work with. Put them on the recipe page. Ideally, I'd love to have every potential 6:1 combination recorded, so don't think that your recipes aren't worth posting on the Recipe page.
  • Salt! Salt is an ingredient like any other, so it can be an additive or a base, and impacts the recipe normally. However, salt also extends the time that a recipe will stay fresh from 2 days to 4 days. After that time, the recipe spoils and is unuseable.
  • Just before a meal spoils, it will say that it is "iffy with a bad smell" If you eat, you will get negative stats.

Have fun cooking! There's a bit of number-crunching involved in this, but a lot of the work's been done for you.


For the old list of resources, please check the archive for T5 and earlier. The list on this page should contain only resources created or verified for T6.

Cooking Grid

JPG versions

For a quick view at the cooking grid, some screenshots of it have been posted on the wiki here: Cooking Graph - Please NOTE: The first jpg is an overall view of the grid, but is out of date, and missing many points. (Last updated by Odis, 2/20/2011). The 4 zoomed in quadrant screenshots that follow are of the CURRENT grid (Last updated by Avanya, 12/23/12).

File version

For the best viewing and exploring of the cooking graph, its nice to experience it in Geogebra.

To do that, you can download a copy of the UPDATED GeoGebra Cooking Grid with all the data points listed below here: (updated 1/20/13 by Avanya).

(This is a GeoGebra document, and you must use this program to view it. To open a GeoGebra applet, go to Or you can download the application free from their website. Then open the downloaded file through the program.)

The old, out of date version can be seen here: (last updated 2/20/12). A chart of Additional Data points that his older version is missing can be found here.

Other Helpful Links:

The Good Grub Pub - The Tale 6 Cooking Research Guild. Located next to the Seven Lakes Chariot. (not currently active)
Food Reference Chart - The Food Reference Chart for Tale 6. This will be a work in progress all tale long. - Sabuli's Nearest Additives Tool.

Ingredients Not Plotted

The following ingredients are still missing from the food grid. If you have any amts that you can spare for testing (6 db total is needed, but any donations of any amounts are welcome) please chat Avanya in game.

  • Royal Jelly, 801.05, -545.68 (Ruby)
  • Oyster Meat, 1005.59, -857.95 (Ruby)


  • Oxyrynchus, -875.73, -109.71 (Ruby)
  • RazorFin, 644.96, -767.58 (Ruby)
  • Cherry Bonefish 989.02, -251.06 (Ruby)
  • Spiny Dogfish, -556, 413 (Ruby)
  • Rainbow Cod, 1281.77, -608.32 (Ruby)


  • Golden Dubloons


  • Cucumbers (can be paired with Enchanter's Plant or Flaming Skirret)
  • Grilled cucumbers (can be paired with Curly sage, Fire Lily or Sandalwood)
  • Eggplant (can be paired with Pale Skirret, Jaiyanti or Sandalwood)
  • Grilled Eggplant (can be paired with Miniature Bamboo, Death's Piping and Beetle Leaf )