Wizards and their robes

A question that surfaced in our Rheinstein pbm:

A party of wizards dressed in wizard's robes enters a town/city (Trier).

Do people realize they are magi? Do they think they are scholars? Monks?

They are all male (but one who one looks like a child anyway).

Hypothetically: how about female magi?

@zlorfik, gozer, and jebrick: Please don't post - let's see what the community thinks.

Our characters tend to have a distinction between the clothes they wear for their everyday activities and those that they wear for Hermetic occasions. We don't buy the image of wizards in outlandish robes covered with Hermetic symbols and flame-coloured collars popping into market for a bolt of white cloth and a silver knife.

We tend to have our magi in variations of either scholarly or clerical gowns, or clothes suiting their "professions". So we have a Bonisagus who genuinely looks like a scholar, a Guernicus who dresses as a wealthy woman, and an Ex Misc who dresses for a life in the woodlands, where he keeps his shrine and... stuff.

But once you get to covenant councils, rituals, and Tribunals the finery comes out and its a cornucopia of colour, strange talismans, and mystically symbolic gemstones.

Now, there are exceptions. My Verditius for instance wears a distinctly unusual full-length guantlet covered in, well, pouches for want of another word. And this is coupled with silver greaves and other very obvious accutrements. But he does have the Blatant Gift and frankly has no chance or intention of blending in.

For the most part, the wizards in my saga would not look much different from some other class of person.

Lady Pellegrina of Jerbiton wears the clothing of a noble woman, with a small cloak of ravens feathers tucked up one sleeve of her voluminous dress.

Coraldo aka Laurus Dionysus is accustomed to wearing the clothing of a merchant, as his family's trade is of the mercantile sort, and he's a bit of a hedonist.

Renoir wears working clothes, as he dabbles in blacksmithing when not working Terram in the lab. When out and about, he often wears armor.

The one example that does touch upon the robe issue is Helios Excelcis of Guernicus, who learned a great deal in the University of Paris before becoming a wizard. He was prone to wearing the robes of scholar, and often made his way about posing as such. After a few abuses at the hands of fate, and some changes in his person attitude towards what it means to be a wizard, he did commission robes of a more hermetic sort, decorated with astrological symbols and so on.

Generally, this is his 'biker jacket' when among villagers who know of him, or to whom his reputation has spread (post Festival of the Damned, wherein his casting of Demon's Eternal Oblivion saved a number of people). He tends to wear these clothes when he wants to broadcast "Do Not Mess With Me, I Am A Wizard". If he actually wants to go to market, or get a room for the night, he tends to wear more subdued wear.

Now, indeed, he does not expect to be shown a lot of kindness in his awesome red and yellow wizardly robe, but he also expects people to get out of his way. Once he pops a few demons or otherwise does some good, feelings tend to slowly thaw as he builds a positive reputation, often aided by words from companions, a minstrel of the covenant, and so on. Usually, he's not around long enough for this to happen, as he's either zapped the demon or burned with fire the issue before him.

Initially, when the wizards were weaker, they tended to hide their true nature, but as they began to grow in power and chafe against the limits of going incognito, we moved away from the "Vampire the Requiem" model and the wizards began to not hide who they were. OF course, by this time they had saved the local village of Vezay from various problems and solved a fair number of mysteries and so have a positive rep to smooth things over with the locals in spite of the Gift. They're not sung of as heroes, but the locals are increasingly grateful for their help...

Well I think there is some validity to the "lightbolt covered, flame collared robes". Tho I must say I think that might be a bit of an exageration. In the Societas book it states Jerbitons actually like to dress up in thier wizardly robes so people can identify them as wizards. I think that maybe it also helps being identified as one with the way the gift effects ppl. They might treat a thief to thrown mud/crap whatever when they come into town....but I know I sure wouldn't want to make some magi want to do anything to me!

Keep in mind that if you are following historical models, the type of academic robes that wizard's robes are based upon have not fully developed yet in 1220, and are likely only restricted to those at the universities. I have always assumed in my saga that magi dress as others do on a day-to-day basis, but have some kind of Roman-derived ceremonial dress, likely consisting of a tunic covered with a hybrid cloak/toga, which could very much give a wizard's robes appearance, but would be very exotic worn outside of a council meeting or tribunal ceremony.

We tend to go for a totally random mixture. My personal preference has always been to make sure it is clear 'I am a wizard', This is mythic europe after all, and the Order's existsence is not secret.

That said, in circumstances where it is not practical, such as when travelling in bad weather, I would always defer to more suitable clothing.

The downside to dressing like a wizard is that peasants more frequently wave witch bottles at you etc... the plus side is lesser nobles and other such petty power groups don't randomly hassle you. If you dress like a commoner and the local baron's obnoxious son decides to whip you as he rides past etc...

If you walk into tier fully dressed as a magus you will draw attention... and gain easy access through the crowd. Depending on your attitude you might attract the lical authorities with (wary) intento to escort you to the jail magistrate or to make sure you do not cause (much) trouble.

People tend to be distrustful of magi, but also know they can fry them if they act ñike jerks and menace or deal harshly with them, so you are likely to be watched at all times, but be left to your own business here. Of ycourse your business will hardly be secret, since you will be being watched and gossiped on.


Exactly what I was trying to say, only you said it much more clearly.