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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    So, I've been thinking a bit about what nobles would wear to fancy shindigs, in a D&D world. On the one hand, fashions, even impossible fashions, become much easier with illusion magic. Want a hairpiece that floats over your head? A dress that changes color? Garments that look like they ought to fall off with the slightest breeze, or even just gravity? Sure, all of that is trivial with a first-level spell, or relatively cheap magic items based on it. Plus, of course, you can make yourself look more young, or beautiful, or distinguished, or whatever you're going for. Naturally, every well-dressed noble is going to take advantage of such magic.

    But then again, among the upper reaches of D&D high society, True Seeing or its equivalent is also common. The ruler of Waterdeep is the equivalent of a 20th-level wizard. The Grand Dukes of Baldur's Gate are all powerful retired adventurers. High priests of the various major temples, who would of course be in attendance, are the equivalent of upper-tier clerics. And at any really good party, you'll have outsiders, dragons, and the like in attendance. In short, a lot of the People you Want to Impress will be able to see right through illusory fashions. So what's the style-conscious to do? Why, of course, take advantage of the opportunity to wear two completely different fancy outfits! One made of glamer, for the nonmagical rubes to see, and one made of glamour, for the really important people.

    And, of course, the real, physical outfit should also incorporate impossible elements, implemented through magic, because why not? Levitating accessories, magically-adhered fabric, animated tassels... All should be a part of the haute wardrobe. And certainly, the tabloids would be filled with speculation of what the actual, hidden fashions were (including, probably, persistent rumors that certain Beautiful People were actually completely nude), and the really good tabloids (i.e., the ones in which the Important People have a strong financial stake) would be privy to "leaks" (totally without the Important Peoples' permission, of course!) of the true styles.
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    You know there's a subforum for Worldbuilding, right? Or did you post this here by accident?
    Please be mindful of what you say in public; sadly not all can handle sarcasm or The Internet Credibility.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    ...Huh, I never noticed that. I'll just self-report this, then.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    d6 Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    So, I've been thinking a bit about what nobles would wear to fancy shindigs, in a D&D world. On the one hand, fashions, even impossible fashions, become much easier with illusion magic. Want a hairpiece that floats over your head? A dress that changes color? Garments that look like they ought to fall off with the slightest breeze, or even just gravity? Sure, all of that is trivial with a first-level spell, or relatively cheap magic items based on it. Plus, of course, you can make yourself look more young, or beautiful, or distinguished, or whatever you're going for. Naturally, every well-dressed noble is going to take advantage of such magic.

    But then again, among the upper reaches of D&D high society, True Seeing or its equivalent is also common. The ruler of Waterdeep is the equivalent of a 20th-level wizard. The Grand Dukes of Baldur's Gate are all powerful retired adventurers. High priests of the various major temples, who would of course be in attendance, are the equivalent of upper-tier clerics. And at any really good party, you'll have outsiders, dragons, and the like in attendance. In short, a lot of the People you Want to Impress will be able to see right through illusory fashions. So what's the style-conscious to do? Why, of course, take advantage of the opportunity to wear two completely different fancy outfits! One made of glamer, for the nonmagical rubes to see, and one made of glamour, for the really important people.

    And, of course, the real, physical outfit should also incorporate impossible elements, implemented through magic, because why not? Levitating accessories, magically-adhered fabric, animated tassels... All should be a part of the haute wardrobe. And certainly, the tabloids would be filled with speculation of what the actual, hidden fashions were (including, probably, persistent rumors that certain Beautiful People were actually completely nude), and the really good tabloids (i.e., the ones in which the Important People have a strong financial stake) would be privy to "leaks" (totally without the Important Peoples' permission, of course!) of the true styles.
    I think you're overestimating how powerful the commonly or even uncommonly available illusion magic is, in 5e.

    You're also likely underestimating how people would think of illusion magic as a threat. If Baron Bernardson is perceived as having magic on him, even illusion magic, who can say if it's the Baron wanting to look fancy or a whole other person who made themselves look like the Baron and is Mission Impossible-ing the party?

    Furthermore, even without going into True Seeing, most illusions can be seen through one way or another.

    A combination of those factors means that someone identified as having illusion magic on them would likely be taken away to have their identity verified. Even for things that are obviously illusions, since you can't know the person isn't using the old "have an obvious fake people can see to make the less obvious fake harder to spot" trick.


    The result would likely be that outside of moments where showimg off an illusion is acceptable, most nobles would spend a lot of money on practical effects and real but hard to acquire things to appear as fancy as possible.

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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    ...Huh, I never noticed that. I'll just self-report this, then.
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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    Noblewoman in Elaborate Red Dress of Some Strange, Leathery-Looking Fabric: [Adjusts True Seeing glasses.] My. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing an Illusion like that.
    Blue Dragon: [Adjusts his own glasses.] It is growing a beard, yes. Like food, with mould. [Nods along.] So, what is it for you, I wonder? Transmutation?
    Noblewoman: [Smiles smugly.] Conjuration, nowadays. I did mull combining the two in the future, nonetheless provided that imbecile [Other Noble] finally learns that showing up with an Abjurer in tow is in poor taste.
    Fiendish Cloaker Planar Bound to and Worn by Noblewoman as dress: Eh, I think you'd look good in acid.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    Ooh, it hadn't even occurred to me to press living creatures into service as clothes...

    But yeah, you can go way beyond silk and gold brocade.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

    Chronos's Unalliterative Skillmonkey Guide
    Current Homebrew: 5th edition psionics

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Ooh, it hadn't even occurred to me to press living creatures into service as clothes...

    But yeah, you can go way beyond silk and gold brocade.
    Magic in the game is so darn stupid that there's little one can't do it with it, given one's C-R-A-Z-Y enough. (The alternate idea alluded to in my previous post is an Axiomatic Ochre Jelly flowing around the wearer's acid-immune body at a captivatingly even pace, by the way.)

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    I think there'd probably be a lot of mileage gotten out of endure elements, clothes that are to light or two heavy would be possible and comfortable. Also, from a practical standpoint heavy armor is heavy and a serious concern if you're doing heavily athletic things in a hot climate.

    I'm thinking even for the sake of keeping up appearances enchantments would be practical-ish, for the kind of person one likes to present themselves as being. For example surgeon's cuffs were designed for surgeons and eventually became standard men's formalwear. The tie was invented by Croatian soldiers to mark officers, and then became a way for people to show they were officer-like.

    For a D&D world, I'm sort of imaging them dressing like a fancier version of PC clothes.

    One noble want to appear smart, so they dress like a wizard, but with gibberish magical runes embroidered in their robe in gold thread and a lack of inexplicable singe marks.

    A noble that wants to appear to humble might dress in monk-ish clothes that are impeccably clean, pressed and re-bleached every month, where-ass and actual monk's clothes are frayed and smell of hard work.
    The thing is the Azurites don't use a single color; they use a single hue. The use light blue, dark blue, black, white, glossy blue, off-white with a bluish tint. They sky's the limit, as long as it's blue.

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    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    Much like how formal military atire would have you wear all your medals and commendations on your chest, so why not expand that for adventurers turned nobility?

    "I got this gold ring in the lost mines of algorthoax. It's a simple band but I cherish it dearly as it was my first adventure"

    "This pin is a fragment of the horn of the dragon guarding the Sword of Palthoon, which is on my hip right here"

    And it's just showing off a bunch of jewelry and junk that they picked up in their youth in a manner of one-upmanship.

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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    The Dagger Of Nobility

    (Stolen from a story I do not recall.)

    Every noble is required by ancient law to display a magic dagger. Because of the expense of weapons that are effective, a genius wizard came up with a cheap dagger that qualifies as magical. After a failed assassination attempt, an emperor mandated that the less expensive Dagger Of Magical Bluntness is the only acceptable weapon for compliance with this ancient law.

    The magically blunt blade of these weapons cannot cut or pierce any physical object. They have no magical bonuses to hit, and inflict -4 damage per hit.

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    Default Re: [Worldbuilding] Some thoughts on noble attire

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    The Dagger Of Nobility

    (Stolen from a story I do not recall.)

    Every noble is required by ancient law to display a magic dagger. Because of the expense of weapons that are effective, a genius wizard came up with a cheap dagger that qualifies as magical. After a failed assassination attempt, an emperor mandated that the less expensive Dagger Of Magical Bluntness is the only acceptable weapon for compliance with this ancient law.

    The magically blunt blade of these weapons cannot cut or pierce any physical object. They have no magical bonuses to hit, and inflict -4 damage per hit.
    I bet they are passable paperweights, on the other hand! (You murderers of fibrous organisms.)

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