Many people often forget that a skilled mage has many enhancements that they never had to cast when the day began. These magical secrets, woven into the threads on their robes, cowls, and capes, are often quite potent. Many of these enchantments are specific to mages, crafted to aid them in their spellcasting or defend them in ways that no simple cloth wrap would. Some garments harden to rigid steel when danger strikes, and some have protections from magical assault, and most have wards to protect the mind from the predation of demons or maleficarum.
A good mage should find some good threads, and that is what we at the Wonders of Thedas hope to provide! Below is a shopping list of robes that can be found in Dragon Age Origins and the Awakening expansion! You’ll see levels listed next to the items that recommends the level at which heroes could come across the same item.
The robes that belonged to specific characters or NPCs have been excluded. Those robes were special for those characters, and your PCs could even have their own unique sets one day!
Archon Robes (Body, Level 5)
This classically Tevinter-style robe has fine golden trimming and small, lightweight plates for added protection that does not impede spellcasting ability. While these might seem somewhat impressive to southerners, actual Tevinter Archons usually have something more powerful to wear, and would scoff at the idea of wearing something so “drab”. These robes grant the wearer an Armor Rating of 4, but do not create Strain as normal armor does.
Apprentice Robes (Body, Level 1)
These simple robes are given when apprentices of a Circle reached a milestone in their training. The Circle of Magi’s emblem is unmistakable on the front. These robes grant the wearer a +1 bonus on Magic tests to cast spells.
Blood Promise (Body, Level 10)
A treasure for any blood mage, the unnerving enchantments woven into the robes strengthen blood magic and protect the wearer from harmful blood magic should any of their “allies” turn on them. The wearer of this robe gains a +1 bonus to Spellpower for any spells that are using Health to pay for part of the Mana cost (as per the Blood Mage specialization) and they gain a +2 bonus on tests to resist spells of the Blood school.
Chasind Robes (Body, Level 5)
These robes are usually crafted for Chasind shamans by their elders. Sewn together from the skins of animals and decorated with fangs they are quite impressive, if not downright intimidating. The clever enchantments worked into the leathers grant the wearer a +2 to Defense.
First Enchanter Robes (Body, Level 10)
Despite the fact that these robes are traditionally worn by the First Enchanter of a Circle of Magi, they seem quite humble in appearance. The magicks worked into them are less humble, however, as the wearer treats their Willpower as 1 higher, and may cast all of their spells for 1 less Mana than usual.
Grey Warden Robes (Body, Level 10)
Supposedly the light armor plating on these robes has enchanted cold iron worked into it, giving the wearer’s spells more bite against darkspawn. Grey Warden mages rarely go into battle without these robes, so there may be some truth to that. The wearer’s spells deal +2 damage per damage die rolled against darkspawn and blighted creatures.
Lesser Tevinter Robe (Body, Level 5)
Worn by lower-ranking magisters and their apprentices, these robes are designed to improve the strength of the wearers spells. Everyone in Tevinter needs a leg up after all. The wearer of these robes treats their Spellpower as 1 higher than usual.
Lorekeeper’s Robe (Body, Level 5)
This robe has eye-catching designs of arcane circles and formulas. The wear may re-roll a failed Cunning test with the word “Lore” in the focus once per day, keeping the result of the second roll. If the wearer also is wearing an Archivist’s Sash, they may instead re-roll failed Cunning “Lore” tests 3 times per day in total, still taking the second result.
Mage Robes (Body, Level 5)
These colorful robes are usually given to apprentices upon completion of their Harrowing, marking them as full members of the Circle of Magi. The Templars don’t always feel comfortable handing robes with more power to mages, but the enchanters assure them that because they have passed the Harrowing, they can be trusted. The wearer of this robe may re-roll a Magic test once per day, keeping the result of the second roll.
Reaper’s Vestments (Body, Level 15)
If these robes did indeed belong to an apostate mage who was called the Reaper, then they likely have a history as colorful as the Reaper’s. Whether it was the mighty magic in the robe that protected the Reaper from dangers that would have destroyed lesser folk, or that the Reaper’s own resilience somehow rubbed off on the robes is unclear. What is clear is that the previous owner was a villain to the Templars, and a hero to common-folk and mages alike. The wearer of this robe treats their Constitution as 2 higher, gains a +3 bonus to tests made to resist spells and other magical effects, and gains an Armor Rating of 7.
Robes of the Orlesian Magister (Body, Level 10)
It is likely that these robes were named as a sleight against the northern mages of Tevinter. Nevertheless, these opulent white and bejeweled robes are still quite impressive, perhaps even rivaling many of the robes that the actual magisters themselves might wear. The wearer of this robe gains an Armor Rating of 5 from the light chain under the cloth and padding and the almost gaudy amount of jewelry, but does not take Strain. Additionally, the wearer may re-roll a failed Communication-based test once per day, taking the result of the second roll.
Robe of the Witch (Body, Level 10)
This robe is made of tattered and torn strips of leather, fur, and cloth that seem to wrap snugly around the wearer, but never feel too tight. Despite the slightly barbaric design, these robes feel as if they have restrained power within that would burst out at any moment. The wearer of these robes may perform the Imposing Spell and Tower of Will stunts for 3 SP instead of the usual 4.
Robes of the Gifted (Body, Level 5)
The previous owner of these robes was a talented but shy mage. This mage, called Toris, had his robes enchanted so that he would be harder to notice. The wearer of this robe may activate the robes as an activate action. While they are activated, the robes magically alter the appearance of the wearer so that their clothing appears the same as those around them. For example, if they stand in a group of soldiers, the robes mimic the look and sounds of armor and even match the heraldry on the others’ armor. There must be at least 3 others who wear similar outfits to copy, or the robes enchantments cobble together several different looks, making the wearer stand out even more.
Robes of the Magister Lords (Body, Level 10)
Some ambitious magisters will have robes like these crafted. Those magisters desire their clothing to boost their spells’ power beyond their own limits, granting them further favor among the courts and fear among the lower classes. Those magisters also tend to exlpode from their own recklessness, but those magisters consider the dangers worth it to get ahead. After all, that only happens to THOSE magisters and not this one, right? The wearer of this robe may perform the Mighty Spell stunt for 1 SP instead of the usual 2. Additionally, the wearer of this robe can use the Lethal Spell advanced spell stunt, even if they do not have the Spell Expertise talent, but may only use it on spells of the Primal school. If the wearer has the Spell Expertise talent’s Journeyman degree, they may use Lethal spell for 4 SP instead of the usual 5.
Senior Enchanter’s Robes (Body, Level 10)
These robes are badges of station for senior enchanters of the Circle of Magi. These colorful robes are quite potent, and they make the Templars only more suspicious of their mage wards. The wearer of this robe treats their Willpower as1 higher, and may use their Magic stat to calculate Defense instead of their Dexterity.
Skins of the Keeper (Body, Level 10)
While it is not entirely correct to say that this is a “typical” set of robes for Keepers of the Dalish clans, they all have a few commonalities. Since they usually can only make their robes from what they have available in their own regions, they simply find the best they can. The finest skins and furs are commonly used, along with shed halla horns or wolf jaw bones. The elves were once masters of magic, and this robes reminds people of that fact. If the wearer of this robe is an elf, the wearer may use the Fast Casting stunt for 3 SP instead of the usual 4.
Tevinter Enchanter’s Robes (Body, Level 10)
These robes have lyrium threads woven into the fabric, giving them potent enchantments. They are not often found outside of Tevinter, and members of the Tevinter Circles often work hard to reclaim them. The wearer of this robe gains access to the Mana Surge advanced spell stunt, even if they do not have the Spell Expertise talent. If they ever gain the Spell Expertise talent’s Journeyman degree, they may use the Mana Surge stunt for 3 SP instead of the usual 4.
Tevinter Mage Robes (Body, Level 10)
These robes are commonly worn by Tevinter mages of the Laetan class. While not quite as nice as the robes that the Altus can afford, they are still quite useful for any mage. The wearer of this robe treats their Spellpower as 3 higher than normal.
Tevinter Robes (Body, Level 5)
These simple robes are usually given to apprentices of the Tevinter Circles to make sure that they can continue their training quickly. Once per day, the wearer of this robe may take a breather (as per the rules of Health and Healing on page 55) to regain Mana as if they had meditated for 1 hour.
Vestments of the Seer (Body, Level 20)
Robes like these are often captured by the Templars swiftly after hearing about them. Robes of its power are locked in Circle basements and never touched again, for fear of what an unscrupulous mage might do with them. Whatever the wearer intends to do with the robes, the wearer treats their Magic and Willpower as 1 higher, and gains an Armor Rating equal to their Magic. Additionally, if the wearer successfully resists an effect from a spell or other magic threat, they suffer no ill effects even if they normally would.
Vestments of Urthemiel (Body, Level 15)
The symbols on this robe are the imagery of Uthemiel, the dragon of beauty. She was worshipped in Ancient Tevinter as one of the Old Gods. It is impossible to tell how privileged the previous owner might ahve been in her church, but the powerful magic and soft glow of lyrium embroidering indicates it might have been a mark of great station. The wearer of this robe gains a special version of the With a Flourish stunt. Not only can they perform the stunt for 3 SP instead of the usual 4, but opponents who are affected by the stunt also take a -1 penalty on tests to resist the wearer’s spells for the rest of the encounter. This robe’s benefit stacks with itself, and the wearer may perform the stunt more than once at a time. Finally, the dark armor plates on the robes give the wearer an Armor Rating of 6, without the Strain that normal armor imposes.