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PhantomVector
2017-01-27, 11:24 AM
So I've settled on a monk as a class, but I've been having a hard time trying to figure out how to explain his looks, specifically his attire. Now you could just say he's got some monk robes, but that's a bit vague and every player will have a different idea of how that looks. And we all know looking cool is the most important part of any game :3

I've tried to do some googling about it but mostly it comes up as either the western friar robes, or Amazon trying to sell me one. I'm also trying to avoid using words like Buddhist, or shaolin style robes because well they don't exist in DnD lol.

Any suggestions or where I could find some information on what the specific parts of asiatic style robes are? Or how would you try to describe them?

Geddy2112
2017-01-27, 11:42 AM
Why does a monk have to wear robes? They could wear all kinds of things, it depends on the monk and their monastic order.

You could go with the robe style of the western monks from Europe. A brown friar's robe. Or just say they have a simple robe of cloth, some natural color.

Just because Shaolin and Buddhist monk etc don't exist in D&D does not mean you can't use those words to describe your character. Describing your character is about helping you and the rest of the group visualize, so any language that helps express that clearly is important.

If I am DM, and if something is fire engine red, I will call it fire engine red. Even in a universe where there are no such thing as fire engines. We as players know what that color is.

Kelb_Panthera
2017-01-27, 11:48 AM
If you don't want the bright-orange robes of a shaolin monk, then you're probably looking for something like this:

http://www.applyingcommonsense.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/gimono-judo-gi-white.jpg

It's called a gi and they use them in judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, and basically all of the classic japanese martial arts.

Otherwise, you're just looking for classic chinese (hanfu) or japanese (kimono) robes, I suspect.

I mean, unless you mean indian, mongolian, middle-eastern, or russian garb. There's a lot of Asia.

Segev
2017-01-27, 11:56 AM
I'm going to turn this around on you: What do YOU picture your monk as wearing? Describe it in whatever words you think work, whether whole-concept (e.g. "Buddhist" even if your final description should avoid the term) or in specific detail. We can help you refine the description to fit "the setting" once we know what you are picturing.

PhantomVector
2017-01-27, 12:20 PM
I'm going to turn this around on you: What do YOU picture your monk as wearing? Describe it in whatever words you think work, whether whole-concept (e.g. "Buddhist" even if your final description should avoid the term) or in specific detail. We can help you refine the description to fit "the setting" once we know what you are picturing.

Well I kind of know what I want, but the way it comes it in my head is less then verbose, you know? I knew what a Gi was but I couldn't think of the name for some reason so thanks for mentioning that Kelb.

Sort of like... a Gi crossed with a long (crusader style?) tabard. It'd have the V cut out that the Gi has but its overall design would be more like a tabard towards the bottom half of it. A cloth sash, under a leather belt with pouches, shaolin style pants, and leather boots. Plus maybe a cloak, cause cloaks are cool.

Something like that I think. but as I said it's a less then verbose description and well the top is probably not an actual piece of clothing that I could reference.

PhantomVector
2017-01-27, 12:31 PM
Why does a monk have to wear robes? They could wear all kinds of things, it depends on the monk and their monastic order.

You could go with the robe style of the western monks from Europe. A brown friar's robe. Or just say they have a simple robe of cloth, some natural color.

Just because Shaolin and Buddhist monk etc don't exist in D&D does not mean you can't use those words to describe your character. Describing your character is about helping you and the rest of the group visualize, so any language that helps express that clearly is important.

If I am DM, and if something is fire engine red, I will call it fire engine red. Even in a universe where there are no such thing as fire engines. We as players know what that color is.


Well in terms of using terms like shaolin or Buddhist, or fire engine red I feel like it takes away from the immersion of the game if that makes sense.

WbtE
2017-01-27, 12:39 PM
Well I kind of know what I want, but the way it comes it in my head is less then verbose, you know? I knew what a Gi was but I couldn't think of the name for some reason so thanks for mentioning that Kelb.

Sort of like... a Gi crossed with a long (crusader style?) tabard. It'd have the V cut out that the Gi has but its overall design would be more like a tabard towards the bottom half of it. A cloth sash, under a leather belt with pouches, shaolin style pants, and leather boots. Plus maybe a cloak, cause cloaks are cool.

Something like that I think. but as I said it's a less then verbose description and well the top is probably not an actual piece of clothing that I could reference.

One sneaky way to fake depth in your description is to make up some words and add a bit of history or meaning to the items. Think about what a fellow member of your monk's order would understand by the character's style of dress. What colour does your monk wear? Well, that's the colour of warlike restraint or harmony in conflict or some other concept that would make sense for an adventuring monk. The garment isn't a gi crossed with a tabard, it's the traditional vestment of the order. The sash probably shows rank through its colour, design, and decorations. The cloak isn't part of the order's garb, it's in the style that peasants wear in the area, etc.

Mark Hall
2017-01-27, 01:01 PM
"His shirt and pants were the color of apricot, and bloused at the thigh. At the knee, they disappear into high, umber, tabi socks, while they fit tightly to his torso and arms. At his waist, there is a girdle of sunset orange, which matches the mantle on his shoulders."

PhantomVector
2017-01-27, 01:29 PM
"His shirt and pants were the color of apricot, and bloused at the thigh. At the knee, they disappear into high, umber, tabi socks, while they fit tightly to his torso and arms. At his waist, there is a girdle of sunset orange, which matches the mantle on his shoulders."

That was poetic lol.

With a few minutes to think and with the above as an inspiration what do you think of this?

"His vestment was rather strange, as if someone had decided to cross a monk's attire with a wizard's robes. The top was as one might expect on a monk, colored a modest dark brown, and fairly form fitting. However instead of simply ending at the waist, the garment continued downwards almost to his feet. With slits cut up the sides to the waist and wider cuts to the front and back to ensure freedom of movement. The rest of his attire was simpler, or perhaps just more familiar. A pair of black pants the bottoms neatly placed inside a worn pair of leather boots. Around his forearms were black leather bracers. His final article of clothing was a long black cloak that was rather then clasped around his neck, looked more like it had been wrapped around his shoulders."

Good, bad? Ugh?

Segev
2017-01-27, 01:36 PM
From an immersion standpoint, is his garb unusual for a monk? You say it's crossing a monk's garb with a wizard's robes, which implies that there is "traditional" monk's garb, and this is not it.

Tiktakkat
2017-01-27, 01:38 PM
Sort of like... a Gi crossed with a long (crusader style?) tabard. It'd have the V cut out that the Gi has but its overall design would be more like a tabard towards the bottom half of it. A cloth sash, under a leather belt with pouches, shaolin style pants, and leather boots. Plus maybe a cloak, cause cloaks are cool.

The top they use in Tae Kwon Do is a closed front pull-over with the same V cut out, instead of a jacket with lapels.
Adjust the length, and the length of the sleeves (some Japanese-Okinawan stylists prefer the sleeves cut to elbow or mid-forearm length instead of wrist length, likewise pants cut to mid-calf length - the shorter length reduces binding because of the loose cut), and you will wind up with something closer to a tabard.

PhantomVector
2017-01-27, 01:44 PM
From an immersion standpoint, is his garb unusual for a monk? You say it's crossing a monk's garb with a wizard's robes, which implies that there is "traditional" monk's garb, and this is not it.

Hm. Good point. also I forgot the belt and sash too.

Well I figured that most monks at least in my head use the shaolin style robes, since they are heavy into the martial arts. But still you make a good point. That's a bit Unclear, although at the same time I don't want to go on for 5 minutes either.

daniel_ream
2017-01-27, 02:26 PM
I'm also trying to avoid using words like Buddhist, or shaolin style robes because well they don't exist in DnD lol.

The monk character class is explicitly a Shaolin monk from bad 1970's kung fu films. That's where it came from.

Karl Aegis
2017-01-27, 03:24 PM
Just use a Guild Wars Factions Monk armor. Like one of these:

https://wiki.guildwars.com/images/c/c3/Monk_Elite_Kurzick_armor_m.jpg

TheCountAlucard
2017-01-28, 12:36 AM
I'm also trying to avoid using words like Buddhist, or shaolin style robes because well they don't exist in DnD lol. Well, until somebody ports them in, anyway.

BWR
2017-01-28, 02:21 AM
I'm also trying to avoid using words like Buddhist, or shaolin style robes because well they don't exist in DnD lol.


I'm curious: do you try to avoid any references to Western cultures and time periods as well? Because I have a hard time seeing how you can play most D&D games without some sort of reference to those, even if they don't exist in D&D.

Templarkommando
2017-01-28, 07:38 AM
It really depends on the code of the monastic order that your monk is from. Typically, any monastery (and this is true of both the Asian and European traditions) follows a code of some kind. The code that I'm most used to stipulates a type of dress that is made from common local material. This is where you get the image of a European monk wearing what is basically a burlap sack. Monasteries typically get their support from the surrounding communities, so their budgets aren't especially high for lots of extravagant clothing, though it is conceivable that a monastery has a wealthy patron or two in which case things might be a little different. The exception to this is going to be vestments that are reserved for special occasions, holy days and the like.

Monasteries that are outside this norm aren't uncommon either, but they tend to be associated with a particular social stigma. Monks are supposed to be these holy men that sort of live ascetically off of the generosity of others. So when you have a monk that wears expensive furs and lots of flashy colors, that makes people wonder where he gets all of this luxury, and that maybe he's been dipping into the alms intended for the unfortunate.

Of course, in DnD things are a little bit different. If - for the sake of what you want - your character has flashy clothes, it's really not a huge deal in-game unless you want it to be.If you have a monk that follows a deity of wealth, it totally makes sense for him to have cloth-of-gold robes that are embroidered with purple thread, an ermine fur cloak and a pair of crimson silk slippers.

D+1
2017-01-28, 01:36 PM
Mostly I think this sort of thing for monks and have since about 1979.
https://ubistatic9-a.akamaihd.net/ubicomstatic/en-US/global/media/ac1_ss5_full_164886.jpg

daniel_ream
2017-01-29, 02:59 AM
It really depends on the code of the monastic order that your monk is from. Typically, any monastery (and this is true of both the Asian and European traditions) follows a code of some kind. The code that I'm most used to stipulates a type of dress that is made from common local material. This is where you get the image of a European monk wearing what is basically a burlap sack.

Um, what?

Buy Local has nothing to do with it. All the Western European and Eastern Orthodox monastic orders required vows of poverty, in some cases extreme poverty. That meant the monks wore the cheapest and simplest wear possible, usually undyed wool. The notion that monks wore burlap comes from confusing the simple undyed wool garments with the cilice, or hair shirt, which could be made of rough burlap or sisal and was often worn by monks as a form of devotion or penance.


Monasteries typically get their support from the surrounding communities, so their budgets aren't especially high for lots of extravagant clothing, though it is conceivable that a monastery has a wealthy patron or two in which case things might be a little different.[...] Monks are supposed to be these holy men that sort of live ascetically off of the generosity of others. So when you have a monk that wears expensive furs and lots of flashy colors, that makes people wonder where he gets all of this luxury, and that maybe he's been dipping into the alms intended for the unfortunate.

I'm sorry, but this is.....not how the monastic orders of Roman Catholic or Anglican monks operated. Like, at all.

Mark Hall
2017-01-30, 11:56 AM
The Mod Wonder: Please remember to be very careful when discussing real-world religions and religious organizations.

Psyren
2017-01-30, 01:08 PM
I've tried to do some googling about it but mostly it comes up as either the western friar robes, or Amazon trying to sell me one. I'm also trying to avoid using words like Buddhist, or shaolin style robes because well they don't exist in DnD lol.

Why wouldn't they? It's a fantasy world, you can have any style of clothing you want.

Besides, Shaolin-inspired looks badass:

https://diablo3characters.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/diablo-3-monk.png

Flickerdart
2017-01-30, 01:52 PM
For me, monks are simply dressed, because they a) value mobility, and b) are poor. A loose shirt and pants made of coarse linen, and secured with cord at the wrists, ankles, and waist, are a perfect outfit. These cords might be decorated in accordance with the monk's faith or order, perhaps with colored threads denoting his monastery or rank. This can be accomplished with a tabard, if you like.

Red Fel
2017-01-30, 02:13 PM
I would use this image as a comparison.


http://s2.buzzhand.net/uploads/77/2/668618/14296619328581.jpg

From The Forbidden Kingdom, meh movie, good choreography.
From left to right:
Traditional monk: upright posture, robes a pristine white, hair and image carefully maintained. Sleeves are folded cloth, which expands outwards for storage or combat applications. Robe is intricately folded without the need for belt. No other worldly possessions.
"Fallen" monk: relaxed posture, robes ripped and stained from use, hair bedraggled. Pants, because the robe itself has been worn too short to fully cover the legs. Rope belt to carry possessions which he shouldn't have anyway, made from crude hemp.
"Adventurer" monk: uncertain posture, youthful and inexperienced expression. Wears tunic and breeches, not traditional temple-wear but useful for travel. Carries weapon, generally staff, and wears belt.
"Courtly" monk: slighter build, more aesthetically-aimed appearance, more flowery and flowing attire. Wears bolder colors, frequently purple, as well as layers and accessories. Sleeves trail long, robes dress-like and may drag along the ground. Adheres to courtly aesthetic, as befits someone in a more social, less meditative, setting.
These don't necessarily describe the characters as they appear in the movie, but I figured the image could offer a good illustration. And because I wanted to avoid Shaolin yellow-and-orange.

Wardog
2017-01-30, 06:05 PM
Why wouldn't they? It's a fantasy world, you can have any style of clothing you want.


I presumed he meant that they don't exist in the same way that Miko isn't Japanese.

I.e. the terms themselves don't exist in the setting, even if there are things explicitly based on them.

I think he wants a way to describe monks' clothes without resorting to referencing any real-world religions or organisations.

Psyren
2017-01-30, 06:18 PM
I think he wants a way to describe monks' clothes without resorting to referencing any real-world religions or organisations.

We have that - "Monk's robes." Both are words that exist in-universe.

dps
2017-01-31, 07:46 PM
I think he wants a way to describe monks' clothes without resorting to referencing any real-world religions or organisations.

For a truly hermetic monk, maybe "dirty" and "smelly".

Stealth Marmot
2017-02-01, 09:15 AM
"Stylish" and "Dashing" for as long as I am in an adjacent square.

GungHo
2017-02-01, 10:50 AM
I will be honest, I sometimes just google image search, find a picture i like, and say "this guy looks like this". I don't care that it's George Clooney in Hail Caesar. He looks like that. I don't need to say "His peppered black hair is short cut and rolled. He wears a brown leather vest adorned with gold discs and studs..." blah blah. No, this is George Clooney playing Robert Taylor as Biggus Dikus and he's telling you to report to the garrison commander. Get over it. Laugh and he'll have you crucified.

Mark Hall
2017-02-01, 01:56 PM
I will be honest, I sometimes just google image search, find a picture i like, and say "this guy looks like this". I don't care that it's George Clooney in Hail Caesar. He looks like that. I don't need to say "His peppered black hair is short cut and rolled. He wears a brown leather vest adorned with gold discs and studs..." blah blah. No, this is George Clooney playing Robert Taylor as Biggus Dikus and he's telling you to report to the garrison commander. Get over it. Laugh and he'll have you crucified.

TBH, I'm a little disappointed no one noticed who my monk outfit description was of...

Stealth Marmot
2017-02-01, 02:17 PM
TBH, I'm a little disappointed no one noticed who my monk outfit description was of...

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/13/a3/b9/13a3b9e367d03820eb71aeb7dd7bcf26.jpg

Edit: Less big image