Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Welcome to our magic item gear guide to the Robe of the Archmagi. In this guide, we’ll outline how this legendary magical item works in Dungeons & Dragons 5e and which character classes can make the best use of this item, as well as answer some frequently asked questions.
Robe of the Archmagi
Wondrous Item, legendary (requires attunement by a Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard)
A long, elegant, and exquisitely crafted robe. A set of these robes is cut from either black, gray, or white cloth and adorned with silvery arcane runes. The robe’s color corresponds to the alignment for which it was created; white robes were made for good, gray for neutral, and black for evil spellcasters. You can’t attune to a Robe of the Archmagi that doesn’t correspond to your alignment.
You gain these benefits while wearing the robe:
- If you aren’t wearing armor, your base Armor Class is 15 + your Dexterity modifier.
- You have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
- Your Spell Save DC and Spell Attack Bonus each increase by 2.
What Are Robes of the Archmagi?
The Robes of the Archmagi are a legendary wondrous item that grants the wearer an increased Armor Class, advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects, and a +2 bonus to their Spell Save DC and Spell Attack Bonus.
In order to attune to the Robes of the Archmagi, you must have at least one level in either the Wizard, Warlock, or Sorcerer class. Also, your alignment must in some way match the robe’s color.
- White: Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good
- Gray: Neutral Good, True Neutral, Neutral Evil
- Black: Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil
If your alignment changes while attuned to the robe (as the result of a Wish spell or drawing from the Deck of Many Things, for example) and your new alignment no longer matches the color of your Robes of the Archmagi, your attunement ends.
If your alignment still matches the robes but in a different way (changing from Lawful Good to Chaotic Good, or from Neutral Good to Neutral Evil, for example), you remain attuned to them.
Are Robes of the Archmagi a Good Item?
The Robes of the Magi are an undeniably powerful magic item, especially since they provide a huge survivability increase for what are arguably the three least survivable classes in the game. Improving Wizards’, Warlocks’, and Sorcerers’ ability to resist magical effects and improving their actual Armor Class is hugely important at higher levels where enemies are dishing out huge amounts of damage.
That being said, it’s only a +2 AC increase over Mage Armor — a 1st-level spell — and there are plenty of racial bonuses that grant advantage on saving throws against magic, including the Gnome’s Gnomish Cunning and the mental resistance of the Githzerai.
The real meat of this item is the +2 bonus to Spell Save DC and Spell Attack Bonus. With a level 17+ character who has a +6 proficiency bonus and 20 in their spellcasting Ability Score (for a total spell attack bonus of 11 and a Spell Save DC of 19), you could get your Spell Save DC higher than 20 and have a Spell Attack Bonus of +13. At the very highest tiers of play where your characters can expect to be fighting demigods, tarrasques, and demon lords, every little bit helps.
That being said, there are other legendary items that grant more powerful buffs and still more items (at other rarities) that provide more interesting active abilities. On the one hand, I can kind of appreciate the simplicity of three passive buffs to a high-level spellcaster; they’re already some of the most complicated classes to play at high levels, so adding even more moving parts could get overwhelming. But, on the other hand, this is quite a dull magic item. If you want your players to feel excited, get them a Wand of Fireballs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Robes of the Archmagi and Mage Armor stack?
No. Both the Robes of the Archmagi and Mage Armor reset your base Armor Class (to 15 and 13, respectively), which is then modified by your Dexterity. Both can’t work at once, and therefore, the higher result will cancel out the lower one.
Can You Change the Alignment of Robes of the Archmagi?
Not easily. There’s no specific way to change the alignment of Robes of the Archmagi as it is set at the item’s creation. However, you might argue that any magical effect (a Wish spell, for example) that could forcibly change a character’s alignment could also be used to alter the alignment of a set of Robes of the Archmagi.
How Much Do Robes of the Archmagi Cost?
As a legendary magic item, Robes of the Archmagi could cost anything in the vicinity of 50,000 gold pieces. That’s assuming you can find someone willing to sell one, of course.
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I played my first tabletop RPG (Pathfinder 1e, specifically) in college. I rocked up late to the first session with an unread rulebook and a human bard called Nick Jugger. It was a rocky start but I had a blast and now, the better part of a decade later, I play, write, and write about tabletop RPGs (mostly 5e, but also PBtA, Forged in the Dark and OSR) games for a living, which is wild.