Non-guild tabards and roleplay, how do you think they work?

I’ve been farming Order of Embers and Baradin’s Wardens rep for a little while for the tabards, and it got me thinking how non-guild tabards are a little weird feeling in Roleplay and are generally uncommon to see people wearing, with execption to some of the expansion relevant ones and the more recent ones that feel less like emblems of the faction they represent (can’t think of any rn but I know there’s a few in DF).

In a lot of normal transmog a lot of the time you just kinda pick the tabard that goes with your outfit the best, but in a lot of roleplay I feel like wearing the tabard of a faction is like, almost a uniform? Or at the least a clear sign you represent this faction and want everyone to know you’re a part of it. It becomes execptionally strange when it’s factions that are super irrelevant, the Burning Crusade ones (with execption to the keepers of time) being especially irrelevant in Azeroth in year 40. Not to say you can’t or shouldn’t wear them, but I do think you’d have to do a bit of work to explain why your character is wearing the Sporeggar or Ogri’la tabards, I feel like it would need to be a big part of your characters personality or life for them to still be wearing it some 14 years later.

But yeah, how do you guys view tabards ICly? I’ve thought of viewing the Baradin’s Wardens tabard as similar to more of a like a war medal and less of a uniform, considering in game you have to have higher rep with them to get it, and the same could perhaps be seen with other tabards.

For me it depends on the rest of the outfit and any other information I have about the character. For example, I have an undead hunter rocking the Scarlet transmog set you can buy at the DMF once you have the tabard, and of course she’s got that tabard mogged with the set. She uses the undead two-headed dog-beasts as one of her set of pets (she’s BM) and the Houndmaster crossbow drop for her weapon. She’s 100% meant to be a risen ex-Scarlet. Another alt I once played for a while used the Wyrmrest tabard with an otherwise irrelevant (to the Wyrmrest lore) outfit, simply to make the outfit fit better. In her case, she had nothing to do with Wyrmrest and was sort of the WoW equivalent to someone wearing an old band T-shirt that got handed down to them, without really caring much for the band.

Of course, I am biased in these examples: They’re my own characters with backstories I sort of control. That said, I do apply the same thought process to other characters I see around, say SW. If they’re rocking a very on-theme mog for their tabard, I assume they’re trying to fit that faction/group. Otherwise, I assume it’s more like my old rogue with her Wyrmrest tabard-- it’s just the best option they have for what they’re wanting outfit-wise, but does not represent the faction the tabard is meant to within the rest of the game.

Typically for me, unless it’s stated otherwise, I generally just regard a tabard as just representation of current or former faction affiliation. I never really considered another way to interpret them and, as far as I can tell, that seems to be how most folks use them if they haven’t explicitly stated they’re using it for the colors or whatever. The fact we typically see npcs wear them as part of a faction uniform, I feel further reinforces my view, at least in part.

Yeah certainly, it just becomes a bit strange when it’s a faction that hasn’t been relevant for some time.

Some of the more generic looking faction tabards I take more cosmetic than roleplay, but still like a 60/40.

The Horde, for example, has no less than 6 generic Horde symbols with varying backgrounds and color schemes. 7 if you count Ogrimmar’s, 8 if you count the Huojin’s, and 10+ if you start counting the gladiator tabards. Unless stated in a TRP or something, I don’t automatically assume the red and black Hellscream’s Reach tabard means they were a member of Hellscream’s Reach and took part in the Tol’Barad campaign. It may tip something off, maybe they were in Tol’Barad, they’re an older serving member, a dog whistle orc supremacist, but 9/10 times its cause the black and red tabard just looks that much cooler and goes with so many more transmogs or the vibe. Spear of Vol’jin, for example, is just so much more troll-y and great to use for them. Has that nice aqua color too. Tabard of Conquest or any of the Horde looking Glad tabards probably just an OOC ‘look at me, I can PvP good’ and they want to show off, and they should, but could potentially mean ‘Im Orgrimmar’s SEAL Team 6.’

Now actual independent factions, I’ll assume they’re apart of them 9/10. Show up with a Shattered Sun tabard? Hello Shattered Sun member. Sunreaver? How’s Aethas doing? Argent Dawn? Hello old man. Scarlet Crusade? < redacted >. Even if its old, I think its safe to assume there is a reason beyond transmog. Even if it just for transmog, roll with it. Its something you and your character can see. Make em justify/reference it. You can call them a phony when they say it just looks cool :sweat_smile:

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They should be viewed however the player presents them. I"m more interested in what your character DOES and why they do what they DO rather than what they wear unless how they present themselves makes their affiliation and/or their tabards relevant.

If they do something that’s particularly anathema to what the tabard represents, then I might comment on it, presuming that the action hasn’t inspired more extreme reactions

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Right? Yeah with faction tabards like on the alliance, whether it’s the pvp tabard or the stormwind tabard or the guard tabard or 7th legion they’re all more or less just gonna be seen to me as general alliance tabards more or less. But for faction specific ones, more so the ones that are particularily old those woule catch my eye.

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I’ve always imagined the tabard I wore reflected a cause I’d embraced. Could reflect an oath of fealty, or merely my current chief allegiance. Should mean more than transmog. If I am wearing your colors, it means I am announcing to the world that I am your man.

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The context is what tells the story.

Wearing a Silver Covenant tabard in Amirdrassil or Deepholme doesn’t have any significance worth talking about.

Wearing one during the Proudmoore purge of Dalaran, the confrontation with the Sunreavers by Zul’Aman, or a rival search with the Sunreavers for an ancient elven blade, that puts context into the tabards.

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My character wears an Argent Crusade tabard because he is an Argent Crusader. Simple as.

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I think it’s worth commenting on, it’s eye catching it’s only natural it would pique curiosity, it’s also something that can be inferred without actually speaking to someone. It’s not so different between going up to someone at a party wearing a band t-shirt or political button and asking them questions related to that.

I also have to reiterate I feel like TBC era tabards would be particularly curious, considering the planet canonically is actively dying, there are a few outliers outside of the BC tabards that might be a little strange to see in year 40 in azeroth, such as the sons of hodir, Therazane, Ramaken, The Tillers, The Tortollan seekers, and I’m sure a few others that would certainly make sense to draw curiosity or be commented on.

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I wear one of the new trading post tabards that has no crest in it just for the looks. One can say no crest means my character serves no one but himself? I guess, but that’s a bit too edgy. Honestly, i like my transmog but the chestpiece is the weakest part, so i slap a tabard over it.

Maybe ICly the tabard has a crest, a personal one or something.

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Personal tabards are now a thing you can get!

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I’ve created a personal tabard to represent a clique within the Blood Deathknights of the Ebon Blade. There are other significant factors as to why my character wears the Tabard he does, which will be revealed later (if I ever get around to my second “book”).
If you are going to fall under a banner within the current lore structure then it would be appropriate to represent your favored (or relevant) faction. Otherwise, there should be a good reason or well strung connection as to why the person wears the tabard they do.

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