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The description of the Robe of Useful Items (BR 195) states that the wearer can detach a patch causing it to become the object or creature it represents.

Does the wearer know which patch contains what object or creature?

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They know... unless they can't see

The Robe of Useful Items states (my emphasis):

While wearing the robe, you can use an action to detach one of the patches, causing it to become the object or creature it represents.

This implies that there is a visual representation of the item on the patch - making it clear what the item is to anyone that can see it.

This is also supported by the picture in the DMG:

DMG art for Robe of Useful Items

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    \$\begingroup\$ To me, though "represents" might not be (completely) visual. What if the party comes across a robe made by a blind wizard? Since that wizard isn't going to be able to see his patches, they're likely to be distinguishable by feel - perhaps the "riding horse" is just a circle made out of horse-hair. \$\endgroup\$ – Clockwork-Muse May 14 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Clockwork-Muse has a good point. 'Represents' does not limit it to sight, it could be texture, shape, smell, or some other way to distinguish them. I do agree that the intent is for the wearer to know which they are using though. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin May 15 at 0:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Clockwork-Muse Such as herbalists using different cord types to tie bags shut. And/Or different beads on them. And/Or mixing different strong smelling but harmless herbs with medicines. All so that they can cross check what they are doing with more than one sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Roger Willcocks May 15 at 4:02

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