Dunce cap

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[   dunce cap   Conical hat.png
Appearance conical hat
Slot helm
AC 0
Base price 1 zm
Weight 4
Material cloth

The dunce cap, when worn, fixes your intelligence and wisdom to 6, and autocurses (even if originally blessed). It blocks the mind flayer's brain eating attack, but not its amnesia attack. Removing the cap will restore your intelligence and wisdom to their original values.

Wearing a dunce cap also prevents any change to your intelligence or wisdom; the message is "Your cap constricts briefly, then relaxes again."[1]

Shopping while wearing a dunce cap will cause the shopkeeper to add an additional 1/3 markup to the price of each item when buying[2], and only give you 1/3 of the base price when selling items[3]. This is also the penalty for being a low-level Tourist or having a visible shirt. Those penalties are not cumulative.


The dunce cap and the cornuthaum are both conical hats. They can be distinguished by price or wearing (obviously dangerous), but are otherwise identical until identified.


The dunce cap is not a good piece of armor, but if your Int or Wis happens to be lower than 6, the dunce cap will be an improvement! If your brain is in danger of being eaten by a mind flayer, donning a dunce cap may actually be a good idea. The cornuthaum is only useful for wizards or pets, so non-wizards can ignore unidentified conical hats to completely avoid the risk of donning a dunce cap.

Perhaps its best use is to polymorph it into other magical armor.


The dunce cap is a conical paper hat with the word "dunce", meaning stupid, written on it. It was an important form of punishment in schools in the English-speaking world. The misbehaving student was made to wear it in front of the classroom for a set amount of time.

The notion of a thinking hat may derive from ceremonial conical hats or even true thinking hats. Thus the dunce cap is an "anti-thinking cap". The Cornuthaum is the more stereotypical "thinking hat" for wizards.

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