Helm of brilliance
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helm of brilliance
|Base price||50 zm|
The helm of brilliance in an item that appears in NetHack.
The helm of brilliance modifies the wearer's Intelligence and Wisdom by its amount of enchantment in addition to its normal AC bonus. Wearing an enchanted helm of brilliance will auto-identify it, as will enchanting the helm at +0. Even though the helm of brilliance is metal, it does not hinder spellcasting.
The helm of brilliance is generally useful for spell-casting, as higher intelligence and wisdom stats reduce the failure rate of high-level spells and mitigates the penalties from wearing metallic armor. It is especially beneficial to characters who want to cast high-level spells in spell schools that they are limited in, such as a high level Priest attempting to cast polymorph using the Mitre of Holiness. In addition, wearing an enchanted helm of brilliance will slightly improve energy regeneration and may give you a larger amount of maximum power when leveling up, since both are influenced by wisdom and energy regeneration is also influenced by intelligence.
However, for a character with already low spell failure rates, such as a Wizard, a helm of brilliance will likely not have a noticeable effect. Conversely, a role with incredibly high spell-casting penalties, such as a Valkyrie or Barbarian, will not notice any significant gains in that regard, and will get far less use out of the helm outside of the possibility of foocubi encounters.
Keep in mind that you will still die of brainlessness if brainsucked by a mind flayer with a helm of brilliance on; brainlessness checks for a base intelligence of 3.
In NetHack 3.4.3, using a cursed scroll of destroy armor on a cursed helm of brilliance or a cursed pair of gauntlets of dexterity reduced the enchantment of the piece of armor without altering the stats; after removing the piece of armor, stats would be permanently increased. You could even surpass your racial maximum that way, at least temporarily.
This became known as the "hobug" because the helm of brilliance is often abbreviated to HoB.