Helm of opposite alignment

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[ Plumed helmet.png[ Etched helmet.png[ Crested helmet.png[ Visored helmet.png
helm of opposite alignment
Appearance random
Slot helm
AC 1
Special
Base price 50 zm
Weight 50
Material iron

The helm of opposite alignment is a helm that will alter your alignment when worn, with the message “Your mind oscillates briefly.” This will remove any divine protection you have acquired. Removing the helm will restore your original alignment and remove any protection obtained under your temporary alignment, but this is made more difficult by the fact that the helm will autocurse when worn. Wearing or removing the helm will never restore any lost points of protection.

In 3.6.0 and later, wearing or removing the helmet will also set your alignment record to zero.

A lawful character donning the helm will become chaotic, and a chaotic character donning the helm will become lawful. For neutral characters, a particular helm has a 50/50 chance of being a lawful or chaotic helm - removing the helm and putting it back on will always change the alignment in the same way. A different helm may have a different alignment.

The helm is trivial to identify as you will never be able to put it on while you are in the quest branch (but will still lose all protection trying): "You narrowly avoid losing all chance at your goal" normally or "You are suddenly overcome with shame and change your mind" if permanently converted.[1]

Helms of opposite alignment have a 90% chance of being generated cursed.[2]

The helm does not change the alignment of monsters, although priests and minions (whose alignment is linked to their god) will refuse to put it on.[3]

Strategy

Besides the various alignment changes listed in the alignment article the following effects can be noted:

Negative effects

If your alignment has been changed in this fashion, you will not be able to do the quest as the quest leader will prevent you from entering. However, after removing the helmet and returning to your original alignment, you can do the quest.

You will lose any intrinsic protection whenever your alignment changes.

Changing alignment does not forestall anger of your god. In enlightenment output your god's name will change but the anger status of your deity does not change.

Positive effects

The helm can be used to have less far to go on the Astral Plane - if you find the high altar of opposite alignment, you can don the helm to ascend using that altar.

Another use is in those rare games where the only convertible altar is the guaranteed altar in Minetown. You may be able to use the helm to use this altar without converting it and dealing with the priest.

Using the helmet, you can be given Grayswandir even if you are not lawful. The same applies to other cross-aligned artifacts.

Some players use a helm of opposite alignment to circumvent the alignment restrictions for quest artifacts. Normally it is impossible even to pick up a quest artifact that has the wrong alignment. However, if you temporarily change your alignment, you can pick up the artifact and at least enjoy its when-carried effects. Be aware that once you restore your original alignment you will be unable to wear, wield, apply or invoke the artifact, and if you drop the artifact or place it in a container you will need to adjust your alignment again in order to pick it up.

A helm of opposite alignment could also be used to unrestrict weapon skills since the set of eligible artifact gifts depends on alignment. (Another way is to get crowned if you already have your alignment gift.) An otherwise qualified natively chaotic character can don the helm and dip a longsword into a fountain to summon Excalibur.

Lawful characters can use the helm to reduce the effect of the mysterious force on the ascension run, removing it after leaving Gehennom. Most speedruns with lawful characters use this strategy.

Early in the game, dwarves and hobbits will be peaceful if you are lawful, which can make the Gnomish Mines somewhat easier.

Variants

SLASH'EM

In addition to the benefits above, a chaotic or neutral character can take advantage of the helm of opposite alignment to get lawful minions from sacrificing. Since these can include powerful devas, ki-rin, archons, planetars, and solars, they are far superior to the minions that would otherwise be granted to chaotic and neutral characters, and a helm of opposite alignment may be a better wish for a high-level character than a figurine of a Solar.

FIQHack

In FIQHack, putting on/off a helm of opposite alignment doesn't have an immediate effect (unless your alignment record is far in the negatives). The helm now causes you to gradually lose alignment record over time (1 per turn) until it reaches -100. At this point, your alignment converts like how the helm behaves in vanilla.

This goes both ways; taking the helm off after a complete conversion from it causes you to gradually lose alignment again until it reaches -100 at which point you regain your original alignment.

In addition to all this, a complete conversion from a helm carries all the drawbacks of a normal conversion (except for the fact that it's reversible in the helm's case): resetting your piety (a FIQHack value used to determine gift threshold and crowning), losing protection (as in vanilla), losing 3 luck and incrementing the prayer timeout by 300 on top of whatever it was beforehand.

References

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.1. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-361}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.