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Any elven, orcish or dwarven player character that would start the game with a helmet will start with an appropriate racial helm instead, but there are no applicable roles where this substitution would occur.
When worn, a helmet grants 1 base AC plus any additional properties from its randomized appearance. As a metallic helm, it hinders spellcasting, but also protects from most damage inflicted by falling objects, such as a read scroll of earth or a triggered falling rock trap.
Standard helmets are the most unremarkable of the randomized helms: they are sufficient as a basic source of AC and head protection, but players will often encounter the almost-identical orcish helm or the lighter dented pot first before they see a regular helmet. It may still provide a viable replacement for an existing helm if it is generated with a positive enchantment and/or has the appearance of a visored helmet, which offers eye protection.
Like most early helms, helmets are usually replaced by an elven leather helm or any of the other randomized helms due to the additional perks they offer - even a dwarvish iron helm is a suitable substitute due to offering more base AC.
Helmets can easily be distinguished from other randomized helms by price and weight: they are the only ones to have a base cost of 10 zm, making price identification in a shop trivial even without buying or selling one. Helmets also weigh 30 aum, while the other randomized helms weigh 50.
The helmet first appears in Hack 1.0.
In variants where item weight is shown, helmets are somewhat easier to identify.
notdNetHack adds The Crown of Berith, a golden artifact helmet than protects against brain-sucking attacks while worn and can be safely enchanted to +7. Berith himself is generated with this helm when summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder.
Flinds have a 1⁄4 chance of generating with a helmet, and shopkeepers have a 1⁄4 chance of generating with a helmet; Croesus has a 1⁄2 chance of generating with a golden helmet, and Kas is always generated with a helmet. Mercenaries will often generate with helmets unless they are drow, elves or orcs, and the helmet also appears in the kits of various player monsters, particularly lower-level ones.
- A helmet can be combined with a dagger to create a small shield.
- Two helmets can be combined to create a large shield.
- A helmet can be combined with a large shield to create ring mail.
- A helmet can be combined with ring mail to create scale mail.
- A helmet can be combined with a dwarvish short sword to create a dwarvish helm.
- A helmet can be combined with a mace to create a pair of gauntlets.
The kabuto is the helmet worn by the samurai. It was characterized by a prominent beaked front which jutted out over the brow to protect the wearer's face; a feature that gives rise to their modern Japanese name of 'shokaku tsuki kabuto' (battering-ram helmet). Their main constructional element was an oval plate, the shokaku bo, slightly domed for the head with a narrow prolongation in front that curved forwards and downwards where it developed a pronounced central fold. Two horizontal strips encircling the head were riveted to this frontal strip: the lower one, the koshimaki (hip wrap), formed the lower edge of the helmet bowl; the other, the do maki (body wrap), was set at about the level of the temples. Filling the gaps between these strips and the shokaku bo were small plates, sometimes triangular but more commonly rectangular in shape. Because the front projected so far from the head, the triangular gap beneath was filled by a small plate, the shoshaku tei ita, whose rear edge bent downwards into a flange that rested against the forehead.
- src/objects.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 470
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 77
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 688
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 688
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 721
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 764
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 786
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 199: Elven substitutions for initial inventory
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 218: Orcish substitutions for initial inventory
- src/u_init.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 226: Dwarven substitutions for initial inventory
- src/makemon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 635