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.

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]

Besides the various Alignment Advantages and Disadvantages 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 has proven popular as a means of shortening the time spent on the Astral Plane - if one finds the high altar of opposite alignment they can don the helm to successfully 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 get holy water and sacrifice corpses to raise luck and potentially be granted an artifact.

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 to even 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.) Thus an otherwise qualified natively chaotic character can don the helm and dip a longsword into a fountain to summon Excalibur.

Perhaps lawfuls without protection (atheists) could also benefit from a shorter way up Gehennom.

Early in the game, the Gnomish Mines become easier if the helm makes you lawful.

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.

References

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.0.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.