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[ Plumed helmet.png[ Etched helmet.png[ Crested helmet.png[ Visored helmet.png
Appearance random
Slot helm
AC 1
Special (none)
Base price 10 zm
Weight 30
Material iron
For helmets in general, see helm.

A helmet is the least interesting of the four randomized helms.

This can be identified in a shop as it is cheaper than the other randomized helms. Martial roles such as barbarians, knights, monks, and valkyries begin the game with this item already identified.

Helmets hinder spellcasting when worn and are hard enough to reduce damage from falling rock traps and falling items created via scrolls of earth. In addition, since they are made of iron, they can rust or corrode.

The Minetown watch almost always carry a few of these, identifying it for you if you let a pet kill them. It is 20 weight units lighter than the other randomized helms, and thus is easily identifiable in variants where item weight is shown such as SLASH'EM or Nethack4.

The equipment of the Yendorian Army may include helmets as well. However, they may also include dented pots, which are functionally identical but lighter.


Kabuto is the word that samurai use for the helmet. Samurai start off the game with this item identified as well.

Encyclopedia entry

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.

[ Arms & Armor of the Samurai, by Bottomley & Hopson ]