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View Full Version : Helm of Opposite Alignments Shennanigans



Mystral
2008-12-02, 06:08 PM
Hi everyone.

A while ago, I have encountered a conundrum in my D&D campaign. It involved 2 Helms of Opposite Alignment, questionable morality and... well, that's about it. I wanted to share it with anyone interested or bored enough because the "Stupid Ways to make pallys fall" thread inspired me, and because it was on my mind for a few months now.

Before I joined the campaign and the group of adventurers, the party was caught by a very powerfull, evil spellcaster. Some sort of lich, we had thousands of those in that campaign...

Anyway, he offered the party two options:

Go and put a Helm of Opposite Alignment (conveniently provided by the Lich) on that high level cleric of cyric, you'll find her there and there... or else.

They didn't choose or else, instead, they battled the cleric into submittion and HOOAed her. A few weeks later, the Ex-Cleric of Cyric was a Cleric of Tyr and overall goody two shoes.

The thing that made me wonder is that the party wizard, who was the party leader during that time, too, is a big hater of anything even smelling like mind-control magic. She once got angry on me for casting hold person on someone.

The same person argued that putting a helm of opposite alignment is less evil then killing them, when it makes them good, because it preserves their lives and makes them live a better life.

Personally, I would argue that putting a helm of opposite alignment on somebody is even WORSE then killing them, because not only are you killing them, you are eradicating their whole personality, destorying their soul and everything that makes them the people they are.

What'd you think?
And have you witnessed similiar uses of the helm of opposite alignments?

Oh yeah, the second HoOA was put on the same clerics head a few months later. She reverted back to her cleric of cyric self. When she was "cured" (by removing the helm, dunno why we didn't need a third helm) she had fallen as a cleric of tyr and had to do an atonement quest. o_O

rayne_dragon
2008-12-02, 08:02 PM
Well, it's not really destroying who they are, but you're forcing a huge moral and ethical change on them. That's highly unethical... although I'm not sure it's worse than death.

Tell you what though, if any of my good characters had that done to them, they'd kill the person responsible. Any of my evil characters would probably also kill the person... once they figured out how to make fit with their new morality.

Enlong
2008-12-02, 08:04 PM
It's not quite as evil as that one spell from the Book of Exalted Deeds, but what you're doing is "reprogramming" a guy. Think about that.

Kizara
2008-12-02, 08:06 PM
Your DM took a few liberties, but overall its a fairly interesting plot arc. Sounds like a good campaign TBH.

Xefas
2008-12-02, 08:21 PM
Personally, I would argue that putting a helm of opposite alignment on somebody is even WORSE then killing them, because not only are you killing them, you are eradicating their whole personality, destorying their soul and everything that makes them the people they are.


Look at it this way. If an evil person dies, they're sent to the Lower Planes and their whole personality, soul, and everything that makes them the person they are gets destroyed and then after untold periods of time in excruciating torture, they become creatures whose sole purpose is to return all that exists to a bleak oblivion inhabited entirely by sorrow and agony.

The helm is more like an epiphany. "Oh, hey, being evil is bad. Why didn't I ever see that before?"

You're treating "Evil" as just another choice, when, in fact, it is an objectively bad thing in D&D. There's no upside to being evil in the long-term. Sure, in the short-term it's nice to have horns and breathe fire, but you're only damning yourself.

But that's just me. I don't find anything wrong with certain uses of mind controlling spells. If someone isn't going to make the right choice on their own, you just have to make it for them.

Starbuck_II
2008-12-02, 08:21 PM
Personally, I would argue that putting a helm of opposite alignment on somebody is even WORSE then killing them, because not only are you killing them, you are eradicating their whole personality, destorying their soul and everything that makes them the people they are.

No, you aren't killing their soul (or a second helm wouldn't reverse it). But you are "fixing" their personality.

They look at their old life in horror. Can't stand that idea. Want to be their new alignment.



Oh yeah, the second HoOA was put on the same clerics head a few months later. She reverted back to her cleric of cyric self. When she was "cured" (by removing the helm, dunno why we didn't need a third helm) she had fallen as a cleric of tyr and had to do an atonement quest. o_O

Wait? You didn't keep the original helm?
You could just put it back on her.

Prometheus
2008-12-02, 08:40 PM
I think anyone should prefer suicide to a permanent change to the opposite alignment. The opposite alignment would be, by definition, the opposite of everything that they stand for, and therefore be a net negative compared to not existing.

It gets more complicated however, because neither death nor curses are permanent in the D&D realm. The real question would relate to the likelihood of reverting back to your original alignment and how much damage you did in the meantime.

But for some reason, I don't think two people of opposite alignments switching alignments would be considered a net win for either.

Cruiser1
2008-12-02, 08:48 PM
Wait? You didn't keep the original helm?
You could just put it back on her.No, a helm is a single use item, where "when a helm of opposite alignment has functioned once, it loses its magical properties". See http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/cursedItems.htm#helmofOppositeAlignment for details.

Starbuck_II
2008-12-02, 09:28 PM
No, a helm is a single use item, where "when a helm of opposite alignment has functioned once, it loses its magical properties". See http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/cursedItems.htm#helmofOppositeAlignment for details.

Whoa, I never noticed they were one use items.

Hal
2008-12-02, 09:42 PM
Why would a lich want to turn someone good?

Ridureyu
2008-12-02, 09:44 PM
I would love to see a game where the PCs manage to successfully drop a Helm of Opposite Alignment on Asmodeus.

Asbestos
2008-12-02, 09:48 PM
No, you aren't killing their soul (or a second helm wouldn't reverse it).

I believe that only a wish or miracle can reverse that curse. My guess is that another helm would... do nothing? Not sure, its wonky. They'd be double-cursed or something.

Xefas
2008-12-02, 09:53 PM
I would love to see a game where the PCs manage to successfully drop a Helm of Opposite Alignment on Asmodeus.

The Nine Hells of Perdition crumble in upon themselves as its hierarchy comes crashing down instantaneously. In a matter of rounds, Archfiends are slitting one anothers' throats causing a collapse in cosmological Law as Chaos begins to overcome the balance of the planes.

With nothing to stop them, the Demons of the Abyss break forth and devour Plane after Plane in one unimaginable wave of destruction not seen since before the dawn of time. The entirety of the Upper Planes and the Inevitables rush to restore balance, but realize that Devils were Devils for a reason. They were Archons who were corrupted to fight the Demons. No one else is really very good at doing this.

Eventually, the Demonic Horde, having consumed and assimilated all that exists, turns in upon itself until there isn't a single molecule of existence left.

Asmodeus' contingent Wish kicks in.

Asmodeus laughs maniacally.

Stephen_E
2008-12-02, 09:54 PM
I suspect the reason your player who opposed MC spells had no problem with a HoOA is that she considered the alignment change "correcting" a wrong. Sort of like healing an injury. Sort of like the way some people difine torture and terrorism as "what the bad guys do". Yes, it is somewhat hypocritical, but very human unfortunately.

Theorectically killing and reincarnating someone could partly cancel a Helm of Opposite Alignment, since the reincarnated person only remembers the majority of their past, thus allowing a valid reason for a change of alignment on been reincarnated.


A reincarnated creature recalls the majority of its former life and form. It retains any class abilities, feats, or skill ranks it formerly possessed. Its class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and hit points are unchanged. Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores depend partly on the new body. First eliminate the subjectís racial adjustments (since it is no longer of his previous race) and then apply the adjustments found below to its remaining ability scores. The subjectís level (or Hit Dice) is reduced by 1. If the subject was 1st level, its new Constitution score is reduced by 2. (If this reduction would put its Con at 0 or lower, it canít be reincarnated). This level/HD loss or Constitution loss cannot be repaired by any means. "



Stephen E

Ridureyu
2008-12-02, 09:56 PM
The Nine Hells of Perdition crumble in upon themselves as its hierarchy comes crashing down instantaneously. In a matter of rounds, Archfiends are slitting one anothers' throats causing a collapse in cosmological Law as Chaos begins to overcome the balance of the planes.

With nothing to stop them, the Demons of the Abyss break forth and devour Plane after Plane in one unimaginable wave of destruction not seen since before the dawn of time. The entirety of the Upper Planes and the Inevitables rush to restore balance, but realize that Devils were Devils for a reason. They were Archons who were corrupted to fight the Demons. No one else is really very good at doing this.

Eventually, the Demonic Horde, having consumed and assimilated all that exists, turns in upon itself until there isn't a single molecule of existence left.

Asmodeus' contingent Wish kicks in.

Asmodeus laughs maniacally.


I was thinking in terms of 4E Asmodeus, who has managed to make himself a god. In Forgotten Realms, he ended the Blood War by dumping the abyss somewhere else.

In two rounds, Asmodeus turns everything into a HAPPY SUNSHINE WORLD OF CANDY


...evil candy...

Doomsy
2008-12-02, 09:59 PM
The Nine Hells of Perdition crumble in upon themselves as its hierarchy comes crashing down instantaneously. In a matter of rounds, Archfiends are slitting one anothers' throats causing a collapse in cosmological Law as Chaos begins to overcome the balance of the planes.

With nothing to stop them, the Demons of the Abyss break forth and devour Plane after Plane in one unimaginable wave of destruction not seen since before the dawn of time. The entirety of the Upper Planes and the Inevitables rush to restore balance, but realize that Devils were Devils for a reason. They were Archons who were corrupted to fight the Demons. No one else is really very good at doing this.

Eventually, the Demonic Horde, having consumed and assimilated all that exists, turns in upon itself until there isn't a single molecule of existence left.

Asmodeus' contingent Wish kicks in.

Asmodeus laughs maniacally.

That should be freaking canon.

And honestly, I kind of want to know what happens when you slap it on someone who is true neutral.

Draco Dracul
2008-12-02, 10:19 PM
That should be freaking canon.

And honestly, I kind of want to know what happens when you slap it on someone who is true neutral.

They become everyother alignment at once.

starwoof
2008-12-02, 10:22 PM
No, they become False Neutral.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-12-03, 12:54 AM
Back to the OP: Helm of Opposite Alignment is a horrid magic item that I would never use on anyone IRL. I'd prefer death to actually wearing one. It violates the sanctity of a person's thoughts. That said, in 3.x Good and Evil are just 2 sections of the alignment board and don't correspond to real-world right and wrong, so I wouldn't think it would necessarily bug a good character to use it(though I don't see how one that objects to Hold Person[but presumably blows enemies up daily] would be willing to use it).

Mystral
2008-12-03, 12:59 AM
The reason the Lich wanted the cleric turned good was never explained, afaik. IMHO it was just another reason to introduce another DMPC.

Maybe it's just my philosophy that's a little strange here, or rather, the philosophy of my char I played back then.

I was playing a chaotic neutral cleric of Akadi, a godess whose only commandment is "Do what thou will, until you get bored with it". So the only real sin my Char knew and was really, really opposed of was the destroying of personal liberties of people, including the liberty to kill and rape at will.

And no, he didn't do that himself, he wasn't chaotic stupid. Just because you have the liberty to do something doesn't mean you have to do it, but if you choose to kill a child, you should be punished for that instead of having the choices of your personality reduced.

So well, yeah. I specificaly asked for them not to tell me anything of that because I would have it found very, very hard to justify staying with that group. I only tagged along with them because I wanted to make sure the Lich who used Helm #2 was dead.

Stephen_E
2008-12-03, 12:59 AM
That should be freaking canon.

And honestly, I kind of want to know what happens when you slap it on someone who is true neutral.


Neutral gose to an extreme alignment.
Note also it isn't actually a one shot item. It simply has a check when placed on someones head "have I successfully cursed this person previosly?" If the answer is yes it does nothing. If the answer is no, it curses.

Imagine putting on a Lawful Good Rogue. He waits until he's on watch and then sneaks around putting the Helm on everyone elses head. With a good sleight of hand they won't wake up.:smallbiggrin:


Helm of Opposite Alignment
This metal hat looks like a typical helmet. When placed upon the head, however, its curse immediately takes effect (Will DC 15 negates). On a failed save, the alignment of the wearer is radically altered to an alignment as different as possible from the former alignmentógood to evil, chaotic to lawful, neutral to some extreme commitment (LE, LG, CE, or CG). Alteration in alignment is mental as well as moral, and the individual changed by the magic thoroughly enjoys his new outlook. A character who succeeds on his save can continue to wear the helmet without suffering the effect of the curse, but if he takes it off and later puts it on again, another save is required. The curse only works once; that is, a character whose alignment has been changed cannot change it again by donning the helmet a second time.


Stephen E

Prometheus
2008-12-03, 01:14 AM
And honestly, I kind of want to know what happens when you slap it on someone who is true neutral.
They remain true neutral, but stand for all opposite things. The people that were their friends they can no longer stand whereas the people they have always hated they have come to understand. If they could cast cure spells, they now cast inflict spells.

Kizara
2008-12-03, 01:38 AM
Doesn't it change your alignment to one of the extremes, at more-or-less random?

Like, you become LG or CE or something.

Mewtarthio
2008-12-03, 02:05 AM
Yes, that's correct. Which is odd, since most people are supposed to be Neutral, so it really only gives you an "opposite alignment" if you're one of a select few. Somebody should inform the Better Business Bureau.

Now, if only there were a way to get the Helm of Opposite Alignment into some sort of liquid form, and then spike the village well with it...

Totally Guy
2008-12-03, 03:37 AM
What if the subject in question wants to be redeemeed but is addicted to habitually committing evil acts? I've played this character.

Then there was the time I played the cleric that prepared an atonement spell everyday for the evil party member considering it a gift to him. Every day it was refused.

ericgrau
2008-12-03, 09:49 AM
According to Socrates an alignment change would be far worse than death. As for death he had little fear of that.

Starbuck_II
2008-12-03, 10:15 AM
According to Socrates an alignment change would be far worse than death. As for death he had little fear of that.

Isn't that why he died? (he feared death too little)

vicente408
2008-12-03, 05:53 PM
That should be freaking canon.

And honestly, I kind of want to know what happens when you slap it on someone who is true neutral.

Yes, the proper result is for them to become an "extreme" alignment, but I think this idea is a little more interesting:

There are really two kinds of "true neutral". The first is the normal, everyday kind, that just doesn't feel strongly enough on one axis or the other. This is what the majority of people are. The second type is the "balanced" kind, that actively strives for moderation and neutrality; this is the Mordenkainen type of True neutral. I'd say that a HoOA changes a True Neutral from one to the other; a random citizen would suddenly start to actively take steps to keep themselves from being too good, evil, lawful, or chaotic. A "balanced" true neutral, like, say, a Druid, would stop caring about morality and act as any "normal" person. Mechanically, this wouldn't make hardly any difference, but it introduces the possibility of some interesting RP, maybe.