Hats are a very practical invention. They keep the sun out of one’s eyes, collect brow sweat, conserve heat, protect the cranium, provide jaunty fashion statements. There is not a culture in all the world that does not have some form of headwear.
From the Greeks’ squash-shaped Phyrgian cap to Napoleon’s oversized bicorn to the American ten-gallon, hats throughout the ages have been hilarious in some capacity. Many cultures are recognizable by their amusing hats: the Moroccan fez, the Asian coolie hat, the British Imperial pith helmet, the Tyrolean hat of Swiss fame. All these add vitaly to the hilarity of the people they represent. Try to imagine Charlie Chaplin without his bowler, Crocodile Dundee without his tooth-lined safari cap, the Daniel Boone without his coonskin cap. To not involve distinctive headgear in one’s game would be ludicrous.
Hats are common to all role-playing settings. Consider the wizard’s pointy hat, either cone-shaped or wide-brimmed; the ranger’s Robin Hood-inspired pointed cap marked with a red feather; the space captain’s silvery pilot helmet. Given that many games are set in worlds bathed in magic, it is logical to add an element of the thaumaturgic to one’s headgear. The zaniness of a hat is not limited to its appearance; add a flair of enchantment to it!
Add to this scroll your own ridiculous hats. Who knows what absurd chapeaus lurk in the minds of the Citadel?
Table of Contents
Spiffy Sorcerer’s Stovepipe of Serpent Summoning
Thordarin’s Impregnable Helm
Slarain’s Special Sleepcap
Yin-Tsu’s Thinking Cap
Tunis Desert Cap
The Antlered Adornment of Anglerune Elkskull
The Courtesans’ Hennin
Additional Ideas (11)
First devised by a sharply-dressed mage who wanted to ensure that his well-groomed apprentices would not fall asleep while on duty, this elegant headgear resembles a tall hat appropriate for evening wear. In good light, one can make out the traditional stars, moons, and astrological signs associated with magician’s headgear.
These elegant hats have two enchantments placed upon them: The first prevents the wearer from removing it for more than a few moments. While the hat’s wearer is able to easily remove it to bow to a passing gentlewoman, for instance, he will find it magically leaps back onto his head a few seconds later. A convoluted phrase in ancient Sallvian will temporarily disable this curse, enabling the wearer to take the hat off.
The more powerful ability of these strange hats is the power to summon serpents. Whenever someone wearing one of these hats begins to fall asleep, an annoyed snake is summoned within the hat. These snakes may linger for several minutes, which generally brings the wearer to full alertness. The snake’s size and species appear to be randomly chosen, but poisonous specimens appear to be rare.
Several decades ago, an unusual form of headgear became briefly popular among students at several of the continent’s universities. Crafted from the skins of the vicious black-furred “Troll Rats” that infest the cities every summer, these stuffed hats resemble nothing more that a heap of rats perched haphazardly upon the students’ heads. Worn with long, striped scarves, they soon became symbols for the arrogant and unscholarly students that attended the land’s great centres of learning. While no self-respecting student would normally be caught dead in such an unfashionable item today, they have become iconic among players and entertainers portraying dissolute students.
This heavy steel helmet has been enchanted to be well-neigh invulnerable. It is pierced only by numerous small breathing holes too small to admit even a stiletto. Its enchantments are so strong as to provide protection for the neck and upper chest.
Unfortunately, Tharadarin was a completely blind Berserker and so the helmet has no provision for eye-holes. Generally his allies would point him in the right direction, bang the helm and say "Go Get 'em". The helm did not save him when his berserk charge brought him to a rather deep moat..
Some have referred to the 'helm as Thardarin's Bucket.
A simple sleep cap, though adorned with many brightly colored strips and topped with a yellow pom-pom, Slarain's sleepcap provides wonderful restful sleep to the wearer, a powerful deep sleep that is difficult to awake from (though not difficult to rise from). The cap, however, also visits upon it's user the effect of Poison of Precarious Sleepwalking, reiterated below:
d10 Roll Effect
1 Simple dreamwalk. Victim moves 2d10 feet in random direction.
2 Nightmare! Victim lashes out at current location at anyone or anything within reach.
3 Fantasy. Victim will attempt to fly or walk on water if either opportunity provides itself (Heights, body of liquid)
4 Panicked run. Victim runs 1d10 minutes in random direction, bouncing off walls and taking minor bruising damage.
5 Flood! Victim will attempt to climb anything nearby to escape rising floodwaters.
6 Fire! Victim will attempt to put out flames enveloping them, beating at it or rolling on the ground. Also liable to dive into nearest 'water'.
7 Calm. No negative effect.
8 Performance. Victim believes they are in front of an audience and will attempt to use any performance skill they may have, or feats of dexterity or strength if they have none.
9 Infestation! Similar to Fire, but they imagine that they are covered in insects.
10 Falling! Victim is convinced that they are falling to their death. They will shriek and attempt to grab ahold of nearby objects/persons with an adrenalin powered grip.
Unlike the poison, the effect lasts whenever the hat is worn by a sleeper, but the above table is only used once per 2 hours.
Formed into a perfectly even cylinder, this is a fine looking cap lined with ermine and wrapped in bright green silk. Runes are embroidered in royal blue all around and a tall, narrow cone sticks out the top, a golden tassle hanging from its peak. For a finishing touch, thin yellow silk forms a veil flowing around the shoulders and the back of the head.
When the apparently wise Prince Shexing could not come to a solution to his royal problems, he consulted his vizier Yin-Tsu, the famous mage. Yin-Tsu could always divine some solution by searching his great tomes of knowledge and reading of omens. Eventually, the Prince became overly dependent his vizier, demanding solutions to the simplist of problems. For a while, Yin-Tsu was only slightly annoyed by his liege's constant cries for help. The wizard's resolve broke when Shexing began claiming Yin-Tsu's solutions as his own, granting no credit to the eternally wise advisor. The next time the prince asked a favor of his vizier, Yin-Tsu presented him with a gift: a magical cap that would grant its wearer the wisdom of the spirits. Delighted, Prince Shexing accepted the gift and dismissed Yin-Tsu from the viziership, a move he was happy to make so that he could finally focus on his life's work. Knowing that Yin-Tsu was wise indeed, Shexing put on the cap and prepared to solve all the Empire's problems. Just as Yin-Tsu had said, the prince's mind was filled with knowledge. Ah, finally! he thought, I can be a great ruler now! Summoning his scribes, Shexing began to dictate new commands and laws to answer the Empire's needs. The scribes looked dumbfounded as they wrote. After he finished, the pleased prince demanded to look upon his work. The scribes awkwardly handed Shexing the scrolls he dictated to them. Anger and confusion grew in Shexing as he read the scrolls: they were complete babble, a seemingly random assortment of verbs, nouns, and adjectives strung together with no syntax or style. The prince angrily dismissed his scribes and began to write the commands himself. After they were all written, he looked again upon his work. To his utter dismay, it was again prattling nonsense. What could be wrong? he thought. This hat gives me great knowledge! What causes this miscommunication?! Shexing ruled for only a few more months before going mad and forcibly displaced from the throne. The remainder of his reign was marked by a bizarre pronouncements and angry chattering.
When a person wears the Thinking Cap, they are immediately filled with complete knowledge. Even the most complex puzzle or equation becomes child's play in their mind. However, when it comes to expressing these great thoughts, they are at a complete loss. Although the words make sense to the wearer, they come out as complete nonsense. There is no code hidden in the words, and they follow no pattern: they are simply the ramblings of madmen. The unfortunate wearer, however, is completely unaware of their nonsense and will continue to prattle on their eternal wisdom. The wearer also develops an attachment to the cap, convinced (rightfully so) that it does grant wisdom; if the wearer is not told that this is a Thinking Cap or does not know its purpose, they will simply develop an irrational emotional attachment to it. The wearer will refuse to remove the hat and will resist any attempt to forcibly remove it. After 2d12 weeks of wearing the Thinking Cap, the wearer will go insane.
The Tunis desert is an unforgiving place, large and flat, with the occasional sand dune, but absolutely no cover, no large plants, no rocky outcroppings, and no human habitation besides the last chance towns that lay on the borders. But traveling through the desert is often unavoidable because of how far it stretches. A solution to the harsh temperatures is the use of an ether-like liquid, a natural coolant that many desert travelers soak into their clothes to make their travel through slightly more bearable. It is no replacement for water, but in a place like the Tunis Desert, no liquid should ever be wasted.
The caps sold in the border towns are very unassuming, usually white or tan, cylindrical with no brim but from the back a long piece of fabric drapes down which can be wrapped around the face in case of sandstorms and to protect the skin from the harsh rays of the sun. Under the cap is sewn a pocket, which holds another piece of fabric. Folded and dipped in the coolant the fabric is slightly cooler and will remain so for at least a days journey, the liquid is also sold separately for emergency soakings.
This warm hat of brightly-colored striped wool is knitted with fuzzy ear flaps, several small, dangling pom-poms, and sturdy cords for tying it under the wearer’s chin. It also has a pair of solid moose antlers firmly attached to it. The antlers are not particularly large for their kind, weighing only 8 pounds, and are covered with downy fuzz.
Those donning the Antlered Adornment of Anglerune (and tying the cords under their chin) will activate its unusual enchantment: The hat’s cumbersome antlers will attach themselves to the wearer’s head and his (or her) skull and neck will thicken and reshape itself to handle the shock of using the antlers in combat. While the hat grants no special skill at using the antlers in combat, regular practice quickly brings proficiency, even as the constant shocks to the brain shave off IQ points.
According to legends about the hat and its antlered creator, Anglerune Elkskull, continual use will eventually cause the changes to become permanent, causing the wearer’s head to grow antlers of his own. Few wearers have been so enamored of the hat that they wanted to test the theory, but such antlers are supposedly needed if one hopes to craft another such magical item.
In a few of the more conservative cities of the continent, professional courtesans or other women of ill-repute are required by the local sumptuary laws to wear hennin-styled hats while in public. These pointed hats are similar to the classic “princess” hats of medieval paintings. While the statute is widely flouted by those courtesans whose noble patrons shelter them from the attentions of the authorities, the more common prostitutes will never be seen without the required hat.
Unfortunately, these hats bear a distinct resemblance to the hats traditionally worn by wizards, witches, and some dwarves and gnomes. Visitors that wear such headgear may find themselves the subject of some extremely strange rumors.
In response to the repeated acts of sabotage against the Computer's Utopic society, there was a requirement for better means to ferret out the despicable Commie Mutant Traitors. This finely crafted multi-purpose helmet was designed to allow troubleshooters to more easily pick out these insects and deliver the Computer's justice.
The helmet is the rodent's posterior of todays fashion, being a gleaming cone 23.73cm in height. It is painted a stylish paisley and topped with a gleaming white eyeball crafted from the finest white plastisteel. Ergometric studies have settled on an optimal size that will comfortably fit any and all troubleshooters. Substantial savings have been incurred by omitting any capability of adjusting its fit, and any required adjustments are highly unlikely.
The helmet allows the wearer to see through the top-placed eyeball which continually rotates while activated. This will induce motion sickness for all but the strongest wearers
Any persons spotted will be surrounded by a pink aura indicating that they are CMT's.
To prevent it's unauthorized use by any Commie Mutant Traitors, various defences are built into the helment, including the Autotrepanator, HCL Dispensor, and the mechanical Imploder.
Authors note: In the Paranoia game, ALL pcs were Commie Mutant Traitors..... So it is quite effective at finding them...
Prepare for Disintegration citizen!
Apart from its fantastic appearance, the hat also keeps the area beneath its brim comfortable regardless of natural weather. Snow and rain, even driven by hurricane force will not enter the sanctuary under the hat.It will not stop thrown objects, prevent lifting by a tornado, or any volcanic phenomena.