Dungeons and Dragons is the best role-playing game in the world. You can play as the hero or the bad guy, and you can also wear fancy, shiny hats.
People have grown to like the game, though, and by the time the fifth edition came out in 2014, it was once again a cultural phenomenon and a centre of nerd and geek culture.
Since Wizards of the Coast took over this popular game, there have been new worlds, settings, and characters like never before.
This is the seventh year in a row that the game has grown, and more people are expected to play and follow it than ever before.
No longer do young nerds have to hide behind rows of sharp d4s so they can play without being bothered. Dungeons and Dragons is in its golden age right now.
I’ve been playing games and running them for more than seven years.
Since the game has given me so many fun and memorable experiences, it seems only fair that I share some wise advice with new adventurers as well.
Welcome to a Dread Helm 5e Guide.
Common Magic Fashion Statement
The Dread Helm is more than just the best way to dress like a death knight or, possibly, a fantasy Darth Vader. The Dread Helmet is one of many common magic items that were first fully introduced by Wizards of the Coast in XGTE’s fifth edition.
For those who don’t know, that’s Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, a 2018 supplement book with new subclasses, feats, and magic items like the Dread Helm.
You shouldn’t have a hard time finding common magic items, so don’t feel bad about asking your DM for a nice magic helmet. Make sure you buy them something at the next meeting, like pizza.
A common magic item probably won’t boost a character’s skills or make them better than they could be. Instead, they are better for roleplaying or adding flavour on the spot.
This is because their properties are not very strong, but they are still very interesting. You won’t even find a +1 weapon among them, but you will find things that wouldn’t look out of place in a high magic setting.
In fact, that’s what makes these things stand out. In places with a lot of magic, like the world of Eberron, magic is common.
Most people don’t know how to do magic or have magic items. You are the only one who can stop you from making these things, so put on your thinking caps.
The cloak of billowing is my favorite item because it can make you look silly when you’re billowing. Dread Helms has a lot of flavour and takes itself very seriously.
This was once worn by a hexblade shadow sorcerer of mine who became a lich king, so a helm that is supposed to make people afraid was very useful in the game.
Think about making the Dread Helm more of an iconic way to show who you are instead. A common magic item, the Dread Helm, is meant to make your enemies feel scared and awed, so you should be able to act the part.
If you don’t, a funny way to role-play it would be to act the exact opposite of how someone who wears the Dread Helm would normally act.
You can get the most out of this scary helmet as long as you keep everyone on their toes.
Dread Helm 5e Guide
Now that you know what most magic items do and how they work, we can talk about what makes the Dread Helm special.
Find out about its properties, famous people whose heads have been covered by it, and how to use it to make the most of your creativity.
A Dread Helm mainly does one thing. When you wear it, your eyes get a red glow that looks scary. Epic if you are about to break your enemies and crush their spirits.
But when you take a nice picture with the group of adventurers?
When you put on the Dread Helm, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The first is that the helmet doesn’t give an armour class bonus by itself.
To raise your armour class, you still need to get a set of armour. It should be dark and scary to match the helm, but you can choose whatever you like.
Second, the Dread Helm makes your eyes glow red, but that’s all it does magically. You don’t get any skill boosts, but you do look very cool.
As an added bonus, it wouldn’t hurt to ask your Dungeon Master if he or she could help you in other ways, such as on charisma checks.
A Map to Dread Helms
Don’t worry if you can’t find a Dread Helm anywhere in your adventures. As common magic items, they should cost less than an uncommon magic item to buy or make.
So, unless your DM hates the Dread Helm so much that he never has any in stock, you’ll be able to buy one.
If you want to make your own Dread Helm instead, you need to make sure you have three things. First, you need time to make it, and then you need tools to make it.
Lastly, you have to know how to make it. Check with your DM to see what skill checks you might need to take and what tools you need to know how to use.
There are some sure Dread Helms in two Dungeons and Dragons adventures that have been around for a while. One of these is the Dragon of Icespire Peak. The second one is in a book called The Wild Beyond the Witchlight.
Dreading the Dread Helm (Here are better Alternatives)
Even though a Dread Helm might make you look cool, let’s face it: looking cool can only get you so far. The Dread Helm won’t do much unless you have a very forgiving Dungeon Master, and I mean very forgiving.
The Dread Helm is just for looks and doesn’t do as much as other common magic items. Some common magic items, like the veteran’s cane, which looks like a longsword, can sometimes be useful.
Some can be very powerful, like the clockwork amulet, which guarantees a roll of 10 on an attack once a day. Compared to that, the Dread Helm isn’t doing its fair share.
To get the most out of your Dread Helm, you should make sure that you only want it for looks. Be careful, because a cheap Dungeon Master could keep you from getting magical hats that do useful things. Put that headband of intelligence or that hat of disguise away.
You’ll also need to make sure you can back up your Dread Helm with good roleplaying skills. I’m just saying that saying “my eyes glow red” is a trick that gets old fast.
If you don’t have something interesting to say about it, you might get bored with it. If you want something more interesting and you are a new player, you might want to think about other common magic items.
If you want some other powerful options, you might want to look at some magical hats instead. These are usually hard to get to and cost a lot.
On the plus side, these are strong and do a lot more than just let you cosplay. We already have five magic items that stand out from the rest.
You don’t have to be attuned to use a Cap of Water Breathing, but it lets you breathe underwater until you take it off. The Hat of Disguise and the Headband of Intellect, on the other hand, will give you a Disguise Self that you can use whenever you want or a permanent boost to your intelligence score.
To round out our list of uncommon hats and helms, the Helm of Telepathy and Helm of Comprehend Languages give you free detect thoughts and comprehend languages spells, respectively.
Leveling Up Your Dread Helm
The Dread Helm is a powerful tool in the hands of the Dungeon Masters who are reading this guide right now. You have to make sure that when the player sees the item, they will remember it. What better way to do that than to give it to, or rather put it on, a famous bad guy?
Think about it: red eyes that glow and give off a pure evil vibe are a classic sign of evil that works for a reason. Red eyes that glow on a dark helm represent wrath, ruin, and hell. The eyes of Death Knights also glow for a reason.
The real look of the creature who wears this helm is also hidden by these glowing eyes. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, think about what it means when your eyes are closed.
If you want to start a good story, you could give away the Dread Helm and put an interesting curse on it. In addition to making it hard to take off, you could also give the player who wears it rage, psychic damage, or madness.
This question is enough to start a quest that takes the item away from your player. It will be very hard to get rid of, especially if any of the people who used to own the Dread Helm want to use it again.
As a reward for the players, you could give them a slightly more powerful Dread Helm. The easiest way to do this is to improve the armour class of the person who is wearing it. Since armour class is such an important part of the game, a simple +1 increase should be enough to make it rare or better.
To make things better, you can also think about putting a spell on the helm that you can use once a day, like darkness. Perfect, since some versions of the helm also wrap the person who wears it in shadow.
Why Does the Dread Helm have no Armor Class Bonus?
Unfortunately, Dread Helms do not give a flat bonus to your armour class because they are meant to be worn with any set of armour. Very few magic items of the armour class can be worn on top of your normal armour.
If the helm had that property, it would no longer be a common magical item, and it would lose its flavour.
Even though the Dread Helm doesn’t add to your armour class, it doesn’t matter. You are getting one magical effect at no cost since it has no attunement cost. So remember how lucky you are.
Where Can I Get a Dread Helm?
You can always ask your DM to make you a new Dread Helm that isn’t part of an official adventure or found in a magic item store.
As a Dungeon Master, you can always set up an enemy for them to fight that has the Dread Helm on it, or you can make new story elements that revolve around a collection of the helms.
If you want a good place to start making a Dread Helm as a DM, try adding effects from other magical items to the Dread Helm. Give your Dread Helm the effect of Efreeti Chainmail. This will make people who wear it resistant to fire or keep a demon bound.
What Designs do Dread Helms Come in?
While the Dread Helm is traditionally a stell winged helm, you can flavor it any way you want with your Dungeon Master’s permission. Tailor it to specific armor designs by different cultures or base it off other fantasy mediums.