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So I was working on a character for a Shadowrun 5e game and specifically did not buy a helmet because wearing a big, bulky combat helmet is extremely noticeable and I figured there might even be social stigma against wearing one around all the time. However one of the other fellow players heavily suggested it. I wanted to know what the pros of wearing a helmet in combat are (beyond the simple armor number raise) and if there were any mechanical cons to wearing helmets. Thanks.

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Not detailed enough to be a full answer, but in my experience, the pros of wearing a helmet (besides armor boost) is that you are less easy to identify. Get caught on camera, and they don't have your face. That can save your life a lot more than one point of Armor. As for the cons, yeah, if you're the only one in a pub with a helmet, you are easier to track. So the usual solution is to not carry a helmet in everyday situation, but have one in your backpack for risky situations –  Scrollmaster Aug 19 '13 at 18:34
Gotcha, yeah I mean I can think of a multitude of RP reasons which my DM may not enforce in anyway (I have a limited military background, he does not), but I wanted to make sure shadowrun didn't have any big reasons such as for instance, Cyberpunk 2020's 1 in 10 chance for all unaimed hits to be headshots and headshots without a helmet = instant crit, if your head is crippled you die (instant crits = lots of damage, lots of damage = limb crippling). –  Joshua Aslan Smith Aug 19 '13 at 18:37
@Scrollmaster spool that into an answer, that way you can get upvote points and if no one else responds I can accept it and you can get rep. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Aug 19 '13 at 18:57
good reason to wear helmet, is to protect your head from unwanted bullets –  user902383 Aug 20 '13 at 11:02
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Helmets can be modified to include vision and audio enhancement. The full body armor's helmet for instance have a capacity of 6 (which is appreciable).

4th edition had a rule for targeting a spot not covered in armor and I think it's still valid and interesting in 5th edition.

Target an area not protected by armor. The attacking character receives a negative dice pool modifier equal to the target’s armor (better armor is more difficult to bypass). If the attack hits, the target’s armor is ignored for the damage resistance test; the target rolls only Body.

This way having a full armor with a full helmet would makes it (almost) impossible (-18) to do. Which makes sense to me. At this point I would probably just call a shot to the head and hope to pierce the metal.

This is only if your GM is using this rule from 4th edition (which I expect to see back in the Arsenal book eventually).

Like Scrollmaster mentionned, there's also the fact that helmets masks your face but it's probably not suitable with some dress codes. Don't try to get in Dante's Inferno with anything else than a nice suit or dress.

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