Over at Brendan's Untimately, there was some talk about “helmet rules”. I whined that I didn’t want to reward the wearing of helmets in Wampus Country, because the setting is about coonskin caps and bowler hats, not pot-helms. I think that was a legitimate whine, and something approaching actual awareness of what I was trying to emulate by nudging my players toward “in-genre” behavior. (Okay, hats are not a genre, but you know what I mean.)
If that was a nudge, here’s the shove.
THE WAMPUS COUNTRY HAT RULES
First Hat Rule: “Clothes make the man.” I have a tendency to call for ‘roll-under’ stat checks. A lot. Wearing the appropriate themed headgear will boost a PC’s stat by +1 for the purposes of these stat checks, as listed below. Magical or masterwork headgear might boost more. For right now this rule applies only to player characters.
STR obviously bestial or balls-out savage headgear (feathered headdress, anything with horns (to include both buffalo headdress and faux-viking-helm), animal skull, wolf’s-head, coonskin cap) 
DEX bowler/derby, ‘gambler’, ascot/gatsby/cabbie, suitably saucy lady-headgear of any sort (for lady-thieves and gals of ill repute)
CON metal helmet (pot-helm, conquistador), shako/busby or ‘bearskin’, pith helmet, kepi, slouch, ushanka (Russian fur hat)
INT turban , ‘clerical’, deerstalker, homburg, ‘leprechaun’, kufi or taqiyah, any beret or tam
WIS skullcap, ‘quaker’, capotain , wide-brimmed, tricorn, continental, suitably staid or frumpy lady-wear
CHA top hat (Wellington, D’Orsay, stovepipe, Gibus, beau), extremely dandy wig, ‘navy cocked’ or Napoleon/bicorne, musketeer hat with crazy feathers, suitably fancy lady-headgear 
Terribly common, unevocative hats (straw boater, porkpie, stetson/cowboy etc) provide no bonus. Go big or go home. The DM is the final arbiter of the awesomeness, or lack thereof, of your chapeau.
 - A complete lack of headgear may ‘count as’ this category if the hairstyle is appropriately barbarian and not readily covered-up by a hat. As in, a regular mohawk isn’t going to cut it. I’m talking about an immense green mohawk, with bone-in-nose, filed teeth, and facepaint to match.
 - fabric-only turbans apply here. A puggree is technically a metal helmet (see CON). If the turban is ridiculous and shiny enough, it might be CHA instead, especially if you’re a wicked fat merchant.
 - the capotain is a ‘pilgrim hat’. Y’know, the thing with a buckle from elementary school. You learned something today, and so did I.
 - this includes tiny top hats and the like.
Second Hat Rule: “Oh crap, my hat!” This replaces the “Shields will be Splintered” house rule common in some games. Any PC may gain a +1 bonus to a single saving throw by sacrificing their hat. The hat is thrashed/on-fire/trampled/fallen-down-the-crevasse whether you succeed or fail the save. You may put the thrashed hat (complete with ghoul claw-marks) back on your head if you wish, but it no longer functions as a hat for the purposes of the Wampus Country Hat Rules; best to repair or replace it. On occasion the DM may declare your hat un-thrashed, but in danger of being lost (ie, Indiana Jones), in which case you're more than welcome to risk life and limb to fetch it.
I welcome comments of “clever”, “stupid”, or “both” in the space below.