Bucket of Waterbreathing
'Got this here from a wizard on a bargin. Just the thing to survive the salvaging of treasure from the deep when you don't have a lot of start up cash. Not everyone can tame sea turtles mate, you know what I'm saying? This here is an item with it's own character, a real unique item, so beware of imitators! The surest way to spot a fake is have a friend try it, if he dies, all you have is a ordinary bucket and a funeral to pay for, this here is the one real deal you've been looking for and it's still available for a steal!'
- Street hawker outside the Affordable Arch-Mage
This bucket is by no means unique in truth, rather many wizards have thier apprentices make one as part of a kind of mid-term exam, so to speak. It's existance used to be a secret and the wizards still deny it's existance is the result of any training they conduct, but more and more appear every year fueled by apprentices in need of cash monies.
It is missing the tell-tale earmarks of a full fledged magic item: While it does radiate something along the lines of alteration, it doesn't glow in the customary magic item fashion, nor is it even a 'masterwork' bucket, indeed, most appear to have been stolen from wells, stables, or other less desirable places to source buckets from. Most all of them bear some sort of makers mark, but as often as not the mark is rubbed out charcoal or washed away entirely, it is very rare to find such an item with a mark of anyone wanting to take credit for it's creation.
In addition to it's appreance, it's function has some quirks that some would call 'flaws' or 'defects' or 'sadistically useful'. While it does indeed allow the user to breath underwater, it's only under the water inside the bucket, trying to then breath other water has the customary effects of drowning. Also missing is the feeling of breathing air, that is to say, you can breath the water in the bucket, but it feels just like breathing water, inside a bucket, and nearly everyone reports some discomfort with that. Another obvious design flaw would be that buckets are not very transparent. Wearing one as a helmet, even if you could cope with the sensation, would prove problematic in the act of navigating.
The most obvious use for such a device is to allow creatures not normally meant to be underwater survive underwater, with some discomfort. Another use surfaced with the enforcers gambling debts such apprentice wizards sometimes incur. They find such buckets indespensible as motivational tools, after all, how much easier would a knee breakers job be if they had a bucket they could use on someone to make the indebted soul feel they were being drowned for minutes and minutes without risking losing the ability to collect on the debt by actually drowning them? Lastly, an even more despicible group of conartists sell ordinary buckets as the magical ones, and woe be to the doomed soul who expects to to be saved when he places the ordinary bucket over his head and takes breath after breath of water, even when he feels the drowning sensation ...
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? Responses (8)
Good idea for an underwater breathing aperatus.
Funny. The whole don't know if it works until you drown entertains me some.
Twisted, and almost useful to some adventurers. Of course it raises the question if you can only breathe water in the bucket what happens if you cut a viewing slit or eye holes int he thing? Any water that enters the bucket is now technically "inside the bucket" so would then be breatheable? (I just know most players would try this to make the bucket more useful)
The 'spirit' of the item is to be a difficult to use magic item that has more flaws than benefits, so I wouldn't let players make it into something more useful. Besides, hacking holes into any magic item usually does not have good results...
Well put, of course, a suitably clever character could devise some kind of mirror using periscope to see with anyway; assuming they could get over the convulsing and panic induced choking that come with perceived drowning.
I can also see this being used in a side show carnival trick to woo peasants by 'the man who cannot drown!' (And of course the planted onlooker in the crowd who will start wagering a fair amount of silver the man won't survive more then 5 minutes with his head in the bucket.)
We should have more magic items like this in the Citadel -- simple, amusing, and of a reasonable power level for lowbies. I can already imagine some of the things my group would try to do with it. Great quest sub!
This is neat! Another bucket. Okay, adding freetext :)