One of the fascinating features of a table-top role-playing game is the freedom it gives you to go where you could never go in real life. In Dungeons and Dragons we have taken the campaign under the waves among the water-breathers.
Of course, it is a little daunting to venture into a place where you cannot even breathe. But this is fantasy we are talking about. So, the solution is… magic. A feet-to-fins spell can make you into a mer-person. You can not only swim with the fish, you can be one.
Nemo the water-breathing sea-elf is modeling how fantasy technology can aid with the adventure. Unable to breathe out of the water, Nemo has been able to adventure in the surface world by wearing a sealed sea helmet that provides the water he needs to breathe and keep him properly hydrated. Such a helmet, with an air-producing spell inside it instead of water-making can be used for air-breathers under the sea.
Under the sea things are different in fundamental ways. You don’t walk or tun, you swim. You don’t ride a horse, you are pulled through the water by a hippocanthus. You are not stuck to a two-dimensional plane. You can move easily through the water up and down as well as right and left, forward and back.
Sea captain Elora Bynam, gnome aquamancer, can take air-breathers where they want to go in her submarine. She knows the undersea kingdoms as well as any air-breather in all of the lands.
And, of course, there have to be villains. The arch-lich Orco is a good example (that is, good example of something evil).
This former Mer-king has been infested with dark magic since his death and re-animation. He holds sway now in the evil kingdom of Black Reef. Elora can take you there for a price.
But we had fun playing underwater campaigns in D & D. We spent weeks searching drowned ruins. We even found a sea ghost. Charlotte is a little girl drowned by evil pirates and changed into a ghost. She is bound to a magic jar and can serve as a guide through places where no living being dares go alone.
So we have spent all this game time in the depths of exotic seas. And the ironic thing is, we didn’t even get a little bit wet.