Water breathing is an intrinsic ability in ADOM. It allows the PC to completely avoid drowning damage, be it while swimming over an open body of water, swimming in completely submerged locations, or swimming in magma. It also reduces the amount of damage the PC takes from water breath attacks.


The ability to breathe water is far from being the most powerful and desirable. The Swimming skill, which can be obtained from Blup in exchange for one blessed or two uncursed potions of carrot juice, is normally enough to traverse rivers and reach the inner section of the Water Temple. The only location where the means to breathe water are really necessary is the Water Dragon Cave if the PC doesn't have a way to perform two on-demand teleportations, or wishes to browse Shyssiryxius' treasures.

Moreover, wearing a blessed ring of the fish or two of any B/U/C status nullifies drowning damage in the same way as if the PC had water breathing intrinsic (as long as Luck is non-negative). Rings of the fish are relatively common items and are much more accessible than items granting the "real" intrinsic. However, using rings is significantly less convenient as they are autocursing.

It is also possible to reduce water damage by wearing any armor with the "of the sea" suffix, which seems to behave in the same manner as rings of the fish. The probability of finding such armor, of course, is far from substantial.

Water breath damage[]

Some monsters have a damaging water breath attack, which can be quite deadly when used by powerful monsters such as giant dragon turtles. Having at least one source of water breathing reduces the damage taken by around 67%.

Acquiring water breathing intrinsic[]

The PC can acquire the water breathing intrinsic in one of the following ways:

Elementalists receive water breathing intrinsically once they reach level 25.

A non-artifact source of water breathing intrinsic (an amulet or a helm) is guaranteed to be found at the bottom level of the Rift dungeon.

Killing Blup will forfeit the rune-covered trident (see more on the Find Blup's Mom quest page) and may cause trouble with the residents of Terinyo. Killing Shyssiryxius is extremely challenging and may cause severe problems with the PC's alignment. The corpses of both dragons have a low chance to be generated, even for characters who have Food preservation skill.

Water breathing is one of the two intrinsics in the game that cannot be received from sipping pools, the other being confusion resistance.