Here's the character's problem: There's an ancient, powerful artifact deep under the water of an alpine lake that he needs to beat the bad guy. The lake is not only deep but rising because a new dam was built and the character only just learned where the artifact is. How does he get to it (or get it to him) using preindustrial technology and no magic?
Issues to consider (let me know of more if you think of them): - temperature (deep water from snow melt, high in mountains) - oxygen - pressure - vision (seeing in deep water) - returning to the surface safely - short on time (lake is rising AND villain is still in power)
Here's the author's problem: Can this be done in a realistic way or at least in a way that's realistic to the story world? I'm willing to change the item's location if it proves impossible but I wanted to see what you guys came up with first. I've read on Wikipedia about the history of diving and there are some possibilities there, but what do you think? What would you have your character do if presented with such a problem in a DnD game?
An interesting problem. I would say if this is set in a fantasy world then invent a creature living near water areas known to just a few to allow people to breath underwater if they attach them to the face. Come up with an interesting drawback to this that wouldn't seriously hamper the hero, but would affect him for the rest of the story. Also, come up with goggle like device that the hero had picked up earlier in his adventure but wasn't intended at the time for use underwater. You will have to create a scene where this takes place and give occasional reminders throughout that the hero has it to establish it for the reader/player. This way it won't just be a sudden thing he pulls out of his trusty super detective kit or whatever. Likewise with the creature, mention the creature early on with the benefits and drawbacks and then leave it alone until he needs to remember that information. Remember, only a few know this info, so it's not like it needs to be repeated that often.
As far as pressure goes, I'm not sure. Depends on how deep this deep lake is. Are we talking comparable to the oceans of Earth? Or more like the normal lake depth we are used to? Maybe the artifact will be so good that even if he has the bends he could defeat the villain. Perhaps someone else can help with this part.
He'd have to think quickly and come up with a couple of somethings that are flat to attach to his feet. This would save on the time. Again, this should be something he probably already has. Think MacGuyver here. He's got to think quick and see what he already has and look around for what he needs. The thought processes should be: "I've heard this could happen", "I wonder if this would work?", and "This looks like the shape of..." instead of "I know exactly what to do and can do it if I get the right things together." This should happen relatively quickly.
Leave at least one thing out so that a mistake can (and should) be made to bring him back up without the artifact to add to the tension and to show that it wasn't all that convenient that he thought of as many things as he did. Then he thinks of one or two other things that allow him to go down and get the artifact. Of course, he can always dive in the wrong part of the lake and be searching fruitlessly for a while, he could have trouble digging the artifact out from the dirt it had settled in, it could prove too heavy and he needs to haul it out somehow with vines or rope. All of this can really add to the tension and mounting suspense of defeating the villian.
This sounds intriguing what you have come up with. I hope what I've said helps you out and I hope that you can find a way to make it all work believably.
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Well, if the artifact is metal, he could fish for it with a loadstone. Another idea is a trained animal like an otter who could fetch it or tie a line to it. Both ideas are realistic enought to be actually done.
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Free diving. If you condition your body in the right way, you can dive deeper just holding your breath than with scuba gear. With gear, your blood is saturated with pressurized oxygen. As you rise from a low depth (high pressure), the oxygen expands. Rise too quickly and you get the bends.
In free diving, you're not adding any oxygen, so you don't have to worry about the internal pressure in your blood. Pulling the family's leather-bound Wikipedia off the shelf*, I see records for distance are men 250 m, women 214 m. For times, it's men 10 min 12 sec, women 8 min. Rising rates aren't a problem, cus you can't get the bends.
One problem would be light, though. It gets pretty dark in deep lakes. Maybe the object glows?
* Originated by a Orthodox Priest whose blog I read.
And here I thought 4 minutes holding one's breath was impressive. *shakes head* If it's a fantasy character, you can easily make him better at these things than other people. He's imbued with some special power by the divine. It only helps him when the divine intends to help him, for whatever reason. Otherwise it doesn't work. So he has to do his best to satisfy the divine, seek his guidance, trust, pray, and then go for it. Maybe.
Some struggle through the desert because He said . . .[br][br]". . .If you would be my disciples, you must take up your cross daily and follow me"
I think I've decided what to do. Here are some details that may or may not be spoilers. Of course, all this could change by the time the book is published and all of my faithful friends are reading their copies, but you never know.
The lake was once a lush, mountain-isolated valley where the main character lived. Lots of waterfalls and a huge river ran through the middle of it but the river's underground outlet has been dammed up by another race. The people flee the valley to escape the rising waters. At some point, the MC learns that the divinely created artifact he needs has laid at the bottom of a waterfall's pool near his hometown for generations since an ancient hero dropped it in an act of sacrifice. When he returns to claim it--maybe only a few months later--the entire valley is a huge lake (more like an inland fjord).
I've decided to go with an idea I got from God right after I posted this question combined with someone's idea from here: a "breather fish" that attaches to a person's face and allows underwater breathing. However, the breather fish only survives in salt water, so a little Divine Intervention in the form of a Red-Sea-crossing/Saul-on-the-Damascus-Road moment gets the MC out of trouble and back to the surface with the artifact.
Thoughts? Too easy? Too deus ex machina? Just right but needing a twist of lime?
Last Edit: Nov 4, 2008 22:42:58 GMT -5 by myrthman
I hate to be a wet blanket, but holding a boat upside down like they did in Pirates was proven impossible by Mythbusters. At least when it comes to keeping it on the bottom of the lake.
Of course, we are talking about fantasy.
Lead, loets 'n' loets er lead.
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My second and last scuba dive was to a reservoir in Texas called Possum Kingdom. (I swear I am not making this up.) It had been dammed forty years prior. Forty or fifty feet down, I got to swim among the trees. It was so cool. The forest or orchard or whatever was still there. No leaves, of course, but it was just wild to swim among trees.