Amulet of magical breathing

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" Circular amulet.png
Name amulet of magical breathing
Appearance random
Base price 150 zm
Weight 20

An amulet of magical breathing is a type of amulet that appears in NetHack.


There is a 6.5% chance that a randomly-generated amulet will be an amulet of magical breathing.


While worn, the amulet of magical breathing grants extrinsic breathlessness, making you amphibious: This allows you to breathe while underwater and prevents you from drowning by any means, though your inventory will be subject to water damage as usual. Water squares are also considered "safe" for purposes of teleportation. The 1000 experience point-bonus for killing sea monsters with drowning attacks does not apply while you are amphibious.[1]

You are also protected from the effects of sleeping gas traps and the engulfing attacks of fog clouds;[2] poison clouds will not damage you regardless of poison resistance and are not a major trouble for prayer, though they can still blind you.[3][4]

Breathlessness from the amulet also protects you from choking to death via either the effect of eating an amulet of strangulation or eating too much food while breathless from the amulet - in the latter case, you will always "vomit voluminously" instead and lose 1000 nutrition, though you still abuse constitution.[5]

Eating the amulet has a 15 chance of conferring breathlessness. Monsters will not wear this amulet.


The amulet of magical breathing can be a form of protection from drowning, making fighting sea monsters less dangerous and enabling a character to cross large bodies of water, but the amount of items that are susceptible to rust, dilution and blanking can reasonably put players off the notion. An oilskin sack to place those valuables in (or a bag of holding containing such valuables) can make the idea of "swimming" this way much more tenable. Some players also elect to polyself into a metallivore and eat multiple amulets until they gain the intrinsic, keeping their amulet slot free for other options - keep in mind that this carries the same risk described above.

Magical breathing can be used to retrieve items dropped by monsters that are killed over a body of water, as well as projectiles fired at such monsters - depending on your circumstances, it may be preferable to use a wand of teleportation for heavier items, or apply a bullwhip while levitating for lighter items.

An amulet of magical breathing can help you chew through several corpses such as those of giants and dragons without fear of choking, and can also help with troll disposal by eating in a few cases - the act of eating multiple large corpses is still time-consuming, however, and they may become tainted before you can finish enough of them; constant over-satiation also abuses dexterity, though this is a relatively lesser concern. A tinning kit is more ideal in most cases if you have one, both to deal with large corpses and reviving ones.

The best use case for the amulet of magical breathing is on the Plane of Water, where the water prevents the use of levitation and water walking boots - magical breathing makes travel between the air bubbles trivial, with the only related difficulty being water currents and the aforementioned damage to items. Players will often use a spare wish on an oilskin sack to avoid this if they have not found one already. While polyself into a breathless or swimming form can also provide a means of traveling between air bubbles, it is quite dangerous: the form may time out unexpectedly, or you may be prematurely returned to normal from HP damage (typically from the Wizard of Yendor).


This amulet can be identified by falling into water: if you don't attempt to crawl out, the amulet must be magical breathing. If testing for the amulet, make sure that you are not fumbling and have accessible land squares nearby (e.g. not occupied by monsters or boulders), and drop any items that are greased or vulnerable to water damage.

A fog cloud can also be used to test for the amulet, since breathlessness negates physical damage from its engulfing attack and produces a distinct message.


The amulet of magic breathing first appears in NetHack 3.1.0.


Main article: Breathless#Messages



In SLASH'EM, a well-hidden chest in the northwestern corner of Grund's Stronghold has a 13 chance of containing a amulet of magical breathing - the amulet is always accompanied by an spellbook of haste self.

The amulet of magical breathing is one of many methods that can be employed to survive create pool monster spells, though the inventory will still be subjected to water damage.


In GruntHack, gelatinous cubes and water elementals are capable of causing strangulation via engulfing - cubes can still paralyze you as well, making the amulet of magical breathing far more valuable early on as a means of surviving cube encounters.


In dNetHack, The Sea contains a guaranteed amulet of magical breathing on each map in the event that the level's guaranteed magic lamp is placed underwater.


In EvilHack, gelatinous cubes and water elementals behave mostly the same as they do in GruntHack, making the amulet of magical breathing valuable to identify early. Sea dragons also have an engulfing attack that can suffocate characters, and green slimes can inflict sliming while suffocating an engulfed victim.


In Hack'EM, only the sea dragon and green slime retain their ability to suffocate characters from EvilHack, making the amulet of magical breathing less necessary early on.