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Several things can happen if an object becomes wet. The most common effects are to rust metal and make blank scrolls and blank spellbooks. The normal way to make an object wet is to dip it into water, usually a pool or moat, or to submerge yourself while carrying the object.
Note some special sources of water will not wet an object, but will have a different effect. Dipping into a pool, moat, or uncursed potion of water will always wet an object. Dipping into a fountain will always wet an object and can give special effects, including converting a long sword into Excalibur. Dipping into holy water or unholy water will never wet an object.
What happens when an object becomes wet? Edit
The effect is determined by a function called
get_wet in potion.c#line1419. When an object becomes wet, the following happens:
- Nothing happens to an object protected by grease, except that the grease might (50%) dissolve.
- A potion of acid will explode, harming you! (d10 damage; if you die, you are "killed by elementary chemistry".)
- Other potions will become diluted. Potions already diluted will become water. (You can make uncursed water by twice dipping potions in water, then later you can change the uncursed water into holy water.)
- Scrolls and spellbooks become blank; if you have a magic marker, you can then write new ones. The Book of the Dead cannot become blank. ("The Book of the Dead suddenly heats up; steam rises and it remains dry.") Neither can a scroll of mail. Thus if you send yourself much mail during the game, you cannot use it to supply yourself with blank scrolls.
- Iron objects might (50%) become one step more rusty. Rustproof objects and objects which are already "thoroughly rusty" will not rust. Other metals do not rust.
If you dipped into an uncursed potion of water, and one of the above effects occurs, you lose your potion; otherwise you keep it ("Object gets wet."). You keep your potion if the dipped object was greased. It's a waste to use your potions this way; it is better to dip uncursed potions of water into holy water to make more holy water. If you want to manufacture uncursed potions of water or blank paper, do not dip into potions of water; dip into a pool, moat, cancel the items, or (less preferrably) dip into a fountain. Dipping a container will not dilute any potions inside.
The safest technique for dipping is to wear water walking boots, walk over open water that is devoid of sea monsters, and dip away. This is not always an option, so second to this is to drop any inventory item you don't want to get wet, get unencumbered, and walk into open water. You will escape the water unharmed and have any scrolls in your inventory blanked and potions diluted. Be careful! This also happens to items in a bag, unless it is oilskin or has been temporarily protected with grease. With high Luck, you might need to try several times.
Fountains are the most readily available means of dipping objects; however, they can be quite dangerous for unprepared characters and will dry up rather soon. Water demons, water moccasins, water nymphs, and cursing the dipped item are all possible results of dipping in fountains. Unless you have decent AC (around 0 is a good baseline), poison resistance and/or magic cancellation, a decent weapon, and a way to remove curses, it is better to find another means. Fortunately, if you have a pick-axe, you can create pools of water by digging down on a fountain. Note that sinks can be made into fountains by digging down on them.
It is recommended you create pools near your main stash for unlimited, no-side-effects water.