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Flay is a whip from the book Weapons of Legacy. It has an ability called "Snake Sting (SP)":

Snake Sting (Sp): Beginning at 5th level, three times per day, you can snap Flay to use magic missile as the spell. The projectiles of force are shaped like snakes’ heads. Caster level 5th.

Can a PC activate this ability while underwater?

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Yes.

The rules for being underwater apply an attack penalty on a slashing weapon, such as a whip, but you can still use them. If you can attack with a whip, you can crack it, so even assuming we give that bit of fluff more weight than I think it’s due, it still works underwater.

Magic missile, of course, works; the only sort of magic to have much difficulty in water is fire effects, and magic missile is not that.

And from a game perspective, whips are terrible, atrocious weapons, and the legacy rules amount to nothing more than an overcomplicated trap. Using either is a bad idea for mechanical effectiveness; combining both together is a particularly poor one. So any character using Flay simply needs all the help they can get; adding an unnecessary nerf like failure to work underwater is a very bad idea for the game.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Completely off topic: making flay whip-dagger and getting rid of the costs of legacy weapons makes flay pretty sweet. \$\endgroup\$ – JoshuaD May 29 '17 at 1:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshuaD I have serious doubts about that, but I do not recall the details so I cannot speak with certainty. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan May 29 '17 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Awww, come one, you know you just love the lasher prestige class! ^^ \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko May 29 '17 at 15:38

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