Random Things you might encounter in a swamp

These random things articles are designed as quick idea generators for time-pressed GMs who want to inject some additional details into their game, in this article we look at random things that you might encounter in a swamp.

When you need some inspiration just roll a D20 and consult the table:

1You come across a knot of trees twisted together and jutting out of the water, from a certain angle the outline of the trees resembles a hunched figure.
2There is a crashing sound from nearby, followed by a large splash, perhaps it was just a branch falling from the trees, or maybe it was something else.
3A brightly coloured frog sitting on a nearby banyan stump croaks loudly, it's throat distending as it does so.
4The ground drops away sharply below you as you enter a deeper part of the swamp and struggle to keep your feet in the sucking mud.
5From far up in the trees the loud call of a primate echoes through the air, disturbing the silence of the swampland.
6Carved into the trunk of the tree up ahead is a strangle circular symbol, moss coats most of the entire tree but the symbol is mysteriously free of it.
7Half submerged in the waist deep water, a suit of armour can be seen, it is covered in moss and vines, through them you can just about make out the white of bone.
8What you think is a log floats past a few metres away, then it blinks at you with the hungry eyes of an alligator.
9From some distance off you hear the sound of beating drums, growing closer.
10Thick vines criss-cross the swamp in this area making travel extremely slow unless you cut through them, making a great deal of noise in the process.
11A thick, clump of brightly coloured mushrooms grow from the damp remains of a collapsed, rotten log, they look tasty but could be poisonous.
12With loud cries, a group of wading birds, disturbed by your presence takes flight amidst the fluttering of many feathered wings.
13A misty cloud of insects hang in the air above the water, stinging and biting all who are forced to wade through the area.
14The trees in this area of strung with webs, moisture glistening on their strands, a number of smaller spiders scitter through the webs, but they couldn't have made all of this.
15A single canoe floats lazily past you, of the pilot there is no sign.
16Blocks of stone sunk into the soft mud serve as a stable pathway in this area, perhaps it was built deliberately but the stone is so weathered it is impossible to tell.
17The surface of the water here is criss-crossed by gigantic lily pads, they almost look big enough for a person to step on.
18A single black rooster scratches it's path through the mud, it eyes you warily, bobbing it's head backwards and forwards.
19In the centre of the swamp a lonely, decript old hut on stilts emergences from the muck, you can just make out a flickering candle flame in the window.
20As you walk a thick mist settles over the water making the air even more humid and making it difficult to see.

2 thoughts on “Random Things you might encounter in a swamp”

  1. Here’s another one for you. Remember Monty Python and the Holy Grail where a baron or some such said that he had to build his castle several times, as it kept sinking into the swamp? Now the castle is abandoned and you have a multi-building dungeon ready-made, each a previous castle of an early Middle Ages design, provided the characters can breathe water somehow. (Water levels. Why did it have to be a water level?)

    1. I’m not a massive Python fan TBH although I do like Holy Grail and remember the scene you’re referring to, when I was chatting to the players in my D&D game they’ve decided they want the island realm they started in to be a swampy realm of haunted ruins, so I may well use the whole idea of a sinking castle for that.

      Thanks for the great suggestion 🙂

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