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Dungeon Tables: Random Encounters in Swamps

Dungeon Tables: Random Encounters in Swamps

Crafting your party’s travel to their next plot point can be tiring work. We’re here to make things easy and interesting with our Dungeon Tables! This week’s table provides random encounters found within swamps, marshes, and bogs—just roll the dice to populate your upcoming adventure. The table below provides foes in a wide spread of difficulties, so some results may be easy, while others deadly. Feel free to use as inspiration or tweak, modify, and supplement to your hearts content. Happy exploring!


21d4+1 viirets (see Tome of Beasts 2), feasting on a diseased tree. They are not aggressive to the party unless attacked—but if a party member is currently suffering from disease of any kind, the viirets target them.
3A mass of 2d4 putrid haunts (see Tome of Beasts) lying in the muck and waiting with the patience of the dead. Er, undead. Whatever.
4A wind picks up, bringing with it the scent of rot and decay from a nearby hollow. If the party investigates, they discover 2d4 wind demons (see Creature Codex) dancing and whirling above a tarry pit of animal skeletons. The demons harass the party immediately—they don’t necessarily attack but will fling vile matter and otherwise try to draw the party into the muck.
5A murgrick (see Tome of Beasts 2). Ahh! AHHHHH!
6A hungry gbahali (see Tome of Beasts), lying in wait to ambush unsuspecting prey.
71d4 resinous frogs or 1d4 spurred water skates (see Tome of Beasts 2), probably more of a nuisance than a threat.
8A waiting lou carcolh (see Creature Codex) half-submerged in a pool, its six tongues spread out across the party’s path.
9You’re pretty sure there’s nothing… just some bubbles surfacing.
10A corrupting ooze, swimming through the muck and mire. It is especially potent if the party happens to be wading through the deeper portions of the marsh or swamp.
11A kappa (see Creature Codex) hidden within a pool beside the party’s path.
12A swamp naga (see Tome of Beasts 2), who at first politely asks the party to vacate their swamp. If they refuse, the swamp naga resorts to force.
13A dead mindrot thrall (see Tome of Beasts), still half-concealed beneath their cloak. If any of the party members attempt to investigate the corpse, the remaining blisters on its skin burst. For the next minute, any creatures within 5 feet of the corpse must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become infected with mindrot spores.
14A putrescent slime or a befouled weird (see Tome of Beasts 2), ambushing any who come near their stagnant pool.
153d4 dipsa (see Tome of Beasts), slithering through the muck.
161d4+2 anophiloi (see Creature Codex), out of hibernation and hungry.
17A shambling peat mammoth (see Tome of Beasts 2), searching for creatures to engulf.
182 mandriano with a pack of 3d6 flesh reavers (see Creature Codex), prowling for living prey.
192d4+3 quipper, worked into a feeding frenzy.
202d4+2 miremals (see Tome of Beasts), crafting paths through the swamp that lead to a black dragon wyrmling (75%) or a young black dragon (25%). If confronted by the party, they will obsequiously offer to help lead the group to safety and instead lead them to their master.
21A crocodile (75%) or a giant crocodile (25%), looking for an easy meal.
22The crumbling foundation of a forgotten stone labyrinth peeks from beneath the water, covered in slime and moss. A lost minotaur (see Creature Codex) wanders the remains of its former prison.
23A mangrove treant (see Tome of Beasts 2), willing to leave the party in peace as long as they vow not to harm the swamp or its inhabitants.
24A giant poisonous snake (75%) or a giant constrictor snake (25%).
252d4 boloti (see Tome of Beasts) that attempt to drown or otherwise kill the party members to store them in their larder. If the boloti are defeated, a successful DC 17 Wisdom (Perception) check or DC 14 Wisdom (Investigation) check reveals other corpses, both humanoid and beast, and their belongings decaying within a mostly submerged hollow log.
26A marsh dire (see Tome of Beasts 2), waiting to pull travelers into a watery grave.
27A river runs through this portion of the swamp, likely the first fresh water the party has seen in some time. If they approach the riverbank, a water leaper (see Tome of Beasts) attacks.
281d4+2 will-o’-wisps, attempting to lead the party astray.
29A zombie covered in 4d4 necrotic ticks (see Creature Codex).
30A strange, unnatural fog fills the area as the party moves forward. Ahead, a kirikari (see Tome of Beasts 2) lies in wait.
31A blood hag (see Tome of Beasts) who flees once she has obtained a face. If an opportunity presents itself, the hag uses the stolen face to later manipulate or trick members of the party.
32An ahuizotl (see Creature Codex), that snatches a precious belonging from a party member before diving back beneath the water.
33A fiercely territorial lake troll (see Tome of Beasts), protecting its home.
34A swarm of 3d4 aridni (see Tome of Beasts), searching for humanoids to capture and sell off as slaves.
35A hungry cipactli demon (see Creature Codex), at home in the swamp.
36A bagiennik (see Tome of Beasts) bathing in a murky pool. If the party leaves it undisturbed, it finishes its bath in a benevolent mood and later aids them.
37A swampgas bubble (75%)or a swamp lily (25%) (see Tome of Beasts 2), not entirely what it seems.
38A yann-an-oed (75%) or a venom maw hydra (25%) (see Creature Codex), emerging from the murky water.
39This area of the swamp is filled with an overabundance of frogs and toads, even more so than usual. They grow in number the deeper the party goes until they arrive at a perfectly round pool with one large boulder in the center. On the boulder sits the toad king (see Tome of Beasts 2). If approached with deference (and if the party was peaceful to the mundane frogs and toads), the toad king will bestow upon them a quest (see toad king entry for some quest options).
40A troll. It’s hungry. It’s always hungry.


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