25 Swamp Plot Hooks for D&D & TTRPGs, Photo Sketch of a Swamp Fishing Village

25 Swamp Plot Hooks

What sort of adventures could happen in a swamp?

Swamps actually have a great variety in both flora and fauna. Imagine what you could do with a fantasy swamp in terms of strange, mystical adventures to go on.

This idea is what prompted me to put together a list of swamp plot hooks for Game Masters to use in their games. From a classic dragon claiming dominion over a mire to a swamp becoming the birthplace of gelatinous creatures to a feud between animated fungi and feral vampires, this list helps you find inspiration for your game.

If you use any of these plot hooks in your game, leave a comment below or tag me on Twitter, @RolePlayRespite, to let me know how it goes!

Also, check out more D&D and TTRPG plot hooks to use in your game!

With that out of the way, here are 25 swamp-based plot hooks for your Dungeons & Dragons game.

25 Swamp Fantasy TTRPG Plot Hooks

  1. Villagers around the swamp begin surrounding to a mysterious disease that causes fevers and violent hallucinations. Some of the less afflicted folk say a witch deep in the swamp might have a cure. The problem is she doesn’t mingle with the swampfolk that often and she’s meaner than a crocodile.
  2. An arrogant noble wishes to drain the swamp to build a lavish mansion. They don’t realize that doing so would irreparably harm the ecosystem…and the guardian elementals of the swamp aren’t happy about the prospect.
  3. Creatures made of swamp water begin arising around various settlements and attacking the residents. This animating of swamp water started suddenly and no on knows why.
  4. A massive tangle of roots and vines attacks anyone who ventures too far into the swamp. Settlements in an around the perimeter of the swamp start seeing smaller versions of the creature that begin indiscriminately terrorizing the people living there.
  5. A swamp-dwelling druid begins showing up in the various villages proclaiming the coming of The Spore. Each village, at random intervals, begins experiencing accelerated rotting and molding of wood, food, and other vegetation.
  6. Ethereal lights begin appearing on just outside the perimeter of villages in and around a swamp. Many who see these lights feel compelled to wander into the brackish waters with others claiming these victims seemed entranced. Most of those who become entralled by the lights haven’t returned from the swamp.
  7. The brackish waters of the swamp start turning acidic, burning the skin of villagers and dissolving the supports of buildings. Some village folk claim to have heard a low, gurgling roar come from deeper within the swamp and the waters started burning shortly after.
  8. Townsfolk in settlements in the swamp claim to have seen a massive crocodile swimming through the waters. No one takes the initial reports seriously, passing them off as a tall tale. It’s only when some enormous creature emerges from the swamp and destroys a village almost in its entirety that people start getting afraid.
  9. Near-perfectly preserved bodies begin floating to the top of the swamp waters. They span many different ages. Before long, these corpses begin animating and attacking the settlements in and around the swamp.
  10. Magical creatures of all kinds converge in the swamp after getting displaced by encroaching kingdoms and empires. The residents of the swamp aren’t happy about this influx of new, fantastical neighbors and are trying to find a way to have the creatures not live in there.
  11. The swamp’s local fauna start growing to unusual size. Their behaviors haven’t changed, but locals start becoming increasingly concerned at the unnatural growth of the gators, snakes, and panthers.
  12. A nearby swamp starts spreading at an alarming rate, swallowing the land and sinking homes as it encroaches upon nearby settlements.
  13. An acid-breathing dragon claims a swamp as its domain. It demands wild tributes from the settlements in the area, most of which are unable to meet the dragon’s demands.
  14. Gelatinous creatures start rising from the swamp’s waters. They vary across each of the swamp’s sub-biomes; some dissolving metal tools, some eating at the wooden supports of huts, and others consuming the fish and other fauna.
  15. Ghostly entities vaguely resembling past residents of settlements around the swamp begin appearing, beckoning their loved ones deeper into the swamp. Those brave enough to investigate have yet to return.
  16. Trees, vines, and other flora of the swamp become animate and start lashing out at fishers and settlements in and close enough to the swamp to reach. As time goes on, the plants become more and more animate, some even taking on vaguely humanoid form.
  17. An ongoing feud between the swamp-dwelling vampires and ambulatory fungi spills over into nearby settlements on the outskirts of the swamp. The locals don’t want to get involved, but they fear for their lives.
  18. An unknown, bright-red moss begins spreading throughout the swamp. It clings to boats and the suspended huts of the settlements throughout the area. Locals start exhibiting violent tendencies after becoming exposed to the moss for too long.
  19. A clan of frogfolk begin raiding the swamp villages. They claim they require payment for their monarch, a massive toad who dwells deep in the swamp.
  20. Hunters and fishers alike tell tales of a massive catfish. The legendary creature always manages to escape any net or trap set by those who want to claim the glory of capturing it. Anyone who manages to claim the beast will become a legend in the villages around the area.
  21. Rumors spread of an elusive, hairy creature that wanders the swamplands. Reports say its a bipedal monster that is covered in fur. But, its most identifying feature is the smell; the few who claim to have seen it say you can smell it a mile away and the stench is like rotting vegetation. Scholars post a reward for the capture of the beast for study.
  22. The lizardfolk clans of the swamp have resided in relative peace with the other settlements in the area. Unfortunately, the untimely death of their monarch throws the clans into conflict as each one tries to claim the throne. This in-fighting spills over into the other settlements, straining already tenuous relationships.
  23. A swamp has been protected by a powerful water and earth elemental for centuries. But, an unknown force corrupts the two protectors and pits them against each other in mortal combat. This brings catastrophic effects on the swamp and the villagers who live there.
  24. A circle of druids have preserved and protected a swamp for generations. While other settlements have grown around the outskirts of the swamp, some of the druids grew concerned at the sanctity of their swamp and began taking drastic measures against the trespassers.
  25. Snakes start showing up in alarming numbers in and around the villages of the swamp. The reptiles all seem to be much more aggressive than the usual kinds the locals are used to dealing with. Even worse, rumors spread of strangers wandering the swamp who seem to communicate with the snakes right before the infest a village.

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