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Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > D&D Ideas: Jungles
Lush Jungle Scene to inspire D&D adventure Ideas

D&D Ideas: Jungles

50th Anniversary Even if it is a Bit Late
Dealing with and Making Deals with Baba Yaga

Welcome back to our weekly newsletter! In this weekly live chat, we explored the topic of Jungles during our live chat. Join us every Sunday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy’s YouTube channel as we discuss D&D, RPGs, gaming, life, and an array of other nerdy topics.

Kickstarter Spotlight

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Join the Adventure We can’t wait for you to be a part of this journey. Together, let’s make Zoo Mafia TTRPG a groundbreaking addition to the TTRPG world.

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Delving Dave’s Dungeon

As you delve deeper into the heart of the jungle, the dense foliage and ancient mysteries of this untamed wilderness surround you. We explore the dangers lurking amidst the lush greenery and overgrown ruins of the jungle. From treacherous quicksand marshes to venomous vines that guard their territory, the jungle’s hazards are as diverse as they are deadly.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. For those who can read the signs and take the proper precautions, these hazards can be navigated, and their perils turned into opportunities for glory and heroism.

Join us as we unveil these unique hazards that will challenge your wits and test your mettle in your next jungle-themed D&D adventure. So sharpen your blades, prepare your spells, and let’s dive headfirst into the wild heart of the jungle!

Quicksand Marsh

Description: Deep within the jungle lies a treacherous marsh filled with hidden quicksand pits. The ground appears solid, but characters may suddenly sink into the soft, muddy soil when they step on certain areas.

Hazard Effect: Characters who trigger a quicksand pit must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or become restrained as they sink deeper into the pit each turn. It takes a successful DC 15 Strength check or assistance from others to pull them out. Sinking completely takes 1d4+1 rounds. When a character sinks completely, they can hold their breath for 1 minute per point of the constitution modifier. In the next round, they begin suffocating. A character that sinks completely has the blinded, deafened, and restrained conditions.

Notice: If a character actively looks for hazards and succeeds on the Perception check, they notice the quicksand pit before stepping into it. Otherwise, characters who walk into the hazard trigger it. Characters can detect quicksand pits with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check or by closely examining the ground. The ground in areas with quicksand may appear slightly discolored and have patches of dampness.

Venomous Vines

Description: Thick, thorny vines wind through the dense undergrowth. When disturbed, they lash out with barbed tips, injecting venom into their victims.

Hazard Effect: When characters move through an area with venomous vines, they must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or take 2d8 piercing damage and suffer 1d4 rounds of poisoned condition on a failed save. The vines can also grapple and restrain characters, requiring a DC 15 Strength check to break free.

Notice: If a character actively looks for hazards and succeeds on the Perception check, they can avoid the vines. Otherwise, characters who move through the area may inadvertently trigger the hazard. Characters can notice venomous vines with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) check or by carefully inspecting the vegetation. The vines have thorns with a subtle bluish hue.

Quetzalcoatl’s Wrath

Description: The jungle is home to a mythical guardian spirit, Quetzalcoatl, who can unleash powerful storms when angered. These storms manifest as torrential rain, strong winds, and lightning strikes.

Hazard Effect: Incurring Quetzalcoatl’s wrath can result from disturbing ancient sacred sites, stealing from jungle temples, or harming the natural balance of the jungle. When angered, Quetzalcoatl creates a storm that lasts for 1d4 hours. During the storm, there is a 25% chance each round of a lightning strike dealing 4d10 lightning damage to a random character within 30 feet.

Notice: The characters can take precautions or attempt to appease Quetzalcoatl by performing a ritual or making offerings to avoid incurring the storm’s wrath. If they ignore the warnings, the storm is triggered. Characters can sense the impending wrath of Quetzalcoatl with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Nature) check by witnessing unusual animal behavior or through a vision or dream. A native guide or local lore might also provide warnings.

 Swarming Insects

Description: A cloud of relentless, biting insects inhabits certain parts of the jungle. They swarm around anything that disturbs their territory, causing irritation and harm.

Hazard Effect: Characters entering an area with swarming insects must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or take 2d6 poison damage and have disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks while within the swarm. The swarm moves with the characters, making it challenging to escape.

Notice: If a character actively looks for hazards and succeeds on the Perception check, they can take precautions or avoid the swarm. Otherwise, characters who enter the area may disturb the insects and trigger the hazard. Characters can notice swarming insects with a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check or by hearing a faint buzzing sound and observing the insects in the area.

Fragment of Ancient Ruins Trap

Description: Deep in the jungle, a small, mysterious fragment of ancient ruins emerges from the undergrowth. This remnant, consisting of a few weathered pillars and a section of ornate stone floor, belies its dangerous nature. Once part of a grand structure, this fragment still houses cunning traps, a testament to the ingenuity and caution of its long-gone creators.

Hazard Effect: This fragment of the ancient ruins harbors a condensed array of deadly traps:

  • Pressure Plate-Activated Dart Traps: Hidden within the pillars, these traps unleash a barrage of darts (2d6 piercing damage on a failed DC 14 Dexterity saving throw).
  • Collapsing Floor Sections: Portions of the stone floor are precariously balanced, ready to give way under weight (3d10 bludgeoning damage and prone on a failed DC 15 Dexterity saving throw).
  • Concealed Pitfall Traps: Camouflaged sections of the floor disguise pitfalls (1d10 falling damage and restrained until freed). These traps might have been used to capture intruders or protect hidden passages.

Despite its size, this ruin fragment is a labyrinthine challenge, with each trap ingeniously designed to protect whatever secrets or treasures it once held.


  • Detection: Adventurers can spot these traps with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Investigation) check. Indicators include subtle differences in the stonework, faint lines indicating pressure plates, or unusual patterns in the dust and debris accumulated over ages.
  • Disabling Traps: Those adept at disarming traps can attempt to neutralize them. This requires a successful check (DC varies based on the trap) using thieves’ tools or an improvised method.
  • Cautious Navigation: Moving carefully and observing the surroundings can help adventurers avoid triggering the traps unwittingly.

From Ted’s Head

SwampGate: A Unique D&D Jungle Adventure

Jungles present a dynamic and challenging environment for D&D gameplay. They can be dense and lush with flora and fauna, offering sights and creatures possibly unfamiliar to the characters. The heat can be so intense that characters must monitor their water intake to avoid exhaustion.

My 5e D&D campaign is set on the outskirts of a Jungle Swamp, aptly named SwampGate. In this jungle game, it’s crucial to feature indigenous life that resists urban encroachment and unique plant life exclusive to this region. Some plants are sentient and highly aggressive. While some are mere hazards, others actively seek to eliminate the party as they delve deeper into the jungle.

When crafting a jungle setting, one must consider what makes this jungle stand out. My swampy jungle is unique, marked by an event that occurred approximately 100 years ago. The jungle gained notoriety with the discovery of a new metal, Bog Iron. This metal, distinguished by its ruddy brown surface, never rusts. It’s as strong as steel and, though slightly more challenging to forge, remains pristine even after prolonged submersion in water.

However, the jungle’s allure extends beyond this metal. Plants and creatures found nowhere else thrive here. Following a crash of a Vargarian Planar craft into the swamp, its technology scattered for miles, blending into the landscape and merging with the local wildlife. You can learn more about Vargarians by visiting our site or shopping for an item called ‘The Vargarian Collective.’ In the absence of a Vargarian commander, these part-construct creatures utilize their newfound abilities to enhance their predatory skills, creating a dangerous region for adventurers.

Transforming a standard plant or beast stat block by adding additional AC, HP, and a bonus attack from a novel appendage turns an encounter into a more intense and unpredictable challenge. Making the monster smarter in its tactics, like utilizing a cloaking field for a surprise attack, can shift an encounter from deadly to fatal or easy to challenging, especially if the monster targets a key party member, potentially disabling them before the party can even react.

Nerdarchy staff

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