Malpheggi Swamp



Feb 23, 2004 6:42:04
Much of the info presented here is from a 3E adventure that I took 4 people through last year. (8 characters actually took part in this in-person adventure (two PC's each)). I had searched the internet and my stacks of old D&D material for info on Malpheggi in hopes of using it in the upcoming adventure. Since I could find frustratingly little, I decided to share my hours of research and game play, plus elaborate and expand on the subject. Also, anything in brackets [] is a roll and subject to DM wishes (of course). The presented material here is not complete but I will update it on occasion, when I get the time.

Malpheggi Swamp

Introduction Malpheggi Swamp is tucked into the southwestern part of Darokin and is some 80 miles wide, 160 miles long and consists of roughly 5,000 square miles of some of the most dangerous real-estate in the Known World. Although Darokin claims the land, it is actually a lawless region of primordial wilderness. Malpheggi's great expanse of wetlands covers a vast area, from the tidal mud flats and mangrove swamps of the south to the troll infested Cyprus swamps of the north . Many different types of terrain can be found, including; seacoast, mud flats, mangrove, forest, hills, lakes, rivers, streams and grassland. Huge stretches of the swamp, is simply water, covered by a thick mat of vegetation. Often these areas are so water logged that jumping will shake nearby vegetation and the surrounding land with wave-like motions. These living layers of plants and other debris can even occasionally support small groups of trees. The floating mats can also conceal deep holes. Heavily encumbered adventurers are known to have sunk or fallen thru through, never to be seen again.
CAUSE & EFFECT Hidden Hole Spot Check [DC14] to see hidden hole. [1 ROLL PER MILE] Fail Spot Check (falling/sinking) Reflex Check [DC10] to stop from falling/sinking. Fail Reflex Check (in hole/water) [ROLL 2d10+10 DEPTH] Swim Check [DC14] or DROWN

There are many natural dangers associated with the Malpheggi. The tidal mud flats of the coast and river mouths are particularly hazardous. Twice daily the coastal areas are subject to extreme tides. These tides expose great mud flats that can stretch for miles towards the sea. Much of the mud has cement-like qualities and will trap those that dare tread on its surface. Magic items with "free action" will enable the user to walk as if on normal ground. The real danger here is not actually getting stuck in the mud, but getting free of its' deadly clutch before the tide comes back in.
CAUSE & EFFECT Tidal Mud Flats Reflex Check [DC14] or become stuck. [1 ROLL PER 1/4 MILE] Fail Reflex Check (stuck in mud) Fortitude Check [DC14] to free self. [1 ROLL PER HOUR] Fail Fortitude Check(s) (still stuck in mud) [Roll 1d12 HRS] for tide to come in. DROWN

Other areas of danger include traditional quicksand. These regions can sometimes be quite large, covering many acres. Often the surface of quicksand is covered by a loose litter of leaves, twigs and other organic debris and can be hard to detect.
CAUSE & EFFECT Quicksand Spot Check [DC14] to see quicksand. Fail Spot Check (fall/sinking) Reflex Check [DC10] to stop from falling/sinking. Fail Reflex Check (in quicksand) [Swim Check] [DC24] or DROWN Disease

Disease can also a problem in the swamp. Malpheggi Fever, Swamp Gut and Swamp Rot are some of the more common diseases. Malpheggi Fever is transmitted by a small biting fly . It causes extreme fatigue, fever, shakes and dementia then possibly death. After being effected by Malpheggi Fever and surviving you can no longer get it and are immune. The northern parts of the swamp are normally free of the fly in the winter.
CAUSE & EFFECT Malpheggi Fly Bite Reflex Check [DC10] or become infected. [1 ROLL PER DAY IN FLY INFESTED AREAS] Fail Fortitude Check (infected-Malpheggi Fever) [-2D4] to ALL ability scores for [3D4] days then- Fortitude Check [DC5] to survive infection. [1 ROLL PER LIFE TIME]

Swamp Gut is slightly more insidious and is caused by the ingestion of small parasitic creatures that live in the water of Malpheggi Swamp. Only the very clearest streams and springs are free of these parasites, which are too small to see with normal vision. The parasites begin to eat there host from the inside until cured. Symptoms are severe abdominal pain & cramping, vomiting blood and violent bloody bowel movements. Cure disease spell or procuring and eating the rare Scarlet Water Lillie root are the only known ways of killing the internal parasites. Boiling swamp water before consumption will kill the parasites and make the water safe to drink.
CAUSE & EFFECT Drinking Swamp Water Fortitude Check [DC20] or become infected. [1 ROLL PER STOP/AREA] Fail Fortitude Check (infected-Parasitic creature) - [1D10] Damage every 24hrs Notes: The Scarlet Water Lillie is one of the deepest growing of these aquatic plant types. The name comes from the plant in late summer when these rare lillies bloom, producing the brilliant scarlet colors. The rest of the year they are green and resemble many other common lillies. The root of the lillie has the only curative powers of the plant. It must be dived for and cut out. Pulling on the surface exposed part of the plant will only snap it off above the important roots.

Swamp rot is caused by a fast acting, flesh eating bacteria. It is sometimes contracted after being bitten by certain reptilian swamp creatures. Giant Lizards, Giant Turtles, Basilisk, Behirs and even some dragons of the swamp are some of the creatures known to carry Swamp Rot. Swamp Rot caused necrosis will spread from the infected area till it is cured. Cure Disease spell or a special concoction made by certain hostile Atruaghin witchdoctors are the only known cures for Swamp Rot.
CAUSE & EFFECT Reptilian Bite Fortitude Check [DC4] or become infected. [1 ROLL PER REPTILE] Fail Fortitude Check (infected-Swamp Rot) - [1D8] Damage every 24hrs Notes: Loss of limbs may occure. (DM)


Feb 26, 2004 19:57:03
Don't forget there is a limited amount of info presented in the Hollow World set as well, although it deals with a Malpheggi that is preserved from ages past. Still some of the information might be appropriate to apply to the swamp in southern Darokin, so the Gazeteer isn't the only source.


Mar 06, 2004 20:08:02
Thanks Morphius. Your descriptions for how to handle some of the natural hazards of the swamp inspired me to create some for my game in which the PCs are traveling through the Cruth Mountains from Darokin into Karameikos. As for more info on the Malpheggi Swamp, it's one of the areas of the Known World that is most open to "interpretation".
Btw, this is my first time ever posting to a forum, and hope to many more times. Mystara is such a vast and diverse setting, how could you ever exhaust it!


Mar 07, 2004 1:18:43
Originally posted by Hugin
As for more info on the Malpheggi Swamp, it's one of the areas of the Known World that is most open to "interpretation".

It is. I kind of like that part about the Known World, there are a surprising number of wilderness tracts that are not well detailed which leave room for development. Most of the mountain ranges are also left fairly open if you wanted to situate things there, as well as a few other spots, notably large parts of western Karameikos, much of the desert which is "off the beaten path" in Ylaruam, and a number of spots in the Northern Reaches.