Idea: Crumbling old house in the swamp, filled with natural “traps” like poison gas and collapsing floors, and inhabited by plant creatures and big frogs.
Hook: A few days ago, a group of kids wandered into the swamp, looking for a supposedly haunted old house among the slime and mud. They haven’t come back, and the children’s parents are paying you to go find them, dead or alive.
1. The walls of the entrance hall are covered with vines and fungus, giving the air a stench of the swamp. The ceiling is collapsing, and faint light shines in from above. (There are holes in the walls leading outside, it appears that most of the building is being held together by plant-like, not the original masonry.)
2. Stag heads above a fireplace, a stuffed bear, and the pelt of a wolf show that this was once the home of a hunter. (All of the taxidermy is falling to pieces due to age and decay, and wouldn’t be worth anything if retrieved.)
3. The room smells sickly sweet, like burnt caramel, and there are soccer ball sized growths of fungi on the walls. (The bulbous fungus is emitting a poisonous gas, and prolonged exposure to it will result in unconsciousness or death.)
4. Crumbling shelves and the wet remnants of paper show that this place was a private library. Standing in the center of this room is an enormous mass of vines and other plants, arranged in the shape of a semi-humanoid. (The mass is a colony of carnivorous plants, and will attack the party when it senses them. Some crates in the corner contain old paintings in miraculously good condition, easily worth a lot of money.)
5. The old larder is covered almost entirely in a disgusting white mold. There are some bones hanging from meat-hooks, and various barrels and jars lie strewn about. (The barrels, if opened, are only full of more mold and fungus.)
6. The floor has completely given way in this room to a small pool of bubbling green muck. It smells horrendous, but with a faint medicinal odor to it. (If one bathes in the muck, they can regain their health, but will smell awful and have a slight green tinge to their skin for a month.)
7. A large, king-sized bed dominates the room, with a dresser next to it. There are some lumps underneath the covers. (If one pulls off the covers, it reveals several dog-sized frogs with sharp teeth, which will attack in self-defense. On the dresser is a jewelry box with some gold and silver necklaces and earrings.)
8. The floor creaks, and seems exceptionally damp. Parts of the ceiling and walls have collapsed, revealing the faint light from outside. (If the floor is stepped on, it collapses, revealing quicksand a couple meters beneath the rotten wood.)
9. A huge, bizarre plant with an enormous snapping jaw sits at the far end of the room. Near it are a few walking corpses, covered with vines and moving like puppets. (The giant plant has some limited vision, and can telepathically give commands to the vine zombies. It will attempt to kill the party with the assistance of its zombie servants, as the plant itself cannot move. If the plant is killed however, the zombies will fall to the ground, dead. Within the plant’s “mouth” is an amulet that provides protection from poison, along with many coins.)
10. A group of children are huddled in a cage made from vines, wood, and bone. They are excited to see the party, and will begin to cheer and cry out of joy from being rescued. (The children were captured by the vine zombies and kept as bait to attract bigger food for the giant plant.)