The Swamp

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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
A swampy wasteland, the Swamp is filled with ooze, muck, flies and large slavering carnivorous monsters.

A dungeon features only one of the Swamp and Shoals branches.

This branch is very noisy, and so sound travels much less far.

The entrance to this branch can be found between levels 2 and 3 of the Lair of Beasts.

This branch is 4 levels deep.

This branch contains the decaying rune of Zot.

Swamp entry.png The Swamp is a side branch that contains the decaying rune of Zot. Four levels deep, it is home to all manner of small water creatures and swamp insects, as well as hydras, dragons, and worms.

The Swamp's entrance is located between Lair:2 and Lair:3. If you find the Swamp, you will not find the Shoals in your current game.

Useful Info

Each floor is large and open, with trees and plants providing the only cover most of the time. You'll find small islands of land and the occasional ruin or vault amid large masses of shallow water. Clouds of thin mist occasionally generate, which do nothing except prevent other clouds from occupying its tile.

You can set trees on fire to create passages. The resulting forest fire will create immense amounts of steam and may go out of control, however!

The Swamp features more wands than the Shoals; both eleionomae and fenstrider witches can drop wands on death. You may want to train some Evocations if you see Swamp generate in your game.


  • Due to Mephitic Cloud-breathing swamp drakes, Poisonous cloud-breathing Swamp dragons, and the general watery nature of the Swamp, it's a bad idea to attempt this branch without poison resistance or a source of cloud immunity. You could also rely on a large supply of potions of curing or Elyvilon's Purification ability to overcome confusion and poisoning, but these will end up costly if used this much.
    • Players lacking poison resistance can acquire it in the Swamp itself. If you can find, kill a swamp dragon for a chance to get swamp dragon scales, which have the rPois intrinsic.
  • Two other resistances may prove helpful: rCorr for Goliath frogs, and willpower for Fenstrider witches. You might be fine with careful play, but may regret it when you are paralyzed and heavily corroded while hydras gnaw all over you.
  • Consider having some means of flying; without it, the shallow water can fatally slow you down if you need to retreat. Many of the monsters encountered in the Swamp receive speed boosts in the water.
  • Edged weapon users may also need some alternative means of killing hydras. See the hydra article for an in-depth list of methods.


Common monsters

l Alligator.png Alligator w Swamp worm.png Swamp worm w Tyrant leech.png Tyrant leech F Goliath frog.png Goliath frog R Eleionoma.png Eleionoma
k Swamp drake.png Swamp drake D Hydra.png Hydra D Swamp dragon.png Swamp dragon n Bloated husk.png Bloated husk v Will-o-the-wisp.png Will-o-the-wisp
y Vampire mosquito.png Vampire mosquito x Bunyip.png Bunyip n Bog body.png Bog body t Ghost crab.png Ghost crab y Hornet.png Hornet
i Spriggan rider.png Spriggan rider i Spriggan druid.png Spriggan druid

Dangerous monsters

f Thorn hunter.png Thorn hunter f Shambling mangrove.png Shambling mangrove H Fenstrider witch.png Fenstrider witch X Tentacled monstrosity.png Tentacled monstrosity
i Spriggan air mage.png Spriggan air mage i Spriggan berserker.png Spriggan berserker n Ghoul.png Ghoul k Death drake.png Death drake


S Aizul.png Aizul d Bai Suzhen.png Bai Suzhen @ Donald.png Donald @ Frances.png Frances
g Jorgrun.png Jorgrun @ Josephine.png Josephine @ Kirke.png Kirke X Mlioglotl.png Mlioglotl
@ Louise.png Louise R Mara.png Mara @ Nikola.png Nikola 8 Roxanne.png Roxanne
D The Lernaean hydra.png The Lernaean hydra
  • Depending on which ending you get, you might also come upon undead variants of the usual Swamp inhabitants or a number of other dangerous monsters. Tread carefully on the last floor!

Swamp:4 vaults

The decaying rune of Zot is in a monster-filled vault on Swamp:4. While it's always a good idea to clear the rest of the floor first, the exact nature and difficulty of this vault varies each game.

  • Swamp: The classic "swamp" vault is an ovoid vault heavily defended by hydras, swamp dragons and swamp drakes. While otherwise unremarkable, the sheer number of foes you'll face upon reaching the vault can easily prove overwhelming. Keep the path back to the stairs clear, just in case.
  • Swamp alternative: "swamp_alternative" bisects the original "swamp" vault with a lava pool, and adds a few fiery monsters (lindwurms, fire dragons) to the mix.
  • Old school: This vault resembles the pre-0.5 Swamp layout - it's a large, haphazard room which contains the usual mix of swamp dragons, drakes, and hydras. What sets this vault apart is the Lernaean hydra hiding in one of its niches.
  • Castle: "grunt_swamp_rune_castle" is a square-shaped vault with inner 4 rooms - one will contain the Lernaean hydra.
  • Basic: "swamp_basic_johnstein" has a small chamber leading to 3 separate inlets. Has a small chance of containing the Lernaean hydra.


  • In 0.31, two vampire knights in one Swamp:4 rune vault will be replaced with ghouls.
  • Prior to 0.29, the Swamp was found between Lair:2 and Lair:4.
  • Prior to 0.27, the Swamp wasn't loud.
  • In 0.26, new monsters were introduced: Eleionoma, Bunyip, Goliath frog, Will-o-the-wisp, Bloated husk, and Fenstrider witch, which all made the branch much more dangerous. Deep water was mostly removed from the branch. Prior to this version, the Swamp was often considered to be the easiest lair branch.
  • In 0.25 came a new Swamp ending themed as a conflict between Yred and Fedhas that includes an undead version of the Lernaean Hydra.
  • During its history, the Swamp has received countless changes to the list of monsters inhabiting it. Many unthreatening monsters have been pruned.
  • Prior to 0.17, the Swamp was five levels deep.
  • In 0.11, the Swamp was given an improved layout, with smaller and more compact levels, and more trees. It is also less misty than before.
Dungeon branches
Dungeon exit.png The DungeonTemple entry.png The TempleDepths entry.png The DepthsZot entry.png Realm of Zot
Lair entry.png The Lair ( Spider entry.png Spider's NestSnake entry.png Snake PitSwamp entry.png The SwampShoals entry.png The ShoalsSlime entry.png Slime Pits)
Orc entry.png Orcish Mines ( Elf entry.png Elven Halls) • Vaults entry.png The Vaults ( Crypt entry.png The CryptTomb entry.png The Tomb)
Abyss entry.png The AbyssPandemonium entry.png PandemoniumHell entry.png Hell ( Cocytus entry.png CocytusDis entry.pngDisGehenna entry.png GehennaTartarus entry.png Tartarus)
See also: Portal