| 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.
The entrance to this branch can be found between levels 2 and 4 of the Lair of Beasts.
This branch is 4 levels deep.
This branch contains the decaying rune of Zot.
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 entrance to the Swamp may be found in the Lair between Lair:2-4. The Swamp is one of two water-themed branches that may be generated in each game (the other is the Shoals).
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 and deep water.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
|t Alligator||F Spiny frog||w Swamp worm||w Tyrant leech||F Goliath frog|
|k Swamp drake||l Komodo dragon||D Hydra||D Swamp dragon||n Bloated husk|
|y Vampire mosquito||v Insubstantial wisp||n Bog body||J Slime creature||v Will-o-the-wisp|
|y Hornet||i Spriggan rider||i Spriggan druid||t Ghost crab||R Eleionoma|
|S Aizul||d Bai Suzhen||@ Donald||@ Frances|
|g Jorgrun||@ Josephine||@ Kirke||D The Lernaean hydra|
|@ Louise||R Mara||@ Nikola||8 Roxanne|
- 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!
The decaying rune of Zot is in a monster-filled vault on Swamp:5. 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.
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.
Introduced in 0.1, "swamp_alternative" adds one or two fire drakes to the mix, and bisects the vault with a lava pool. Because hydras have no ranged attacks and cannot fly, you can use the lava to divide the defenders and kill them from afar. This is probably the easiest Swamp ending.
Introduced in 0.6, "swamp_icy" is full of simulacra, azure jellies, and 2-3 ice dragons. The simulacra make this the most dangerous Swamp ending, as they get a large HD-based cold damage bonus to their attacks. Hydra simulacra are particularly deadly; treat them with extreme caution and kill them from afar. If you are a spellcaster then Fire Magic or Dispel Undead works wonders. The rune room will generate freezing clouds constantly, so cold resistance is a must; Ice Form is great here.
Introduced in 0.5, "swamp_pestilence" is full of zombies, spectral swamp dragons and hydras, phantoms, and a bone dragon. Clouds of miasma occur here naturally. The dragon is quite dangerous, and the miasma clouds will rot and slow you. Finally, the vault may contain an oklob plant placed to greet players as they stagger out of the miasma. Dispel Undead can cut through everything but the oklob, but try to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Introduced in 0.6, "swamp_old_school" resembles the old (0.5 and older) Swamp layouts and 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.
Introduced in 0.10, "swamp_vile" is an abandoned, flooded temple, occupied by demons and beasts. It may contain unusual monsters like large abominations, green deaths, death oozes, hell beasts or even a tentacled monstrosity.
Introduced in 0.12, "grunt_swamp_rune_castle" is a square-shaped vault with four inner rooms. One of them contains the Lernaean hydra.
- 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. 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.