The Haunted Jungle is basically tropical Mirkwood. The jungles have been corrupted by the dark magic of the Yuan-ti, who want to raise the Serpentine Continent – of which Dinosaur Island is the last exposed remnant – reestablish the Ophidian Dominion, and enslave or exterminate all other sentient races. Most of the monsters here are related to snakes or vines. The few mammals that survive in the Haunted Jungle, like the transparent tigers, are shifted two long steps toward the weird.
The setting in 25 words: strangling vines, oppressive humidity, poisonous flowers, rot, scales, roots, venom, army ants, stench, slime mold, howls, stone ruins, illusions, quicksand, camouflage, ambush, confusion, madness.
Haunted Jungle Monster Table
- winged snakes – 8+1d8
- vine blights – 4+1d4
- giant constrictor snake
- Alloconda (see below)
- giant poisonous snake
- transparent tiger (see below)
- shambling mound
- Yuan-ti pureblood cultists – 6+1d6
It’s a short table because our party isn’t going to be spending very long in the Haunted Jungle (or will they?). I stole the mechanic from the inside cover of A Red and Pleasant Land where you use the same table with different dice. So for the first encounter in the jungle, roll 1d4 to find the monster, then 1d6, then 1d8 – the farther in you go, the worse the things you find.
I deliberately left the Yuan-ti malison and Yuan-ti abomination off the table. My party doesn’t get to just stumble across those guys randomly in the jungle. They have to find a creepy stone ruin, suppress their instincts for self-preservation, and go inside before they get to discover what turned this jungle dark and corrupt.
New Monster: Alloconda
An Allosaurus with an anaconda where its head and neck should be – the theropod version of the Diplodocobra. Normally keeps the anaconda/neck coiled up on its shoulders, so it looks like a large anaconda coiled atop a headless allosaur, or a small-headed theropod wearing a fat scaly muffler.
Armor Class: 13
Hit Points: 60 (7d10+22)
Speed: 60 ft.
STR 19 (+4) – DEX 13 (+1) – CON 17 (+3) – INT 4 (-3) – WIS 12 (+1) – CHA 5 (-3)
Skills: Perception +5
Senses: passive Perception 15
Challenge: 3 (700 XP)
- Multiattack. The Alloconda makes two attacks per turn against different targets: a claw attack, and a bite or constrict attack.
- Bite. +6 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) piercing damage.
- Constrict. +6 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the Alloconda can’t constrict another target.
- Claw. +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) slashing damage.
The main gotcha here for parties encountering the Alloconda for the first time is the very long range over which it can strike. In D&D, as in the real world, most snakes can only strike out to 1/3 or maybe 1/2 of their total length. Because the anaconda portion of the Alloconda is sitting on a stable, 2-ton platform, it can strike a lot farther, twice the distance of a normal giant constrictor snake.
New Monster: Transparent Tiger
Borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, of course. If you haven’t read “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius“, you should go do that now, it’s way better than anything on this blog.
Armor Class: 15
Hit Points: 68 (8d10+24)
Speed: 40 ft.
STR 18 (+4) – DEX 14 (+2) – CON 17 (+3) – INT 4 (-3) – WIS 12 (+1) – CHA 8 (-1)
Skills: Perception +5, Stealth +10
Senses: passive Perception 15
Challenge: 4 (1100 XP)
Keen Smell. Transparent tigers have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
Transparency. Transparent tigers are visible only as dim outlines and ghostly stripes against the background. Creatures without Darkvision are at a disadvantage to detect or attack them in dim light, and creatures with Darkvision are at a disadvantage to detect or attack them in darkness.
Pounce. If a transparent tiger moves 20 ft. or more in a straight line toward a creature and hits it with a claw attack, the target must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. The tiger can make one bite attack against the prone target as a bonus action.
Carried Away. Once a target has been knocked prone and bitten, the transparent tiger will attempt to drag it off into the underbrush to kill it and eat it. A tiger dragging a medium-sized victim can only move 20 ft. per round, or 30 ft. if carrying a Small victim. The victim can try to escape with a DC 14 Strength saving throw, but the tiger gets an attack of opportunity against the prone victim on a successful escape.
- Bite. +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10+5) piercing damage.
- Claw. +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) slashing damage.
Parties typically have to travel single-file though the dense jungle. A transparent tiger will attempt to knock down and drag off whoever is last in line. Feel free to impose Perception deficits for anyone more than 2 spots from the end to even notice the tiger is there – before Tail-End Charlie gets dragged off screaming, that is.