25 Jungle Ruins Adventure Seeds

Picture Credit: Volkan Kacar

First adventure seeds of the year bring us to the jungle, specifically a jungle with plenty of humid, swampy areas and some extensive ruins of a long-lost civilization. I wanted something that was both wild and had a hint of civilization, and thought this setting would allow me to explore that juxtaposition, however heavily it favors the wild.

This, per usual, ended up being a bit of a challenge for me after the first few. You’ll notice some of these are inherently similar to one another which is the opposite problem of what I expected since I had the luxury of having civilization and the wild at my disposal. The issues arose from the jungle itself- much like the Frozen Tundra seeds I did, after a bit there’s only so much you can really do there without treading the same ground. That said, I did try to make the similar ones stand out and I hope you find that they do. Here are a few of the assumptions I had in mind while writing these, though you should be able to work around any that don’t fit in your game.

  • The area is a humid jungle, with many parts that are swamp-like,
  • The central section of the jungle houses many ruins, including one large central section as well as a few smaller sites,
  • The most civilized people here are actually expeditions here to explore and recover artifacts, and
  • Native tribes generally react well to outsiders, provided the outsiders treat them with respect and heed their warnings.

And now here are the adventure seeds:

  1. A rumbling could be heard coming from the swamp that sits in the center of the jungle. Anyone who goes there now sees a large ziggurat that has risen, and now floats above the surface.
  2. After a member of an excavation team falls into quicksand completely, they appear to crawl out not too long after. They claimed that they were transported back in time hundreds of years when the ruins were active and lively, and urge you to see for yourself.
  3. A friendly tribe native to the jungle warns anyone who goes near the temple to not search for ancient artifacts, saying any that remain within are cursed and will awaken an ancient evil.
  4. Oversized animals roam the jungle; so far giant tigers, gorillas, and crocodiles have been seen and people are taking care to avoid them. However, the gorillas have been getting closer every day and some are afraid they may attack the camp.
  5. During an expedition into the jungle surrounding the ruins, an explorer was attacked and strangled by a living mass of vines and vegetation. This isn’t the first time the plant life has appeared to be alive, but it is the first time that they have attacked a person, and no one knows why.
  6. After a team of builders begin to reinforce parts of the ruins so that they don’t collapse, their tools have started breaking. Some believe them to be cursed, and now they aren’t allowed back into the camps until they can prove they’re uncursed.
  7. Large stone guardians, at first believed to be statues, have begun roaming around the ruins, charging at anyone you gets too close to them. An excavator screamed at one during the charge and it halted its attack, but now it follows the excavator around and watches over them. Other stone guardians pay them no here but will still attack others in the expedition.
  8. A tinkerer within the group has devised a new way to travel within the jungle! They’ve created pairs of canvas wings that you strap into, and then you get catapulted into the sky above the trees. This sounded great until the lead explorer was flung halfway across the jungle with no good way of navigating back.
  9. Relations with the normally agreeable lizardfolk in the area have grown tense as those within the tribe deal with infighting. Some wish to continue to revere the ancient spirits of the swamp as they have, while others want to change their allegiance to a new black dragon that has made their lair in the area.
  10. Snake people have begun coming out of the ruins and raiding camps, but most horrifically they are stealing people out of their beds to be sacrificed at an alter atop the ruins to appease an ancient god.
  11. An alchemist has requested help from anyone who can get him certain plants so that he can help stave off rashes and poison in the jungle. It’s these same plants however that are extremely poisonous to handle, so none have been willing to help him.
  12. After digging in the swampy waters, zombies have been awakened and now climb out from under the fetid water, seeking only to reenter the ruins of a large temple and clawing at the entrance until their hands fall off.
  13. Small moving lights have been seen at night, occasionally helping lead those out exploring through difficult passages. Their help has been appreciated, until two incidents of the lights leading them straight into the nests of hungry animals has led to some casualties.
  14. A famous explorer, well known for their ability to handle any situation with a cool head and always being successful, has found your camp and is extremely shaken. They say their entire expedition has fallen prey to a humongous bird that swoops down and between the trees with ease, and that their cries for help still haunt him.
  15. Legends from locals warn you of an ancient shapeshifting hag who resides in the jungle. They say she can read your mind and will transform into the visage of someone you know, asking for help. If you get too close though, she will pounce and take you, leading to people being unwilling to aid anyone by themselves who have been lost in the jungle.
  16. Since some alchemical supplies were accidentally poured into swampy waters, the area surrounding the jungle has been masked with a thick fog, causing coughing fits for anyone who enters. Samples of the water have revealed a chemical reaction is causing this, and the only way to stop it is to pour a sufficient amount of holy water towards the center of the water.
  17. Each night, spectral visages of ancient people can be seen walking around the ruins, interacting as if they were still intact. They haven’t acknowledged anyone living, though they walk around them and can make physical contact.
  18. A witch doctor has claimed that he can cure any ailment which has brought a good number of travelers to the swamp seeking his help. While most of his visitors speak good things of him, lately there have been some disappearances of those who went to visit him and people are beginning to get suspicious.
  19. The remains of a destroyed campsite were found a few hundred feet from your own. No one was aware of any other expeditions in the jungle, but more disturbing are the giant claw marks that are found in the site, ripping even into metal.
  20. A large whirlpool has opened up in the swamp that surrounds some of the ruins. It seems to move around and head for any movement in the water. No one has dared enter, but some have claim to have seen a bird get sucked into the water by sheer force.
  21. While normally not being short on bugs, the jungle has seen swarms of insects take flight and resembling one large, amorphous entity. Natives say the strange behavior means the return of an old warlock who used to terrorize the jungle hundreds of years ago.
  22. An old arena in the ruins of the jungle still seems some use by native tribes as a way to show tests of strength. A member of the expedition accidentally volunteered to enter through a miscommunication and was mauled by a together after pleas to be let out, causing a rift between the natives and the expedition.
  23. Many of the braziers that litter the ruins have spontaneously lit themselves, spreading concern amongst the expedition. Even more concerning is when the fires of the braziers moves off them, resembling fire elementals, and attack any creatures that come to close
  24. Explorers have found a section of jungle filled with thorns and briers, unusual for the climate and the environment. They didn’t have much time to investigate as plant-like humanoids made of vines and thorns chased them out before resuming corrupting more of the jungle.
  25. After concocting a strange potion using ingredients from the jungle, a wizard from the expedition has managed to turn himself into a lizard. He still possesses intelligence and is writing instructions in the dirt on how to turn him back, including delving into the temple for some reagents.

As always, please let us know what type of adventure seeds you’d like to see next!

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