Directory:Spellbinder Games/Dreadmire

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Dreadmire (ISBN 0977338339) is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, printed by publisher Spellbinder Games, and created by author, game designer and publisher Randy Richards. The book used the D20 System/3.0 edition of the rules.

Dreadmire, published in 2005

The author used this phrase to describe the book:

"Think of Dreadmire as the Atchafalaya Swamp meets Lord of the Rings, with Cajun halflings, undead mosquitoes, weregators, giant cockroaches, fungus demons, man-eating plants, slime dragons, cannibal elves, sunken ruins, mud dwarves, dark water, and evil trees thrown into the mix."

Dreadmire is a guidebook to a large swamp setting that forms the basis of a campaign. The book includes chapters not only with background material for the swamp but detailed encounter tables, new spells, character classes and magic items.

The goal of the book is to provide a setting for which many adventures can be played out, not just a book on how to run a swamp adventure (which it is, as well). This is why a number of locations are noted, but not detailed within the book, so the GM can have an idea of how to develop more involved campaigns.

The back cover of Dreadmire.


Many fantasy races populate Dreadmire, in the same vein as J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. However, the typical races were adapted to Dreadmire's amphibious wetland setting.

  • Alligataur Colonies: A sentient race of carnivorous half alligator/half humanoid creatures, often worshipped as gods by lizard folk.
  • Anthroach Tribes: A chaotic evil race of humanoid cockroaches.
  • Arable Republic: A democratic government of peace-loving farmers that lies to the north of the swamp.
  • Arachane: A wise, peaceful race of giant spiderlike creatures that study ancient tomes.
  • Bayou Punters: Consisting of three communities - Amandla, Dullbone, and Oarnin - the bayou punters are half-orcs that have been shunned by "civilized" society.
  • Caterpygmy Nests: A pygmy race of humanoid caterpillars that can one day become Frittilaries.
  • Creeps: A ragtag, highly dispersed group of gypsies, consisting of outlaws, cutthroats, bandits, crazies, and miscellaneous refugees from various wars.
  • Cribbets: This once noble race of toad wizards was corrupted by a substance known as "dark pollen", and are now insane and self-absorbed.
  • Darkhoppers: The tiniest of all the races, measuring just 2-3 inches long, these sentient black grasshoppers are often ignored.
  • Derangers: A loose association of evil rangers that skulk Dreadmire using their ability to transform their skin to inky darkness.
  • Dravages: Druids that have become eco-terrorists and harass swamp villages.
  • Dwarves, Mud: The descendents of a clan of mountain dwarves chased into the swamp by an erupting volcano.
  • Elves, Alluvial: An extant race of aquatic elves, that swim the rivers and bayous of Dreadmire.
  • Elves, Wild: The intrusion of water after a great earthquake chased out these elves, which now live at its perimeter.
  • Evile Cannibals: A corrupted form of elf that preys on the wild elves for food and sport.
  • Frittilary: A caterpygmy can metamorphosis into a frittilary, a giant butterfly that becomes the leader of the caterpygmies.
  • Giant Eagles & Owls: Giant eagles rule by day, and giant owls by night, enjoying tasty snacks known as anthroaches and caterpygmies.
  • Giants, Mire: This race of water-breathing giants dwell in underwater caves, and sunken hollow tree trunks.
  • Halflings, Bayou: These halflings are culturally similar to Cajuns, living in cypress shacks within fishing villages at the swamp perimeter.
  • Halflings, Bushfolk: Another group of halflings culturally akin to hillbillies, living isolated lives in the deep backswamp.
  • Heath Rangers: Amphibious swamp rangers that patrol the outer heaths of the Dreadmire perimeter.
  • Hill Clans: These tribes of humans from the Ophel Highlands are highly skilled at avoiding giants.
  • Lizard Folk: Standard D&D lizard folk with a detailed background involving totem poles, ancestor veneration, oracle kings, exorcism, and shadow entities.
  • Lizard Folk, Tchefuncteaux: This tribe of lizard folk is unusual in that it is good in alignment, and has a long history.
  • Marshfolk: Human aborigines eek out an existence living at the swamp periphery.
  • Moor Knights: Knights of the Arable Republic that patrol the heaths and moors that border Dreadmire with their nation.
  • Mountain Nomads: Tribes of wandering humans that inhabit the Agnathan Mountains.
  • Mushroom Folk: A race of sentient fungus creatures that create alchemical concoctions.
  • Neanderthals: A sub-human race of cave people that live along the palisade of steep escarpments that border Dreadmire with the Agnathna Mountains.
  • Nomenary Gnomes: A cluster of burrows called the "Nomenary" is home to gnomes that create magical clockwork devices and giants-killing weapons.
  • Quag Druids: This a generic term for all the druids and druid-related classes of Dreadmire Swamp.
  • Reed Faeries: A pixielike race of aquatic faeries that lives among the reeds of the bayous.
  • River Ferriers: These are bayou halflings that live on the river, ferrying travelers to and fro.
  • Serpents: An evil race of humanoid snakes and enslave other races for their own nefarious purposes.
  • Thalass Emirate: A feudalistic government of whale shepherds that lies to the southeast of the swamp.
  • Treants: Standard D&D treants of various tree species types, including but not limited to cypress, southern liveoak, magnolia, mangrove, saw palmetto, water tupelo, and weeping willow, all of various alignments.
  • Werecreatures: This includes all lycanthropes, such as the weregators, tyrannarat wererats, werebears, shire werehorses, wereboars, wherewhales, werefrogs, weresnakes, werespiders, weresquirrels, and weremosquitos.


The following are fictional deities in the Dreadmire campaign setting.

  • Aeternus: Neutral god of infinity, using domains of Time, Travel, and War. Worshipped by temporal paladins.
  • Baromet: Chaotic neutral god of weather, using domains of Air, Destruction, Fire, and Water. Worshipped by everyone.
  • Ealune: Chaotic good deity of night, using domains of Healing and Necromancy. Worshipped by marshfolk and shamans.
  • Easol: Neutral good deity of day, using domains of Healing and Sun. Worshipped by marshfolk and shamans.
  • Forces: Neutral deity of energy, using domains of Magic and Strength. Worshipped by arcane atheists and gnomes.
  • Ichorus: Neutral goddess of blood, using domains of Death, Knowledge, and Necromancy. Worshipped by necromancers and sentient undead.
  • Leacon: Lawful good god of waterfowl, using domains of Animal, Good, Travel, and Water. Worshipped by bayou halflings and marshfolk.
  • Leucopraxus: Chaotic evil demon of fungi/ooze, using domains of Earth, Evil, and Fungi/Ooze (new). Worshipped by bushfolk and creeps.
  • Lorelei: Lawful neutral goddess of water, using domains of Law, Luck, Travel, and Water. Worshipped by sailors, ferriers, islanders, and aquatic elves.
  • Lucent Dragon: Neutral god of dragons, using domains of Knowledge and Strength. Worshipped by dragons and their minions.
  • Marais: Neutral god of wetlands, using domains of Death, Earth, and Water. Worshipped by swamp occupants, sentient animals, and sentient plants.
  • Modan: Neutral god of ground, using domains of Earth, Travel, and Trickery. Worshipped by dwarves and human cultists.
  • Orchidae: Neutral goddess of plants, using domains of Air, Plant, and Water. Worshipped by druids, anthroaches, and herbivores.
  • Pleroma: This deity is the godhead of all the deities, and has no gender or known domains.
  • Qualm: Chaotic evil god of bugs (arthropods), using domains of Death, Destruction, and Trickery. Worshipped by bushfolk, evil bugs, and evil buglike creatures.
  • Tsombi: Neutral evil deity of animism, using domains of Knowledge, Magic, and Protection. Worshipped by bushfolk, marshfolk, and houdoan (new class).
  • Verdurzuzu: Lawful evil devil of undead plants, using domains of Death, Evil, Necromancy, and Plant. Worshipped by tree devils, corrupted beings, and druins.
  • Vorace: Lawful neutral goddess of carnivores, using domains of Animal, Law, and Strength. Worshipped by alligataurs, lizardfolk, and lycanthropes.


Dreadmire contained an unprecedented amount of new Character classes, 18 in all.

  • Alchemist: A sage dedicated to determining fundamental truths through alchemy.
  • Balladmonger: An evil bard whose music works dark magic.
  • Darkworker: A reclusive cleric that worships Night and manipulates darkness.
  • Deathslayer: A cleric devoted to cleansing the world of undead abominations.
  • Druin: Anti-Druid druids who use the power of Nature to purposefully ruin the ecosystem.
  • Eldritch Cleric: The cleric that uses arcane spells instead of divine cleric spells.
  • Freak Knight: An honorable knight who disdains beauty and harnesses fear.
  • Hidewalker: A warrior of the wilderness that can take the form of a beast.
  • Houdoan: A fetish cleric that curses, summons spirits, and creates living zombies.
  • Lightworker: A pacifist cleric that worships Day and manipulates light.
  • Magi: A sorcerer that uses divine cleric spells instead of arcane sorcerer spells.
  • Marshwarden: A cleric of Marais that protects the living and honors the dead.
  • Muckranger: A skilled swamp ranger that roams the soggy wildlands.
  • Nature Bard: A performer of druid origins whose music works divine magic.
  • Physical Medium: A mystic thats sees, converses, and otherwise interacts with the dead.
  • Phyxius: A cleric specializing in wind, air and sky.
  • Sorcerer Druid: A sorcerer that uses divine druid spells instead of arcane spells.
  • Tatau Warrior: A barbarian covered in magical tattoos.

While some of these classes had some balance issues, most were fine within the context of this setting.


There are three adventures contained within the book. One serves as an introduction to the setting and the others two offer more advanced campaign-style play.

  • The Great Bayou Halfling Boat Race: This scenario is for beginning level (1st-6th) Player characters. The players are asked to crew a ship in a celebrated halfling boat race, which takes them on a winding adventure through the swamp. The adventure is designed to introduce new Dreadmire players to the various factions and new monsters of the swamp. The adventure features encounters with giant catfish, monstrous mosquitoes, deadly plants, lizardfolk, anthroaches, and evil serpents.
  • Bog of the Fungus Demon: This scenario is for intermediate level (7th-13th) Player characters. The players uncover a diary that leads them on the trail of an old friend that searched for the lair of a demon. At the top of a dark waterfall they discover a giant fungi forest and the lair of a lost demonic force. The adventures features a score of monstrous fungus creatures, black slime, vampire mushroom folk, a lycanthropic ooze, slime dragon, and a smut demon.
  • Secrets of the Sinking Citadel: This scenario is for advanced level (14th-20th) Player characters. The players break into an and ancient buried citadel from another millenium, only to discover its original undead inhabitants are still trapped there. Encounters include a blood pudding, sinew golem, mojeaux dragon, skeletal juggernaut, unliving brain, centaur vampire, and nine liches known as the Dead Lords.

Animals & Plants

One of the unique features of Dreadmire was its particular attention to its List of fantasy animals, fantasy plants, and adapting real-world animal and plant abilities to monsters.

Fantasy Animals & Animal Creatures

  • Alligataur: a chaotic neutral half alligator/half humanoid reptile race revered as holy by lizard folk
  • Anthroach: a vile, chaotic evil humanoid race of cockroaches
  • Aphid, Giant: a large insect that eats giant plants
  • Aquaduck: the local term for a diving duck
  • Arachane: a lawful good giant arachnid race that studies ancient tomes for their wisdom and magic
  • Arcane Leech: a leech that feeds on beings only harmed by magical weapons
  • Beetle, Chaos: a giant waterbug, also know as a whirligig beetle
  • Beetle, Darkling: an insect that creates magical darkness
  • Beetle, Deathwatch: a bug attracted to dying creatures
  • Beetle, Mayhem: a neutral evil race of giant June bugs
  • Blood Bee: an insect that makes honey from the blood it sucks from creatures
  • Bore Worm: a worm that bores permanently into creatures, causing great pain for the life of the host
  • Buzzombie: any undead insectoid creature animated as a zombie
  • Cadence Bug: an insect that imitates musical notes it hears
  • Caterpygmy: a neutral pygmy race of humanoid caterpillars that can turn into fritilaries (see further down in this list)
  • Catfish, Monstrous: a sometimes-sentient giant catfish
  • Cockroach, Monstrous: a giant cockroach that eats ooze monsters and spreads diseases
  • Cribbet: a once lawful good race of humanoid toad wizards, now corrupted to chaotic neutral
  • Darkhopper: a chaotic good race of sentient grasshoppers
  • Dinosaur, Lethocerus: sometimes called an "aquaraptor", this aquatic dinosaur sucks out the insides of its prey, and breathes through a tube in its abdomen
  • Dragonhunter: a colossal giant dragonfly that lays its eggs in dragons it kills to provide food for its young
  • Fire Ant, Giant: a monstrous ant species with a painful, debilitating sting
  • Fritillary: a wise, sentient lawful neutral butterfly race that counsels caterpygmies (see further up in this list)
  • Frog, Foul: various forms of mutated, dangerous frogs
  • Girthworm: a giant earthworm sometimes used as steed by mud dwarves
  • Gloom Swan: one of a number of neutral evil waterfowl species
  • Goliath Pelican: giant waterfowl that scoops up people and other large animals in order to swallow them whole
  • Hippogoose: similar to a hippogriff, except half shire horse/half goose
  • Jacalily Bird: a bird that nests on lily pads
  • Lightning Bug: a giant version of a firefly that produces actual lightning
  • Lizard, Whip: a small lizard with a long, poisonous tongue
  • Lizard, Leapin': a mundane lizard that runs on water to eat insects
  • Luna Moth, Giant: a monstrous luna moth that flies to the moon and back each night
  • Magic Cicada: a giant periodical cicada whose staccato whine can cause deafness
  • Mosquito, Monstrous: five speciies of mosquitoes ranging from intelligent to undead, and good to evil
  • Mudbug: a giant crawfish that can squeeze its prey in half
  • Oyster Clamper: a swarm of pinching oysters
  • Paradoxis Polliwog: an alligator-sized carnivorous tadpole that becomes tiny when it becomes a frog
  • Quickmud Ladybug: an insect that eats giant aphids (see further up in list) and causes disease by its touch
  • Quixote: a strange mix of a duckbilled platypus (head), nutria (body), flying squirrel (winglike membranes), badger (ferocity), and a dog (personality)
  • Reed Faerie: a winged faerie creature that resembles an anthropomorphic flying fish, that often uses magical darts to hunt with
  • Salwhite Rhinocerous: an amphibious rhino that roams the Great Salt Swamp and its surrounding salt flats
  • Shipworm: an aquatic wood-eating insect that bores through the hulls of boats
  • Shrimp, Mantis: a giant shrimp often used as steeds by merfolk
  • SludgeSnake: various forms of mutated, dangerous snakes
  • Spider, Amazing: various forms of dangerous spiders
  • Swamp Rabbit: a hare that swims and sprints across the water surface
  • Swamp Rat: a swimming rodent with a beaverlike tail
  • Swarm, Armada Ants: an aquatic species of water-breathing siafu ants that form miles-long migration trails
  • Swarm, Carnivorous Worm: a species of predatory worms that can attack en masse
  • Swarm, Flybiter Fish: a species of carnivorous flying fish that attacks like a school of piranha while flying
  • Swarm, Ranunculous: a vorascious tadpole that attacks in large schools
  • Swarm, Roach: a nauseating rampage of disgusting cockroaches
  • Swarm, Silver: an insect that resembles a silver coin when at rest, and can gain a hive intelligence
  • Swarm, Monstrous Termite: groups of giant termites that eat huge amounts of wood quickly
  • Tup Bug: an amorous insect that to love bugs, but has an acidlike substance for blood
  • Turtle, Map: a turtle with a shell that grows ridges that accurately depict local topography
  • Turtle, Sawswiper Turtle: a hideous turtle with a razor sharp shell that can slice into its prey with ease
  • Turtle, Treecreeper: an otherwise normal turtle that climbs trees for safety
  • Weregator: a race of lycanthropic alligator creatures, typically afflicting bayou halflings
  • Serpent: a sentient race of snake creatures that can vary from neutral evil to neutral good

Fantasy Plants & Plant Creatures

  • Baromet's Stormwort: predicts weather by its bloom
  • Black Grass: dangerous blades that prick and slice
  • Bub Bub Tree: cypress tree that prduces thousands of bubbles every day
  • Bushwhacker: bludgeons passersby
  • Corpse Flower: foul smelling giant flower
  • Deadeater: a flowering plant that eats undead
  • Demon, Fungus: a demonic creature, in the form of a mushroom, that emits spores with varying deliterious effects
  • Demon, Smut: a bouncing demonic creature, in the form of a smut fungus teliospore, that emits evil spores into the bloodstream of its victim.
  • Devil, Verdurzuzu: a tree fiend that can animate undead plants
  • Enemy's Blood: poisonous bush that grows from the blood of dead warriors
  • Flame Moss: immolates itself or produces vast amounts of energy
  • Fungi, Giant: 22 species of dangerous fungi, including stranges types of mushrooms, rust, lichens, mold, and mildew.
  • Grow Gris: produces a highly allergic reaction when it touches skin
  • Hellrose: deadly flowering plant that desiccates those that come near
  • Hortus: a carnivorous, barely intelligent plant that poisons and then eats it victims
  • Jaenis Thornbush: vine that produces deadly poisonous thorns
  • Knarlweed: clamps any extremity that touches its stalk
  • Luquipod: flowering plant that produces a thirst-quenching fruit
  • Mangry Tree: a large tree whose roots grow dangerously fast, and can cover small buildings overnight
  • Melanoma Moss: a single touch instantly produces a fast-spreading skin cancer
  • Methane Tree: A tree the expels explosive methane gas into a delicate sac under its thorny roots
  • Mimetic: a plant that mimics the form of other plants, and whose spores cause a happy dilerium until cured
  • Monstrous Plant, Bladderwort: eats swimming creatures that become trapped in its water-filled bladders
  • Monstrous Plant, Butterwort: traps creatures with its sticky leaves and flowers, then dissolves them to absorb their nutrients
  • Monstrous Plant, Pitcher Plant: creatures become trapped in giant pitchers and are then eaten
  • Monstrous Plant, Venus Flytrap: victims that wander near its mouthlike leaves are trapped and eaten
  • Moss Monster: a Spanish moss creature that strangles its victims
  • Mushroom Folk: a sentient race of fungi alchemists that produce magical spores with varying effects
  • Orsel: a tiny mobile flower that can drop on its prey like a tick, and transmit a disease when it bites
  • Pollenrose: a sticky plant that is often voered in pollen that hides its true beauty
  • Puffball Phylactery: a dangerous fungus that acts as a "soul jar", storing the soul of a powerful malevolent being
  • Rainbow Vine: the leaves of this plant change colors, each color signifiy a different effect if eaten or used to create potions
  • Shroom: a giant evil mushroom that controls fungus through magic
  • Sleeping Willow: a weeping willow tree that causes creatures that pass under it to fall into a long sleep
  • Slime, Black: an undead form of slime mold that can turn creatures into black slime like itself
  • Slime, Lantern: a brightly glowing, fast moving patch of slime mold that dissolves creatures it touches
  • Slime, Marine: an aquatic, mobile slime mold that turns creatures it touches into fungus replicas of their original form
  • Somesuch: an evil undead tree that produces pollen that corrupts and mutates any living creature it touches
  • Snake, Springjack: A snakelike plant that constricts its prey
  • Spore Parrot: an evil bird made entirely of fungus, that spits demon blood on its victims
  • Timorous: a flowering plant that hides underground in its bulb when disturbed
  • Trill Flower: a flowering plant that produces harmonic vibrations when creatures are present
  • Utoak: a dwarf live oak tree, less that 10 feet tall
  • Wiltwort: a flowering plant that thrives in the boiling water near volcanoes
  • Xodakite: a flying poisonous plant that uses its leaves as wings


In 2002 there was a dispute between Necromancer Games, who was scheduled to publish Dreadmire, and the author Randy Richards[1]. The author said, "There were some false starts and delays before Dreadmire came to print. First I submitted it to Necromancer, but we had creative differences and parted ways. Later... I was contacted by Spellbinder Games. They gave me a lot of control over the project. After my other experiences that was very important to me.'"

Dreadmire was unique in that it was the first D20 book to place an entire campaign in a swamp setting. It also contained nearly 220,000 words, more than any other D20 System book as of its printing date. With 264 monsters, 124 spells, 136 magic items, 49 weapons, 18 classes, 19 deities, 37 factions, 47 mysteries, and 266 illustrations, Dreadmire had more content than any other 224-page Dungeons & Dragons book ever published up to that point.

Dreadmire was distributed in the U.S. through Alliance Games and in Europe via Esdevium Games Ltd., but is now out of print. Copies are sometimes available on eBay and

Book Reviews

  • A review in Knights of the Dinner Table magazine[2], via Kenzer & Company. The review itself is not available online, but it is listed as being in the magazine (near the bottom under the heading "Departments" and then "Brian's Small Press Picks")
  • SpeilXpress, a gaming magazine in Germany. The review[3] is available both in their magazine and online.
  • A staff review at EN World[4].
  • Game Trade Magazine, the gaming industry's leader in game books and accessories, featured Dreadmire[5] as a "Spotlight Item" on page 38.
  • A staff review[6] at, an industry leader in game reviews.
  • A fan review[7] at, an industry leader in game reviews.
  • Readers Reviews, in independent book review[8] company.
  • On, primarily an online book store with reviews[9] by customers.

External Links