Quicksand, also known as pluff mud in some circles, usually appears in marshes near rivers, lakes and other bodies of water.

This variety of quicksand is known as wet quicksand. Because deserts lack wet quicksand’s primary component — water — it is rarely found in arid regions. Instead, its counterpart, dry quicksand, is the substance generally accepted as quicksand.

Quicksand is an imperfect amalgamation of water and sand. It forms when fine, granular particles such as sand or silt become overly saturated by a swell of groundwater, which remains hidden below a layer of sand. Whenever a creature steps onto the surface and exerts enough pressure on the unstable soil, the loose grains of sand and water quickly separate and transform into a soupy liquid.

In short, falling into quicksand is more akin to stumbling into a previously hidden pool of water than plummeting through a crack in the earth. Experienced wetlands travelers are adept at spotting the telltale signs of this lurking danger.

Characters moving at their normal movement speed notice quicksand with a successful DC 8 Wisdom (Survival) check or with a passive Wisdom (Perception) of 8 or higher. Those traveling faster than their normal movement speed barrel right into the quicksand and sink 1d4 + 1 feet. At the beginning of each turn after sinking into quicksand, the creature sinks another 1d4 feet. Provided the creature is not completely submerged, they can escape from the quicksand on a successful Strength check. The Strength check has a base DC of 10, then increases by 1 for each foot the creature has sunk. If the creature has sunk 5 feet, the DC of the Strength check would be 15. If another creature is assisting the creature out of the quicksand, the base DC for the Strength check is 5 and increases in the same manner mentioned previously — for each foot sunk, the DC increases by 1.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Rappan Athuk © 2018, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors Bill Webb, Clark Peterson, Skeeter Green, Tom Knauss, Lance Hawvermale, WDB Kenower, Casey Christofferson, and Greg Raglund; based on the original creation of Bill Webb.

scroll to top