Woah! We reached 50 already? Time sure goes fast. For those of you who have been reading from the beginning, thank you so much! If you’re joining us just now, welcome to Daily Monster! Today we have an extra especial pick for our monster…
The Night Hag
My first thought when looking at the Night Hag stats was “Hey, that’s not too bad, those look a little bit like player stats,” which all things considered it’s pretty good for a CR 5 creature.
We’re looking at a +4 STR, matching INT, CON, and CHA of +3, and +2s in DEX and WIS as the hag’s lowest stats. All around very solid with no negative or flat bonuses.
This medium-sized fiend has an AC of 17 as well as a pretty meaty hit point pool of 15d8+45 to ensure that combat will last an adequate amount of time.
Night Hags are proficient in a number of skills including Deception, Insight, Perception, and Stealth. All things that not only make this a formidable opponent for your players, but an interesting one in social situations.
In terms of resistances and immunities, this brand of hag is immune to being charmed and has resistances to Cold, Fire, and damage from weapons that haven’t been Silvered.
On top of speaking a few interesting languages like Abyssal, Internal, and Primordial, the Night Hag also has 120ft of Darkvision and a Passive Perception of 16.
This monster has both the Magic Resistance feature and the Innate Spellcasting feature, which allows them to cast the following spells without material components with CHA as their spellcasting modifier:
At will: Detect Magic, Magic Missile.
2/day each: Plane Shift (self only), Ray of Enfeeblement, Sleep.
Technically speaking, other than ray of enfeeblement and magic missile, your other only attack option when running these monsters will be their Claw attack.
That said, we do have an array of interesting abilities including Change Shape and Etherealness, where the first allows our creature to Polymorph into a humanoid, and the second let’s us step in and out of the Ethereal Plane as long as she has a Heartstone (we’ll talk about that one in a bit).
Last but not least, once per day Night Hags get access to an ability called Nightmare Haunting. Using this ability they can such a creature’s life force trough their dreams as they force terrible nightmares onto their sleeping victims. Since the Hag is technically in the Ethereal Plane as she does this, other creatures won’t even know what’s happening to their unfortunate friend. If the target is reduced to 0 hit points by this ability, it immediately dies and their soul gets trapped by the Hag.
This is where things get interesting. While I usually like to discuss the origin of creatures, I’m sure I don’t need a lot of introduction for this one; anyone who hears the word “hag” is bound to picture very similar images. That said, while we’ve previously discussed the Bheur Hag in older articles, today’s hag is very much especial in her own way.
As I’ve mentioned before, all hags originate from the Feywild, where they were kicked out of due to their strange mannerisms and dark rituals, which landed them in Hades (their domain plane) and the reason why they are no longer considered fey creatures but rather fiends.
While most hags choose to remain in the plane of Hades and simply choose to profit from the Blood Wars by selling souls to both demons and devils, some of them choose to make their lairs in the Material Plane. Night Hags in particular usually prefer dense forests or swamps where their mere presence slowly corrupts the area.
Night Hags usually have dual goals, the first, of course, being to simply further their power and magical abilities while the second is to find even more valuable souls that they can corrupt and sell to the highest bidder. As explained in their Nightmare Haunting skills, once a creature dies in this way, the hag is able to collect it using a specially crafted item called a soul bag. This item, together with the hag’s Heartstone, are a hag’s most precious possessions; while she is able to recreate them if needed, it is both taxing and expensive to do so, which is why they will go to great lengths to recover the original instead.
Another detail that sets Night Hags apart from their other hag counterparts is the fact that they absolutely hate the idea of forming covens with other kinds of hags, what’s more, even the idea of forming a coven with other Night Hags is rather unappealing to them.
There are two ways in which a new Night Hag can be born. The first one is simple enough; the hag can choose to take the form of a humanoid via her Change Shape ability and go at it the old fashion way OR she can instead decide to steal a young child from their home, eat them, and then give birth. In both scenarios the child appears completely normal to the point where Night Hags will often let the child return to their families until it is ready to go through the necessary rituals at age 13. If the child goes through the process, she becomes and hag. If, however, the necessary rituals never take place, the child grows to be a normal human, though this does make them perfect candidates for becoming sorcerers.
I have to admit that I really, really like the flavor and lore for this monster. In fact, the more I look at their stats and abilities, the more I realize that it might just be a better idea to use this monster as an encounter outside of combat. I have two ideas of how to go about this:
My first idea is to lure the hag towards our unsuspecting adventurers by handing them a very, very especial item: soul bag. This could be something that they loot or get their hands on from some sort of unlucky merchant who happen to come across this item. It could be that they’re even haunted by it and try to get our adventurers involved by swindling them into taking the item.
The other possible set up that comes to mind is to use a marked child for the encounter. Perhaps she has been haunted by nightmares and her desperate parents contract our adventurers into protecting her and keeping the Night Hag away until the time passes for her to be turned, and she’s safe from the hag.
Depending on your players’ levels, you could even have the Night Hag send other lesser creatures into the village to try to steal the child. Once our players thwart those efforts, it’s time for our big bad to show up. With some backup of course.
As always, thank you for reading! Fifty down, 1650ish more to go! If you enjoyed this article make sure to check out our social media so we can let you know when there’s a new article. We post new content every day of the week!