The all powerful queen of Hags is a force to be reckoned with. She can traverse reality, utilize powerful magick and is said to be immortal herself! To many, she resembles the archetypal hag like any other, but this is far from the case. She’s the most powerful of all hags. Some say she’s even the progenitor of hags as a whole. Her dark spawn fill countless planes and spread her dread curse upon many realities. Her motivations are shrouded in eons of mystery. Perhaps she fancies herself as a Queen of Magic itself, seeking to one day control the powers she has long since mastered. Perhaps she wants to make all realms her home, unleashing horrible spirit creatures and dark energies to terraform the planes. No one for certain knows, nor do they want to find out.
To those who encounter her, the best course of action is to avoid at all costs. For if she doesn’t attack directly, her magical hut will. To those who can manage to defeat her hut, facing her within her own domain is a far more challenging task. It is said that she rests deep with the Spirit World of Arcadia, as a means of recuperating from epic conflicts on the Material realm. It is also said she has connections to lands of the dead and the Otherworld. In fact, part of her existence is stuck between the Grey Wastes and Gehenna. It is rumored many magical secrets of the yugoloth come from the Hag Queen herself! However, it seems as though she is more than capable of appearing in multiple places at once, all while her hut contains several worlds in one. Her motivations for collecting pieces of worlds are just as vague as her reasons for committing vile deeds. Few mad scholars assume she has a sentimental attachment to the places she visits, collecting bits of them as a visitor would take a souvenir as a means of making memories.
However, Baba Yaga has a strange side as well. While associated with absolute wickedness, she can show signs of kindness… when it benefits her. Those who show her respect will usually be shown some level of respect in return, even her acting grandmotherly towards adventurers who follow her rules. Sometimes, she observes the world around her through her various alternate forms of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Perhaps she desires love, perhaps she wants to learn about a world she’s visiting, perhaps she’s seeking out a weakness so it’s all the more easy to take what is rightfully her’s!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: As per request, here’s my take on Baba Yaga! For inspiration, I sampled various tales on the fair folk as well as traditional Slavic folklore of the hag queen herself! Of course, the classic adventure for AD&D as well as the Reign of Winter adventure path played their parts too.
Medium Fey, Neutral Evil
Armor Class 18
HP 525 (50d8+300)
Speed 30 ft.
STR – 19 (+4), Dex – 18 (+4), Con – 22 (+6), INT – 24 (+7), WIS 20 (+5), CHR 19 (+4)
Condition Immunities. Charmed, Fear, Paralysis, Sleep
Damage Immunities. Necrotic, Psychic
Damage Resistances. Bludgeoning/Piercing/Slashing damage from non-magical weapons, Cold, Poison, Radiant
Skills. Arcana +15, Deception +12, Insight +13, Intimidate +12
Senses. Darkvision 120 ft. (see through magical darkness)
Language. Common, Sylvan, Tongues
Challenge 26 (90,000 XP)
Discorporation. Upon being dropped to 0 Hit Points, Baba Yaga’s physical form fades away as her essence is dragged back to her Dancing Hut, which then activates on its own. Unless the PCs are properly trained in the appropriate skills, they would otherwise assume she is dead.
Legendary Resistance. (3/Day) When Baba Yaga fails a saving throw, she can instead choose to succeed it up to 4 times per day. She must take a long rest to use it again after expending this ability four times.
Innate Spells. Unlike her ability to cast spells, Baba Yaga has innate magical talents she may be able to use a certain amount per day each. The save DC is 23.
- At-Will: Alter Self (Mother, Maiden, Crone), Augury, Charm Person, Counterspell, Detect Magic, Divination, Hex, Invisibility (self only), Misty Step, Speak with Dead, Tongues
- 3/Day each: Conjure Fey, Legend Lore, Planeshift, Scrying, Wall of Thorns
- 1/Day each: Counterspell (9th Level), Dominate Monster, Feeblemind
Magic Resistance. Baba Yaga has advantage on saving throws against magical effects and spells.
Magic Weapons. Baba Yaga’s attacks count as magical in nature.
Spellcasting. In addition, Baba Yaga casts spells from her customized list as a 20th level caster. Her save DC is 23.
- Cantrip. Druidcraft, Guidance, Prestidigitation, Spare the Dying, Vicious Mockery
- (4 Slots) Armor of Agathys, Arms of Hadar, Cure Wounds, Detect Good and Evil, Faerie Fire, False Life, Identify, Ray of Sickness, Sleep
- (3 Slots) Alter Self, Beast Sense, Crown of Madness, Enthrall, Hexing Orb, Hold Person, Invisibility
- (3 Slots) Animate Dead, Black Barbed Shield, Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Fear, Fireball, Fly, Hunger of Hadar, Tongues, Vampiric Touch
- (3 Slots) Blacksphere, Black Barbed Transformation, Compulsion, Confusion, Dominate Beast, Greater Invisibility, Phantasmal Killer, Polymorph
- (3 Slots) Chain Lightning, Create Undead, Contact Other Plane, Dominate Person, Dream, Hold Monster, Mislead, Modify Memory
- (2 Slots) Blade Barrier, Conjure Fey, Conjure Elemental, Heal, Eyebite, Mass Suggestion
- (2 Slots) Finger of Death, Mind Blank, Planeshift, Simulacrum, Teleport
- (1 Slot) Antimagic Field, Dominate Monster, Maze, Trap the Soul
- (1 Slot) Gate, Imprisonment, Power Word Kill, True Polymorph, Time Stop
Multiattack. Baba Yaga can make up to 3 attacks per round, without counting legendary actions.
Conjure Mortar and Pestle. Baba Yaga can use her magical power as a bonus action to summon her flying mortar and oar-like pestle to her side. While she is bonded to these summoned items, she gains a flight speed of 40 feet. Also, she can use her Pestle Bash. She can recall these items back to dimensional space as a bonus action.
Hag’s Claw. Melee Weapon Attack. +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., One target. Hit: 22 (4d8+4) slashing damage.
Hide in Earth. As an action, Baba Yaga can meld into the very Earth itself, similar to the Meld into Stone spell. While in this state, she is immune to all damage and effects, but her only course of action is ending the effect and move at normal speed (30 ft.) within the Earth. The reason for this ability is vague, but it’s rumored she has relations to an ancient goddess of the ground itself.
Pestle Bash. Melee Weapon Attack. +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., One target. Hit: 21 (2d12+4) bludgeoning damage.
Witch Blast. Magical Ranged Attack. +15 to hit, ranged 240 ft., One Target. Hit: 23 (3d10+7) force damage.
LEGENDARY ACTIONS. As a mythic being, Baba Yaga is capable of feats few beings are able to do. Baba Yaga can use up to 3 Legendary Actions per round.
Extra Attack. Baba Yaga makes an extra attack.
Cruel Hex (2 Legendary Actions). Baba Yaga can use a bonus action to curse a target within 60 ft. of her vision. The target must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 23) or face one of the following:
- Polymorph: The victim is polymorphed, as per the spell
- Madness: The victim faces an effect of madness. The level of madness depends on whether or not the victim has already experienced a prior level. Effects are detailed in Chapter 8 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
- Dark Double: The victim faces a doppelganger that mirrors their exact stats, including items. Only the victim can fight their double. Anyone who joins in must face their own double. The double fights to the death.
- Ugliness: The victim faces disadvantage on Charisma checks. Furthermore, onlookers must make Charisma saving throws (equal to Baba Yaga’s DC) or become revolted or overwhelmed with fear.
- Dreary Dreams: While taking a long rest, the target may either attempt to sleep and face damaging dreams or go without sleep entirely. The former option results in taking 6d6 psychic damage after completing the rest + 1d6 for every night of bad dreams following the last one. The latter results in taking a level of exhaustion at the end of the long rest.
Multi Spell (3 Legendary Actions). Once per round, Baba Yaga may cast an additional spell as a free action.
Awaken the Dancing Hut. If the Dancing Hut is within a distant area or another plane entirely, Baba Yaga can use a legendary action to summon it to a nearby space.
Terror of the Fair Folk. (Recharge 6) (3 Legendary Actions). When Baba Yaga succeeds an attack roll or a target fails a spell save, she can infect the victim’s mind with the most heinous and depraved imagery the fae have to offer. The target must make a (DC 23) Wisdom saving throw. Failure results in taking 10d10 Psychic damage. Success results in taking half damage. Creatures immune to charm effects are not affected by this ability.
Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut – Legendary Artifact
The Dancing Hut is one of the most mythical constructs known to reality itself. To the curious onlooker, it’s a humble looking hut with a pair of massive chicken-like legs attached to the bottom of it. A fence decorated with skulls seems to follow it around as well.
The Hut itself counts as a semi-sentient construct. If the hut rejects the person attuning it, the hut may send its current user into an entirely wrong location with the intent of removing it. In more aggressive situations, it may directly attempt to attack the intruders.
Gargantuan Construct, Lawful Neutral
HP 310 (20d20+100)
Armor Class 18
Speed 60 ft.
STR – 23 (+6), Dex – 20 (+5), Con – 22 (+6), INT – 12 (+1), WIS 16 (+3), CHR 11 (+0)
Condition Immunities. Blinding, Deafening, Charm, Fear, Petrification, Poisoned
Damage Immunities. Poison, Psychic
Damage Resistance. Bludgeoning/Piercing/Slashing damage from non-magical weapons, Cold, Lightning, Thunder
Senses. Blindsight 120 ft.
Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)
Immortal Artifact. Upon dropping to 0 HP, the hut will fall over without looking too bad for wear. The hut does not die, but stabilizes in an inert state. After 24 hours, the hut will return to 1/2 of its maximum hit points. Also, it will regain regeneration of HP.
Innate Spells. The Hut can use some magical abilities innately. The save DC for the hut’s spells is DC 17, based on its Wisdom score.
- At-Will: Feather Fall, Dimension Door, Invisibility (self only), Misty Step, Teleportation Circle
- 3/Day each: Plane Shift, Teleport
Magic Resistance. The Hut has advantage on saving throws against magical effects and spells.
Magic Weapons. The Hut’s attacks count as magical in nature.
Non-Violent. The Hut will not attacked unless Baba Yaga or the Hut itself is provoked. This could range from outward violence to unintentional antagonism (such as trespassing.) The Hut will not go out of its way to attack if its targets stop their current actions and flee.
Regeneration. The Hut regains 20 hit points per round.
Rebuke Outsider. The Hut may use its magical abilities to eject intruders from its interior. If the Hut is hostile towards a creature, it may force the target to make a Charisma saving (DC 17) throw up to once per round. If the target fails, it is violently flung out of the hut’s main door towards the outside ground below.
Multiattack. The Hut may make up to 3 attacks per round.
Ram. (Recharge 5 or 6) Melee Weapon Attack. +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., targets within reach of impact of 20 ft. horizontal line. Hit: 25 (3d12+6) bludgeoning damage. Creatures hit by this attack must make a dexterity saving throw (DC 20) or be knocked prone and become stunned for 1 round.
Stomp. Melee Weapon Attack. +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one prone target. Hit:39 (6d10+6) bludgeoning and piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack. +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 30 (4d8+6) slashing damage. The Hut can forgo damage and instead pin the target to the ground. While pinned, the target is restrained and must take an escape action to break free.
Horrid Death Screech (Once per day). Ranged Spell Attack. DC 17 Constitution Saving Throw, up to 60 ft. from the Hut, all targets within range. On a success, the target takes 3d10 psychic damage and 3d10 necrotic damage. On a failure, the target drops to 0 hit points. Baba Yaga and her allies are immune to this effect.
Image Credit: Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut – Noah Bradley (for Dragon Magazine, by Wizards of the Coast)
Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media. Inspired by the AD&D adventure “Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut” as well as the Reign of Winter Adventure Path for Paizo Pathfinder.