PDA

View Full Version : Gamer Tales Hag Stories



Ronnocius
2017-01-02, 06:55 PM
I was reading through the 5th edition Volo's Guide to Monsters and was intrigued by the new hags in it. I am thinking of using one in my campaign, because they seem like they can lead to some interesting situations. In the meantime I think it there might be some hilarious stories about hags, so feel free to share them here. Unfortunately I have yet to encounter a hag, so I have nothing to share. Also it can be from any game, not only 5th edition.

inuyasha
2017-01-02, 07:22 PM
Now, I don't personally have any stories for you, but look up any of the Ravenloft stories relating to hags, because it makes them very, very interesting. They become embodiments of everything against nature, and upset natural cycles when nearby. It's a super cool concept.

RazorChain
2017-01-03, 05:25 AM
Once my party needed information from a green hag, so we went to her home in the swamps and got the information. Then we left.

The GM decided to give my Paladin xp penalty for not killing her because she was evil. I had to discuss the matter for a long time with him explaining that because my paladin was lawful he didnīt just murder people. Also he had no proof of her wrongdoings and as the villagers close to the swamp hadnīt complained about her my paladin saw no reason to take any action.

I still got xp penalty. Guess Lawful and Good mean something completely different in DnD world than the real world.

Inevitability
2017-01-03, 06:59 AM
Once my party needed information from a green hag, so we went to her home in the swamps and got the information. Then we left.

The GM decided to give my Paladin xp penalty for not killing her because she was evil. I had to discuss the matter for a long time with him explaining that because my paladin was lawful he didnīt just murder people. Also he had no proof of her wrongdoings and as the villagers close to the swamp hadnīt complained about her my paladin saw no reason to take any action.

I still got xp penalty. Guess Lawful and Good mean something completely different in DnD world than the real world.

There's absolutely zero reason to kill a hag if you have no reason to assume she's done anything wrong. Even 3.5 says that hags are only 'usually' evil.

Tiri
2017-01-03, 07:02 AM
Not exactly a story, but I just noticed that the 3.5 version of hags are very interesting in one way.

The MM entry on hags does not preclude the existence of male hags.

inuyasha
2017-01-03, 09:14 AM
Not exactly a story, but I just noticed that the 3.5 version of hags are very interesting in one way.

The MM entry on hags does not preclude the existence of male hags.

That is certainly interesting. I always assumed they reproduced with some of the lower level giants, i.e. trolls, ogres, and hill giants.

Inevitability
2017-01-03, 09:32 AM
Not exactly a story, but I just noticed that the 3.5 version of hags are very interesting in one way.

The MM entry on hags does not preclude the existence of male hags.

A question would be where they come from, though. After all, there's FR books that give stats for male hag offspring (hagspawn), which are definitely different from standard hags.

Joe the Rat
2017-01-03, 09:57 AM
Hag is taking the Wicked Witch, and turning it into a monster type. Anytime you need a wise woman, sage, swamp witch, fey information broker, reclusive hermit, monkey's paw wish granter, dryad, crazy old women who quote the Scottish Play incessantly, or forest dweller with a taste for monstrosities and handsome princes, use a hag.

The only one that's appeared in my northlands game appeared as a beautiful maiden - albeit a rather tall one - out walking her giant green boar and collecting eggs. Rather than try to negotiate for information, they got violent. My players are a suspicious lot.
The giant green boar was a (literally) reskinned gorgon.

I have another behind the scenes that is sending storybook teams after the party to kill their warlock.

Tiri
2017-01-03, 10:15 AM
A question would be where they come from, though. After all, there's FR books that give stats for male hag offspring (hagspawn), which are definitely different from standard hags.

Those are half-human, though. A male hag would presumably also resemble a crone, as all hags do, but actually be male.

Inevitability
2017-01-03, 11:00 AM
Those are half-human, though. A male hag would presumably also resemble a crone, as all hags do, but actually be male.

The reason they're half-human is that there's no hag males. The same book says that, I believe.

Tiri
2017-01-03, 11:47 AM
The reason they're half-human is that there's no hag males. The same book says that, I believe.

It actually says that female hag-human children become hags, while males are hagspawn, but there's nothing saying there are no male hags, as far as I can see.

Inevitability
2017-01-03, 01:00 PM
It actually says that female hag-human children become hags, while males are hagspawn, but there's nothing saying there are no male hags, as far as I can see.

1. There's no indication towards male hags anywhere in the game.
2. There's no reproductive need for male hags within the species.
3. The existence of male hags would be thematically inconsistent with the source material.
4. Assuming completely differently species happen to have gender and sex distributions similar to humans is generally foolish, especially when magic is involved.

I mean, there's nothing preventing one from saying 'there is a significant subgroup of hags we've never heard of that definitely exist', but such a claim would be unfounded. I might as well state that merfolk are sequentially hermaphroditic, with the only evidence being that some species resembling merfolk in some ways are too.

TheCountAlucard
2017-01-04, 10:09 AM
@Dire Stirge: Which "source material?" Folk lore? Because men could absolutely be witches, too.

Inevitability
2017-01-04, 10:37 AM
@Dire Stirge: Which "source material?" Folk lore? Because men could absolutely be witches, too.

Aren't those called warlocks?

THEChanger
2017-01-04, 02:04 PM
Warlock originates from the Old English word wǣrloga, which meant oathbreaker or deceiver. Warlock did come to mean a male practitioner of magic, but not until the 13th century in the Scots dialect, in the south of what would become Scotland/north of England. It's been that way for long enough that it's certainly a valid usage of the word, but witch has always been a gender neutral, if somewhat feminine coded, term for practitioners of magic. Men certainly can be witches, and their existence is well documented.

Theodoric
2017-01-04, 04:36 PM
I still got xp penalty. Guess Lawful and Good mean something completely different in DnD world than the real world.
D&D Alignment is always a bit problematic, especially lawful good. D&D is usually a bit more on the more epic fantasy interpretation of 'just and merciful' rather than the more Gothic 'suffer not the witch to live' version, though. It implies a whole different type of world and setting, which is really something the DM ought to have made clear before it happened. Docking XP for that's just doubling down on that mistake.

RazorChain
2017-01-04, 04:57 PM
D&D Alignment is always a bit problematic, especially lawful good. D&D is usually a bit more on the more epic fantasy interpretation of 'just and merciful' rather than the more Gothic 'suffer not the witch to live' version, though. It implies a whole different type of world and setting, which is really something the DM ought to have made clear before it happened. Docking XP for that's just doubling down on that mistake.

Yeah but I had fun in the end with detect evil and a mass murder

Kol Korran
2017-01-05, 01:23 PM
Ooooh! Hags!
I was intrigued by them (still am!), and some time ago I thought of them... a lot... I put my own version of them in my "compendium of forgotten and maligned monsters" project (in my sig ). You can check it out, I think it went decent enough. :)

CovertCobalt
2017-01-05, 03:44 PM
I ran a pretty fun 4e encounter that included a Night Hag living in a Feywild swamp and her animated scarecrow henchmen. A party-member had been suffering from terrible nightmares after spending some time with a mysterious, beautiful Eladrin girl. They investigated other local men suffering from a similar problem and tracked the "Eladrin" back to her hut. The ensuing fight ended with the party's fighter bull-rushing her into her hut as it collapsed from the Artificer's firebombs. Good times. :smallcool:

Beleriphon
2017-01-05, 05:53 PM
@Dire Stirge: Which "source material?" Folk lore? Because men could absolutely be witches, too.

Volo's Guide outlines the hag reproductive cycle. A hag tricks or seduces a male of a species, any species really, into being her lover. A child that looks like the same species of the father is born, always female, which the hang leaves with a family. Baby girl is raised as a member of daddy's species, and bam on her 13th birthday she turns into a full blown hag of the same type as her mother! Mommy may or may not come to collect her little girl.

Katrina
2017-01-06, 01:37 AM
Volo's Guide outlines the hag reproductive cycle. A hag tricks or seduces a male of a species, any species really, into being her lover. A child that looks like the same species of the father is born, always female, which the hang leaves with a family. Baby girl is raised as a member of daddy's species, and bam on her 13th birthday she turns into a full blown hag of the same type as her mother! Mommy may or may not come to collect her little girl.

This is notably similar to the Pathfinder Hag, who mates with human males to produce a Changeling. The Changeling hears a mysterious call (presumed to be some form of magical effect) and if they follow it, have a chance of finding their mothers and becoming full blown hags. Though they can ignore the call and continue to live as changelings. Changelings are notably always female and always have heterochromia, eyes of two different colors.

KnightOfV
2017-01-07, 12:16 AM
Game I ran years ago, Pathfinder game where the party goes into the Feywild (where fey and elves live). I based the area as a combination of D&D lore and various fairy myths. In my game the party had to deal with the Elf King in the Feywild, because only the elves knew how to defeat this immortal evil wizard ruling the land... Anyway, enter the hag! Hags seemed to tie in strongly with evil dreams and stealing souls in classic tales, so I made sure to incorporate that as much as possible.

While all of the Feywild was massive forests, ever-changing landscapes, and well... wilds- the party stumbled upon a well maintained cottage with a single road leading to it. Totally out of place. They avoid it (wisely) but are later asked to go back to the cottage, told a hag lives there, and is in possession of a powerful gem that can imprison souls. The party's mission is to steal the gem and gift it to the ruler of the elves.

The group decides to go in diplomatically, and the party rogue knocks on the door and politely asks for shelter. A beautiful woman answers the door (but the party already knows she is a hag in disguise) and escorts everyone inside, offering them tea and cookies. The party declines the food and drink (which was smart, the hag cursed them to make the party weaker if eaten!) and leads them into a room where several men are sitting around drinking tea. I describe the men as abnormally ugly, and they all move clumsily.

The rogue pretends he's super evil and interested in the soul trade (successful knowledge checks, and I told him hags deal with demons and the like trading souls of mortals) and starts bargaining with the hag for the gem, offering the hag the souls of his party and asking to see the gem. One of the paladins in the party gets tired of the lying and getting his soul offered to a hag is the final straw, so he draws his weapon and starts smiting. Naturally, the ugly men transform into trolls and attack the party while the hag casts a few spells, then when things look bad walks through a doorway and disappears.

The party finds several soul gems in the house, discovers the doorway is a portal to another dimension (again, wisely not going through it blindly- I probably would have made them end up in a lower plane somewhere). They decide to smash all the gems except the one the elves wanted, freeing several souls the hag had collected, then go back to the elves to turn it in.

All goes well, and they leave the feywild... but the hag isn't done with them yet. That night, the party sleeps, and they awaken the next morning to a message... the evil wizard is attacking!! The party rushes to the human city to defend, and start throwing all their best stuff at the bad guy. And it works! Every attack hits the wizard, and they pass every save to avoid his spells. The party gets suspicious when I tell one of them they pass a save to avoid being turned into a bird (they rolled an 11 total and they KNEW the big boss of the game had to have better spell DCs than that!) The rogue sees where this is going and tells me he is going to stab himself with his dagger. I smile and tell him to roll damage, then make a will save. he rolls high on the will save, and I tell the party that their rogue disappears mysteriously.

The rest of the party is congratulated on killing the evil wizard and showered in thanks, given riches, and all of their wishes have come true, and yea... they all know it's just some kind of dream now. Instead of trying to injure themselves or wake themselves up, they refuse to play along and start screaming about how "none of this is real!" So the townspeople all fade away and they hear the hag's sinister laughter. I ask the party if they want to make will saves to try and wake up. "No, we want to kill this thing." says the Paladin. The rest agree. The hag's ugly misshapen head appears ominously, oversized in the sky, with her two giant clawed hands hovering next to her. (not unlike a certain Starfox 64 boss, I admit) "You're in my realm now!!" she cackles, and initiative is rolled.

I had the dream world hag cast a lot of harmful, high DC enchantments from the 'head' while the 'hands' did powerful slam attacks. After an intense fight, the party prevails, thanks to a large part of the Paladin doing some crazy strong critical smites with his bow. I rule killing the hag in the dreamworld effectively destroys her soul, ending her forever. The party awakens feeling really beat up and weak from the fight (they kept damage they took in the dream realm) and as one glare at the smiling rogue who missed that entire fight by awakening after taking 1d4-1 damage from his own dagger.

I admit, the hag forcing them all into a dreamrealm was DM control, but I allowed them a slightly high will save to break out as soon as they realized something was off. I had intended it to be a bossfight, as I had planned on the the hag continuously haunting their dreams until they killed her, either in the real world or the dream. The party had a lot of fun with the setup, and it was a cool bit of intentional metagaming watching the party's reactions when the super hyped up evil wizard died like a chump. Having a hag haunt dreams took a pretty mundane monster, and made it something a little more interesting and tied into it's original lore, which I always liked to do as a DM.

Ronnocius
2017-01-12, 12:00 AM
Thanks for sharing, KnightOfV. It was a neat story and gives me ideas for different ways to use hags. Thanks again!

GorinichSerpant
2017-01-12, 01:59 AM
Sometimes miserly men transform go draconic from greed. Especially if they horde cursed gold like that drenched in blood, foul magics, or the imprint of a previous dragon owner. Others are so self centered and absorbed in their dreams that they morph and meld into spheres and grow extra eyes to behold themselves better. There are cruel old crones whose spite for the world is so great they can tear out a full grown man's throat out, and that's the most merciful thing she could do. Unlike more blatant transformations, the line between a mean old women and a Hag is blurry. It creeps up on you like the small increments by which a child grows, and when a hag goes full Hag it's as if she's been that way all along.

Mark Hall
2017-01-12, 12:53 PM
The one I think of, to be honest...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyeN4rGOzX8

Joe the Rat
2017-01-14, 12:30 AM
Volo's Guide outlines the hag reproductive cycle. A hag tricks or seduces a male of a species, any species really, into being her lover. A child that looks like the same species of the father is born, always female, which the hang leaves with a family. Baby girl is raised as a member of daddy's species, and bam on her 13th birthday she turns into a full blown hag of the same type as her mother! Mommy may or may not come to collect her little girl.

5th Ed Volo skips the whole Tinder angle by going for baby eating. Eat an infant, produce "normal" child, then on to changes on the fateful 13th birthday.

Bonus points for eating twins, or the 7th child of a 7th child.

Which means when Baba Greenteeth propositions the Cleric, it's not for reproducing. She's doing it to mess with you.

HidesHisEyes
2017-01-15, 07:26 AM
Once my party needed information from a green hag, so we went to her home in the swamps and got the information. Then we left.

The GM decided to give my Paladin xp penalty for not killing her because she was evil. I had to discuss the matter for a long time with him explaining that because my paladin was lawful he didnīt just murder people. Also he had no proof of her wrongdoings and as the villagers close to the swamp hadnīt complained about her my paladin saw no reason to take any action.

I still got xp penalty. Guess Lawful and Good mean something completely different in DnD world than the real world.

I don't think the D&D alignments mean anything at all in the real world - and they mean considerably less in 5E than they did in previous editions, unless you really make an effort. I do think that in any edition there should never be a mechanical penalty for not roleplaying the character in line with the DM's idea of what the alignment means, unless the whole group has worked out and agreed in advance exactly how it's going to work. That would have annoyed me as a player.

Beleriphon
2017-01-16, 03:35 PM
5th Ed Volo skips the whole Tinder angle by going for baby eating. Eat an infant, produce "normal" child, then on to changes on the fateful 13th birthday.

Bonus points for eating twins, or the 7th child of a 7th child.

Which means when Baba Greenteeth propositions the Cleric, it's not for reproducing. She's doing it to mess with you.

You know, I totally forgot it was eating kids, I even read that section shortly before I posted. Weird.

aphilosoraptor
2017-01-18, 09:11 AM
I was playing an ogre paladin(don't ask) and our group was traveling thru a swamp with me a 12 foot high obese ogre stuck in a "form fitting" suit of golden full-plate with a chubby cherub face on his mask, pauldrons, and both sides of his war hammer in front wading thru the knee high(read waste high) water when a green hag leaped from the water at my face.

DM:"roll for initiative."

me:"natural 20."

Dm:" :smallannoyed: ... ok what?"
(in our group a nat 20 for initiative lets you go twice the first time)

me: *smashes hag from air with hammer, pins her under water and steps on her neck.*

Dm: "how mush do you weigh?"

me: "900 pounds :smallbiggrin:"

Dm: "a wet crunch bubbles out of the water and the frantic thrashing stops :annoyed:"

Other players: ":eek:"

me: ooc in deep ogre like voice HEE HEE ME LIKE THE LITTLE GREEN FISHIES

Lord Torath
2017-01-18, 12:02 PM
Dm: "how mush do you weigh?"

me: "900 pounds :smallbiggrin:12 feet tall and 900 lbs? That's like a 6-foot tall human weighing 112 lbs. You should be more like 1600 to 2000 lbs (200 to 250 lbs for a 6 ft human). Take how much you'd weigh at 6 ft, and multiply by 8 for how much you should weigh with the same build at 12 feet. 'Cuz 900 lbs at twelve feet is pretty willowy for an ogre warrior. Just sayin'. :smallwink: