I think I’m a bit deranged for saying that I adore the hags in DnD 5e. There, I said it. I love hags, even though they are terrifying, hideous witches who are the embodiment of putrid female aspects and the typical witch figure. So why would I ever want to make an entire blog post about hags?
Because I can and will.
So, without further waiting, here is a new background for your players as well as a playable Hag race! Keep in mind that due to how it is a monster conversion, it may not be terribly balanced and it was an attempt at making a “plausible” hag PC race.
As a child, you thought that your upbringing was normal, until your eyes were opened to the world that it was anything but. You were raised amidst a hag coven, as one of their own. Perhaps you were stolen from a human family in order to play a trick on your blood relatives, or the leader of a coven wanted someone to pass their ways down through. Regardless, your life has been full of sorcery, hexes and charms amidst a circle that some would deem downright monstrous.
Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Nature
Tool Proficiencies: Alchemist’s tools
Languages: Two of your choice
Equipment: A small ritual knife, a piece of bone jewelry, the symbol of your coven, and a pouch containing 5 gp
Feature: Circle Connections
Other hags or those in wicked covens and/or cults can pick up on your ties to their mysterious way of life, and you find it easy to converse with its members. A hag will treat you as a friend, or at least someone who can be trusted easier than others who do not understand coven-life, and will provide shelter and food of a reasonable accommodation that they can provide. Hags also find comfort in speaking to you, and are much more likely to reveal secrets and information to a fellow hag associate.
In each coven, every person has a dictated role ranging from the mundane to the head of their arcane circle. Roll a d6 at random or choose from the table below
|1: Head of the coven||4: Animal handler|
|2: Herbalist/ expert of plantlife||5: Blood-letter|
|3: Oracle to the gods/spirits||6: Lore-keeper|
Those raised in hag covens, be it Green, Night or Sea, all share a thirst for dark knowledge and magic. They like to bring mischief and ruin upon others, but hold their coven as their closest companions through thick and thin. A person raised by a hag community often is the coven’s link to the outside world beyond their circle, as they are not shunned and hated by mere appearance alone. No, that is when they find out who their family is.
D8 Personality Trait
|1||The rules of the coven are absolute.|
|2||If anything is shiny or looks vaguely interesting, it belongs in my pocket.|
|3||Nothing comes between the success of my family.|
|4||I am the most beautiful creature in the land. If someone disagrees with this, I pity them.|
|5||The more wealthy you are, the less of a friend I see you as.|
|6||Sometimes I wish that some would see us beyond our skin appearances.|
|7||Wearing the guise of another fills me with glee.|
|8||Who can resist a little blood sacrifice?|
|1||If one is above you in the coven, then their word is law. No questions asked. (Lawful)|
|2||You are one of us. That is reason enough for me to trust you. (Good)|
|3||Vanity is like a virus that needs to be purged completely. (Chaotic)|
|4||Through any means necessary, I shall rule the coven and hag-kind possibly. (Chaotic)|
|5||You scratch my back, I’ll return the favor. (Neutral)|
|6||Whoever said I can’t raise hell clearly hasn’t seen my past times! (Evil)|
|1||It is my obligation to see my fellow coven-members are safe.|
|2||My life is a mystery surrounded by enigmas. I must see that they are deciphered.|
|3||I once had a familiar who I treated like family. I wish I knew where he/she went.|
|4||My lover is a man who I can never be with, or else the child would be a monster.|
|5||Isolation brings me peace and insight.|
|6||My revenge for a person will be as fiery as an inferno.|
|1||I will do just about anything for knowledge. Anything.|
|2||That which is more beautiful then me will feel my wrath in full.|
|3||I fear that I will never be a contributor to my coven, and will falter.|
|4||I hold a deep-seated hatred for another coven member. I feel they overshadow me.|
|5||The meager amount of money I have is spent on alcohol.|
|6||The potions I make I exchange for… other such goods on the black market.|
Stat Increase: Intelligence by 2
Move Speed: 30 ft
Dark Vision: You can see in the dark with no light up to 60 feet in grey colors.
Magic Resistance: The hag has advantage on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.
Languages: Common, Sylvan
Innate Spellcasting: A hag knows these spells at the corresponding levels
1: Dancing Lights
3: Faerie Fire
5: Crown of Madness
Illusionary Appearance: The hag can cast the illusion of a size medium a smaller creature on itself. Its stats remain the same as the hag has in their true form. The illusion breaks when the Hag is dead, unconscious or when she wills it done.
Green Hag: The atypical ‘witch’, Green Hags love bringing ill fortune upon those and find wicked glee in causing ruin. Building their homes and lives in misty moors, overgrown forests and peat bogs, they conduct their magic in the groves of trees. Pox-marked with moles, boils and scars from their ritualistic behavior, they seldom reveal their true form when socializing with others.
Stat Increase: Wisdom +1
Additional Language: You know the Draconic language, as being some of the most leaned hags in comparison to others.
Mimicry: The Hag can make in imitation of any creature, humanoid or not, that it has heard. Anyone within hearing range of the Hag’s call must make a DC 13 Wisdom save to identify that it is a mimicry and not a real creature.
Sharp-Handed: The Green Hag, unlike others, has deadly sharp fingernails that it uses like swords or daggers. Your Unarmed Strikes do 1d6 + your Strength modifier.
Invisible Passage: The hag magically turns invisible until she attacks or until her concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell). While in such a state, the hag leaves no physical evidence of her passage and can only be tracked through magic. Her equipment as well is invisible.
Night Hag: Like all hags, these terrifying creatures are just as hideous but with one caveat: they have become more then just malevolent fae creatures, and now are tainted with the darkness of the Nine Hells. They take terrifying joy in the torture of others, moreso then others, from being corrupted even further by demons and fiendish creatures.
Stat Increase: Charisma +1
Additional Language: You know Infernal as a language, the language of demons and fiends.
Nightmare Spells: In addition to the spells available to all hags racially, you may use the following spells a certain number of times during the day. You regain these at dawn the following day.
Twice a day: Magic Missile, Detect Magic
Once a day: Sleep
Change Shape: The hag magically transforms into a Small or Medium female humanoid or back to her true form. Her stats are always the same and her equipment she is wearing is not transformed. If she dies, she reverts back to her true form.
Nightmare Haunting: While on the Ethereal Plane, should you have the ability to do so, the hag magically touches a sleeping humanoid on the Material Plane. A protection from good and evil spell cast on the target prevents the contact as does magic circle. As long as contact persists, the target has terrible visions: if they last for 1 hour, the target takes no benefits from it’s rest and it takes 2d6 psychic damage. If the concentration is broken by an outside force from the hag, it instead takes the damage. If she kills the target in their sleep and it is of an evil alignment, the soul is trapped in the hag’s soul bag.
Sea Hag: Lonely even by hag standards, these are by far the most hideous of the three sub-types. Isolating themselves in ship wrecks and dismal coastlines, the first sign of beauty will drive the Sea Hag blindingly mad or at least extremely jealous. They want to corrupt anything beautiful, no matter what the cost.
Stat Increase: Dexterity +1
Additional Language: You known Aquan, the language of water elementals.
Amphibious: The Sea Hag can breathe in and out of water. She also has advantage on Grapple checks underwater and her move speed is not slowed down by swift currents. In addition to this, your swim speed is 40 feet.
Horrific Appearance: A foe that starts its turn within 30 feet of the Hag and can see it’s true form must make a DC 11 saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened for a minute, and the creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each turn with disadvantage if the hag is within sight. If the save is successful, the creature is immune to the hag’s Horrific Appearance for the next 24 hours.
Grave Stare: The hag targets one frightened creature she can see within 30 feet of her. If the target can see the hag, it must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or take 2d6 psychic damage. If this reduces the target to 0 HP, the hag gains 1d4+ her Constitution modifier temporary hit points.
Additional Night Hag Items: As says the Monster Manual, Night Hags carry on them two magical items. It is your Dungeon Master’s decision to allow a PC Night Hag to begin with these items, however they may choose to let a PC craft them later on. As well, your DM may allow any Hag to have such items or have variants for both Green and Sea Hags.
Heartstone: A black gem that allows a night hag to become ethereal while in her possession. It cures any disease as well, but takes 30 days to craft.
Soul Bag: When an evil humanoid dies due to a Night Hag’s Nightmare Haunting, the soul is caught in a black bag made of flesh. It can hold only one evil soul at a time and only the hag who crafted the bag can catch a soul in it. It takes 7 days to craft as well as a humanoid sacrifice (whose flesh is used to make the bag).
A lot went into this very complex monstrous race, but I think I pulled it off! If you want to play this and give me feedback, please do!