This column aims to provide DMs with interesting opponents to pit against the PCs in their campaigns. Building off of a simple base -- typically a standard monster from the Monster Manual -- each column uses the building blocks provided in the rulebooks to craft a variety of foes. Through the addition of class levels or templates, or even via simple HD advancement, the creatures presented in this column are transformed from run-of-the-mill opponents into memorable foes. Check out this column every month for formidable enemies built from a different monster!
The Hag: Bad to the Bone - and Ugly Too!
This month, our base creature is the hag. Though the typical hag is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with an average fighter in melee, it functions best if it can confuse and soften up the opposition before combat begins.
All three of the hags featured here have the half-elemental template (see Manual of the Planes), though each is a half-elemental of a different variety. Since all of them have the ability to change their appearance magically, they typically try to deceive their enemies by assuming false forms. The green hag and the sea hag can appear as humans or other Medium humanoids, while the annis typically takes the form of an ogre or some other Large creature. Disguises such as these can fool opponents into thinking that they face a foe much less deadly than a hag, or even that another spellcaster is lurking in the vicinity. Either way, the opponents tend to waste valuable time, which makes it much easier for the hag and her allies to rip them apart.
The three hags in this column are rated at CR 8, 7, and 6. Each can be further adjusted by adding class levels, applying additional templates, and so forth. Furthermore, these three hags can join forces to form a powerful covey (see below).
Terraxia, Half-Earth Elemental/Half-Annis
The largest and strongest of the hags, the annis is a demon in physical combat. When her natural abilities are enhanced with the strength of the earth, she becomes nearly unbeatable in melee.
In her normal form, Terraxia looks like an 8-foot-tall, elderly woman with mottled blue skin and a shock of black hair. Like most annis hags, she prefers to conceal her identity for as long as possible, so she often poses as a friendly stone giant traveler. After lulling her hapless victims into a false sense of security, she uses fog cloud to obscure their vision, then rips into them with her claws. Her Blind-Fight feat usually gives her a considerable edge in melee combat.
Terraxia: Female half-earth elemental/half-annis; CR 8; Large outsider (earth, native); HD 7d8+28; hp 59; Init +0; Spd 50 ft.; AC 24, touch 11, flat-footed 24; Base Atk +7; Grp +20; Atk +15 melee (1d6+9, claw) and +10 melee (1d6+4, bite); Full Atk +15 melee (1d6+9, 2 claws) and +10 melee (1d6+4, bite); Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.; SA improved grab, rake 1d6+9, rend 2d6+13, spell-like abilities; SQ +4 bonus on Fort saves against poison, damage reduction 2/bludgeoning, darkvision 60 ft., immunities (disease, earth-based attacks), spell resistance 19; AL CE; SV Fort +9 (+13 against poison), Ref +6, Will +7; Str 29, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Bluff +8, Diplomacy +2, Hide +4, Intimidate +2, Jump +22, Listen +10, Spot +10; Alertness, Blind-Fight, Great Fortitude.
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, Terraxia must hit a Large or smaller opponent with a claw attack. She can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.
Rake (Ex): Terraxia can attack a grappled foe with both claws at no penalty (+15 melee, 1d6+9).
Rend (Ex): If Terraxia hits with both claw attacks, she latches onto the opponent's body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an extra 2d6+13 points of damage.
Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day -- disguise self, fog cloud. Caster level 8th. 1/day -- magic stone, soften earth and stone, spike stones, stone shape. Caster level 7th.
Possessions: Cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +2,boots of striding and springing, potion of bull's strength, potion of heroism, 450 gp.
Vyrdahlia, Half-Fire Elemental/Half-Green Hag
Smaller and less physically powerful than the annis, the green hag is nevertheless a dangerous opponent with a wide range of special abilities. When her natural advantages are combined with the destructive power of fire, she is like a force of nature fueled by sheer hatred.
Vyrdahlia typically poses as a female human druid, disguising her sickly green complexion and tangled scarlet hair with magic. To reinforce this image, she keeps a Large viper around -- mostly for show, though the animal is trained to defend her if necessary. If enemies are near, Vyrdahlia turns invisible to watch them. Before engaging opponents, she typically uses ghost sound and dancing lights to confuse them and wall of fire to divide them. Then she uses produce flame to lob fiery missiles from a safe distance. (With enough dancing lights effects around, foes aren't likely to spot the flames burning in her hand.) She also frequently employs hit-and-run tactics, delivering a Strength-damaging touch attack, then turning invisible to flee.
Vyrdahlia: Female half-fire elemental/half-green hag; CR 7; Medium outsider (fire, native); HD 9d8+9; hp 49; Init +3; Spd 30 ft., swim 30 ft.; AC 28, touch 13, flat-footed 25; Base Atk +9; Grp +13; Atk +13 melee (1d4+4, claw) or +14 melee (1d6+6, masterwork quarterstaff); Full Atk +13 melee (1d4+4, 2 claws) or +14/+9 melee (1d6+6, masterwork quarterstaff); SA mimicry, spell-like abilities, weakness; SQ +4 bonus on Fort saves against poison, darkvision 90 ft., fire subtype, immunities (disease, fire), spell resistance 18; AL CE; SV Fort +6 (+10 against poison), Ref +9, Will +7; Str 19, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 13, Cha 16.
Skills and Feats: Concentration +13, Hide +11, Knowledge (nature) +8, Listen +14, Spot +14, Swim +12; Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Casting, Great Fortitude.
Mimicry (Ex): Vyrdahlia can imitate the sounds of almost any animal found near her lair.
Spell-Like Abilities: At will -- dancing lights, disguise self, ghost sound (DC 13), invisibility, pass without trace, tongues, water breathing; 1/day -- burning hands (DC 14), fire shield, flaming sphere (DC 15), produce flame, wall of fire. Caster level 9th.
Weakness (Su): Vyrdahlia can weaken a foe by making a special touch attack. The opponent must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 2d4 points of Strength damage.
Possessions: +1 leather armor, masterwork quarterstaff, minor cloak of displacement, two potions of cure moderate wounds, 64 pp.
Trillobia, Half-Water Elemental/Half-Sea Hag
The sea hag is simultaneously the weakest and the deadliest of the hags. Though it is the least physically dangerous, its evil eye and horrific appearance are extraordinarily powerful weapons.
Unlike the typical sea hag, Trillobia enjoys spending time among humans, and she often hunts for prey in port towns and similar locations. She particularly enjoys posing as a lady of the evening so that she can lure greedy sailors to their doom. She enjoys allowing them to see her true form -- complete with oozing, yellow flesh and filthy, blue-green hair -- just before unleashing her evil eye. If facing a competent foe, she uses obscuring mist and fog cloud to conceal her escape.
Trillobia: Female half-water elemental/half-sea hag; CR 6; Medium outsider (aquatic, native, water); HD 3d8+9; hp 22; Init +1; Spd 30 ft., swim 40 ft.; AC 16, touch 11, flat-footed 15; Base Atk +3; Grp +8; Atk +8 melee (1d4+5, 2 claws); Full Atk +8 melee (1d4+5, claw); SA evil eye, horrific appearance, spell-like abilities; SQ +4 bonus on Fort saves against poison, amphibious, darkvision 60 ft., immunities (disease, water-based attacks), spell resistance 14; AL CE; SV Fort +3 (+7 against poison), Ref +4, Will +5; Str 21, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 16.
Skills and Feats: Bluff +6, Hide +4, Knowledge (local) +4, Listen +7, Spot +7, Swim +13; Alertness, Toughness.
Evil Eye (Su): Three times per day, Trillobia can cast her dire gaze upon any single creature within 30 feet. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Will save or be dazed for three days, although remove curse or dispel evil can restore sanity sooner. In addition, an affected creature must succeed on a DC 14 Fortitude save or die from fright. Creatures with immunity to fear effects are not affected by Trillobia's evil eye.
Horrific Appearance (Su): The sight of Trillobia is so revolting that anyone (other than another hag) who sets eyes upon her must succeed on a DC 14 Fortitude save or instantly be weakened, taking 2d6 points of Strength damage. This damage cannot reduce a victim's Strength score below 0, but anyone reduced to Strength 0 is helpless. Creatures that are affected by this power or that successfully save against it cannot be affected again by Trillobia's horrific appearance for 24 hours.
Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day -- fog cloud, obscuring mist. Caster level 3rd.
Amphibious (Ex): Although Trillobia is aquatic, she can survive indefinitely on land.
Possessions: Bracers of armor +1, hat of disguise, potion of barkskin (+4), potion of nondetection, two potions of magic fang, two elixirs of love, gold necklace (600 gp), gold ring set with a tiny pearl (150 gp).
Covey of Elemental Hags
When gathered into a covey, the three hags detailed above make a formidable team. In addition to Terraxia, Vyrdahlia, and Trillobia, this covey includes six half-elemental ogres (two earth, two fire, and two water) spawned by the hags themselves. At any given time, three of these ogres remain in the company of the hags while the other three are off following their mothers' orders. While "in the field," these ogres carry a hag eye (see the Monster Manual) and are disguised by a veil spell.
While in a covey, the three hags gain the spell-like abilities indicated below. These abilities have been altered slightly from the list given for a hag covey in the Monster Manual because of the elemental nature of these hags. To use one of these abilities, all three hags must be within 10 feet of one another, and all must participate. Each ability requires a full-round action.
Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day -- animate dead, bestow curse (DC 17), control weather, dream, forcecage, mind blank, mirage arcana (DC 18), polymorph, veil (DC 19), vision; 1/day -- earthquake (DC 21), fire storm (DC 20), horrid wilting (DC 21). Caster level 9th. The save DCs are based on a Charisma score of 16.
If the hags are encountered in a covey, increase the XP reward for each hag by 25% because of these extra abilities.
About the Author
By day, Andy Collins works as a senior designer in the Roleplaying R&D department at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. His credits include the Player's Handbook v.3.5, the Epic Level Handbook, and the Draconomicon. By night, however, he fights crime as a masked vigilante. Or maybe not.