Hag Lore and Tactics from D&D 3.5 to 5e

A repugnant dark fey creature with enigmatic origins, the Hag is one of the most notorious wicked creatures in the Dungeons and Dragons anthology, making appearances across modules, manuals, magazines, and more. Because players are typically familiar with this heinous crone monster, I hope to highlight tactics, lore, descriptions, and ideas beyond the scope of the conventional 5e Hag encounter to provide Dungeon Masters with tools to incorporate Hags into their campaigns in unexpected and exciting ways.

Sources: Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Dragon Magazine #345 (pg. 66), Dragon Magazine #367 (pg. 61), Dragon Magazine #331 (pg. 56), Unapproachable East (pg. 63), Dragon Magazine #324(pg. 66).

Hag Lore: Mother Cegilune

Ancient origins allow for some uncertainty surrounding the inception of Hags, though legends hint that these foul creatures have existed since the creation of the Feywild as a cruel antithesis to the beauty of the enchantment within.

From 3.5e Dragon Magazine #345 (pg. 64), where much of the content of this article is derived, we read about the lore in Faerun corroborated by Hill Giants and Ogres that explains a small portion of the Hag’s history. Here is a brief of my findings:  

“These cursed crones give form to hatreds as old as the world and no story of their cruelty has ever exaggerated the truth.”
—Dragon Magazine #345 pg. 64

Hag Knowledge Check

A player may attempt a knowledge (Nature) check as it relates to Hags in general. Tall tales of Hags have been woven into every society of the Material Plane, and only the informed decipher between myth and truth.

Note: Players who meet a higher DC will gain knowledge from the lower DC results.

DC Result
10 Crooked crones haunt all terrains of the Material Plane. Their magic is something to be feared. Hags often feast on the flesh of humanoids.
15 Hag enact dark rituals that give them a variety of powers, like scrying, divining the future, controlling the weather, and cursing enemies.
20 When allied in a common goal, three or more Hags will form a coven, which gives them additional dark powers.
25 Hags are keepers of forgotten lore, ancient knowledge, and mystical powers. They will often barter with a curious adventurer for a tidbit of their secrets.
30 Just as the Fey epitomizes nature’s beauty, Hags are the embodiment of nature’s ugliness. These wretched and manipulative creatures seek to corrupt all that is pure and beautiful. Hags keep treasure troves of their oddities and will sometimes exchange prisoners or knowledge for an invaluable item.

For the sake of this article, I will focus more heavily on lore and tactics from the popular Faerun setting, though I will mention the Eberron-setting hag from time to time.

Hag Sociality & Hierarchy

Source: “The Ecology of the Green hag” in Dragon Magazine. Artist: Peter Bergting

Relationships among Hags

Although Hags typically prefer independence from each other, they keep tabs and connections between the members of their society. As members of a “sisterhood,” Hags outside of covens still form kinships to one another and may retaliate against adventurers who injure their close sisters, especially if the violence is toward a Hag who owes a favor, as the creature who defeated the slain Hag is now believed to owe what is due.

“Even a hag living in a remote, isolated location is aware of goings-on that involve her neighboring hags, whether through magical communication, personal visits, or mundane messengers such as birds.”
—Volo’s Guide to Monsters pg. 57

Pecking Order

Hags are believed to be immortal, as the oldest hag is greater in age than dragons and elves. The hierarchy of Hags is largely due to age, abilities, influence, alliances, and experience, and each Hag knows her place in the chain. 

The most experienced and wisest of Hags are called Grandmothers; respectable but lower Hags are referred to as Aunties; young and fresh Hags, about mid-forty in age, are Daughters; and Hag spawn, indistinguishable from humanoid races, are colloquially referred to as Changelings. 

Hags of lesser status will sometimes apprentice or associate themselves with an Auntie to gain greater respect, and Hag spawn born to Grandmothers are inherently higher ranking than lesser Hags.


Though Hags prefer to either be alone or rule minions, Hags with common goals will band together to form Covens. With the greater power that results from a Coven, Hags can defeat their powerful enemies, gain more influence and knowledge, and overcome threats that jeopardize their livelihoods. 

Hags may dissolve their covens or seek to maintain or build their numbers by recruiting replacement Hags that impress the existing members with inflicting frightening curses, devastating disasters, and intriguing corruption upon mortal creatures.

Covey Tactics

When Hags gather in numbers to form a covey (not a typo), they possess powers beyond the scope of a single Hag.

Hag Brews

Source: Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden

One critical stratagem of the Hag, particularly the Annis, employs a despicable ritual of cannibalistic alchemy known as a Hag Brew. From the cauldron of the crones ferments powerful magical effects. Made from a sentient sacrifice and sickening ingredients, the Hag Brew requires a ritual that occurs on the night of a full moon from the hour before midnight to the hour after. 

During the ritual, coveys must remain within ten feet of the cauldron and must spend each action performing the ritual, as the mixture will be ruined if interrupted. The day after the brewing, a covey is exhausted and unable to use their lair/coven abilities, and Coveys cannot create Hag Eyes the same month they create a Hag Brew.

Example Hag Brews

Note: brews have been converted to 5e rules.

Brew of Black Eyes

A thick black infusion of a sliver of Hag tongue, among other foul ingredients.

  • Effects: Whoever drinks the brew gains the effects of Detect Magic, Darkvision, and See Invisibility at will for 1 week.
  • Side Effects: The drinker experiences terrible nightmares of the hags that created the brew, preventing restful sleep. The drinker becomes fatigued (1 level of exhaustion) and is unable to regain arcane spell slots. Hags and drinkers can communicate in the nightmares via Rary’s Telepathic Bond, in which the drinker must participate. Remove Curse can end the brew early. 
  • Hag minions are typically given the brew in order to hunt down enemies or find magic items.
Brew of the Beloved

A sickenly sweet-smelling weapon potion (like Alchemist’s Fire) meant to be opened or thrown. When opened, the brew reacts to the air and steams, creating a cloud with a 20-foot radius and lasts for 1 minute unless dissipated by a strong wind like Gust of Wind. A covey must have at least one Green Hag to create this brew.

  • Effects: Whoever inhales the gas must make a DC 16 Wisdom Saving Throw. Those who fail will go under the effects of Charm Monster as if cast by all who brewed the potion. Hags are immune to the effect of this brew.
Brew of Cegilune’s Blessing

A noxious concoction of warty flesh from the Hag creators using a blood-stained Cegilune idol. One of the Hags participating in the ritual must be a worshipper of Cegilune.

  • Effects: Any evil-aligned creature that drinks the brew temporarily gains a fiendish body for 1 week, after which their Constitution is permanently reduced by 2. This stat reduction cannot be restored by any spell short of a Wish. If a neutral- or good-aligned creature drinks this brew, they must make a DC Constitution Saving Throw and be rendered unconscious for 1d4 hours and take 1d4 points of psychic damage if they fail, or take no effects on a success.

Hag Eyes

Source: “Ecology of the Green Hag”

Under the guise of a semi-precious gemstone, a Hag Eye is a magic disembodied monster eye that allows Hags within coveys to see through its lens, wherever it might be. In three days, a covey can ritualistically meditate a gemstone worth 50 gp into this totem of evil, imbuing the gem with their own life essence (note here that destroying a Hag Eye significantly hurts the Hags who are bound to it).

  • Aberrant Accessories: When disguised as jewelry or trinkets, a seemingly-innocent transformed Hag may gift the eye to an unsuspecting victim. Once in place, a Hag knows the holder’s every step.
  • Watchful Masters: To keep an eye on their minions and lesser Hag companions, a Hag may communicate to the holder through communication spells available to her.
  • Natural Spies: To keep track of her vast domain, a Hag may adorn her familiar, especially a flying one, with the eye, or place one in tree knots and rock crags as a surreptitious spyglass.
  • Treasure Trap: Possessive over her treasure, a Hag may install an eye with her trove. A thief who plunders her possessions will become the subject of her ire as they transport the eye with her treasure.

Hag Physiology & Tactics

It is important to note the various subspecies of Hags, especially their differences. Inevitably, Hags share similar characteristics, like a proclivity toward blasphemy, a preference for the hideous, and a desire to corrupt the pure of heart. They typically create a lair or coven near humanoid settlements to influence their anguish more easily. Hags hoard ancient secrets and knowledge that would tempt the hearts of humanity into creating dark pacts or contracts in return for evil deeds that wrought suffering.

Below are details of ecology and tactics regarding the different subspecies of Hags. Or, jump to the Hag that interests you most:

Annis Hag

Volo’s Guide to Monsters pg. 56, Dragon Magazine #345 pg. 64

Source: “Volo’s Guide to Monsters.” Artist: Tom Babbey

Terrain: Hills and mountains

Largest and most menacing of the hag creatures, the Annis looms taller than 8 feet. Blemishes and scabs disfashion their stretched leathery blue skin, which serves as protective armor over sharp bones and gnarled muscles. With curling iron-laiden fingernails like rusted corkscrews and useless nubby black horns, the ghastly deformities of an Annis Hag depict the darkness of corruption in its unbridled manifestation.


Believing their extensive size to prove their supremacy, Annis are vainglorious, manipulative, cunning, tyrannical, and subjugative of weaker creatures, including other Hags, to form coveys maintained through intimidation. Because of this, Annis are often solo-leaders of their coveys and minions, and they rarely flock with other Annis, as these alliances often result in grisly betrayal.

Body Modifications

To gain more power and terror, Annis will physically and magically modify themselves. For example, one Annis chewed through her own cheeks to give herself a more gruesome smile and may have even sutured semiconscious weaker hags onto her back. Another Annis grafted the monstrous claw of a gigantic troll king onto her own arm when she usurped control of his tribe.

Annis Tactics

Annis will cunningly disguise their powerful physique in battle so that their foes underestimate their abilities. Fog Cloud and other disorienting spells are especially useful in this tactic. 

When fought within their domain, such as a bog or forest around their ruins- or cave-lair, Annis can be particularly savage. Especially territorial, an Annis might wreak havoc among surrounding settlements if she fears another Hag encroaching her territory or seeding a spawn among the villagers. 

Annis will typically target the weakest within a community, such as the elderly and children, to inflict the most suffering among mortals. One bog hag overnight replaced all village children with mutilated wooden carvings of the children she tormented. Other Annis cruelly disguise themselves as a kind, helpful villager to a lost or alone child, exchanging a polished iron trinket (usually made her tooth or fingernail) to the child for its confidence and friendship. This token allows the Annis to hear its holder. Slowly, the Annis will corrupt the child’s heart into enacting misdeeds and violence until it is punished or exiled from society.

Annis will subjugate evil creatures like trolls, ogres, redcaps, slithering trackers, yeth hounds, and such for her evil deeds and menacing goals.

Knowledge Checks

Players may attempt a Knowledge (Nature) check to discover what they know about Annis Hags. Players who live near hills and mountains or who have had dealings with Ogres and lesser Giants may have heard these bits of information in the form of legends and tales.

Note: Players who meet a higher DC will gain knowledge from the lower DC results.

DC Result
10 Annis Hags are hideous, blue-skinned ogresses who lurk in marshes and other dark, rotting places.
15 An Annis Hag’s claws are made of rusted metal and, along with her great strength, can rend an armored knight to bits.
20 Annis Hags are incredibly resilient to attacks made with man’s weapons.
25 An Annis Hag often uses her magic abilities to disguise herself as a large human or comely giant. She can also summon dense clouds of cold fog to cloak their approach.
30 Annis Hags are, even among Hags, especially egotistical and seek to dominate the lands and creatures around them. This vanity can often be exploited through gifts of magic and live food.

Bheur (Winter Hag)

Volo’s Guide to Monsters pg. 56, Dragon Magazine #367 pg. 62

Source: “Volo’s Guide to Monsters.” Artist: Tom Babbey

Terrain: Wintry lands, snow-covered peaks

Servants to the chaotic evil goddess of wind and ice Auril, the divisive and anarchic Bheur is a force of fatal capability, though sometimes sought for their wisdom and clairvoyant abilities. With a taste for humanoid flesh, Winter Hags are most likely encountered in the Land Under Eternal Ice in the Deep Wild and, according to legends, play a role in prolonging a bitter winter unless defeated. Their blue-white hair and skin and frigid hearts reflect the icy tundra they call home.

Arctic Accomplices 

Bheurs sometimes travel on ice archon and in the company of avariel. At other times they recruit ice spirits called Orglash to deliver winter weather to mortal territories. The legends foretell that only one Bheur has been seen simultaneously, and perhaps there only exists a solitary Winter Hag.

Icy Hearts

Bheurs find pleasure in watching winter destroy the hearts and morale of mortals. Sweet is the taste of a mortal who selfishly hoards supplies during the cold months, kills another to take for themselves, or burns the fey forests to keep themselves warm. Bheurs use their wintery powers to alter the weather to torture unprepared individuals or torment villages surviving the winter. If all goes well, the desperate people will turn on one another. Her greatest pleasure is watching despondent mortals turn to dire means of survival such as boiling boots for sustenance, or even better, cannibalism.

Bheur Tactics

Using her frosty essence to her advantage, a Bheur will typically start a battle with a blast of rime frost using Cone of Cold to test how vulnerable her foes are to cold damage. If vulnerable, the Bheur will focus her attacks on the weakest until defeat.

In Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Bheurs iconically carry a gray wooden staff that channels their powerful ice magic. In previous editions of the game, Bheurs employed different abilities. Targets resistant to cold are attacked with the spell Ice Storm or her frost bow Winter Curse, which, if hit, negates its targets’ resistance to cold until the target takes a short or long rest.

With her Whiteout Aura, the Winter Hag obscures opponents’ vision within 20 ft. of her. Bheurs prefer to outmaneuver opponents before the battle begins by luring enemies into fatal traps like snowdrifts and deadfalls from icy cliffsides. Cleverly, a Winter Hag will escape with Blizzard Step rather than fighting to her demise when she knows she is outmatched.

Knowledge Checks

Players may attempt a Knowledge (Nature) check to discover what they know about Bheur Hags. Players who live near frigid wastelands or arctic mountains may have heard these bits of information in the form of legends and tales.

Note: Players who meet a higher DC will gain knowledge from the lower DC results.

DC Result
10 Bheur Hags live on wintery mountain peaks and lands. They have haggard blue-white skin and white hair.
15 Bheur Hags are known for their gray wooden staffs that give them access to extraordinary magic.
20 Bheur Hags are unaffected by cold attacks and can freely move across icy surfaces. They have been known to prolong winters.
25 Bheur Hags love watching mortals freeze to death and will often begin battle with a Cone of Cold.
30 Bheur Hags are most powerful within their lairs or a part of a coven. A Bheur Hag will nearly always attempt to feast upon a recent kill in the throes of battle, which enhances her powers.

Lair Actions and Regional Effects: pg. 59 of Volo’s Guide to Monsters
Statistics: pg. 160 of Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Green Hag (Bog Hag)

 Oriental Adventures (3rd edition) pg. 147, Dragon Magazine #331, pg. 56.

Terrain: Decaying forests, swamps, moors

Source: “Monster Manual 5th Edition”

Crowned with moss-like green hair, a Green Hag adeptly utilizes despairing illusions to torment, manipulate, seduce, and beguile her prey. By mimicking desperate creatures in need of help or transforming her appearance, a Green Hag will deceptively hide her intentions behind layers of duplicity to beguile mortals into doing her bidding.

Bog Variety

From 3rd edition, swamp-dwelling Bog Hags, similar enough to Green Hags, shape-changed to wear the skins of their prey, concealing their identities and even presuming the life of their victims periodically.

Unnerving Appearance

Green Hags appear more unnerving than intimidating, as their physical appearance, hunched and misshapen, are less gruesome than other Hag types. However, their physical powers are often underestimated for their build, for they never succumb to the frailty of age as would be expected of crones.

Green Hag Tactics

Patiently awaiting a lone human prey to wander near her waters, a Bog Hag will stake out her victims within her domain, dragging them into the murky swamp to drown. Alternatively, Green Hags will sometimes find themselves skulking through the squalor parts of a city or below in its sewer system.

The motivations of a Green Hag are simple: to pervert and pollute the societies of mortals into the quagmires and sloughs she favors. Green Hags enjoy creating victims of seduction who give in to the temptation of the beautifully transformed Hag. Once she has her victim alone and without escape, she reveals her true appearance, indulging in the horror of her lover as she brutally butchers them—those whom she allows to survive typically lose their sanity.

Green Hags will form coveys and alliances more likely than other Hags to assist in their goals of corruption, including with evil swamp-dwelling creatures like Will-o-Wisps and evil Druids. However, these alliances are tenuous and end when the Green Hag no longer finds them to serve her purposes.

“A Green Hag’s most deadly weapon is her slightest touch. With a mere brush of her misshapen claw a Green Hag might sap the strength from even the strongest warrior. Frequently using this ability to their advantage, Green Hags favor draining an enemy’s strength until he’s totally unable to move, then either drowning him in their boggy homes or dragging him back to their lairs, usually for some unspeakable magical or—even worse—amorous purpose.”
—Dragon Magazine #331, pg. 58

Knowledge Checks

Players may attempt a Knowledge (Nature) check to discover what they know about Green Hags. Players who live near muggy forests or boggy swamps may have heard these bits of information in the form of legends and tales. Due to the widespread folklore surrounding Green Hags, some players may believe the information to be superstition.

Note: Players who meet a higher DC will gain knowledge from the lower DC results.

DC Result
10 Green Hags are vile and monstrous crones who reign over swamps and marshes. When within their boggy domain, nothing may hamper their powers as corrupt stewards of the decaying plants and putrid waters.
15 As keepers of ancient natural magic and knowledge, Green Hags can imitate the sounds of creatures, beasts, and beings who live within their domain.
20 While all hags gain greater powers from forming coveys, Green Hags are the most likely to form alliances to fulfill their goals.
25 Beware the touch of a Green Hag. With a mere brush of her curling claw, a Green Hag can drain the life force from any creature.
30 Green hags operate just as well above water as below. Green Hags sometimes stalk in the slums or sewers of cities, navigating to her preys’ own homes.

Hagspawn (Changeling)

Terrain: Any mortal dwelling

5th Edition:
To propagate, Hags kidnap and consume human infants. They then birth daughters who reveal their nature within their thirteenth year. Such methods are rare, but they do occur. Hags who birth two daughters in succession may wish to form covens, which require the auspicious number three Hags. Legends tell that Hags who steal twins or triplets or the seventh-born child of a seventh-born parent will often bear spawn with greater magic and extra abilities. 

Previous Editions:
To propagate their societies, Hags will trick, manipulate, or bargain with a male humanoid to sow his seed with her. The resulting baby, often known as a Changeling in folklore, will appear as a perfectly healthy humanoid child for the first forty years of its life. A new Hag mother will swap a baby in a village with her spawn, which will grow more malevolent with age, unbeknownst to the foster parents or the child herself. 

Unidentifiable among their humanoid companions and friends, young hags may seek out adventuring roles that utilize their strength and intelligence. By her mid-forties, a physical transformation takes place, terribly deforming her. This rebirth, as it were, allows the young hag to finally see herself for what she truly is. 

Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that Volo’s Guide to Monsters mentions that some young hags who are still humble enough to work with the Unseelie and Seelie Courts may magically create less repugnant appearances for themselves and join the courts. 

Night Hag

Monster Manual, pg. 178. Dragon #324, pg. 66.

Source: Monster Manual 5th Edition.

Terrain: Lower and Ethereal Planes

As ethereal creatures exiled from the Fey, the purple-black Night Hag revels in corrupting the goodness of humanity. In the darkness of dusk, Night Hags infiltrate a slumbering creature’s dreams with hopes to influence it into acting out its evilest desires until death, when she can deliver its corrupted soul to Hades.

“Sly and subversive, night hags want to see the virtuous turn to villainy: love turned into obsession, kindness turned to hate, devotion to disregard, and generosity to selfishness.”
—Monster Manual, pg. 178

Diseased Appearance

Known as the Nightmare Queens, these diseased crones resemble smaller female trolls, blistered and blackened like their wicked hearts. Most desired to weave mangled bones, severed fingers, and coveted treasure into their bristled coifs for a more threatening appearance. Along with jagged teeth and hollow hellish eyes, Night Hags inflicted gruesome scars across their bodies with their pointed claws. Their crooked joints and bending limbs often diminished their speed, though the slowed effect only added to their terror.

“With distorted faces reminiscent of those they had in life, larvae ooze a sickening, bilious fluid and constantly writhe like giant, squirming maggots. Night hags possess an uncanny ability to determine which mortals become larva upon their deaths and perhaps even know what foul deeds a soul must commit to damn it to eternity as a larva.”
—Dragon Magazine #324, pg. 68

Larvae: Soul Harvesting for Reproduction

Night Hags are known to carelessly engage in creating spawn which would be brought to full Night Hag transformation should they have use. By Polymorphing into a beautiful woman, a Night Hag will seduce a humanoid male and copulate. After a normal-length pregnancy, the Hag leaves her spawn with a foster family or the father. 

When she needs a useful subordinate, the Hag will spend a series of nights before the end of the Hagspawn’s adolescence in ceremony and rites by suckling the child and feeding it larvae, a wormlike creature reborn with an evil soul the Night Hag has harvested.

A Night Hag will particularly seek out creatures who have committed atrocious deeds, as a more powerful and evil creature will yield a stronger larva for her spawn. The most delicious of souls typically belong to mortal spellcasters who have greedily sought bargains with demonic beings.

Obsession over Power

To the Night Hag, all creatures, regardless of species, are seen as servants or supper, and servants are typically future suppers. For creatures they deem more powerful than themselves, Night Hagas will attempt to bargain with or manipulate them until she can perceive a weakness to exploit to get the upper hand.

Though they rarely form coveys, a stronger Night Hag will dominate two lesser Night Hags to form an alliance with the lessers doing the stronger’s bidding. The covey members may be subjugated by the more respected Night Hag, or perhaps the Night Hag has forced her daughters into a coven with her.

Source: Wizards of the Coast.

How to Use a Night Hag

A player engaged in recent misdeed wakes from slumber and is tempted into more malfeasance. For example, the player comes across an NPC blacked out, and from his pockets falls an item the player has been interested in. The player has a choice to take the item or move on. Should the player move on, another temptation is presented. If the player attempts to take the item, another NPC witnesses the event and accosts the player for their thievery. A Dungeon Master should escalate the experience until incredible misdeeds are wrought by the player. 

In reality, a Night Hag has cast Dream on the player and hopes to turn their heart toward evil. If the player remains honorable, they awake the next morning having not received a long rest. If they gave in to their temptations in the dream, the dream will eventually lead to their death within the dream, and the Night Hag will harvest their soul.

Later in the campaign, the remaining party can see the emaciated face of their deceased friend on a putrid squirming larva in the lair of the Night Hag.

Knowledge Checks

Players may attempt a Knowledge (Nature) check to discover what they know about Night Hags. Legends of Night Hags invading the dreams of mortals are widely spread, but belief in such tales is less likely.

Note: Players who meet a higher DC will gain knowledge from the lower DC results.

DC Result
10 Wicked creatures haunt mortal dreams that sometimes have the power to kill their prey.
15 While these creatures have been banished to the outer planes, if they happen to enter the Material Plane, they will likely transform to look like normal people.
20 These monstrous witches put mortals to sleep and feast on their flesh and souls. They resist cold and fire as well as non-magical attacks.
25 Differing from their material plane Hag sisters, Night Hags have the power to become ethereal and do not resist weapons that have been silvered.
30 If a Night Hag kills a target in its sleep, she will trap its soul in her Soul Bag and either deliver it to Hades or use it to create a larva.

Sea Hag

Monster Manual, pg. 179. Dragon Magazine #68, pg. 39

Source: Monster Manual 5th Edition

Terrain: Polluted waters, seashores, overgrown lakes

At home within murky waters with amphibious monstrosities, Sea Hags despise beauty so vigorously that their hatred moves them to violence. With their own grotesque appearance, Sea Hags have lanky green hair like kelp, cold eyes like the water’s glassy surface, and sallow scaly skin like a fish. Such a horrific appearance will often frighten a foe to the point of running away.

“If something beautiful gives hope, a sea hag wants it to cause despair. If it inspires courage, the sea hag wants it to cause fear.”
—Monster Manual, pg. 179

Source: Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Artist: Clint Cearley.

Seaspawn Slaves

One form of corruption the Sea Hag takes pleasure in is marking a mortal for their slave, either through creating pacts or bestowing curses. Such creatures bonded to the Sea Hag transform magically into a Seaspawn, as they are taken by the ocean, coated in barnacles, and made to sprout gills.

Beguiling Illusions

Sea Hags shrewdly disguise their appearance to hide their ferocious power or to draw in victims. In 2nd Edition D&D, a Sea Hag could cast Alter Self, impel her prey to approach, then reveal her hideous form that frightens or paralyzes her victim. In 5th edition, the sea crone may coat herself in mud and pond plants and create a haggard magical illusion that holds up to physical inspection, though the deception is anything but beautiful.

Lone Lairs

Though Sea Hags generally avoid creating or joining covens, they often set up complex lairs within wrecked ships or underwater caves. The influence of a Sea Hag’s lair causes slimy land surfaces and perilous tides and storms. Decomposing fish that wash ashore act as eyes, ears, and mouthpieces for the Sea Hags, luring land-dwellers into her domain.

Within her lair, a Sea Hag can create a simulacrum of a creature from sea tangle, algae, flotsam, and decaying sea creatures, which abides her command.

Knowledge Checks

Players may attempt a Knowledge (Nature) check to discover what they know about Sea Hags. Sea shanties and travelers’ tales have always told of witch-like creatures living underwater, but not all stories tell the truth.

Note: Players who meet a higher DC will gain knowledge from the lower DC results.

DC Result
10 Hideous creatures with magical abilities often live in murky waters.
15 Sea Hags are quick swimmers and have fierce claws. A person can often determine if a Sea Hag lair is near by the coat of slime on all surfaces and the volatile weather.
20 With illusory powers, all adventurers best be wary of gruesome figures lurking in the distance.
25 Unlike other Hag species, Sea Hags do not seem to have resistances to nonmagical weapons or damage types.
30 Just a single glimpse of a Sea Hag’s true form can cause a creature to turn and run in fright.

Shrieking Hag

Unapproachable East, pg. 65, Monster Manual 4th Edition, pg. 150.

Terrain: Wastelands, barren plains, deserts

Tattered and leathered as if dehydrated by a sandstorm, a Shrieking Hag prowls the wastelands for an opportunity to ambush prey and sow chaos.

Creatures of Opportunity

Spiteful by nature, Shrieking Hags will attempt to deceive or lure away a single creature from its party before attacking, though failed efforts result in a murderous rampage. With a maddening wail and powerful wind magic, a Shrieking Hag can raze an entire village, with preference to corrupting the virtuous over time.

Cleaving Claws

When secluding her lone target or forced to fight in melee, a Shrieking Hag who has managed to grapple a target with her horrific claws will rend her prey in two, tearing its flesh like a buttered roll.

“Shrieking hags prefer to deceive, entice, and charm travelers into their lairs, using their spell-like abilities to split up parties and draw away a single chosen victim. Should that fail, they resort to a furious assault from the night sky, blasting their foes with their various wind powers and using their shriek to best effect. They reserve their physical attacks for dealing with solitary victims they have managed to lure away or separate from any nearby companions.”
—Unapproachable East, pg. 65


While Shrieking Hags do not officially exist in 5th edition, stats for the monster here have been translated below.

Download Your Shrieking Hag Stat Block PDF Here

Shrieking Hag
Medium Fey Humanoid

Armor Class: 21 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points: 90 (12d8+36)
Speed: 30 ft., fly 80 ft.

20 (+5)
13 (+1)
16 (+3)
11 (+0)
15 (+2)
14 (+2)

Skills: Stealth +5, Investigation + 4, Survival + 6, Perception +6, Deception +6, Persuasion +6
Saving Throws: STR + 9, CON + 7
Damage Immunities: Cold
Condition Resistances: Deafened, Frightened
Senses: Darkvision (60 ft.)
Languages: Common, Giant
Challenge Rating: 10        Proficiency Bonus: +4

Rend. A Shrieking Hag that hits a single target with both claws on one turn latches onto the opponent’s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an additional 2d4+10 points of slashing damage.

Shriek (3/day). The Shrieking Hag can give voice to a terrible, maddening shriek. Any creature within 60 feet of the hag must make a Constitution Saving Throw DC 16. On a failure, a creature takes 2d6 psychic damage and is paralyzed until the end of the Hag’s next turn. A creature who succeeds on the saving throw takes half as much damage and is not paralyzed.

Spellcasting. The Shrieking Hag is an 8th-level spellcaster. Her spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). She can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: Alter Self, Dancing Lights, Gust of Wind, Prestidigitation, Shocking Grasp

3/day: Charm Person, Control Winds, Greater Invisibility, Lightning Bolt, See Invisibility, Suggestion

1/day: Control Weather


Multiattack: The Shrieking Hag may make two Claw Attacks.

Claw: Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: (1d4 + 5) slashing damage.

Knowledge Checks

Players may attempt a Knowledge (Nature) check to discover what they know about Shrieking Hags.

Note: Players who meet a higher DC will gain knowledge from the lower DC results.

DC Result
10 Leather-skinned crones wander the wastelands in search of prey. As her name implies, a Shrieking Hag has a powerful wail that enfeebles all who hear it.
15 A Shrieking Hag will attempt to lure out a single target from its group before attacking. When this wily maneuver fails, expect a vicious attack.
20 Adventurers beware a grappling claw attack from a Shrieking Hag, for few survive the encounter in one piece.
25 As creatures who find comfort in the bitter desert nights, Shrieking Hags are immune to cold damage and have powerful innate spellcasting.
30 When a Shrieking Hag is thwarted in splitting up a party for focused individual attacks, she’ll reveal her powers of flight and unleash thralls of magical winds.

Hag Companions

Source: Explore’s Guide to Wildemount. Artist: Andrew Mar

Fables across the world spin stories of Hags with creature companions, especially within covens. True to the rumors, Hags who seek power will often subjugate monstrous creatures to do their bidding or spy throughout the lands. 

Whether allied, subjugated, working off a debt, or bonded to a Hag, several creatures specifically have ties to the Hag community. Below are examples of creatures a crone may select for a crony.

  • Banderhobb. Believed to have been first conjured by the dark rituals of a Night Hag, Banderhobbs shortly serve as Hag minions before expiring into a puddle of putrid tar. For the right price (in money, magic items, or service), a Hag might sell the secrets of how to conjure one.
  • Boggle. This trickster fey creature prefers the direction of a strong-willed master, such as a Hag. Some covens will open their lairs to the creatures for protection as well.
  • Booyahg Slave. Self-aware of their weaknesses, these Goblin Warlocks with their tribes serve powerful patrons with a steep price of their flesh should they fail.
  • Catoblepas. Fabled to act as livestock to the crones, swamp-dwelling Catoblepases may provide milk to a Hag or serve as a coven’s pet or guardian.
  • Oni. Creatures of opportunity who prize magic and magic items above all else, Oni will serve a Hag for a profitable reward or the benefit of a safe dwelling.
  • Scarecrow. Created by witches and Hags, scarecrows are animated constructs with evil spirits bound within (typically a demon) who tenaciously defend their creators, even seeking revenge against the perpetrator who defeats its master
  • Succubus. Though often preferring their independence, a succubus or incubus will serve or be subjugated to a Night Hag when the need arises.
  • Swarms of Ravens. Acting as the eyes and ears of a Hag, especially when adorned with a Hag Eye, Swarms of Ravens are useful servants to their Hag masters.
  • Trolls. Ferocious and insatiably hungry, a Troll serves well as a Hag mercenary with the reward of a meal of its targets.
  • Will-o’-Wisp. Symbiotically benefitting from an alliance with Hags, Will-o’-Wisps are often used to coerce creatures into an ambush.
  • Yugoloths. Initially created by Night Hags who lost control of them, Yugoloths can be summoned by a creature who knows its true name, and is forced into obedient servitude to the summoner. Night Hags recorded the names of the first Yugoloths in the Books of Keeping.

Additional Hag Companions:

  • Flameskulls
  • Flesh Golems
  • Helmed Horrors
  • Rug of Smothering
  • Shadow Mastiffs
  • Swarm of Insects
  • Swarm of Rats
  • Yeth Hounds
  • Bugbears
  • Dopplegangers
  • Ettercaps
  • Gargoyles
  • Jackalweres
  • Kenku
  • Meenlocks
  • Quicklings
  • Redcaps
  • Wererats
  • Werewolves


Whether you’re hoping to expand your knowledge of Hag lore, generate hooks for your Hag-infested campaign, or learn the basics of Hag tactics, I hope this guide has sparked your creativity and offered you new ideas. How have you used Hags in your campaigns, and how will you use them next? Cast message in the comments below!

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