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D&D 5E The Hags of 5E

Stormonu

Legend
So, something that's been gnawing at the back of my mind for a while...it seems that every 5E adventure (since Curse of Strahd) in it has a named hag in it, which I find somewhat interesting. One or two, and I might not have noticed. But every adventure? Named threats? What's going on here?

Mad Maggie - Descent into Avernus
Granny Nightshade - Ghosts of Saltmarsh
Morgantha - Curse of Strahd
Maud Chiselbone - Rime of the Frostmaiden
Thuluna Maah - Princes of the Apocalypse
Nanny Pu'pu - Tomb of Annihilation
3 sea hags (unnamed!) - Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Wormriddle the Night Hag - Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Mother Lorinda - Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft

Are there more that I have missed?
 

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BookTenTiger

He / Him
Interesting! I wonder if it's purposeful, or if named Hags just make for great, scary NPC's.

Come to think of it, I've got a powerful hag named Granny O'gwa in my own game! All her daughters are various other types of hags, but all have different animal heads, and are all called Sister S___, with different animals starting with an S. So Sister Snake, Sister Spider, Sister Skink, Sister Salamander, Sister Stoat, etc.
 

toucanbuzz

Legend
The name of a hag should strike fear and infuse mysticism into a party, but their abilities and combat stats rarely do. That's a pretty good list!

It's my experience by giving a name, the adventure is saying (1) this NPC is dangerous/special (2) this NPC is worth communicating with and (3) this NPC probably can lead to quests.
 



Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Or "Sora Riku"

...no, wait, the shippers have already done that one:

060918.jpg
 

Quickleaf

Legend
So, something that's been gnawing at the back of my mind for a while...it seems that every 5E adventure (since Curse of Strahd) in it has a named hag in it, which I find somewhat interesting. One or two, and I might not have noticed. But every adventure? Named threats? What's going on here?

Mad Maggie - Descent into Avernus
Granny Nightshade - Ghosts of Saltmarsh
Morgantha - Curse of Strahd
Maud Chiselbone - Rime of the Frostmaiden
Thuluna Maah - Princes of the Apocalypse
Nanny Pu'pu - Tomb of Annihilation
3 sea hags (unnamed!) - Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Wormriddle the Night Hag - Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Mother Lorinda - Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft

Are there more that I have missed?
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden has Maud Chiselbone, a sea hag, and the night hag coven in the Necropolis of Ythryn including Auntie Pinch, Auntie Pillage, and Auntie Plunder.

Also in Tomb of Annihilation: The Sewn Sisters – 3 night hags named Widow Groat, Peggy Deadbells, and Baggy Nanna.
 
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Voadam

Legend
The 3d12 name generator and the traits charts from the hag entry in Volo's Guide to Monsters work really well on short notice to give a fun evocative individual.
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
Candlekeep has lots of hags.
  • Dread Morgana
  • Vile Sazha
  • Auntie Greenbones
  • Lanedrie Staggersoul
There may be more.

And yes, I've noticed as well. Lots of hags lately. Then there's the whole hag race in Van Richten's Guide---the Hexblooded.
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
So, something that's been gnawing at the back of my mind for a while...it seems that every 5E adventure (since Curse of Strahd) in it has a named hag in it, which I find somewhat interesting. One or two, and I might not have noticed. But every adventure? Named threats? What's going on here?

Mad Maggie - Descent into Avernus

Also has Red Ruth in a very interesting environment (although I agree that Maggie's environment is absolutely brilliant).

Granny Nightshade - Ghosts of Saltmarsh
Morgantha - Curse of Strahd
Maud Chiselbone - Rime of the Frostmaiden
Thuluna Maah - Princes of the Apocalypse
Nanny Pu'pu - Tomb of Annihilation

There are actually 3 in the tomb itself, their coven is "the sewn sisters" and their names are Widow Groat, Peggy Deadbells and Baggy Nanna, and for me they have a very much "Witcher 3" feel.

3 sea hags (unnamed!) - Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Wormriddle the Night Hag - Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Mother Lorinda - Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft

Are there more that I have missed?
 

Norton

Explorer
There seems to be a strong tie to fables and folk tales with hags. They've always been, all the way up to the wicked witches of Disney. Some kind of crone-phobia, I reckon. I have a hag that appears in two of my groups: Auntie Mae. She's a night hag coven variety who keeps the heads of her sisters in jars in her basement because they keep scaring away company and she wants the coven spells. She fancies herself a debutante and wants company more than anything.
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
I love using hags as major villains and always like to name them. They may not be mind-blowing in combat, but with a good plan and willing minions, much evil can be accomplished.
They have a resonance in European folklore particularly in Russia with the great one herself being a major figure. I remember driving from Moscow to St Petersburg a few years ago and passing a reconstructed hut with chicken legs on the wooded roadside. Great stuff.

Going further back into RPG history, Barry Minot did a game and set of miniatures called Thane Tostig back in the late 1970s and the key villain was a hag called Hangbeffor.
 




GuyBoy

Adventurer
I remember playing in @TheSword’s Ravenloft game and being terrified by the hag selling pies in the village. We had just arrived, through the mists, into this terrifying place, with everyone barring their doors and windows and there she was with her cart.
Spooky and atmospheric, my character was petrified and, as a Londoner, I was thinking Sweeney Todd!
 

darjr

I crit!
I remember playing in @TheSword’s Ravenloft game and being terrified by the hag selling pies in the village. We had just arrived, through the mists, into this terrifying place, with everyone barring their doors and windows and there she was with her cart.
Spooky and atmospheric, my character was petrified and, as a Londoner, I was thinking Sweeney Todd!
My players bought and ate so very many of her pies…… they had no idea. When they found out, even the player who “knew” it was a hag, they started planning the hags demise.
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Out Of The Abyss has Nanny Plunk, Maven Delve and Dame Spiderwort. They're admittedly in the random encounter table for the Darklake, but they are named.
 


Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
The abundance of hags has become noticable. I submit that they are popular and Wizards of the Coast has noticed that, so they are giving us what they think we want.

It's a bit too many for me; but I'm just me, I'm not you or anybody else.

For a time relatively recent popular culture* was obsessed with vampires, then it was zombies, and werewolves made an appearance. I always wondered what the next creature would we obsess over. I think it might be hags.

* That's a lot of qualifiers, yet still not enough.
 

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