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D&D 5E The Hags of 5E

Stormonu

Legend
I don’t mind the number of hags, in fact I think it’s great we’re getting them. But I really wonder if there is some Easter egg or inside joke for why the trend started - and I suspect it started because of something revolving around Curse of Strahd (maybe something to do with 3E having Madame Eva be a hag vs. not doing that for 5E?).
 

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GuyBoy

Adventurer
At the risk of opening this up in a serious direction.....and that’s a dramatic shift from my giant earwig post.....hags and witches generally are pretty deep-rooted in Western culture, and therefore carry a shudder factor for many of us, making them perfect villains.
Baba Yaga in Russia is the obvious example of the terror power of the witch/hag, and Hansel & Gretel gives us another example.
This fear of witches was later heavily exploited in the UK by the likes of Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General, and in the US in the Salem Trials about 50 years later. In both cases, religious bigotry and misogyny combined to horrifying effect, as well as simple greed on the parts of men like Hopkins and Mather who made good money out of it.

So hags play on significant levels of historians cultural fear, as well as an array of human ( particularly male) failings. They make great D&D foes too, with or without earwigs!

PS I’m conscious that my brief comments on the role of hags and witches is very US/Euro-centric. This is due to personal lack of knowledge of witches in other cultural traditions. I would be interested to learn more if anyone has expertise.
 


Iry

Hero
From Baldur's Gate 3!
Auntie Ethel
Baldur%27s_Gate_3_-_Auntie_Ethel_Hag.jpg
 



pukunui

Legend
3 sea hags (unnamed!) - Dungeon of the Mad Mage
They do have names! They “politely introduce themselves as Coral Black, Gurgle Brine, and Caldra Cuttlefingers”.

I noticed Storm Kings and Out of the Abyss are not on your list. No hags in those?
I’ve run SKT and don’t recall there being any hags in it.

Someone upthread mentioned there being some hags in a random encounter table in OotA.

My question is: are they the only hags who don’t get a picture? I think pretty much every other hag does.
 

grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
Huts & Hags 2022 Calendar for all your Dark Fairy Dreams and Nightmares

Also, why aren't there male versions of hags? I get the misogyny and historical and cultural prejudice/ageism. There are enough current Apocrypha of creepers and old weird men. Why do fairy tales and myths call them wizards instead of some negative connotations? What do you call a male hag? Codger? Dodderer? Coot?
 




Huts & Hags 2022 Calendar for all your Dark Fairy Dreams and Nightmares

Also, why aren't there male versions of hags? I get the misogyny and historical and cultural prejudice/ageism. There are enough current Apocrypha of creepers and old weird men. Why do fairy tales and myths call them wizards instead of some negative connotations? What do you call a male hag? Codger? Dodderer? Coot?

I always use Hags as evil/dark/broken avatars of the Triple Godess's crone aspect.

As such i use evil/dark/broken avatars of the Horned God as "male hags". Depending of the setting, it can be Devils, Efreeti or Onis...
 

MGibster

Legend
Also, why aren't there male versions of hags? I get the misogyny and historical and cultural prejudice/ageism. There are enough current Apocrypha of creepers and old weird men. Why do fairy tales and myths call them wizards instead of some negative connotations? What do you call a male hag? Codger? Dodderer? Coot?
We've got the word witch which we most commonly associate with women but it's a word which can be and has been applied to witches of any gender. John Fian and Francis Stewart of Scotland were referred to as witches at the Berwick witch trials in the late 16th century. The Codex Theodosianus from the early 5th century mentions punishments for wizards. So it's not all good for wizards I guess.
 


MurlyndX

Explorer
Ghosts of Saltmarsh actually has a full coven of Sea Hags in addition to Granny Nightshade:

COVEN OF WET ROT
The Wet Rot Coven is a group of three sea hags named Driftwood Moistrot. Rotten Blubbersore, and Auntie Canker.
 




Yaarel

Mind Mage
Huts & Hags 2022 Calendar for all your Dark Fairy Dreams and Nightmares

Also, why aren't there male versions of hags? I get the misogyny and historical and cultural prejudice/ageism. There are enough current Apocrypha of creepers and old weird men. Why do fairy tales and myths call them wizards instead of some negative connotations? What do you call a male hag? Codger? Dodderer? Coot?
In Norse traditions, "hags" are female tröll. There are male tröll as well. They are nonhuman, originally jötnar, and these can be beautiful or horrifying, as can the male trolls be both as well. The name "troll" literally means "mage", witch, enchanter, being innately magical.

Over the centuries, the many different kinds of trolls came to be understood as belonging to the same family. where there are two siblings, one might be humansize and the other 10 yards tall. A parent and child, and one might be goodlooking and the other grotesque.

Among the jötnar, the tröll mainly come from the extremely goodlooking risar, the nature beings of mountain cliffs. But they mix with the frightening thursar as well.

They often teach human shamans how to do magic.
 

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