Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Night Hag: Temptress of Darkness

Well… at least this one isn’t holding corpses. Instead, she’s holding a disembodied soul! Because that’s just so much more pleasant!

Lore: Predators of Dreams

Night hag’s love nothing more than seeing the good turn to evil. To see lovers become obsessive or the kind to become cruel. This cruelty lead them to be banished from the Feywild to Hades, where they became fiends. Since then, they’ve spread all across the Lower Planes.

While one might sleep, a night hag might intrude upon their dreams in an ethereal form. Those with Truesight may be able to see them as they straddle their prey. The hag will fill their victim’s mind with with doubts and fears to trick them into performing acts of evil in the true world. They’ll continue to do this night after night until their victim dies. When that happens, they’ll trap their soul within a bag to transport into Hades.

This is some great lore! There’s a ton of fun stuff you can do to screw with your players! Consistently haunt their nightmares with some creepy imagery! Or perhaps make a familiar NPC the victim of that and demonstrate him slowly descending into madness, so the players have to figure out what’s going on and stop it before it’s too late! You’ve got a ton of fun options as a DM!

Design: Where did the horns come from?

I don’t know why I’m so fixated on the horns. But… where did the horns come from? Am I overthinking this? Probably. Moving on.

This is a perfectly fine design. It isn’t as creepy as the green hag, but it’s definitely a chilling look. That malevolent grin, her witch doctor aesthetic, the soul of her victim hovering over her hand, it all comes together into something truly creepy.

Is it especially creative? Not particularly. It’s not the most generic witch-looking monster ever, sure. But it’s a far cry from the higher up creatures on this list.

Stats: Of Nightmares and Death

Despite what you may think, the night hag is far from a weak monster. It has a fairly high AC and HP just within triple digits. Not only that, but it’s resistant to cold, fire, and all melee made without magic or silver weapons. Also, you can’t charm it. Not that you’d want to.

Oh, what am I saying? Of course you would.

It also has a few spells to use. These are:

At will: detect magic, magic missile
2/day each: plane shift (self only), ray of enfeeblement, sleep

On top of that, it can use Change Shape to… change shapes. Or it could use Etherealness to step into either the Ethereal Plane or Material Plane, depending on which it currently stands in. This can make catching the hag tricky, if not impossible.

It’s most dangerous ability is Nightmare Haunting, which it can only use once a day. With this, the night hag can produce nightmares in a sleeping victim upon touching them. If the dreams last more than a nightmare, the victim will take no benefit from their rest and its total HP drops by 5(1d10). Should this effect reduce their total HP to 0, the victim will die.

Also, the hag has claws. They do decent damage.

With this monster, it’s more about the buildup to the encounter than the fight itself. How do the players deal with the health-depleting nightmares? How do they find the hag itself? This is the actual boss fight, not the battle itself. Because the fight itself is more like a basic slugfest with the occasional spell.

Placement

This is definitely a very strong monster. It has great lore and it makes for a fun encounter. Yes, the boss fight itself is a bit straight-forward and the design is only okay. But still, it’s a strong one.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Night Hag on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Bronze Dragons
  14. Brass Dragons
  15. Copper Dragons
  16. Gold Dragons
  17. Chuul
  18. Gibbering Mouther
  19. Chimera
  20. Death Knight
  21. Fomorian
  22. Bone Devil
  23. Dracolich
  24. Faerie Dragon
  25. Night Hag <——————-
  26. Green Hag
  27. Ankheg
  28. Storm Giant
  29. Hill Giant
  30. Empyrean
  31. Efreeti
  32. Grimlock
  33. Dao
  34. Cloud Giant
  35. Drow (all four of ’em)
  36. Shadow Demon
  37. Marilith
  38. Drider
  39. Aarackockra
  40. Azer
  41. Demilich
  42. Spectator
  43. Marid
  44. Cambion
  45. Fire Giant
  46. Animated Armor
  47. Banshee
  48. Basilisk
  49. Yochlol
  50. Bulette
  51. Cloaker
  52. Darkmantle
  53. Doppelganger
  54. Ghoul and Ghast
  55. Ettin
  56. Pit Fiend
  57. Erinyes
  58. Chain Devil
  59. Bearded Devil
  60. Barbed Devil
  61. Spined Devil
  62. Ice Devil
  63. Djinni
  64. Nalfeshnee
  65. Glabrezu
  66. Chasme
  67. Grell
  68. Barlgura
  69. Horned Devil
  70. Balor
  71. Shadow Dragon
  72. Vrock
  73. Dretch
  74. Gnolls (all three)
  75. Goristro
  76. Hezrou
  77. Manes
  78. Frost Giant
  79. Duergar
  80. Quasit
  81. Dryad
  82. Flumph
  83. Goblin
  84. Githyanki
  85. Planetar
  86. Imp
  87. Clay Golem
  88. Flameskull
  89. Displacer Beast
  90. Carrion Crawler
  91. Githzerai
  92. Grick
  93. Rug of Smothering
  94. Bugbear Chief
  95. Bugbear
  96. Flesh Golem
  97. Vine Blight
  98. Twig Blight
  99. Needle Blight
  100. Bullywug
  101. Ettercap
  102. Gas Spore
  103. Cockatrice
  104. Lemure
  105. Solar
  106. Deva
  107. Gorgon
  108. Griffon
  109. Cyclops
  110. Centaur
  111. Ghost
  112. Fire Elemental
  113. Water Elemental
  114. Air Elemental
  115. Stone Giant
  116. Deep Gnome
  117. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  118. Iron Golem
  119. Stone Golem
  120. Earth Elemental
  121. Galeb Duhr
  122. Flying Sword
  123. Crawling Claw
  124. Violet Fungus
  125. Shrieker
  126. Gargoyle

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