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As I mentioned way back in the MM/MV post about Hags, they’re a species of fey that resemble fairytale witches in appearance and behavior. They tend to have great knowledge of magic, but also tend use it to further selfish and greedy schemes.

Their basic lore remains the same in the MM3, which also adds that hags are keepers of secrets. They’re always after new treasure and new secrets, generally of the type that increases their power. They use divination magic, pacts with mortals, and a network of portals that weaves through the Feywild and the middle world, which they also use to keep connected to each other.

Hags are of course loathe to part with any of their secrets for free. Adventurers seeking information from a hag must usually agree to do them a favor, which commonly means doing something nasty to one of the hag’s many enemies. These enemies might include archfey, demons, devils, other hags…

Hags are Medium Fey Humanoids and have Low-Light Vision. Everything else varies with stat blocks, which are usually split along the lines of which type of magic a hag uses in combat. I don’t think they’re supposed to be different sub-species or anything of the sort.

Pact Hag

This is your typical “sinister village witch”, living in a hut out of sight of the village itself. This location is far enough away to deter curious casuals, but still close enough that someone who really wants to make a deal with the hag can easily reach it.

A pact hag is much more willing to negotiate with these visitors than most of her relatives, though she’s still just as prone to seeking deals that benefit her more than they do the petitioner. She usually keep ogres, trolls, and dangerous fey fauna as bodyguards. They’re initially out of sight, but can arrive quickly if a fight breaks out.

Pact hags are Level 11 Controllers with the Leader tag and 115 HP. In a fight, they use all sorts of fun mind control magic, starting with a Pact of Obedience aura (5) that allows allies inside to spend 5 HP to reroll a missed attack roll with a +2 bonus to the reroll.

Her basic melee attack is a Compelling Staff that deals light damage but forces the target to make a melee basic attack against a target of the hag’s choice.

Her basic ranged attack is named Pact of Compelled Obedience and does no damage at all, but it dominates the target for a turn instead. Fun (TM) for the whole party.

Her special attacks follow along the same lines. Pact of Choked Aggression also doesn’t do immediate damage and inflicts a nasty curse on the target: they take 10 psychic damage the first time they hit a creature during one of their turns. This lasts until the end of the encounter, or until one of the target’s allies attacks the target. And it recharges when no enemy is affected by the curse!

The other special attack is Pact of Shared Agony, which the hag can only use while bloodied. It’s another curse: until the end of the encounter, if the target is within 10 squares of the hag, they take 10 psychic damage whenever the hag takes any amount of damage. This power recharges whenever the hag misses with it, so she can keep using it until she hits.

This big emphasis on indirect damage means pact hags work best when surrounded by those beefy bodyguards, and will probably try to flee the fight once they become bloodied. Pact of Shared Agony is good for discouraging pursuit by melee strikers. Their “Pact” theme makes them a good patron for a heroic-tier fey warlock! This patron hag might either level up as the PC does, or you can have a story where the PC “trades up” to a better teacher Sith-style once the hag’s demands become untenable.

Dream Hag

These hags, as you might imagine, focus on dream magic. They can send dream visions to people, a power they use to lure their (or their paying customer’s) enemies to traps. However, the constraints of dream magic mean the hag doesn’t have full control over the content of the visions, so genuinely useful information tends to slip through.

Dream Hags are Level 19 Controllers with 179 HP. They project a Nightmare Weaver aura (3) that causes unconscious enemies inside to become dominated for a turn. They stand up and perform one action of the hag’s choice while still remaining unconscious. The wording here makes it clear that this puppetry continues while the enemies remain inside the aura.

Their basic attack is a Staff of Mindless Reverie, which damages and dazes for a turn on a hit. Their at-will ranged attack are weaponized Nightmare Visions that deal psychic damage and slide the target 5 squares.

And then we have the powers that make people unconscious so the hag can exploit her aura. Both affect a Close Blast 5! Dust of Dreams (recharge 5+) dazes on a hit (save ends), and this worsens to unconsciousness after the first failed save. Sleep’s Undeniable Grasp (Encounter) makes its targets unconscious right away. It’s a (save ends) effect and it also ends if the target is attacked.

Yes, it’s possible for the hag to put the whole party to sleep at once if she’s really lucky. This shouldn’t be an automatic total party kill if you run the abilities as written, though - sleeping PCs can still roll saves to end the effect, and in the case of the encounter power they also wake up if attacked. Of course, this attack will probably be an auto-crit if it comes from an enemy, so it’s still a problem.

I also think it’s acceptable to fudge things a little if Team Monster’s goal is something other than killing the PCs. If the goal is capturing them, or taking them somewhere else, then you can fade to black if the whole party falls asleep and have them wake up at that place.

Mist Hag

These are among the most powerful of hags. They’ve been accumulating secrets, artifacts and power for ages, and they dwell in the deepest forests of the Feywild. Their dwellings are surrounded by a thick mist that they have full control over. If the Death Hag from the MM1 was a “Baba Yaga wannabe”, this one is closest to the real deal. She’s pretty much an arch-fey herself. The Mist Hag does not deal with devils - devils deal with her. A few of them probably have been pressed into service as her bodyguards. Other possible allies include epic undead, fomorians, and so on.

A Mist Hag is a Level 27 Controller with the Leader tag and 247 HP. She has a zippy ground speed of 8, instead of the standard 6 for a medium humanoid. Her aura is a Mist Shroud that makes allies within 1 square insubstantial.

The hag’s Mist Staff damages and pushes targets 5 squares. During the push, targets act as if they had the Phasing trait, which means the hag can push them through walls and other creatures. The final destination square must still be empty, but the hag doesn’t need to have a line of effect to it or the other squares of the push. If you want to get cute with this ability, include a piece of hazardous terrain surrounded by walls in your battle map.

Her basic attack is Mist on the Wind, which damages and removes the target from play for a turn! The target returns to play in a square of the hag’s choice within 4 squares of its original position.

Finally, Choking Mist (recharge 5+) is a ranged attack serves as a reminder that the PCs are breathing the same mist the hag can control. It deals heavy physical damage and ongoing 20 damage (save ends). Every time the target fails a save, the hag can slide them 3 squares.

When an enemy gets to within 2 squares of the hag, the hag can use Maze of Mist to mess with them. This is a triggered effect that doesn’t require an action, so it can happen every time the trigger happens. When it does, the hag can roll a d20. On a 10 or higher, she slides the triggering enemy 1 square. This makes closing to melee reach a lot harder than usual.

Final Impressions

As I said back in the original article, I like hags when they are portrayed as their own species of fey being that don’t necessarily need to obey natural laws. They’re fairytale witches, with a penchant for doing the things fairytale witches do.

That said, I think treating each hag stat block as an entirely different species is going a bit too far. I prefer to treat those as differences of skill and training.