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Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga, by Viktor Vasnetsov.

Baba Yaga , is, in Slavic folklore, a witch-like character who flies around on a giant mortar, kidnaps (and eats) small children, and lives in a house on chicken feet. In most tales, she is portrayed as an antagonist; however, some characters in other mythological folk stories have been known to seek her out for her wisdom, and she has been known on occasion to offer guidance to lost souls, although this is seen as rare.


Baba Yaga is portrayed as a hag who flies through the air in a mortar, using the pestle as a rudder and sweeping away the tracks behind her with a broom made out of silver birch. She lives in a log cabin that moves around on a pair of dancing chicken legs, surrounded by a palisade with a skull on each pole. The keyhole to her front door is a mouth filled with sharp teeth; the fence outside is made with human bones with skulls on top, one pole lacking its skull, leaving space for the hero or heroes.

The house is connected with three riders: one in white, riding a white horse with white harness, who is Day; a red rider, who is the Sun; and one in black, who is Night. Baba Yaga is served by Invisible stalkers inside the house. She will explain the riders if asked, but may kill a visitor who inquires about the servants. Baba Yaga is sometimes shown as an antagonist, and sometimes as a source of guidance; there are stories where she helps people with their quests, and stories in which she kidnaps children and threatens to eat them. Seeking out her aid is usually portrayed as a dangerous act. An emphasis is placed on the need for proper preparation and purity of spirit, as well as basic politeness.

In the folk tale Vasilissa the Beautiful, the young girl of the title is given three impossible tasks that she solves using a magic doll given to her by her mother. Vasilissa is sent to visit Baba Yaga on an errand and is enslaved by her, but the hag’s servants — a cat, a dog, a gate, and a tree — help Vasilissa to escape because she has been kind to them. In the end, Baba Yaga is turned into a crow. Similarly, Prince Ivan in The Death of Koschei the Deathless is aided against her by animals whom he has spared.

Monstrous witches living in gingerbread houses are also commonly named Baba Jaga. Baba Jaga, flying on a mop, wearing black and red striped folk cloth.

This hideous old woman walks crouched over. Her nearly skeletal limbs are gray-brown and tatooed with runes, and her gnarled hands end in iron claws. Cold black eyes sit above her long, warty nose, and her chin juts out beneath a mouth full of pointed teeth.

Originally Posted by EnWorld Converted Creature Catalogue

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Baba Yaga
Medium outsider (Evil, Native)
Hit Dice30d8+240 (375 hp)
Speed30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class42 (+7 Dexterity, +7 natural, +10 deflection, +8 insight), touch 35, flat-footed 35
Base Attack/Grapple+30/+39
AttackClaw +39 melee (1d8+9/19-20)
Full Attack2 claws +39 melee (1d8+9/19-20) and bite +34 melee (2d6+4)
Space/Reach5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksAura of horror, consume spirits, deadly rending, spell-like abilities, spells
Special QualitiesChange shape, damage reduction 15/magic (15/magic and non-metal within her hut), Darkvision 120 ft., immunity to mind-affecting spells and abilities, magical aging effects, and necromantic effects, knowledgeable, resistance to cold 10 and fire 10, regeneration 3, Scent, “sniff out knowledge”, Spell Resistance 41, tongues
SavesFort +25, Ref +24, Will +27
AbilitiesStrength 29, Dexterity 24, Constitution 26, Intelligence 32, Wisdom 30, Charisma 27
SkillsBluff +41, Concentration +41, Decipher Script +44, Diplomacy +45, Disguise +41 (+43 acting), Hide +40, Intimidate +43, Knowledge (Arcana) +44, Knowledge (local) +44, Knowledge (nature) +46, Knowledge (the planes) +44, Listen +43, Move Silently +40, Search +44, Sense Motive +43, Spellcraft +46 (+48 scrolls), Spot +43, Survival +43 (+45 following tracks, +45 on other planes), Use Magic Device +41 (+45 scrolls)
FeatsBrew Potion [B], Empower Spell, Extend spell, Heighten Spell, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative [B], Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity (x2), Intensify Spell, Maximize Spell, Power Attack, Quicken Spell
EnvironmentTemperate and cold forests
Challenge Rating25
TreasureDouble standard
AlignmentAlways neutral evil
Level AdjustmentBy character class

Baba Yaga is the most famous of witches. Rumored to be the mother of Louhi, her power rivals that of many archfiends and demigods. She is said to be related to both hags and fiends.

Baba Yaga preys on humanoids, eating as many as ten per day. She ranges wide in her predations, traveling in her Dancing Hut. She sometimes wanders the planes to meet with fiendish allies or to search for powerful artifacts.

Although evil and known to feed on men, many sages and heroes seek her out for her great knowledge. She will accept audience with those who remain polite, and may even be helpful, requiring the requestors to accept a geas for a nearly impossible quest in return for her information.

Baba Yaga never harms children or particularly weak non-evil creatures (1 HD or less), fearing retribution from good-aligned deities. She sometimes takes children in as servants, often rewarding them with great gifts.

Most evil creatures fear Baba Yaga’s power, and fiends generally fulfill her commands quickly in order to be free from her.

Baba Yaga stands 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds.

Baba Yaga speaks Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Infernal, and Sylvan, but can speak with almost any creature because of her tongues ability.


Baba Yaga relies heavily on protective spells, and generally has used divinations before combat to best prepare for that battle. She summons fiends to her aid, knowing they fear and respect her. Baba Yaga prefers to attack weaker creatures with her claws and teeth.

Aura of Horror (Su): Baba Yaga can radiate a 15-foot-radius fear aura as a free action. A creature in the area must succeed on a DC 33 Will save or be affected as though by a fear spell (caster level 20th). A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by Baba Yaga’s aura for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Change Shape (Su): Baba Yaga can assume the form of any Small, Medium, or Large animal or

Consume Spirits (Su): When Baba Yaga slays a humanoid opponent, she can devour its life force, as a full-round action. This prevents any form of raising or resurrection that requires part of the corpse. There is a 50% chance that a wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell can restore a consumed victim to life. Check once for each destroyed creature. If the check fails, the creature cannot be brought back to life by mortal magic.

Baba Yaga heals 10 hit points per Hit Die of the creature whose spirit she consumes.

Deadly Rending (Ex): If Baba Yaga hits with both claw attacks and her bite attack, she latches onto the opponent’s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an additional 4d6+13 points of damage. Additionally, the victim must succeed on a DC 34 Fortitude save or die. This is a death effect. The save DC is Strength-based.

Knowledgeable (Ex): Baba Yaga makes Knowledge checks for any Knowledge skills as if she had a minimum of 10 ranks in that skill. To surpass the 10-rank minimum, she must assign more than 10 ranks to the skill as normal.

Regeneration (Ex): Fire and acid deal normal damage to Baba Yaga. If Baba Yaga loses a limb or body part, the lost portion regrows in 3d6 minutes. She can reattach the severed member instantly by holding it to the stump.

Sniff Out Knowledge (Su): If Baba Yaga successfully detects a creature via her Scent ability, she gains a +10 circumstance bonus on Knowledge checks made to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. She may also discern the creature’s nationality if she succeeds on a Knowledge (local) check (DC equals 10 + creature’s HD). With a standard action, she may discern a creatures alignment as if using detect chaos/evil/good/law.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will–comprehend languages, detect magic, discern lies (DC 22), read magic. Caster level 20th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

Spells: Baba Yaga casts spells a 25th level wizard. Baba Yaga can also add spells found on scrolls, or other sources, containing divine spells to her arcane spellbook. Baba Yaga can learn and thus prepare divine spells in this fashion as if they were on the sorcerer/wizard spell list at the same level.

Typical Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 25th, save DC 18 + spell level)

Tongues (Su): Baba Yaga can speak with any creature that has a language, as though using a tongues spell (caster level 20th). This ability is always active.

Skills: Baba Yaga has a +4 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks.

1984 Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Originally found in Dragon Magazine #83

Originally Posted by EnWorld Converted Creature Catalogue

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Baba Yaga’s Hut
Huge construct
Hit Dice40d10+40 (260)
Speed120 ft. (24 squares)
Armor Class30 (-2 size, +2 Dexterity, +20 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 28
Base Attack/Grapple+30/+53
AttackClaw +43 melee (4d6+15/19-20)
Full Attack2 claws +43 melee (4d6+15/19-20)
Space/Reach15 ft./15 ft.
Improved grab, hurl, smash
All-around vision, construct traits, damage reduction 15/adamantine and epic, Darkvision 60 ft., fast healing 3, immunity to acid, cold, electricity, and fire, immunity to divinations, immunity to magic, immunity to water, Low-Light Vision, reflective exterior, stability
SavesFort +18, Ref +18, Will +18
AbilitiesStrength 40, Dexterity 14, Constitution -, Intelligence 14, Wisdom 11, Charisma 11
SkillsClimb +59, Jump +105, Perform (dance) +46, Search +6, Spot +4, Swim +69
FeatsCombat Expertise, Dodge, Epic Fortitude, Epic Reflexes, Epic Skill Focus (Jump), Epic Skill Focus (Swim), Epic Will, Improved Critical (claw), Legendary Leaper, Mobility, Power Attack, Run, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack
OrganizationSolitary or with Baba Yaga
TreasureSee below
Baba Yaga's hut. Illustration for the front cover of the book in the series "Tales", 1899 -Ivan Bilibin - by style - Art Nouveau (Modern)
Baba Yaga’s hut. Illustration for the front cover of the book in the series “Tales”, 1899 -Ivan Bilibin – by style – Art Nouveau (Modern)

This small, windowless log cabin is hexagonal in shape, with a decorated wooden roof. It is fifteen feet wide and stands nearly twelve feet high at the peak of the roof, with a small chimney on top. A pair of twelve-foot-long chicken legs extend from the bottom, upon which the hut begins to dance.

Baba Yaga’s Hut is rarely found far from Baba Yaga.

The Hut “dances” by rapidly spinning on its chicken feet, completing a revolution every six seconds and stamping the ground every half second. The Hut can withdraw its legs into a small crawlspace on its underside, allowing it to rest securely on the ground to allow visitors to enter or exit it interior.

While the Hut has no treasure of its own, it generally contains the bulk of Baba Yaga’s treasure.


An opponent can make Sunder attempts against the Hut’s legs as if they were weapons. Each leg has 48 hit points. Severing a leg deals 24 points of damage to the Hut. The Hut reforms severed legs in 1d10+10 days.

  • All-Around Vision (Ex): Due to its constant spinning, Baba Yaga’s Hut gains a +4 racial bonus on Spot and Search checks, and it can’t be flanked.
  • Immunity to Divinations (Ex): No method of divination – even a wish or miracle – will reveal the Hut’s current location.
  • Immunity to Magic (Ex): Baba Yaga’s Hut is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows Spell Resistance.
  • Immunity to Water (Ex): Baba Yaga’s Hut is immune to the detrimental effects of spells with the water descriptor.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the Hut must hit a Large or smaller opponent with a claw attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can try to smash or hurl the opponent.

Hurl (Ex): The Hut can hurl a grappled creature as a standard action. A hurled creature travels 2d6 x 10 feet, and takes 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet traveled. The victim must also succeed on a DC 45 Fortitude save or be stunned for 2d6 rounds. The save DC is Strength-based.

Plane shift (Sp): At will, Baba Yaga’s Hut can plane shift (as the spell) itself and any creatures or objects inside it.

Reflective Exterior (Ex): The Hut’s walls are powerfully enchanted, deflecting all rays, lines, cones, and even magic missile spells. There is a 30% chance of reflecting any such effect back at the caster; otherwise, it is merely negated.

Smash (Ex): The Hut may attempt to smash a grappled creature to the ground as a free action. With a successful grapple check, the victim takes 4d10+22 bludgeoning damage and is considred pinned. The Hut usually hurls a smashed opponent in the following round.

Stability (Ex): Regardless of the Hut’s actions (such as spinning, fighting, or running), the interior always remains stable and calm.

1984 Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Originally found in Dragon Magazine #83

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