Baba Yaga (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Baba Yaga
Game background
Power level Quasi-deity
Alignment Neutral Evil
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game, Baba Yaga (/ˈbɑːbə ˈjɑːɡə/ BAH-bə YAH-gə)[1] is a powerful antagonist and resident of a mobile hut which travels via a pair of massive chicken legs jutting from its underside.

Baba Yaga is based upon the Baba Yaga of Slavic legend.

Publishing history[edit]

Baba Yaga was first mentioned in the Dungeons & Dragons game in the 1979 Dungeon Master's Guide, where her hut appears as an artifact.[2] Baba Yaga herself would appear in The Dancing Hut, a 1984 adventure in Dragon magazine.[3] An AD&D gamebook, Nightmare Realm of Baba Yaga appeared in 1986. In 1988, Baba Yaga had a brief cameo in Castle Greyhawk.[4] Baba Yaga's hut was once more described in 1993's Book of Artifacts.[5] A full-length adventure module, The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga, was released in 1995.[6]

In Dragon #290, author Paul Leach said, "the origin of Baba Yaga (who does not necessarily represent just one witch) is likely to be the Death Crone, a common figure in most pagan mythologies." Leach described the Death Crone in more detail in the same issue.[7][8] Baba Yaga has since been mentioned in two articles in Dragon (2005 and 2006), and an adventure in Dungeon (2007).

In the 4th Edition Manual of the Planes (2008), Baba Yaga was re-imagined as a hag and an archfey of the Feywild disguising herself as an old woman in the Murkendraw swamp and still living in her bird-legged hut. She and her hut were described in the Dungeon #196 article Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut (2011).[9]

Description[edit]

Baba Yaga appears as a hideous, old, human-like woman, some five feet tall. She walks crouched over, and her limbs are almost skeletal. Her skin is grayish brown, and tattooed with magical runes. She has a protruding chin, a long nose covered in warts, and ice-cold black eyes framed by stringy white hair. Her fingers end in sharp iron claws, her stony teeth are filed to sharp points, and two large, tusk-like teeth protrude from her jaw.

Relationships[edit]

Baba Yaga is the foster mother of Iggwilv, originally known as Natasha the Dark, and by extension, the grandmother of Iuz and Drelzna. She has another foster daughter named Elena the Fair. Baba Yaga is also responsible for providing Kostchtchie the means to become a demon lord.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mentzer, Frank. "Ay pronunseeAY shun gyd" Dragon #93 (TSR, 1985)
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary (1979). Dungeon Master's Guide. TSR. 
  3. ^ Moore, Roger E (1984). "The Dancing Hut". Dragon (TSR) (83). 
  4. ^ Breault, Mike; Pickens, Jon (1988). Castle Greyhawk. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR. p. 60. 
  5. ^ Cook, David (1993). Book of Artifacts. TSR. 
  6. ^ Smedman, Lisa (1995). The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga. TSR. 
  7. ^ Leach, Paul. "Red Sails Fell and Forlorn Bestiary: Monsters of Eastern Europe." Dragon #290. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001
  8. ^ Leach, Paul. "Red Sails: Bright Sun, Mother Earth." Dragon #290. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001
  9. ^ Campbell, Craig (2011). "Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut". Dungeon (Wizards of the Coast) (196). 

Additional reading[edit]