More Blood of the Coven: Moon Hags and Lunar Changelings

As a tweaked version of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, the first edition of the Pathfinder RPG built on its predecessor’s strengths. However, it also shored up many of its predecessor’s weaknesses. One of the ways it did this was by continuing to provide supporting material for new PC races and classes after they were introduced, ensuring that they wouldn’t miss out on new developments over the life of the game.

However, over the course of a decade it was inevitable that some things would fall through the cracks.

One instance of this was seen in Blood of the Coven, a supplement for the Pathfinder Player Companion line that was released in late 2017. The book focused heavily (though not exclusively) on changelings, the daughters of hags that had initially debuted – as both a monster and a PC race – in Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone in early 2011.

One of the expanded options presented in Blood of the Coven was that there were subraces of changelings based around what type of hag their mother was, with each having a slight twist on a few of their racial traits. Given that there were ten different types of hags across the myriad Pathfinder products, all of which were referenced there, it allowed for quite a few different options to be presented in an impressive display of comprehensiveness.

Except that it didn’t stay comprehensive, at least not completely. While Blood of the Coven made sure to reference esoteric hags from far-flung products, such as dreamthief hags from the Occult Bestiary, or ash hags from the Cheliax, The Infernal Empire sourcebook, it couldn’t reference products that hadn’t come out yet. That meant that when the moon hag debuted in Planar Adventures just over eight months later, changelings born of such creatures didn’t have the same set of options as others of their kind.

Now, to be fair, the moon hag entry does provide basic information on changelings specific to them. They just don’t get the half-page of expanded information that other kinds of changelings received in Blood of the Coven. So the oversight was an altogether minor one.

Still, it’s a shame that changelings of moon hag parentage won’t get that same expanded write-up, as Pathfinder has since moved on to a second edition. But tabletop RPGs have always had a do-it-yourself element to them, particularly where house rules and homebrewed content are concerned. So in that spirit, here’s my take on an expanded presentation of moon hag changelings, following the format in Blood of the Coven:

MOON-BORN CHANGELING (LUNAR MAY)

Willowy and pale-skinned, lunar mays are among the least outgoing of their kind. Suspicious and slow to trust, they’re unforgiving toward anything they regard as threats to themselves, often lashing out at perceived danger preemptively.

Moon-Born Changeling

Ancestry Moon hag (Planar Adventures 242)

Typical Alignment CN

Ability Modifiers +2 Wis, +2 Cha, -2 Con

Hag Racial Trait Moon-born changelings gain a +1 insight bonus to their AC but take a -2 penalty on Will saves. If a moon is visible, the bonus and penalty each increase by 1.

Cautious to the point of paranoia, anxiety is the hallmark of lunar mays. Considerations of potential hazards and worst-case scenarios come easily to them, and they’re frequently unable to ignore these persistent worries, to the point of dreaming up elaborate (and usually impractical) responses to imagined situations. Oftentimes, they’re driven to proactively neutralize that which frightens them, which can range from clandestine attempts at manipulation to outright murder.

While lunar mays are as likely as other changelings to be heterochromatic (i.e. each eye having a different color), many also suffer from subconjunctival hemorrhages, where blood fills their sclera, turning the white part of their eyes red. While harmless, this often happens during moments of peak fear, anger, or other emotional extremes, in some cases being so intense that the ocular bleeding overflows, causing them to cry tears of blood. Rarely, the hemorrhaging becomes permanent, leaving the lunar may with sclera that are perpetually reddened.

Between their persistent anxiety and the reactions that their ocular peculiarities provoke, most lunar mays grow up to be socially maladjusted. Many develop persecution complexes, and comfort themselves with fantasies about being exiled fey princesses, wayward daughters of deities, or reincarnations of ancient personages of power. For many, finding out the truth about their parentage is a source of more stress than their already-strained psyches can bear, leading to madness that serves to catalyze their transformation into moon hags.

AWAKENED HAG HERITAGE

You have a 10% chance of negating a critical hit or precision-based damage (such as a rogue’s sneak attack), taking normal damage instead. This stacks with similar abilities, such as armor with the fortification property.

Moon Hag Coven Powers

One additional bit of information that wasn’t present in the moon hag monster entry was what spells (or rather, spell-like abilities) they contributed when they joined a coven. This was something that had been present in previous entries for new hags, such as storm hags and winter hags, making its omission there slightly more egregious. As such, let’s go ahead and make an entry for them also, as per the list on page 13 of Blood of the Coven:

Moon Hag: confusionphantasmal revengeprimal regressionphobia.

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