The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga is an especially complex and powerful artifact. The creature statistics for its chicken-legged frame are detailed below.
The lifelike legs aren’t the only thing that make the hut remarkable, though. The small building’s only door opens into a room more than twice the size of what the structure could naturally contain, but this remarkable space is but a threshold to places more wondrous still, for it is merely one possible configuration of countless extradimensional rooms. Nothing that transpires outside the hut has any effect on those inside. The properties and abilities of the Dancing Hut are divided into two categories, the defensive and the transportive.
Defensive: At its most basic level, the Dancing Hut is a unique CR 17 construct. The statistics and abilities of this remarkable creation are detailed at right. A creature inside the hut can command the structure to move, attack, use its special abilities, or immediately perform any other function it is capable of by employing the Dancing Hut’s unusual controls, which consist of a brown hen’s egg inside a simple, cracked clay bowl sitting upon a table inside the hut. Both the bowl and egg can easily be removed or destroyed, but both reappear 1 hour later and only function within the confines of the hut. Breaking the egg reveals the head of live and very irate rooster that dies a long, squawking death—and disappears an hour later when the controls reform. Any creature that makes a successful DC 30 Use Magic Device check can use these innocuous controls to command the Dancing Hut. Failing this check causes the hut to dance erratically, potentially trampling creatures nearby, but has no effect on creatures inside the hut. A creature must succeed at a new Use Magic Device check every round to directly control the hut’s actions. The hut can be assigned simple, standing commands to follow, such as to attack any humanoid that approaches, to patrol an area, to head in a direction for a set period, or to flee if damaged, but nothing complicated that requires it to follow multipart instructions, recognize specific individuals, or seek a specific place.
Transportive: As a construct, the Dancing Hut can physically move on its own, but it also possesses the ability to slip between planes and even travel to other planets, carrying any inside the hut with it. This remarkable ability is activated using the cauldron within the hut, which links the hut to countless—if not infinite—locations across the planes. To use these transportive abilities, a creature must stand before the hut’s cauldron, place two ingredients inside, and stir the ever-bubbling stew within—a process requiring a full-round action, though finding the desired ingredients might take longer. The two ingredients act as “keys” to a specific destination. Each destination the hut can travel to has a specific combination, or “recipe,” of two keys, which appear to be relatively normal items stored throughout the hut itself. Although the keys appear to be absolutely mundane, only those specific items within the hut function as keys. So while a red apple might be one key, it must be the red apple found inside the Dancing Hut, not just any apple. Like the hut’s controls, keys can easily be destroyed or removed from the hut, but they reappear 1 hour later.
Once the proper keys have been placed in the cauldron, the Dancing Hut immediately appears at its new destination, as if it had traveled there via plane shift or interplanetary teleport. The hut always appears in the same location at a given destination—the keys are tied to that specific location at the destination. Once at a destination, the Dancing Hut can move (or be moved) to any other location on that world or plane normally. Once the hut arrives at its new destination, the keys immediately disappear from the cauldron, reforming elsewhere in the hut.
Each time a new combination of keys is used to transport the Dancing Hut to a new location, the interior layout of the hut changes, as each location the hut can travel to has its own corresponding layout of the hut’s interior. As the hut travels, the layout of the hut can change dramatically, though every layout contains one room with a cauldron and the hut’s controls, regardless of how many rooms are present in that layout.
When the hut’s layout changes, the other layouts still exist, and are inaccessible from within the hut itself. Magic such as plane shift can still be used to visit these otherwise inaccessible layouts, and Baba Yaga herself (and perhaps some other residents of the hut as well) can freely travel throughout all of the rooms of the hut, regardless of the hut’s physical location. The table above presents a list of some of the best-known destinations the hut can travel to, along with the two keys needed to take the hut to that location. This list is by no means all-inclusive, and none—save perhaps Baba Yaga herself—know the limits of the hut’s transportive properties.
A rustic hut approximately 15 feet tall and 15 feet square stands here, its timber walls hung with bundles of drying herbs and etched with eerie symbols. From beneath its splintering wooden porch extends a pair of legs, like those of a fifteen-foot-tall chicken with gigantic talons caked in mud but sharp as razors.
Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga CR 17
AC 34, touch 20, flat-footed 22 (+12 Dex, +14 natural, –2 size)
hp 188 (27d10+40); fast healing 20
Fort +9, Ref +21, Will +17
Defensive Abilities evasion, immortal structure; DR 15/adamantine; Immune construct traits, gaze attacks, visual effects and illusions, sight-based attacks; SR 28
Speed 60 ft.
Melee 2 claws +38 (2d6+13 plus grab), slam +38 (2d8+13 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d6+19), fast swallow, swallow whole (see below), trample (2d8+19, DC 36)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +22)
Str 37, Dex 34, Con —, Int —, Wis 27, Cha 25
Base Atk +27; CMB +42 (+46 grapple); CMD 64
Languages understands any (cannot speak)
Reducing the Dancing Hut to 0 hit points causes its legs to buckle, bringing the hut itself toppling to the ground. Such a defeat has no effect on the hut’s extradimensional interior or any creatures inside the hut. The hut remains immobile and unresponsive to its owner’s commands to move or use any of the special abilities described in its creature stat block for 24 hours, though the transportive abilities of the hut and its cauldron can still be employed. The hut cannot be reduced to fewer than 0 hit points, no matter what damage, circumstances, or environment it might be subjected to after its defeat. After 24 hours, the hut regains half its hit points (94 hp) and its fast healing ability reactivates. It may then use its special abilities to escape from nearly any situation it finds itself in. The Dancing Hut can only be destroyed by the method detailed in the artifact’s destruction entry.
If the Dancing Hut successfully grapples a creature with its slam attack, the victim is scooped up by the hut’s front door and flung inside. The target appears within the extradimensional space inside the hut—the layout of which depends upon the hut’s physical location. Being inside the hut is not necessarily dangerous, unless one of Baba Yaga’s guardians is there or Baby Yaga herself is home. A swallowed creature can attempt to escape by breaking open the front door, a deceptively sturdy barrier with hardness 15 and 100 hit points that also benefits from the hut’s fast healing ability. The hut can expel swallowed creatures as a full-round action, flinging them from its open door. It must make a combat maneuver check against creatures that don’t wish to leave, with failure meaning the target is able to hold on to the pitching and warping interior. The hut may choose which creatures it wishes to expel and which to keep inside.
Environment any land
Organization solitary (none)
If the cauldron inside the Dancing Hut is used to open a gate within the cauldron itself, a rift in reality opens, destroying the hut’s extradimensional interior and sucking in the exterior frame—likely destroying whoever activated the cauldron, and some posit much more than that. Only Baba Yaga knows the recipe to open this self-destruct portal, one ingredient of which is her own left eye.
Those who encounter the Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga have much to consider—and much to be rightfully concerned about.
- Facing the Hut: As a CR 17 creature, the Dancing Hut is more than a match for all but the highest-level adventurers. The hut partially takes its name from its deadly battle tactics and its tendency to trample those it perceives as threats, but its methods of dealing death don’t end there. Built to oppose dangerous magic-users and extraplanar threats, the Dancing Hut makes regular use of its dimensional anchor spell-like ability, targeting any creature that demonstrates the ability to cast spells and could potentially escape the hut’s claws. It deals with beings that attack directly by casting irresistible dance, and those that take to the air by belching cinders and smoke equivalent to an incendiary cloud from its chimney. Most unpredictably, though, the hut makes use of its swallow whole attack, scooping victims up and trapping them within its extradimensional interior. The Dancing Hut only makes use of this attack when commanded to do so by its occupants, as those brought inside might be able to gain control of the artifact by means of its strange egg-and-bowl controls.
- Guardians: The Dancing Hut’s mistress often posts formidable guardians inside her home to protect it against intruders.
- The Mistress: More so than any guardian or magical ward, or even the artifact’s deadly abilities, the greatest threat presented by the Dancing Hut is its owner and possible creator, Baba Yaga herself. A nearly immortal witch who is known on multiple worlds and possesses magical abilities to rival those of demigods, Baba Yaga embodies ancient secrets, planes-spanning intrigues, and magical mastery. Few can stand against the legendary crone, but fortunately, she cares little about most mortals or their agendas, rarely even bothering to slay trespassers. Those who win her favor might gain a hint of her arcane genius or cultic knowledge, while those who anger her face bitter, far-reaching curses. In either case, Baba Yaga’s cunning, patience, and talent for ironic maliciousness cause wise denizens of untold worlds to dread even the hint of her passage—and rightfully so. Baba Yaga’s statistics are currently undefined, but should rival those of even the highest-level PCs.
- Transport: The Dancing Hut uniquely changes travel. Passengers can order the hut to walk in a direction, then simply take their ease inside. While the hut can’t be commanded to seek out a specific destination, it can be given simple instructions and can travel over almost any terrain—even across the bottom of the sea. In addition, the Dancing Hut has the power to travel magically across planes and other worlds on the Material Plane, but each location requires a specific pair of keys to open. Only those with knowledge and possession of such keys may make use of the hut’s magical transportation. While blind experimentation with the hut’s cauldron is possible, it might never result in two keys that open a portal—and even if it does, much of the multiverse is antithetical to mortal life.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Artifacts & Legends © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: F. Wesley Schneider.