Friday, 17 January 2014

The Most Wondrous Item: The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga (Part III)

      More famous than any other fairy-tale dwelling --save perhaps that lowly witch's gingerbread house-- the Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga has a depth and a life of its own beyond its iconic owner/creator. One of my papercraft dreams has been to build it to run my adventurers up against, and now that dream is within reach! For the fantabulous Fat Dragon will be designing it for me (and others too), having listed it as the first stretch goal of his current Kickstarter project, the medieval village Ravenfell. And what do you know, not only did the project fund within a couple of hours yesterday, my chicken-legged wonder was reached by suppertime (and he launched at lunch)!
      Well, now Fat Dragon Tom is wondering what The Hut (Not Pizza, Not Jabba - better, tastier, more ancient, more powerful than both) should look like, having only worked out the tricky chicken leg geometry so far. So I will share a few ideas and illustrations over the next few posts... be sure to share yours in the comments here, and/or at the Kickstarter page, and/or the Fat Dragon forums.

Part I: Fairy-Tale & Folklore
Part II: Dungeons & Dragons
Part III: Pathfinder
Part IV: Hero's Quest / Quest for Glory

Part III: Pathfinder

      Pathfinder is my roleplaying game of choice, having stumbled upon it in my return to the tabletop, and being lost in the D&D Edition Wars. I really like the flavour of the world and the stories that Paizo has created, am amazed at the community around it online and off, and have actually gotten to play, and even GM, a little bit of it now.
     Pathfinder's most recently completed Adventure Path is what is most relevant to this post, as the centerpiece of the whole campaign was Baba Yaga's Hut! Well, She was central to the Reign of Winter AP, but her home did get its own cover and issue: The Shackled Hut.

[Unfortunately, I can't share images from inside, as I don't own this, or any other adventure path in hard or soft copy. I wanted to buy Reign of Winter in hardcopy, but no single place had the whole path. I'm going to hold off on buying any AP until my gaming group gets through the Beginner Box and a handful of modules.]
    However, I do have Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Artifacts & Legends, and it sets out in loving detail and illustrations the stats, appearance, and layout of the Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga.

Pathfinder describes Baba Yaga's Hut thus:
ExteriorA 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.
InteriorThe 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.
(from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Artifacts & Legends © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: F. Wesley Schneider. via

Exterior: the core of the Hut is 15' by 15', with a surrounding porch extending another 5' - 10' outwards, and a set of front steps.
Interior: larger on the inside, the floorplan is 40' by 40', with two levels, the upper being a 10' balcony hanging under the eaves. Her cauldron sits in the centre.

CONCLUSION: Pathfinder strikes a wonderful balance between the nature of the Hut in the old D&D  adventures and the traditional Slavic-folklore appearance. The beak is nice, but not necessary touch. With a 3" square platform for the model, the 15' by 15' core could rest, with the porch still extending outward.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks ! Nice page about Baba Yaga ! My kids love it !