Boggarts' shapechanging ability allowed them to take on a small humanoid's appearance and that of a will-o'-wisp, but smaller and brighter than the regular wisps. The humanoid shape could be a perfect imitation of an individual they had witnessed or studied in the past.
Even though talented shape-changers, most boggarts could not stay in a halfling or other small humanoid form. They transformed back into their original form after 10-12 minutes.
In any of their forms, boggarts possessed the ability to become invisible for up to twelve minutes at a time, ofter utilizing it along with their terrible ability to cause confusion via unbearable noise.
When boggarts took on the will-o'-wisp shape, they could move through solid objects up to 2 feet (0.61 meters) thick. This ability was limited by metal and living creatures.
Boggarts could understand all languages via their ESP ability, albeit limited. Even though they were quite intelligent, boggarts' oratory skills were not polished, leaving them with a very basic speech.
While boggarts were predatorily creatures, they could be found in the civilized areas causing malicious mischief There were cases of boggarts taking on forms of townies while ambushing, robbing, and killing unwary victims.
Boggarts could use tools and weapons but often attacked with their electrifying touch. The same lightning damage could be done by them via a lightning bolt of 10 feet (3 meters) range every two minutes.
Another dangerous ability they utilize in combat and hunt was confusion. These small creatures could confuse their prey once a day by screaming, screeching, whistling, creating a thunderous ruckus for two whole minutes. This confusion affected all creatures within the radius of 30 feet (9.1 meters) centered at the clamorous boggart. The confusion could not be stopped by simply plugging one's ears and affected its targets for seven and a half minutes. The only way to stop a boggart attempting to cause confusion was striking it successfully.
When faced with defeat and suffering serious injuries, boggarts used all resources and abilities to escape danger. Most of the time, they accomplished that by going invisible or flying away in the will-o'-wisp form.
Boggarts' dual forms meant that they needed both meat and life force to live, grow, and mature. They used the shapeshifting ability to lure humanoids into the swamps and forests to be consumed and hunted more dangerous creatures that considered their small humanoid form prey. Once the boggart's prey was consumed, the body and life force were gone and impossible to resurrect.
Members of the Cult of the Dragon used boggart skeletons, among other ingredients, to craft powerful blue variety of the dragon's tooth wondrous item that could summon loyal blue-armored warriors in service of the cultists.
In 1358 DR, a general trades store, the Maltese Roc, owned by a retired halfling fighter Samual Hart, was taken over by a group of boggarts. The mischievous creatures captured and impersonated the owner and the store's employees until their enterprise was interrupted by a group of unnamed adventurers.
- Humphrey, Bakall, and Heppbyrn: the three boggarts who took over operations of the Maltese Roc general store and pawnshop in 1358 DR.
- Some sages believed that boggarts were brownies who suffered an alignment change for one reason or another.
- A benevolent lawful good variety of boggarts was described in Dragon magazine 239. That version of the creature was unrelated to the boggarts who appeared in the Realms.
- The Maltese Roc
- Jean Rabe (1989). Cities of Mystery. Edited by Kim Mohan. (TSR, Inc), p. 62. ISBN 0-88038-744-0.
- Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- Craig Stenseth, Ed Greenwood and Roger E. Moore (October 1981). “The Dragon's Bestiary”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #54 (TSR, Inc.), p. 28.
- Jean Rabe (1989). Cities of Mystery. Edited by Kim Mohan. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 0-88038-744-0.
- Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 82. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
- Mark Middleton et al (March 1998). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Three. (TSR, Inc), p. 777. ISBN 978-0786907915.
- Brian Corvello (September 1997). “The Dragon's Bestiary: The Little People”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #239 (TSR, Inc.), p. 49.