Haste kind of sucks.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Not in a mechanical way, obviously. Mechanically, haste is one of the most powerful spells in the game.

But should it be?

It seems that the game revolves around the existence of one single spell that isn't even that iconic outside of the D&D context. Haste is as much of an obligation as the Big Six, which endless threads have complained about.

But nobody seems to be complaining about haste, despite how much it distorts the game.

"Hey guys, I know we got into this game to project ourselves into a fantastic universe, but the very mechanics we use to determine success or failure tell me that launching a ball of fire to obliterate our foes is objectively, provably, mathematically worse than turning all of you into a shakey-cam effects shot from Crank 2. So put on your Statham face, because rules interactions and probability calculations that weren't fully thought through at the time by some guys in Seattle during the Clinton administration are about to break your immersion like the neck of a Hispanic guy being pulled out of a helicopter."

(Yes, yes, the Hispanic guy in the helicopter scene was from the first movie. My point still stands).

Is anybody else bothered by this?

Silver Crusade

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I agree on the 'you need this spell!' spell aspect of Haste.

I dislike situations that require the heroes to always have something, or where people think they should.

Haste's always been useful. The 'problem' with haste started with 3e.

2e used to balance its good spells by giving them non-mechanical, or non-obvious drawbacks. Haste was great. Improved your speed, made you made of win but...

Each casting of it on you ate a year of your life.

So if you went into every fight with a haste cast on you, you were seriously shorting your retirement days. You were a candle burning brightly (I think the material component was a wick or something, but don't quote me on that).

So when you cast haste, you were like 'is moving a little faster here, really worth dying a year early?'

Result? Not as much haste.

3e however looked at a lot of the 2e spell weirdness (flammable grease, aging hastes, etc) and did away with them for simplicity and for fun. Might be good, might be bad, but it was being used as a limit to the spell.

And it was the best kind of limit, a non-mechanical one. It felt more like magic when the spells themselves had little things built into them.

Now, I'm not looking back with entirely rose-colored glasses, but I think part of the issue with Haste is it might be under leveled for its level, or it might need a monetary drawback or something.

And thats the question I need to ask.
If haste was one level higher, would you still take it?
If it was two?
How high before you started considering other spells besides it?
And.
Does anyone who can take haste, not, and why?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

The aging aspect of it was definitely the big drawback. In 1st edition. Barely anyone took it. Also note that if you were a fighter, you really didn't want to hit old age with its attendant penalties to the physical stats.

If you compare it to a spell like mass cats grace, it should probably by 5th or 6th level. Haste vs. Wall of Force, which to take?

With it as a 3rd level spell, I don't take haste because I have it in a wand.

Dark Archive

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If I were writing it now, I'd probably only let you target one ally as a third level spell, and then add mass haste as a seventh level. Compare it to fly.

Of course, the counterargument is that having haste makes martial characters better, and they need all the help they can get.


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Thelemic_Noun wrote:

"Hey guys, I know we got into this game to project ourselves into a fantastic universe, but the very mechanics we use to determine success or failure tell me that launching a ball of fire to obliterate our foes is objectively, provably, mathematically worse than turning all of you into a shakey-cam effects shot from Crank 2. So put on your Statham face, because rules interactions and probability calculations that weren't fully thought through at the time by some guys in Seattle during the Clinton administration are about to break your immersion like the neck of a Hispanic guy being pulled out of a helicopter."

... [ed]

Is anybody else bothered by this?

Bothered? On the contrary, reading that exact paragraph commits me to loving haste more than ever.

Perhaps it is too good, but in all honesty I would rather it be a spell that makes teaming up with a bunch of martials into an effective tactic.

Haste enforces teamwork, and lets the martials become over-the-top-action stars. The caster gets to know they're getting a better return on their spell investment, everyone wins.

This is one of the few intersections between magic and combat that actually doesn't completely trample on martial character types. It creates a situation where casters and martials need each other to function at peak performance, and that's good for the game.

If anything, I would say that the whole of spellcasting should be more like haste vs. fireball.

Imagine if all of the most effective spells were best used on other characters, and allowed them such time in the spotlight.

Scarab Sages

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Thelemic_Noun wrote:
But nobody seems to be complaining about haste, despite how much it distorts the game.

Haste benefits the segment of the population most likely to complain about magic.

The Exchange

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Haste was invented by wizards so that everyone would stop and pay attention to them for the first round of combat.


Slow is actually more powerful... but there is a save.


Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:


Bothered? On the contrary, reading that exact paragraph commits me to loving haste more than ever.

Perhaps it is too good, but in all honesty I would rather it be a spell that makes teaming up with a bunch of martials into an effective tactic.

Haste enforces teamwork, and lets the martials become over-the-top-action stars. The caster gets to know they're getting a better return on their spell investment, everyone wins.

This is one of the few intersections between magic and combat that actually doesn't completely trample on martial character types. It creates a situation where casters and martials need each other to function at peak performance, and that's good for the game.

If anything, I would say that the whole of spellcasting should be more like haste vs. fireball.

Imagine if all of the most effective spells were best used on other characters, and allowed them such time in the spotlight.

This, couldn't agree more.


It's great for enemy casters to prepare too. Especially if the party makes a lot of noise before engaging said caster.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
moon glum wrote:

The aging aspect of it was definitely the big drawback. In 1st edition. Barely anyone took it. Also note that if you were a fighter, you really didn't want to hit old age with its attendant penalties to the physical stats.

If you compare it to a spell like mass cats grace, it should probably by 5th or 6th level. Haste vs. Wall of Force, which to take?

With it as a 3rd level spell, I don't take haste because I have it in a wand.

Slow was the better spell in 1st and 2nd edition. I don't think it had a saving throw.

Haste has been badly broken since 3.0, but as others have stated it is in a way that makes everyone around the caster more powerful rather than the caster doing it all alone.

As a caster, it would be nice if haste were either moved up one level or nerfed a little so that people wouldn't ask "Why don't you have haste?" I like there to be several potentially strong spells rather than one clear winner.


On one hand I'm all for spells that buff martials vastly more than casters since it helps facilitate codependency.

On the other hand, I have seen no DSP psionic power equivalent to haste. Which tells me a lot about the spell. The one linked is a personal buff to a particular kind of psion or one of the more martial psionic classes.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thelemic_Noun wrote:

Not in a mechanical way, obviously. Mechanically, haste is one of the most powerful spells in the game.

But should it be?

It seems that the game revolves around the existence of one single spell that isn't even that iconic outside of the D&D context. Haste is as much of an obligation as the Big Six, which endless threads have complained about.

But nobody seems to be complaining about haste, despite how much it distorts the game.

"Hey guys, I know we got into this game to project ourselves into a fantastic universe, but the very mechanics we use to determine success or failure tell me that launching a ball of fire to obliterate our foes is objectively, provably, mathematically worse than turning all of you into a shakey-cam effects shot from Crank 2. So put on your Statham face, because rules interactions and probability calculations that weren't fully thought through at the time by some guys in Seattle during the Clinton administration are about to break your immersion like the neck of a Hispanic guy being pulled out of a helicopter."

(Yes, yes, the Hispanic guy in the helicopter scene was from the first movie. My point still stands).

Is anybody else bothered by this?

I'm sure that for everything anyone posts, someone will be bothered by it... even if it's a recipe for cheese dip. But that's not a relevant question. Haste is generally a mechanic used by players to better their odds against their opponents. I really don't think you're going to generate a groundswell movement to have it universally banned from play.

Silver Crusade

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Yeah, its actually an oft repeated spell design goal to not make a spell that 'everybody would take.'

Magic missile's a good spelll. A damn good spell. But not everyone feels the urge to take it because 1st level is a giant pile of utility of all shapes and flavor.

Even fireball isn't the vaunted spell of third anymore due to damage no longer being king.

What I find unfortunate is the loss of a lot of the hard to adjudicate spell factors, removes the value of a lot of spells.

Lightning bolt is functionally worthless these days because its just a line (it no longer bounces off of crap).

And fireball and other templates are used a lot less carefully because their volumes can be controlled now.

I know why they got rid of bouncing lightning bolts and fireballs by volume (most of the old Dragon Sage Advice were answering questions about them and they bogged down play.) But they added that sense of magic to a system which is increasingly, and in my grognardian opinion detrimentally, becoming more mechanical.

Mages were less likely to call the heat in with a fireball if they weren't absolutely sure there'd be no back blast from it.

They also were less likely to launch a lightning bolt down a corridor if they couldn't see the far end (if it hit a wall early, it'd bounce back).

Now this aside, it was handy for situations where you had a 100ft lightning bolt and the enemy was in a 50ft corridor. You whallop him twice with it (coming and going), you could also careen bolts around corners since they bounced. This required a lot of adjudication, production of slide rules and the like though.

A lot of spells in 3.5 and PF lose what made them what they were in earlier editions because of a loss of the harder to adjudicate factors and the squelchy little gribbly bits spells had (like weird interactions between high level spells and low level spells, or even spells that didn't work on certain things or people).


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Artanthos wrote:
Thelemic_Noun wrote:
But nobody seems to be complaining about haste, despite how much it distorts the game.
Haste benefits the segment of the population most likely to complain about magic.

Yes, because it makes martials feel useful.


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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:


Perhaps it is too good, but in all honesty I would rather it be a spell that makes teaming up with a bunch of martials into an effective tactic.

Haste enforces teamwork, and lets the martials become over-the-top-action stars. The caster gets to know they're getting a better return on their spell investment, everyone wins.

This is one of the few intersections between magic and combat that actually doesn't completely trample on martial character types. It creates a situation where casters and martials need each other to function at peak performance, and that's good for the game.

If anything, I would say that the whole of spellcasting should be more like haste vs. fireball.

Imagine if all of the most effective spells were best used on other characters, and allowed them such time in the spotlight.

Right- Haste is a perfect spell. It is critical, yes. But it boosts martials far more than casters.

Haste is one of the reasons why the "Caster/Martial" disparity" is (at many tables) not a significant thing as the group plays as a TEAM.

Haste is one of the reasons why our Fighter in a 14th level is still by far the most dangerous member of the team

Take away Haste, and you get rid of a critical part of Caster/Martial teamwork.

Casters are back to Fireball.


You could replace Haste with a spell that increases martial damage output by 33% or so - keep the teamwork aspect, but lose the weird visual imagery of everyone moving in speeded up motion. But I don't think that bothers many people anyway.


This spell is nice but hardly needed. It's not critical to the success of party either. It's nice, get lots of use but after about 10th it get less and less use. It's one of the spells caster fall back on when they run out 7th and 6th level spell for example because it's a good solid spell 3rd. If anything mirror image annoys me more than haste, that you a lot.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The problem with many of these type of posts is that they all tend to have an atomic viewpoint.

Haste is a GROUP spell which really doesn't do that much for the wizard or sorcerer who casts it. The main beneficiaries are the martials and semi-martials, you know the ones whom everyone keeps saying get left in the dust by the spellcasters?


LazarX wrote:
I'm sure that for everything anyone posts, someone will be bothered by it... even if it's a recipe for cheese dip.

Heh, cheese dip, I see what you did there.

- Torger


Matthew Downie wrote:
You could replace Haste with a spell that increases martial damage output by 33% or so - keep the teamwork aspect, but lose the weird visual imagery of everyone moving in speeded up motion. But I don't think that bothers many people anyway.

No, in fact it's rather iconic in Fantasy.


Now I have to test this theory.
Cheese Dip.

...

SCIENCE!

Re: Haste.
Haste is a fantastic combat spell if you have a largely martial party. It's a lot less powerful in a magic heavy party. It's also less useful in a socially focused campaign, where something flashy like fireball can at least be used to intimidate people.
In all honesty, Summon Monster 3 is a far better spell due to its flexibility. A lantern Archon can spam aid on the part for buffing, a Dretch for dropping stinking cloud then engaging the enemy in hth, ect.

Shadow Lodge

There's a bit of talk about how other editions did it better - I'd love to know what the wording was in those editions. Can someone quote them?


IIRC 3.0 haste broke the action economy, which was a major reason for 3.5

Dark Archive

8th level pfs wizard, have never caste haste, not once.

just saying


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Avatar-1 wrote:
There's a bit of talk about how other editions did it better - I'd love to know what the wording was in those editions. Can someone quote them?

http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/2010/04/spells-through-ages-haste.html

(AD&D spell) Haste: ... When this spell is cast, affected creatures function at double their normal movement and attack rates. Thus, a creature moving at 6" and attacking 1 time per round would move at 12" and attack 2 times per round. Spell casting is not more rapid. The number of creatures which can be affected is equal to the level of experience of the magic-user, those creatures closest to the spell caster being affected in preference to those farther away, and all affected by haste must be in the designated area of effect. Note that this spell negates the effects of a slow spell (see hereafter). Additionally, this spell ages the recipients due to speeded metabolic processes. Its material component is a shaving of licorice root. [1E AD&D PHB, p. 74]

3E:
Haste: ... The transmuted creature moves and acts more quickly than normal. This extra speed has several effects. On its turn, the subject may take an extra partial action, either before or after its regular action. The subject gains a +4 haste bonus to AC. The subject loses this bonus whenever it would lose a dodge bonus. The subject can jump one and a half times as far as normal. This increase counts as an enhancement bonus. Haste dispels and counters slow. [3.0 SRD]
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules?x=dnd/basicrules
5th ed
Haste
3rd-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a shaving of licorice root)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Choose a willing creature that you can see within range.
Until the spell ends, the target’s speed is doubled, it
gains a +2 bonus to AC, it has advantage (this means roll twice take the best, which is HUGE) on Dexterity
saving throws, and it gains an additional action on each
of its turns. That action can be used only to take the
Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide,
or Use an Object action.
When the spell ends, the target can’t move or take
actions until after its next turn, as a wave of lethargy
sweeps over it.


I like haste. If i have a problem with it is the fact that it helps THF more than other figthing styles. But that is a minor thing. I love the fact that my team move faster and more deadly when my wizard put his will in to them. Very flavorful for a not solo wizard.
One of my GMs described the extra movement as the team moving like the adult wizards figthing in harry potter.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Spook205 wrote:

I agree on the 'you need this spell!' spell aspect of Haste.

I dislike situations that require the heroes to always have something, or where people think they should.

Haste's always been useful. The 'problem' with haste started with 3e.

2e used to balance its good spells by giving them non-mechanical, or non-obvious drawbacks. Haste was great. Improved your speed, made you made of win but...

Each casting of it on you ate a year of your life.

So if you went into every fight with a haste cast on you, you were seriously shorting your retirement days. You were a candle burning brightly (I think the material component was a wick or something, but don't quote me on that).

So when you cast haste, you were like 'is moving a little faster here, really worth dying a year early?'

Result? Not as much haste.

3e however looked at a lot of the 2e spell weirdness (flammable grease, aging hastes, etc) and did away with them for simplicity and for fun. Might be good, might be bad, but it was being used as a limit to the spell.

And it was the best kind of limit, a non-mechanical one. It felt more like magic when the spells themselves had little things built into them.

Now, I'm not looking back with entirely rose-colored glasses, but I think part of the issue with Haste is it might be under leveled for its level, or it might need a monetary drawback or something.

And thats the question I need to ask.
If haste was one level higher, would you still take it?
If it was two?
How high before you started considering other spells besides it?
And.
Does anyone who can take haste, not, and why?

The component was a shaving of liquorice root. And the stronger limiter to its use was the system shock roll you had to make to survive being aged. With 18 constitution you had a 1% chance to die from a heart attack. With 16 a 5% chance, 12 20% and so on.

Haste is a strong spell, but not a this or nothing else spell.
Same level: fly - you cast haste, I fly away
Dispel magic - it has been nerfed in Pathfinder, but still good agaist spellcasters
Heroism - +2 to most things for a long period, plenty of situations where I would prefer being pre-buffed than using my first combat action to cast haste

Remember, haste do very little for spellcasters, so part of your party get less than with other spells.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Thelemic_Noun wrote:


"Hey guys, I know we got into this game to project ourselves into a fantastic universe, but the very mechanics we use to determine success or failure tell me that launching a ball of fire to obliterate our foes is objectively, provably, mathematically worse than turning all of you into a shakey-cam effects shot from Crank 2. So put on your Statham face, because rules interactions and probability calculations that weren't fully thought through at the time by some guys in Seattle during the Clinton administration are about to break your immersion like the neck of a Hispanic guy being pulled out of a helicopter."

This made me laugh out loud.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Speaking totally personally, as in "not in any way officially as a Paizo employee," I sympathize with some of the perspective of the OP, even though as a player I often benefit from and greatly appreciate haste being cast upon me.

I don't really have a problem with the "visuals" of it. The game has always been pretty crazy and high-octane in terms of weird magical effects, so I'm not sure people moving fast is more reality-breaking than huge exploding balls of fire.

But it is _VERY POWERFUL_. As a force-multiplier it's difficult for me to think of a better spell.

The part of me that has been playing for a very long time, and who values weird little Gygaxian subsystems more than he probably should, I do sort of long for the days when having haste cast upon you would age you a year of your life. By a careful read of the old AD&D rules, any magical aging also triggered a system shock check, which involved a very small chance that your character would die outright.

That kind of atmospheric drawback made haste not quite the "one size fits all" solution that it became as the game system developed over the years. While I'm fine with the spell as it is now, a do long for the days when people thought twice about casting this spell, or casting it on the entire party in every fight, anyway.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Don't worry, mythic haste makes haste even better :P

even more speed, and an extra move action

But I guess compared to mythic heroism it is on the balance a bit weaker.


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Just as an aside, I have nothing against Jason Statham, or nonspellcasters either for that matter.

Shadow Lodge

Avatar-1 wrote:
There's a bit of talk about how other editions did it better - I'd love to know what the wording was in those editions. Can someone quote them?

I don't have either version of the rules in front of me right now, but one of the biggest problems with magic in 3.0 / 3.5 / Pathfinder is that they did NOT change much of the actual wording for many of the spells. Despite the fact that the underlying system changed massively between 2E and 3.0. (What changed they did make to the wording of spells was mostly just to remove adverse effects of using those spells....like the aging for Haste).


I could have sworn I've read this exact thread before.


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For an easy fix, you could have it fatigue the target when the spell wears off.

Thematic, not a ton of math, and makes you wonder if it's the best move on round one.


Spook205 wrote:


2e used to balance its good spells by giving them non-mechanical, or non-obvious drawbacks. Haste was great. Improved your speed, made you made of win but...

Each casting of it on you ate a year of your life.

Which was no drawback or balancing mechanism at all, since you were most likely to die LONG before all that became an issue, or you were an Elf. Lose a year, big whoop.


Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

For an easy fix, you could have it fatigue the target when the spell wears off.

Thematic, not a ton of math, and makes you wonder if it's the best move on round one.

How long should the fatigue last? One round per caster level perhaps?


LazarX wrote:

The problem with many of these type of posts is that they all tend to have an atomic viewpoint.

Haste is a GROUP spell which really doesn't do that much for the wizard or sorcerer who casts it. The main beneficiaries are the martials and semi-martials, you know the ones whom everyone keeps saying get left in the dust by the spellcasters?

And they're still left in the dust by the spellcasters, since a spell is what's giving the boost.


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Zhayne wrote:
LazarX wrote:

The problem with many of these type of posts is that they all tend to have an atomic viewpoint.

Haste is a GROUP spell which really doesn't do that much for the wizard or sorcerer who casts it. The main beneficiaries are the martials and semi-martials, you know the ones whom everyone keeps saying get left in the dust by the spellcasters?

And they're still left in the dust by the spellcasters, since a spell is what's giving the boost.

On the other hand, the spell is pretty lackluster without martials being there to be buffed.


Or maybe have those affected by haste make a fort save to avoid fatigue.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
LazarX wrote:

The problem with many of these type of posts is that they all tend to have an atomic viewpoint.

Haste is a GROUP spell which really doesn't do that much for the wizard or sorcerer who casts it. The main beneficiaries are the martials and semi-martials, you know the ones whom everyone keeps saying get left in the dust by the spellcasters?

And they're still left in the dust by the spellcasters, since a spell is what's giving the boost.
On the other hand, the spell is pretty lackluster without martials being there to be buffed.

So you use that slot for a spell that breaks the game by itself.


HyperMissingno wrote:
Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

For an easy fix, you could have it fatigue the target when the spell wears off.

Thematic, not a ton of math, and makes you wonder if it's the best move on round one.

How long should the fatigue last? One round per caster level perhaps?

You're kinder than I am, i say until you get some rest. Or until someone casts lesser restoration, i suppose.


Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

For an easy fix, you could have it fatigue the target when the spell wears off.

Thematic, not a ton of math, and makes you wonder if it's the best move on round one.

How long should the fatigue last? One round per caster level perhaps?
You're kinder than I am, i say until you get some rest. Or until someone casts lesser restoration, i suppose.

Or just rule that when Haste ends (wears off, dispelled, whatever) the target is too fatigued to move or take any actions at all for 1 round.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Zhayne wrote:
So you use that slot for a spell that breaks the game by itself.

Kinda curious which 3rd level arcane spell "breaks the game by itself" so my sorcerer knows to pick it up next time he levels.

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