D&D General Haste: The (system) Shocking History of the Spell!

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Since fighters had an attack rate of 3/2 or 1 attack the first round and 2 attacks the second round, wouldn't doubling the rate be 2 attacks the first round and 4 attacks the second round? It's still 6 attacks over two rounds, but 3 attacks a round doesn't seem like an accurate doubling of the fighter's current attack rate.
It is in fact accurate; on the assumption that 3/2 is an abstraction of a relatively constant attack frequency which can only be expressed in whole integers. Doubling it allows the rate to be smoothed out to a more consistent 3/1.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It is sort of amazing how different the design mindset was back then compared to now. Unless you were designing a deliberate throwback game, no one would design a mechanic now to randomly kill characters as a balance method as opposed to, ya know, just weakening the spell.
Nothing wrong with a high-risk high-reward model; and modern design has moved much too far away from that IMO.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
And there's one temple in my game that now refuses to cast raise dead or resurrection for the party because doing so has already killed two of its high priests through system shock failure!
While I don't have a SSS roll for aging via casting your own spells, the casters of revival spells are still at some risk: one of the possibilities on my "why did this fail" table is that the corpse (or its spirit) immediately rises as an undead; and, if the caster gets surprised by this and the undead happens to be a level-drainer, it can put a considerable damper on the caster's day......

And yes, this has happened more than once.
 

Clint_L

Legend
I'm not totally opposed to system shock as a concept; I like when the stakes feel real in extreme situations. I use 4e-style skill challenges to a similar effect when dealing with challenges such as resurrecting characters, restoring them from petrification, etc.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
The caster ages, so has to make a system shock roll. The recipient has to make a resurrection survival roll. In the case of the second high priest, she failed her system shock roll and died... and then failed her resurrection survival roll when a colleague tried to raise her. The adventurers are not very welcome there any more :D

I would add that enforcing the resurrection rules (especially aging and system shock) goes a long way to making it much harder to find a friendly high-level cleric who is willing to resurrect you!

Weirdly, while the recipient of the spell has to roll ... the caster is much better off casting raise dead. Because raise dead doesn't age you and cause the system shock roll!

(Raise dead was much more limited in time- they could only be dead for one day per level of the caster. It's 10 years per level for resurrection.)
 

That's what makes it so intriguing. It's like a record of watching ancient astronomers invent epicycles.
Absolutely. I think @Snarf Zagyg did a great job starting this thread and doing the 'homework'. It's really interesting as I remember playing through all this and being baffled by so many things. But all those old rules I thought I dumped from my memory are coming back in a whole new light.
 

I would add that enforcing the resurrection rules (especially aging and system shock) goes a long way to making it much harder to find a friendly high-level cleric who is willing to resurrect you!

Weirdly, while the recipient of the spell has to roll ... the caster is much better off casting raise dead. Because raise dead doesn't age you and cause the system shock roll!

(Raise dead was much more limited in time- they could only be dead for one day per level of the caster. It's 10 years per level for resurrection.)
Yep - exactly! And it's that time limit that comes into play when you're a few weeks away from the nearest temple and only resurrection will do - which is what led to the current situation in our game.

I mean, we do actually have three priests as player characters but in my game only certain gods grant the power to raise the dead and our priests follow the God of Pretending to be a Wizard and the God of Smashing Things with a Large Sword so are still dependent on NPCs for this kind of thing.
 

Horwath

Legend
Yep - exactly! And it's that time limit that comes into play when you're a few weeks away from the nearest temple and only resurrection will do - which is what led to the current situation in our game.

I mean, we do actually have three priests as player characters but in my game only certain gods grant the power to raise the dead and our priests follow the God of Pretending to be a Wizard and the God of Smashing Things with a Large Sword so are still dependent on NPCs for this kind of thing.
agree that resurrection, of all kinds should age you as a recipient of the spell.
it should do nothing for the caster.

I.E. raise dead should age you for 15% of your old age, resurrection for 10% and true resurrection for 5%.

for humans lets say that expected age is 80(for simpler math)

raise dead ages you by 12 years,
resurrection by 8 years,
true resurrection by 4 years.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Back in 2005, on the occasion of my 33rd birthday, I ran a session of White Plume Mountain using AD&D rules for my friends, and this unusual interaction of the haste spell came into play.

The full report is here, but I excerpt the relevant text:

Ben then decides to even the odds with a haste spell. He’s used to how it works in 3e. It looks pretty similar in 1e, doesn’t it?

If you want a spell that is obscure in full effect, it’s hard to go past the 1e haste spell. The text of the spell notes that it ages those under its effect. The DMG notes that the aging is 1 year. The PHB’s Constitution table notes that those who magically age must make a System Shock check or die.

This was something of a surprise to Ben when I explained the effect… and Mat and Blake both failed their System Shock checks. (Ben failed as well, but I’d ruled he wasn’t in the area of effect; a mistake I note when looking at the spell description now. It’s meant to be centred on the caster. Oh, well).

About ten minutes later, when the laughter had subsided (Ben: “I did what?”), Sarah eventually managed to slay the Slayer. (I just wanted to say that). Ben and Sarah looked around at the bodies, and decided to get out of the dungeon and to a nearby town to rest up and recruit new companions.
 


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