Spellbook of haste self

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spellbook of
+   haste self   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 3.36%
Base price 300 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 8
Ink to write 15–29
Spell type escape
Level 3
Power cost 15 Pw
Direction non-directional
Equivalent potion of speed
Special for barbarian

In NetHack, the spellbook of haste self can be read to learn the spell of haste self. It is a level 3 escape spell, and the spellbook takes 10 actions (roughly 8 turns) to read. It is the special spell for Barbarians.[1][2]


There is a ~3.36% chance that a randomly-generated spellbook is a spellbook of haste self.

A spellbook of haste self requires 15 to 29 charges from a magic marker to write.


When cast, the spell gives you very fast speed temporarily - if you already have temporary very fast speed, the spell can be cast repeatedly to increase the number of turns the effect lasts for. At Unskilled or Basic, the haste effect lasts for 100–109 (more) turns, while at Skilled or Expert, it lasts for 160–169 (more) turns.[3]

Unlike a potion of speed, it will not heal wounded legs, but still exercises dexterity when cast.


Most characters prefer speed boots as their source of very fast speed if they have no need for any other type of boots, but characters that desire both very fast speed and jumping (e.g., on the Astral Plane) can combine this spell with a pair of jumping boots. While the spell requires knowledge of it (which lasts up to 20,000 turns) and the ability and power to cast it reliably, a potion of speed can be just as effective for a short duration and requires no casting aptitude at all.

A player with the Eye of the Aethiopica can stand in place for a while and cast haste self dozens of times, obtaining enough turns of speed to last the rest of the game - this allows them to free up an armor slot for a different pair of boots, e.g. water walking boots, and the process can be easily repeated by the time it wears off. Note that anything that removes speed (such as the slowing attack of a shade or stoning attack of a footrice) will remove all accumulated turns of speed.

Despite being their special spell, haste self is difficult for most Barbarians to use due to their spellcasting penalty - while the spell is possible to cast for late-game and end-game Barbarians with sufficient skill and a robe, they may instead opt to combine speed boots with jumping, which is less power-intensive to cast.


The spellbook of haste self and its spell first appear in NetHack 1.3d.

In NetHack 3.6.2, all roles are given the ability to advance to at least Basic in their special spell's school, making it more plausible for Barbarians to cast haste self.



In SLASH'EM, the spell of haste self is re-categorized to a level 3 body spell.

A well-hidden chest in the northwestern corner of Grund's Stronghold has a 13 chance of containing a spellbook of haste self - the book is always accompanied by an amulet of magical breathing.


In FIQHack, the spellbook of haste self is replaced with the spellbook of speed monster.

External links


  1. src/spell.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 74: equivocated with the "fugue"/"berserker" skill associated with the class elsewhere
  2. src/role.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 110
  3. src/spell.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 1159