Beta rules! Lemme hear some feedback, nitting, and general comments! You folks should enjoy this.
<FONT size=2>by LemmingofGlory
this variant would not have been possible without the Monty Python troupe</FONT>
Team: 5 or 6 Players
Classes: The 5 Knights are all Paladins. The Squire is a Barbarian.
Tag: None yet.
To introduce this team variant, I need only provide you with this link: Don't forget to use the back button! Now that you're back you should understand this variant. If that wonderful Diablo toon wasn't enough to clue you in, immediately switch off your computer and rent "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." If you have not seen this movie, read no further - it's much better if you see the movie first!
(Note: Despite the fact that the Diablo toon was for Diablo 1, this variant is for Diablo 2. At least for now... Muhahahaha!)
The characters are King Arthur, Sir Bedevere, Sir Galahad, Sir Launcelot, and Sir Robin. Patsy the Squire is an optional role that may be filled by either a sixth player or a mercenary. (Patsy's - Player Character - rules are separate and listed after the quest section.)
There are a few overriding rules that apply to all seekers of the Holy Grail. The individual knights, however, have a few rules specific to their character.
Mages are seen as dangerous. All due caution must be used when dealing with them. And the knights themselves are not enchanters, so certain skills that are too sorcerer-like are disallowed (more below).
Town Guards (aka Legionnaires) and Iron Wolf mercenaries may not be hired by any seekers of the Grail. (Iron Wolves are mages, and Legionnaires are French Guards that prevent Arthur and co. from entering the Castle of Catapulted Livestock, as well as the last Castle in the movie. Hmm, wasn't that something like "Castle Arrgghhh?")
If no player is filling in the role of Patsy the Squire, Arthur may hire a Barbarian mercenary to fill in that role. Patsy the Squire (Merc) may not wield a weapon, except for carrying such an item between games.
Rogue mercenaries must be hired by all of Arthur's knights. These mercenaries are Sir Robin's minstrels, and because they are minstrels they may not be given bows to use. They may, however, be given armor and helm to wear in order to keep them alive. The team should strive to keep the minstrels alive at all times, but if they are in financial straights they may be forced to eat them (take their armor/helm and sell for cash, and then not resurrect when the minstrel dies). Minstrels should return to play as soon as reasonably possible.
Any, but will wear metal armor as soon as it becomes available.
Boots, Belts, Gloves
Arthur has a preference for Light Gauntlets/Gauntlets.
Bedevere has a preference for Chain Gloves.
The other knights prefer a leather glove of some sort.
Arthur alone may wear crowns, and once found he must wear one.
Circlets, Coronets, Diadems, and Tiaras may not be used. Bone Helms and Masks are also disallowed.
Bedevere and Galahad are bucketheads, and will gladly use a face-covering helm as soon as possible.
Launcelot and Robin prefer non-bucket helms.
The shield bears the adventurer's symbol. Each knight has a different symbol, which they will use as soon as it becomes available.
- Arthur: A smiling sun. Loves +LR shields
- Bedevere: A tree. Loves naturely shields
- Galahad: A cross. Loves religious/holy shields
- Launcelot: A dragon. Loves fearsome, dangerous-looking shields
- Robin: A chicken. Will use the biggest shield he can find!
Swords class only. One-handed or Two-handed swords are both acceptable.
Enchantment emphasis is on direct combat modifiers: Defense, Blocking, Damage, Attack Rating, Hit Recovery, Block Speed, Swing Speed. Enchanted items must have such a modifier, else they cannot be used.
Arthur is the only knight in the troupe who can use the mighty Holy Hand Grenade (Oil Potions), but he may only use it against the Bunny of Doom. Arthur must collect every Holy Hand Grenade he finds. He may stop collecting if he manages to find 42 stacks of 25 Holy Hand Grenades. (One for each inventory space, and one for both weapon slots. 1050 in total.)
Royal sounding items and "King's" are reserved for Arthur alone. Once found, a Royal or Kingly item must be used.
They will never use Poison Damage items (Anthrax is hated in particular) or unholy-sounding items. This is a holy quest, not an unholy one!
As far as "cast X on striking" goes, only Amplify Damage seems ok - so no "cast firebolt on striking," etc. (Iceblink style Freeze Target and Coif of Glory style Blinding also seem ok.) Skill charges (aside from melee skills) are disallowed entirely.
Blessed Hammer and Holy Bolt are Cleric-Mage skills, and are out.
Sacrifice, Smite, Zeal, Charge, Vengeance, and Holy Shield are allowed to all knights, with some restrictions.
- Arthur: Arthur alone may max out Vengeance. Other knights may not raise it above slvl 10 (Base).
- Launcelot: Launcelot alone may pump Charge to slvl 10. Other knights may not raise it above 5. This is because Launcelot is the fastest runner, and they do not have horses to do proper charges with - merely coconut shells carried to England by migrating sparrows.
- Robin: Robin alone may pump Smite and Holy Shield to 20. Other knights may not raise these two skills above slvl 10. Robin is the most fearful of the bunch, and tends to over-do defense.
Should one of his noble companions fall on the battlefield, King Arthur may be able to summon the Wrath of God (Fist of the Heavens) to clear the screen around his fallen comrade's body. Arthur and his men will never leave a screen with a companion's corpse upon it. They must protect it from succubi and other foul demons.
Neither Arthur nor his knights are enchanters, so they will never make use of Holy Fire, Holy Shock, Holy Freeze, or Sanctuary. Thorns is disallowed for simply not making sense. Conviction is also disallowed. As they were not enchanters, they have no ability to substantially lower the defenses or resistances of their enemies.
King Arthur, a natural leader, is the only warrior who can instil Fanaticism in his noble knights.
Sir Robin, a coward, will never use an offensive aura of his own.
Salvation and Redemption are the jobs of a priest, and none of the knights, nor Arthur, is a clergyman. Similarly, Cleansing is done by a healer - not a fighter or a king. None of them are monks, so Meditation is out.
Everyone is able to pray, though God seems to hate it when people are always groveling. (See the scene where God delivers the quest.) Also, all knights (and Arthur) are able to use the single resistance auras.
Sir Robin excels in one area: Saving his own skin! He is the only knight able to use Defiance and Vigor.
Quests are not optional, and must be done in every difficulty. Quests are not necessarily in the order that they appeared in the movie.
1) The Holy Grail
This is the main objective of those that seek the Holy Grail: to, uh, find the Holy Grail, of course! Arthur and his men will never pass up an opprotunity to find the Grail, and will search every golden chest for it. After all, the Grail could be anywhere!
- Act 1: Mausoleum, Crypt, Cave, Pit, Hole
- Act 2: Stony Tomb, Ancient Tunnels, False Tombs
- Act 3: Arachnid Lair, Great Marsh, Swampy Pit, Sewers level 1
- Act 4: None
- Act 5: Frigid Highlands, Abaddon, Pit of Acheron, Drifter Cavern, the other Red Portal Area, and the Icy Cellar
The Grail itself is elusive, but its seekers will know it when they find it. (Not much here. Suggestions?)
'Tis a silly place. The knights will not visit Arthur's wife, Gwenevere (sp? - aka the Countess), at Camelot unless they, too, intend to act silly.
Camelot (the Forgotten Tower) may only be entered if the knights disarm themselves prior to entry. They must party with everyone there (fully clear each dlvl) and sing a song of some sort while they dance. (I'd suggest a song where one would sing a line, then someone else would chime in with the next line, and so on.)
3) Three-Headed Knight
While the rest of the party adventures in the wilderness, brave Sir Robin will run ahead until he finds the Three-Headed Knight (the Smith). He will then flee from the fearsome knight, but end up leading the beast back to his party!
The Three-Headed Knight also appears in Act 4 (Hephasto), and this quest should be repeated there.
4) Castle Anthrax
Once the party has triumphed over the Three-Headed Knight and are in possession of his sacred Malus (turn in the Malus), Sir Galahad leaves and goes off on his own. (Sir Galahad creates a new game.) He then forges ahead as fast as possible until he comes upon the beautiful women of Castle Anthrax (Andariel). He should kill as few demons as possible on his way there. In the end, he swoons at the feet of the Mistress of Anthrax (die to Andariel). At this time his friends come upon him and rescue him from this foul mistress. (Galahad whispers his party to come to the new game and save him.)
5) The Witch Test
Sir Bedevere has the keen sense to tell a Witch from a non-Witch. When he learns of a "Summoner," he investigates it immediately. Well, after his fellow knights pass their best fire resistance items to him for use on this quest. (He gives them back after the quest, or if he doesn't need the item.)
Streak through the Palace to the AS and begin searching for Summoner. The others must stay behind and fully clear the Palace and Harem to give Bedevere enough time to find find the Summoner. If this is still not enough time, the troupe must clear the areas of the AS that Bedevere already searched. (He will likely do only one "arm" in order to check for Summoner, so they can clear the arms he skipped.) When the Summoner is found, Bedevere calls to his comrades and summons them to his location. Bedevere then administers... the Drake1 Test!
Hoping his comrades in arms will absorb the magical attacks of the Summoner Witch, Bedevere makes his way to the top of the platform and then drops a "Drake's" item (or a +Mana ring, if such an item is not available).
"Now, what do we know about witches?"
"And what also burns?"
"Correct! Wood also burns, so they must be made of wood. But wood also has what other property?"
"It floats, and since a witch is made of wood she will also float. What is another object that floats?"
"So for a witch to float she must weigh as much as a duck!"
When Bedevere sees the Summoner floating above the ground, then sees his Drake standing flat on the ground, he will deduce that the Summoner is a Witch because she is floating! Dispatch the foul witch quickly!
Later, in Act 5, you will meet another witch: Nihlathak. Sir Bedevere has a much more dangerous task here, but he must still repeat the necessary steps to prove that the man is a witch!
1: <FONT size=2>Drake in this sense means "duck." Quack, quack!</FONT>
6) The Knights Who Say "Ni!"
"Silence! Or we will say 'Ni' to you again!" You heard them - don't you dare anger those Knights! The Knights Who Say Ni (the Black Council of Travincal) demand a shrubbery! After meeting them, the seekers of the Grail must re-visit Kurast and seek out an item that can pass for a shrubbery. (Suggestions here? Or just let them decide?)
Upon returning to the Knights Who Say Ni with the shrubbery, they reveal that they are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni. The Knights Who Until Recently Said Ni now demand... another! shrubbery! Arthur then says the word that the knights cannot stand!
One of the seekers of the Grail must remember what the word in the movie was that the Knights Who Until Recently Said Ni cannot stand. If they do not recall this word, they may not kill the Knights and gain passage! If nobody remembers the word, all of you must immediately power off your machine and go rent "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and watch the film until you do know!
And in case you're trying to merely guess, the word is not mentioned in this quest anywhere. But I do have this to say to you: Ni!
7) The Bridge of Death
"He who seeks to pass through me first must answer questions three e'er the other side he see." These immortal words spoken by the Keeper of the Bridge of Death (Mephisto) are as true today as they ever were. After clearing level 3 of the Durance of all enemies except the Keeper, the group must prepare themselves to answer his questions so that they may gain passage. (Do not damage the Keeper yet.)
Sir Launcelot goes first, followed by brave Sir Robin, Sir Galahad, King Arthur, and Sir Bedevere. Before being questioned you must humble yourself before the wisened old Keeper. Take off all of your equipment prior to questioning. You may equip any Resistance or +Life gear before answering your three questions.
When ready, the knight goes alone to the Keeper and is asked three questions. (He allows himself to be hit by 3 of Mephisto's 4 different attacks: Skull/Ice Orb, Melee Smack, Poison, Charged Bolt.) If he survives all three hits without drinking a rejuvenation potion (any potion???), he runs off to a safe place. Any knights who fail their questioning may restart in town, but they cannot participate in the upcoming battle. (They may put on their normal gear again.)
Knights who survived are worthy of passage, but they will never leave a man behind! (These surviving knights may put on their normal battle gear again.) They decide to kill the Keeper so that their fellow knights may pass the Bridge of Death (the skull path across the lava to the Portal to Hell). Knights who failed questioning may not participate in the battle.
8) The Blue Knight
The Black Knight, Jim, was casually dismembered in Arthur's first meeting with him (in D1 on dlvl 16). Brother to the Black Knight, the Blue Knight (Izual) wishes to avenge his brother's death! But like Jim, the Blue Knight never admits defeat! Arthur tells his knights to leave this battle to him.
The brave King chooses any two-handed sword that he wishes, and the one-on-one battle begins. (Other knights may watch, but may not tank for Arthur or distract the Blue Knight.) At various points in the battle he must announce when the knight has lost an appendage. One of his knights should chime in as the Blue Knight's voice, rebutting Arthur's claim. If Arthur doesn't announce the loss of all 4 of the knight's appendages, he fails and must battle the Blue Knight in a new game.
When the Blue Knight is slain, his spirit appears in a last act of defiance! Be sure to speak with Tyrael the Priest so that the Blue Knight is properly exorcised.
9) The Red Knight
Also kin to the Black Knight is the Red Knight. He, too, was previously slain by Arthur, but now, thanks to a drunken conjuror, he has returned as a fearsome dragon! Arthur insists that all of his men assist him in this battle, except for Patsy. Patsy is designated as the Potion Squirrel and is sent to town so to fetch Arthur and the Knights elixirs of healing.
After the Red Knight falls, Tyrael should again be consulted for exorcism. He promises to do so, and then sends you to a cold and snowy land.
Sadly, the Red Knight managed to eat all of Sir Robin's minstrels during the battle. (Minstrels may not be resurrected until further notice. If any minstrels are still alive, get them killed before beginning the next quest.)
9) The Cave
Immediately upon entering Harrogath Arthur runs into Tim the Enchanter and asks the mage about the Holy Grail. No Act 5 quests are done at all until this quest is complete.
Tim may be any Sorceress or Elemental Druid - so long as they are proficient in fire magic. Tim is outside help - never a member of the team. Once his assistance is theirs, he must provide them with the Ancients Way waypoint. The group searches for awhile until they find the Cave. (When they find the Arreat Summit exit, Tim must leave the game if he hasn't done so already.)
Before Tim left he told them about the Guardian of the Cave - the Bunny of Doom (Korlic)! Arthur prepares himself by packing as many Holy Hand Grenades (Oil Potions) as he can carry into his pack. They then begin battle!
The Bunny of Doom has allies, however, and they must be slain first! (Kill them first, but do not so much as TOUCH Korlic yet.) After the Bunny's companions die, Arthur's knights run up and crowd around the Bunny so it cannot escape! (Tank it!) They will, however, not attack the Bunny yet. Arthur must now count to three and begin chucking Holy Hand Grenades!
"1... 2... 5!"
Now begin chucking and don't stop until all Grenades in Arthur's pack are totally gone! Once Arthur is out of Grenades, the Bunny of Doom is weakened and is finished off by the group.
During the battle, should any Knight die, he may not return to the battle unless the entire team has died. If Arthur dies before he ran out of Grenades, the group must start the battle over.
When this quest is complete Robin's minstrels may return.
10) Castle Arrrggh
Within the cave the knights are assailed by a gigantic monster known as Lister! With its dying breath it tells where to find the Grail - in castle Arrrgh!
Luckily, there's a portal opened that'll take you directly into the heart of Castle Arrrrgh! And now, in the middle of England, you must face off with Baal the French Duke! He will taunt you and dump waste buckets on you, but do not retreat! Any retreat to town during battle will get you arrested by the police! (Also, Charge may not be used during this battle for its retreat requirement.)
When Baal dies, you may loot his treasury for the Holy Grail! (Will it be there? Or elsewhere?!)
Patsy is the squire of King Arthur. He is an optional character and is not crucial to the variant. He does, however, make a very nice pack mule for just about anything (especially Arthur's Holy Hand Grenade collection).
Patsy is a clean-up guy for the most part. He runs along picking up stray jewelry, runes, and other items. He identifies magical things and cubes useless things. Patsy will never charge into combat for any reason. If during his pick-up duty he is attacked, he may attack back - and sound the "Help!" hotkey at the same time! - but he may not start a fight on his own.
Patsy should never venture off alone because he is quite cowardly.
Patsy may use no armor Studded or better.
Boots, Belts, Gloves
Must be cloth/animal hide.
Patsy must wear ugly Caps at all times, because he is merely a servant. This ugly Cap (not skull cap!) reminds him of his place among the common people.
Patsy uses small round shields (bags) to block blows.
Patsy may use only dagger class weapons, and no throwing weapons (including throwing knives). He is not trusted with weapons of war. The last time he was given one Arthur had to buy new rugs and tapestries for the castle.
Darn near anything is ok, so long as it isn't particularly evil or poisonous.
He may use Find Potion, Find Item, Natural Resistance, Iron Skin, Increased Stamina, Increased Speed, Whirlwind, Double Swing, Frenzy. That's it. Remember, Patsy's no serious fighter. (Note: Dual-wield skills are allowed, though Patsy much prefers using a shield.)