[2005] "Gifts From Above" Tournament [by skunkbelly]

Jan 3, 2007
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This tournament has already ended. It was originally started by skunkbelly on Aug 4, 2005. The last post was made Oct 23, 2005.
(link to original thread on diabloii.net

"Gifts From Above" Tournament


If there's anything better than a sequel, it's the final installment of a Trilogy. With that in mind, here are the rules for Part Three: 'Gifts from Above.' It's a little different from the previous installments, but the main focus is still on gear limitations.

THE STORY SO FAR: Once upon a time, great evil swept over the land of Sanctuary. There were plenty of heroes ready to challenge this threat, but'”alas'”they didn't know much about making weapons and armor. The only weapons they could find on their own were strange relics that evaporated after intense use'”no doubt the leftovers from some ancient conflict. Luckily, though, they could pray to their great and merciful deity, Skunkbelly, and be rewarded with the tools they needed to fight the great wickedness that threatened their lands.

RULES, Part One: characters

1. HC characters only.

2. You may play in either version 1.10 or version 1.11. This gives 1.11 players a slight advantage (no FE bug, slightly better mercenaries'¦ the new runewords won't have an effect, though). That's the way the cookie crumbles.

3. You must get all WPs and complete all quests before moving to the next act. 'Completing a quest' is defined as turning the box on the quest window to gray. There are no exceptions to this rule.

4. MP is forbidden.

5. The following skills are banned. If a skill is 'completely banned,' then you may not put points into it AT ALL, even for synergy bonuses or for prerequisites. If a point is allowed for prerequisite purposes, that is indicated. CTC mods for banned skills are banned, as are charges of banned skills.

a. Sorceress: Teleport is completely banned (and therefore, so is Energy Shield).
b. Amazons: Lightning Fury is completely banned.
c. Necromancers: Raise Skeleton is only permitted as a prerequisite (1 point)
d. Assassins: Death Sentry is completely banned.
e. Paladins: Blessed Hammer is only allowed as a prerequisite (1 point).
f. Barbarians: Battle Command is completely banned.
g. Druids: Summon Grizzly is completely banned

6. Any mercenary may be used, but they must adhere to the equipment rules (stated below).

7. You may re-run areas as much as you want.

8. If your character dies at any point, you are eliminated from the tournament.

RULES, Part Two: equipment

1. You may mule items off of your character, but otherwise play must be completely untwinked.

2. All items equipped (including charms!) must fall into one of the following categories:

A. It is your starter weapon/shield.
B. It is an ethereal item.
C. It is a throwing potion.
D. It is an item given to you as a reward for completing a quest (Charsi imbue, Akara or Ormus ring, or Anya reward).
E. It is an item given to you that has a quest-related purpose (Gidbinn, staff, etc.). Obviously, these are only temporarily useful.
F. It is an item given to you by the more-or-less benevolent diety Skunkbelly.

3. Sockets in items must be filled with jewels or gems given unto you by the great and merciful Skunkbelly, or with runes that you find yourself, or with runes/gems given by Hell Forge quest rewards. Nothing else is permitted. This means, for example, that you cannot fill a socket with a sapphire that you find on the ground: you can only use a sapphire if you receive it from Skunkbelly.

4. Only charms given to you by the great and merciful Skunkbelly may be used.

5. Shopping is permitted only for potions, keys, scrolls, and repairs.

6. Gambling is completely forbidden.

7. All cube recipes that can affect items may be used (including crafting)'¦ but you may only use items obtained as described in #2 and #3 above, so think carefully! It could be risky.

8. Trading is not permitted.

9. In order to maintain balance between users of patch 1.10 and 1.11, and the many forumites switching to RWM, only runewords permitted in unmodified 1.10 may be used in this tournament. Also, remember that runewords may only be used in ethereal items that you find, or in socketed items given to you by Skunkbelly.


OK, as you've noticed, getting equipment in this tournament is going to be tricky: you can only use quest items, quest rewards, starter items (useless fast), ethereal items, or items bestowed upon you by His Mercifulness. Skunkbelly works in mysterious ways'¦ but they aren't so mysterious, because here's some explanation:

1. You will receive an item from Skunkbelly at the following points:
a. Upon starting a new difficulty level
b. Upon finding the Black Marsh WP
c. Upon finding the Stony Tomb WP
d. Upon finding the Canyon of the Magi WP
e. Upon finding the Great Marsh WP
f. Upon finding the Durance of Hate WP
g. Upon reaching the City of the Damned WP
h. Upon reaching Act 5
i. Upon reaching the Halls of Pain WP

2. In order to receive your next item, you must post in the tournament thread. It may take me up to a day to respond, so you will need to deal with play stoppages from time to time (unless you want to soldier on without your new shiny item'¦ you're welcome to continue playing, if you wish).

3. When you post, I need the following information from you:
a. your level, class and build
b. your strength and dexterity
c. The type of item you would like (i.e., 'armor,' 'gloves,' 'ring,' 'spear,' 'two-handed weapon,' 'orb') that you would like Skunkbelly to bestow upon his deserving servant. Overly specific item types (i.e., 'falchion' or 'myrmidon greaves') will be interpreted as the item slot ('one-handed sword' or 'boots').
d. Your e-mail address.
e. Here is an example 'prayer post', just to be clear: 'Oh great skunkbelly, I am a level 13 double-swing barbarian. Str=50, Dex=40. Please give me a one-handed blunt weapon. Send to n00b-AT-blizzard.com'

4. Items will be determined semi-randomly. I have developed a stash of well over 1,200 items (and it's still growing!), everything from Elite Uniques to rare and blue normal items. Based upon what you 'pray' for, and what your strength and dexterity and level are, you will receive a randomly selected item. Sometimes you will be happy with the answer to your prayers. Other times, not so much. Note: not many of these items are weak. You aren't going to get a +1 light radius ring, for example.

5. After receiving your item, you may or may not choose to use it. Your call. Before you whine about what you receive, think twice about the wisdom of angering His Skunkyness: it could affect the answers to your future prayers.

6. Along with each requested item, Skunkbelly will provide you with a random selection of two socket-fillers (no runes, due to forum rules) and one charm. All will be immediately useable, based on your character level. You may use them, hang onto them, cube them up, or sell them to Charsi. Feel free to put something into your stash, if you don't need it immediately. Remember, aside from runes that you find in your adventures, and hellforge reward gems, you may not use any socket-fillers or charms that you do not receive from Skunkbelly'”it might be wise to save everything he gives you, even if it seems like junk.

7. In Hell difficulty, you have one 'mulligan.' If you receive your item from Skunkbelly, and it is useless to you, you may email the stash back with 'mulligan' in your subject line, and a new random item will be sent. You must claim your mulligan within 24 hours of receiving the original item, and *before* you request your next item. If you don't like the replacement item, tough luck.

8. Strategy Tip: You will receive 9 items, 18 socket-fillers, and 9 charms per difficulty level. From quests, you will receive two rings, a class-specific item, and an imbued item per difficulty level. All in all, that means that a character in Normal Difficulty will have access to a total of 13 items that are not ethereal or starter-gear, 18 socket-fillers plus runes and hellforge gems, and 9 charms. And don't forget about your merc: you can give him ethereal gear, of course, but otherwise you'll need to obtain his/her equipment from your item requests or your imbue rewards.


1. This is a slightly longer tournament. It will begin on Friday, August 12 (Happy Birthday to Me :jig: ), at noon Eastern Standard Time. It will end at noon EST on Halloween (October 31).

2. Please DO NOT make updates except as needed to receive your items. It will be quite clear from those posts where people are at. From time to time, I will post a chart with rankings.

3. Scoring will be determined as follows:

a. 2 points will be awarded for each quest completed.

b. 1 point will be awarded for each WP gathered.

c. 3 points will be awarded for killing the Cow King in each difficulty.

d. 1 point will be *subtracted* for each character level gained (yes, a negative score is possible).

e. Achieving Guardian status gives a bonus of 20 points.

f. In the event of a tie, whoever writes the most amusing song of praise to His Mercifulness the Skunkbelly will win.

4. THE PRIZE: The winner will receive an ATMA stash containing the rare, unique and set item proceeds from 100 hardcore Hell Mephisto runs, to be completed by my sorceress, who wears about 400% MF. So the prize could be great, or it could be lots of breast plates. You'll have to win to find out!

5. To enter, post your name, character class, e-mail address, and the first item type you would like. Remember, no starting until noon on August 10 (I will probably not e-mail starter stashes until August 9th). You may change your character class up to August 9th at 9:00 a.m. EST; after that, no changes to your character class may be made. Because of all the work I'll need to do to keep this tournament going (item finding, e-mail sending, etc.), I will not be competing myself. Also, please note that this tournament will be limited to 30 players, so that I can retain some sanity. First come, first served. And please, if you have a hunch that you will drop out after the first week, don't sign up.
Jan 3, 2007
Note: These are posts #2-20 from the original thread.

I think I might be in if I can get 1.11 to run on my laptop. Don't want to screw up my real install of 1.10. >_< I'd just play for the hell of it, though. Dun want no set / unique prizes.

Oh yeah. How about pushing the starting date to this friday so I can actually play on the weekend? :p

edit: Will post character once I decided on him / her. Seeing how you banned Death Sentry it's not gonna be an assassin, though. Ban shadow master instead, mkay? :p
Ill give it ago. Havent played seriously for a while. I wont take your ITAMZ!!! of ya tho :). Ill decide on class later.

- ocau_mikle
Count me in. When this starts my tests should be over. I'm 1.10 or maybe 1.11 depending on whether I finish my last character in 1.10 by then.

Build: Frost Zealot

Edit: Forgot to mention. I'm not interested in any of your items. I mean, the prize stash of course. I can't be owning hell baal with that short sword. :lol:

skunkbelly said:
5. Shopping is permitted only for potions, keys, scrolls, and repairs.
No tomes?
I'm in (yay, my first tournament. I'm gonna get SO 0wned)

Character: Spludgeress
Class: Sorceress, fireball-frozenorb based
E-mail: Holyman237 AT Hotmail DOT com
Version: 1.10
Starter item/prayer: Oh mighty Skunkbelly, whom watches from on high, I pray that thee may grant me an amulet, so that my travells are not bessoted by death.

BTW, what time is EST in regards to GMT? Cause I sit at +8 GMT, and being an Australian, I am just a touch ignorant of US time zones
Oops.... Tomes ARE permitted.
Well, I'd kind of like to join, but I'm not sure if I'll have too much time to dedicate to the tournament, so if you only want people who will have plenty of time, might not wanna let me join
bradley_turner said:
Well, I'd kind of like to join, but I'm not sure if I'll have too much time to dedicate to the tournament, so if you only want people who will have plenty of time, might not wanna let me join
Aw, just go for it ;) I just don't want people to quit in the middle, since registration is limited. You're welcome to play at your own pace.
I'd like to take part, I'll play an amazon or druid (I'll get back to you in a few mins on that). Is RRM OK? I'll uninstall it if not, cos then I can participate in the ladder too.

Edit: I've decided, I'll play a Amazon.
Email: w*@*.com
Not sure about the first item yet.
Can we save up these 'prayer points' for later use? Or do we forfeit that opportunity for a requested item if we keep playing?


Say I don't bother posting until I've hit the Great Marsh WP. Will I be entitled to only one requested item, and have forfeited my chances at the previous 3? Or will I be entitled to 4 requested items? If the latter, will those 4 items each correspond to the level and str/dex I had when I reached each of those previous waypoints?
Liliel said:
Can we save up these 'prayer points' for later use? Or do we forfeit that opportunity for a requested item if we keep playing?
Good question, and one I neglected to address in the rules. Here is an official clarification/addition:

You are *eligible* to request items at the points listed in the rules. If you choose not to request an item immediately, that's fine... with 4 important restrictions:

1. You may only request items at the points listed. So if you decide hold your Black Marsh request for later, you will not be able to get an item until you reach the Stony Tombs WP (you can't request one at Cats 2 just because you misjudged).

2. You may save up a maximum of two requests. So, for example, say you reach the Black Marsh WP. If you like, you can request an item immediately. If you want to wait, however, you can request TWO items when you reach the Stony Tomb WP, or continue waiting and request THREE items at the Canyon of the Magi WP. If you want to continue waiting until you reach the Great Marsh WP, however, you will still only get three items (meaning that you will have forfeited one item request).

3. If you do wait to retain your items, you must cash in all pending requests at the same time. SO, in the example given above, say you hold your Black Marsh and Stony Tomb item requests until the Canyon WP. You must redeem your two saved requests and your Canyon request all at once; you cannot choose to simply ask for one item, and continue holding the other requests.

4. You must redeem all pending item requests upon advancing to the next difficulty level.

EDIT: Item level and stat requirements will be considered only at the time of request. So if you wait, there *is* an incentive: you might be six levels higher, for example, or have enough extra strength to wield a mightier weapon. Remember, though, that the process is mostly random: just because you wait doesn't mean you *will* get a better item, it just increases the possibility.

I think this will allow for some strategic flexibility, while preventing abuse.
Alright, I've managed to install D2 on my laptop and patched it to 1.11 which means I is in.

Character: Necromancer
Name: Mr.Floppy
Build: 1 each curse, 1 each summon, rest in P&B, probably emphasis on poison

No starting wishes, I think I'll request my items in batches of three. Yes, I'm lazy. So what? :teeth:
Heh, cool. Just one more question: ammunition (arrows and bolts) are exempt from the equipment/shopping rules, yes?
class:fury/rabies werewolf druid
email: r*@*.com

and like nightfish ill have items in batches of 3
Nope: you gotta find 'em :) After all, the people of this ravaged land are completely inept at making weapons and armor. What would they know about constructing arrows?
skunkbelly said:
Liliel said:
Heh, cool. Just one more question: ammunition (arrows and bolts) are exempt from the equipment/shopping rules, yes?
Nope: you gotta find 'em :) After all, the people of this ravaged land are completely inept at making weapons and armor. What would they know about constructing arrows?
In that case I'll play a werewolf druid instead. I'll request an item next time I get an opportunity to, but not at the start.
I would like to platy this as well, first tournament in a long time.

I will be a Frost Zealot, only character i have experiance playing in Hardcore that is aloud in this tournament.

I think I'll ask for a Targe or a Paladin Class only shield for my starter item.

EDIT: Do starting equipment have to be wearable at the start of the build or can you save it for later?
Wait, I can save requests? I'm editing my request then. Stuff the ammy!
@ DuesNox: as stated in the original rules post, you will never receive an item from The Great and Merciful Skunkbelly that you cannot immediately equip... whether you use it or not is up to you.

This means, obviously, that if you request an item at the start of the tournament, you will receive an item that you can use at level 1, with base stats for your character class (which is why everyone is waiting :lol: )

@ Spludge: amulet stuffed.
There is no Stony Tomb wp... do you mean halls of the dead?
You say we have a starting request? Does that mean we would have 3 requests upon reaching the "stony tomb" wp? Or is it at the Canyon of the Magi?
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