While playing open-game Diablo on Battle.net in May of 1997, I met a character named Kreet in a game. He was playing a sorcerer and running around in robes on Hell difficulty. He was quite good. I was playing a heavily armored mage myself and, still being a time in which I played a lot of Descent as well, I had not yet racked up enough experience to get truly good at Diablo yet.
Kreet was a lunatic, but he was a lot of fun to play with. He would make you laugh a lot, and he wasn't afraid to die. "Dying is the best teacher," he told me. Anyway, you can read what I had to say about Kreet's Clan if you want more info on that.
Kreet inspired me to play a sorcerer with no armor, to make it more challenging, and I watched him use Stone Curse in particular to devastating effect. Kreet and I played a lot for about a month, and then I lost track him for a while and went back to lots of Descent gaming.
The "Leathers-Only Sorcerer" was my first Diablo variant. Actually, "variant" is a term I later picked up from the Realms Beyond community. Kreet and I called variants "restricted characters". I went on from simple low-ac sorcerers to playing more interesting restrictions. My Diablo variant heyday occurred when I met back up with Kreet and made buddies with the new people that he had attracted.
My favorite variant was a Seeker mage, one who never bought nor traded for any spell books, but learned only the books that he found for himself in the dungeons. Silly little variant, but it could keep me hunting through the game for hours on end, waiting for that next good book to drop. This gave more purpose to an otherwise fairly easy game and also left me continually underpowered, which made the game tougher to play. Nothing grandly frustrating, but simply harder than the average character.
I did Pointless Rogues, who never allocated any of their stat points. I did Low-AC warriors, who went without heavy armors. I did Elemental Strike Team mage teams, where one player would focus on fire spells, the other on lightning, and you'd have to team up vs immune monsters. I played numerous other minor variants.
We also did some wild and wacky things in Kreet's Clan, sometimes by accident, sometimes by design. I had a good bit of fun and I learned how to wring new gameplay out of games even when I couldn't modify any of the actual gaming elements.
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