On the first day, the great Woody said, "Let there be nudity!
No, people would just think you died and lost your items... BEYOND
the Beyond Naked Mages sprang up from the most unsavory of objects,
such as Hyena boils and Jackal sputum. And the BNMs frolicked in
Tristram happily, though they often scared away people with their
... erm... "special"... taste in fashion. ("Excuse
me, have you seen my Bent Staff of Disease?"... "AHH!!!
was good, more or less. But soon people began to think, "Those
BNMs are having all the fun. Being normal sucks." And other
variants emerged, such as the dim but lovable Barbarian, the Apprentice
Mage, the five-finger-discount duo (Pirate and Thief), the elitist
Snobs, those who dote upon he whose tracks do not match (Patrons
of Wirt), and many others. And the Great Woody hosted all of these
wonderful variants in his Asylum.
then came the Charis. Oh, yes, the scary, scary Charis. With him
he brought a landmark variant: the Amazon! Though all was not well
in the head, for the Amazon brought with it torrents of, as described
by Cyrene, Can't Find The Boss Angst and the need for Rules Printout!
Despite these seemingly scary turns of events, they only served
to further dement the minds of those who were contained within the
Asylum. And thus the Charis began to change the landscape of variants.
started a site of his own to host his variants - and many did he
have! Variants sprang from the Charis like weeds from a Chia Pet!
And what's more, he playtested them all (dotted; made "official")!
Official variants were tried-and-true characters, and with so many
to choose from players were sucked into the gaping maw of the Asylum.
While many escaped, some did not...
some point of indeterminate time (that is, it is a time that I cannot
determine for I was not yet present as an Asylum patient), the one
known only as the King of Pain showed up. He also started a variant
site of his own, and began hosting variants there as well. Both
the Charis and the King of Pain released many excellent strategy
articles and raised the bar of gaming - not least of all with their
heroic exploits in Ironman games.
then the Great Woody left. He was clubbed over the head by Real
Life (a most vicious and cruel demon immune to all forms of damage!)
and dragged off into the eerie Outside World. (Oh, horrors!)
some point the Lemming happened to show up with his Hamster variant.
Soon after he released the Lemming and Squirrel variants, which
were followed by the Friend of Farnham and others. He hoped for
his variants as well as those by other people - at least the ones
which were half-decent - to have a home on a variant website.
then the Realms Beyond Diablo site was born. Charis and King of
Pain together launched it, and it is the very site which you are
currently reading! GASP! How did I know you were reading it? Perhaps
psychic powers! And you now owe me $4.99 x the number of minutes
you've spent reading this article for my expert psychic reading.
Cash and credit card accepted. Make checks payable to-
OW! Fine, fine, back to the history.
afterwards the tides of time brought a new demon: Diablo 2. It sucked
the patients of the Asylum into the illogical void in which it exists.
The RBD forum suddenly sprang to life, and the Asylum's doors clanged
shut. It was left to sit quietly, alone and abandoned. (Though some
disturbed individuals can still be found lurking around in the empty
RBD had a bright goal: To host more variants than have ever been
hosted before! This goal was, shall we say, delayed as Diablo 2
tortured its webmasters and forced them to PLAY! PLAY! PLAY! its
deadly game of Crackmonkey Roulette.
Diablo 2 reached half a year old Lemming launched a site of his
own. The RBD was taking quite a long time in getting up its variants
section, and it only intended on hosting those variants which were
dotted in D1. Lemming's vision was broader in scope. He hosted variants
which he harvested from the backpages of the Asylum (forum), even
those which were ignored! If they were reasonably playable, they
were given a home on the Sylvan Cliffs. And so the Cliffs became
home to Lemming's variants and the Forum's Forgotten Refugees. (The
RBD also hosts Lemming's variants, and other variants which were
previously hosted on other sites.)
so both sites grew in size, with the RBD handling the heaviest traffic
and the Cliffs handling whatever traffic was still interested in
variants after reading the RBD. And then, out of nowhere, the Great
Woody returned!, and there was much rejoicing.
re-opened the Asylum at a new location and shut the doors of the
old one. Yet within a few months everything mysteriously vanished
over night. The new Asylum, the new Forum, everything. To this day
nobody knows the fate of the Woody, save Woody himself. His escape
from the void of Real Life and back to Tristram was fleeting, it
seems. 'Tis believed that he was once again reeled back into that
physical world... a world where nobody can see how many exclamation
marks you use when you scream!!
event that occurred slightly before the return of Woody was the
first release of the Variant Archive, compiled by Lemming. At first
it housed all variants which were hosted on the Cliffs, yet it soon
expanded to house those on the RBD as well. And so, in its current
form, it is a downloadable tome of variant goodness that covers
the entire Diablo universe, from D1 to Hellfire to D2 to Lord of
after, it seemed that yet again the foul grasp of Real Life was
choking and gagging the variant community! The Charis and the King
of Pain were both simultaneously incapacitated by the Life fiend
who is all too Real, so they turned to the one of prophecy: Griselda.
Working with the team Griselda was able to help bring life back
to the RBD by taking it out back and beating the dust out of it
like an old rug. The dust, thick and o'er 6 months old, gave fierce
battle! The gaseous nature of disturbed dust was near fatal, though
through the choking smog the RBD emerged brand-new!
now, friends, you see the RBD as it is now: Flourishing. It grows
bounded only by the balance of site work/gaming juggled masterfully
by her new masters. And what's more, it has broadened its scope.
No longer is it merely the Realms Beyond Diablo, 'tis now... The
Realms Beyond. To seek out and explore Civilization, and boldly
bring the Craft of War where it has never gone before! (Var Trek!
is the history of variant sites, as best Lemming knows it.