Guidebook entry: Gladiators are professional fighters, trained and equipped to combat ferocious beasts and one another as a form of entertainment.
If your alignment is non-negative, killing any human that starts out as hostile (i.e., when such killing is not murder), dog, jackal, wolf, lynx, panther, tiger, mumak, or mastodon adds 50+(1d20*XL) zorkmids to your inventory. (These types of animals would be hunted and killed in the arena for the amusement of the spectators.)
The status line shows you to be one of the following ranks when you reach the specified experience level. The names are taken from gladiatorial styles, and when using weapons appropriate to their current rank (indicated in parentheses), gladiators receive a +4 to hit bonus and, if Unskilled, hit as if at Basic proficiency.
- XL 1-2: Velite (spear, sling)
- XL 3-5: Thraex (scimitar)
- XL 6-9: Dimachaerus (two-weapon, longsword)
- XL 10-13: Venator (polearms)
- XL 14-17: Murmillo (short sword)
- XL 18-21: Hoplomachus (short sword, javelin)
- XL 22-25: Retiarius (trident, dagger)
- XL 26-29: Secutor (longsword)
- XL 30: Champion (two-weapon, longsword, saber)
Gladiators start with Basic skill in saber and bare handed combat, and can advance saber to Skilled. They can also reach Basic in pick-axe, unicorn horn, and crossbow; Skilled in knife, javelin, polearms, scimitar, flail, broadsword, two-handed sword, morning star, hammer, lance, and whip, as well as attack and escape spells; and Expert in longsword, short sword, dagger, spear, and trident, as well as two-weapon combat.
The gladiator's quest leader is Tutor (a homonculus whose dialogue is humorously modeled after Burgess Meredith's role in the film "Rocky" as fight trainer Micky Goldmill).
The quest sees you fighting the Champion of Pompeii for the Imperial Token, an artifact gold ring. When worn, the Token has whatever randomized effect gold rings have in your game. In addition, when carried, it conveys drain resistance and hungerless regeneration. For Gladiators only, #invoking it acts as the “aggravate monster” monster spell (wakes up all monsters on the level and has a one-fifth chance of unparalyzing paralyzed monsters on the level, with the message: "You feel that monsters are aware of your presence.").
The quest goal level is the Colosseum, a large circular arena populated with several werecreatures and "prize money" animals (as listed above). The entire arena is always affected by conflict which cannot be turned off.