"Can't a fellow drink in peace?"
— Farnham greeting the player(src)
Farnham the Drunk was one of the residents of Tristram.
The Darkening of Tristram
"They stab, then bite, then they're all around you. Liar! LIAR! They're all dead! Dead! Do you hear me? They just keep falling and falling... their blood spilling out all over the floor... all his fault..."
— Farnham relives his experiences(src)
During the Darkening of Tristram, Farnham was among those led into the cathedral by Lazarus, in an attempt to rescue Prince Albrecht. Lazarus had thrown in his lot with Diablo however, and the whole rescue mission was a trap. Lazarus lured the townsfolk to the lair of The Butcher and left them to die at the hands of the ravening demons. Farnham survived, and also saved the life of his friend Griswold, but he suffered his own wounds. Pepin the healer was able to heal Farnham physically, but there was nothing that Pepin could do to restore his mind. The experience had shattered Farnham's spirit, and he turned to liquor for an escape.
Thus, Tristram continued to slide into darkness, as did Farnham himself. He spent much of his time at the Tavern of the Rising Sun, slipping further and further into stupor each night. Ogden and Gillian were frustrated by his increasing drunkenness, but Ogden at least could sympathize with Farnham's experiences, and let him stay.
During his bouts of drinking, Farnham made several attempts to return to the depths of the cathedral. Eventually he succeeded, and recovered his daughter, who had been severely wounded. He managed to get her to the surface, screaming for Pepin to help her. At the surface, he was greeted by Deckard Cain and the newly returned Prince Aidan. Seeing that his daughter could not be saved, and could very well rise again, Cain led Farnham away as Aidan used his blade to give his daughter peace.
As Aidan, Moreina, and Jazreth delved into the depths of the cathedral, Farnham remained in his drunken stupor. Eventually, Aidan and the other heroes defeated the Lord of Terror, and an uneasy peace returned to Tristram. The remaining townsfolk warily embraced their salvation, but Farnham remained distant and withdrawn, still nursing his grog. However, such salvation did not last, as Aidan had been corrupted by Diablo as a result of inserting his soulstone into his head. Soon after he left Tristram, now in the guise of the Dark Wanderer, demons set upon the town. Like all the remaining townsfolk, Farnham was slaughtered and raised as an undead thrall.
Beyond the Grave
Farnham appears as an NPC in Diablo, located in Tristram's far south. He doesn't initiate any quests, but his ramblings can be useful given the hints they contain.
- Can't a fella drink in peace?
- No one ever lis... listens to me. Somewhere - I ain't too sure - but somewhere under the church is a whole pile o' gold. Gleamin' and shinin' and just waitin' for someone to get it.
- I know you gots your own ideas, and I know you're not gonna believe this, but that weapon you got there - it just ain't no good against those big brutes! Oh, I don't care what Griswold says, they can't make anything like they used to in the old days...
- If I was you... and I ain't... but if I was, I'd sell all that stuff you got and get out of here. That boy out there... He's always got somethin good, but you gotta give him some gold or he won't even show you what he's got.
- The gal who brings the drinks? Oh, yeah, what a pretty lady. So nice, too.
- Why don't that old crone do somethin' for a change. Sure, sure, she's got stuff, but you listen to me... she's unnatural. I ain't never seen her eat or drink - and you can't trust somebody who doesn't drink at least a little.
- Cain isn't what he says he is. Sure, sure, he talks a good story... some of 'em are real scary or funny... but I think he knows more than he knows he knows.
- Griswold? Good old Griswold. I love him like a brother! We fought together, you know, back when... we... Lazarus... Lazarus... Lazarus!!!
- Hehehe, I like Pepin. He really tries, you know. Listen here, you should make sure you get to know him. Good fella like that with people always wantin' help. Hey, I guess that would be kinda like you, huh hero? I was a hero too...
- Wirt is a kid with more problems than even me, and I know all about problems. Listen here - that kid is gotta sweet deal, but he's been there, you know? Lost a leg! Gotta walk around on a piece of wood. So sad, so sad...
- Ogden is the best man in town. I don't think his wife likes me much, but as long as she keeps tappin' kegs, I'll like her just fine. Seems like I been spendin' more time with Ogden than most, but he's so good to me...
- I wanna tell ya sumthin', 'cause I know all about this stuff. It's my specialty. This here is the best... theeeee best! That other ale ain't no good since those stupid dogs...
Farnham is nowhere to be found in Diablo II, but there is a skeleton very close to his spot, likely belonging to him.
As of Reaper of Souls, Farnham returns as a unique zombie named Farnham and titled 'the Drunk'. He spawns for "the Cursed Cellar" bounty in the Damp Cellar. He appears close to the door, has Orbiter and Jailer affixes, and pursues the closest player, and in addition attacks along with hordes of other Risen Dead.
- On the StarCraft Mission "Patriot's Blood" a computer access code is Farnham, as a reference to the drunkard.
- The name "Farnham" is possibly taken from Willard Farnham, a scholar of many works including those relating to the original Faustian legend. Given Diablo's theme of demonic corruption contextualized through a very Faustian paradigm, it is possible that Farnham the Drunk is a reference to Farnham the actual Faustian scholar.