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Pool of radiance -
FREE NEW PHLAN! The New Phlan council is leading the fight to free their
captive city. Heroes are retaking the city block by block from the evil
This is an excerpt from the first page of the manual and the premise of
the start of your adventures in pool of radiance.
Pool of radiance is the first RPG (role playing game) in a long series from
You begin the game by creating up to six player characters from a vareity
of races like human, elf and dwarf. Each race has different abilities as
regard to the classes in the game for instance halflings are small and have
higer max dexterity than other races.
Some races can also have multiple classes as well so you get the most use
from one character but they will take more experience to gain levels. When
you gain levels you will gain hitpoints (health) and your thac0 modifier
will increase making it easier to hit an opponent.
(note: I'm not entirely sure about thac0, in the 3rd edition its called
The main game is played from a screen divided in three different frames,
the top-left shows a 3D depiction of the surroundings, the top-right shows
all the characters in your party and the lower portion shows text messages.
At the bottommost part of the screen you can usually select things like
casting and resting. Navigation is done with the arrow-keys and home/end
to select different characters and options.
The graphics are fairly simply with almost no animation and also very little
sound and music effects. The later AD&D games from SSI are improved
over this version but since this is the first one it seems a bit crude compared
to them but the main engine remained in this form for several years.
When you battle with enemies the view switches to an 3D overhead view which
fairly accurately mimics the pen & paper style of tin characters placed
on a grid.
You start the game arriving in New Phlan and you are welcomed by man named Rolf.
He gives you a quick tour of the city and shows you some of the important
buildings like city hall and the training guild. Finally he shows you the
entrance to the slums and says goodbye after which you are on your own.
From here you can do and go where you want.
Since you have no weapons and equipment its advisable that you go and buy
some from a local shop. You can then stop by the training guild to hire
some extra hands or you can go straight to city hall and find out what kind
of jobs they have for adventurers. Most of these jobs consist of clearing
an area of monsters which is usually done by beating several enemy parties
in random encounters and/or defeating a specific group.
Sometimes you can get other missions like a rescue or gathering information.
Each mission is posted as a number which you will have to look up in the
journal so without it the game is pretty much unplayable.
Also contained in the journal are journal entries referred to in the game
by number which shows maps, conversations and other interesting things you
come across your jouneys. If you read them in advance you can spoil the
plot so I suggest you read only the ones the game tells you about, some
are even fake to mislead you!
As you go along with the missions you will find out more about the plot
and the reason why all those monsters are there in the first place.
This game is not for beginners because the difficulty level is very high,
it's quite easy for all your party members to die in the first fight. Some
weapons can do enough damage with one blow to kill a level one character.
This can be attributed to the AD&D rules which at the first levels can
be very unforgiving.
You also have to do lots of micromanagement because you have to keep track
of getting better weapons and armor for your entire party while keeping
them alive. Temples are of very little use because they charge enormous
amounts of money for simple healing tasks so it's best to stick to your
own Clerics (healers).
If you don't have a lot of knowledge of AD&D rules I suggest you read
the manual first because it contains a lot of information about the different
classes and races and the limitations that they impose.
For the more seasoned AD&D and/or RPG fan this game can be a great challenge
and fun to play.
Overal rating: 6.5/10
Pool of radiance was released for many different systems here are some notes:
Game has been tested but not completed with Basilisk II v0.8, macos 7.5.5.
Uses mostly black and white graphics (see screenshots) some of which
are quite detailed like the monster portraits. Also it uses the mac
window system instead of the interface used by the other systems.
Game has been tested but not completed with winUAE v0.9.91.
Probably the best version of the game despite there being not too many differences.
Included is an empty save/character disk. The game is also harddisk installable
on an Amiga.
I was unable to obtain this game, if you do have it and would like
to see it added then please contact
Game has been tested but not completed with CCS64 V2.0 win.
This game came on 4 doublesided disks which means you have to swap
9 different disks including the save/character disk which can become
This version is actually very close to the others but the diskswapping means
I can't recommend it unless you really have nostalgic feelings about the
Game has been tested but not completed on a slowed down pentium 1
On faster than about 50 Mhz systems some of the things in the game move
way too fast, it does actually work on windows systems despite this but
it's a bit unplayable.
Make sure you edit the file "pool.cfg" and change the two lines
that read "c:\poolrad" if you place it in a folder other than
A lot of people are having problems with this game so here are some more
detailed instructions if you are getting an error that asks for disk 3 when
creating a character. You can edit the pool.cfg like I said before but otherwise
follow these instructions (if you are using dosbox).
- Make a folder on your C: drive called "POOLRAD"
- place all the files you unzipped from your download into this folder
- start up dosbox and type "mount c: c:\" , dosbox will give a
warning but you can ignore that
- type "C:" and press ENTER
- type "cd \poolrad" and press ENTER
- type "start" and press ENTER
The game should start and not ask for disk 3 so enjoy the game.
Game has been tested but not completed with FCE ultra 0.98.12.
The view is a bit different from the others, the main screen shows
the 3D view and underneath that all of your characters. If there is
any text then the screen scrolls up.
You can only have 5 player characters instead of 6 like the others.
Date added ||
Pool of radiance
First released ||
Apple, filesize: 1478 Kb|
Commodore 64, filesize: 851 Kb
Commodore Amiga, filesize: 1165 Kb
MS-DOS, filesize: 865 Kb
Nintendo Entertainment System, filesize: 278 Kb
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Download manual for Pool of radiance
, filesize: 8284 Kb|
This file contains the manual, journal and codewheel in PDF format.
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