|10-09-2011, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
TheChosen plays Pool of Radiance
At least 'till I get bored with it and move on to something else
When I got a Commodore 64 back in 2002, the first game that got my attention was this. Most likely because it was fully boxed and had every manual and code wheel and disk and stuff. Today though, the box is pretty much a flat piece of cardboard, I coudlnt find the second half of the code wheel and manuals are tattered, which actually makes them look more like a "adventurers journal".
At this day and age, playing this game is actually quite cumbersome. This is because of the hardware. Loading takes a while, moving and such isnt that smooth and then there's the old fashioned game mechanics.
Still though, Pool of Radiance is a great game. Its one of the first Dungeons and Dragons game to actually be a roleplaying game, it has a big world and big story going on, and there's some form of freedom as well. Its also ball-breakingly hard, providing good challenge to those who actually dare to play with it. And thats what Im going to do.
Im going to play this on real Commodore 64, so all the cumbersome mechanics and hardware aspects are there. Why? Because I can, and its a genuine copy. Because its being played on Commodore, all I can really provide is reports on the progress, and what happened. No pictures, but I'l try to provide some sort of illustrations.
Although I usually love to write stories and stuff, this time I'l be fully concentrating on playing the game rather than writing. Feel free to write this kind of stuff yourself.
So in short, this is gonna be a thread of boring walls of text about me playing Pool of Radiance on Commodore 64.
There's not much of participation here, although you can write up silly or serious stories related to stuff that happens in the game. I'l be naming my party members after several AB members, but thats about it.
I'l be booting up the game later, write about characters and how are we gonna start coping such huge adventure up ahead.
If you have played Pool of Radiance or are expert in the old fashioned gold-box games, I'd gladly have some tips and advice, spoiler free of course.
So onward, to great adventures!
*If you wanna play the game yourself, its available on Commodore 64 (duh!), Amiga, Apple Computers, MS-DOS (Check XTC Abandonware), PC-9800 and last but not least, Nintendo Entertainment System. All playable via emulation.*
Last edited by TheChosen; 12-09-2011 at 05:13 PM.
|12-09-2011, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
In the beginning...there is a one hour character creation. Okay, bit exaggerating. I managed to do this less than an hour.
When creating a character, you simply get to choose name, race, class, aligment, roll stats, portrait and icon for combat. Simple really. Im not gonna post all stats here, but Im gonna tell the characters purpose and stuff.
For portraits, I'll use the PC version for this report. Now, I intentionally attempted to make a silly one for Bulubane and Tomekk. However, in TotalAnarchys case, the Commodore version of the body looked little less....female. Here, it shows boobs.
And now that I've been looking at it, everyone looks bit weird.
Male Human Thief
High Dexterity & Charisma
He will be doing thief-stuff, like picking locks, stealing and springing traps. As for high charisma, this makes him useful when talking and parlaying with the monsters.
He's quite weak, but in combat, he's got a deadly powers of backstabbing.
Female Human Fighter
Our standard warrior-type. She will be going around whacking stuff with her bastard sword.
Male Elf Fighter/Magic-User
High Strenght, Intelligence & Constitution
A bit overpowered combination of warrior and spellcaster. When he's not throwing any spells he's fighting with a bow.
Male Human Cleric
Not only clerics are good warriors, they're also useful spellcaster. They have different set of spell that set them apart from magic-users. For starters, Oak will be providing healing spell and turning undead.
Male Dwarf Fighter
High Strenght & Constitution
A hale and hardy dwarf. More deadly killing force to our party. He will be a axe swinging maniac.
Male Human Magic-User
Our main magic-user, who at the start will be mostly useful because of his sleep spell (which Tomekk also has). We'll not throw him into main combat because he's pretty weak, and only wielding a staff.
Thats all for starters. I'l post a report on our first adventure soon. If you'd like to write some sort of story for these, they're right now heading to the city of Phlan via boat.
Last edited by TheChosen; 12-09-2011 at 06:32 PM.
|12-09-2011, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Praha, Czech Republic
I would like Bulu to be a steroid abuser if possible.
(Love this thread by the way )
I have vestigial adventure elements
|13-09-2011, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Pool of Radiance on C=64... That brings back some memories.
I admire you, opting to play it on good old Commodore, with 8 discs that you have to switch more often than not. And I had misfortune that one of the discs had it's battle bit broken, so if it came to the battle, I had to switch quickly to another disc or the game would crash.
But all in all it was a great game which I enjoyed very much.
Some tips, well, as you know the game uses the old AD&D set of rules, which had this stupid idea that to compesate for humans not having any advantages to other races, they should put the level cap on those races for certain classes and live it unlimitted for humans. If I recall correctly, half elf clerics can only advance to level 5 and dwarf warriors can go only to level 9. The only exception are halfling thiefs that have no limit here.
It won't make too much difference to you, considering that level 6 was the top limit for all classes in this game, but if you wanted to transfer your characters to the Curse of the Azure Bonds, for example, it becomes annoying.
You obviously noticed that this game has no Ranger or Paladin class. To compensate that, they were giving the player an option to change his fighters into one of those classes in CotAB. But that's a different story.
As for in game tip, the game has an ability to measure your party strenght when deciding on opponents to send against you. That's for the random ecounters, of course, not pre set ones. For example, when you walk into The Slums at the beginning, you will fight only goblins and kobolds. But when you advance a level or get some magic items, it adds a bugbear to them, or brings some orcs. Very clever, but due to games general inbalance that could mean that you will get smashed as soon as you get a level for your thief, with the rest of your characters still level 1. So sometimes it's worth postponing advancing a level, but don't wait to long. If you have enough experience to advance a couple of levels, as soon as you advance the first one, the game will round your experience down to the minimum for the next level - 1xp. Very dumb.
That imbalance shows all through the game, to the very end. So, even if you modify your characters to have maximum stats (you can do that when creating them) and you advance them all to the maximum level and have them all have the best equipment available in the game, you will still have hard time going through the last couple of battles.
But even with all those flaws, it was one of the best games when it came out and after all this years it's still a great fun playing it. Enjoy!
|13-09-2011, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg
|13-09-2011, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
Thanks Pex. Thankfully I have two copied versions of each disk so in case something goes wrong, I can try these for alternative. Also, thanks for the tips. This is exactly what I want to know.
Lets boot this quest up! Here is the first report.
We start out at the harbor of the city of Phlan. Before we can do anything, we meet a person who says he will be our tour guide, named Rolf, apparently appointed by council. After saying that, he takes us around the city. First he takes us to temple area, where there is temples to Tyr, Sune and Tempus, as well as Bishop Braccio's house. Next up is the docks (where we came from) and Rolf mentions about possible ships taking to dangerous places (sounds like a quest!). He then takes us to town centre and shows us the training school, council building (which lists proclamations, which are pretty much available quests which have rewards) and city park. Finally, he shows us the gate to parts of the old city, which he describes as "monster ridden areas". He also mentions that there is a reward for those who clear the area of monsters. He then unceremoniously dumps us and urges us to check the council and city clerks for quests.
But before we rush into the buildings of bureaucracy, we head to shopping district (which Rolf failed to mention us) to look for weapons. We have 1000 gold pieces, but not a single weapon or armor in anyone's inventory. Thank goodness we dont have to buy any spells. After mistakenly barging into a item shop, we finally find one that sells all things combat.
Im not sure If TheChosen can backstab with a broadsword, but I still decided to give him one. At least he can defend himself. He also gets a leather armor.
Bulubane will be going all combat with a two-handed bastard sword, since it kills easily. For protection, a hardy banded mail.
Since Tomekk relies on spellcasting, I hesitated to give him an armor in case it would hamper is spellcasting abilities. Still, we buy him a bow and bunch of arrows.
Professor Oak gets a scale mail, flail and a shield.
Hunvagy gets a scale mail, battle axe and a shield.
TotalAnarchy gets a
After thats done, its time to find a place where we can rest and memorize spells. I look around and accidentally stumble into a tavern. We could have option to gamble, but I think we have better things to do. We also overhear tavern tale number 10.
Now, this is what happens quite a lot in this game. We hear numbered tavern tales, read numbered proclamations and gets events that are called like "Journal Entry 5". This is the games main copy protection. Whenever games says something like this, I have to look up in the journal to see whats happening or what kind of information I have learned. Its efficient copy protection, but also efficient way to save space. Reading journal before the game tells you isnt really useful, because A. I have probably no idea what that entry or info means. B. It wont do me any good. C. Some of these are fakes or false rumors, which might lead to dead end....or dead.
In any case, tavern tale number 10 goes like this:
To the west lives a tribe of insect-men who worship normal men and give valuable gifts to all who visit them.
Interesting. If we get out of this city, it might be worthwhile to check it out. If it turns out false, then maybe we'll get to fight some ant-men!
I'l quicky leave the tavern because it has a bad habit of suddenly generating a tavern brawl. Its a combat where there's lots of members of the city guard and lots of drunks, meaning a possible death.
I stumble around and finally found a house. It costs 10 gold pieces. Oak, Tomekk and TA take time to memorize spells.
In D&D system, players have to memorize spells before they can use it. This means they choose which spells they want to memorize, then rest for 4 hours. When they use the spell....WOOSH. Its gone and they have to memorize it again. Oh, and did I mention there's a limit on how many spells you can memorize?
Tomekk and TA memorize sleep spells while Oak memorizes cure light wounds 3 times. Both will be useful later on.
Now to city hall. We check the proclamations at the front door and we find out the following proclamations.
I decide to check with the clerk inside the building. She mentions that the slums should be cleaned with monsters, but also mention a Sokal Keep, which needs to be retaken. He mentions that reward will be given in maps, tomes, books et cetera. Any money?
Now, we will definitely pick the slums. We could get to the Sokal Keep by boat via at the harbor, but its an undead paradise right now and were all still on level one. Even if Oak's turn undead is quite powerful stuff, I dont have enough confidence yet.
In any case, we head to the slums!
When we enter the slums, we must have triggered some sort of alarm because "In the distance, an alarm sounds". Rest assured, when we enter our first room, we find a bunch of orcs!
Orc (I): These are evil, pig-faced humanoids.
Well, what can I say really? Orcs are the standard RPG fodder. These one's are pig-skinned rather than standard green skinned ones.
We immediately start our first fight and it wont take long until we win! Well, that was easy. TheChosen got hit once but nothing serious. Moving on.
Rest assured, we move bit farther and find yet another encounter. This time a pack of Kobolds.
Kobold (I): These are small, cowardly humanoids who delight in
killing and torture.
Whelps. They're easier than the orcs. And hairier.
I decide to take a different approach and try parlaying, which is talking to creatures. TheChosen talks, since he's got the highest charisma. The Kobolds warn us about textile house, and we should stay away. When they turned to leave, I decided to attack them after all and they proclaim "How dare you interfere the boss's business!". No matter, they're dead in minutes.
Next up exploring we encounter yet another group of foe's; Goblings.
Goblin (I): These are small humanoids common in the Realms.
I think Goblings are bit tougher than Orcs, which sounds bit weird. Still, not by much.
Another easy slaughter. This time even TotalAnarchy joined in the fight with his staff and actually managed to kill some! Groovy. For some reason, I decided to take their short swords and sell them later (Not gonna do that to every loot enemy drops, since almost all of them drop loot). I also decided to give Tomekk one sword and a studded leather armor, so he wont have to spend every arrow on these weaklings.
We bust into yet another gobling group. This time however, TheChosen and TotalAnarchy go down!
Now for some game mechanics. Whenever a character loses all his hit points, he is out of the combat. He's not dead yet, but he's lying on the ground, bleeding slowly to dead. Other PC's can bandage his wounds during their turn or quickly get the battle over. If not....well, its a trip to priest then. Resurrections cost quite a lot of money.
After battle is over, we set up a camp and let Oak heal. TC and TA are back on their feet. He re-memorizes the spells, rests and we continue on.
Now as you can see, this is what the game will be mostly like. Combat after combat after combat. I will stop listing all the times we get into combat and only mention specific ones. Rest assured, between the text there is more combat, healing and resting.
We explore the room near the gobling slaughter and we find some orcs arguing over papers. Sounds important and then game whisks us straight into battle. This time I decided to bring in sleep spell to the game, for a quick, easy match.
Sleep spell is deadly effective early in the game. It works on 3x3 area and puts everyone in that area to sleep for couple of turns. During those turns, they're helpless and cant do anything. These can be killed with a single hit and it never misses. Overpowered maybe, but Im not pulling any punches with this game.
We kill them all and find out that there were two cure light wounds scrolls. These will be useful, in case Oak himself is unavailable and we need to cure someone.
As we battle, we purge the room of monsters one by one. This makes the rooms safe for resting, but also for searching.
When you turn on search, you move slower, look around the details and try to look for secrets and traps. Normally this would not be really that helpful since were moving slowing, it makes us more vulnerable to random encounters. In any case, after clearing rooms, I check for any secrets.
We eventually find a hallway with three doors: One on right, one on left and one at the end of hallway. We try the one on right but its locked. Okay, we try to pick the lock, but somehow its not working, no matter what I do (Perhaps I need to get some tools first). But since we have some strong men and a women in our party, we bash to door and enter in a room full of goblings who are apparently having a training session.
Combat is a bit different, since there's lots of them, plus couple of Gobling leaders, which I guess are bit stronger than your average gobling. We pull no punches this time: Tomekk and TA put them to sleep and then we slaughter all of them.
Otherwise, there's nothing interesting in the room, so we head out and try the one on right. We find some rooms, but still nothing useful. One door takes outside, so we return to hallway to try the final door....
...which we will get to in our next update! Stay tuned and remember, if you want to write some silly fiction into this, now's a good time.
|13-09-2011, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chisinau, Moldova, Republic of
TotalAnarchy: By the gods, why do I have to be the lame spellcaster with the sleep spell? Everyone knows that the only way to cure a orc of his greeniness is to scorch them to the ground level.
Professor Oak: Shut it! Or else in our next battle you'll find yourself leading the party's attack. Next thing you know, your intestines will serve as decorations for a petty orc chieftain's hut. HA! HAHA! That would be a sight to see!
TotalAnarchy: *grumble* *grumble*
Tomekk: I don't mean to sound like a smartass, but next time maybe you should try casting mage armor on yourself, TA.
TotalAnarchy: What? I refuse to listen to a half-bred mage. I, a great MAGE of infinite purity! Now I will never USE it just because you said it, so there - die of spite Tomekk.
Tomekk: Was just sayin' dude... No need to spill the ale for a small advice.
|13-09-2011, 07:49 PM
Ye both shut up, flinging around staves like yer own instruments be too small, clad in a friggin dress? Bulu and I be doin' the work, ye two jus' along fer the ride to distract the orcs by making them laught their arses off!
Roit, we be the meat o' tha party, aye!
As she says.. *glances at Bulu* Say, ye don't consider growin' a beard now, lass? *wink wink*
Angelus Errare, where angels lose their way
|14-09-2011, 05:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
Now that is what I want to see!
I tried writing for a bit myself. Managed to write some sort of backstory for TheChosen and Bulubane.
*Bonus image for anyone who wants to use it*
Aw man, duuuude. This killing is giving me munchies!
TheChosen, former bard now turned into a petty thief. He had fame and everything, travelled all around the realm playing in inns, pubs, church sermons and even in noblemens courts. He lived fast, played loud and partied hard. Then, he got addicted to fairy dust. He spent piles and piles of gold for new sacks of dust. It first destroyed his mind, then his artistic skills and finally, his career. He had to turn into a thief and steal to fuel his addiction to this white fantasy powder.
Now, he's the leader of this ragtag bunch of warriors. With heroics, he's looking to reclaim his former fame and glory, and score some cash for more fairy dust.
'roit lads! Now see me men-tits dance for ye!
Bulubane was strong. Very strong. She spended most of her youth in illegal fight rings, becoming a popular name in the underworld. She was deadly, brutal and extreme, but she graved for more blood and victories. However, as a woman, she was always looked down. Then she went to meet the local apothecary, who gave her pills. Pills that turned her tits into SOMETHING MORE MAAAAANLYYYY!
However, Pro wrestling wont be invented in long time, and now Bulu looked more like some sort of manly mutant with a female beauty (No one has dared to check the contents of her pants...). Thus, she was no longer taken seriously in the fighting circles. To prove that she's still the ruthless killing-machine, she joins in TheChosens quest for fame, which gives her a good change to find and kill the strongest creatures and fighters in the realm.
And now, on with the game!
So, last we left off, we were at the hallway looking at the final door. We bash it open and we enter a bit of new looking area; it has different kind of walls. Looking around we find more locked doors and get encounters here and there, but nothing special.
We bumb into a orc patrol and decided to give parlay a try. TheChosen tries to be sly with the group and they offer to forget that they saw us If we bribe them. Naturally, we refuse and instead whack them to death.
We then enter into a large room, which is apparently hemp market. I guess the slums arent totally empty, as there's some people there. We also hear someone talking about a treasure being hidden in the northwest corner. Interesting.
I decide to check out northwest, and find a building there. Doors are locked but bit of bashy bashy and were in. On right to us, there's a small storage room with nothing interesting. The other room, however, contains Hobgoblings.
Hobgoblin (II): These are human-sized, intelligent relatives of the
So in other words, the strongest monster we've met so far. Not by much though...
The hobgoblings are arguing over a pile of gold. When they see us, they shout "THIEVES!" and attack. There's only five of them, so TA puts them to sleep and we slaughter them.
The results were great. There's some gold and a long sword for Tomekk. However, the real gold pile has 500 pieces of gold and 50 pieces of platinum! The party also gets lot of XP for finding the treasure!
We also find a short bow and a ring, both which look bit mysterious. Naturally, we take them.
I switch to overhead map and notice an odd space at the northwest corner. I try out and BAM! A secret wall. From that small room we find another hidden treasure! More XP for everyone! 1100 electrum, 80 gold, 55 platinum, 2 gems and one jewel. Also, another strange looking bow which we take with us.
We go back outside and look around a bit. We find two exits, which apparently takes us deeper to the slums. We decide not to explore them yet.
We then find a very smell stables. After going deeper inside, we eventually end back to the room near the hallway where this update started. We get out and find a room near the stables, full of feasting kobolds!
A battle ensues with lots and lots of kobolds. I didnt want to take any risks, so Tomekk buts 1/3 of them to sleep. We eventually slaughter them all. A kobold leader tries to escape, but he gets axe to the back, courtesy of Hunvagy. Lots of XP from this fight! We also find strange looking bracers. Nothing else interesting in the room.
Nearby we find something interesting: A building with windows! Doors not even locked! We go in and inside we find an old gypsy woman. She says that she's a fortune teller, and she will tell us the future for some copper coins. Game gives us options to pay, attack or leave. Since Arcanum has taught me that attacking Gypsy fortune tellers is a bad idea, I decide to pay instead.
The woman's hands make mystic passages while she mutters some words. Her voice undergoes a strange transformation....
"Blood and violence are writ boldly in your future. Look for friends where you expect enemies and enemies where you expect allies"
Hmm...very interesting. Could this be foreshadowing of things to come? Game offers us option to attack him, but we decide to leave instead.
Opposite of the fortune teller is another house. We break in through the door and find lots of orcs. "How dare you break into our home!" they claim.
This one was toughest fight so far. There were lots of them, plus 4 leaders with bows. Both Tomekk and Hunvagy had to use their sleep spells. Fortunately, nobody died and we get a lot of xp from this. And loads of money too!
Looking at the stats, some of our party members are ready to get to the next level, so I decide to head back to Phlan. First though I checked the Council clerk to see If I've cleaned the slums. Apparently not, since she didnt give me any rewards. No new proclamations either.
We then head to shop. We sell some of our extra loot and identify our mysterious treasures. Turns out the ring is +1 ring of protection, Bracers have 6AC and both bows are +1 short bows! Great find. We sell one of the bows for some more money and give the other to Tomekk.
We then head to training area. We had enough money (apparently ID'ng costs a lot, but the game didnt state how much) to get Oak, Bulubane and Hunvagy to the next level! They're now stronger and have more hitpoints.
TheChosen also had enough points, but we didnt have any more money. Tomekk and TotalAnarchy still need more points.
While walking at the training halls, we met up with some guy offering us change to duel. I decided to throw Bulu into a fight and she won quite easily, winning her 100xp. The guy then asked If we'd want to hire some NPC's to our party. Considering our situation, I refused.
We headed to an inn and got ourselfs a room. Oak can now memorize four spells and on next level he's gonna learn some new spells. Oak memorizes four cure light wounds. We heal the little wounds we have left and consider our next move.
Yes, what should it be? So far this has been working out quite well. We could go back to the slums and go through the gates to the new area, or we could actually try clearing the Sokal Keep.
What do you think guys?
|14-09-2011, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Praha, Czech Republic
Totally going to animate the rest of the clan when I get a bit of spare time. Great thread TC
I have vestigial adventure elements
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