POOL OF RADIANCE is Strategic Simulations' first AD&D CRPG set in the Forgotten
Realms. I played version 1.0 on a Commodore 64.
The following walkthru is an attempt to provide the most necessary information
to help POR players solve the game. It does not attempt to be as detailed as the
marvelous clue book published by TSR and S.S.I.
You create six adventurers (See "Creating Adventurers" below), and they are
deposited in New Phlan. New Phlan is a small, civilized area of Phlan, governed
by a city council. This council hires adventurers to clear the rest of the city
of monsters so that all of it can be civilized.
These monsters are under the rule of a mysterious "Boss." Your objective is to
liberate the city from monsters, discover the identity of the boss, and defeat
him in battle. Once the "Boss" has been defeated, you've won the game, even if
you haven't killed all -- or even the majority -- of the monsters!
The graphics are seen from the point of view of your adventurers within the
city, and specific locations outside. There is an overhead map view of the
The many battles your adventurers will have are viewed in a separate, generic
location. All the characters are animated icons that can be arranged to engage
in sword fighting, arrow shooting, fireball throwing, etc. Either the battles
are fought between you and the computer, or the computer handles it all in
"Quick" mode. I recommend "Quick" mode, except when your adventurers get in
trouble; in this instance, hit the space bar to control them individually.
The game involves a series of individual adventures. Most of these adventures
are given to you by the Clerk of the City Council as "Commissions." There are
other adventures. In the Taverns, you will run across rumors that you can
investigate. I recommend that after mapping New Phlan, you first clear the
Slums. Then clear Sokol Keep, Kuto's Well, Podol Plaza, Cadorna Textile House,
The Library, Kovel Mansion, The Wealthy, and, finally, the Temple of Kane. Find
the Dragon; go on the subsequent adventures to find nomads, kobolds, and an
efreeti; then, clear the graveyard. Finish up with the Wilderness commissions
you haven't done; then take on the Gate and the Castle! See the map in your
Adventurer's Journal (page 26).
I had good results with a human cleric, a human fighter, a half-elf
cleric/fighter, two elf magic-users/fighters, and one elf fighter/thief/magic
user. I could have done better!
My two magic-users/fighters were female, and this caused a problem until I
found Gauntlets of Power. Female elves are only allowed 16 maximum strength; the
Gauntlets improved them to the male maximum of 18.
Also, my half-elf cleric was not able to go up in spell levels as far as his
human counterpart. Look at the race limitations carefully before making your
selections! (It's on the back cover of your manual.)
Generally, you need two clerics, at least two magic-users, a thief, and at
least four fighters. The best way of getting all of this is to use races that
can be fighters as well as magic-users.
You are allowed to change your attributes in the beginning of the game. I gave
all of my characters maximum attributes; I was glad I did! There are very few
opportunities to increase the characters' attributes within the game.
(The following reports were written by my human cleric and alter-ego,
"Preacher." The coordinates are based on 0-15 maps. 0-0 starts at the northwest
corner, with the horizontal location listed first.)
We found a map of New Phlan. (Note: It's provided on the cover of your
Adventurer's Journal.) Using that map we explored the city and labeled the
various buildings. The first thing we needed to find was an Inn. We were tired
after the long sea voyage to Phlan. The guards are certainly strict about
enforcing the "no loitering" signs posted all over. Several times we tried to
camp in the streets, but the watch rousted us each time. We didn't argue with
them; we just moved on.
Eventually, we found several Inns in the southwest (4-12) section. We also
found many shops (open only in the daytime) where we were able to change our
gold pieces into platinum (11-12). The Inns charged a single platinum piece for
a stay. They wouldn't take anything else.
We found a Jewelry Shop (8-10). Its entrance was inside another shop (9-10). We
had heard that there was a place to exchange heavy gold for light jewelry and
wanted to know where it was, anticipating the riches we were going to earn!
We picked up plenty of gossip at the various taverns in town (8-9). We also got
into a few out-and-out brawls. They were great fun, however, with everyone in
the place joining in. We needed the experience because we were all so young and
didn't have many spells or skills.
We went to the Hiring Hall (7-2) and hired another fighter, who agreed to work
with us for one share. A hero also was looking for work. But because he was much
more experienced than we were, he talked us into four shares for his services.
We took him, but it rankled!
Several of our mage/fighters had a couple of duels and usually ended up needing
healing. We earned a few extra gold pieces, but it really wasn't worth it!
We found various rooms around the training hall that were willing to train us
all to higher levels of proficiency, and to teach us a few spells. But they said
that first we'd have to get some experience! (Note: On page 35 of the
Adventurer's Journal you can find out how much experience is needed for which
We looked the Temples over, but they were so expensive, and I was perfectly
able -- along with the other cleric we had with us -- to do the healing we
needed after battles. (As long as no one got killed!) None of them offered any
rates cheaper than any other, either.
We learned very quickly not to fight with any of the guards in Phlan. We heard
at the taverns that if you did, you'd probably get killed; even if you won, the
shopkeepers wouldn't sell anything to you, nor would the Temples heal you until
you had finished a mission.
We met a nice young lady who was the clerk for the city council (5-5). She gave
us our first commission, and promised a nice reward if we completed it. The
commission? To clear the Slums of monsters. We marched forward with relish!
POOL OF RADIANCE
The eight of us had an easy time of it in the first few blocks of the Slums. We
encountered some Orcs and a Goblin Armsmaster with his students. The Wiz threw a
detect magic spell on what we thought was just some of their junk, and it turned
out to be treasure! We had our fortune told by a Gypsy (we wisely didn't attack
her), and we found a little bit of treasure in a stable. But there was an
illusionary wall up in the northwest corner (0-0), where we found a lot more
We met a magic user called Ohlo (13-10), who sent us to the Rope Guild to get a
potion for him. We found the man with the potion (15-12), told him Ohlo sent us,
and he gave it to us. We returned it and were well paid for the job.
We killed off Kobolds, Hobgoblins, Monster Guards, and Monster Leaders. Wiz and
Wuz (the two magic-users/fighters) used sleep spells on some very tough Goblin
Guards' archers. It seemed like the fighting would never end at times!
We encountered some very large Trolls and Ogres tossing things around (0-14).
It was touch-and-go at first, but Lance (our human fighter) came up with tactics
that saved the day. He and the hero held the front line, while Slye (the
thief/fighter/magic-user) and the hired Fighter knocked their arrows and
peppered the Trolls. They left the Ogres alone; the fact that the Ogres were
between the Trolls and us was the only thing keeping us alive! Wiz and Wuz also
used their bows on the Trolls after they ran out of spells. Breed (the half-elf
fighter/cleric) and I kept the front rank healed with spells as well as we
could; the Ogres were giving them quite a pounding. Finally, we killed the
Trolls, then quickly finished off the Ogres. I stomped on the dead Trolls and
hammered them with my mace so they couldn't regenerate. It was bloody,
disgusting work, but somebody had to do it!
(Note: If you have mapped this block completely, and have had 15 random
encounters, the section is considered cleared.)
After some well-earned rest back in the civilized sector, we collected our
reward from the City Clerk, and received a new Commission: Sokol Keep. We looked
on the map and knew that it was on an island -- a short boat trip away from
Phlan. We went to the docks and booked passage.
Sokol Keep turned out to be a foreboding, lonely place! Outside the main gate
we found the bones of a dead elf (6-13). Since a goodly number of us were elves,
this caused some consternation. On the body, we found a scroll with three words
written on it. They translated as LUX, SHESTNI, and SAMOSUD.
We entered the Keep and were quickly beset by patrols of undead warriors! We
tried out the words on the scroll by parlaying [sic] with the warriors, and
found that SHESTNI satisfied them and sent them away. (Note: After speaking with
Martinez, only SAMOSUD will work.) But we were too bloodthirsty to be long
satisfied with this and finally started butchering them. I found that a dispel
worked just fine, and Breed also used it. Finally, after killing off our fourth
Patrol, we were allowed to camp and rest in peace
As we entered a room (8-5) just north of the Altar room, we were assaulted by
what seemed like thousands of Orcs and Hobgoblins! We found out later that this
was a force sent by the Boss to stop us from clearing the Keep. Once more we
found sleep spells worked well enough on enemy archers and the front ranks to
allow us to kill every last one of them. But we were fortunate to have the help
of the hero and fighter; otherwise, I don't think we could have done it!
When we arrived at the altar (7-9), a specter materialized and identified
himself as Ferran Martinez. We used LUX to parlay with him, and then told him
the truth when he asked about the state of the city. He told us about a secret
treasure room, which we found in the northwest corner of the Armory (15-0). We
walked through another of those illusionary walls (15-2). There were other
haunts we found in another room (6-2) who -- with the aid of LUX -- helped us
find even more treasure!
All in all, the Keep was an enriching experience. But a sad thing happened in
the big Orc battle. The hero got himself killed, but we felt much better after
we took his weapons, stripped him of some expensive plate armor, and threw his
body in a ditch. At least he wouldn't be demanding four shares any longer.
I healed the hired Fighter; when we finally got back to the training hall, we
all trained to higher levels -- he even paid for his own training!
(Note: The Keep is considered cleared once Ferran Martinez has been told the
truth. The shipping lanes will also be open to traffic. If you leave the Keep
before telling the truth to Martinez, the Undead Patrols will be reset.)
KUTO'S WELL AND PODOL PLAZA
We got a commission to secretly attend an auction in Podol Plaza. On the way,
we passed through the block known as Kuto's Well. Later we would explore Kuto's
Well more thoroughly, but this time we just passed through it.
(Note: There is not much of interest in Kuto's Well, except for the Well
itself. It's the entrance to the catacombs where one may find Norris the Gray
and his bandit horde. Defeating Norris clears the block. There is some treasure
under a hag's rug, but there's a much larger treasure elsewhere in the
We disguised ourselves and found the auction right in the middle of the block
(7-4). We didn't want to get too close for fear of being recognized. We were
able to get the information we came for, then we left.
When we returned to clear the block, we found a secret temple (2-15) which was
helpful for healing our wounds while we were clearing the Textile House. (The
entrance doors are at 3-13 and 3-15. They are opened with bashing, picking, or
There wasn't anything else of interest in Podol except for a bar called The Pit
(3-8). There we met a buccaneer, whose magic items we won in a duel!
(Note: Podal Plaza is considered cleared after ten random encounters. It cannot
be cleared while on a mission.)
POOL OF RADIANCE
CADORNA TEXTILE HOUSE
We must have been doing an impressive job of clearing the city: Councilman
Cadorna personally gave us our next commission. Another adventurer had been sent
down to the Textile House to recover the Councilman's family treasure, but he
never made it back. Our job was to go rescue the missing adventurer (if he was
still alive), and get the treasure.
Our first stop was at a well we found in the northwest section (0-3). Thinking
it might lead to catacombs like Kuto's Well did, we started to climb down. It
turned out to be a dry well all right, but only Slye was able to make the
dangerous climb down the well. It led to the headquarters of the Thieves Guild!
Because we were on a mission for Cadorna, the guild master took us -- via
tunnels -- under the city to another well inside the Textile House compound
(5-11). He told us to contact him again after we got the treasure, and he might
be of further help.
In the first building we entered (3-11), we killed a Priestess who had a key
that freed the adventurer we were sent to find. His name was Skullcrusher. He
joined our party and helped us fight many a battle. He also helped us find the
box of treasure (through a secret door at 11-14).
We took the box back to the Thieves Guild, the guild master opened the box for
us, and cleverly resealed it after giving us the contents. He took a share for
himself, but since we were also rewarded by Cadorna for returning the treasure
box (seal intact), it was worth it! Besides, we were beginning to think that
Cadorna smelled fishy, and that stealing from him wasn't really like stealing.
Skullcrusher left us as soon as we got to the city hall. It was probably a good
thing he did, since we couldn't trust him.
(Note: Defeating the ogre leader and having ten random encounters clears the
area. If the seal has been obviously broken on the box, Cadorna greets the party
with angry words and threats at City Hall.)
We had tried to get into the Library door earlier, but either Sly didn't have
enough experience yet to pick the lock, or we weren't strong enough to bash it
in; this time it opened readily enough (a knock spell works just fine).
We found several books of value. In the History Section we found "Lex
Geographica," "History of the North," and "Grand Historian's Records of the Arts
of War." In the philosophy section we found "Fyerdeth's Discourses on Power" and
"Urgund's Descriptions of Darkness." We also picked up a book on health which
turned out to be worth 25,000 gold pieces! It contained a spell that improved
your constitution, but since we were all strong and healthy, we sold it.
We quickly killed a basilisk (5-4) before he could stone any of us. A specter
librarian confronted us as we tried to leave with the stolen books, but a dispel
hurt him enough that we were able to kill him without trouble.
WEALTHY AREA AND TEMPLE OF BANE
(Note: Neither block is considered cleared until you win the fights in the
Mansion and defeat Mace's followers in the Temple.)
We were sent to Bishop Braccio in the Temple of Tyr, who gave us the assistance
of Dristan, a 6th level gnome cleric. Our job was to clear the Temple Of Bane
across the river, and find the lost artifacts of Il-Mater.
We took a boat over to the Wealthy Area, and fought our way through a Mansion
in the center of the area. There was hidden treasure in almost every room of the
Mansion! In one of the rooms, we found some Goblin Slaves who had some
information that was important. We met several followers of Bane. We killed a
couple and took a Leather Symbol from their bodies.
This Leather Symbol came in handy when we tried to enter the Temple of Bane. A
blind orc felt us to see if we had the leather symbol. Upon finding it, he let
In the Temple we searched the whole interior and found three caches of treasure
(5-5, 9-12, and 12-9)! We were attacked by Mace and a horde of his followers.
This was a very tough battle, and poor noble Dristan lost his life. (Note: If
Dristan lives, he will remain at the Temple to begin rebuilding.) We destroyed
the disgusting altar before we left. Dristan would have liked that.
(Note: You cannot rest in Kovel until all the thieves have been cleared out.)
Just north of the Wealthy Area was Kovel Mansion. We had a commission for
clearing that block out, too. So, we rested, healed, and went after the thieves
we knew to infest the place.
We were ambushed by thieves who would get in their licks and then run away. We
found that it was better for us if we didn't follow them; so, we just plodded
along, exploring each room carefully as we went. There were many traps,
ambushes, and much treasure! There was also much information. Some of it was
about Cadorna, whom we were now sure wasn't to be trusted! But was he the Boss?
That we didn't know yet.
After clearing Kovel, we took a peek in the Graveyard. We had a Commission to
clear it out, but it didn't take long to decide to get a little more experience
first...elsewhere! The graveyard was much too dangerous. So, we took the first
boat back to the safety of an Inn in the civilized sector. Besides, we had some
business in the shops: getting rid of all that heavy gold and treasure; getting
more training; getting drunk!
Following up on some things we'd overheard in the bars, we took a boat to the
west and hunted for the Silver Dragon. We found him (10-9), and after a few
nervous moments, we found out he was on our side! He directed us to visit a
Kobold cave due east to find a silver bottle.
Along the way, we found a camp of Nomads (12-11). They seemed friendly enough,
so we stopped over. One of our Commissions was to deal with the possibility that
the nomads might join with the Boss. Now was a good time to check this out! But
they were attacked by an army of Kobolds while we were there. We helped out with
the fighting (which was considerable -- the Kobolds attacked in three different
waves). In return for our aid, we got a lot of experience by fighting next to
these noble warriors, and a lot of treasure! We also got a pledge from the Nomad
Chief not to join with the Boss, so we fulfilled this mission, too!
We found the Kobold Cave another day's march east of the Nomad camp (6-15).
There were two entrances. We took the entrance to the left (the small cave).
Inside, we carefully mapped the maze. Along the way we found Princess Fatima
who was being held prisoner. She joined us, and proved to be a ferocious
fighter! We also found many traps, a Wyvern (whose main entrance was the large
cave entrance), and, eventually, the throne room of the King. We were attacked
by three waves of assorted monsters! (Use Continue Combat for a round or two in
between battles to heal, for there is no chance to rest between waves.) We won
those hard-fought battles, and chased the King to another room, where he had
chosen to die by his own hand, the coward!
We found the bottle the Silver Dragon sent us to find (12-0), but it was brass,
not silver: The Dragon was color blind! The bottle held an efreeti who
questioned us. We told him the truth, and he said he would help us later when we
fought the vampire in the graveyard.
Princess Fatima said farewell as we left the cave. Lance was very sad to see
her go. The rest of us were content with our new found treasures.
(Note: When the King is found dead, the mission has been fulfilled.)
We found Sorcerer's Island (6-16) by following the river north. We searched
around Lake Kuto and found a rowboat on the shore of the lake. We rowed across
the lake to the island and entered the Pyramid. Inside we found a long hall wall
with two doors. One of the doors led to a room with a transporter; next to it
was a pile of stones. Experimenting with this transporter, we found that by
throwing a stone into it, it would reset. We moved down the hall, and turned
right at the intersection, and moved to the end of the hall. Here we found more
stones and another transporter. We threw a stone and teleported. We moved down
this next hallway, threw a stone, teleported again, and found ourselves on the
third level of the Pyramid. The password over the door -- written in Dethek --
(Note: This is only true on the Commodore 64 version; the password is NOKNOK on
We said the password, moved through the door, and found ourselves in a room
full of machinery. We broke the machinery, and immediately ran out of the room.
And none too soon, for we heard a tremendous explosion through the door!
We went back in and found some captured lizard men in one room. After we'd
parlayed and talked to them in a nice manner, they told us their friend word:
We finally found Yarash and his Mutant Lizard Man guard. After defeating the
two of them, we found another teleporter. We found that the first three settings
caused the teleporter to work both to and from Yarash's secret treasure rooms;
the final setting teleported us back to the first hallway on the main level.
The second teleport on the main level is a trap. We were sent one way into a
maze where many mutant creatures were trapped. They attacked us after greeting
us with smiles. A priest who had gone crazy showed us a secret way out of the
(Note: The Pyramid is considered cleared after destroying the machinery and
Armed with the Lizard friend word, we were able to fulfill another mission: to
eliminate the lizard men threatening the city. We found their Keep in the
Eastern Wilderness (11-8). Because we had the friend word, we were met by the
chieftain, and wound up representing the old reptile in a duel for leadership of
the tribe. Lance easily defeated their selected challenger, and the chieftain
pledged not to support the Boss.
(Note: It is also possible to kill all the lizards in the Keep by exploring the
catacombs under the keep, and swimming in all of the pools found there. Some of
them have valuable treasure, including a +2 Shield! Either tactic fulfills the
We rescued the young heir to the house of Bivant next. He had been captured by
Buccaneers, and kept in their base camp in the Western Wilderness (12-31).
(Note: This camp can only be found after being commissioned to rescue the young
heir; once the rescue has been completed, it cannot be entered again.)
We found the boy easily enough in the camp, and could have escaped by starting
a stampede of the penned-up animals. But Lance admired the armor and weapons of
the captain, and we ended up killing every pirate in the camp! He now has the
Captain's armor and weapons
(Note: Rescuing the heir fulfills the mission.)
Our last Commission in the Western Wilderness took us to Zhentil Keep. This
mission was given to us by Cadorna. We suspected a trap; so, when we were given
rooms for the night after a dinner with the Commandant (in which we tried to
pump each other for information), we stayed awake, armed and ready. Sure enough,
we were attacked by the traitorous Commandant's forces in the middle of the
night, and eventually had to kill him and many, many waves of soldiers in order
to get out of the Keep.
(Note: It is possible to escape via the front gate without extensive battles if
you escape early enough. Escaping the Keep fulfills the mission.)
POOL OF RADIANCE
Back at the City Hall, we learned that Cadorna was now sought for being the
dirty traitor he was, and we were even given a Commission to find and kill him.
(The coward had fled the city!) But first, after collecting all our rewards, we
decided to finally clear the graveyard.
This was my toughest test. I found (as did the other spellcasters) that it was
helpful to cast Protection From Evil and Prayer right before a battle in such
places as the Mummies Crypt (10-11), and a room (1-13) filled with poison gas.
The various specters (and indeed, many of the monsters) we defeated with Dispel.
There were also several places where we improved our armor and weapons with
found treasures (8-2). We found an evil magic-user, but we refused his help.
(Note: He turns against you when you fight the Vampire.)
We eventually found and fought the Vampire in two different places. First, we
found a secret entrance through a wall (15-1). It was here we defeated the
Vampire the first time. We immediately went to his Crypt (12-3) where, with the
efreeti's help, we defeated him for the second and last time.
(Note: Save the game often, and leave the graveyard to rest and heal. It is
possible to restore levels to a character who has been drained of levels with
the aid of a scroll spell, but it is not advised. Many experience points are
lost, and every level lost also costs you the training for that level. You must
go back for re-training to regain those levels and to learn lost spells.)
We sensed that we were now powerful enough to look for the Boss. We knew he was
beyond Stojanow Gate, so we stormed the Gate. We fought bugbears and ettins, and
defeated all in our path. We did have to use knock spells to get through the
Gate itself; otherwise, we were strong, indeed!
(Note: It is possible to use finesse. During the daylight hours a merchant with
a wagon will sell it. Use this as a disguise so that you can sneak past the
bugbears, and take the guards in the towers by surprise. Once the Gate has been
cleared, guards from the city of Phlan hold the Gate open.)
We were hot on the trail of Tyranthaxus, and our final adventure took us into
the central tower of his castle. (Note: The Castle is divided into four
sections. The first section that you enter is the southwest Section.)
We found a laundry room in the far southeast corner of the southwest section
(12-13). There, we were able to disguise ourselves and avoid being challenged by
Giant Patrols. We found a Smithy (3-14), from whom we could steal armor at
night. We found a Bane chapel, which is best left alone: Within were a few coins
and two swords, but they smelled of Bane, which would have cursed us if we had
taken them. Instead, we killed the Priest and took his magic necklace. Each bead
was a fireball spell!
In the southeast section we found gates to the castle (12-8) and the cell
containing Cadorna (14-11). He'd been chained and beaten by Tyranthaxus's men.
He pleaded for us to release him, so we did: We released him from life. After
all, the city council had posted a reward for doing so! (Note: If you free him,
he will follow the group from behind and give the password to get through the
castle gates: RHODIA.)
Once through the southeast gates, we used some maps we had found to trace our
way through the hedge maze. (Note: The southeast part of the maze is shown on
page 19 of the Adventurer's Journal, the northeast section on page 29, and the
northwest section on page 42. The maze on page 19 is inaccurately drawn. There
really is a path clear through to the northeast section.)
We found a door into the central tower in the southeast section, but it only
contained an impostor claiming to be Tyranthaxus! So, we put the maps together,
went north from the southeast part to the northeast part, then west into the
northwest part. There we found a back door to the tower. Immediately to our
right, we found an illusionary wall that hid a stairway up into the tower.
We avoided the room with the trap door (there is a Medusa below who can stone
you with her gaze), and after parlaying with some messengers who worked for
Genheeris, we found Genheeris in his office, killed him, and went into
Tyranthraxus' lair. He was beside the pool in his dragon form!
We had a very tough battle, with our Fighter joining Tyranthraxus and his men
in a fight against us to the death. We won, and live to tell this story.
If you enter the castle via the northwest gates, there are a series of
teleporters which, if used, will also take you to Tyranthraxus.
There are two guard posts in the northwest and northeast sectors where
Parlaying Meek and using the password HARASH, will allow you to escape without a
There are various tactical ways to defeat the creatures you'll encounter.
Choosing the correct way of Parlaying will get your party out of many battles.
For starters, choose Abusive with Trolls, Zentarian Patrols, Thri-Kreen, and
There are other adventures that aren't a part of winning the game. For
instance, in the southwest part of the Western Wilderness, you can find the lair
of the Thri-Kreen (the Insect People). Because it is a lair, it moves and is
difficult to find -- as are lairs of other creatures that can be found in
various other parts of the Wilderness. So, if you think you've done it all, you
haven't! There are still adventures to be had even after Tyranthraxus has been
defeated: Happy hunting!