Brian Still Hasn’t Beat Pools of Darkness, Part Four – Dragon’s Lair

The monsters rejoice for the party has been destroyed.

We had a lot more trouble with the fire giant mage’s cave than I was expecting, so I decided it was once again time to leave the Realms in undeniable peril and spend some time irresponsibly leveling up. Nevermind the clouds of dragons ready to descend and level everything in sight—we headed west for experience and mediocre loot.

Go on….

Brian Still Hasn’t Beat Pools of Darkness, Part Three – Another Giant Mess

Bane briefs his lieutenants

[Hey. This is part 3 in a series. You can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here!]

The last big sidequest I wanted to complete before accepting that box social invitation from the hill giant shaman involved…well, more giants. I can’t seem to get away from these guys. This time, we were investigating a fortress called Taydome’s Keep in the plains of Thar. An enchantment had been placed on the keep that bewitched any giants within, placing them under the command of some half-baked wizard named Kimarr, who was feuding with another wizard named Quil, and had taken our good pal Sasha hostage. Kimarr had bent a good number of hill, cloud, and fire giants to his will, along with some ogres. Since they were reluctant servants to Kimarr, we were hesitant to fight them (well, all of us except for Veda), and tried to make our way through the keep as stealthily as possible to avoid the patrols.

Go on….

Brian Still Hasn’t Beat Pools of Darkness, Part Two – Ignoring the Plight of the Realms for Some Sweet XP

[Hey. This is part 2 in a series. If you wanna read part 1, you can check that out here.]

[Be forewarned: I’m real bad at remembering to take screenshots, so you may have to use your imagination until (and if) I get my act together. I stole some from MobyGames.com so you would at least have a lil’ something to look at.]

Elminster hurled us back through the portal, but it deposited us in unfamiliar territory. Fortunately, our party members vaguely recognized the geography as an area far to the east of Phlan, so we gathered our bearings and headed west. What the heck, Elminster? Why’d you throw us so far off course?! Ah well. 

There are a number of sidequests I normally do at the beginning of Pools of Darkness, but this is the first time I’ve used the class-change feature, and our party is currently stuck with a level 1 thief in Scholtz II. I wanted to level this guy up as much as possible in a fairly controlled environment so as not to get caught unprepared in a deep dungeon with a low-level character. Also, a character can only gain experience points up to one point below the amount needed to gain two levels, so I needed to be able to train frequently to get the most out of my experience, otherwise the points just go to waste.

Go on….

Brian Still Hasn’t Beat Pools of Darkness

Pools of Darkness Title Screen

It all started as an innocent computer game purchase from Babbage’s in 1993. It has grown into a monster that eludes me to this day.

I have what practically amounts to a wrecked semi’s worth of video games at my disposal, and none of them have achieved White Whale status quite like Pools of Darkness. It’s the fourth and final game in Strategic Simulations, Inc.’s original “Gold Box” series of Dungeons and Dragons PC games, preceded by Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, and Secret of the Silver Blades. I’ve beaten all three of those games. Multiple times. Not Pools of Darkness.

Go on….