Perhaps the most popular and prolifically ported of early attempts to translate the communal Dungeons & Dragons role-playing experience to a single-player computer game, Pool of Radiance is true to both the story-telling spirit and statistical structure of the original pen-and-paper RPG, with emphasis on tense exploration and turn-based fantasy combat.
Players create a party of up to six characters, with available race and class selections based on the original "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" rule sets. Enemy creatures are taken directly from the Monster Manual, and the story leads players through notable locales in the officially sanctioned Forgotten Realms campaign world, beginning in a coastal city called New Phlan.
Civilized areas are home to numerous NPCs and the game features an abundance of text dialog (some which is crucial to the plot, and much that simply adds a sense of culture). Exploration is done one step at a time, viewed from a first person perspective without the aid of overviews or mini-maps. Battles are fought from an isometric viewpoint and strictly follow the combat systems explained in the Dungeon Master's Guide.
Pool of Radiance is the first chapter in what came to be known as the "Gold Box" series of computer D&D games, and was followed by releases intended for higher level characters including Curse of the Azure Bonds and Secret of the Silver Blades.
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