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Default Is Pool of Radiance just unfair, or am I doing something wrong?

October 1st, 2016, 00:25
Originally Posted by Fnord View Post
Also, just because every class and race are viable options does not mean a game has to be "ezmode". That's just up to basic game balance. If you design hard encounters, the game won't be "ezmode".
I would go so far as to call not making every class and race viable bad design in an of itself. What is the point of having dwarves, elves, and halflings if you may as well not bother ever rolling one? Racial abilities should differentiate the races, but should not be a reason to ensure they could never be used in the game. Core AD&D was just badly designed in that regard, and that carried to the Gold Box games.

I wonder if anyone has ever made a mod or patch to remove racial limits?
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October 5th, 2016, 08:47
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
I would go so far as to call not making every class and race viable bad design in an of itself. What is the point of having dwarves, elves, and halflings if you may as well not bother ever rolling one? Racial abilities should differentiate the races, but should not be a reason to ensure they could never be used in the game. Core AD&D was just badly designed in that regard, and that carried to the Gold Box games.

I wonder if anyone has ever made a mod or patch to remove racial limits?
I agree, the racial level caps is a serious design flaw (that luckily doesn't exist in the Krynn series nor later AD&D games such as EotB, Darksun or Baldur's Gate). It doesn't matter much in PoR, but the rest of the games will see your character hit those caps pretty soon.

As you say it was an idiotic design in AD&D, and implementing it was stupid.

I doubt the problem was fixed. Fan patchers were non-existant back then.
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October 6th, 2016, 04:11
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
I agree, the racial level caps is a serious design flaw (that luckily doesn't exist in the Krynn series nor later AD&D games such as EotB, Darksun or Baldur's Gate). It doesn't matter much in PoR, but the rest of the games will see your character hit those caps pretty soon.

As you say it was an idiotic design in AD&D, and implementing it was stupid.

I doubt the problem was fixed. Fan patchers were non-existant back then.
The Krynn games IIRC had racial caps, but the Krynn rules were much more lenient. I think you could safely rely on demi-humans through Death Knights of Krynn, but Dark Queen was a bit like Pools of Darkness.

I don't know about not having mods. There are mods available for Wizardry 7 after all, which falls into what I consider the same 'generation' of CRPGs. There are people releasing entire games as disk images for dead systems; I downloaded a dungeon crawler for the C64 that was released this year. So it would only take someone with a bit of skill and the passion to see it through.

There's also the Gold Box Companion, which adds in fast spell re-memorization to earlier games as well as the Fix command, and has a functioning automap. I don't know if it's a mod or a trainer program though. I never used it. I may grab it and test it out later, when I get the posterior to start Pool of Radiance again.

On topic, I've attempted a run through Pool of Radiance, but the UI is super clunky when coming off of later GB titles like Treasures of the Savage Frontier. It's actually off putting a bit, though part of that is just over-familiarity with the newer enhancements. So I've stopped for the time being and started (after some issues with the GOG version, which were only solved by hitting an abandonware site and downloading it) Wizardry 7.
Last edited by azraelck; October 6th, 2016 at 04:25.
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October 7th, 2016, 22:39
I didn't know about the mods, might check them out. I have an old collection with all the goldbox titles, and playing without re-memorisation is damn annoying.

Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
The Krynn games IIRC had racial caps, but the Krynn rules were much more lenient. I think you could safely rely on demi-humans through Death Knights of Krynn, but Dark Queen was a bit like Pools of Darkness.
You are right on the Krynn games

Code:
CLASS    HUMANS  SILV.   QUAL.    HALF    HILL      MTH.      KENDER
                 ELVES   ELVES            ELVES     DWARVES   DWARVES
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cleric     Max   Max     Max      Max     10        10        12
Fighter    Max   10      14       9       Max       Max       5
Paladin    Max   12      No       No      No        8         No
Ranger     Max   Max     Max      11      8         No        5
Knight     Max   No      No       10      No        No        No
Magic-user Max   Max     Max      10      No        No        No
Thief      Max   No      Max      Max     10        8         Max
Elven rangers, clerics, and mages as well as dwarven fighters or multiclasses using those are feasible though. Since there is no dual classing I usually go with a dwarven fighter and at least one elven mage. Thieves are pointless as per all goldbox games.
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October 19th, 2016, 07:02
I love that the chart is messed up on the second line, with Hill Elves and Kender Dwarves.

Thieves in most of the old and even more modern CRPGs are a forced character slot. Required for traps/locks but useless otherwise. I finally dropped the class from my own game, and just changed the skills to be open to all classes, since I didn't like having one class forced into a party by design.

I usually ran a MC Fighter/Thief in the FR gold box games, and a Kender Cleric/Thief in the Krynn games myself, but in retrospect, I can't recall really needing their trapping abilities. So it came down to a slight advantage in combat if you could arrange for a backstab.

Looks like it's actually worthwhile to build elven cleric/mages and ranger/clerics in the Krynn games, with the only pure class being needed being a Knight. Interesting that Mountain Dwarves and Silvanesti Elves can be Paladins as well, though I don't see a point. Half-Elves can be useful cleric/Thieves as well, better than Kender. Though I seem to recall needing a Kender at some point, I may just be misremembering.

Now I want to start the Krynn series again. I haven't played any of them in years either.
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October 19th, 2016, 11:01
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
EDIT: You could hire level 4 mercenaries (heroes?), kill them and take their gear, but that is a tad cheesy.
Why is that? They are Chaotic/Evil anyway and roleplaying my fighter as a paladin I felt morally obliged to do so time and again.

I thing about 10 hired Heroes died that way ….
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October 19th, 2016, 12:06
Originally Posted by Sir_Brennus View Post
Why is that? They are Chaotic/Evil anyway and roleplaying my fighter as a paladin I felt morally obliged to do so time and again.

I thing about 10 hired Heroes died that way ….
Ah, but, as you were under contract to those hirelings, you were honor bound to fight beside them. So by abandoning them to die, you violated the Paladin code of ethics, and thus lose your Paladin abilities. Presuming you didn't outright murder them.

Yes, I am a mean DM. If I were the DM, you wouldn't even be able to hire anymore after the first few, as no one would join you. If it was outright murder, you'd as likely end up having to cover it up just avoid prison and the gallows (and rolling a less homicidal character).
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October 19th, 2016, 14:14
Killing heroes is more cheesy than using over powered wannabe everything, multi-class jack of all trades? Nah, I don't think so. It's very fun to kill them though when they turn on the party.
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December 2nd, 2016, 11:36
Originally Posted by Fnord View Post
I decided that it's high time for me to actually try one of the gold box games. And what better place to start than with Pool of Radiance? (Actually, I looked it up to see if any other game in the series was considered better for beginners, but Pool was consistently getting recommended, and not just because it was first).

So after creating my starting party, consisting of 1 fighter, 1 thief, 2 clerics & 2 mages, I ventured out into the slums (after getting told by a clerk that that was where they wanted me to go). First encounter was a bunch of kobolds. Easy enough, the kobolds died and only one of my party members got wounded. Then I ran into a group of 6 goblins. They slaughtered my party. Fair enough, low level D&D can be really random, and 2 hits is often enough to down a character (even when you've set their stats to max…). Re-loaded, ventured a bit further in and instead of goblins, I ran into a boatload (I think like 15 or so) orcs, with no option to run. It was a massacre.
Next attempt… 15 goblins, of which 4 are "goblin leaders". Another massacre.
And another… 18 goblins, 4 leaders. Massacre.

So, am I doing something wrong here, or are there supposed to be orc/goblin death squads in the "beginner area"? Truth to be told, I'm really not enjoying myself once bit here.
I love the Goldbox games, I've played them all a number of times (except for hillsfar didn't care for it) POR can be dreadful at low levels the beginning is trail and error with some luck. I am not one for the nes games but I must say I enjoyed POR on the nes try it out it is pretty much the same except the battles are not as big. use a nes emulator. Also you may want to try Gateway to the Savage Frontier that game was my favorite of them all.
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December 4th, 2016, 12:31
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
Looks like it's actually worthwhile to build elven cleric/mages and ranger/clerics in the Krynn games, with the only pure class being needed being a Knight. Interesting that Mountain Dwarves and Silvanesti Elves can be Paladins as well, though I don't see a point. Half-Elves can be useful cleric/Thieves as well, better than Kender. Though I seem to recall needing a Kender at some point, I may just be misremembering.

Now I want to start the Krynn series again. I haven't played any of them in years either.
There is one issue with multiclass casters though. XP needed for an extra level is constant at high levels IIRC, so they will end up much lower level than single class casters. AFAIK we are talking 5-10 levels in late Dark Queen of Krynn.

You only need one cleric anyway, knights gain cleric spells (and unlike the pallies they gain high level spells too).
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December 4th, 2016, 12:49
loved the game but never finished it .. t'was hard as fuck
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December 4th, 2016, 14:02
The real trick for AD&D was not multiclassing, because they leveled slower and ended up being a dabbler of their classes as levels got higher. The trick was to dual class, especially recommended is having one full cleric, one full mage, and one cleric that switches to mage at level 7 (when they get cure serious wounds if I remember correctly).

This thread makes me think that younger me was much more badass than I am now. I played this game in 1988 or 1989 in my PC, game said 2 floppy drives were required but I only had one, so any time the game wanted to read from floppy B, DOS asked me to put a disk in the drive… The game didn't know this, it would load stuff from A and B indiscriminately so I had to switch floppies back and forth like 10 times every time the game loaded anything of importance… the screen would fill with 'load disk' lines and I had to play that way, but I was addicted to AD&D (tabletop) back then so I managed to finish the game. Also, from what OP says it sounds like a game I would abandon today after the third failed attempt, yet I think I finished it easily back then (except for a troll fight very early that I don't know if I ever beat), hard-core without cheating/changing stats.
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December 5th, 2016, 07:10
what would a cleric gain from switching to mage tho, dont they use different spellcasting (arcane/divine)
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December 5th, 2016, 13:25
One of the keys to surviving at early levels is the sleep spells, that is your best friend.
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December 6th, 2016, 15:17
Originally Posted by luj1 View Post
what would a cleric gain from switching to mage tho, dont they use different spellcasting (arcane/divine)
When you dual class you have access to everything from your original class (I think once your new level got same or higher than the original), so at level 7 when you get cure serious (plus all the other spells you had), you switch to mage level 1. For a little while your cleric->mage will be weak, but she'll gain like a level per fight because of how exp requirement per level was sort of exponential (so the first fight after the switch would give 2000 exp but to go from mage 1 to 2 it required 1000 or something). Eventually when the mage reached level 7 or 8, he would gain access to all the cleric spells up to level 7, with separate 'slots' from mage. That's how AD&D worked back then and the game reflected that.
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December 6th, 2016, 20:19
Is that how it worked in 2.5? Coz i grew up on 3.5 (always thought twas the best ed)
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December 6th, 2016, 23:17
Originally Posted by luj1 View Post
Is that how it worked in 2.5? Coz i grew up on 3.5 (always thought twas the best ed)
Yes, I always did that in all computer AD&D games I played, it's just too good and you lose nothing except a few hours where your dual classed is weaker than the rest of the party, but then you get a mage with extra spell slots for healing.

I played AD&D From about 1987 to 1993 so 2nd edition is what I knew and got addicted to. I played a bit of 3rd ed. years later like in 2000 for a bit. I liked the customization, but didn't like the exploitability of the system. Good for computer games where everything is controlled, but for tabletop, if the DM was not extra-careful one PC could become more powerful than the rest of the group combined.

I almost puked reading the 4th ed. rules, and though 5th edition made improvements, I still don't care for it.
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December 7th, 2016, 01:50
Yeah after 4 everything went to shit, i feel 3.5 was the last good one

I liked the customization, but didn't like the exploitability of the system. Good for computer games where everything is controlled, but for tabletop, if the DM was not extra-careful one PC could become more powerful than the rest of the group combined.
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December 8th, 2016, 21:39
Originally Posted by Fnord View Post
So after creating my starting party, consisting of 1 fighter, 1 thief, 2 clerics & 2 mages
Yup, as mentioned, mages are squishy and thieves are mediocre. I normally play low-level AD&D with a robust dwarven fighter/thief and a high dex. elven mage to cover those slots.
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December 11th, 2016, 13:55
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
When you dual class you have access to everything from your original class (I think once your new level got same or higher than the original), so at level 7 when you get cure serious (plus all the other spells you had), you switch to mage level 1. For a little while your cleric->mage will be weak, but she'll gain like a level per fight because of how exp requirement per level was sort of exponential (so the first fight after the switch would give 2000 exp but to go from mage 1 to 2 it required 1000 or something). Eventually when the mage reached level 7 or 8, he would gain access to all the cleric spells up to level 7, with separate 'slots' from mage. That's how AD&D worked back then and the game reflected that.
I prefer to dual class from figher 7 or fighter 13 (or was it 14) due to the extra attacks and extra HP. This makes clerics viable melee fighters without buffs and also allow mages to dish out melee damage against trash mobs (not to mention that some 50 or so extra HP works wonders for their survivability).

I mostly use clerics for healing (where I believe level 7 would suffice as long as noone died) and some crowd control. For the latter I'd want as high level as possible to counter spell resists. In Pools of Darkness a few extra levels is the difference between being able to "hold person" various high level humanoid mages or not, and that is a second level spell.

Of course this means that I only dual in the second or third game in the FR series.
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