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Pools of Darkness is the final title in the four-game Forgotten Realms series of computer role-playing games developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. It is the sequel to Secret of the Silver Blades. The novel Pools of Darkness by James Ward and Anne K. Brown was based on the game.


Angered at the party's successes in the prior games in the series, the evil god Bane seizes control of the Moonsea region. The cities and towns of the region (with the exception of the evil cities of Zhentil Keep and Mulmaster) are ripped from the earth, leaving only craters. Storms prevent entry to the region and darkness covers the sky at all times.

Control of the region is given to Bane's three lieutenants: the marilith Kalistes, the glabrezu Tanetal, and the balor Gothmenes. Now Bane's followers work to amass armies that will pour forth from the Moonsea region to invade the rest of the Realms.

Having anticipated Bane's plot, the sage Elminster summons the party to Limbo and tasks them with stopping Bane's evil. Elminster provides the party with access to magical portals called pools of darkness, which enable travel to the outer planes where Bane's servants have their power base.


To play Pools of Darkness, one simply needs to create characters and form a party. The gameplay basics are identical to all games in the series. The game does come with a pre-designed party, but many players prefer to create their own characters. One can modify the appearance and some colors of the character's combat icon and then name the character.

A maximum of six characters may be added to the party and it's highly recommended to use all six spaces as the game does not give any handicaps for smaller parties. NPCs sometimes join the party in the game, making it possible to have more than six characters. Characters can also be transferred from Secret of the Silver Blades.

In the Amiga version, scrolls could be joined into bundles, while the MS-DOS version didn't feature this option. Also games could be loaded in the camp menu of the Amiga version. MS-DOS users had to restart or enter a training hall and remove all their characters from the party to load a game.



DenniaNacaciaPriamRaizelRuolnSilkStorm HarngrimTranedVala
AeghwaetArcamArtaBostellBrimwulfElminsterCadornaCynthiaDarisDaveGothmenesGragnak UlfimHernKalistesKardalKimarrLaurellinLiilLocasteMabrilManshoonMarcusModthrythPetraQuilSashaShalShestTanetalThorneTyranthraxusUngleowValardisXohan


balorBane minion (black, blue, red) • bansheebasiliskbeholder • bit o Moanderblack dragonblue dragonbulettecarrion crawlercloud giantcockatricecryo snakedeath tyrantdisplacer beastdracolichdracoliskdriderdrowdwarfearth elementalelder orbelectric spiderelfettinfire elementalfire giantgaze spidergiant spiderglabrezugnomegreat basiliskgreen dragonhalf-elfhalflingharpyhill gianthumaniron golemki-rinlichmammothmarilithmargoylemedusaneo otyughogreotyughpet of Kalistesphase spiderpit fiendpurple wormpyro snakerakshasared dragonsalamanderskeletonsnakespectrestone spiderswanmaytreantumber hulkvampirewalking treewhite dragonwightwraith


Inns & Taverns
Purple Plume TavernThe Sleeping Dragon InnTwisted Horn Tavern
Mystic Talismans
MelvauntMulmasterPhlanZhentil Keep
Myth Drannor
Referenced only


amulet of stillnessblessed boltsboots of speedcloak of displacementcloak of protectionelixir of youthessence of pure lightfire of nightgauntlets of ogre powergirdle of giant strengthjavelin of lightningnecklace of missilesperiapt of healthpotion of hastepotion of invisibilitypotion of speedring of blinkingring of cold resistancering of electrical immunityring of fire resistancering of protectionring of protection from evilring of vulnerabilityring of wizardryscroll of protection from dragon breathscrying mirrorstone of good lucktalisman of banewand of fireballswand of lightningwand of magic missileswand of paralyzationward of safe passage
barkskinbestow curseblade barrierblessblinkburning handscause blindnesscause diseasecause critical woundscause light woundscause serious woundscharm monstercharm personcharm person or mammalcloudkillcone of coldconfusioncure blindnesscure diseasecure critical woundscure diseasecure light woundscure serious woundscursecircle of deathdelayed blast fireballdestructiondetect invisibilitydetect magicdimension doordisintegratedispel evildispel magicenergy drainenlargeentanglefaerie firefearfeeblemindfind trapsfireballfire shieldfire touchflame strikeflesh to stonefriendsfumbleglobe of invulnerabilityharmhastehealhold animalhold monsterhold personice storminvisibilityinvisibility to animalsiron skinknocklightning boltmagic missilemass charmmass invisibilitymeteor swarmmind blankminor globe of invulnerabilitymirror imagemonster summoningneutralize poisonOtto's irresistible dancepoisonprayerprotection from evilprotection from fireprotection from goodprotection from normal missilesraise deadray of enfeeblementread magicremove curseresist coldresist firerestorationresurrectionshieldshocking graspsilenceslay livingsleepslowslow poisonsnake charmspiritual hammersticks to snakesstinking cloudstone to fleshstrength


Cult of the DragonSwanmayTemple of TyrZhentil




crucible of flamecrystal ringdart of the hornet's nesthorn of doomKardal's daggerlamp of vigilanceLindenwood staffmirror of Kalistesoakroot staffvial of spider venom antidoteworld stone
Weapons & Armor
arrowawl pikebanded mailbastard swordbattleaxebracerbroad swordchainmailclubcomposite longbowcomposite shortbowdaggerdartelven chainmailflailhalberdhammerhandaxehelmjavelinleather armorlight crossbowlongbowlongswordmacemilitary pickmorning starplate mailquarterstaffring armorscale armorscimitarshieldshortbowshort swordslingspearstaff slingtridenttwo-handed sword
Weapon qualities


Main article: Images from Pools of Darkness

Game credits[]

  • Game creation: SSI Special Projects Group
  • Developer: Ken Humphries, Dave Shelley
  • IBM Programmers: Russ Brown, Jim Jennings, Kerry Bonin
  • Music: George Sanger, Dave Govett
  • Testers: Phil Alne, John Kirk, Andre Vrignaud, Brian Lowe, Alan Marenco, Glen Cureton, Mike Balajadia
  • Artists: Maurine Starkey, Richard Payne, Fred Butts, Jean Xiong, Mike Provenza, Cyrus Harris, Ed Trillo, Kevin Thompson, Laura Bowen, Mike Nowak, Mark Johnson
  • Encounter Authors: Chris Carr, Ken Eklund, Lori White, Tom Ono, Gary Shockley, Dave Georgeson, Cynthia Hwang



  1. The timelines of the original Pool of Radiance series of video games, and the FRC series of adventure modules cannot co-exist with the canon novels. The video games and modules start in 1357-1358 DR. However, due to the release of content related to the Time of Troubles, the Pool of Radiance novel was shifted backwards to 1340 DR. This spoils the continuity for the video games that originally took place from 1358 DR to 1368 DR (which now starts in 1340 DR), and the adventure modules (Curse of the Azure Bonds took place directly after Ruins of Adventure). For this reason, the events and timelines of the Pool of Radiance video games and the FRC adventure modules are considered non-canon. However, the background information about characters, creatures, locations, and items etc, may still be documented.

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