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.
- Dennia • Nacacia • Priam • Raizel • Ruoln • Silk • Storm Harngrim • Traned • Vala
- Aeghwaet • Arcam • Arta • Bostell • Brimwulf • Elminster • Cadorna • Cynthia • Daris • Dave • Gothmenes • Gragnak Ulfim • Hern • Kalistes • Kardal • Kimarr • Laurellin • Liil • Locaste • Mabril • Manshoon • Marcus • Modthryth • Petra • Quil • Sasha • Shal • Shest • Tanetal • Thorne • Tyranthraxus • Ungleow • Valardis • Xohan
- balor • Bane minion (black, blue, red) • banshee • basilisk • beholder • bit o Moander • black dragon • blue dragon • bulette • carrion crawler • cloud giant • cockatrice • cryo snake • death tyrant • displacer beast • dracolich • dracolisk • drider • drow • dwarf • earth elemental • elder orb • electric spider • elf • ettin • fire elemental • fire giant • gaze spider • giant spider • glabrezu • gnome • great basilisk • green dragon • half-elf • halfling • harpy • hill giant • human • iron golem • ki-rin • lich • mammoth • marilith • margoyle • medusa • neo otyugh • ogre • otyugh • pet of Kalistes • phase spider • pit fiend • purple worm • pyro snake • rakshasa • red dragon • salamander • skeleton • snake • spectre • stone spider • swanmay • treant • umber hulk • vampire • walking tree • white dragon • wight • wraith
- amulet of stillness • blessed bolts • boots of speed • cloak of displacement • cloak of protection • elixir of youth • essence of pure light • fire of night • gauntlets of ogre power • girdle of giant strength • javelin of lightning • necklace of missiles • periapt of health • potion of haste • potion of invisibility • potion of speed • ring of blinking • ring of cold resistance • ring of electrical immunity • ring of fire resistance • ring of protection • ring of protection from evil • ring of vulnerability • ring of wizardry • scroll of protection from dragon breath • scrying mirror • stone of good luck • talisman of bane • wand of fireballs • wand of lightning • wand of magic missiles • wand of paralyzation • ward of safe passage
- barkskin • bestow curse • blade barrier • bless • blink • burning hands • cause blindness • cause disease • cause critical wounds • cause light wounds • cause serious wounds • charm monster • charm person • charm person or mammal • cloudkill • cone of cold • confusion • cure blindness • cure disease • cure critical wounds • cure disease • cure light wounds • cure serious wounds • curse • circle of death • delayed blast fireball • destruction • detect invisibility • detect magic • dimension door • disintegrate • dispel evil • dispel magic • energy drain • enlarge • entangle • faerie fire • fear • feeblemind • find traps • fireball • fire shield • fire touch • flame strike • flesh to stone • friends • fumble • globe of invulnerability • harm • haste • heal • hold animal • hold monster • hold person • ice storm • invisibility • invisibility to animals • iron skin • knock • lightning bolt • magic missile • mass charm • mass invisibility • meteor swarm • mind blank • minor globe of invulnerability • mirror image • monster summoning • neutralize poison • Otto's irresistible dance • poison • prayer • protection from evil • protection from fire • protection from good • protection from normal missiles • raise dead • ray of enfeeblement • read magic • remove curse • resist cold • resist fire • restoration • resurrection • shield • shocking grasp • silence • slay living • sleep • slow • slow poison • snake charm • spiritual hammer • sticks to snakes • stinking cloud • stone to flesh • strength
- crucible of flame • crystal ring • dart of the hornet's nest • horn of doom • Kardal's dagger • lamp of vigilance • Lindenwood staff • mirror of Kalistes • oakroot staff • vial of spider venom antidote • world stone
- Weapons & Armor
- arrow • awl pike • banded mail • bastard sword • battleaxe • bracer • broad sword • chainmail • club • composite longbow • composite shortbow • dagger • dart • elven chainmail • flail • halberd • hammer • handaxe • helm • javelin • leather armor • light crossbow • longbow • longsword • mace • military pick • morning star • plate mail • quarterstaff • ring armor • scale armor • scimitar • shield • shortbow • short sword • sling • spear • staff sling • trident • two-handed sword
- Weapon qualities
- Main article: Images from Pools of Darkness
- 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
- 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.
- Hartley Lesser, Patricia Lesser and Kirk Lesser (January 1992). “The Role of Computers: Clue Corner: Pools of Darkness”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #177 (TSR, Inc.), p. 66.
- Hartley Lesser, Patricia Lesser and Kirk Lesser (February 1992). “The Role of Computers: Review: Pools of Darkness”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #178 (TSR, Inc.), p. 58.
- Hartley Lesser, Patricia Lesser and Kirk Lesser (March 1992). “The Role of Computers: Clue Corner: Pools of Darkness”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #179 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 61–62.
- Hartley Lesser, Patricia Lesser and Kirk Lesser (June 1992). “The Role of Computers: Clue Corner: Pools of Darkness”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #182 (TSR, Inc.), p. 60.
Other settingsAl-Qadim: The Genie's Curse • Planescape: Torment • Ravenloft: Stone Prophet • Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession • Spelljammer: Pirates of Realmspace