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Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor logo

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Magic in Pool of Radiance II

You swarm up and over the broken and crumbling flagstones of what may have once been a noble's court, swinging viciously with your quarterstaff at descending dragonlike figures. Catching your breath against a ruined section of some forgotten tower's wall, you squint into the afternoon sun and take stock of your situation. Thank the gods that your cleric still stands, although he looks badly wounded and the three dragon-kin advancing on him don't appear to wish him a long life. Your barbarian and fighter companions hold their own - your party just might win this battle if only you can assist the cleric. Gritting your teeth and glancing one more time at the sky, you prepare the words to harness the magic that flows within your veins. Suddenly the air around you shimmers; lighting blasts from your fingertips to roast two of the three dragon-kin battling your ally. You smile. Victory is almost certainly assured. 

Circle of Death Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor offers players plenty of opportunity to test their combat mettle against even the strongest of foes. However, powerful battles are not all just swinging swords and maces -- elements of magic round out your fighting arsenal. The game boasts two types of magic as described in the Player's Handbook: divine and arcane. Divine magics come from the gods as gifts to their devout worshippers, granting clerics (and, to a lesser extent, paladins and rangers) powers that vary from healing allies to blasting enemies with holy fire called down from the sky. Arcane magic, wielded by sorcerers, is far more devastating than is divine (though it lacks the versatility of the cleric's healing and protective spells). No party is complete without at least one sorcerer to help even the odds with a well-placed fireball, lightning bolt, or cone of cold.

Cone of Cold As your characters progress through the game, they learn new types of spells -- a process that occurs differently for clerics and sorcerers. When clerics attains a new level at which a higher spell level becomes available, they gain access to all those spells and can cast a certain number from each level before requiring rest. Sorcerers, on the other hand, must choose from a list of spells as they gain the ability to learn new ones, creating a smaller but potentially more deadly list of arcane magic. Both types of spellcasters can reach 16th level, which allows them to cast up to 8th-level spells. With such power at their command, your spellcasters will truly strike fear in the hearts of their enemies, so much so that strong melee opponents may target them first. Magic, however, is a tool used by any who possess the power, and plenty of enemies wield such talent. Lizardfolk shamans constantly heal their warriors; orog witch doctors hold your fighters and put them to sleep; powerful dark elves (drow) not only cast strong offensive magics but prove inherently resistant to yours. To counter these challenges, you'll develop some defensive tactics early in the game -- such as positioning your warriors near your spellcasters.

Finger of Death And what would a roleplaying game be without magical treasure? Player characters happen to be exploring sections of Myth Drannor that have not seen many travelers in decades. Lost treasures from ages past litter rooms, chests, and sometimes even the floors of catacombs, towers, and castle passageways. Players can outfit their characters with magical weapons, armor, potions, scrolls, wands, staves, rods, and other miscellaneous equipment. As you proceed through the adventure, you also find various magical items tied to quests. An early mission asks you to recover the magical staff Deathbane for the elven cleric Beriand, an enterprise that takes you through the ruins of the dwarven dungeons to Zud, the orc leader who has stolen it. Battle him and his forces to regain the staff; return it to Beriand and he offers the party free healing and resurrection anytime you need it. Other quests, such as solving the puzzle of the Rohnglyn, allow the characters to keep magic they discover. An ancient dwarven device supposedly imbued with magic by the city's armathor wizards centuries ago, the Rohnglyn now lies frozen in a cage of ice. Free it and gain Borea's Blood, a powerful ice shard fragment that acts as a cone of cold wand.

Globe of Invulnerability Finally, the game's focal point is the Mythal, the greatest spell in perhaps all of the Realms. This magical shield surrounds Myth Drannor and usually protects it from harm. But Kya Mordrayn's corrupting power has somehow tainted the arcane wonder, causing malevolent pools of radiance to spring up throughout Faerun and empower her evil scheme. Only by purifying the Mythal -- drawing upon the magic of the recovered Gauntlets of Moander to destroy the pool in Myth Drannor -- can you thwart Mordrayn and the Cult of the Dragon.

Lightning Bolt Using magical spells, items, enemies, and quests, Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor leads players into a fantastic setting where spell slingers are just as revered and mighty as brawny warriors. The synergy between the two, however, far exceeds the strength and capabilities of either -- and players who discover this truth will enjoy a heightened, more exciting gaming experience.

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