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Full run through of Gold Box games

Discussion in 'Playground' started by graystone, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    You cannot cast spells during the 3rd battle, but you can heal and prebuff before starting it. Just don't end the second battle before you're fully buffed for the 3rd.
    Read the spell descriptions, haste, blink, fire shield and other buffs can be extremely useful.
    I've not tested if globe of invulnerability protects from lightning breath or the electric fire shield.
    Melee attacks versus the fire shielded Minions are no good idea, so use ranged weapons or cast fire shield yourself and make them hit you so they take double damage.
    I've heard it's possible to hide until the enemy fire shields run out.
     
  2. Mad Weirwood Gems: 1/31
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    Hope you don't mind the thread necromancy, but time moves a little different for those of us who replay the classics anyway...

    I'd like some more advice on dual-classing in Pools.

    Here's the party I have in mind:

    Paladin 17 or 20 > Cleric
    Ranger 17 > Mage
    Ranger 17 > Mage
    Ranger 17 > Thief
    Cleric ? > Mage
    Elf F/M/T or Dwarf F/T

    Any reason not to wait until the Paladin has max his spells at L20 before dualing? I figure that way I can carry the three rangers a little better. Any other level that would be a good point to dual other than 17 or 20?

    What's a good level to dual the Cleric? The journal doesn't have infor about the spell progression beyond 18... I believe it tops out at 29, but I don't want to wait that long.

    Which of the two non-humans would be better? I figure the elf should be able to take care of spells while the rangers level.

    Lastly, what's a good dual point for Mage > Cleric?
     
  3. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Be aware that you'll need a lot of grinding to make this party effective.

    As long as you don't reach level 40 as mage the ranger17/mage will be inferior to ranger15/mage with the same amount of XP.

    It's similar with the cleric dual to mage, level 16 (first level 7 spell, thac0 10) is the best in a normal game, if you're going to grind a lot and have the rangers dual at level 17 choose cleric 19 (second level 7 spell, thac0 9).

    Thieves level much faster than mages so ranger17/thief works well, but there's no need for 2 thieves in the party (you can even do without one), no need to add an inferior elf or dwarf to the party.

    Clerics need 4,050,000 XP less than mages to reach level 40 so if you're going to grind a lot anyway to max out your mages you can afford to take 20 paladin levels before dualing to cleric. But 15 paladin levels which grant the first level 4 spell are sufficient in a normal game, even 13 paladin or 15 fighter levels which require only 1,750,000 XP grant the most benefits you can get for dualing.
     
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  4. Mad Weirwood Gems: 1/31
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    Thanks for the reality check. I certainly don't mind grinding, (and what better goldbox game than Pools for that) but I didn't really intend to make X/40 characters either.

    Ranger/Magic-Users at 15 will do fine, as will the Cleric/Mage at 16 and the Ranger/Thief at 17.

    I'm not sure about the Paladin. For staggered dual-classing, I would either dual him earlier or later than the others. It probably makes the most sense to call it a day at level 13 already and dual him first. as with your example of the rangers, he'll probably have more cleric spells available at the same XP that way.

    Yep. I am sure after all.

    Is back-stabbing no longer useful in Pools? It's been a long time since I played the Goldbox games, (and I didn't get far in Pools then) but I remember being very fond of my two thieves in DQK. Even if it isn't, I'll keep them for variety.The Elf F/M/T is certainly not an optimal character for Pools, but 6 humans is just too dull for me.

    Again, thanks a lot for your opinion, I'm very certain of my choices now thanks to your help. I'm looking forward to finally beating Pools.
     
  5. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    There are still human sized enemies in PoD but not as many as in Dark Queen of Krynn with all the draconians. In the manual you'll mainly find descriptions of monsters which are giant size. In the PoD battle which is considered the hardest there's not a single human sized monster.
    But I'm no backstab expert, I only had a cleric9/thief and was too lazy to try backstabbing.

    Your F/M/T levels will be limited but at least you can't create a human who's superior in all aspects, he'll get benefits from 3 classes, backstabbing from the thief side, an extra half attack and equipment choices from the fighter side and spells like blink and fireshield from the mage side. He'll be definitely better than the half-elf fighter/thief in the pregenerated party.


    It's really not recommended dualing late, depending on your playing style it's possible that you fight the final battle with less than 7,000,000 XP per character, not even enough to finish dualclassing if you choose paladin20/cleric for example.
    I'm not even sure if the dualclassed mages are better than pure class, you loose about 5 levels, that's less spells to memorize, 25 percent less chance to overcome magic resistance and 5d6 less damage with fireballs which can be the difference between instantly killing everything and all the monsters still standing.


    One advice for the start:

    The closest opportunity for training is the second building in the west if you look at the overland map (where the river flows) so you might want to go there quite early to avoid loosing XP because of the inability to train in time and explore the areas in the east afterwards. Make sure you enter every square you can enter on the overland map.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  6. Mad Weirwood Gems: 1/31
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    Certainly, but ranger/mages have a lot more leeway when it comes to fighting without spells or without resting. Better weapons, better armor, more hit points...

    I suppose if you're really worried about XP, you could dual at 8 or 9.
     
  7. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    The problem is that you can't dual before starting the game so you have to invest at least 1,500,000 XP into the first class, even more if you don't want to loose XP at early stages before you find an opportunity for training.

    In most battles the additional casting power of the pure mage would help more, but in the hardest battle the late dual will be better.
    An advantage of the late dual is that you can always grind and add additional mage levels when needed, but adding a first class with all the hitpoints in front of your mage levels is impossible.

    If you could create ranger8-10/mage he'd definitely be superior to mage or ranger11+/mage with the same XP during the game unless you do a lot of grinding.
     
  8. Mad Weirwood Gems: 1/31
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    You could dual in SSB and import the character, or, much more convenient, use the recent Gold Box Companion character editor.
     
  9. Incendax Gems: 1/31
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    I recommend a different path.

    Gateway to the Savage Frontier > Curse of the Azure Bonds > Treasures of the Savage Frontier > Secret of the Silver Blades > Pools of Darkness.

    This gives you a full progression from level 2, and makes a lot of sense story wise.
     
  10. SlickRCBD Gems: 25/31
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    I didn't realize you could import like that.
    That said, I've ALWAYS maxed out my level playing CotAB and generally maxed out my level in SotSB.
    I don't generally need to grind, just fully explore most areas. Especially in Curse.

    Now the final game you probably need to grind if you are going for something like 30+/40 characters, but I don't recall having to do much grinding when dual-classing at level 21 or so.
    I haven't played since at least 2009 however, so my memory can be fuzzy.
     
  11. Incendax Gems: 1/31
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    You absolutely can. There is a little item corruption that happens because Curse does not have anything like +1 Flametongue, but you can keep most of your stuff.

    Technically you can even start with PoR then transfer to Gateway, but you will be massively overlevel for Gateway.
    And as much as I like the story of PoR, it is REALLY lacking in gameplay features and skippable.
    Starting with Gateway feels much smoother.
     
  12. SlickRCBD Gems: 25/31
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    Ok, now you've inspired me to try.
    I played Curse first as I got it as a Christmas present. I then went out and bought Pool of Radiance. I found the lack of features disappointing, but realized that Curse was one of those rare times when the sequel is even better than the original, like with Baldur's Gate.

    Although off-hand, what was lacking besides the "fix" feature, the Paladin and Ranger classes (a big deal since they were so superior to fighters with no drawbacks other than alignment, and you wanted to play good characters anyways), and higher level caps? Maybe a few new low-level spells as well?
     
  13. Incendax Gems: 1/31
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    Fix, Paladin, and Ranger were the three most important ones. Fix was the biggest issue because not having it means you have to manually cast ever single cure light wounds. Paladin and Ranger were, as you mentioned, outright better than Fighters simply because you should almost always reach the level cap unless you are deliberately not exploring.

    There was also the fact that PoR had scaling random encounters that could become very time consuming. I once ran into over 200 kobolds.
    It really was not a bad game though. I really enjoyed the city blocks you could explore.
    Gateway is much better either way.
     
  14. SlickRCBD Gems: 25/31
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    I honestly never noticed that they scaled. Was that present in the Apple IIe version?
    I did not get to play any of the Gold Box games that were not available for the Apple II (only 3, Pool, Curse, and Champions of Krynn) until the 21st century when somebody gave me a second-hand CD called Forgotten Realms Silver Edition.

    I thought the first game used what TVtropes calls "beef gates" to steer you on what order to do the quests.
    I do recall an encounter in the city once with an awful lot of gnolls however.
     
  15. Incendax Gems: 1/31
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    I do not know about the Apple IIe version, but scaling random encounters were definitely in the Commodore 64 version (which is the first version I played).
    Here is a video example.
    It is not demonstrated in the video, but level is also a scaling factor:
     
  16. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Ich dien ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I played the C-64 version of the first Pool of Radiance too - and I still remember how my Fighters were "sweeping" through hordes of kobolds (something like the nowadays "great cleave" feat that allowed fighters of higher level to kill several weak opponents in one attack).

    And I remember the treasure of the kobold king: So much gold and silver and copper pieces (yes PoR had all sorts of different valued coins) that a full party couldn´t carry it all (despite using spells to enhance their strength) because every coin had a weight.
     
  17. Incendax Gems: 1/31
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    I remember facing Tyranthraxus for the first time... For roleplaying reasons one of my characters said "Yes" because I didn't know what would happen. It was the most desperate battle I have ever fought! Tyranthraxus and my turncoat fighter were destroying me, but I had two clerics and a lot of staying power. Things looked bleak as one party member after another died, and as a last ditch effort one of my clerics reanimated my fallen loyal fighter.

    At the end? I won the battle, but everyone had paid the ultimate price.
    My zombie fighter stood triumphant.
     
  18. SlickRCBD Gems: 25/31
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    For some reason the sweep didn't seem to work on the sleeping enemies, and I think I was using a character unable to approach due to the party being stuck in a corridor looking in on an army with a bunch of the baddies surrounding the fighters. It was so long ago when that happened. I know I was playing on my Apple IIGS, and that's been in mothballs since the start of 2009.
     
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