Pool of Radiance is the first cRPG by SSI that is based on the rules of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and set in the world of Forgotten Realms. In the game, we create a party of six and start our adventure in a small town of New Phlan.
The steward of the city hires us to clean it of monsters that are being controlled by a mysterious leader. Our task is to free the city from the aforementioned beasts, uncover the true identity of their commander and, naturally, defeat him. Apart from the main story, the game offers a number of side quests given to us by the city officials or various travelers in taverns.
We observe the events from the first-person perspective and our characters may turn 90 degrees in every direction. We have a map of the entire city and its surroundings at our disposal. When we meet the enemies, we are transferred into a battlefield which is a completely different location. In combat, all combatants are presented as animated icons that perform our orders by fighting in melee, shooting a bow or casting magic spells. We may also skip combat by using the Quick Combat feature that lets the computer automatically resolve the outcome of a given encounter.