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Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Gateway to the Savage Frontier, and Treasures of the Savage Frontier.

Here are my thoughts...

1. These games are major monty hauls. There's a brief poverty window in the beginning, when you need the money to train, but at the end, you end up leaving hundreds of thousands of platinum at the merchants simply because there's no money sink.

2. Hold Person is way overpowered (see that post). Even at level 12, you still have a good chance of missing that saving throw. And naturally ALL the clerics cast it first.

3. The game is faithful to the 1e DMG when it comes to magic items, but it's essential that you have one at hand. It wouldn't have been that difficult to put up a quick blurb about what any given item does.... which leads me to...

4. The Journals are a major nuisance. I hate having to cross-reference a manual every few minutes just to see what's going on and make informed choices. Naturally, this is an artifact of the 90s where the computer game industry's solution to piracy was to treat ALL players as suspect and required them to use a manual as proof they owned the game. I've heard folks defend this by saying it cut down on disk use... but I can tell you a few paragraphs of text is not going to bloat a computer game's files, even in the 90s.

5. It would be nice to see the rolls. Just so you can see if this guy is really that powerful, or if the RNG just hates your guts for this battle.

6. Thieves are borderline useless in Gold Box games. There are so few times you'll actually run into traps -- except for that PoR thief guild level -- and your Cleric can cast Detect Traps anyway. Most situations that would use thief skills (climb walls for instance) is just handled by a bland ability score check so anyone can do it... and naturally a thief is underwhelming in combat, and the backstab is rarely useable. Even when you multiclass/dual class, you just end up feeling you would have been better off with just taking a fighter.

7.Clerics are even more bland and unexciting here as they were in 1e tabletop. We don't get any decent offensive spells, other than the OP'ed Hold Person. Blade Barrier would have been nice, but I haven't found it in game yet.

8. I noticed characters don't age unless you cast Haste. Barghest the Fighter was 16 at the start of Gateway, and I'm winding down Treasures and he's still 16.

9. The Fix feature was such a good improvement. With PoR you'd waste so much time memorizing, healing, resting, repeat. Made worse that you could only cast Cure Light Wounds.

10. I've had a great time getting re-acquainted with these games, it really takes me back to my IBM XT days. But I must confess I doubt any younger gamers would appreciate these games due to their primitive presentation.
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evilwillhunting: Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Gateway to the Savage Frontier, and Treasures of the Savage Frontier.

Here are my thoughts...

1. These games are major monty hauls. There's a brief poverty window in the beginning, when you need the money to train, but at the end, you end up leaving hundreds of thousands of platinum at the merchants simply because there's no money sink.

2. Hold Person is way overpowered (see that post). Even at level 12, you still have a good chance of missing that saving throw. And naturally ALL the clerics cast it first.

3. The game is faithful to the 1e DMG when it comes to magic items, but it's essential that you have one at hand. It wouldn't have been that difficult to put up a quick blurb about what any given item does.... which leads me to...

4. The Journals are a major nuisance. I hate having to cross-reference a manual every few minutes just to see what's going on and make informed choices. Naturally, this is an artifact of the 90s where the computer game industry's solution to piracy was to treat ALL players as suspect and required them to use a manual as proof they owned the game. I've heard folks defend this by saying it cut down on disk use... but I can tell you a few paragraphs of text is not going to bloat a computer game's files, even in the 90s.

5. It would be nice to see the rolls. Just so you can see if this guy is really that powerful, or if the RNG just hates your guts for this battle.

6. Thieves are borderline useless in Gold Box games. There are so few times you'll actually run into traps -- except for that PoR thief guild level -- and your Cleric can cast Detect Traps anyway. Most situations that would use thief skills (climb walls for instance) is just handled by a bland ability score check so anyone can do it... and naturally a thief is underwhelming in combat, and the backstab is rarely useable. Even when you multiclass/dual class, you just end up feeling you would have been better off with just taking a fighter.

7.Clerics are even more bland and unexciting here as they were in 1e tabletop. We don't get any decent offensive spells, other than the OP'ed Hold Person. Blade Barrier would have been nice, but I haven't found it in game yet.

8. I noticed characters don't age unless you cast Haste. Barghest the Fighter was 16 at the start of Gateway, and I'm winding down Treasures and he's still 16.

9. The Fix feature was such a good improvement. With PoR you'd waste so much time memorizing, healing, resting, repeat. Made worse that you could only cast Cure Light Wounds.

10. I've had a great time getting re-acquainted with these games, it really takes me back to my IBM XT days. But I must confess I doubt any younger gamers would appreciate these games due to their primitive presentation.
Here are some reactions to some of those thoughts:

1. That's how many games were back them. Wizardry 1-5 (except 4), Bard's Tale 1-3, and Final Fantasy 1/2, for example, all give you tones of money without a functional money sink. (Well, FF2 has elixirs, but inventory space prevents them from working as a money sink in early versions.) (My the way, if you want a campaign that definitely *isn't* a monty hall, you might want to check out the Through the Ashes DLC for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.)

2. Already discussed this in another topic, but, in summary, I think allowing affected characters to be killed in one hit pushes this over the edge; the effect is nasty enough without that.

3, 4. Disk space really was much more limited back then. You have on an older floppy disk, only 170k of storage per disk for the Commodore 64 version. That is *tiny*, particularly by today's standards, and even compared to other games of the time. Also, the actual computer only had 64k of RAM, and the descriptions would need to keep the descriptions in memory in order to avoid a load time whenever the player wanted to read them. (Also, no virtual memory, so having the syatem cache recent text lookups wasn't free (in terms of code, which again takes up space) as it is today.)

Also, even today way too many game developers treat all their users as suspect, with DRM that requires online activation, and in some cases even worse measures like requiring the installation of software that runs with admin or kernel privileges and uses extra computer resources, not to mention being able to bring down your entire computer if it fails (or is malicious or maliciously hacked).

7. Also, having even semi-decent healing spells would have helped here. Or at least allowing them to reach 7th level so they could learn a better healing spell. Or not having 2 consecutive spell levels devoid of healing spells on what is supposed to be the healer class.

9. It doesn't help that, in PoR, the only healing spell you get is extremely weak. I've played classic Wizardry, and healing there has similar issues, but at least they become alleviated later with stronger healing spells, particularly once you get the full heal spell (which makes the second strongest healing spell look like nothing). It also doesn't help that resting doesn't instantly return you to full the way it does in JRPGs and games like Might & Magic.
6. Are you kidding? Backstab is really powerful (except in PoR where it needs an extra "set up" attack), and it's the best way of dealing with the Drow in Curse, for example. Cast Enlarge of your Fighter/Thief for massive damage.