After clearing the eastern half of the slums, the party reached level 2.
A few reloads were needed when the Thief and Magic-User received a paltry few hit points each, but with the hefty bonus from 18 CON, I did not sweat only increasing the three fighters’ hit points by 10-13. Why three fighters?
I decided at the beginning of this 4-game campaign that I wanted to finish Pools of Darkness with the same 6 characters who entered Phlan at level 1. This has significant ramifications in regard to party make-up.
- No Paladin, because I cannot dual-class to to this class in Curse of the Azure Bonds, although 1st edition* pen & paper rules should allow this
- I could dual class to Ranger in CotAB, but I want to switch from a fighter class, not toan anemic Magic-User/Fighter with a nature fetish.
- Multi-classing is Right Out** due to the severe level limit restrictions for non human player characters (other than the Thief class).
*The gold box games are plainly based on first edition although they were published during the heyday of AD&D 2nd ed. At least the rules are not as broken as in Pool of Radiance 2, but that is a topic for another post.
**I can and did beat Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds with non-human and multi-class characters way back in 1990, only to find that level restrictions becoming a real problem in Secret of the Silver Blades. Completing Pools of Darkness with a full party of non-humans would have been a daunting task indeed. In fact, the hint book for PoD cautions the player against attempting this.
What do these constraints mean? Dual classes for everyone! Getting a few levels of fighter makes an enormous difference to the hit point pool for my combat casters, and a fighter/cleric makes a passable (arguably even better) Paladin. No lay on hands? No problem — I’ll just cast an extra Cure Critical Wounds! For maximum versatility, my dual class player characters will have varying levels of Fighter experience.
- Parsifal (Fighter) will become a Fighter/Cleric around 17, since a plain vanilla fighter will suffice for CotAB
- Dunn (Fighter) will become a Fighter/Magic-User around 15
- Ery (Fighter) will become a Fighter/Magic-User the earliest, perhaps 13 or so. What is better than one Fighter/Mage? Two Fighter/Mages!
- Torel (Cleric) will stay a Cleric
- Silencio (Thief) will become a Thief/Magic-User around 10. While the Mage dual class makes the ability to read from scrolls redundant, having a second Magic-User toward the end of CotAB may be useful.
- Zamis (Magic-User) will remain a Magic-User
Of course all of these plans are theoretical at this point. The slums of old Phlan await!