Pool of Radiance: Restoration

As usual, I’ve been writing about things that I don’t fully understand, and getting bits of it wrong. I’d like to issue a couple of retractions now, and then a partial retraction of the retractions.

First of all, the documentation for Pool of Radiance actually does contain descriptions of the spells, just not in the places where I was looking — in fact, it was in a place where I didn’t even realize that there was documentation, on the CD. I’ve already amended the post where I made this error.

Second, there is in fact a way to restore drained experience levels. I thought that there wasn’t because the spell to do it, Restoration, isn’t learnable by player characters (the level cap is too low), and isn’t offered by the temples where you can be healed or resurrected for pay. But there’s one more vector for spells: scrolls. I’ve accumulated a trunkload of cleric scrolls as loot from random encounters, but I hadn’t really paid any attention to them — the game doesn’t actually tell you what’s on the scrolls until you read them, and I just kind of assumed that they wouldn’t have any spells that aren’t otherwise available in the game. But I kept them around, figuring that there would come a time when I needed some emergency healing. It turns out that most of them are scrolls of Restoration. And a good thing, too, because I’m going to be moving on the graveyard pretty soon.

And here’s the partial second-order retraction: the Restoration spell isn’t described in the Pool of Radiance documentation at all, presumably because your characters can’t learn to cast it unaided. So, here’s a point where familiarity with D&D provides crucial information that you’d find it difficult to get from the game itself: casting Restoration on a character who hasn’t suffered the right kind of damage simply produces no obvious effect.

It’s not the only thing like this, either. At one point, I found a Manual of Bodily Health. This is a rare magic item that increases the Constitution score of the person who uses it… but not immediately. It takes a matter of days to study the manual in its entirety — exactly how many I don’t know. But the way it’s presented in this game, using the manual immediately consumes it, leaving you wondering what happened; bringing up the screen that shows all the spells currently in effect on the party shows that the person who used it is now under a special pseudo-spell, but I pretty much never bring up that screen. I’ve looked at a few reviews by now, and some of them talk about how the Manual of Bodily Health as buggy and nonfunctional. I honestly don’t know whether to believe this or not; it’s easy to believe that it worked as specified in the D&D rules, but that a lot of people didn’t notice.

3 Comments so far

  1. paul on 10 Feb 2010

    Sounds like a super awesome Pool of Radiance sequel. “Speak to Samuel Pepys in the Naval Office… he may have a job for you. Since the Puritans closed the theaters, they have become a haven of undead! They must be cleared before opening night! The reward is a scroll of Spaniel Summoning I”

  2. Todd on 25 May 2011

    Never knew what restoration did, so thanks. Just got an extra level back on my theif!

    Confirmed that Manual of Bodily Health takes some time. Used it on my cleric who died and lost a CON point. Used the book and rested a couple of months, but this didn’t help. come back today and cleared the GY and found the point has increased again.

  3. Joshua on 6 Jan 2012

    I just got replay this game for the first time in over 10 years and had a blast. I’ve looked all over online and have seen with consistency an error concerning the Manual of Bodily Health. The Manual is not designed to increase a character’s CON score, but in fact it does something far better….it allows your characters to develop the regeneration ability. Once a person uses the Manual they must rest one full day and then the game will mention that character, “Begins Training”. After some time later you will notice a quick message that the character “Becomes Hardier”. What this actually means is that they will now regain hitpoints much faster…and do not require a state of rest to do so. What gets even better….the effect is cumulative if you use the item duplication cheat. Using the manual twice will cause your characters to literally regen while walking in the wilderness screen approx. 12 hp per step. When you rest for spells anyone who has used the Manual twice will start regening HP quickly and gain almost ten in just the time it takes to memorize magic missile. I do not know if this ability will carry on to the sequels when I transfer characters but I am excited to find out!!

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