Friday, April 25, 2008

'Pool Of Radiance' Update - For Jer

Aloha! Or...something. So I'm reading "Pool Of Radiance", right? I talked about that a couple of posts ago. At that time, X-bow reader jer asked,

If you'd care to give some spoilers about what you've been reading I can probably tell you whether or not it follows the basic "plot" of the CRPG.
Well, jer, turns out I do care. (Hey, that rhymed!) Furthermore I don't mind telling you or anyone what's what in "PoR" so far because --

-- so far, no plot.

I'm into the fourth chapter and there's no real what-you'd-call "plot". There are characters, and there are situations, and there are plenty of large, muscular women, but there's nothing really propelling a story forward. I think that there soon will be, but...not yet.

Large, muscular women. Yes! No female of note has, so far, been able to not be a large, muscular woman, or at least has not been able to avoid magically turning into a large, muscular woman. Well, actually, I take that back. One woman is neither large nor muscular, but she's a 0-level NPC. However she is directly involved in tailoring smooth, supple leather clothes for one of the three protagonists, who has become a large, muscular woman (and who reminds another protagonist of his dead lover, herself a large, muscular woman), and that's how things go in the Forgotten Realms, apparently.

(Before someone starts to say, 'Hey! Doc! What's wrong with large, muscular women?' I should like to preempt that by saying 'Nothing, as long as they're described better than they are in this book, because this book is kind of heavy-handed with their size and musculariousness, to the point of eye-rolling'. So there. Tall ladies need love, too, but too bad for them I'm married. Muscular, like over there on the left, though...not my taste.)

So, jer, so far there are three protagonists. Each has been introduced and described, their classes established, their motivations (sort of) spelled out, and their paths entwined. Also, there is a setting -- namely, the mostly-ruined city of Phlan, which is not a tasty custard dessert but rather a broken city full of fuglies and orcs and stuff.

Oh, and there's the shocking revelation that warhammers are thrown in combat. Yes. By clerics. Clerics who ritualistically whack themselves in the thighs with swords, or...something. I dunno. Most of 'em got killed by some undead.

So, jer, there you have it. The book's pretty 'meh' but I keep reading the damn thing, probably because it makes me want to write a novel. It's engaging in much the same way that watching someone else play Dungeons & Dragons is, but it's still kind of 'meh'.

I've loaded the game onto Ye Olde Drive of Hardness, but have yet to play it.