Paul and Dan reflect on Dan’s epic saga playing through the AD&D Pool of Radiance Gold Box game live in 2022-2023, and dig into the 1988 print publication of the same adventure, Ruins of Adventure. How similar are they? Does this one adventure work better as a computer game, as a tabletop game, or something else? What lessons can we take for converting scenarios between different systems and media?
Ruins of Adventure is a Dungeons & Dragons module that was based on the “Gold Box” role-playing video game Pool of Radiance, published in 1988 by Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI). Mike Breault stated that TSR chose him, Winter, Cook, and Ward to work on the design and writing for Pool of Radiance, indicating that the material was originally created for the game. However, according to the editors of Dragon magazine, Pool of Radiance was based on Ruins of Adventure, and not vice versa. The plot loosely tracks that of the computer game.
Ruins of Adventure contains four short Forgotten Realms adventure scenarios which are connected and adapted from the Pool of Radiance computer game, and take place in the devastated town of Phlan. The adventurers are hired to remove evil forces from Phlan, presumably by killing them. They hear rumor of a Boss controlling them and seek him out. This Boss proves to be a worthy adversary, but in the end the adventurers defeat him.
Ruins of Adventure was written by James Ward, David “Zeb” Cook, Steve Winter, and Mike Breault, with a cover by Clyde Caldwell, and was published by TSR in 1988 as a 96-page book.
This description uses material from the Wikipedia article “Ruins of Adventure“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.