View Full Version : Edding's Belgaraid- World Concepts

Rogue 7
2007-10-25, 02:49 PM
Alright, being a fan of David Edding's series The Belgaraid and the Malloreon, I was looking for ideas on some general features of how the world plays out.

Class-wise, I would think that psionics would fit as the only source of magic, using alternate variants in Complete Warrior for Rangers and Paladins. It fits with the concept of the Will and the Word very well, and the power point limit is a good indicator of fatigue from the powers (see Belgarath in book 4) Other than that, everything should be good, with the exception that one can't be a Frenzied Berzerker unless one is a Cherek.

Racial Modifiers-
For the Ulgo, I think we could pretty much just use the Dwarf race. It fits well enough, though varying the weapons to favor hook-pointed things (What those would be, I don't know).

Chereks- +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. They're big and tough, but not exactly the most charming people. They should get some sort of bonus on any sailing checks, but those don't come up too often, I think.

Arends- +2 Strength, -2 Wisdom and Intelligence. Arends are idiots. Enough said. Depending on whether you pick an Asturian or a Mimbrate, weapon proficiency might be appropriate (for Mimbrates it would be heavy armor, and Asturians it's the Longbow). I can't think of anything else special to

Sendars- straight-up humans.

Tolnedrans- +2 Int, -2 Charisma. For all their intelligence, no one really likes Tolnedrans.

Algars- I like +2 Dex, -2 Con, and a significant ride bonus. These guys practically live in the saddle.

Drasnians- +2 Cha, -2 Con. Should get a bonus on appraise and bluff checks.

Rivans- +2 Wisdom, -2 Cha. Rivans keep to themselves, but they're rocks of good sense.

Nyissans- I have no idea what to give these guys, except some sort of resistance to poison.

Other than that, I think it favors playing a fairly straight-up game of D&D. There are enough monsters to make things interesting, particularly if you venture into Ulgoland, and if that fails, there's always the Murgos to fight.

2007-10-25, 03:27 PM

I thought I was the only one who ever tried to homebrew any Belgariad stuff.

The original inspiration for the racial system in my sig was actually the Mallorean. I didnt really think of it until then, because they really all just looked like 'good guys' and 'bad guys' in the Belgariad. The racial differences and similarities weren't stressed as much in that first quintet.

2007-10-25, 04:30 PM
Something I considered awhile back for a much freer and yet restricted form of magic in a setting I have was a system where you have power points, but instead of getting set powers with rigid descriptions, you get various applications you can put on your abilities. Base it off the warlock Eldritch Blast shaping, but much more varied. As a character increases in level, they learn more applications and can use their power in a wider variety of ways.

Rogue 7
2007-10-25, 06:21 PM
Isn't that basically what the spell system does now- people choose what spells they want to do specific things? Forgive me, I don't have a great deal of experience.

2007-10-25, 06:45 PM
Yeah, but the spells at present don't cover everything, and you can only know so many. You can't freely configure them to your exact specifications.

Rogue 7
2007-10-25, 07:30 PM
True. That amount of creativity's a bit much for me. I'd love to see a game that does it, though.

2007-10-26, 06:24 AM
I.. forsee a significant problem with this.

Sorcerors. Own. Everyone. Else. Those damn buggers reshape mountains liberally, blow apart people with a single word, and basically live forever. The only thing keeping them in check, is that Magic is loud and attracts the attention of enemies. So most of the time, they own, and when there's signicant need for stealth, they're useless. Not good.

DM: As you cross the gnoll, you see a dark figure-
Sorceror: Lightning! Burst! Quake!~
DM: ...


DM:Sneaking through the tunnels, you see two Murgos standing guard in front of a dark cave.
Ulgo Rogue: I sneak up on him and try to get behind him.
Sorceror: I run behind and try not to attract attention.
Cherek Fighter: Aren't you going to do anything?
Sorceror: If I so much as move a wind I bring 200 Grolims down on us. Do you really want that to happen?

If you go into higher levels, the silliness becomes even more rampant.

DM: After many days of walking, you finally see the fabled city of Rag Majestica on the horizon. Its dark spires-
Sorceror: Drown! I focus my will on the city, and pull it down into the earth, burying everyone inside alive.

2007-10-26, 09:22 AM
Case #1: DM: Congratulations, you've killed an innocent peasant, turned the townsfolk, alerted the enemy, and exhausted yourself. You are now unable to move for 1d10 rounds.
Cherek: Charge!
DM: He just stepped on your head as he went by.

Case #2:DM: You can turn into a bear without alerting the enemy, as long as you use a full round action.

Case #3: Congratulations, you've exhausted yourself, and burned out your powers.

2007-10-26, 09:36 AM
Case #3: Congratulations, you've exhausted yourself, and burned out your powers.

Case #3. Remember Belgarath when they retrieved the Orb of Aldur? Dropping the tower in that battle exhausted him to a near death state. And he's the premier user of the Will and the Word at that time.

2007-10-26, 10:19 AM
I was thinking that Nyissans should have a bonus to constitution. But after thinking about it some more I can see your problem: although Nyissans are resistant to drugs, poisons and diseases, they're not particularly tough or hardy folk otherwise.

Why do Algars have a -2 constitution penalty? They're resilient, battle-hardened horse lords. They shouldn't have a penalty in stat that is so important to their ability to fight. In fact, they're probably one of the most deceptively well-rounded of all the races. They're reasonably strong, tough and dextrous (But I don't think they should have a dexterity bonus, either. While Algars tend to be very agile in the saddle many of them are ungainly out of it.) And they've come up with some very clever ploys, including but not limited to building an absolutely massive fortress as a decoy to hold up the main villain for a few years while the armies of the west amassed. Also, while they're not particularly charismatic as a race, they're not exactly repellent either.

I don't think Rivans should have -2 to Charisma. While they tend to be aloof and cautious, they are also presented as being very strong-willed, which is represented by Charisma. Or you might choose to represent that with wisdom, but still, I don't think that the Charisma penalty is entirely appropriate.

While the +2 Strength -2 Intelligence and -2 Wisdom is consistent with the portrayal of Arends throughout the books, it doesn't give any incentive for the players to play them as anything other than meat shields.

If it were me I'd be inclined to treat all the races as standard humans, but give a few small bonuses depending on home area: e.g. Algars get a bonus to Ride, Nyissans get bonuses to resist poison/disease, Melcenes get some extra starting gold, Sendars get a few ranks in a profession of their choice, Drasnians get bonuses to diplomacy checks, Arends get some obscure ancient grudge, Rivans get a grey cloak and a permanent grim expression, and so on...

Well, you get the picture. The differences between the races are more cultural than genetic, and even though there are plenty of stereotypes in the books, there are quite a few counterstereotypes. I don't think nationality should have much effect on ability scores. Let the players decide for themselves whether they'll conform to type.

But that's just me. Feel free to differ.

Rogue 7
2007-10-26, 10:21 AM
Exactly. More importantly, remember how near death Pol and Beldin were at the Battle of Thull Mardu? All they were trying to do was stir up a breeze, and they nearly died. Couple that with the whole "Grolim-attraction" thing, something a good DM could take care of, and I don't see that being a problem. Besides, this is D&D we're talking about. Can't epic-level wizards (and Belgarath is definitely close, he's had 7,000 years to level up) do the same, only without the whole "Exhaustion" thing?

2007-10-26, 10:28 AM
If you really want a good representation for the Will and the Word using a seed based magic system would work really well. Kinda like the epic level magic system but toned down considerably. You could also try the version of magic presented in TrueSorcery. That's a very flexible magic system that I was going to use in a world kind of based on those book.

If you really don't care about going far afield with this and doing some (read: alot) or conversion work or just plain not playing d20 Ars Magika with fluff changes would be an amazingly good way to represent that kind of thing.

2007-10-27, 12:21 AM
If you want a really good version of Belgariadian spellcasting class, see LordPendragon's Willshaper at WotC boards here (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=12148536#post12148561).

As for the people? They are all humans. The Ulgos have a flaw, and the Dryads (which aren't really DnD dryads) do well if you just extend their lifespan to that of their tree. Any ability differences between the peoples should be dealt with through what they choose as ability scores.

Hettar: a ranger/fighter, with some PrC giving him greater horse abilities. Maybe an Animal Lord?

Mandorallen: A REALLY good fighter/Knight (He IS the greatest knight on life, after all.) The reason he is not a paladin is because he is not devout, nor was he called, and he fell in love with another mans wife... in addition to all the broken bones and pain dealt over inconsequential problems.

Silk/Prince Kheldar/Ambar/Radek: Definately a rogue/Spymaster/Assassin variant/ Thief-Acrobat (he isn't really evil, after all.)

Velvet: Rogue/spymaster

Garion: A custom class mixing Willshaper and fighter, and an epic item, and whatever bonuses prophecy gives, plus awesomeness able to kill a god

Belgarath the Sorcerer: Willshaper/bard, that is REALLY, REALLY epic.

Polgara the Sorceress: epic Willshaper

Ce'Nedra: Aristocrat/Bard?

Barak: Barbarian/Bear Warrior

Lelldorin: Fighter/every possible PrC that uses a bow

Relg: Custom Class

Eriond: God/Commoner

Durnik: Expert/fighter/Willshaper

Taiba: Commoner (really, she does nothing in the book other than breed Marags)

Sadi: Rogue/Assassin, maybe an Animal Lord?

'Zakath: Aristocrat/Swashbuckler

Poledra: Awakened Wolf (actually, all wolves are smart, so she wouldn't be awakened...) Willshaper

Toth: Monk

Cyradis: Diviner/ Unseen Seer/ Master Specialist

Beldin: (yes, I know he's not prophetic) Willshaper

did I leave anyone prophetic out?

2007-10-27, 01:31 AM
Your races look pretty good, except the Arends. I think Asturians should get a Dex bonus instead of strength, being archers and all. Also, in...Polgara the Sorcerous, I think, Polgara talks about how smart Arends actually are, but that they don't think things through before they act, so I don't think they should have penalties to both Int and Wis. You could also give Drasnians some type of Dex bonus or something related to thrown weapons. It'd help add to the feel of Drasnian spies and help to bring the race up to par with the rest of the races, since right now they have what I believe to be one of the worst set of racial bonuses possible.

For magic, Psionics seems to fit pretty well as far as the system goes, but it's really not as versatile as the magic in the books is. You could make your own class, adapted from arcane casters, with a set point cost for each spell. That way, you could include the sorceror's ability to change into animals, adding that as a class feature.

Anyways, I've read both the Belgariad and the Mallorean, as well as Belgarath the Soreror and (most of, it gets boring after awhile) Polgara the Sorcerous, and I'd be happy to help if you needed it.

Rogue 7
2007-10-27, 01:39 AM
@ Kel- in a world where we don't HAVE dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings or Orcs, it gets kinda boring to have nothing but humans, you know? This adds a bit of variety.

@Bob- this is really more of an idea thread- I don't have enough experience to really run a campaign. If you'd like to run a PbP, I'll join, but this is just ideas.

Edit: Upon reading the class, it fits very well. "The Will and the Word"? Come on, it was designed for this world. I'm a little confused on the specifics, but I like it.

2007-10-27, 04:42 AM
Don't forget that just before that tower fell, he'd been engaged in a truly titanic struggle. Chutchik annihilated himself, and then when really over did it, he collapsed.

Polgara was also worried about him having lost his powers. Since players tend to get angry if you kill their characters for what seems to be no appearent reason, it's easier to say they've lost all their powers. After having done something so stupid, I'm liable to only let them have the last few levels.

2007-10-27, 08:58 AM
Since nobody has replied to my previous post on this subject (above), I'll ask again: Why have you given Algars a -2 to Constitution?

Rogue 7
2007-10-27, 05:03 PM
I figure that they tend to be lighter than other races. Hit-and-run and all that. Mainly, it's based off of the Rohan stats for an LOTR campaign I'm PbPing in- they're virtually identical.

2007-10-27, 07:43 PM
The thing is, DnD doesn't have proper rules for Skirmishers like Algars are. Mimbrates, and other knight style riders do fine, because they're designed around taking the hits that are inevitably dealt in Turn-based combat.

Lightly armored, light-weight skirmishers are best used to charge into range, attack and then exit combat. They'd have to have a double move in order to manage it and DnD is built so that gives them an unfair advantage.

2007-10-27, 11:23 PM
The thing is, DnD doesn't have proper rules for Skirmishers like Algars are. Mimbrates, and other knight style riders do fine, because they're designed around taking the hits that are inevitably dealt in Turn-based combat.

Lightly armored, light-weight skirmishers are best used to charge into range, attack and then exit combat. They'd have to have a double move in order to manage it and DnD is built so that gives them an unfair advantage.

Let them use spring attack from a horse, and give them the skirmish ability from the Scout class.

2007-10-27, 11:47 PM
Algars likely make judicious use of Ride-By Attack. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#rideByAttack)

2007-10-28, 05:23 AM
Those are more of a stop gap measure as far as I'm concerned. But multiple attempts to homebrew a solution have all failed to reach completion.

2007-10-28, 06:37 AM
I don't really think players should be allowed to play wizards in Belgariad setting and be expected to be on par with everyone else.
That, and what about stats for other forms of magic? Binders from Tome of Magic seem to be good fit for demon-summoning magicians like those Belgarath impersonated in 5th book.

2007-10-28, 11:08 AM
Some sorcerers get multiple levels of magical abilities all at once (examples: Garian, that alchemist/sorcerer whose name I've forgotten). If you want to represent that in a reasonably balance fashion, I recommend this class: