Agents of Dune negotiation rules

Hi folks, first time poster here.

I’m a first time 2d20 GM, though I’ve been running games in various RPGs for over 30 years. I have the Agents of Dune pdf, and while I’m not running that campaign I’m cannibalising it for my group’s own story. We’ve just started and I’m using the training missions to introduce my players (and myself!) to the system, along with skirmish and duelling training missions as well.

I’m planning to use the negotiation event with Sabrya Zavr after they’ve completed all their training. However, I noticed the rules say that when attacking with an asset in another character’s zone, the subject of the attack wins a tied result.

As far as I’m aware, the general rule is that in a contest, which an attack always is, the subject of the attack rolls first and uses their successes to set the difficulty for the acting/attacking character.

Is this a deliberate exception? I feel like my players will be used to the defender setting the difficulty in contests by the time I run this scene, and changing it will only cause necessary confusion. Just wondering what others have done in this situation - and what the rationale might be for this apparent exception.


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I’ve gone through it and it does look oddly written.

The idea is that you manoeuvre the asset into the opponents zone and then attack them with it.
So the owner of the zone will always be the defender and thus in normal rules you are correct that they set the difficulty.

Why in this case it is reversed I don’t know. The only reason I can think of is that they never actually call this a contest. So it is both sides attempting to use an asset rather than have a direct contest.
Which doesn’t make sense to me either.

I would just use the normal rules for contests and say that the defenders roll is the target difficulty.


Its been a long, long time since we wrote that so I’m not entirely sure. :slight_smile:
You are correct that generally the defender sets the difficulty, and as such a test that meets that difficulty (a tie) results in the favor of the attacker.

But, letting the defender win the ties effectively puts all Difficulties one step higher, so a bad roll from the PCs when they defend helps them out, even if it means they take longer to win.

For Agents we set things in terms of wins and ties to make it simpler as a system. But you can play it as per the corebook without any issues.

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Thanks for the responses gents, much appreciated!