And Away We Go! The House Nagara Saga

I ran our first session of Dune last night and it went great! I am using the Agents of Dune and the players are using the characters from House Nagara. There is a bit of a learning curve (but not much to be honest), mainly around the differences in Dune compared to Star Trek (which we have come off of a 3 1/2 year campaign!). The Extended Tasks for example, are waaaaay easier in Dune than the more cumbersome version in STA. I would not be surprised to see it ported over into STA 2nd ed.

The team successfully saved the shuttle in the first scene. Fairly easily too! Mentats can get those Understand rolls down! Then they nailed the second the second scene thanks to some good Battle and Move rolls from the Swordmaster and the Bene Gesserit. The Mentat caught the surprise at the end of the second scene and that is where we ended for the evening.

Everyone had a good time and digested the rules pretty quickly so we may be taking the training wheels off earlier than Agents suggests!

Erik

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Given how difficult it was to write I always get a warm glow when someone says Agents worked really well for them :slight_smile:

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So far, so good! We shall see how they handle things as the heat gets turned upā€¦

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Another evening of adventure on Giedi Prime last night! After the resident Mentat took the surprise poisoning, the gang went out and sniffed their way around the dirty areas of Barony looking for answers as to why. They achieved some success and headed back in time to get tossed into some House business with some wheeling and dealing of their wares with a CHOAM rep. They did stupidly well! I could not get anything going and they were just killing it. This was the first real go at the mechanics of a conflict and it was a good learning experience for all. Everyone got into the ebb and flow of the negotiation. MVP goes to the Bene Gesserit who did all sorts of shenanigans to ensure victory at the table for the House. Wrapped up on that positive note along with news of their latest test - checking out a Hark factory.


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Nagara round 3! This time we were missing our Swordmaster (Zafir Callas) and our Mentat (Natalia Khan) came a bit late so the training was begun by the Heir (Shizu Nagara) and her cousin the Bene Gesserit (Alice Dominica). Off to tour a Hark factory operation and, of course, it goes sideways on them and becomes a much different operation. Shizu and Dominica managed to find the leader of the troubles and negotiate an end to the shenanigans (although Dominica had to do it with some hindering cuased by splashing molten metal earlier in the scene). The run down of the leader was done pretty efficiently by the duo.

They went back to their warehouse & lab to discover sabotage (and to meet back up with Natalia who had arrived). The three of them conducted an independent investigation after dismissing the Hark offer to help. They pinned down the culprit and then Shizu dueled them successfully to add them to their House! This was our forst duel and the back and forth was interesting to see in action. The back and forth did have the vibe of a duel for position before laying in a good strike when you could.

One thing that has become apparent is that these are not like starting characters in many other games. They are all competent and capable of doing many different things well. They particularly excel in the fields of endeavor. Shizu duels well and supported most actions. Natalia used that big brain to solve many problems or backed up others efficiently. Dominica can play the spy game really well.

We shall see what happens next as Mom has arrived to have a chat with her kidā€¦and with the good Baronā€¦

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Nagara round 4! Act II Part 4 Assassination. This was a more role playing heavy section and it went great! The Countess arrived on Gedi Prime and assessed the situation. Shizu, Dominica, Zafir and Natalia gave their report on events, with a particular focus on the assassination attempt, the sabotage, the House Vernius connection, the gaining of an ally through the duel, the situation at the factory etc. By the time they were done, the Countess was clearly displeased! When she confronted the Baron the whole team was like ā€˜Oh ā– ā– ā– ā– ! We are in for it now!ā€™ They opted to play out the Intrigue challenge between the Countess and the Baron and were successful. They were not sure that was a good thing or not. The Baron can beā€¦imposingā€¦

When they left the Hall, they went back to their lab and set up as much security as they could around themselves fearing retribution for the Countessā€™ actions and words. The night passed uneventfully and they boarded their shuttle to get off Gedi Prime at last.

Things went south, of course. When the bomb(s) went off in the shuttle they made their way back to the engine area to fix things up using their training without realizing that the training actually hindered their performance. After a round of fumbling about, they realized they needed to change their approach and began fixing things - quite effectively at that!

Shizu and Zafir went back up to the cockpit and arrived just in time to see the next bomb go off mortally injuring the Countess and destroying the controls. Zafir grabbed Shizu in order to save the heir and they got back to the escape pods. Dominica dragged Natalia to the pods from the engine room as the craft fell like a lawn dart towards the surface of Gedi Prime.

Flash forward to the Heighliner and the ceremony transferring power to Shizu as the new head of House Nagara. They made sure that they had an investigative team go over the shuttle wreckage and retrieve the remains of the Countess. They had some interesting conversations with their trainers who were there to witness the hand over. They avoided the Baron as much as they could!

Once the ceremony was over, we had some time to do some back building on the House itself, with anecdotes about the Countess that led to further discussions around details of the House that up to now had been left deliberately vague. The House is starting to take more shape now as the players head towards their fate on Arrakisā€¦

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Nagara Round 5! Act III Part I The Universal Fulcrum. We had a fair amount of pre-drop role playing of the groupā€™s time on the Heighliner heading to Arrakis. They realized just how little they actually knew about the planet they were about to take over. In spite of some personal misgivings about the veracity of the information, they turned to one of the only sources they had, the Harkonnen, Korbus Zaan. Knowing that the information would be filtered through that particular Harkonnen lens, they nonetheless got some intel on the situation including the rough outline of how spice mining operates and the vehicles and logistics involved. They also carried out a fairly extensive investigation into how the Countessā€™ shuttle was sabotaged and got the Spacing Guild involved by telling them that the sabotage could have happened while it was on the Heighliner. They seemedā€¦displeasedā€¦by that thought.

Shizu herself took the controls of the shuttle for the flight down to Arrakis during which Zaan gave Natalia a report on how the spice production was going as well as the horrific loss of functional equipment they were facing. That led to a discussion about the Freman (again through the Harkonnen lens), a people House Nagara knows woefully little about.

Landing on Arrakis for the first time they were all hit by the furnace-like temperature and the glare. Dominica was, of course, unaffected thanks to her training while everyone else starting sweating and squinting. They were met by the Judge of the Change, Asham Perro and their own Major Roj Varis who was the Countessā€™ pointman here. Varis gave his report and Perro gave some information on the current situation as well. They stopped their convoy in one of Arakeenā€™s markets to take in a bit of the local flavour and learned a few things and heard the chant for the Lisan al-Gaib for the first timeā€¦

After departing the market their convoy came under Freman attack and they absolutely butchered the lead vehicle and almost all of the occupants (Harkoneen troops under Captain Taras Nikula). They bailed out of their limocar and decided to opt for retreat over attack. Zafir laid down cover fire, Dominica dashed out and snagged a maula pistol from one of the dead guards, while Natalia and Shizu gathered their Nagara troops and tried to pull out of the kill zone. It was pretty touch and go, but they managed to extract themselves from the area. As Zafir was pulling back, a Freman stepped out from around a corner and presented himself as a prisoner to Zafir. He was confused by this action, but took him back to the rest of the group. The remaining attackers melted away leaving them in control of the area. It was decided to keep custody of the prisoner in the hands of House Nagara for the time being. Perro appeared impressed with their handling of the ambush. Nikula asked for the prisoner to be remanded to Harkoneen control, but was not too put off by the reasoning used by the group for keeping him in their hands for now.

That is where we left off for the night ready to start Act III, Part II next time!

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Andy wrote

Given how difficult it was to write I always get a warm glow when someone says Agents worked really well for them :slight_smile:

Andy, it was a fun adventure to playtest. And, having taken a look at the final version, well, it shows you definitely listened! Now I want to run the releaseā€¦

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It has been a blast to run so far and it does not really show any signs of letting up. The players have dived all the way in with their characters and are enjoying fleshing out House Nagara as they go.

Once we finish it off, it will be time to introduce the full House rules and head our way into Masters of Dune on top of as many of the other adventures that I can shoehorn into the story (there are a number of them that are very cool, but not all will make it as there is not necessarily a decent way to make them fit into the narrative).

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