Asset use in conflicts

Ok. Please explain to me how armor works and how a Lasgun works.
Where in the sequence is the armor quality applied?
I can’t determine where to apply the quality of the armor: is it a difficulty modifier or does it deduct from damage?
My issue is that I expect to see at least one numerical stat for a Lasgun as they should be automatically lethal. So what is an average Lasgun going to be? Is it Quality 1 and removes a non-important npc in one success?
And yes I have the main rule book.

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See page 168: “The Quality rating of a defensive asset should be is added to the requirement of the extended test to defeat the wielder. For this reason, attacking and removing defensive assets from an opponent can be a vital tactic.”

Conversely, the lasgun’s quality increases the damage it does: “Each successful attack scores points equal to 2 plus the Quality of the asset used…” (page 167).

It’s less clear how a half-shield’s quality would help in a duel, since they are in your defensive zones, rather than your target zone, but I guess they’re designed to be inferior, so probably rarely have positive quality…

Is there a standard Lasgun? I believe the effort to remove as much crunch as possible is really detrimental those of us who originated in the days when stats were important in a piece of equipment or weapon.
Was it really too much to ask for list of suggested assets and their rating? You can’t tell me a quality 4 kindjal is as dangerous as a quality 4 Lasgun because it’s an heirloom. A weapon has a finite amount of destruction it can cause, so what is that number??
So a Quality 4 Lasgun is going to inflict 8 on a target. That will kill anybody, and it’s a weapon of destructive subatomic force. Why would a quality 4 kindjal do the same as opposed to a quality 1 kindjal?
And a shield makes it difficult to hit, does armor reduce the damage taken by 2 for each level of


Dune is designed to be very abstract. If you want Crunch in your system then how Dune is going about it is probably not the best way for you.

None of the assets in Dune will have specific numbers attached to them apart from their Quality. You have keywords which could be used for an additional bonus, but they can be applied to any asset in different ways.

A Quality 4 Lasgun would do damage of 6 (2 base + 4 quality) if it hit. Possibly burning though your chest and killing you.
A Quality 4 Kidjal would also do damage of 6 (2 base + 4 quality) if it hit. Possibly slicing through your carotid artery and killing you.
The difference is purely narrative. So in this case a Lasgun isn’t better than the Kidjal.

As for different quality levels for the Kidjal. Maybe it is sharper, better balanced, maybe your opponent recognises it as being an ancestral heirloom of the Harkonnens and has a moment of fear which you take advantage of.

Armour is a defensive asset so it will increase the difficulty to hit the target by +1 per quality level.
Nothing reduces damage, it just makes it harder to hit.

What you are wanting from the system isn’t something that Dune is designed around. It is a different design philosophy than existed in the 90’s when I started playing and to be honest it works better for me.
It may not work for you. That is the nature of different games and systems.

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Good points, but answering a legitimate question with a “you don’t like it, there’s the door” attitude is counter to fellowship and to gaming: I want numbers that will make it possible for me to comprehend the game and it’s system, numbers that you actually managed to explain in a way I comprehend. Wanting a suggestions list of assets is not too much to ask and might be worth a few thousands of dollars in revenues for gamers who need that little crunch.
I have two copies of the main book and one of these was kickstarted and one was bought to get the blood pumping in a flgs. I want to see it thrive, and I believe the weakness is that it needs to have a list of assets, codified and annotated.

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My apologies if I came across that way. It was not my intent. My fault for responding late at night.

I was trying to point out that the breakdown of the numbers you want aren’t in the system.
They could be house ruled in, as with any system, but the design philosophy starts with different assumptions.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about your initial post and I suspect I misinterpreted what you were after.
It sounded like you wanted an old school d&d style equipment list.
Q0: Dagger
Q1: Short sword
Q2: Long sword
Q3: ■■■■■■■ sword
Q4: Great sword

Hence my commentary on totally different design philosophy as in Dune all assets are created equal(ish). So a dagger can be as effective as a Lasgun.

But what you were actually after was more akin to.
Q0: Shiv, sword I picked up at the market
Q1: Military issue to Great House trooper
Q2: Officers ornate dress sword
Q3: Sword of the Ginaz House Guard
Q4: Ancestral sword of the Harkonnen Barons

If you look on pages 201-202 you can see this for Warfare assets. But that essentially takes up an entire page to describe 1 asset type (a battalion) doing that for every asset would easily double the asset chapter. The section on asset quality on page 192 covers the basics fairly well.

Again apologies if I came across as trying to push you out, hopefully the above is a better summary.

I think if this product line is successful (and I believe it will be), you will see an expansion on detail like this in the era-specific, faction-specific, and school-specific titles.

How else can you develop a swordmaster book than include some crunch on that school? Same with Mentats, etc.

If those titles or similar come to fruition it will certainly be a reason to celebrate.

We will be taking a deep dive into the factions as we go,
and adding a few new ones all going well.
I’m a big fan of the Tleilaxu for instance… :slight_smile:

I do like a good connection to the Tleilaxu. :wink:

I agree entirely. I am trying to get my usual players interested in playing Dune, and all the abstract nonsense in the rules it just turning players away.

One example: the rulebook describes “creating an asset” for which the player needs to spend a resource (Momentum), when what that section is actually describing is the Character stealing a security access card - so why not just say that, instead of abstract nonesense?
It then goes on to descibe “moving - subtly - the asset to the same Zone as the target” - for which read, “character uses security card on a computer terminal”.

It seems to me that in the desire to make one description of the rules work for all forms of “conflict” - Dueling, Skirmish, Warfare, Espionage and Intrigue (note that the first pair are essentially the same thing, and the last pair are essentially the same thing) they’ve used a set of rules descriptions that don’t actually work at all.

This is proven when later in that same section they go on to describe how the rules work for each of those “conflict” types individually.

The production value of the book seems impressive, the art is evocative and inspiring, the background material is extensive even for a Dune nerd like me; but the rules and their descriptions are - at least as far as the players I am trying to get to play the game are concerned - next to useless.

And that is a problem.

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From the example you give you may still be thinking on a micro rather than macro level in terms of actions.

For instance, if your players want to infiltrate a base, in most games you sneak to the entrance, try to hack using the keycard, sneak through the corridors past the guard - or take him out. Then get to the main control room.

In Dune that is all one roll. The GM asks how you intend to access the base and you reply you are using the keycard asset to make your way though security. You might instead use a disguise asset to infiltrate, or even a stealth agent so you can do it at a distance instead of going in yourself.
If the roll goes well you’ve made it to the control room.

The idea is that the rules are quite plain so you can add the narrative twists depending on your style and game. Its up to you to detail what each thing represents depending on what you choose to do to deal with the problem. Underneath that the rules tell you if you are successful.

As such the other major gear change (and I appreciate these are quite a gear change) is that it is very player driven. The GM doesn’t say ‘now you need to roll to pick the lock’ instead they say to the players ‘how are you going to get past the door?’ from which they might blast their way in, pick the lock, steal a code or talk a guard into opening it. But what they do depends on the assets and skills they want to use or have available.

If all of that is one roll then Dune is not an RPG - you are not roleplaying the actions of a character in an abstraction of actual conflict; it is a Strategy Game - you are controlling assets in a meta-abstraction of actual conflict.

Now, I have no problem with that as a concept; but when I purchase a Roleplay Game I expect to get a Roleplay Game.

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Roleplay is a wide church. There are many different ways to play.
After all some people might look at moving miniatures on a map and say that isn’t RP it is a Tactical miniatures game. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

You can always run the game in a tighter manner than the Devs initially intended. The rules are just guidelines anyway.
Your characters might want to run the getting the card, sneaking in, overpowering the guards and hacking it as separate sections and you can still do that.

I am lucky in that my group do tend towards the more narrative style of game that Dune also leans into. But that is just how my group Roleplays.

I have been running WFRP for over a year, it is heavily narratively driven, we regularly go a session with no rolls at all; and once went 3 sessions with less than 10 rolls, all of which were Social / Investigative in nature; so I get how to the “narrative” stuff, in fact I am good at it. But WFRP has RPG rules in there for when they are needed.

In Dune, the Core Rulebook genuinely feels like a source / art book (and the info and art in there are brilliant, and evocative) will some half-complete attempt at some vague semblance of RPG rules tagged on as an afterthought, and then repeated 5 times as padding.

So if you have to repeat everything 5 times to pad it out, why not just put one actual set of RPG rules in there? Preferably a set that works.

The more I read the CRB the more it feels like a Boardgame Rulebook, with no Board; not an RPG.

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I want to like Dune, I really do. Even with my reservations about it I have ordered the GM Toolkit and Dice Set, I want to like it, I want it to be successful - if ever there was a Sci-Fi IP that deserves to be successful in the RPG industry it is Dune.

But the more I read, the less I become convinced, and so far none of the replies here have assuaged any of my (or my players’) doubts, they’ve enhanced them.

IMO if Dune is going to be long-term successful it needs a 2nd Edition or a comprehensive GM Guide that cuts out the obtuse abstraction, gives clearly defined examples of exactly what the rules are supposed to do in all of the “conflict types” - and takes on board justifiable criticism.

Because, beyond this forum, I am yet to find anybody at all who thinks the Core Rulebook makes any sense at all when it comes to defining and describing the rules.

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I’m a little confused as to what you are after here.
You complain Dune is only a strategy game if it only has a few dice rolls, then go on to say the reason you like WFRP is because you role play all the session with few dice rolls.

Dune offers plenty of role play, you do that around the system as you do for any game.
I’ve had players role play whole scenes around a single dice roll as the role play and narration is the main focus of the game. Deciding what Momentum and Threat are representing in the scene and how players will apply traits and why is one of the cores of the system.

It does have quite a big gear change from a lot of other systems, but its still an rpg with everything you’d find in an rpg.

If you check the conflict section you will see nothing is being repeated five times.
We explain the basics of conflict then look at specific examples of how that works in the five different styles of conflict. Those details are designed to offer players and GMs the detail they need to springboard their own narrative options.
With that detail you can even create more forms of conflict, like space combat for example, using the toolbox we provide.

If its not your thing thats fine. We don’t expect to please everyone and people want different things from a game system. But I do feel you have missed how much of the system works from what you’re saying.


RedneckRPG: So you have a very narrow, rigid view of what an RPG is. Understood. As a previous commenter noted, other forms of RPG can be regarded as not ‘real’ RPGs depending on a person’s perspective. In Vampire: The Masquerade they have a philosophy that you should make as few rolls as possible, no more than 3 - I know people who would be confused by that concept. An RPG like Microscope which is pure narrative wouldn’t be considered an RPG by others either. Fortunately, no one person gets to dictate what constitutes an RPG and what doesn’t, and what people are and are not allowed to enjoy as such.

Clearly, you and your group require a very specific type of ruleset, one that’s heavy on detail. That’s fine. Dune 2d20 RPG is not in that style of RPG. You say you’ve not met anyone beyond this forum that ‘gets’ this? You’re literally only the 2nd person I’ve come across that doesn’t get it. What does either of those prove other than people can have different perspectives?

Many RPGs ‘duplicate’ rules for vehicles, and/or social conflict, and/or for investigation. Is this an issue with them as well?

Yes, I have played whole sessions of WFRP without the need for any rolls; I have no issue with that in any game - I once ran a Werewolf The Apocalypse mini-campaign that was essentially diceless, because the players and I knew the system inside out, and we know the characters and npc’s inside out, and dice just weren’t needed.

For the record, I didn’t say I liked WFPR because we have done diceless sessions; I simply said it was possible to do diceless sessions in WFRP occasionally. I like WFRP because it is dark, gritty, and not shiny and nice like so much fantasy RPG.

But in both of those games when a roll is actually needed both myself and my players know exactly what roll to make, and exactly what outcome different roll results lead to.

Nowhere in Dune do I find that.

Now, I get the roll thing, I get that letting players choose their Skill, Drive and Focus will make them think harder about how their character interacts with the world, I am all for that - big time.

But players, perhaps even more than GMs, want to know what the outcome of their rolls are - otherwise why make them? Most players want to know that “if I rolll X+Y to do Z, and get A result this thing happens”, and they then want to know that the next they do that they get the exact same outcome - continuity, consistency, - these build immersion (and without immersion players lose interest).

But Dune explicitly discounts that consistency and continuity - but for what?
Some hankering for abstractness for the sake of it?

I want to run this game, if fact I want to run more than any of the other 10 or so game systems I have purchased during the Covid-19 pandemic.
But I need to get my head around it do that.

Thanks for your time, and input.

Yes, they do; but they invariably start from a clearly defined, with specific examples, set of rules, with predictable outcomes from specific inputs.

Dune is absent that.