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Blog 11 - Facing Arrakis

More Blog from me.
Tell me how your games are going by the way?
Anyone putting their own stuff together after playing the preview?


Well I am not focusing on my place on Arrakis. :wink:

I am putting together a game based around the build up to a formal War of Assassins between two Houses.
The initial stages where the Houses are probing each other via proxies.
So preventing their weak points being attacked and seeking out vulnerabilities in the enemy House.

There will be blackmail, smugglers, insurrection, murder. And the opposing House will probably be doing stuff to them as well…

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Good stuff, sounds very intriguing (if you pardon the pun).:slight_smile:

I’m disappointed that the games focus appears to be on the planet Dune as it limits the scope of the game.

The initial RPG books focus is on Dune, which to be fair is also the focus of the original book.

I am hopeful that the supplements we get later have more detail on the planets and groups outside of Arrakis.
My games will mostly be set off-world, though any one-offs will probably jump straight into events around the books as it is an easy entry without worrying too much about the additional world building I will be doing in a campaign.

Yup, its been a tricky one to figure out as the setting is so vast we’d never fit it in one book.
We also have to remember that there are many people new to the setting who might find all that hopelessly intimidating.

So we have set the initial releases on Dune as its the name of the setting after all and actually had a huge pile of adventure seeds. (Seriously, we have filled this book with adventure hooks so you will not go wanting there :slight_smile: )

Once that is established we’ll gradually take the action off Dune as your characters rise to even start running their noble House.

I’ve taken the same setting philosophy as ‘One Ring’ where you start in a small area to really build the details and gradually expand. That game initially starts with just the Shire and Mirkwood and has opened out into Rohan, Rivendell, etc as if grew. For me, previous Middle Earth games never clicked as the overview of everything never felt special or more than D&D. But player C7’s One Ring really brought out the detail and finally I ‘got it’.

Having said that, if you want to spread out into the universe yourself, go for it. We have an overview of the whole Imperium and many of the other planets in the book as well as the deep dive on Arrakis. So if you already know the setting you can go anywhere you like.


One thing that I’ve always hated is a licensed RPG where they just present the material from the source with game stats. The PCs get to wander around the same places that the characters from the original version did, while said characters are looming over the PCs and minimising everything that they do. There are only two things you can really do with such an adaption- play out the original plot all over again, or have the PCs be the gofers of the canon NPCs.

Needless to say I’m not a fan of the decision to do this with Dune.

And before someone says that’s not the case- yes, it is. The PCs in the preview are literally second-string guys working for House Atreides in the shadow of the original novel’s events. OK, for a one-shot that might work. But apparently this is what the core game is based around, despite there being nowhere you can really take a game from there.

I’m buying Dune for the rules, but I won’t be running any game that involves House Atreides, House Harkonnen or Arrakis in any direct form. That way I can play a game where the actions of the PCs can matter and the plotline will depend on their actions.

Looking forward to those later books that are mentioned, but it sounds as if all those background hooks will be a waste of page count for me.

(The One Ring was set in a seven decade gap in the canon storyline where PCs had room to grow and act. From where things start in the preview we’re looking at less than a year before House Atreides gets wiped out. Not an accurate comparison to make.)

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You may be pleased to know you’re making assumptions that aren’t true of what we have built in the corebook.

The preview is just that, we used House Atreides to give people something they might know,
but don’t take that to mean thats exactly where everything is set.
If anything its slightly ahead of our actual timeline.

Officially the game is set during the Harkonnen rule of Dune, and you’ll be creating a House of your own not playing Atreides.
How far into that rule is up to you. The Atreides arrival could be right around the corner or a few years away. You could even just set your game during House Richesse’s tenure as governors. More so than One Ring you can decide where in the timeline you start. Even if you start your campaign with the Atreides about to arrive, there is still quite some time before events really kick off (about a year or so at least). One of the advantages of the Dune setting, is that despite its vast scope it moves at a glacial place. Little has changed in the Imperium for a few hundred years before the coming of Paul. So you can just pick a time and dive in with little or no amendments.

We’ve worked the background to offer every GM the chance to put the game as close or far from the original timeline as they like. You can use the novel characters, and timeline as you like. Some people like to involve the novel characters, others don’t, we provide them so you can decide for yourself. If you want to decide the Atreides never set foot on Arrakis and its your characters House that takes over from the Harkonnen you can even do that. Most of the adventure seeds have also been designed to work regardless of who is in charge of Arrakis as well.

Its been very important to us not to define how and when you play your game and the rulebook reflects that. I hope you agree when you finally get to see it.


ONE RING is a masterpeice. You noting that really sets my mind at ease, as someone who collects RPG’s, the ONE RING is one special product. The dice mechanic, the artwork and layout, all great. I think the only reason its not more popular is the special dice weighed against the overwhelming frugality of gamers.

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I would have been surprised and disappointed had the Dune RPG not focused on Dune/Arrakis as basically the center of everything. With the original novel having been based around Dune and Dune being a central focus of most novels past and present there is an expectation. Now having said that just like the novels which hint and share pieces of the imperium, I have an expectation that these items are laced within the book. I plan on using the book to run any time period/era as well as any location with the Dune Universe. There is so much information available for us already.

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Very much agree. I ran so, so many games of this for Cubicle 7, never quite managed to work on it though. It is one of the games I hold up as an example of great art direction.
I’ve played pretty much every other Middle Earth game (but not read the books) and they always left me cold. One Ring was the game that made me say ‘Ah, I get why everyone loves this Tolkein thing now!’
Shame the dice might put people off, as it was easy to use an ordinary set, but I see what you mean. Although on the other hand I think some people may have bought the dice just to get some cool middle earth style D6s for theri D&D game :slight_smile:

I would like to play a campaign where all or one of the PCs are the Kwisatz Haderachs, and Paul don’t exist, and they need to help House Atreides on Dune :slight_smile:

In the Dune universe there are several failed Kwizatz that are mentioned. Count Fenring is a prime example. One would think playing from his perspective would be interesting. House Atriedes on Dune does get a bit tiresome, as the only reason the Duke would move his power base and his troops from a water world they had been on for thousands of years to a desert planet was that he planned to completely control spice production, get filthy rich, and force he Emperor to have one of his daughters marry Paul and thus become the father of the Emperor, placing his House into power. So Paul is destined to become Emperor one way or the other, and knowing this I would prefer to rpg elsewheres as well.

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