Can a minor house change allegiance?

I’m thinking about starting my players’ House Minor as serving House Harkonnen for the purposes of running “Harvesters of Dune.” Can a house change allegiances? Once the Atreides show up I’d like to give them the opportunity to betray their former masters, but not if they’d be dissolved for their previous allegiance.

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There is nothing in the rules about changing allegiance, but House Minors are described in the Novel as ‘a planet bound entrepreneur class’. This and the rules in the RPG implies that House Minors are largely tied to their planet and we know that planets can change owners (See Arrakis and Caladan).

You may have some House Minors follow their overlords when they move planets, but I would expect a lot would remain where they were and switch their allegiance to the new House Major who takes over the planet. After all you can’t pack up and move farmland like you can researchers or equipment.

Overall this is a GMs call. If the plot you are planning gives the players the opportunity to switch allegiance (or at least pretend to) then I would say let them.
Of course the previous overlords may not be happy and they are a lot bigger than you…

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I think for the scenario you intend to run your plan sounds ok, but otherwise it would be very tricky, as CountThalim suggests.

But that doesn’t mean they arent susceptible to intrigue! In the campaign I’m looking to run, the House Minors of several large Majors are at the centre of the Majors successes and downfalls. The Majors are bribing, cajoling, allying, betraying, helping to elevate the Minors in order to get what they want. The Minors dont move planets, so they’re at constant risk of exposure. Some might use that to their advantage, others are terrified but need/want the alliance.


This is something we’re going to have to take a look at when we go deeper into Houses.
For now I’d say the minor House will have to do several things:

1 - Prove it can be loyal to the new House (as this could easily be a move to put a spy in an enemy camp)
2 - Prove it can be of value to the new House
3 - Prove it is worth more than the mountain of trouble it will bring to the New House
4 - Be able to at least initially protect itself from the old House
5 - Have valuable holdings outside the old House’s homeworld as otherwise it might be be a House at all after shifting loyalty!

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This is the entire premise of my current campaign!

The players are a minor house who are currently vassals to the Harkonnens.

The first session began with them learning that the head of the House was killed by Beast Rabban in a fit of pique, and his daughter, the new Countess, tasked them with coming up with a plan to get out from under Harkonnen rule.

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