Can someone explain conflict in Quickstart?

Hi. I’m sure this was asked before, but the search didn’t turn up anything. I recently played the Dune Quickstart Wormsign and I just can’t wrap my head around how conflict works.

I’m used to running Star Trek Adventures, so I’m somewhat familiar with core 2d20 rules. I was trying to run the first combat encounter as a skirmish: PCs vs. Harkonnen. I divided the battlefield into a couple of zones. So far so good.

But how do characters move from one zone to another? I assume it’s via “Move an asset”. Are characters also assets? I usually appreciate abstract rules but this is on a new level.

Lets assume the following setup (two neighboring zones): [Zone 1: PCs][Zone 2: Harkonnen]
This is what my take is, so please correct me:

  1. PC 1 starts
  2. PC 1 wants to move from Zone 1 to Zone 2
  3. They want to move subtly (?), so they roll Difficulty 2 Duty+Move (Drive can vary)
  4. On a success, they are now in the same Zone 2 and keep the initiative
  5. PC 1 can now make a second action at +1 Difficulty
  6. PC 1 wants to attack, i.e. use an asset
  7. They roll Difficulty 3 Duty+Battle
  8. Harkonnen opposes with Battle+Quality (but what Difficulty?)
  9. On a success, the NPC is defeated

Is this how skirmish conflict ist supposed to work?

Heya, I’ve had a bit of an extended break from Dune due to scheduling issues, but here’s my interpretation of the rules in your scenario:

  1. PC 1 starts
  2. PC 1 wants to move from Zone 1 to Zone 2
  3. PC 1 could just take a move action and end their turn in Zone 2 but instead decides to Move Subtly
  4. PC 1 rolls Drive + Move at difficulty 2. On a success, they move and retain initiative at 0 cost (normally 2)
  5. PC 1 could allow PC 2 to act but decides to take another action instead, adding +1 to the difficulty
  6. PC 1 wants to attack Harkonnen guard in same zone with his sword asset. Both PC 1 and Harkonnen guard roll their specific dice, but add 1 success to the Harkonnen’s roll because of step 5 above
  7. Harkonnen Guard (GM) rolls 1 success, adding 1, making 2 in total. PC rolls 3 successes, beating the Harkonnen by 1 (gaining momentum). The guard is a minor NPC so is immediately defeated.

So basically skirmishes are contested rolls between combatants. If the NPC is more of a serious threat, the combat might be extended, with their relevant skill, ie ‘battle’ essentially their ‘hit points’ and each round’s success doing 2 plus asset quality in ‘damage’. So if it were a quality 1 sword, it would do 3 ‘damage’ not 2 etc etc.


Thanks for the breakdown. That clears some things up. So “Move an Asset” also means “Move your character”. Also, the quickstart rules don’t seem to cover just pain moving to another zone. It seems you can only move subtly or boldly. But OK, that was one major hurdle for me to understand, so glad it is cleared up.

Edit: OK, I understood contests wrong. They function differently than in Star Trek Adventures. Step 6 is also clear now.


Yeah, honestly I had to reread the rules a number of times to get to grips with their semi-abstract nature.

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It is something of a gear change from what you may be used to.
The essence is about moving assets/characters into the right place and taking out an enemy with one hit, rather than the usual taking turns to attack.

Yes, that’s definitely true. I was just super confused because the Quickstart Rules don’t mention anything about moving your own character, just moving assets.

Basically, you can always assume your character is it’s own asset :slight_smile:

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