Okay, hey there. So while rereading the Houses of the Landsraad book I had an idea for a potential campaign setting. I originally posted it in that section but thinking about it more its really its own thing.
In some ways it would be “The Imperium in a microcosm.” Which is interesting as it allows for the wider Imperium to still be there while also granting the players maximum flexibility in changing things up.
So basically it all all started when the Guild discovered a new star system, in fact it was a septuple star system. Seven stars, each with multiple habitable worlds, including a central star with a massive gas giant containing twelve large terrestrial and fully habitable moons. All together the grand solar system probably has around 30 habitable worlds/moons, plus asteroid belts and random rocks and other such sites.
The Landsraad and the Emperor got together and decided that there is no way one single House could rule this - at least not now. So a push came among the various Great Houses to forge some new Minor Houses that would be given land among worlds and moons of the system. While the rules against atomics would be strictly enforced, the rules about Houses being blatant in their wars against each other would not be - the point is to see which of the multiple scores of new Houses would survive and grow and become the Great House of the Grand System.
There is exploration - whole reaches of the seven stars are still unknown. There is governing - they are the leaders of a new territory and have to govern. There is history - though they may be a new Minor House they are rich with ties to a much older and greater House. There is politics - the Imperium and its bodies are all watching. Its cutthroat and its interesting and its got a lot of potential.
Maybe a temporary boon given to the Minor Houses that survive their first year in this harsh political enviornment is a right to do some Spice mining on Arakis. (Thus allowing for some connection to that planet.)
I have an idea that the Spacing Guild is limited to a single Arrival Point in a spatially balanced point in open space between the seven stars. The nature of this means that what happens inside the space of the seven star solar system is harder for outsiders to see - providing some internal secrecy. (The existence of a non-Guild controlled FTL variant is essential here, ships can move about within the grand system for all that the Guild is still needed for one to leave the area.)
The News From the Imperium event can have ‘x minor house has been absorbed by y minor house’ hehe
Oh man, the more I think about this the more I like it.