How to Build a Better House

Given that we know from the Polygon article that we will be able to build our own House Major I was wondering what sort of options we would have access to in defining our House.

I am starting this from the perspective of systems I have used for this type of Additional Character in the past. Mainly the original LUG Dune RPG, Conspiracy X and Champions.

The LUG game took a high level view of things; You had Title, Fief and 4 basic attributes (Status, Wealth, Influence & Security).
They had little mechanical impact on the game, but did help give a feel for what type of House Minor your players were part of.

Conspiracy X & Champions were more crunchy in the options for your base of operations, a lot of which did give mechanical benefits. But at the core they were still largely about how your group portrayed themselves. A group based out of Military Base often had a different mentality to one that set itself up in Country Estate or even a Cargo Jet (calling Agents of Shield).

Personally I would like the Modiphius version to hew closer to the LUG version of high level overview. For a game like Dune we don’t need the fine detail of the Base style construction represented by Conspiracy X & Champions.
Having said that I think that there is room to draw some aspects from them in being able to customise our House Major.
I am thinking along the lines of being able to choose specific aspects that the House Major is known for. House Atreides was known for the loyalty of it’s people, House Harkonnen had a reputation for ruthlessness and the factories of Geidi Prime.
What effect these have I’m not sure, but they wouldn’t be major, they are more for setting the style of the House which in turn affects how the group may play.

Anyway, those are my (pretty unsorted) thoughts. What do other people think?

1 Like

I think the Green Ronin Song of Ice and Fire RPG did a very good job of replicating that Family/House creation… Sadly that was the only good thing it did. But I think soemthing similar would work well.


One of my friends owns that I believe so I will get hold of it off her to have a look at it.

Making my own house…

…in the Dune Universe!!!


I think the Green Ronin Song of Ice and Fire RPG did a very good job of replicating that Family/House creation… Sadly that was the only good thing it did.

I would add the Intrigue mechanics of Song of Ice and Fire were also very, very good.


I’ll have my hands on the book next week so will be able to dive into it deeper then, but from looking online it seems that the levels and abilities assigned to your House can effect what your character can take as well?

So if your House does not have high influence then your characters are also capped at the level of status they can also take.
It is an interesting idea that to unlock powerful abilities for your characters your House has to have a specialisation in that area.

Which also leads into actions to improve your House during play to improve the options available to your characters.
At which point the GM sits back and cackles…

1 Like

Well my cunning plan of borrowing the book has run into the minor problem of everyone being in lock down. I think I understand the house creation aspect now but I can’t find much on the intrigue.
It seems like you have ‘hit points’ of a sort in composure and the skill used to defeat them will change their view of you. So charm to get them to like you, intimidation to make them more scared, etc…

Am I understanding that right. It seems a lot of people do like it out there.

Chapter 8 of the Song of Fire and Ice Core Rulebook is all about Intrigue. When you decide to run an Intrigue, you have a social health, known as Composure based on your Willpower. There are objectives each participant is working towards, disposition (a numerical value) of participants towards one another acting as a sort of “damage resistance” to the amount of Influence (damage) applied to your Composure (health). There are also different “weapons” called techniques used by participants to try to gain influence on whoever they engaged with in Intrigue, things like bargain, charm, convince, intimidate, incite, seduce, and taunt. It would be an ideal system for a setting like Dune.

1 Like

I did rather like the Song of Ice and Fire system (especially the way you choose to take a wound in combat). Although I did find the weakness in the intrigue system was when you just wanted to do something simple like convince a guard to let you pass. It was great for long term strategy though.

1 Like

So if you have looked at it and identified weaknesses that suggests that you have also considered ways to improve to it for use in Dune… :smile:

I usually just let simple matters, like allowing a Guard to let you pass, be a simple pass/fail roll. Off the top of my head, can’t remember what they’re called specifically, they have three different types of Intrigue, Simple, Contested (once and done intense discussion), and Complex (the long game, requiring mutliple Intrigues, sort of like extended tasks - but really extended, in STA).

1 Like