I´d love some tips and help for my first campain!

Hello, I’d like some ideas and tips for my first time as a GM for a Dune campaign using the 2d20 System.

We had a session zero, and the players built their nascent house (House Astarte), which specializes in Kanly (Understanding) Infiltration Techniques. Their concept is to study the arts of Kanly, predict attacks, and provide protection for money. They became a house by uncovering a plot to assassinate House Mutelli (Dune - Houses of the Landsraad, pg. 50) and were rewarded with the status of a minor (nascent) house.

The idea is that the sole purpose of the house is to study Kanly; they never act on it, just collect and sell information about Kanly and potential attacks. However, one of the players has secretly begun training a few soldiers to start selling assassination services. He is the second son of the house leader and wants to expand the house quickly.

The other players are:

  • A Mentat advisor who wants to make the new house great.
  • A Fremen smuggler who was expelled from Arrakis, adopted by the Bene Gesserit (and the house head’s spouse), and became a spy in the house.

We are playing 30 years prior to the events of the movie.

The current idea is that the Harkonnens are having internal conflicts on Arrakis, disputes with the Fremen, and shadow attacks from other houses. They will bring the nascent House Astarte to Arrakis to help against their enemies.

I’d love some tips on how to conduct this kind of game and suggestions for problems, challenges, and adventures with this scenario.



That is a nice concept and you have several ready made plot hooks just in the background that you have created.

For internal plots:

  • What does the first son think of his brothers desire to expand the House functions? You could have some juicy plot about the internal succession.
  • It sounds like the BG have their eyes on (and in) the House. Are they part of the breeding programme? Could they have someone in mind for the son?
  • What is the relationship between Mutelli & the Harkonnens? Could they put pressure on the House to do some additional work while on Arrakis?
  • What do the other House minors of Mutelli think of House Astarte? Parties and soirées hosted by the Major House could be terrifying fields of battle. With the other Houses trying to humiliate House Astarte or trick them into appearing disloyal. Maybe one of the other Houses is disloyal. A perfect foil for the Astates.

External plots:

  • The Fremen character was banished from Arrakis. Does he have enemies on the planet who don’t want him back. Either amongst the Fremen, the Smugglers or the Harkonnen officials. The Baron may have invited the House in, but many in the Harkonnens would like to see them fail.
  • How would the mentat react to an offer that could help the House rise in statuon quickly? It would only take a little betrayal of Mutelli…
  • Arrakis is a dangerous playing field. Especially for a House being asked to play in the shadows. The devious Atreides are always looking for a way to bring the Harkonnens down. Might they try to infiltrate House Astarte as a way in?
  • Smuggling is rife on Arrakis. An offer to dabble in the black market could be incredibly profitable and off the books. Of course it is a cut throat world with undercover meetings and trips into the desert to move cargo.

When I ran my campaign I had the seneschal create a report every few sessions giving a brief recap of some items and then laying out the current situations facing the House (invitations to parties, offers to work together, worrying rumours, etc)
It gave a breather space to assess where they were in their plans and for me to give them options of what they wanted to do.
It added a bit to my workload, but made the game feel more open to my players.

Currently working on my phone so will think a bit and when I am back at a proper PC at the weekend will see what else I can suggest.


I’d suggest laying down some bare bones plot arcs, flesh out the NPCs within the players’ House (everyone loves a good family tree!), create some additional NPCs to serve as future enemies, then run some first games with minor themes just so you and the players come to grips with the game system. From there, take on what the players are trying to achieve (short term, medium term, and long term) and let them guide you where things are going.

All going well, you should find that the players should largely drive the plot themselves and provide you with enough inspiration regarding foes and obstacles through gameplay.