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Mechanics of Dune

My only knowledge of how the system works is from the Modcon stream.

It seemed as if players were making rolls like NPCs using Attributes and Fields of Expertise, similar to Dishonoured, rather than a static skill set. Is this accurate?
If this is the case, are there alternative rules for using a static skill set like that found in Conan?

There is a limit to what the play testers are allowed to say (until next week at least) but from basing it off the stream then describing it as Attribute + Field of Expertise roll under on on 2d20 is reasonably accurate.

We’ve not seen anything on static skill sets. Personally I don’t think there will be, but adding one in shouldn’t be too difficult. The core 2d20 system is pretty minimal so modifying it is straightforward.

My question would be: why would you want that? Conan does it because it has about 25 different skills and more defined gameplay, but I believe that’s the exception among 2d20 games

I’m a big fan on ‘play the way you want’ so its cool to adapt the system how you like.
But the advantage of Dune not using physical attributes is that it facilitates architect play,
which I’m a big fan on. :slight_smile:

Architect play?

Do you mean build your own stat combos?

Sorry for being dim!

Architect play is being used to refer to the large scale scheming and battles that your characters plot out at a strategic level, but don’t necessarily get involved in the front line fighting themselves.

It is the deployment of Battalions and Assassins while your characters manipulate alliances at court.
That sort of level of play as opposed to getting in amongst the thick of it and identifying the traitor in the House who has been spilling secrets.

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So are there rules for space combat? I know space travel is a thing but I am not sure if space warfare is in Dune (I am still reading Children of Dune). If I were a betting man, I would probably say this will not be a thing because the Spacing Guild controls all space travel.

There are some space battles in the Prequels, though they are mainly ambushes (Harkonnen & Corrino).
Dune itself mentions that while inside the Heighliner the Atreides would have nothing to fear of the Hakonnens and the Appendices talk of Frigates which suggests in the wider universe space battles do occur. Just off camera as it were.

I would probably agree though that there will not be space battles in the same way as Star Trek, given the focus this time seems to be on the Houses rather than the ships.

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While technically you could apply the conflict rules quite easily to space combat,
its not a very good idea to.
The Guild take a very dim view on people fighting in space and potentially damaging their ships.

People tend to prefer more ‘civilised’ way to end disputes, like poisoning and carpet bombing each other’s planets. :slight_smile:


Yup very civilized with Kanly, the Great Convention and the rules of conflict. Assassins and poison for the win!

So, planning on finishing up the final scene of the beta test. Very excited about picking up the source materials for the finished game.

Question I never got to ask from before: when making skills tests, can talents stack?
Marcus Syn, swordmaster had two talents for Move actions that seemed to cancel each other out and give amazing bonuses.

They should stack, but we might have to make an exception! :slight_smile:
Which ones were you thinking?

I would agree that space combat, while not touched on or documented heavily in the canonical works, certainly existed in the broader Dune universe. I think there are a few key points to it:

  1. The Great Convention and Kanly placed restrictions on human warfare, but the use of fleet assets was not strictly prohibited (that we know of) the same way that nuclear or biological weapons were banned. I doubt you’d have fleet engagements, like Star Wars of Ender’s Game, that sprawl across an entire star system. Remember the scale of this lore, a “small” space engagements in a galactic empire of hundreds of populated worlds and tens of thousands of unpopulated ones would still be pretty epic.

  2. The Guild may control interstellar travel, and frown on any violence that could threaten their vessels, but that’s the kicker. They care more about preserving their own monopoly than keeping the Houses from fighting each other. They have been willfully complicit in inter-House violence when it suited their ends. As long as the fleets keep their squabble well away from the Guild’s Heighliners I don’t see that the Navigators would really care. The same can be said for CHOAM and the Imperial Throne, for that matter. The points of these control measures wasn’t to stop violence outright, it was to keep it from spiraling out of control and threatening the status quo.

  3. Just because Guild travel is the fastest, safest, and all around preferred method of travel between systems doesn’t mean that the old pre-Navigator FTL drives were decommissioned. It’s still possible in Paul’s era to send a fleet between systems using the old drives if you’re willing to wait/sleep through the trip. It’s mainly military ships in the service of the Empire that have them, but the tech is still out there. Seems like a good plot hook for a space battle right there. House X sends a fleet using old-timey FTL to get the drop on their enemies, House Y, and catch them with their pants down.

Just a couple of thoughts. Take care.

Good points.
I’d add we have had it confirmed that ftl travel is still available outside the Guild, just not space folding.
But even the fastest ftl drive can’t cross between planetary systems anything close to the speed of space folding and still might take months or years to get anywhere.

Which book(s) mention that? I’m guessing the House books or the Butlerain Jihad trilogy?

The Butlerian Jihad trilogy are the primary books that discuss the “FTL vs. Space Folding” topic. It actually plays a pretty big role, so I won’t go too far into details since that comes dangerously close to spoiler territory. The tactical advantages, and disadvantages, of both modes of interstellar travel pretty dramatically impact the outcome of the Jihad.

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Concerning the original post,

For those of you who criticized The fact that I prefer static stats,


@Andy-Modiphius Would you be able to say anything specific about the dueling rules? My understanding is the conflict rules are different for skirmish and duel? Wondering how so? Thank you.

No problem.
Its a matter of scale really.
Combat works with basically moving assets into target zones where you can make a strike to take down the opponent.

A duel is just 2 people in a fight, so it ‘zooms in’ very closely on them. In a duel the assets are a knife and/or a shield and the zones are a personal zone and two ‘guard’ zones that protect it.

A skirmish is a group of people fighting. So here the assets are often weapons, but can be soldiers or thugs you have on your side. The zones are the different areas of the site - ‘by the steps’ or ‘near the door’ or just ‘this half of the alley’.
Having said that, in a skirmish the zones are as detailed as the GM wants them to be. If you like a lot of tactics in your combat you might divide a simple alley into four or five different zones. But you might just as easily make it one zone and fight it out without too much asset movement.

So, @Andy-Modiphius, if I am understanding correctly, in a duel, I would have to, for example, move into a guard zone and remove the guard asset (say, knife for shield), before I could try to do something against the personal zone?