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Possibilities for Character Development

Hey there!
So far I have no experience with 2D20 systems. I like the way how it combines “talents” and “attributes” together, but so far I have very few actual information about the Dune system. I am waiting to buy a copy when its out.
So far, I have experience in D&D 5e, Das Schwarze Auge (The Black Eye), Call of Cthulhu (Normal and Pulp), Shadowrun 3, Traveller and a few others.

My question would be how much room for improvement is there for an existing character? I listened to the Mod-Con Vids, and a big part seems to be the development of their own house for a group of players.
Is there something like a “higher level” character with more opporunities to use skills and probably some new gadgeds?

I hope this is not a stupid question…

No such thing as a stupid question here.

We haven’t seen the full character creation rules yet, including any advancement rules but I expect it will be similar to Star Trek Adventures.

In that any advancement is tied to milestones, key points where your character has pushed themselves beyond or been in serious danger (challenging values, taking lethal damage etc…)
It is generally a very slow process when compared to D&D or similar. But then your characters start off being more competent than a 1st lvl character in other systems.

One area they may give more options for is in development of your House Major.
This seems to have lot wider range than your characters, but with the caveat that the more powerful your House becomes the more powerful their enemies becomes as well.

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Thank you for your answere! Sounds interesting, I hope there is soon some more information on that front. I guess we know more when it finally arrives.
I enjoy systems like CoC where a more experienced character is definitifly more competent, but still “lives” in the same world like all the other characters. A lvl 1 D&D character has 10ish hp, and up to 250 in the end. Not the same world.
In DSA (Dark Eye) you can do so much (mostly meaningfully stuff) so that it takes a long time until you really don’t want more stuff to learn. We played the same characters for 7 years. Non-magic PCs tend to run into a glass ceiling eventually…

I just hope there are a lot of possibilities in terms of worthwhile development and customisation. It would be great to include some Ixian technology over time, or even some Tleilaxu bio-technology :wink:
I think the House-Development is an interesting concept, but I think the playable characters are also what players mostly measure themselfs with.

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Normally I would agree with you. That extra stat point, another gadget, being able to punt a goblin over the stockade…
The last time I ran Dune however (Under the old Last Unicorn Games system) my players were far more focussed on improving their House Minor and boosting it’s stats than their own.
It was an oddity in the games I have run and I can only think it is because your House is such an important aspect of Dune. The characters have more connection to it than a simple faction or even a Star Trek spaceship.

I’m hoping that the Modiphius game will allow me to recreate this feeling, but it is it’s own beast and will have it’s own quirks & characteristics.

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Lets see how the final product looks! In any case the development hopefully is meaningfull. More power to the house probably means more assets, better tech and faster aquisition of stuff. If the improvement is cosmectic or just a meta-number, its probably not that interesting in the long run. I mean there should be a noticable difference weather your house owns one big mansion or an entire planet.

If you come from a background of DSA, SR3 etc. you are accustomed to very fine-grained, small steps character improvement.
If you look at Traveller (almost no character improvement at all), you know how it is to play characters without any change in their stats at all.

The 2d20 system comes in a lot of variants, some very fine-grained like Mutant Chronicles or Infinity RPG, some more in the mid-range like Conan, and the more recent ones in the more coarse-grained range like Dishonored, Star Trek Adventures and - even more coarse grained - Dune 2d20.

Dune 2d20 characters have only very few “moving parts” and so you will probably not see much in the way of small, but frequent, steps of development like in DSA or SR3.
The recent 2d20-based games have a lot of mechanics inspired from Fate and some from Cortex Plus (Smallville). Those are very coarse grained systems, less focussed on gaining more abilities and more about CHANGE your character goes through.

And that part you see already in the Dune preview. If you challenge your Belief statement you get to change your character’s outlook on the world - but the character does not get “more powerful” or so, the focus of the character’s abilities only shifts.

This is similar to what you find in Star Trek Adventures, where gaining an actual increase in abilities (Attributes, Disciplines, Talents) is a VERY rare occurrence, the culmination of a whole “season” of episodes played with this character gaining often spotlight.

So, for Dune, I wouldn’t expect much in regard of gaining or improving personal character competency, but more in the direction of shifting the focus, shifting alliances, relationships, moral values, beliefs, etc. - more shift, less increase. In that regard that would be quite the opposite of what you know from DSA or SR3.

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That is very much the plan.
As your characters are elite agents, they don’t have too much more to learn.
But the advancement options allow a little more direct progression that STA.

However, Dune being Dune I’d offer the focus should be on creating and building new assets and contact and even crafting more supporting characters to act as your character’s agents.

Once we move into House management the focus will shift towards all of you trying to build the power of your House.


I like Star Trek Adventures’ advancement because you could have your Harry Kims and your Captain Janeways and they could both be more or less equal in terms of skill. So the Kim character wouldn’t feel like they were being forced to play a substandard character to be in-character. Advancement from there was the same for both, then.

I like this idea for Dune wherein you go from Assassin (the individual performing assassinations) to Master of Assassins (the architect-level version of assassin where you’re directing field agents) by not advancing yourself so much as your assets and acquiring loyal agents of your own.

Very cool!