Ran it back when it had just come out. A friend got it before I got hold of a copy of mine and insisted I run it (We had three Dune fanatics in the group)
It was one of my formative games as a GM and thus I learnt a lot while running. A lot of what not to do in many cases, but ce la vie. My group has fond memories of what they go up to. They weren’t Immoral, just Amoral. For the good of the House you see…
The first thing I will raise is that you want to look carefully at whether you want to include all the drama dice rules. (pg. 113-114)
The RAW says that if this rolls a 1 the best you can achieve is a pyrrhic victory. A lot of what ended up occurring in my game was based on these pyrrhic victories and the players trying to deal with what went wrong despite them succeeding. As these are all d6’s you essentially have a 1 in 6 chance of something going wrong regardless.
We ended up instituting a house rule that basically went: If the drama dice rolls a 6 and you succeed -> Dramatic success, If the drama dice rolls a 1 and you fail -> Dramatic failure. Pyrrhic Victories & Acceptable losses are ignored.
I also leant a lot on the House structure while running my game. The players had duties in their House and most of their actions went towards how to bolster the Houses standing and resources.
I had my players build their House at the start of the game alongside their characters. That way they felt more invested in the House. I used this as an opportunity to help flesh out their House and how it connected to the other Houses on the planet. I drew a rough map of the continents to help me visualise, but that is just general GM stuff.
The skill list, as @Trippy mentions, is too long and has a lot of restrictions. I.e the Propaganda Skill requires your intellect stat to be at +1, while the Psychology skill requires both Intellect at +1 and for you to have taken Suk Physician training. You will require the master list on pgs 78-79 to grasp all the restrictions.
One thing I will give it is that it gives a lot of suggestions for specialisations and also for the sort of difficulty levels different uses of the skill would require.
Beware the character archetypes as well. We found out part way through a scene that the assassin (currently under deep cover and so unarmed) needed to take out someone in the kitchen and found that they did not in fact have the unarmed combat skill… Cue a discussion on whether if he used the frying pan on the stove he would get a bonus for, and I quote, “Hot fat splatter”.
For combat in general you have a plethora of options. I recommend you ignore most of them.
Theoretically you have X number of Option points depending on initiative. You then use these to buy variable cost actions & reactions during the round pgs 122-125). Each subsequent action/reaction costs 1 more point. If you can’t afford to pay for an action you can’t do it. Unless it is a reaction in which case you can and you raise your difficulty by the missing points. @_@
It is telling that their example is a page and a half of solid text and ends with “Now the fight begins for true!”
I went with that my players had an action and a reaction each round.
Finally I recommend that any players who are playing a Swordmaster read Duncan Idaho’s training in the prequel books. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the RPG but does give a wonderful feel for the sort of varied training they go through to become a rounded Swordmaster
I’m pretty sure I still have my folder of the game upstairs somewhere. So many plans, so many schemes, so so many pyrrhic victories…