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Prophecy/Prescience/Spice rules?


Will there be rules for prescience and spice effects?

Oh great question! I also want to know about this.

Ah, now there is a tricky one.
We’re going to dig deeper into spice itself in later books but we can’t leave out prescience in Dune.
We take a look in the GM chapter as running a game with people seeing the future is a nightmare.

Thankfully for the GM there aren’t many PC abilities that let you do this, but there are some.
We haven’t allowed full Reverend Mothers at character creation, or Guild Navigators.
But there is an option to play a ‘failed navigator’ who gets visions after being hit with so much spice in their test, and Mentats have an ability to figure out the future based on their current data.

For the most part in the books the people who can see the future are the people like Paul and his family, and so we’re restricted the real powers to those NPCs. But there will be opportunities for players to do that sort of thing too on some level and we’ll be expanding the options as we go.

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Unless its a total sandbox, a character with prescience could ask the DM for various firm clues, the number based on degrees of success. When I say FIRM CLUES I mean things that are going to happen for certain, and and though can be steered slightly, will still take place as planned. I know this is hard to run as a DM, but prescience is not always as clear as sight-- unless you are the Kwizatz Haderach-- and foreseeing an event and its players/characters/victims might only be partially accurate.

For danger of crossing my streams of geekdom “Always in Motion is the Future”.

I’ve only really used Prophecies in games, which are sort of the Fantasy equivalent of Prescience. But it can be fun to try and write them in such a way as to have multiple meanings (then you choose the preferred one as to how the game is going…). Being able to do so on the fly in the game would be a lot harder though and more prone to things snow balling out of control. It would depend on your GM level and style though, I just have trauma from my early days as an inexperienced GM… :slight_smile:

I would probably steer my group away from the failed navigators just for the style of game I tend to run. The mentat ability to predict is easier to work with. I can provide glimpses of what the opponents are planning so they can work up their own plans to counter-act them.

Yup, as always the options are there for you to take the game where you will.
We have to offer some prophecy options as its such a part of Dune,
but the big time prophets are not the player characters.
We have covered some hints and tips for the GM though which is the main thing,
and clues or vague insights are one of the best tricks.
(as you say, any Mentat will tell you they can only work with the data they have)

Having said that, a spice addled old man spouting a few interesting visions on the street of Arrakeen is always a good opener for a story. :slight_smile:


Anything on spice addiction?

As a general rule you don’t tend to have flaws, such as spice addiction, in the 2D20 system. Though there is nothing to stop a character declaring that they have one.

Otherwise the GM could apply a Trait to an NPC of ‘Spice Addiction’ which could presumably be used to give benefits or negatives to interactions with them based on how it was being used.

2D20 is a fairly light system most of the time (Infinity aside :wink: ) and Dune is definitely on the lighter end of the spectrum.

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I would imagine a failed Navigator was a dead one, or got shuffled off to Tupile. So much exposure to spice and spice gas would make it impossible to ever live a normal life outside of the Guild. The addiction on spice wine amongst the Guild reps in DUNE was driving them into a frenzy. So I would seriously doubt that such thing as a “failed Navigator” even existed in Dune. Too expensive a process to make a Navigator for one to fail, and possible paths of failure and possible failures have probably already been foreseen and avoided.

Flaws and perks make for better character generation. How can you create a Dr Yueh without his fatal flaw? How do you create the Baron without his obvious flaws? System can be light, but perks and flaws should be there.

C’Tair Pilru is our main example of a failed navigator. He suffers few ill effects, his mind simply doesn’t open to the spice in the right way. It is true some may work for the Guild in another function but they don’t have to.

Perks and flaws are sometimes nice but not essential. These are personality traits you need not have a system to. You can create a character like Yueh without needing some system bonus to say ‘+1 Difficulty to avoid treachery’ or the like. I do agree they can often be a helpful guide. But it can also be very constricting to make them system options you have to pick as you might not have the right points to create the personality that makes sense.