Questions about campaign setting/timeline

I’m having a creative block building by Dune campaign. I’m trying to figure out how to fit the campaign in with the Dune Universe. Would it be easier to have the PCs from a “minor house” that’s neutral or Atreides aligned around the time that House Atreides arrives on Dune and they take part in the Harkonnen invasion or have the PCs follow the Agents of Dune path and make their house the inheritors of Dune?


Do you want them to intersect with the events of the Novel itself?

Following the events of the Novel will mean that there is always going to be a major upset part way through. If you are going down the Atreides aligned House then your players are going to have to go rogue for a while. Possibly throw in with the smugglers like Halleck did. It is an approach I have considered in some of my plans.
A brief period with the Atreides and then the bulk of my campaign being as rebels and smugglers during the Harkonnen occupation.

There is always the issue with trying to stay to close to a pre-written story, expecially one where your players know what is coming.
I prefer more open games, but if your players want a more story driven campaign then it is possible to do it.
Just beware of players feeling hemmed in by events outside their control.

If you want to keep it at House Minor level you can set it on Arrakis at an earlier time in the setting. Centuries before the Novel. You can still have either Atreides or Harkonnen be the governor amd the other side (or a third party) interfering, but not to the scale of a planetary invasion.

There is also the option of not setting it on Arrakis initially. It might require more buy in from players as for some the point of playing Dune is to do it on, well, Dune.
It will require some more world building on your part however.

Just a few ideas anyway.
What is your group like? That might help break the logjam and come up with ideas that could help your creativity.

I’m definitely committed to starting it on Arrakis. I really like your idea of being forced underground for a time. This definitely changes what the characters can influence with survival being the main goal. I think what i’ll do is a kind of hybrid timeline. Not an alternate reality, but lately ive been playing Dune: Spice Wars on PC which has made me want a longer, more prolonged Battle for Arrakis. Not a stunning, shock & awe Harkonnen invasion but rather a slow-burn takeover. Since the group I play with leans heavily towards a military-style campaign, I feel a guerilla campaign might be whats needed to hold their interest. (my group hasnt played a narrative-heavy game like Dune before). Thanks for your feedback, i’m starting to percolate some ideas.

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No Problem, glad it has helped.

The original idea I had for this one-off/campaign was that the players were members of House Atreides security during the Harkonnen attack on Arrakis.
Through various events they would come into possession of something of great value to House Atreides that the Harkonnens would want. I considered something like an ancestral blade or even a second cousin who, with the apparent death of Paul, would now be the Heir to House Atreides.
So now they need to keep this McGuffin safe from the Hakonnens while escaping the destruction of the House.

After that point it was fuzzier. I would have left it open to my players if they wanted to join the smugglers, hide out in the Pyon villages or try to get off-world.
The McGuffin gives a reason why the Harkonnens would still be after them and also allows a tie-in back to Paul when he reveals himself 2 years later.

Yup, I’d agree with Thalim, but add that you can shift the timeline to a huge degree without changing how the Imperium works.
For a more stable game on Arrakis you might set it many years earlier with House Richese in charge, and maybe play through the Harkonnen takeover any way you like.

Can I get that on a T-Shirt? “I agree with Nick Thalim” :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Font is Dune Rise Behance


What does Agrcc mean? :slight_smile:

It means they were secretly hinting that Dune is really all about Dunc (an)…

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