Quick look at Power And Pawns: The Emperor's Court

I’ve only had a quick look-through of the PDF and am about to do an in-depth reading shortly. The book contains:

  • Further fleshed out background setting with sections on the Imperial Court, Polite Society, and more details on a number of factions/groups such as the Sardaukar, Ixians, Theilaxu, Swordsmasters and Suk School.

  • New talents/assets - some for the groups mentioned above as well as some in general for politically-minded characters

  • New drives!! To replace any of the old, if desired: Challenge, Glory, Indulgence, Hate, Honour, Love.

  • Rules for Reputation

  • Rules for playing a Vassal

  • More on the higher echelons of CHOAM

At first, very quick, glance this appears to be an excellent sourcebook - particularly if you are likley to be playing a political or intrigue-heavy game. So ticks all my boxes. I haven’t found any glaring errors as yet but I haven’t really had a chance to do a deep dive. There is a little recycling of art used in previous products but then there are is also plenty of new art as well.

I think this is best thought of maybe as a companion volume to Houses of the Landsraad, with some extra details. Personally, I would have preferred them in a single volume, even if paying the same as for 2, but can understand why it is released separately.

There’s also a 14-page adventure at the back. I’m kind of ambivalent towards these but it may offer a practical guide as how the new material can be brought into play.

Can’t wait for the hard-copy and will be incorporating elements into my current campaign for sure.

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Huh. Thanks for the heads-up! I would have missed this. Must have overlooked the announcement in the newsletter. :see_no_evil:

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I agree. I also definitely think they should have consolidated the Spacing Guild and CHOAM material all together in one book or the other.

Also, the Power and Pawns book really cries out for a big section on the Bene Gesserit.

I believe they were planning on a standalone BG book to come out around the time of the forthcoming ‘The Sisterhood’ TV series, but given the latest on that front with one of the leads and one of the showrunners leaving, who knows when that may be?


It does look like the Sisterhood is going to be delayed for a significant time.
Be interesting to see if that means Modiphius pushes ahead with a BG book or delays it to later.

We are now at the end of what Modiphius has revealed publicly.
A few hints of possible ancillaries to come (Momentum/Threat tokens, etc) but nothing on new books.

I have my suspicions in my little notebook and I’m hoping to get more information at UKGamesExpo at the end of May.

It only released for preorder yesterday so will probably be in the next newsletter :slight_smile:

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If they can’t do a BG book, the next logical thing is era books.

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I’d agree.
Modiphius have said that future supplements will cover different eras.

What they haven’t made clear is if the different eras will have their own books or if a sourcebook on a specific group would cover multiple eras.
I.e a book on smugglers & outcasts which has sections on them for the Butlerian, Imperial, God Emperor and Scattering eras.

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The Butlerain and the Scattering would almost have to be whole setting books of their own. The universe and the kinds of stories you can tell are SO different from the base setting of the game that I can’t see how else you would do it.

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Huh, that’d explain it. :smiley:

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Some of us just stalk the Modiphius social media feeds. :innocent:

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Quick tip if you are printing out the PDF double-sided: remove the second page in a PDF editor. That way the page numbering remains correct with the odd-numbered pages on the front.

This book (and the Landsrad book) so far have been fantastic. I’ve particularly enjoyed the advice on running political campaigns. I wonder who wrote that specific section. The writing style is very lively. all of the books are very well written but I got the sense whoever wrote that particular section really really was having alot of fun.

I hope we see a Bene Gesserit book soon. I also note Mentats (outside of Twisted Mentats) didn’t get a huge spot light so I’m wondering if something is in the works for them as well.

Overall though I think once those topics are covered, then beside more campaigns and adventure books all the major source books needed for this ERA would be done.

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Hard to be certain and there will have been several areas of overlap, but one name does jump out from the Credits list: John Wick.

John Wick is behind a couple of games which have massive political elements. The main one being L5R which has entire sections dedicated to political machinations. Winter Courts being the main one.
I’d put money that John’s fingers are all over it, the prose certainly feels like it.

A Bene Gesserit book is up in the air. The original plan had been to wait until the Sisterhood TV series was out. With that on indefinite hiatus, Modiphius will either bring it forward or push it back. Either way I doubt we will get it this year.

I think we will start seeing more books on other Eras sooner. The Atreides Imperium being most likely I reckon. It is almost the same, but has enough differences to justify a few books.

It’s funny you mentioned John Wick. When I looked at the author list in the front of the book, he was the first one that came to mind for me as well.

That makes sense the desire to position that source book around the TV show,. I do hope the game is doing well from a sales stand point for Modiphius. They’ve nailed Dune.

I’m sure all the releases were intended to position around other Dune properties, (The board game Dune Imperium has done extremely well as an example). especially the Core Rulebook which ideally would have been released with the movie but the pandemic wrecked havoc on the release date and I’m sure that forced Modiphius to move forward with the game without the umbrella of marketing that would normally have helped.

Even though the tv show is pushed back I still think the BG book is essential so I hope they decide to release it anyway. In the meantime, I’m using my imagination to fill in the gaps and create narrative and mechanical opportunities when there are rule gaps. Though what is out there now in the books is plenty when combined with a knowledge of the lore.

I’d also like to see the GM Toolkit combined into the core rulebook, if at any point there is a 2nd edition. It’s such a valuable tool it would fit nicely in the GM chapter for the Core.

And roll 20, it would be nice to have VTT tools for GMs to create conflict maps for intrigue, espionage and political campaigns, Those are the types of conflicts that grow and grow so having digital tools to build the scope of a living imperium would be awesome too.

Just my Dune wishlist. :slight_smile:

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John did indeed write much of the political sections, partnered up with Richard August who is one of my long time Dune team.
I’ve been a long time fan of 7th Sea and known John for a while, so knew he’d be perfect for this. Hopefully I’ll get him back for more at some point.

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As you know, we’ve barely touched the surface of what we could do with Dune.
But for me Power and Pawns marks the completion of the core of the setting.
You can now play pretty much any character, and take your game to any corner of the Imperium.

But we have more on the way for sure. You keep buying them, we’ll keep making them!
And while I cant promise or comment, keep suggesting books you’d like to see as I am listening. :slight_smile:


John Wick?!? Ha, the writing style was familiar to me! :slight_smile: I Agree that John’s approach (based from his reading) matches Dune’s very well. A very good choice! He is an excellent storyteller!

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