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Recommended reading before running Dune?

Apologies if a similar thread already exists.

My copy of Dune: Adventures in the Imperium arrived yesterday (great discount through Amazon Warehouse for a “damaged” book!). I’ve read Dune and Dune Messiah and plan to read those again along with Children of Dune for the first time, but what other books do the Dune cognoscenti on this forum deem “essential” for a referee to have read before trying to run a game? (And for what reason(s), if you don’t mind.)

I’m currently running/playing Alien and Star Trek Adventures, so I have time to read before attempting any Dune campaign.

To be honest for running Dune in its standard era the only book that is ‘essential’ is the original Novel itself. The later Frank Herbert ones change the universe so much that it isn’t much of a guide.
If you can get hold of the Dune Encyclopaedia that is excellent as well.

Having said that I would recommend you also read the Prelude to Dune trilogy. These were the first ones that BH/KJA wrote and are the closest to the feel of Dune.
The aspects talking about life on Gedi Prime and Duncan Idaho’s Ginaz Swordmaster training are excellent and really give you an idea of what they are like.

The plot of the books… Focus on the background aspects and it will be good.


I second the prelude series - the House trilogy. There arealso some online wiki-type sites that are really good resources. However, I can’t remember theinks off the top of my head.

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I second the ideas above.
If you haven’t too much time David Lynch’s Dune. And the less baroque but most correct adaptation, the Sci Fi channel mini series
Once that’s done,
“The Road to Dune” , at least in France, not sure for USA version, for the first version of dune and They Stopped the Moving Sands
The Godmaker, The Priests of Psi

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I count myself to be an orthodox Herbertarian. As such, this comment made me laugh. I’ve read a few of the BH/KJA books and then swore off of them. I’ll stick to the original 6 from here on out.