The Great Game: Houses of the Landsraad

“Clearing new space is a venture (Expand Land or Orbital Facility)…” p. 105.

Are Orbital Facilities included in the limit of 20 extra spaces to a planet?

It does take up a space, mostly for the sake of ease. But with that space comes a district around it, containing tourist items, coffee houses and accommodation. Or it might be a huge district sized monument in parkland.
It is up to you what it is, and you have a district to play with. But Dune tends not to do things on a small scale :slight_smile:

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Building a new facility doesn’t cut into the maximum of the planetary spaces.
You are effectively building more spaces in space. Which is why the facility is empty and comes with nothing.
It is more vulnerable in space though making attacks to destroy it easier. I should probably have another look at space facilities and expand on rules for that sometime.

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Page 16. “I like Dune.” A direct quote in the book.


Just bought it from the US store. Hope it arrives relatively quickly. I have had somewhat bad luck with the store.

Hmm. Not sure I like this version of the Landsraad, I guess I like the Dune Enclopedia version too much for me to accept that the current owners don’t like that book.

Basically I much prefer “Houses have varying votes” and also “some Houses always have certain seats” and such things.

That said still glad I bought it.


Yup, I’m afraid the Encyclopedia is very much not canon now for us.

We do still have what you are thinking in the Landsraad, but just not quite so formalised.
Certainly the voice and vote of many powerful Houses will carry further than others. Some will control the votes of others, or just know that if they speak out for or against something certain other Houses will follow their lead. In this way there is a varying vote in the sense of different voting blocks.

This leads into the other oddity of votes being called in person for the most part, so if your allies arn’t on Kaitain, you might not have the votes you think you have. So a powerful House might be left in the cold if a vote is timed carefully.

For the certain seats aspect, there are some Houses that are more ‘reliable’ and dedicated to Landsraad politics and so keep getting appointed to certain committees. Again, not set in stone, but some Houses always seem to get a certain chair given their allegiances and maneuverings.

Hopefully that helps merge the styles into what you are after.

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To be fair even Frank Herbert in his introduction to the Encyclopedia stated it wasn’t canon and he reserved his counsel for issues to be explored.
As the first Dune fan, though, he loved it. :laughing:

In my campaign I have used the ‘voting blocs’ around the Great Houses approach in the Landsraad.
A major element of House Sindri’s possible promotion to Major House status is their being part of House Moritani’s faction in the Landsraad. As such House Moritani will give support to their ascension from Minor to Major.
Technically they will have the right to vote as they want, realistically they will vote how House Moritani desires.

This allows for the Great Houses to wield far more power than their apparent single vote would suggest.


I had my first read through of the book and I reallly like it. As usually the tone of Dune is very much like that of F.H.'s books. Good work. I also really liked the rules, specifically the Houses, great ideas and concepts! I also like the House roles, great opportunites to have a nice place in a group.

I can wholeheartedly recommend the book to all Dune players (and I am told to usually very crtical! :slight_smile: )!

A couple of points and remarks:

  1. Ginaz school
    Great rules and description! I will allow masters of other Swordsman schools to have one of the talents (except the the very Ginaz ones). I understand the advanced nature of the Ginaz school, but still, it is very limiting and a shame that the new fancy talents are not used more often.
    A brave decision thought! :slight_smile:

  2. Gholas
    I am not sure they all had metal eyes, even before Dune Messiah. From Dune Messiah “Why, for example, the mechanical eyes? Tleilaxu boasted their metal eyes improved on the original. Strange, then, that more Tleilaxu didn’t wear them out of choice.” As


the Tleilaxu are often Gholas themselves, and they did not have metallic eyes.

The quote seems indicates that the metallic eyes are not necessary then, or in the past for the same reason.
On the other hand, Herbert had the tendency to rewrite certain details in his later books. Not a big deal, just interesting.

  1. Bodyguards
    Why not a role for the House? Such a great opportunity! We even have an NPC template for it! Who does not want to be a bodyguard? Plenty of work for them in the Dune universe. We even have the NPC template (and Swordmasters are mentioned as bodyguards too), so big problem.

Good job crew, really good job!

Edited for typos.


So my book arrived today and I have been reading it - physical is always more fun for me to read than PDF.

All in all, my overall opinion, is I like it. I ESPECIALLY like the House Management chapter. The section on the the Great Houses is also pretty entertaining.

There are elements that I won’t be using as is - partly as mentioned in a previous post - but overall and in general this is a really fun book, one I am really glad I bought.

I said it above but it bears repeating - the House Management rules are amazing! Like really amazing. The idea of spaces and the way you have domains and holdings, so great. So much potential. I also like how expansion via space stations has a rule as does the potential for multiple planets/moons.

Oh, I like the mention that local FTL travel does exist, and is used, but that this is basically light-year based and not “you fold space and go from here to there in a moment” like the engines of a Heighliner.

The Spacing Guild section and the section on CHOAM were fun too. Nifty information.

A bunch of stuff in the Landsraad section will be changed by me, BUT, generally speaking, yeah, its cool too.

Yeah, the book is worth it. Its got a lot of fun material.

Especially. Most especially. House Management. I feel like I could run a game where the players run a House and work to expand it and such. There are enough Ventures, especially Construction ones, to feel complete but also enough to give a general sense of how to make them if one needs others.

Oh. PS. I ordered the book on the 14th, I got it on the 22nd. I have to give kudos to Modiphius’ new fulfillment center. It makes me much more inclined to purchase from the site directly.

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For this one, bodyguards are really an agent’s job rather than a Role.
Roles are positions in the House that have a responsibility to the House itself rather than just one person.
To a certain degree, Swordmaster fulfils that for the House ruler though.

The Ginaz talents are not just fancy but potentially game breaking, hence limiting them.
A Ginaz swordsman can toss a Fremen across a room so we don’t let those abilities roam too far :slight_smile:

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So I’m trying to think of what other construction Ventures I might want to create. The only one that immediately comes to me is something like Infrastructure. I also have a general idea of an expansion to the ‘District’ idea that we see in Pleasure District.

Lots of fun potentials here!

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Excellent. Don’t feel constrained by the current list. We may add more as we go, and players as well as GMs should feel free to expand the list! :slight_smile:

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So I was thinking of there being something like Exotic Resources to represent something special and unique, but not sure how it would interplay with the other rules.

As a note I really like how Expand Estate and Military Development have sub-features that can be bought. It showcases that there are ways to expand things already built in.

One of the elements I need to fully take in is the interplay between the traits of Resources, Wealth, Military Power, Population Loyalty, Lifestyle, House Skills, and House Roles.

I like the fact that Pleasure District can boost Population Loyalty, meaning structures/districts can exist to modify the other categories too.

So many options.

So its funny how my mind is split. A part of me is very much “players represent a really ancient House” while another part of me is “players represent a new House and so can expand it.” Both provide space for interesting stories. hehe

(had an idea, posted it here, then removed it to make it have its own thread.)

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As an interesting question what about Tourism. I don’t see an Area of Expertise that would apply to that. I could totally see a Tourism Domain. I could also see a Trade Domain, though this one would be very much a middle-man serving as a sort of between the peoples, the Houses, and the Guild.

I could also see something like Service/Support as a domain. It would represent House resources focused on population and infrastructure and other such matters. Having it be a Domain means Spaces needs to be taken into consideration, and I like that.

As a note, speaking of Spaces, I think a House’s Headquarters should have its own Space. I like the “Expand Estate” venture but I think it would make sense for each House to have one space listed as the center of its command.

By the way the more I think about it the more I like the ‘Domain’ system. It allows one to expand constructions without having the nitty gritty of figuring out how many homes and banks and malls the House has built.

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Tourism might be a bit too narrow, but how about Entertainment?
There is a bit of crossover with Artistic, but no more than between Espionage → Kanly → Military. Artistic is aimed at the nobles, Entertainment is more aimed at the masses.
House Wakyu from the GM toolkit/Houses of the Landsraad might be an example of a House with a secondary Entertainment domain.

From niche films to mass-market plays, Lavishly terraformed holiday paradises to travelling circuses Entertainment has been one of the ways rulers have distracted their populations since the days of House Caesar on Old Terra.
In the Imperium Houses have developed a wide range of entertainments, with the most famous able to draw crowds wherever they go. And profit handsomely as they do so.

  • Machinery: Circus rides, roller coasters, mobile theatres, films sets.
  • Produce: Films, holiday destinations, games, circus acts.
  • Expertise: Event planners, film directors, chefs, script writers.
  • Workers: Acrobats, gladiators, wait staff, roadies.
  • Understanding: Trend analysis, population influencing, specific styles of entertainment.

Edit: Forgot the Resource/Wealth adjustments.
A secondary domain produces –1 Resources/+4 Wealth
and a Primary one produces –3 Resources/+8 Wealth


Oh man CountThalim, that’s awesome. And yeah ‘Entertainment’ in the broad sense was more my thinking. Also yeah on the bit of crossover but also definitely yes on that being similar to the other crossovers so it fits.

Like looking at what you wrote, brilliant by the way, it fits, it really does. I totally can see Houses focusing on those things. Like a House that knows its got fantastic beaches and thus built resort cities and entertainment palaces would totally have that. And you’re right on it probably being secondary, but that is still important.

But yeah that is a great set up. Totally fitting I think.

Thank you for writing that!

So the more I think about it the more I like the idea of Trading as a domain too. Yeah the Spacing Guild maintains control of the main method of cross-universe travel but they don’t control the ports and they don’t limit personal starship owners. So wouldn’t there be people who buy low in one place and sell high in another, and travel between them. What about dock workers and warehouse operators and all the support groups for traders, including ports and stations in-system.

I’m a bit iffy on the ‘Services’ Domain idea, though I do think there is a place for that as well. Its a thankless task but ‘bureaucrat’ and ‘administrative assistant’ and ‘civilization services’ could be something a House focuses on.

Hmm… Trade. Lets have a play about then.

They say Trade is the lifeblood of an Empire. Resources need to flow throughout the Imperium and while the Guild may be the carrier it is Houses who are the ones that buy, sell and move goods outside the Heighliners. Close links to the Guild & smugglers are often advantageous to these Houses.
Often looked down on as mere merchants, those Houses that have mastered commerce are some of the wealthiest Houses in the Landsraad, and that wealth buys a certain amount of security.

  • Machinery: Bulk haulers, refrigerated transports, swift couriers.
  • Produce: Warehousing, shops, market information.
  • Expertise: Merchants, logisticians, bankers.
  • Workers: Stevedores, clerks, pilots.
  • Understanding: Knowledge of trade routes, smuggling, advertising.

A secondary domain produces –1 Resources/+4 Wealth
and a Primary one produces –3 Resources/+8 Wealth

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Oh man CountThalim you did it again. That’s super awesome. And so totally fitting. Like even with the Spacing Guild doing its thing there is definitely going to be space for a House to get into the trading industry. Heck, I could see a Minor House starting with the Trading domain as the act that gets them founded before they manage to get some land to become more planetary.

Thank you very much for this! So cool. It opens up so many potential ideas, and its totally fitting within the setting.

Sooo. Now I don’t mean to be pushy or needy (hehe), but what do you think about the Service Domain. This would be things related to civilian infrastructure and basic needs supply and organizational assistance. Its kind of Political but like ‘low class’, but in an Imperium of tens of thousands of worlds and billions of people there has to be a need for such things. I can see it covering personal banking and the legal, medical, and the administrative services among related topics. (I could see adding the financial market but I am not sure how much the average person has access to that field in Dune.)

I do have to say that besides these three basic ideas - of which two are now done thanks to your awesome work - I don’t really see other fields lacking related domains.

My next attention is to figure out any Venture ideas that I want to expand upon. The system here is really good and has lots of potential. I especially like how you can have ventures that upgrade other ventures and piggy back on them and such. That and also how some ventures are super broad, meaning in play their is so much potential nuance to using one.

I’m a huge fan of ‘nation building’ games and his one has so much potential.

I have always approached Houses, even the Minor ones, as equivalent to nations in their own right. They create & enforce laws (albeit unevenly), defend territory, provide services & extract taxes. They fit most of the definitions, with only sovereignty in question.

As to creating a Service Domain… Now that one is harder. :astonished: How do you specify a physical product for a domain which is by definition intangible? :thinking:
I’ve gone for items where the physical product is merely the conduit for the real service.
Definitely more crossover with Trade than I would like.

Small businesses proliferate throughout the Imperium, but some Houses have managed to find ways to spread their interests across the many worlds of the Landsraad. From spaceport hotels to sprawling franchises, if there is a way to make a profit a House has found it.

  • Machinery: Space ports, shopping malls, infrastructure.
  • Produce: Accommodation, insurance, postal services.
  • Expertise: Managers, medics, accountants.
  • Workers: Clerks, bureaucrats, teachers.
  • Understanding: Consulting services, development of specific sectors.

Oh yeah totally. Honestly, I see Houses as being locally ‘sovereign’ in most matters as well. Mostly because the vaster the Imperium the harder it is for the Emperor to micromanage what his ancient Houses are doing. And also becomes the Landsraad is a cumulative power house on its own.

One of the elements I implement in my Dune is that the ‘noble ranks’ of a leader isn’t just random, it means something. Being a Duke or Archduke or (and I created this) one of the Nine Kings means something, the title matters. I say this because it influenses view on the semi-independent nature of various Great Houses on an internal matter.

But yeah, there is much ‘nation hood’ in the Great Houses, for all that they are subordinate to the Imperium.

Firstly, awesome. Very nifty areas of expertise.

Yeah not sure sure about space ports, but I do like the idea of the rest. Very ‘we deal with the people’ element, vs the more high and mighty focuses of the other Domains. I probably will change ‘accommodation’ to ‘housing’, to represent more personal rather than vacation style elements, which is Entertainment. I probably will also remove Space Port, as that’s Trading.

Hmm. Maybe add “civil goods” or “consumer items” in Machinery to represent them doing small time yet super important work. Maybe also add ‘prefab structures’, very civilian infrastructure based.

I totally think this is an appropriate and fitting Domain category for a Great House. I imagine its either the focus of a Minor House or was something that a Major House has as a holdover from when they were minor and it just stuck with them.

Really good ideas, really lots of potential, lots of fun!

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So I am planning to get this book soon, but I am curious about something. In the house management chapter, does it give rules for Assets that belong to the House rather than individuals? For example, military units that belong to the House that PC’s might be able to call on?