We’ve talked about game ideas and locations in other posts but one of the things I have noticed is a wide variety in the sort of themes that people are looking at for their games.
The games I will run will be heavily focused on the inter- & intra-house conflicts away from Arrakis.
So there will be a lot of intrigue and spycraft themes.
I’ve seen other people considering themes including the risks of disruptive technologies (mainly advanced computing) or the emergence of old (Cymeks) or new threats (Honored Matres) and what will need to be done to counteract them.
So what other themes are people planning for their games?
I’m probably going to focus on Arrakis for the first campaign. Extending the initial period after House Atreides arrives (maybe stretch it to a year or two instead of just 11 days). Include the off-world trip to Geidi Prime (envisioned as Blade Runner with gladiatoriall arenas!) to raid the Harkonnens’ illegal Spice Stockpiles. Then switch to guerrilla warfare in the desert or life in the Arrakis criminal underworld for the “wilderness years” - resisting the rule of The Beast Rabban (ideally without the PCs from fully joining forces with the Fremen and recognising their new “Messiah” as Paul & Jessica would have been reported as dead along with Leto). Perhaps they will find a way to get off-world and try to avenge themselves against House Harkonnen by attacking Geidi Prime.
I think the theme of sovereignty is a really interesting one, I’m not sure if something like democracy can exist in the Dune universe but an alternative to inherited status or corporate hegemony. Not themes with any kind of real world relevance…
I’m going to relaunch my Rispian Web campaign. I’ve done a bit of world building for 7 Risp for a play-by-post GURPS 4 hack and a series of convention one-shots with Fate. The premise is that Grand Conservator Olin, the Duke of 7 Risp, has been exiled by Emperor Corrino. The players are the entourage to a Minor House competing with other Houses for rule of the planet. Once they win Major House status, it’s about ruling former peers justly amidst bold power plays and subtle machinations. In addition to the theme of intrigue, religion will play a strong role. One of the competing Houses are staunch Orange Catholics. Another subscribes to a religion called Id Felice where the primary belief is the redemptive power of pleasure (made that one up). There is also a strong planetary romance element, since 7 Risp, boasting a hyperactive biosphere, has for most of its history been off-limits to colonization as an Imperial hunting preserve. I chose 7 Risp for the paucity of canon. I hope that continues with this incarnation.