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RPR Archive Epic Dune Game - Planning Thread

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by BobaMatt, Oct 11, 2008.

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  1. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    I've been kicking around this idea for a bit, and decided to post here about it because...well...that's what I do. A post made by Saintheart in the RPF social thread sort of got me to finally open my mouth about it.

    [image=http://www.catwack.com/pics/309.jpg]

    The Non-Star Wars RPF rarely has large scale games like The Shattered Galaxy or 128 ABY, with many factions and many GMs. As a big fan of Frank Herbert's Dune universe, I always thought an RP set there could meet with great success, but the sheer complexity of said universe would almost demand the sort of huge scale attention TSG and 128ABY had going. My thinking went somewhat deeper than that, but I think I'll post more after getting some thoughts.

    Perchance, if the idea is popular, this could become a planning thread?

    I_H Edit: As this game is launched, this planning thread has completed its purpose. All OOCs can be communicated via PM or in game./>
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    I'd be interested, albeit I'd probably have to go reread, it's been a while...
  3. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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  4. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Of course there's no substitute for reading the source material.

    My original idea was to place the RP some time either during the time between the fall of House Atreides and Paul's reemergence as Muad'Dib - I think that's a period of three years? - or the early years of Paul's Empire. Players would take the roles of different members of different factions and houses, and negotiate the politics, kanly, alliances, feuds, etcetera.

    CHOAM and the Guild would be important powers. Perhaps CHOAM is not playable, though it may be. The Houses Major govern large areas of space, finishing up the tripod of the Landsraad. The Houses Minor are under the Houses Major, having minor votes in the Landsraad through the Sysselraad.

    Etc.
  5. Saintheart Chosen One

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    I must say I'd be delighted if a big multithread RPG flowered in the NSWRPF; we've lacked something of that type for some years now. I'm also pleasantly embarrassed it's Dunecat who set this off. :D

    Might I offer an unleavened thought or two, not having read the source for some time?

    * CHOAM as playable faction: these days my style with the creation of RPGs is always to cut down the number of playable factions, mostly because it (a) simplifies things and (b) lessens the number of scheming geniuses needed to run each faction :p. Seriously, were it me running this, I'd have very grave reservations at putting CHOAM into one person's hands; canonically, CHOAM is the company of everything -- it controls all mercantile activity, at least as far as I remember, and during the period we're talking about is pretty much in the Emperor's pocket. In the novels (all right, in the original: I didn't ever really get into the other four ... more about that shortly.) CHOAM was always something of a background player at best; ultimately the plot was driven by the machinations of the Houses and the Emperor. So I think leave it that way, personally.

    * Other options: you could let people make up their own Houses to customise things, though - this keeps some individuality for players but keeps them firmly as Landsraad members and thus controllable. Warning bells that occurred to me: the spectre of the powergaming idiot who thinks that House Ginaz is chock-full of Duncan Idaho clones. I'd also counsel against allowing the more way-out factions like the Ixians to be played, mostly because there's a high chance your game will be derailed by the powergamer who decides that the Butlerian Jihad doesn't mean anything and it's time for Ix to rule the universe again.

    * The Fremen aspect will need some careful thought. Will Paul et. al. be playable at all? I have some concerns over this given the way Paul's individual story is linked to the Fremen's fortunes. If it were me, I'd not make Paul playable at all, but a larger-than-life figure against which the players (sietch leaders at best) live out their lives. This also makes the whole Fremen faction controllable, since after Paul is revealed as the Lisan-al-Gaib the whole people will die for him if necessary.

    * Canon: I suggest placement of the story during Paul's rise under the Fremen, simply because it's likely to appeal to the biggest audience. Myself, I never got into the rest of the Dune series anywhere near as much I did the first novel. In point of fact I'd argue that the first book should have been the end of the matter, but anyway ... yeah, I'd say keep it as generic as possible. Round these parts familiarity seems to be a keystone for a large player base, if that's what you're going for -- 128ABY is ultimately a "Legacy" RPG, IBOP was based in the time of the OT, and so on.
  6. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    My thoughts almost exactly. There's more to it, though, and I'll get more into it when we get to Ix.
    One of the reasons I wanted to place it during the time of Paul's rise was because it eliminates House Atreides, i.e. the House with the most canon attached to it. Ginaz is, thankfully, collapsed at the time of the novel, isn't it? Its swordmasters are scattered about...anyway, you're absolutely right, and it would need clever moderation.

    Perhaps, in order to keep the game from getting too large, Houses would be "unlocked"...say, no one can start up with a new House until the ones already in play are sufficiently "filled."

    Here's where I'll talk about non-House factions: it would seem that the best way to deal with them would be to attach them somehow, in story, to the Houses, rather than having free-floating characters. Therefore, while no one would be in charge of CHOAM as a faction, it might not be a problem for a player to play as a CHOAM representative on Lankiveil inspecting Harkonnen whalefur exports; a Bene Gesserit would likely end up as a Truthsayer or a wife or a concubine; a Tleilaxu would probably have a particular contract, as would an Ixian, etcetera.
    Again, I think we're on the same page, here. I'm waffling on whether it'd be a good idea to let the players be Fremen at all. Of course, that's what the planning would have to be all about - solving these issues. What I definitely agree on is that the going on on Arrakis during this time would be the backdrop against which the plot is set; amidst the goings on of the player characters, everyone's on edge because a mysterious leader named Muad'dib is threatening spice production.
  7. Saintheart Chosen One

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    PM consults with Hammer would be useful about the Landsraad convening, I think; he had a good system going with the Senate game, though it must be said his focus was entirely on the Senate machinations themselves rather than the wider universe at large.

    The Guild as playable faction? On this I am again inclined to say no, mostly because I don't at first glance see many good story possibilities for them. You could have Guild agents, I suppose, but the Guild only has two roles:
    (a) Get people from point A to point B in the universe; and
    (b) Ensure there's enough spice flowing from Arrakis to make role (a) possible.
    It doesn't play, except in the most subtle manner, in the politics of the Houses. I think an approach similar to that of CHOAM is the way to go, with of course the option for players to negotiate with the Guild if necessary. This, too, echoes their role in the books: shadowy background players rarely seen on screen at all.

    Though we've not discussed it, a similar role for the Bene Gesserit is probably appropriate as well.

    As for economics, I actually did try to set up a working Star Wars merchant game some time ago (around the time Jessica was born, actually) but I admit I found just updating the stats from month to month very time-consuming indeed. It's also very complex as well. I tend to think this can be controlled at a "behind the scenes" level rather than put specifically out there for people to buy and sell. This is not to say it can't be done; rather, you need to ask yourself if you want to be running a Monopoly game alongside an RPG, because that's ultimately what the economics side of things would become.

    On the Fremen question: I honestly think a lot of your player base is, right or wrong, going to come from people who may want to run as Fremen. This can be accommodated, though; Fremen can be clan members sent on individual missions at first. Not everyone has to have a hand in the fate of the Known Universe by the end of the RPG. It could be handled via one thread being a "Dune proper" thread, devoted to events on Dune; one thread could be a "Great Houses" thread, devoted to the machinations between the houses; another thread could be "Smaller Affairs" dealing with your individual agents, spice smugglers, etc, etc.

    Having said that I would counsel creating one thread for everything at first before considering a branch-out into other threads -- unless you can shoehorn a big Dune community in from the FF :p. IIRC even 128ABY started as a single thread before branching out, while IBOP only grabbed multi-thread status from the beginning because of the terrifying success of BOP and the presence of a proven pledged player base prior to startup.
  8. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    That would have to be worked out, because I don't want it to drag on and be just awful. Any thoughts on how it could be worked in?

    And what do you think of the House unlockability idea?
    Well yes, as I said, the factions themselves would most likely not be playable on a whole but if someone was really gunning for an agent position it might make sense to allow it if they were attached to a House in some fashion. For example, it's unlikely the Harkonnens don't have a Guild representative breathing down their neck constantly.
    I mentioned them in my above post.
    I agree, but commerce is so integral to the universe that it would have to be worked in somehow, I think. Any thoughts?
    True. Maybe Sietch Tabr is off limits, though...
  9. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Commerce, then. :)

    In saying the following I'm making the assumption you're talking about players actually making trades in massive amounts, and players actually being able to spend the cash of their houses?

    If so, there are several axles to the wagon (and Hammer might actually be of assistance on this, since it was actually with his help that I built the "Galactic Trader: The Golden Rule" system of economics:

    (1) Cut down all products into a manageable list of categories -- categories wide enough to get most products underneath them. Here's my list, cribbed from "Golden Rule":

    Base Commodities
    Food ? Basic grains, processed foods, luxury foods. Everything from pundi rice to Ruurian caviar.
    Textiles and Furs ? All common textiles, including leathers and pelts.
    Liquor - Exotic spirits from unearthly flora, intoxicating nectars and alien cordial.
    Minerals ? Iron, Tungsten, Tin, Nickel, Hfredium and other unprocessed minerals.
    Medium Technology and Processed Goods
    Radioactives - Ores and byproducts of quantum processes. Uranium, Tantoritum
    Industrial materials ? Plasteels, transparisteel, and other engineered materials
    Industrial equipment ? Factory, construction, and mining equipment
    High Technology and Luxuries
    Consumer machinery ? Food dispensers, home appliances, repulsorcraft
    Medical needs ? Medical equipment, medicines, serums, etc
    Communications equipment ? HoloNet, in-system, burst transmitters
    Computers and Droids ? Hardware, software, positronic AI's, droids of all kinds
    Advanced Fuels ? hyperdrive fuel, sublight mix, repulsorlift fuel cells
    Entertainment ? Games, Movies, Music, holovids, etc.
    Luxuries ? Artwork, gems, antiques, pets, alien artifacts
    Contraband
    Contraband ? Glitterstim spice, Ryll spice, tabac, narcotics, weapons, slaves

    We'll get to the reasons for categories shortly. This list can be played around with given, for example, Computers and Droids are highly unlikely to be on a Dune RPG list. But there you have the guts of an economy. And best of all, you don't have to give a commodity price for every item in the universe; you just give one price for (say) 1,000 cubic metres of Food.

    (2) Guild fees for transport: this will replace most, if not all, of the sections I had on transports and buying your ships and what-ho. You could assume Houses have sufficient intrasystem vessels to get goods into a Guild Heighliner, so it comes down to how much the guild sees fit to charge a House for transporting goods around. Space taken up inside a Heighliner is one factor (maybe factored in as a percentage of the "price per 1,000 cubic metres" concept -- a Heighliner can fit almost anything inside it, given its size, it just becomes a question of how much cash you want to spend and how much of the commodity you have), the other is the cost of transport from one place to another. On that, Hammer had a very novel idea which might work better for the SW universe, but I'll reproduce it here:

    The Price of Distance:
    The galaxy is huge, and BOC pays much of the expenses of trading across large distances in the galaxy, including fuel, port fees, and other costs. For this service the trader pays a BOC trading fee which must be paid when a ship carrying goods travels across regional boundaries.

    The fees are as follows, moving from the most distant region of the galaxy to the innermost:

    Outer Rim: 200 credits
    Mid Rim: 200 credits
    Expansion Region: 200 credits
    Inner Rim: 200 credits
    Colonies: 200 credit
    Core Worlds: 200 credits

    A vessel with no cargo pays no trading fee. A vessel travelling within a region pays no trading fee. There is no fee for leaving a region.

    The fee is charged by BOC to any vessel that moves into a different region, and each region?s fee is cumulative on the next. The fee is charged to each of a trader?s ships that cross a regional boundary.

    So for example, a ship traveling from the Core Worlds to the Mid Rim would pay 800 credits: the Colonies trading fee + the Inner Rim trading/>
  10. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Indeed. I'll give more in depth attention to your outlined commerce plan when I get a chance - right now it's 1:00 AM where I am and I have a paper to write and my brain is doo-doo - but from what I saw I'll make the following comments:

    1) I was taking, for the most part, about trade relationships between particular Houses that specialize in particular things. House Harkonnen, for example, runs the market on Whale-Fur, House Richese - mostly defunct, I believe - is a technology center, the Atreides had their own specialty, etc.
    2) Transport costs are irrelevant when you get anywhere for the same amount of effort in the same amount of time - a blink of a Navigator's eye.

    I'm glad that you like the House Unlockability idea...I wonder if it'd be better to do it by time or by players...
  11. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    PLEASE let me be a Fremen, lol



    In all seriousness what about the Bene groups? Are their going to be genetic wizards and nuns with Kung Fu or no?


    Maybe if someone wants to play as a Face Dancer they could as well...Send you in a hidden tage saying, lol here is my REAL bio
  12. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    I think there should be, on some level. The Tleilaxu are a bit shadier and far out than the Bene Gesserit ever are.
    That's actually not a bad idea, provided that characters who play Bene Gesserit would also be notified, since the Bene Gesserit are said to be able to detect Face Dancers.

    Of course, one runs into the problem of internal monologue and close-third person narration; that is, musn't Face Dancers have their own internal thoughts and motivations, not connected to their current persona?
  13. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Actually expect for having instructions to complete certain goals, Face Dancers THINK their the person they are mimicing. Its the ability of Gesserit to see into a person's and their own subconcious that allows them to know Face Dancers are REALLY lying


    Well it sounds like you could narrow it down to three Main Houses

    Harkonnen

    IX

    Made up House like Ornous from the Dune Games


    Then you have your wild cards

    Atredies Regments

    Smugglers

    The Bene Gesserit


    Then The big boys


    Corrino

    and Maybe the Freman
  14. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    If epic is what you're going for, then factions will certainly be needed...

    Perhaps only a few Face Dancer characters? And are we only looking at Frank Herbert's books as the source material? Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert write good page-turners, but they aren't anywhere near the elder Herbert's works.

    Jumping from tangent to tangent, how much do we, as readers, really know about the Tleilaxu, other than the fact that they're crazy bad guys? Fremen, Bene Gesserit and Houses Major have been explored, but Tleilaxu are still sort of unknown. The Spacing Guild, too, for that matter...

    Would you have canon characters in there? Or is this before the time of Paul?

  15. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    I hadn't thought about the Atreides remnant...
    Houses, mostly, I think.
    Mostly Frank Herbert, yeah.
    We get some in the KJA books, and some stuff from much alter in their organizational history that you can sort of extrapolate backwards...not much is known, no.
    I'm thinking the period after the fall of House Atreides would be best, during the first book.

    And I'm not just looking for questions. Let's get suggestions, thoughts, ideas, planning!
  16. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Well the game should be centered on Dune to some degree. House Harkonned players focus should be bascially this " Spice Revuene is down..find out why or we have to use our own Spice hoards."

    Corrino although concered with all matters of trade, would keep an eye on Dune and Gedi Prime for obvious reasons. They know about why Duke Atredies really died, and probally are looking for any reason to wipe them out. They are even trying to plant evidence that the Harkonnens commited an illegal war, aginast the rules of Kanly. That why Shaddam would look like a hero for the nobles and remove two threats to his throne.

    The Bene would be both looking for Paul, and trying to subtly help the Harkonnens from being exposed by Corrino and make sure a subtle replacemnet occurs to carry on the line for the perfect human. They are also out to make sure no one faction gains to much power...inculding The Spacing Guild.

    Ix would be trying to sel, sell, sell. With the recent wars and fear running amuk...everyone wants better swords and Vechiles. They'd probally hire out some of their people out to show of what their equipment can do first hand.

    As for weapons...why not change the price of them planet to planet. A pistol is worthless on Caldaan, a sheild removed the need for them. A pistol is a hot commdity on Arkias, too much demand not enough supply. Likewise, a sandcrawler and Stilsuit would be sold cheaper on Gedi...as it has no purpose their....but Transportion costs for it, will make it almost pointless to buy them their unless you but them in bulk.

    You can have a Spice Addcition meter too! Live to long on Arrkais, you need a certain amount of Spice to live. On the bright side...your wounds heal faster, your reactions increase, your longer lived, and MAYBE you can see breifly or distantly into the future. Your eyes will turn into blue in blue...and you might be able to pass in a Freman village.

    On the Economic factor...everything is a wildcard expect Spice...the stocks on that always go up so only Nobilty could buy into it. Heck...dumb down the Econ factor to 5 other things. Lesuire Items, Vehilies, Weapons, Food, and Materials. Maybe 4 things into each area at most.



  17. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Well...hopefully we'd be able to work out a plot somewhat more complicated than that.
    Again, hopefully the plot would be involved enough so that all player characters/factions could be involved in some manner larger than just that which we know about the novel.

    I wonder how much of an open-secret Shaddam IV's involvement in the fall of House Atreides was...
    The Bene Gesserit think Paul and Jessica are dead, no? Then again, given the rise of the Lisan al-Gaib, they might have their suspicions: after all, they were the ones who planted those myths centuries ago. Their quest for the Kwisatz Haderach is thrown into disarray. There'd likely be a lot of confusion and disarray among their ranks. Possibly some unrest...
    Bastards. :p
    True story. There might be increased fear and suspicion cast on them, too. People love scapegoats. Also, they end up spending thousands of years trying to replace Guild Navigators with new thinking machines. I wonder if problems with spice might influence them here somewhat.
    LIKE TONY STARK IN IRON MAN!!!

    This is actually an interesting way to bring Ixian characters in...
    Again, transportation costs would likely be flat given the way travel actually works. I'm torn on the idea of a really complicated commerce system...must be a way to tone it down some, or sort of handwave it altogether. Any strong feelings either way from anybody?
    I wonder if this would have to be GM moderated.

    Surprise! You're an addict! Surprise! You're such an addict you can never leave Arrakis again!
    Doesn't the book say at one point that a briefcase full of spice could buy a whole plane
  18. Saintheart Chosen One

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    The only spice reference I remember is that handful of spice can buy a refuge on Tupile for a lifetime...

    I think it's apparent from the foregoing we (yes, we) have to reach a nice balance between individual bad@$$ery courtesy of the Fremen, Bene Gesserit, Face Dancers and the wider house issues.

    For these reasons I would suggest one keeps the Bene Tleilax, the Ixians, the Bene Gesserit, and the Fremen as unplayable in the sense of one player controlling the faction. The appeal of these factions is much more about the individual abilities of their agents rather than the appeal of playing the group as a whole. We know how these things sometimes turn out: players who really just want to do missions as Bene Gesserit Hardcore Combat Machines wind up running the whole faction to ruin.

    In fact, I have a somewhat radical idea: why not make all the Major Houses unplayable? Why not make players the masters of Minor Houses only? I mean, Atreides is out of the picture, and the Fremen aren't controllable as a faction -- and House Corrino is the house of the Emperor (maybe Jello will consent to playing yet another Imperial Overlord? :p) and the plot of the game suggests you want to keep the Emperor's activities NPCed. Who out of the Great Houses is recognisably left to play? You may well have a scramble for House Harkonnen (and yes, I know canonically it's actually a Minor House) and maybe House Ordos because there's strong name recognition, but after that there ain't a lot of "coolness" factions to pick from. If your players have to create their Minor Houses, you'll get people who've put a bit more effort into it than "LOL!!!!1!!!! I iz Fayd Harkonnen wiv Sting haircut!!!!!" Your odds of collecting people who know a bit more about the universe are also greater, too: most people won't touch ownership of a House unless it's one like Atreides or Harkonnen.

    This is not to say that the Minor Houses won't be able to influence the game universe. Quite the opposite; perhaps they'll ally with Muad'Dib ... or sponsor a little trip by Count Fenring to Arrakis to deal with this upstart Duke? Perhaps Paul Atreides will overthrow the Harkonnens only to find a different Emperor on the throne?

    What do we think?
  19. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

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    Couple of quick comments from the peanut gallery...

    I loved the Dune and Children of Dune miniserieses, and of Frank Herbert's work I've only read the first Dune novel, so I suppose that makes me the equivalent of a LOTR Ringer? Sorry. :p (I've read some of the prequels - House Atredies/Corrino/Harkonnen, but I don't know if you'd consider that a good thing or a bad thing.)

    That said, I remember being utterly fascinated with the Bene Gesserit. I think even if you make them unplayable as a faction it would be pretty cool to be able to play individual Bene Gesserit - those out on assignment to seduce and/or kill people or whatever.

    But if you do that, you may end up with a granularity problem - if everyone is playing leaders of Houses Minor, and you're playing a Bene Gesserit grunt, well, there's a bit of a power imbalance there in terms of political influence, commerce and so on. Same goes for people playing Swordmasters, Guild Navigators, Fremen and so on ... you'll be playing "supporting cast" to the House leaders. That or the House leaders end up playing the role of puppetmaster, which is more boring than it sounds - you'll be like "Swordmaster, go kill X for me" and then wait three months for that scenario to resolve while you play commerce.

    (Does that make sense?)

    On transport: you could measure distance in terms of heighliner hops. I have this vague memory of how even though travel is instantaneous, they don't have heighliners going from every planet to every planet - I mean, it's more like how it works in real life, with some planets acting as "hubs" for transport and others connecting through them. Arrakis for instance could be a hub since spice must go everywhere, as would the Corrino planet (I've forgotten its name) as the Emperor's there, but there probably isn't a direct route from Caladan (Atredies) to Giedi Prime (Harkonnen). So you could measure 'distance' (and thus transport costs) in the number of hops it takes to get from one planet to another. Of course, then you'd have to draw a map of the galaxy or somesuch which might be more effort than it's worth.
  20. Ktala Force Ghost

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    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    DUNE!!?!?!?!


    *Squeels Hapilly*

    Thoughts to follow...
  21. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    This much I think we can all agree on.
    Hm...very interesting....and we can still implement unlockability by encouraging people to flesh out existing houses before we start new ones.
    No need to consign yourself there! C'mon and participate!
    Considering that's where the RP would take place...no big deals!
    That's, I think, where the House unlockability thing comes in: each of a few Houses would have to be well rounded out before we allowed a new House to enter into the game.
  22. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Agree. Besides, doesn't The Guild make its clients pay handsomely since they have a bloody monoploy on Space Travel. Most people might only be able to afford to go between two planets every ten years or so. Most merchants wouldn't make that type of money, and even if they did since certain planets have a certain gathering, they would probaly put the bulk of their bussiness there and laugh while they did it.

    As for Sheild combat, we of couse aren't going to simplify that right? The slow blade moves through the sheild after all.

  23. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Shield combat kind of makes Dune for me, so no, I can't see simplifying that anymore than regular RP combat.
  24. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Definitely agree on shield combat. The whole point of why hand-to-hand combat is back to knives and swords in this era is ascribable to two sources: (1) The Butlerian Jihad; and (2) the advancement of technology to such a point that pretty much every technology has a countermeasure so effective it cancels the other out.

    Xan does make a good point on the granularity issue, and a random thought I had for addressing this issue is as follows: remember Duke Leto Atreides' meetings of his staff on Dune? Swordmasters, Mentats, Bene Gesserit concubines (in Jessica's case) were all part of those groups and had real input into the plans of the House over the longer term. Perhaps that's a way of putting players under/alongside one another without it being just a master/servant relationship - make them part of the team necessary for the propagation of the House in question, and compel players to fit themselves into why they owe that House loyalty.

    The other way to deal with it is to gradually increase an agent's rank and responsibilities, though it should never be "This mission will get you promoted to head of the Wallach IX chapterhouse".

    I should also say I think I'm on a similar level of canon knowledge to Xan: truthfully the first novel was all I got into. I have an excellent Dune Encycopaedia which expands the universe in question marvellously and very convincingly (everything from fogwood on Ecaz to the origins of the Holtzmann Effect) but it was not Herbert's canon and I gather Galactus J. Anderson has ignored it completely, so I won't press the matter. Although I tend to think, as I do with all Kevin Anderson "texts", to ignore their content as far as possible. A writer who has wrecked three separate sci-fi franchises (Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune) does not deserve the status of canon in a RPG. (Rant, rant...) :D
  25. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    And it would likely be up to the House heads as to how exactly these meetings are carried out, and how much say everyone really gets. Baron Harkonnen had a meeting of this sort, too. It was considerably more dastardly than Leto's.
    Of course not. The BG aren't a playable faction. :p

    It's a good idea, and not incompatible with the first.
    I happen to prefer the Dune Encyclopedia, as well. I think Herbert's work should take precedence, obviously - even his more apocryphal Dune work, where he writes up basically a tour of Arrakis. (With illustrations!) The Dune CCG and what's known of the planned and cancelled d20 game should probably be taken into account as well.

    Hm...any chance we can get a thread title change? This seems to be less like a speculative interest prod, now...
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