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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. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Likewise House Wallach looks interesting and fine to me, too.

    So: is this the sum of the various categories that players will be able to belong to?

    - Fremen (excluding Sietch Tabr).
    - Bene Gesserit (agents only)
    - IX (agents only)
    - Tleilaxu (agents only)
    - House Corrino/The Emperor's agents (specifically no Sardaukar).
    - House Harkonnen head of house and agents
    - House Wallach head of house and agents
    - Spacing Guild (agents only, no navigators)
    - CHOAM (agents only)
    - Various Houses Minor head and agents (whether the Minor House exists under Harkonnen, Wallach, or another major house except Atreides and Corrino)

    Is that the full list?

    EDIT: On reviewing the list I'm more convinced there's any number of reasons that could be used to shoehorn agents of these factions onto Dune. It is, after all, one of the most important places in the known universe and one could easily come up with reasons for agents of any of these groups being present on Arrakis. Even the Houses Minor can be sent in by a House Major with that intent. One more reason for single-thread creation focused on Dune to start with, I think. What do other minds reckon?
  2. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Within bounds. What say you to the whole "No one starts as a Fedaykin" thing?
    Yes, and a large part of House Wallach's design is to leave open plenty of opportunity for players to be BG agents. I imagine there may be a demand.
    Looks good. It seems like a daunting list, but when you take into account that "Agents" aren't really whole factions, it seems more manageable.

    Whoot! Four pages! THE PLANNING MUST FLOW!
  3. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

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    if you like, I can try and dredge up what I remember re: how IBOP was run and post it up come this weekend* or so? I don't know how helpful it'll be (or much of it'll be applicable here, for that matter), but if you're thinking of running a game on that scale, with a head GM and faction leaders/sub-GMs I could write up how it worked there from a (admittedly not stellar :p) sub-GM's perspective.


    *FOUR MORE DAYS and then my assignments are done! (And yes, I am skimming this thread from uni, although I shouldn't be. :p)
  4. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Sounds good, Xan.

    And yes, Boba, no Fedaykin characters. Three reasons for that:

    (1) Godmoding;
    (2) They're Paul's personal guard, so they shouldn't be playable;
    (3) They don't show up until Paul has taken over the tribes, so again there'd be a delay before they show up anyway.
  5. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Awesome. Well I mentioned earlier the idea that perhaps House Wallach is perhaps funding resistance to the Harkonnens on Arrakis, due to their alliance with House Atreides. The Guild likely isn't saying anything about it, no matter the bribe, due to their frustration with waning spice production and their terror involved with the Nexus. The BG, due to their missionaria protectiva, are likely getting kind of antsy; not only have they lost the final links in their Kwisatz Haderach chain, but they're hearing rumors that the legend of the lisan al-gaib - a legend they themselves seeded - has been taken up, so Jessica's probably not dead and her son - the kid who had been having prescient dreams and withstood more pain than any woman-child even though he was supposed to not have been the Kwisatz Haderach - is likely becoming very very powerful indeed.

    I wonder at the turmoil the Suk doctors must be going through. They were supposed to not be able to hurt anyone, but Dr. Yueh, well...

    Anyhow, this still kind of seems like backdrop. Saintheart...Pot...either of you interested in taking on the good Baron?
  6. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Actually, Jessica was still thought of as the Tratior. It's between the Baron and Shaddam that Yueh was the tratior.

    Also...can I play as The Beast Rabban, I'd love love to play a dumb brutal grunt for once.

    Also are smugglers going to a play any role in this no? I can easily see an entire Minor House for Harkonnen whose whole purpose is to poilce Spice Smuggling on Arrkais. Similarly I can see I a Minor House who are really nothing more (sercertly) than a group who fences smuggled goods.



  7. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Quite right! I expect the Sisterhood might suspect she's not the traitor...
    We'll probably hold off on assigning characters beyond the GMs for a while, but I certainly don't see any problem with that.
    Nice segue!

    I was eventually going to ask about the place of the possible "common man" characters, and what we would do about the tendency to want to play them in this universe all about subterfuge and aristocrastic intrigue. We cannot forget, after all, about the venerable Esmar Tuek and his kindly feelings towards Duke Leto, and whose operation comes under the authority of Gurney Halleck.

    I also wanted to discuss the special place A) addictive substances and B) intrigue have in Dune, and how we can possibly manage that sort of thing in an environment where any player can read the offending characters' posts. How can anyone hope for their chaumurky to work if the other players know about it?
    Interesting.
    Also interesting.
    I reckon that single-thread is the way to go, yes, but it doesn't have to be confined to Arrakis - particularly with a Sinre style color-code. We want, at launch, a story that takes place on Arrakis, that involves the Harkonnens as major baddies, because we want the players to feel comfortable joining at the outset as we establish ourselves. In fact, given that every faction's affairs are intimately tied to Dune and to spice production, yes, it's easy to find reasons for anyone important to be there. As we grow and, ideally, add more Houses, the game may depart from the Desert Planet.
  8. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Once again this could play into being a GM hammer.

    Yes, you have a House Minor that monitors them, and a House Minor that fences their crap. Do you have to play as them though, maybe just deal with them? Police Houses just seek and destroy when they themselves pop up. Usually their duty calls for them tracking the contraband itself. Knowledge is half the battle. Particularly since knowledge of how their doing what they?re doing can spell doom for the aforementioned Smugglers.

    The opposite for Houses fencing their goods. Their job is to make sure no nosy Houses Minor, Major, CHOAM, or the Imperium finds out what they?ve been doing. They would self investigate, use counter espionage, and occasionally deal their men out to either help out Smuggling operations or deal with the Police Houses

    As for addictive substances, in Dune they aren?t always bad for your health, most of the time their good (besides for the actual addiction itself) seems to me bad for you drugs or real narcotics, would be dirt cheap and in low demand.

    Compared to Melange their dirt cheap and in low demand we well. Smugglers deal in Spice and Weapons usually it seems. Or whatever is illegal on the planet they deal too.

    I?m actually wondering if we should have a map or something up though. Limit where players can go. The reason why I suggest this is because for people who haven?t read Dune, that will be a huge barrier. They we can have a relatively large universe, but not one that puts off Dune Newbies


  9. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Ideally it wouldn't just be arbitrary, though. Popping up and surprising players this way puts you on shaky ground.
    I don't want a whole lot of NPC characters, so ideally we'd get players in on this.
    Regardless of what they're being employed to control, they still have their own lives and politics.
    More what I was getting at was how do we make sure that characters that should be addicted to certain substances uphold their end of the bargain. Do we hit someone who's been on Arrakis all their lives, inhaling spice in the air from childhood, with intense near-death if they choose to leave Arrakis? How would we even manage that as GMs?
    There's no real map of the universe, but maps of Arrakis exist.
  10. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    ...didn't the Fremen leave Dune and cause a massacre that would make Hitler Blush?
  11. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    And a number of them ran into severe health problems from spice withdrawal after extended periods off-world, IIRC. It's in Dune Messiah. At the same time, a number of younger Fremen were weaned off of melange and water-discipline as the desert got pushed back.
  12. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Well that can be factor as well when playing a Fremen. Leave Dune for too long and you'll regert it. Not that they'd leave Dune for that long really.
  13. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Fremen, no they wouldn't leave. Non-Fremen Dune inhabitants, however, may.
  14. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Well, that would be a factor in the game then.

    Also Caladan would be under Harkonnen controll, due to the fief swap in the begining of Dune
  15. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Caladan is under Fenring control.
  16. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Wait? Really? AHHHH, my bad.
  17. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Meanwhile, on the chaumurky/intrigue thing, that was part of the reason (IIRC) IBOP occupied a good five threads or so: so the Rebels and the Empire could make their plans without being "seen" by all other players. There was an honour system in place to make it work, of course. In the larger sense, this is the metagaming issue raising its ugly, omniscient head again.

    I think you've basically got two courses:
    (1) Institute a similar honour system in "Dune", and police it unwaveringly. Emphasise characters' knowledge versus players' knowledge. (This is also a good reason to keep Mentat activity to a minimum, since those guys are practically walking godmodes). If someone pulls a dodge and a complaint is made, the offender gets either thrown out for godmoding or has something seriously bad happen to his character.
    (2) You require people to detail their plans via PM to the GM. This, too, creates problems because of the quantity of PMs and the heavy restrictions on publishing PM content in a public thread, but it keeps everything out of sight.

    Frankly I think we're stuck with option (1).

    As for whether I'd be willing to play Baron Harkonnen: I could be swayed to that course if you've no other options, but I reserve the right to play him as Kenneth McMillan did in Lynch's Dune.

    "I have advised your nephews as to my plan--"
    "MYYYYYYYY plan!!!"
    "--the plan...to crush the Atreides."

    As for what House Harkonnen is going to be doing, it seems to me the Baron has the following priorities:

    (1) He has to pay off the huge spice debt they have to the Spacing Guild for the transport of so many legions of troops to Arrakis. That debt is so large (IIRC) that even if Rabban squeezed every last ounce of spice from Arrakis for fifty years they'd barely cover the debt.
    (2) He is intending to set up Feyd, eventually, as the merciful Governor on Arrakis, to replace Rabban.
    (3) He also intends to try and set up Feyd as potentially Emperor ... once Feyd is in control of Arrakis. This is also an attempt to keep himself alive since Feyd does have ambitions on the Baroncy.
  18. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?
    Yeah, this is the best option, and it's going to require mature play, as I think we're starting with one thread.
    Ian McNeice was better. :p

    The problem with the Barons is none of them are fat enough. There's a reason he uses suspensors! Anyway, I was just asking because I suppose I wouldn't mind taking on the good Baron myself, but don't know if it's the best place for me to be...
    And the Fremen aren't helping. Neither are the smugglers. I wonder, if we go with the idea of Wallavh secretly aiding a resistance, that resistance could mainly be smugglers? After all, Halleck is among them...
    Feyd is the na-Baron - that is, he does not just have ambitions, he is, in fact, Vladimir's heir.
  19. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Yes, but the "second half" of the novel opens with the Baron confronting Feyd over an attempt by Feyd to poison the Baron. Admittedly it's all engineering by Thufir Hawat who's their captive by then, but Feyd's impatient to rule in the Baron's place (at least until the Baron points out an alternative bargain.)

    Although one also has to note this is part of the reason Rabban is being released to squeeze Arrakis of its spice; Rabban is to be built up as the fearsome dictator over Dune, so Feyd can replace him as the merciful dictator.

    The problem with the Barons is none of them are fat enough. There's a reason he uses suspensors! Anyway, I was just asking because I suppose I wouldn't mind taking on the good Baron myself, but don't know if it's the best place for me to be...

    Meh, I'll put you out of your misery :D : I'll take Vladimir Harkonnen.
    "Bring in that floating...fat man."

    And the Fremen aren't helping. Neither are the smugglers. I wonder, if we go with the idea of Wallach secretly aiding a resistance, that resistance could mainly be smugglers? After all, Halleck is among them...

    Mmmmm...not sure about that. I understood the smugglers to be in it solely for spice loads; Tuek reprimands Gurney Halleck in the novel when Halleck speaks of staying on Arrakis solely for revenge against the Harkonnens, and demands Halleck's obedience to Tuek's orders. And the Atreides survivors I think were given the option of joining up with the smugglers or simply fleeing offworld.

    You'd have to use the smugglers to get materiel onto Dune, I think, but the resistance I think would be amongst the people of Arrakeen and the settlements and any Atreides survivors who managed to secrete themselves in the native population. This isn't the Fremen, incidentally: the Fremen didn't think much of their compatriots in the cities as I understood it, thinking them soft, and those in the settlements didn't join the desert Fremen until the latter stages of the uprising. We could adopt a wheels-within-wheels approach and suggest that Wallach is unknowingly aiding the Fremen because they're using fences and fronts amongst the ctiyfolk to get the materiel from the cities into the desert, though. The Shadout Mapes was such an example; she was effectively the spy of the Fremen inside the Atreides household.

    Hmmm. It's also good reason to finetune when the game starts, too: a resistance takes a while to get together, and Paul's activities don't start affecting spice production until he's well-esconced as the new spiritual Fremen leader. Might be worth setting things up say about twelve to eighteen months after the Harkonnens have retaken Arrakis, if the climax of the uprising is about four years after Paul becomes part of Sietch Tabr?
  20. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    And is that alternative bargain that he's made heir? Because I thought the reason he wanted to poison the Baron was to become Baron.

    Anyway, the point is I misunderstood what you meant.
    Ha! You misunderstand. I'd like to play him, but I just think immediately tying myself to the bad guy House, as Herr Direktor of this little project, might be problematic.
    Meh, just a plot idea. I remembered that bit, but of course, that's before our RP opens...anyway if we don't like it, that's fine, but perhaps we can hear some more ideas...
    Interesting...
    Of course. And the Fremen may actually, initially, be a bit antagonistic to the smugglers and to resistance.
    So Wallach is getting goods to the city resistance, and the Fremen are stealing those goods? Interesting...

    EDIT to incorporate YOUR EDIT:
    Yeah, I wasn't thinking of starting the game before the fires in Arrakeen had died down. I figured about a year into the whole deal.

    Don't forget that resistance movements probably pre-existed the Atreides regime, seeing as the Harkonnens ruled right before them.
  21. Saintheart Chosen One

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    So Wallach is getting goods to the city resistance, and the Fremen are stealing those goods? Interesting...

    Or House Wallach thinks it's dealing with city resistance, but in fact it's dealing with Fremen. Hilarity ensues when you throw one Fremen player in to meet a shipment from House Wallach and the Wallach operative realises from a badly-hidden crysknife that they've been shipping goods to the Fremen all this time. And the Fremen, realising that his identity has been revealed, then has to try and stop the Wallach agent from revealing this rather importnat bit of information. Which is then compounded by the arrival of the local Harkonnen police force to grease the floor with both parties' body fluids. :D
  22. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Such a waste of water...
  23. Saintheart Chosen One

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    "Don't run, intruders. You'll simply waste your body's water."
  24. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Fremkits for everyone!

    Hm. This is good progress...

    WANT MOAR!
  25. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    I think we should also all buy this t-shirt.

    EDIT: Two vague tangents.

    1) Manuel Uribe, the world's fattest man, has married. This is how fat the Baron should be. The Baron needs suspensors to get around for all the same reasons a man of this sort of considerable girth needs a crane to stand up.

    2) Any opinions on the new Dune movie in the works? Peter Berg says he wants to tell a "more muscular story," because he thinks there was a lot of room for adventure in the novel. This strikes me as weird: "I want to make a version of Dune based on what I think the novel should have been."

    Peter Jackson seems to have struck a balance with his movies. Hopefully Berg can do the same.

    EDIT #2: The game should open on Kaitain, methinks. If the heads of the Great Houses have just come out of a meeting of the Landsraad - with a small retinue - and are all present in the same space, it might plunge the players immediately into the world of intrigue and political tensions that Dune has built up. If everyone's there right away, we wind up with an immediacy to these vendettas that might, hopefully, carry through.
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