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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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    Midterms are over, and this thread's been slow, so...check out what I've been working on:

    ?It is true, yes, that the Harkonnen ruled Arrakis with the worst kind of dictatorial cruelty, but I will say this for them: while they were in charge, the spice shipments arrived on time.?

    ? Judge of the Change Letmus Brunus

    It has been a full year since the Landsraad was thrown into turmoil by Baron Harkonnen?s unconscionable ? though seemingly legal ? overthrow of House Atreides on Arrakis. Over the course of a day, a Great House had been overthrown and destroyed by a millennia old vendetta. No corner of the Known Universe has not felt the ripples of this action. In wresting control of Arrakis, the Harkonnen have once more taken the fate of the entire Imperium in their hands; for Arrakis, a wasteland that would otherwise be of no consequence, is the sole source of a mysterious substance known as mélange, the spice capable of extending life and expanding the mind. Without spice, the rich would live and die in mere decades, and the Navigators of the Spacing Guild would no longer be able to span the yawning distances between worlds in the blink of an eye.

    But despite their power, the Harkonnen are not without powerful enemies.

    Wheels within wheels within wheels are turning.

    There is shifting within the Houses, and whispers in the desert.

    Among the stars all mankind?s eyes turn once more to Arrakis. Dune. Desert Planet.

    Welcome to DUNE: CHRONICLES OF THE IMPERIUM


    DUNE: CHRONICLES OF THE IMPERIUM is an RP set in the epic Dune universe created by Frank Herbert, and set in the time after the Fall of House Atreides. The Harkonnen have returned to Dune as oppressors, while young Paul Atreides joins the native Fremen and becomes a interstellar messiah. We seek to explore Frank Herbert?s universe, with all its intrigues and adventures.

    You will take on the role of one loyal to a House of the Landsraad. The game will open two Houses Major, and will later add the Houses Minor that serve them. When each faction reaches ten members, new Houses will be unlocked for your pledges of allegiance. Players can also become agents of non-House factions.

    The factions are as follows.

    The Bene Gesserit Sisterhood - A secretive and powerful millennia old matriarchal order whose members possess extraordinary physical and mental powers. They see themselves as the teachers of humanity, and have come close to finally achieving the aim of their ancient breeding program. It is not uncommon to see Bene Gesserit sisters in the service of Houses, even as wives and concubines. The rumors flooding from the deepest desert of Arrakis have given them reason to believe the Lady Jessica and her extraordinary son did, in fact, survive the Harkonnen assault.

    The Bene Tleilaxu - A secretive, all male organization of genetic and medical wizards. They hold to no moral code but their own, offering their services to anyone willing and able to pay.

    CHOAM ? Combined Honette Ober Advancement Mercantiles, the supreme commercial interest of the Imperium. Profit driven, above all else. CHOAM agents often made extended visits when its interests were in jeopardy.

    Fremen - The hardy desert people of Arrakis. Offworlders are their enemies, but it is possible that the time of their deliverance has come in the form of a sixteen year old boy.

    The Golden Lion Throne ? House Corrino has ruled the Imperium since its creation through wise leadership and the unparalleled might of its Sardaukar warrior fanatics. Recently, they have betrayed the articles of the Great Convention by clandestinely participating in the destruction of House Atreides. Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV hopes to keep this a secret, or it will be the undoing of the Imperium as he knows it. The Emperor often dispatched agents to serve as his representatives among the Houses.

    Smugglers ? Spice and other goods are in such high
  2. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    Looks good. So we'd have the option of picking a House to play as, provided you've made it available to us?
  3. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Yes, those of us veterans with enough knowledge of the Dune universe - as decided by the GMs - would be allowed to run Minor Houses. All players will be allowed to play members of Houses Minor and Major.

    The title is stolen from the d20, and the epigraph is a stand-in. I posted it, not to show it off, but so that everyone else can tear to bits whats there so far and build it back up stronger. I threw that together late last night while procrastinating.
  4. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    The Rules (Lifted Largely from R_Zion)

    Preliminaries:
    • Please PM your character sheets to a GM to be approved before posting.

    • Please try to keep solely OOC posts after the start of the game to a minimum. If there?s something that needs to be addressed, add it onto an IC post or send a PM.

    • No One Liners!

    • The Dune novels are complex works. As such, we expect a high level of writing. To quote Climperoonie from his "Obscure: Dark Bloom" RP:
      We need proper spelling and grammar. We do not want posts written like this:
      "the man waked towrad the door"
      We want:
      "Carefully, the man edged towards the locked door."

    • As Dune is a universe rife with intrigue - wheels within wheels, plans within plans - we stress character knowledge over player knowledge. Yes, you can read posts made by the player playing your enemy and discern what's about to happen, but as you are playing a character, you must act accordingly. There is no backdating: if there was no countermeasure before, there cannot be a countermeasure merely to protect you. That smacks of godmoding.

    • Do not take control another characters without their permission.

    • Don?t try to carry to much stuff. A person can only bear so many items in their packs or pockets.

    • You will be limited to 1 character, though additional characters will be allowed with a GM's permission.

    • Try to post regularly. If you are absent for more than a week without warning, the GM will move your character so the group doesn?t lag behind. If you?re going to be gone, please be courteous and tell the group.

    • If you are playing a canon character, try to stick to their established characterization. As this is role playing, you are playing the role of the character you?ve chosen.

    • Basically, follow the TOS.


    Combat
    • Combat will be turn based, obviously.

    • Do not god mode and no auto-kills or hits.

    • Be aware that you can die and can be hurt. Dune involves all sorts of vendetta and violence. An invincible character is a boring one. Write maturely.



    The Role of GMs
    • The heads of Great Houses will largely serve as co-GMs and sub-GMs.

    • The GMs will guide the story and events therein.


    BobaMatt note: Does anyone here think they can articulate to some degree the GM system we've been talking about? Basically, some way of crystalizing this:
    The Character Sheet

    Name:
    Gender:
    Age:
    Height:
    Skin Color:
    Eye Color:
    Hair Color:
    Homeworld:
    Allegiances and Alignments:
    Profession:
    Rank:
    Weapons:
    Possessions:
    Languages:
    Skills, Talents and Special Training:
    Appearance:
    Biography:
  5. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    You forgot to add in both houses [face_laugh]


    That said I'll try and write up a CS with The Beast Rabban
  6. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Actually I thought that, similar to how most GMs introduce their own player characters in separate, later posts, we'd introduce Houses Harkonnen and Wallach in separate, House Profile posts.
    That might be interesting to see as a model. If, in so doing, you think anything in the CS format is redundant or extraneous, be sure to say so.

    And, by all means, please give feedback and possible revisions, everyone.
  7. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Skin Color:
    Eye Color:
    Hair Color:

    If they should put this in Appearance

    Alignments: Please don't tell me you want a D+D morality.
  8. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Meh, they're sort of standard fair in Character sheets. What's more, they're simply data. I think the "Appearance" section is usually reserved for more specific information.

    If the consensus is against me on this, I don't mind taking this out, though.
    Well no, but allegiances and ideologies are often deeper and more complex than merely the House whose flag you fight under. For example, Beast is, basically, the head of House Rabban, but he's really more of a Harkonnen. Kynes is a Fremen at heart but, technically, an Imperial agent by profession. Thufir Hawat is an Atreides forced into Harkonnen service. Make sense?
  9. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Well yeah it does, here is a rough draft of what I got so far.



    Name: Count Glossu ?The Beast? Rabban

    Gender: Male

    Age: Real: 61, 35 (physical)

    Height: 7 Feet and 2 inches tall,

    Skin Color: A Dark Tan

    Eye Color: A deep steel grey

    Hair Color: A Wild Fire Red, he keeps it neat and shoulder length

    Homeworld: Lankiveil, adopted World Gedi Prime

    Allegiances and Alignments: A proud member of House Harkonnen and House Minor?s Rabban.

    Profession: Member of House Harkonnen

    Rank: Governor, Count

    Weapons: Lasgun, Two sided knife, Personal Shield Generator, various guns

    Possessions: Arrakis Palace, All Harkonnen Arrakis holdings and personal

    Languages: Basic

    Skills, Talents and Special Training: Has no conscience and is an infinitely brutal commande. Is an extremely skilled hunter and knife fighter, semi skilled Thoppter pilot

    Appearance: Often referred to a shaved, red haired bear, taught a few simple tricks like walking on two feet and speaking. The Count stand at an impressive 7?2 and boasts an immense build similar, much to the envy of his uncle. Although in extraordinary shape, he is far from what one would call handsome. His face looks more like that of a Gorilla?s or a ox?s than that of a man. His fingers are long and slightly deformed. His legs are short and as fast as he runs, it always looks like he?s waddling. Nonetheless he?s perhaps of the most intimating men in the Galaxy.

    Biography:

    Born to life of luxury and loving parents on Lankiveil, no one expected Rabban?s life to unfold the way it did. At a young age, although he was none as a slightly stupid and somewhat pretentious snob, no signs pointed to either his rise in prominence and power or moral abandonment. All he expected him to grew into yet another self centered, but soft and non malicious noble. No one expected a monster to be born from such honest and eloquent beginnings. Yet that?s what happened.

    At the age of 22, having received top marks in all his schooling (thanks to the combined threats of both his Uncle Vladimir, and his father Abulurd), he decided to begin work under his mighty, savvy, and highly respected (and feared) Uncle, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. At first his mother was worried what would become of her son under such an unscrupulous and sadistic man. Abulurd assured her that not only was Glossu marked by an unshakable goodness and kindness, but that his self-centeredness and ruthlessness would prevent the Baron from thinking he would have to remold the young boy. Not only did the Baron re-mold young Glossu, but he did so in half a year, stripping away all of his so called morals.

    Even Rabban himself remembers very little of what happened to him, under the direct tutelage of the Baron. It seems there are some things that still frighten a monster like him. What he does remember is this however. The Baron wanted to stress to the young man that, one should not be afraid or hesitant of dirtying one?s own hands with a killing, as having others do it for you, is sometimes a luxury one can sometimes afford. The Baron would later wish he had stressed that it was best not only to have others do it for you, but to do so with finesse and cleanliness. Instead, the ordeal in the Slave Pit, taught him otherwise.

    His beloved Uncle then made him Captain of the Guard in Arrakis, during his father?s brief reign there. He marked as the one efficient thing, what his Uncle would later call one of the most of disastrous reigns in Harkonnen history. His father had ruled so incompetently that he was brought on charges by CHOAM and the Emperor himself. Spice revenue was down 130%, and equipment losage rates where at an all time low. There was no believable or forgivable excuse available to Abulurd, except ineptness and stupidity. What affection the Baron held for his brother and Rabban for his father disappeared during those long, demanding court days. In the end the Baron walked away relatively untouched, being allowed to keep the Fief of Arrkais, having been issued only fines and the re
  10. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Check spelling, grammar and phrasing - particularly of Dune words, like "'thopter" and "Geidi Prime" - but the bio and the imagination in it are great. I'm not sure on the age issue, but there's probably a way to deal with that. I assume you mean he's "physically" 35 because of spice usage? Also, "Arrakis" palace is ambiguous, as I believe the Harkonnen don't even govern from Arrakeen.

    130% means they're making less than nothing, right? You can have a 130% increase, but not a decrease.

    I like the ambiguity about the Baron's exact methods of debasing Glossu - knowing the Baron's particular tastes and vices, this is fairly creepy.

    Also, continuity: wasn't Rabban only made governor of Arrakis after the fall of House Atreides? And doesn't he kill Abulurd before the events of the novel? Vladimir is Siridar-Baron prior to Duke Leto's short reign.

    Basically, if you're playing a canon character, at least read the Wikipedia page. Beyond the basic facts though - and the technical matters, MIB [face_shame_on_you] - the bio is well imagined and well written.
  11. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Aug 1, 2007
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    Hey, hey I did say this was a rough draft, just getting ideas around in a readable form! :oops:

    I accidently put a one in front of it, like an idoit. Even then it should have been more, like 60 percent.

    Opps on the death. Also he was in charge before than, after all he is the one who warned the Baron that the Fremen where more dangrous than they seemed. Mentioning that he lost men on Arrakis because of it. (lol, even before training Fremen killed Sadakuar three to one, and the Baron still brushed it off) Implying that he was in charge, and governor.(I refuse to use Kevin J. Anderson's rape of the series as evidence though).

    I am defintley mistaken for Arrkais Palace though, as that was Ferling's. Although he did have something on there, to be sure.

    As for the Baron's methods, knowing him its not only agianst the rules to post whatever he does, but as you said its best not saying it openily. Thanks.

    Thank you by the way for reviewing it!





  12. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    And my post was a list of suggested revisions to the second draft.:p
    I'm not sure he was in charge. I thought he was something like Captain of the Guard under the Baron.
    Who's?
    No, what I meant was that "Arrakis palace" is merely an ambiguous sentence, as the planet basically has two capitals. The Harkonnen ruled from Carthag, but the Atreides moved the capital to Arrakeen. There's presumably a palace in both.
    [face_peace]

    One more thing: does Glossu have some many guns because he's living on Arrakis?

    I take it, then, that you don't have any major problems with the character sheet? Think it's missing anything?
  13. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    Yep, notice I didn't say he was a good shot or anything. He thinks their niffty toys, thats it.

    Personaly I would trim Appearances sub sections into one thing, and add something like Personality in.

    He rules from Arrakeen for practical reasons (I.E to show Harkonnen victory over the Atredies)

  14. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    So he's a shield fighter like everyone else? Good stuff.
    Meh, I understand the impulse to shrink appearance, but I'm resistant to it lol. If other people care strongly about it, I'd be open to change. Adding a personality section might be a good idea, though.
    I think that may actually be compatible with canon.
  15. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    It's too bad this game wound up being godawful. It doesn't even look very good from the trailer.

    Here's a useful map. There's also some useful comments on the OP draft in the Games Designer's Guild thread.

    I've started rereading the novel, and am eagerly awaiting BLemelisk's proposed CS...
  16. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    I am getting excited for this. It is palpable. :)
  17. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    If you have any particular thoughts/questions/concerns/desires/wishes/wondering, then, as you get excited, please let me know either here in the thread or via PM. As per TOS, and just human decency, I won't post anything you've said via PM in the thread unless I have your permission. Just in general, I'd like to see a more constant involvement in the planning so that we can collectively decide...yes, this is ready to launch. Saintheart and PoT and MIB have been giving me some great stuff, but altogether it'd be helpful if the thread was updated more than once a week, and I didn't have so many back to back posts. :p[face_peace]

    What worries me, I guess, is that if this can't even sustain interest in people - people who have stated an interest in taking big responsibilities in the game, no less - to plan and make sure the game gets off the ground, how can I be sure that, once we launch the game, interest will be sustained and the game won't flop?

    And, hey guys, if everyone has ideas for characters and House Profiles, please post. We want to hit the ground running and set an example, yes?

    Second draft:
    ?It is true, yes, that the Harkonnen ruled Arrakis with the worst kind of dictatorial cruelty, but I will say this for them: while they were in charge, the spice shipments arrived on time.?
    ? Judge of the Change Letmus Brunus

    [image=http://media.tumblr.com/8WS8AW8f987p7etv1yca5Dle_500.jpg]
    It has been a full year since the Landsraad was thrown into turmoil by Baron Harkonnen?s unconscionable overthrow of House Atreides on Arrakis; within a single day, a Great House had been overthrown and destroyed by a millennia old vendetta. In wresting control of Arrakis, the Harkonnen have once more taken the fate of the entire Imperium into their hands, for Arrakis - a wasteland also known as Dune that would otherwise be of no consequence - is the sole source of a mysterious substance known as mélange, the spice capable of extending life and expanding the mind. Without spice, the rich would live and die in mere decades, and the Navigators of the Spacing Guild would no longer be able to span the yawning distances between worlds in the blink of an eye.

    But despite their power, the Harkonnen are not without powerful enemies.

    Wheels within wheels within wheels are turning.

    There is shifting within the Houses, and whispers in the desert.

    Among the stars all mankind?s eyes turn once more to Arrakis. Dune. Desert Planet.

    Welcome to DUNE: CHRONICLES OF THE IMPERIUM


    DUNE: CHRONICLES OF THE IMPERIUM is an RP set in the epic Dune universe created by Frank Herbert, in the time after the Fall of House Atreides. The Harkonnen have returned to Dune as oppressors, and young Paul Atreides had joined the native Fremen and becomes an interstellar messiah.

    Your character will be loyal to a House of the Landsraad. The game will open two Houses Major, and will later add the Houses Minor that serve them. When each faction reaches five members, new Houses will be unlocked for your pledges of allegiance.

    BobaMatt's Note: Once I get a Harkonnen House profile from the leader of said House, I will here include the House profiles.

    Players may alternately take on the role of an agent of a faction outside of the Landsraad; these groups often dispatch agents to deal with the Houses, and thus interplay between them is frequent and rich. The factions are as follows.
    [image=http://www.markzug.com/Dune/LadyJessicaAtreides.jpg]
    The Bene Gesserit Sisterhood - A secretive and powerful millennia old matriarchal order whose members possess extraordinary physical and mental powers. They see themselves as the teachers of humanity, and have come close to finally achieving the aim of their ancient breeding program. It is not uncommon to see Bene Gesserit sisters in the service of Houses, even as wives and concubines. The rumors floodin
    />
  18. Mango_Salsa Jedi Knight

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    This is a really well-constructed opening. I sincerely hope you find enough quality players to make a go of it!
  19. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Well, I sincerely hope you may be one of them!

    I'm considering adding the Atreides Remnant as a faction. What do you guys think about that?

    Those of us interested in taking positions of responsibility in this RP should discuss how the GMs are going to work together, exactly.
  20. TheManinBlack Jedi Master

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    ...I think it would be cool having characters who where of that faction but...

    aren't most of them smugglers now? Most of them wanted off the desert world, and the only way to do that with prices on their head and Harkonnen's on their back where by people wanted just as badly themselves.

  21. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    For the point of GM synchronizing and working together, personally, I like the format we used for TSG. Generally, each GM is responsible for controlling and keeping track of their own faction's players, except when their member-characters are off interacting with someone else's. When that happens, then the GM on that side keeps an eye on them. Generally an efficient method, I've found, as nobody has to go sifting through (usually) long pages of long posts of storylines they're not involved with. Quests and storylines are decided and created mostly cooperatively, with GMs mostly free to generate their own stuff for adventures entirely within their own faction.
  22. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Wow. Thanks for the PM Boba, I'm now incredibly even more stoked for this game.

    One quick question: It seems like this could very easily be a (relatively) high mortality rate game. In the event of character death, would we no longer require the GM's permission to submit a new CS? Or would it still be required?

    On a less technical note, are Imperial Troubadours allowed to improvise songs as they see fit? :p
  23. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    You wouldn't need permission to submit it, but you'd still have to have the CS approved before posting.
    They absolutely are. Not just Imperial ones. Anyone who wants to sing!!
  24. Protege-of-Thrawn Manager Emeritus

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    Excellent opening scrawl, it remains accessable enough that I think a lot of half-interested folks will take the time to write up a CS and jump on board.

    One further comment on what The Loyal Imperial mentioned above re: the GM system. Whilst I agree the TSG system was workable, I think an added layer would be required in this: that is, consistent contact between the GMs and the continual working together on and creation of faction-spanning events or even GM narrative posts to keep the "whole universe" feel of the intrigue and adventure going.

    One weakness that emerged as TSG slowly died, was the lack of organic interaction between players of different factions and to a lesser extent the broader narrative of the different factions. Even if it's just by IM, having the GMs at the least discuss the stories going on in their own factions will allow for more "interrelationship" between the story lines, and if they're able to work up some "whole of game" narratives, storylines and challenges it'll not only help keep the game feeling authentic, it'll also go a long way to keeping the less Dune-scholarly gamers interested by being consistently interactive, dynamic and engaging irrespective of how much you "know" and hence can "assume" may be going on the background.

    I think you're probably not to far away from having something worth posting. Might be more of a question of launching it once we gan gather a bit more traffic in the forums as a whole. :p

    Maybe as it gets colder in the Northern Hemisphere and the post-election lull sets in more folks will spend the day huddled around their PCs? :p
  25. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    Would you consider approving a Ginaz Swordmaster character? The Dune prequels, shoddy though they are, flesh out the series nicely.
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