Why not Dune?

General chat about Mongoose Publishing and its releases
Greg Smith
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Postby Greg Smith » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:52 am

Last Unicorn did in fact produce a Dune RPG. They were then brought out by Wizards of the Cost. Wizards/Last Unicorn released a limited print run of the Dune rulebook.

There were rumours of changing it d20 before anything else was published, but the line folded with further rumours of difficulties with the licence. This was a bout the time the prequel novels were published, so the Herbert estate may have considered the two to be incompatible.
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Postby rozark69 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:48 pm

Can download the D20 for Dune here for free:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/9663350/Dune-RPG-d20

Its actually pretty cool.
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Postby Tremayne » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:06 am

Greg Smith wrote: There were rumours of changing it d20 before anything else was published
More than just rumours. The preface to the Last Unicorn Dune rulebook said in as many words that all future Dune products would use the D20 system. I was lucky enough to have picked up a copy of it GenCon UK - never had a chance to run a game, but it was a beautifully presented book and worth just taking down for a read through from time to time. (I say 'was' because' I recently eBayed it as part of an ongoing clear-out of most of my unused gaming stuff - and just to warn anyone who's thinking of getting themselves a copy, the prices those books are now going for are not for the faint of heart!).
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Re: Why not Dune?

Postby captainsmirk » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:30 pm

rozark69 wrote:That is what my friend read on the internet.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Sorry that's one of the most amusing things I've read in a while...

Not saying that what you said isn't true, I haven't got a clue about that, its just that the above statement isn't the greatest supporting comment with which to back it up with (although you may not actually have been using it to do so).

I couldn't help but imagine what sort of mark I would have got if I had used that statement as a reference in one of my Uni essays...

Anyway thanks for the unintended amusement and go back into my hole now where my twisted sense of humor will cause no more harm...


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Postby Finarvyn » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:36 pm

Greg Smith wrote:There were rumours of changing it d20 before anything else was published, but the line folded with further rumours of difficulties with the licence. This was about the time the prequel novels were published, so the Herbert estate may have considered the two to be incompatible.
Actually, I would think that the prequel novels would add even more depth to the Dune universe and that this would be a huge plus for an RPG much the way the newer trilogy of Star Wars movies helped the franchise more than it hurt it.

For people who only like "classic" perhaps the core book would focus on this era. For those who want additional depth, there are a couple of different eras to pick from (the machines era and the "Houses" era).

I'm torn on the system to use but, based on what I saw with the Hammer's Slammers book, Traveller seems to be the best at the moment.
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Postby Bygoneyrs » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:40 pm

Dune would seem to fit or work well using the Traveller game system, but their "flold space"drives wuld need to be worked out more. Also the funkie wierd tech that Dune has in it kinda needs to be addressed. I am NOT a fan of their strange klunky tech.

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Postby Finarvyn » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:20 pm

I hate to beat the ol' dead horse, but the newest Dune novel was released this week. I think the sequence goes something like this:

1 "Hunting Harkonnens"
2 The Butlerian Jihad
3 "Whipping Mek"
4 The Machine Crusade
5 "The Faces of a Martyr"
6 The Battle of Corin
7 House Atreides
8 House Harkonnen
9 House Corrino
10 Paul of Dune (II,VI,IV)
11 Dune
12 "A Whisper of Caladan Seas"
13 The Road to Dune
14 Paul of Dune (I,III,V)
15 Dune: Messiah
16 The Winds of Dune
17 Children of Dune
18 God Emperor of Dune
19 Heretics of Dune
20 "Sea Child"
21 Chapterhouse: Dune
22 Hunters of Dune
23 "Treasure in the Sand"
24 Sandworms of Dune

Short story titles are in quotes. Bold titles are by Frank Herbert, others by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Two other books (The Throne of Dune, and Leto of Dune) are planned, but I'm not quite certain where they will fit in the cycle.

I suspect that someone must still have interest in Dune ro they wouldn't keep writing and selling novels.....
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Postby rulbuk » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:14 pm

There is no more official material related to the Last Unicorn ICON Dune Game. There is my un-official D20 Modern Adaptation called the RULBUK. Based entirely on the ICON Dune's flavour text which is quite wonderful. Your character is a noted servant or member of a House Minor. You are a trained Sword Master, haughty Noble, enigmatic Bene Gesserit or predatory Assassin... You use the Tough, Fast, Strong, Determined, Smart, Charismatic Archetype classes to explore that character idea. This allows each of the Dune archetypes to be explored uniquely.

The closest we have to any other useful 'official' materials are the notes for an adventure written by WotC when they bought out Last Unicorn Games. Only to realise the Herbert license lapsed - and they where not going to renegotiate cheaply.

The original thread is here for those extra adventures http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=188144). Those links are likely dead - but i have them saved (check out the yahoo group noted below)

If you can read French there is a stunning Dune system called IMPERIUM here http://storygame.free.fr/imperium/index.php?id=2

Also consider Fading Suns - which is basically a rip off of Dune.

There is also Jihad! http://www.burningwheel.org/wiki/index. ... nds:_Jihad
This explores the arrival of Paul's jihad on planets throughout the Imperium.

If you are interested in my D20 conversion you can get all the files from the yahoogroup below including my campaign notes and NPCs et cetera.

Everything is here http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/D20une

Add me to the list of instant purchasers of a Mongoose produced Dune game!
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Postby Lord High Munchkin » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:51 pm

There looks like there will be a new film version which might inflate any prospective licence costs:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/05/dune/
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Postby TrippyHippy » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:25 pm

Greg Smith wrote:Last Unicorn did in fact produce a Dune RPG. They were then brought out by Wizards of the Cost. Wizards/Last Unicorn released a limited print run of the Dune rulebook.

There were rumours of changing it d20 before anything else was published, but the line folded with further rumours of difficulties with the licence. This was a bout the time the prequel novels were published, so the Herbert estate may have considered the two to be incompatible.
It was actually the prequel novels that spawned the push for the RPG , I think. The Last Unicorn/WotC book had a forward in it written by Brian Herbert (son of Frank; one on the Prequels' authors). The D20 version was written for playtests, I understand, but the licence was given the chop in the same period when the Star Trek licences were being bounced onto Decipher.

My feeling was that there was a conflict of interests with all these sci-fi properties under one roof (Wizards had effectively bought up Star Wars, Star Trek and Dune, all within about 12 months of each other). On the other hand, Last Unicorn Games were seemingly locked in limbo forever trying to publish Dune on their own, so the impression given was that the Herbert estate was actually very tricky to deal with.

All that said, I would definitely pay for a Dune game - with either Traveller or RuneQuest (heck, why not both!).
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Postby Terrible Tim » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:00 am

It looks like ....... worm sign ......
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Postby SnowDog » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:09 am

I think this is again one of those settings that are really hard to convert to a gaming setting. Probably the coolest thing in the books is the epic storyline in addition to exotic locales and tech.

So, would the setting work when set a few decades before the first original Dune book? Probably. During the books and in Arrakis? Less so. Of course you could set your games to other parts of the Imperium away from the Arrakis even if you want to set the game during the storyline of the books.

Fading Suns does a pretty decent job of being almost Dune but not quite :P

Still, it would be cool to see a well done Dune RPG.
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Postby LloydBrown » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:35 pm

Months without visiting the Mongoose site, and I knew Dune would be in the first page or two of this folder. :-)

Too bad the license is still unavailable.
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Postby Finarvyn » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:42 pm

LloydBrown wrote:Too bad the license is still unavailable.
Is it unavailable, or is it just too expensive?

I thought that the Herbert estate just wanted piles of cash.
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Postby Mage » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:28 pm

I think there is something about Wizards of the Coast having the rights and holding onto them, from when they bought out Avalon hill.
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Postby SnowDog » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:18 pm

Wasn't it from Deciphet? The company that did Dune RPG that saw only a very limited distribution.
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Postby Apep » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:43 pm

SnowDog wrote:Wasn't it from Deciphet? The company that did Dune RPG that saw only a very limited distribution.
It was Last Unicorn Games - Went the same way as their Star Trek RPG when WoTC took over. Only ever saw one copy of their Dune Game in a games shop in Glasgow.

Decipher had both the Star Trek and Lord of the Rings license.

From what I have heard in the rumour factory the Dune license is tied up at the moment.
Last edited by Apep on Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mage » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:26 am

Well, if the movie is still going ahead, could be worth the while of whoever owns the license to hold onto it. Even if they didn't make the rpg, the value of the license would increase for third party sale or whatever.
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Postby Apep » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:26 pm

Mage wrote:Well, if the movie is still going ahead, could be worth the while of whoever owns the license to hold onto it. Even if they didn't make the rpg, the value of the license would increase for third party sale or whatever.
Same as evrything - its all about the money :roll:

There are other scifi license's out there - Mongoose would be better to pick up one of them and develop it. (Once SFU Star Trek is in the store of course :lol: )
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Postby The Legend » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:01 pm

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