Why not Dune?

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Postby Silvereye » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:47 pm

VirtualMachine wrote:I've wanted to play a Dune RPG for years, and had been anxiously awaiting the LUG game when it was first announced (Some of the artwork was beautiful, and really captured the middle east meets sci-fi vibe that i always pictured for Dune).
I managed to get my mits on a copy due to the magic of e-bay. The LUG edition certainly kicked ass; it was a broad universe seting that just mentioed Arrakis as a notable world, most of the detail was general stuff about worlds, the Bene Gesserit, Navigators, Mentats etc.. A lot of the art work was looted from the CCG (which was well liked by my gaming crowd). It is just a pity it never went anywhere as a franchise, and the CCG was killed just when it got most interesting.

If Mongoose pick this up, it is one RPG, like Traveller, I will go out of my way to get more from.
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Postby VirtualMachine » Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:26 am

Silvereye wrote:
VirtualMachine wrote:I've wanted to play a Dune RPG for years, and had been anxiously awaiting the LUG game when it was first announced (Some of the artwork was beautiful, and really captured the middle east meets sci-fi vibe that i always pictured for Dune).
I managed to get my mits on a copy due to the magic of e-bay. The LUG edition certainly kicked ass; it was a broad universe seting that just mentioed Arrakis as a notable world, most of the detail was general stuff about worlds, the Bene Gesserit, Navigators, Mentats etc.. A lot of the art work was looted from the CCG (which was well liked by my gaming crowd). It is just a pity it never went anywhere as a franchise, and the CCG was killed just when it got most interesting.

If Mongoose pick this up, it is one RPG, like Traveller, I will go out of my way to get more from.
I actually took a peek on ebay.ca and couldn't find jack. It's definitely a book i'd like to have. Not so sure how i feel about the focus being taken off of Arrakis though - the story was called "Dune" for a reason ;).
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Postby AKAramis » Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:16 am

Things Dune has going for it as an RPG setting:

1) LOTS of politics
1.1) Lots of "little wars"
1.2) room for paramilitary operations ranging from diplomatic to open warfare.
1.3) enough reasons to have members of different groups together.
2) Colorful and well defined groups
3) Readily GM controlled interstellar travel (well, mostly)
4) Retrotech makes world easily understood to the modern reader.
5) about 4000 pages of source material to draw from
6) Iconic name and strong non-geek awareness.

Problems with Dune as an RPG Setting:
1) Anything set on Arrakis will likely alter the canon storyline or generate PC impotence.
2) Many potential players will know more than many GM's.
3) Strong plot lines of canon stories present little room for PC's to have major setting effects.
4) Details focus on a few worlds. (Arrakis, Geidi Prime, Caladan, Wallach 9, IX, Salusa Secondus)

LUG-Dune Avoids all four, by puling PC's out of the main storyline by allowing them to be the big fish in smaller local ponds.

I've NOT run it. I want to, with the right group. But I can't get my current players to read the novel... and the movie and miniseries mangle it somewhat. And the RPG book, while having lots of background written by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, wasn't canonical. (It is, however, helpful in understanding some of the elements of BH & KJA's prequels in the "House ___" line.)
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Postby Silvereye » Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:17 pm

VirtualMachine wrote:Not so sure how i feel about the focus being taken off of Arrakis though - the story was called "Dune" for a reason ;).
I believe they were planning on releasing a dedicated Arrakis suplement had it ever made it into production. The first book was just the bones of the universe.
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Postby The Legend » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:41 pm

Well guys to be honest the Dune RPG would be fantastic but please not in the D20! I play the Bab5 roleplay and enjoy it but I wish that someone would come up with a better generic RPG system than the D20. Bab 5 got it more right than any other liscence as far as I'm concerned but it's still not the greatest.

If you want a Dune RPG then use Fading Suns. It's about to enter into it's 3rd edition using the fabulous Victory Point system or alternatively you can pick up the 2nd Ed for next to nothing. Believe me there is a virtually identical society and tech level in Fading Suns. It's what I use for Dune.
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Postby Timber Wolf » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:41 pm

The thing about Wizards (Hasbro) having the licence is that they've had it for at least 5 years and done nothing with it. Maybe they can bring something out with lead paint in it. :wink:
It shows they are a bit shady in my book.
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Postby dave-the-lost » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:18 pm

Why not a Dune RPG?

Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. they must be related to George Lucas somehow.
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Postby Tal » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:22 pm

dave-the-lost wrote:Why not a Dune RPG?

Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. they must be related to George Lucas somehow.
Well Kevin Anderson used to write Star Wars novels. SO there is the relationship right there.
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Postby Finarvyn » Thu May 08, 2008 12:41 am

A little bump to necro this thread again.

I think that "franchise" subjects for RPGs are few and far between. By a "franchise" subject I mean one where the name almost sells the game. Conan is like this, as is Elric or Lord of the Rings. Star Trek and Star Wars are good scifi examples. All of these have been done already, often several times.

One not explored to its full potential is Dune. I've seen various attempts to "home brew" Dune into GURPS, Amber Diceless, d20, and more, but the only one time that a Dune RPG came out it vanished so quickly that it never really had a chance.

Many "franchise" subjects seem to fizzle. Both Star Trek and Lord of the Rings are cited as examples of RPGs that never lived up to their potential, but each of these subjects had at least 2 different RPGs produced and each of those RPGs spawned many sourcebooks and adventures. Both ST and LotR also did well in the board game area.

Dune is like this. The Avalon Hill Dune wargame consistently sells high on e-bay. There seems to be a lot of interest in Frank Herbert's books and at least enough interest in the Brian Herbert / Kevin Anderson prequil and sequil books that they keep getting written and sold. There are Dune computer games, there was a CCG, and so on.

Dune could be a great companion to the re-launch of Traveller -- the most popular scifi RPG with one of the most popular scifi settings!

I'd just like to keep this thread somewhere near the top, just in case the Mongoose guys read these boards and actually act on fan advice.

I vote for Dune.
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Postby AKAramis » Thu May 08, 2008 6:07 am

Finarvyn wrote:A little bump to necro this thread again.

I think that "franchise" subjects for RPGs are few and far between. By a "franchise" subject I mean one where the name almost sells the game. Conan is like this, as is Elric or Lord of the Rings. Star Trek and Star Wars are good scifi examples. All of these have been done already, often several times.

One not explored to its full potential is Dune. I've seen various attempts to "home brew" Dune into GURPS, Amber Diceless, d20, and more, but the only one time that a Dune RPG came out it vanished so quickly that it never really had a chance.

Many "franchise" subjects seem to fizzle. Both Star Trek and Lord of the Rings are cited as examples of RPGs that never lived up to their potential, but each of these subjects had at least 2 different RPGs produced and each of those RPGs spawned many sourcebooks and adventures. Both ST and LotR also did well in the board game area.

Dune is like this. The Avalon Hill Dune wargame consistently sells high on e-bay. There seems to be a lot of interest in Frank Herbert's books and at least enough interest in the Brian Herbert / Kevin Anderson prequil and sequil books that they keep getting written and sold. There are Dune computer games, there was a CCG, and so on.

Dune could be a great companion to the re-launch of Traveller -- the most popular scifi RPG with one of the most popular scifi settings!

I'd just like to keep this thread somewhere near the top, just in case the Mongoose guys read these boards and actually act on fan advice.

I vote for Dune.
The Dune RPG that came out was killed by the fact that they had basicaly just had their other big license puled from under them, and had a major business failure.

A well done Dune RPG would be great. The Icon System one was excellent for reading, and I've issues with Icon that I wound up houseruling. (elements within the task system.) The basis for the game was excellent, and the setting fluff exquisite. It's a high bar.
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Postby Shadow Queen » Thu May 08, 2008 1:52 pm

It was Last Unicorn Games did a Limited run of what they had.
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Postby -Daniel- » Thu May 08, 2008 2:29 pm

Dune would be interesting enough, but can you get it for a low enough fee to make it worth doing from the publisher's point of view?

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Postby Strom » Thu May 08, 2008 8:59 pm

Finarvyn wrote:A little bump to necro this thread again.

I think that "franchise" subjects for RPGs are few and far between. By a "franchise" subject I mean one where the name almost sells the game. Conan is like this, as is Elric or Lord of the Rings. Star Trek and Star Wars are good scifi examples. All of these have been done already, often several times.

One not explored to its full potential is Dune. I've seen various attempts to "home brew" Dune into GURPS, Amber Diceless, d20, and more, but the only one time that a Dune RPG came out it vanished so quickly that it never really had a chance.

Many "franchise" subjects seem to fizzle. Both Star Trek and Lord of the Rings are cited as examples of RPGs that never lived up to their potential, but each of these subjects had at least 2 different RPGs produced and each of those RPGs spawned many sourcebooks and adventures. Both ST and LotR also did well in the board game area.

Dune is like this. The Avalon Hill Dune wargame consistently sells high on e-bay. There seems to be a lot of interest in Frank Herbert's books and at least enough interest in the Brian Herbert / Kevin Anderson prequil and sequil books that they keep getting written and sold. There are Dune computer games, there was a CCG, and so on.

Dune could be a great companion to the re-launch of Traveller -- the most popular scifi RPG with one of the most popular scifi settings!

I'd just like to keep this thread somewhere near the top, just in case the Mongoose guys read these boards and actually act on fan advice.

I vote for Dune.
Well presented case Finarvyn. 8)
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Postby Myrm » Fri May 09, 2008 8:02 am

Timber Wolf wrote:The thing about Wizards (Hasbro) having the licence is that they've had it for at least 5 years and done nothing with it. Maybe they can bring something out with lead paint in it. :wink:
It shows they are a bit shady in my book.
What they had included the boardgame licenses, which AH/Hasbro/Wizards let Eurogames/Jeux Descartes Editeur do a reprint off in the last 5 years from memory (I have a copy in French with copies of the AH English rules) EGD couldnt have had a HUGE chunk of cash to slap down compared to industry giants, it is/was a small boardgames company.

There was a CCG in 1997 and another card game in 2002.

So I think its a bit premature to say it would be impossible to get the license out of the current holders - although IIRC Fantasy Flight couldnt get it recently.
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Postby -Daniel- » Fri May 09, 2008 4:04 pm

Myrm wrote: So I think its a bit premature to say it would be impossible to get the license out of the current holders - although IIRC Fantasy Flight couldnt get it recently.
One of the odd things I have seen when it comes to IP is that some of the holders make their choice to licence or not based on their reaction to the person asking rather thent he money they might make.

It might be that if the right approch was made they would be open to it. You are right about that. The question then becomes how to ask.

Either way, if done right, I would love to see Dune given a solid RPG treatment.

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Postby AKAramis » Fri May 09, 2008 7:00 pm

dafrca wrote:
Myrm wrote: So I think its a bit premature to say it would be impossible to get the license out of the current holders - although IIRC Fantasy Flight couldnt get it recently.
One of the odd things I have seen when it comes to IP is that some of the holders make their choice to licence or not based on their reaction to the person asking rather thent he money they might make.

It might be that if the right approch was made they would be open to it. You are right about that. The question then becomes how to ask.

Either way, if done right, I would love to see Dune given a solid RPG treatment.

Daniel
One of the things mentioned on the FFG website was that it wasn't the Herbert estate being the problem, but SciFi Channel... the primary licensee. They have exclusive sub-license rights for the duration of their license, save for preextant licenses.

Licensing RPG's also isn't "big money" per se. In the scheme of a movie studio's budget, they are almost not worth the time. Especially if there is extensive review for "canonicity" as there is with Star Wars, Star Trek, Dune, and several others.

Even when there is limited checking, as with Buffy and Angel, and a friendly creator (Joss Whedon), it's still not worth Fox's efforts to renew.
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Postby -Daniel- » Fri May 09, 2008 8:04 pm

AKAramis wrote: Licensing RPG's also isn't "big money" per se. In the scheme of a movie studio's budget, they are almost not worth the time. Especially if there is extensive review for "canonicity" as there is with Star Wars, Star Trek, Dune, and several others.

Even when there is limited checking, as with Buffy and Angel, and a friendly creator (Joss Whedon), it's still not worth Fox's efforts to renew.
Oh I agree, I did nto mean to say it would be a cake walk by any means. Just that the holder is not always motivated just by money. Clearly the main "big" one's like Star Wars etc, there is a different path then a smaller brand or title.

But your points are very valid.

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Postby AKAramis » Sat May 10, 2008 8:31 am

dafrca wrote:
AKAramis wrote: Licensing RPG's also isn't "big money" per se. In the scheme of a movie studio's budget, they are almost not worth the time. Especially if there is extensive review for "canonicity" as there is with Star Wars, Star Trek, Dune, and several others.

Even when there is limited checking, as with Buffy and Angel, and a friendly creator (Joss Whedon), it's still not worth Fox's efforts to renew.
Oh I agree, I did nto mean to say it would be a cake walk by any means. Just that the holder is not always motivated just by money. Clearly the main "big" one's like Star Wars etc, there is a different path then a smaller brand or title.

But your points are very valid.

Daniel
No, they are motivated highly by money... it s how much money they can make for a given time investment, and RPG's come out extremely low that way.
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Postby -Daniel- » Sat May 10, 2008 12:09 pm

AKAramis wrote: No, they are motivated highly by money... it s how much money they can make for a given time investment, and RPG's come out extremely low that way.
Again, I am not arguing with your point. Just pointing out that in some of the licensing negotiations I have sat through, the discussions were not always around money and the decision to reject a request for a license agreement was not always based on the "Money vs. Time" thought process. Other considerations have played into the decisions I have been part of. Things like the reputation of the licensee in the market place, how the licensor believes their IP will be tarnished or devalued for future use, how the licensor feels about the IP itself (Is it their only IP or just a small holding in their IP portfolio), who is the licensor (A primary licensee or the originator of the IP), how will you use it once you license the IP, how have you treated other licenses you have held in the past, all have played out in discussions I have seen.

Once again, I agree that money is one of the motivations for granting of a license, no argument there. But it is not always the only, nor even the main motivation, for an agreement to be made or a failure to reach an agreement.

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Postby AKAramis » Sat May 10, 2008 3:01 pm

dafrca wrote:
AKAramis wrote: No, they are motivated highly by money... it s how much money they can make for a given time investment, and RPG's come out extremely low that way.
Again, I am not arguing with your point. Just pointing out that in some of the licensing negotiations I have sat through, the discussions were not always around money and the decision to reject a request for a license agreement was not always based on the "Money vs. Time" thought process. Other considerations have played into the decisions I have been part of. Things like the reputation of the licensee in the market place, how the licensor believes their IP will be tarnished or devalued for future use, how the licensor feels about the IP itself (Is it their only IP or just a small holding in their IP portfolio), who is the licensor (A primary licensee or the originator of the IP), how will you use it once you license the IP, how have you treated other licenses you have held in the past, all have played out in discussions I have seen.

Once again, I agree that money is one of the motivations for granting of a license, no argument there. But it is not always the only, nor even the main motivation, for an agreement to be made or a failure to reach an agreement.

Daniel
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