Modiphius’ Dune: Adventures in the Imperium RPG

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I was invited, along with the Oak Hill RPG Club, to take part in the Beta Test of Dune: Adventures in the Imperium Role-playing game, coming soon from Modiphius.

As I have stated many times, both here and on social media, I am not overly fond of the 2d20 System that Modiphius has married all of their products to.

I have played a bit of Conan and Star Trek, and I’ve pored over John Carter, all franchises that I love. Modiphius produces beautiful products. The books are marvelous in every sense of the word.

As for the game system itself, I find the rules clunky and overwrought. They play far better than they read however. But my biggest complaint is the idea of dice pools. That’s just a hard sell for me. I’m somewhat okay with the player’s pool. It does reinforce teamwork. But the GM pool (Doom, Threat, or what have you) plays into Player/GM adversarial roles that should be very much a thing of the past.

I have no doubt that Modiphius will give Dune the same attention to detail that has been their trademark in the other intellectual properties that they have handled so beautifully.

As for the game itself: we played our first session last night and I thought it went pretty well. As GM, I leaned heavily into the film, as that is what most of my players were familiar with. Because of covid19, we played via roll20. I created a map of the throne room of Duke Leto Atreides and the freighter transporting the player characters to Arrakis, and I made tokens of all the player characters, the freighter crew, and even a whole host of Lynchian characters to round things out.

No spoilers, but the module designed for the Beta fits seamlessly into the Dune Universe. It’s a little loose, giving the GM plenty of freedom, while keeping everything perfectly aligned. The Beta Rules are concise, giving all the pertinent information necessary, and the pre-generated characters are diverse and I think the players really liked them.

I found it a great way to spend the evening and look forward to continuing the adventure over the course of next couple of weeks.

Of course, the real tale of the tape will come when we fill out the Beta Test review at the end of August. Hopefully our thoughts will be helpful to the developers.

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