Dune Adventures in the Imperium belongs to a category of licensed RPGs who have quite a few hurdles to overcome. Let’s take a look at each of these and see how Dune did:
With licenses, fans of the fiction will pick this up and hopefully migrate to the hobby, is Dune Adventures in the Imperium a good introductory product as far as RPGs go?
Yes but with a slightly steeper learning curve, and with the additional benefit of being a great resource for fans looking to get more information on the setting. Dune is written with a strong focus on keeping things accessible for those new to the hobby. While the 2d20 system is a bit on the “rules-medium” side of things, there’s a lot of support and examples to help learn the game.
RPGs of a particular license has to “Feel” like the source material, does Dune manage to convey the feel and tone of Dune through it’s mechanics or does it feel like a generic system bolted to a franchise?
Dune does a great job with this. Everything from the Duties and Duty Statements, the subtle and bold Move options, character options and even the uneven power balance due to faction-aligned characters having unique powers all work to enforce the truth of the setting.
For those who aren’t all that interested in the game aspect, but like collecting Dune, does the book look like a collectable?
Yes. The artwork, layout and “feel” of the book is such that not only is it a joy to use as a game, it looks like a wonderful coffee table book and something you can brag about once this Pandemic lets you have friends over.
Dune Adventures in the Imperium takes the already capable 2d20 system and modifies it to a point where it conveys the mood and feel of the setting to the point of authenticity. It manages to handle a huge amount of different factors in conflict in an elegant manner.
Character Creation and House Creation is compelling and does well in a Session Zero group activity, where each player gets to contribute and have a stake in the House they belong to. It’s a clever means of getting players to bond, and make sure that their loyalties are true.
Dune Adventures in the Imperium is a splendid RPG, with great ambitions, which it manages to pull off with grace and style. It might not be a perfect “entry level” product, but I’m extremely happy to have bought it.
Definitely a must have for any collection, whether for a lifelone Dune fan or just someone new to the setting but has a love for sprawling, epic Space Opera.
This is an excerpt from a full Let's Study Series for Dune Adventures in the Imperium, which takes a look at each of the sections of the book in detail, available on my blog on the links below: