Dune Without Arrakis: A Campaign Frame

On the Gauntlet Blog I offer a campaign frame for Modiphius’ Dune: Adventures in the Imperium set on a new planet, filled with discovery, intrigue, collaborative development, and the feel of the setting.

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Thats cool, this came up in the beta testing and I was glad the rules don’t lock you in to Arrakis. This was the setting I was using:

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Argh - not sure what is happening - I tried to cut and paste from Word and got a graphic version of the first page of text?

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The Pharisan Tyranny

The Pharisan System

The Pharisan system is a study in stark contrasts. Orbiting the gas giant Pharis are five splendid moons, known locally as the ‘Tyrant’s Jewel Box’. Each is startlingly beautiful and so abundant in life that they cannot be a natural occurrence. Here the decadent nobility of the Pharisan Tyranny indulge in pleasures exotic and often cruel, attended by slaves taken from other planets in the system.

The rest of the system is an industrial hellhole where citizens scrape out a living on dying manufacturing worlds, losing their best and brightest to the slavers of the Great Tyrant. The highest ‘honour’ is to be indoctrinated into the Tyrant’s elite Brocade Guard who maintain a chokehold over the rest of society.

The Pharisans call their slaves ‘the obligated’, claiming that slavery serves some kind of blood debt owed by the ancestors of the working classes. It is unclear to outsiders, and possibly the Pharisans themselves, what the nature of this debt is. Political dissidents are confronted with overwhelming force, perhaps a sign of the precarious position held by the ruling class minority.

Were the moons of the Jewel Box terrarformed? If so, is the technology still accessible? The official line of the Tyranny is that the moons have always been this way. Did someone else terraform the moons before the ancestors of the Pharisans arrived?

What would it take to ignite a slave rebellion? Where would the representatives of the Imperium end up in the struggle. They are not supposed to intervene in local business but there could be advantage in playing the various sides of the conflict.

What is the nature of ‘the obligation’? Has it been lost to history or is it just a myth invented to justify the system of slavery. Not that the Tyranny seems to need much justification for what they do.

The Haunted System
The Pharisan System is part of a binary star system and its twin system is utterly devoid of life. This wasn’t always the case, there are remains of a great civilisation in this ‘haunted’ system. The cities are entirely intact, but there are no remains or signs of life, not even bacteria. The Pharisans refuse to discuss the Haunted System.

What happened here? Is there technology that can be looted by the Imperium. This would probably not be looked on favourably so expeditions would have to happen in secret.

Ibilisk - The Concession City

Floating in the clouds of Pharis, Ibilisk is a small city that has become the hub of Imperium activity. Walled city blocks have been designated the territory of individual houses, the most prestigious of which have seized the premium sites. Diplomats weave deals and merchants conduct business in goods from both civilisations. The Tyranny conceded sovereignty over the city, which means the laws of the Imperium apply here, for good or ill.

Each of the city block compounds is surrounded by an ornate wall – majestic architecture but a wall nonetheless. This, and the grant of sovereign rights, has meant that each faction has a safe haven to retreat to after conducting skullduggery in other parts of the city. The avenues, salons and alleyways of Ibilisk are the playing field of the great game of intrigue.

Until the concession the city seems to have been abandoned for many years, possibly centuries. Nevertheless the great engines that hold the city aloft and create a safe atmosphere seem to be functioning well. No one is sure of the original function of the city, or what secrets remain hidden in the mazes of streets, secret passageways and esoteric engineering.

Is the city ever effected by the storms in Pharis? What problems do these cause?

What was the original purpose of the city? Was it a weather station, a research station or something else? Perhaps the whole city was an experiment – maybe it still is…

What goods are traded here? What is available here that is in demand in the Imperium?

Do the houses keep the slaves offered to them by the Tyranny or staff their compounds with their own people?

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That looks great! Thanks for sharing that. Lots of great ideas.

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