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Modiphius’ Dune: Adventures in the Empire The TTRPG series based on their 2d20 TTRPG system is a topic we have been following closely here. It is a popular new part of the TTRPG landscape thanks to the rising popularity of the classic book series sparked by Denis Villeneuve’s blockbuster films. It has done quite a bit to expand the universe of dune for new fans of the series and gives players the opportunity to immerse themselves in and shape their own story by creating their own houses and even planets alongside the famous houses of Atreides and Harkonnen.

The system has at the edges of the dune They’ve been around this story for a while now with lots of little references and cameos, but their latest campaign is their most direct involvement yet. Fall of the Empire was right next to Dune 2 and takes players DIRECTLY into the story of Frank Herbert’s original story from the murder of Duke Leto to the beginning of the Fremen Jihad. It is not a tactic that many adapted TTRPGs use (you will find the EXTRATERRESTRIAL RPG put you on the Nostromo), as the original stories are often so sacrosanct that fans may not want to touch them. But in Fall of the Empire I think Modiphius has made some interesting choices that make it not only a perfect story for dune fans, but the perfect entry point for people who want to try out the system for the first time.

Behind the scenes of a dying empire

If you don’t know how Dune: Adventures in the Empire works, you don’t necessarily just create a player character for the game. Instead, players have also created a planet and a house that they work as agents for, and with this approach, the story guides you through the various adventures. Very little of the story’s choices and hooks depend on the desires of your individual character, focusing instead on the path you and your party want to lay for your house. In Fall of the Empire, You’re working on the events of the original book and navigating a time when it…really sucks to be a big house in the Empire. But you’re also not a house that’s going to make big waves in all of this. You and the houses you work with are minor characters at best compared to Harkonnen and Atreides. It’s incredibly fun to explore the story through that lens, it’s like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead but for Dune. No matter how far the story deviates from established events, it always backtracks so that your characters are involved in the next big moment.

Your Arrakis, your dune

Fall of the Empire

The history of Fall of the Empire begins precisely with the takeover of Arrakis by House Atreides, follows the rise of Paul as Muad’Dib, and finally explores the immediate impact his rise as Emperor will have on the universe. Whether you’re a fan of the books, the movies, or, like me, both, this is a great opportunity to delve deeper into the story by inserting your characters directly into the plot. While you can’t help but delve into the fanservice that these kinds of stories always have (deciding whether to kill Beast Rabban, flirting with Margot Henring, fighting alongside the Sardaukar and Fremen, etc.), for the most part it does a very good job of letting you decide how closely you want to “watch” the story being told. The outcomes are inevitable, but you don’t have to choose the “right” side. The right way to play the campaign is actually NOT to go in as a fan who wants to side with Paul. You’re encouraged to see him as a complex and sinister figure, just like anyone else in this setting, and to decide what your best course of action is based on the characters and the house you’ve created.

Aka Audience from Fall of the Empire
Alias ​​Audience

I will not give away too much of the story itself here, as A. it is mainly the plot of dune and B. the different twists are important to make it work. But what I love about it is how Adventure in the Empire approaches to storytelling is that it is never just about the combat. There are a few places where you can fight or get into more limited duels, but for the most part the challenges your characters have to face are mental, political, or even spiritual in nature. And because it focuses on these much more complex problems, it leads to more complex solutions. Take the final, major event in the plot of dune that you can participate in: the overthrow of the Emperor by Paul Muad’dib. Here, your players have three options: they can side with Paul (thus gaining his trust and the help of the new Emperor and his Fremen), side with the Emperor (thus putting you at odds with the new power but gaining the opportunity to help the Emperor and his Sardaukar and gain the rewards that come with that), or side with neither (which gets you nothing but some connections, but still offers some interesting outcomes). All three have advantages and disadvantages that must be carefully considered by players and GM alike, but also open up a whole web of possible stories.

Sardaukar and Fremen duel in the fall of the Empire
Duel between Sardaukar and Fremen

Fall of the Empire is an extremely cool approach to the world of dune that goes far beyond a simple adaptation. Thanks to creative storytelling, a deep approach to the world and a complex web of decisions, it really enables a new level of engagement with dune Fans. If you have already played Adventure in the Empire You know how good it is, but if you don’t, this is the perfect place to start.

You can grab Fall of the Empire in the Modiphius store, on Amazon or your FLGS for an MSRP of $51.60.

Images about Modiphius

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