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  • Writer's pictureMichael Stern

Tabletop Review - Dune: Adventures in the Imperium

Developer: Mana Project Studios

Publisher: Modiphius Entertainment

Available Versions: Hard Cover Book or PDF



The Game:


Set in the universe of the popular book and movie franchise, Dune: Adventures in the Imperium takes the players on endless amounts of journeys to enjoy. Like most tabletop RPGs, Dune: Adventures in the Imperium looks a lot more intimidating to new players but is rather simple and easy to set up and play. This is thanks to the ingenuity of the creators since they include ways to either create a customizable character down to the smallest detail, but also to set up simplified characters that can be ready relatively fast.



Not Your Parent’s RPG:


There are a few hiccups that may hinder the speed at which players get into gameplay, but that is to be expected since there are plenty of areas where the storyteller can create and/or use standardized mechanics and information.


For example, setting up “Houses” can be tedious because of all the information the players and storyteller must create. But the storyteller can also use premade Houses that the players may choose to associate themselves with. Another point of setting up the game is whether to allow single characters per player or to allow players to have additional characters (basically “Support” characters that will be single-use or reoccurring roles to help the “Main” character that the player is using). If the storyteller allows for these Support characters, that will increase the time the players must take to create multiple characters for the possibilities that may come up during the campaign. But by allowing these Support characters, the players can expand their ability to make it through the campaign and get the fullest enjoyment out of the Dune universe!



Though there are drawbacks to the game, none of these take away from the enjoyment, and at times, increase the fun of character creation and can help increase the success rate of the players through any campaign the storyteller may have, thus allowing them to continue using these same characters for multiple campaigns.


Like most TTRPGs, the objective of the game is to, well, finish the campaign. This can be done by victory over other Houses, defeating a big enemy, finding riches, or even the player’s eventual rule of the known universe! This core book has everything players and storytellers need to create a fun, deep, and interesting dive into the Dune universe. Whether players want to use politics or weapons, status, blackmail, or assets, to achieve the end goal, this book includes it all. This book even has a full chapter devoted to helping the storyteller (the Gamemaster) learn how to run successful, fun, and smooth, campaigns.



Throughout the book, users will find all the mechanics to play the game, but read carefully, because there are plenty of ways to fail as a storyteller, and as a player, if the rules or abilities are not read correctly. Even as a reviewer and long-time player of TTRPGs, there were plenty of places where rereading certain aspects became necessary to fully understand the complex and amazing ways to use certain mechanics of the game. One of the mechanics players will find is the new version of the 2d20 System that the creators adapted specifically for the Dune Universe.

How many people do I need for a campaign?


As with most TTRPGs, at least 3 members in a party would be the minimum amount to play this game through a campaign, but because of the inclusion of the Support characters, as well as normal use of NPCs, a game could technically be played by less, but that also means that the players would heavily rely on those Support characters, rather than developing their Main character.


While this game offers many options for character creation and campaigns, the creators have made further books for this series that expand on this core book. Therefore, it is best to get familiar with using this core book first and play a campaign or two, before expanding on to other books in the series. But do not worry, there will be more reviews of the expansion books in the following weeks!



Conclusion:


Overall, this game is a very well thought out TTRPG, and has plenty of cool new mechanics, character development, end game scenarios, and plenty of information to help even the most novice of TTRPG players to learn and play this game. The ability to skip some of the character creation is also a nice touch because this means that those with less time to waste on character creation, or players that die a lot in their RPGs, can easily make new characters, along with Support characters that will help them in their times of need during the campaigns.


Dune: Adventures in the Imperium is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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