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Gale Force Nine Sign Master License for Dune ‘Games’; Modiphius Designing RPG!

Gale Force Nine have announced they have entered a multi-year deal to act as master Licensee for ‘Games’ for Frank Herbert’s Epic “Dune” Series. The deal will see Gale Force Nine publish a range of games based upon the property, as well as sub-license the rights to partner companies. The first of these has been assigned to Modiphius Entertainment for the Dune Roleplaying Game.

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(Cover of the Last Unicorn/WotC Dune RPG; 2000)​

The license agreement, with Legendary Entertainment and Herbert Properties LLC, allows Gale Force Nine to produce tabletop games covering the length and breadth of the Dune franchise, including the novels of Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, as well as the upcoming Dune movie directed by Denis Villeneuve.

The agreement allows GF9 to work with other game companies on various projects, across a number of categories. The first of these to be announced is with Modiphius Entertainment, who have a track record of working with licensed properties such as Star Trek, John Carter of Mars, Fallout and Kung Fu Panda. Modiphius will be developing a new Dune tabletop RPG, slated for release in late 2019. This will be the first time Dune has appeared as an RPG since the Last Unicorn/Wizards of the Coast edition which appeared as a limited edition run in 2000.

The full range of tabletop games, including board and miniature games, are slated to hit the market just prior to Legendary’s theatrical release of Villeneuve’s Dune in 2020.
 
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TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Dune is other example of a sci-fi setting getting old.
It really isn’t and I think we should reserve judgement on how much of an impact Dune makes on younger generations till the games and movies get released. The allegories involved are just as relevant today, if not more so.

”Dune" has some interesting ideas for a RPG but we should break the canon to create a mash-up+reboot.

People have been doing this for years, but it’s still not Dune.

Regarding the system, it’s not so much the engine used that is the issue for me, but whether they cater for certain aspects of the novels. For example, some sort of social combat would be ideal for this game.
 

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Connorsrpg

Adventurer
The Free League people sell their stuff through Modiphius. I REALLY would prefer Dune to be released as their d6 exploration, dice-pool-based game. (Year Zero Engine). Rater than the 2d20 for eg.

Also, the Free League writers are very good :)
 

The Free League people sell their stuff through Modiphius. I REALLY would prefer Dune to be released as their d6 exploration, dice-pool-based game. (Year Zero Engine). Rater than the 2d20 for eg.

Also, the Free League writers are very good :)

I'd love if it was in free leagues d6 system. Sadly, I expect it'll be in 2d20.

I hope whatever system they incorporate social intrigue system as [MENTION=27252]TrippyHippy[/MENTION] mentioned above. Mind control, manipulation, willpower and politics is such a huge part of the setting.

I'd also love to see some kind of campaign level house mecahnics qhere your actions could contribute to your houses rise or misfortune.
 

Remus Lupin

Adventurer
The big question. Does this license allow them to reprint the classic Dune game from the 80s?

I still have that. I had the original (or perhaps it was the second printing) with the "Sting" box cover. Then I found the French version in a game store in Germany and snapped it up. It's a great game. Hard to find folks to play with though, even with the English translation of the rules.
 

Matt S1

Villager
I contact GF9 and asked if the license covers the 1979 Dune classic. This is their response from Mike Onore...

Thank you for your interest in Dune. As of right now because of murky laws back in the 70’s we are currently working on getting the licensing to reprint the classic version of dune. So please keep an eye out.
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
Fading Suns was clearly strongly influenced by Dune. It had a lot of great material. The system was shaky, though. I'd have been much happier playing or running it with something like 2D20, that's for sure.
I always loved the Dune and Fading Suns universes as an RPG setting. But I think Warhammer 40,000 was what inspired Fading Suns a LOT, 40k plundered a LOT from Dune.
There's been a Dune RPG before, but it's quite rare to find.
 

Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
I always loved the Dune and Fading Suns universes as an RPG setting. But I think Warhammer 40,000 was what inspired Fading Suns a LOT, 40k plundered a LOT from Dune.
There's been a Dune RPG before, but it's quite rare to find.

I bought Fading Suns when it was just a softcover book (with the super expensive but really durable heavy plastic cover) and interacted with the authors some online. One thing they said was that they weren't trying to make a "Dune" game but that it was a very strong influence on both Bill Bridges and Andrew Greenberg. I don't recall them talking about Warhammer 40K though it wouldn't surprise me if that was an influence, too. They intentionally drew a very broad net, though, wanting to have substantial room for different inspirations. Another very big one was Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun.
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
Count me as another that hopes crap 2d20 system is not used. I love Dune. I hope they use a good mechanics system. If they do, I'm in. I'll buy it.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
I always loved the Dune and Fading Suns universes as an RPG setting. But I think Warhammer 40,000 was what inspired Fading Suns a LOT, 40k plundered a LOT from Dune.
There's been a Dune RPG before, but it's quite rare to find.
Yep. Fading Suns was actually written by two White Wolf World of Darkness developers, possibly in the hope that it might be a future White Wolf release, but it never happened. It's a lot more kitchen sink than Dune, but the original influence, by way of W40K is definitely there.
 

Vanveen

Explorer
It's hard to imagine it has taken this long for someone to pick up this awesome IP but I'm glad they did. Also love that Modiphius got the nod for the RPG. They have really been putting out some excellent games and the quality is top notch.

The problem hasn't been people interested in the IP, it's been the Herbert estate. The Dune boardgame by Avalon Hill, widely considered one of the best boardgames ever made, has been out of print (and stratospherically expensive) for years because the family wouldn't authorize a new license. Fantasy Flight finally rethemed the game in their Imperium universe and rereleased it, taking advantage of the fact that you can patent game rules (which nobody had) but not their expression. Sales were OK, but people wanted Fremen and sandworms. Maybe that helped loosen the stuck bolt?

Given the history, this is kind of a big deal. I also think most millennials have little idea of what Dune is. BUT...given Gale Force 9's M.O., I think the bigger deal is that there may be some kind of Dune reboot (film, TV) in the works.
 

cmad1977

Hero
I read up to Chapter House, the whole thing about the Honored Matres controlling people through sex was meh, so I stopped there. I take it that it will probably cover the initial setting just from the book Dune, because later books aren't so game-able, imo.

About the first three are good. Then it takes a major jump into wackyville.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
About the first three are good. Then it takes a major jump into wackyville.

God Emperor is good, but the huge interval of time between Children of Dune and it, makes for a completely different setting. Rolling it back to pre-Dune, or during Paul's sojourn in the high desert, sound to be the best for an RPG setting, imo.
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
Fading Suns always looked to me like something I would really enjoy. I stayed away from it because it looked dense, as far as background, which would require a long learning curve time--but, mostly I stayed away before the publisher refused to print adventures. I know companies don't make near as much on adventures as they do rule books, but they need to print them to make it easy access to their games. It takes a dedicated GM to create an adventure from scratch, and for a new game, when the GM doesn't know if he's yet enamored with the game, the answer is usually to avoid such involving work.
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
God Emperor is good, but the huge interval of time between Children of Dune and it, makes for a completely different setting. Rolling it back to pre-Dune, or during Paul's sojourn in the high desert, sound to be the best for an RPG setting, imo.

I agree. The other "settings" or time periods could be added later. The original Dune RPG was set just as the Atreides took over Arrakis. That's a short period, I know, but I also think that's the sweet spot for a Dune RPG: The Atreides, starting to negotiate with the Fremen, searching out Harkonnen traps and fighting Harkonnen treachery.

Other expansions can lead into the Harkonnens re-taking Dune, and the Fremen revolt. Then, Paul's empire. Then, other periods.
 

DerKastellan

Explorer
About the first three are good. Then it takes a major jump into wackyville.

Funny. I think of "God Emperor of Dune" to be the the deepest book of the series and the last two books an exciting fast-forward of the whole setting, something not many authors have the skills and ingenuity to do well. In comparison, books two and three are affairs that I have to make myself read because they're a bit predictable and seem like high quality filler as a lead-up to God Emperor.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
The big question. Does this license allow them to reprint the classic Dune game from the 80s?
Over at BGG (BoardGameGeek) it was clarified that Gale Force 9 has the license to create original, new games. It doesn't cover re-releasing the original 1979 board game.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a board game in the vein of 'Tyrants of the Underdark' with a Dune theme.

Regarding 'Fading Suns': This is a setting I really liked. I never got to actually play it, though.
 

Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
Fading Suns always looked to me like something I would really enjoy. I stayed away from it because it looked dense, as far as background, which would require a long learning curve time--but, mostly I stayed away before the publisher refused to print adventures.
As I recall they did have some adventures but you're right it was mostly setting material. I tend to write my own and almost never really like someone else's so the fact that they gave some interesting locations was good enough for me. I really wanted to like the system (VPS) and did for a while in some ways, but it was highly swingy.
 

Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
I hope whatever system they incorporate social intrigue system as @TrippyHippy mentioned above. Mind control, manipulation, willpower and politics is such a huge part of the setting.

Conan 2D20 has a psych damage mechanic, including the ability to intimidate and do psych damage. Various fear attacks also affect that wound track. I'd suspect that that or something like it would be in the game. (Though as several of you have said, 2D20 is a loser for many of you regardless.)
 

Just want to specify that there's likely nothing wrong with 2d20. I've never played it. But I have far too many systems I still want to play than put another on the pile.

Free leagues Year Zero system is an excellent balance for me and seems to do a good job at genre emulation woth a universal core mechanic. I'd just to see the system getting more traction.
 

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