A new sourcebook for the Dune - Adventures in the Imperium RPG, Sand and Dust, will flesh out in greater detail the desert world of Arrakis, allowing groups to harvest and sell spice as Fremen within two notable cities, along with campaign tools and more.
While certainly present in the core experience published earlier this year by Modiphius Entertainment, Arrakis existed as a location - however notable - on the edges of Imperium space. Sand and Dust narrows the focus on the planet’s harsh environments and the hardscrabble, protective culture of the Fremen who call it home.
Everything we currently know about the upcoming sourcebook comes from a pre-order page on Modiphius’ website. The publisher says the edition is “expected to ship in December”, but as with all physical goods that date is likely prone to fall victim to shipping delays, depending on where in the world it travels.
Those new to the Dune universe might wonder why a galaxy-spanning empire would bother itself with a nigh-uninhabitable planet far from its center of power. The answer is the spice melange, a narcotic drug that powers space flight and large parts of the Imperium’s economy. In Sand and Dust, players will be able to get up close and personal with spice’s harvesting and production by taking part in Arrakis’ complex ecosystem of smugglers and merchants
The 156-page hardcover tome includes a history of Arrakis and its people, along with the ecology around which their culture is built - including the gargantuan sandworms synonymous with Frank Herbert’s science fiction series at the heart of this world. New character archetypes and talents flesh out options for Fremen players, while spice-related abilities let adventurers tap into the inherent power of the cinnamon-flavoured enigma.
Two cities located near the barely habitable north pole of Arrakis - Arrakeen and Carthag - can be explored in detail and used as the setting for a new or ongoing campaign. Sand and Dust will provide plot hooks, notable NPCS and and the foundations of mysteries or intrigue to entice players. Alternatively, the book will include an full adventure titled ‘The Water Must Flow’ that involves players in a plot to protect or sabotage vital water stores during an unprecedented shortage.
Dune - Adventures in the Imperium - one of Dicebreaker's top RPGs out right now - uses Modiphius’ 2D20 system as the basis of its rules. Players typically roll two 20-sided dice, aiming to roll under the target and compounding successes together to affect the narrative with a greater overall effect. The same rules power other licensed RPGs such as Fallout, Dishonored and John Carter of Mars. It sells itself on story dynamism and allows players to roleplay in cinematic environments full of both danger and drama.
Dicebreaker’s review of the Dune RPG called it “as dense and complex as the sci-fi classic”, doing much - if not quite enough - to onboard the unfamiliar while cleaning up some of the more dated and problematic elements of Herbert’s decades-old universe. The 2D20 system has been knocked in the past for being needlessly overwrought with interlocking systems, but the complexity plays to Dune’s thematic strengths.
The Sand and Dust sourcebook costs $42 to pre-order through Modiphius’ website and is forecasted to begin shipping in December of this year.