Dune (D20 Modern Campaign Setting)
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 D U N E
Some twenty thousand years in the future, the human race has scattered throughout the known universe and populated countless planetary systems ruled by aristocratic royal houses who answer to the universal ruler, the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. Science and technology have evolved far beyond that of our own time despite the prohibition of computers and artificial intelligence, and humans called Mentats with highly-evolved minds perform the functions of computers. The CHOAM corporation is the major underpinning of the Imperial economy, with shares and directorships determining each House's income and financial leverage. Key is the control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the valuable spice melange, which gives those who ingest it extended life and prescient awareness. Melange is crucial as it enables space travel, which the Spacing Guild monopolizes. Navigators use the spice melange to safely plot a course for the Guild's highlighter ships via prescience using "foldspace" technology, which allows instantaneous travel to anywhere in the universe.
The spice is also crucial to the powerful matriarchal order called the Bene Gesserit, whose main priority is to preserve and advance the human race. The secretive Bene Gesserit, often referred to as "witches," possess mental and physical powers developed through conditioning called prana-bindu training.
A Bene Gesserit acolyte becomes a full Reverend Mother by undergoing a perilous ritual known as the spice agony, in which she ingests an otherwise lethal dose of an awareness spectrum narcotic and must render it harmless internally. Surviving the ordeal unlocks her Other Memory, the ego and memories of all her female ancestors. A Reverend Mother is warned to avoid the place in her consciousness that is occupied by the genetic memory of her male ancestors, referred to as "the place we cannot look." In light of this, the Bene Gesserit have a secret, millennia-old breeding program, the goal of which is to produce a male equivalent of a Bene Gesserit whom they call the Kwisatz Haderach. This individual would not only be able to survive the spice agony and access the masculine avenues of Other Memory, but is also expected to possess "organic mental powers (that can) bridge space and time." The Bene Gesserit intend their Kwisatz Haderach to give them the ability to control the affairs of mankind more effectively.
The planet Arrakis itself is completely covered in a desert ecosystem, hostile to most organic life. It is also sparsely settled by a human population of native Fremen tribes. Tribal leaders are selected by defeating the former leader in combat. The Fremen also have complex rituals and systems focusing on the value and conservation of water on their arid planet. They conserve the water distilled from their dead, consider spitting an honorable greeting, and value tears as the greatest gift one can give to the dead. The Fremen have adapted to the environment physiologically, with their blood able to clot almost instantly in order to prevent water loss. Their culture also revolves around the spice melange, which is created as part of the life cycle of the giant sandworms who dominate the deserts. Bene Gesserit missionary efforts have implanted a belief in a male messiah who will one day come and transform Arrakis to a more hospitable world.
- ClassesBase, Prestige, and NPC
- EquipmentWeapons, Armor, and Gadgets
- FeatsIt'll take speed, skill, and not a little luck to win out here...
- RacesMen, pure and changed
- VehiclesIf you stop out there, you die
- For GMs
- CreaturesIt's not just fremen out there...
- NPCsThe good, the bad, and the Mentat
- AdventuresThe spice caravan needs protecting...
- EnvironmentsThe desert is a harsh, harsh place...
- A brief History of the genre...It's a wasteland...
- GuidelinesHelpful guidelines for capturing the essence of Dune
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