Creating a Dune wargame: INFO NEEDED!!!

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malika
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Creating a Dune wargame: INFO NEEDED!!!

Postby malika » 21 Apr 2008 15:30

On another Dune forum (the invisionsfree board) I started a discussion to compile a list of weapons that have appeared throughout the Dune series. The reason why I wanted to do this was that I wanted to create a set of rules for a potential wargame/RPG based on the Duniverse (must be those 40k roots of mine) but I never really got to that since the whole idea of coming up with rules from scratch is just a bit too ambitious for me. However, recently another chap has decided to be this ambitious and attempt to create a set of rules to come up with a game system which could simulate wars, enabling player to re-enact historic battles and wars, but also start their own military campaigns. The monster that is Warspike (check the blog here and the currently primarily "40k mod" oriented discussion here) is currently under construction, as in that the system is still very much a work in progress.

The idea is that this set of rules could be used on any universe, and thus the potential of a "Dune mod" for this game is on my mind.

I've been pondering about which era of the Duniverse might be most fitting for a "Dune mod", and like in the original thread on that other forum I think that the wars during the Heretics of Dune and Dune: Chapterhouse seem most fitting since we have the "most" information on those factions and capabilities. That and the fact that wargame scenarios from that era are also easier to work out than the Fremen guerilla war against the Harkonnens (doesn't mean that this will never be covered, but not at the moment)

So what do I need to know? I need to know which weapons are used in the Duniverse, what these weapons exactly are and how they work. I need to know who are the main "factions" from which something along the lines of an "armylist" could be created and how strong the units (facedancers, honored matres, etc) are compared to an average human male soldier.

Factions:
-Bene Tleilaxu (primarily Face Dancer soldiers with masters leading them)
-Bene Gesserit ("normal" soldiers lead by officers and perhaps also Bene Gesserits themselves)
-Honored Matres (strong, psychotic and dangerous women are elite soldiers and leaders, leading their sexually bonded servants into battle)

Weapons and other wargear:
-Kindjal: a large knife (20 cm long), slightly curved and double bladed.
-Inkvine: native plant to Geidi Prime and used as a whip, the plant itself contains a poison of a sorts that is very painful when in contact.
-Lasgun: laser weapon, most commonly used as a pistol or rifle, very powerful weapons but dangerous when used against shields (cause a huge explosion which kills everything within a certain radius).
-Maula Pistol: pistol that shoots poisonous darts, has a range of 40 metres.
-Stunner: a slow-pellet projectile weapon, darts were poisoned or drugged and were capable of moving through shields.
-Shield: can stop most attacks and projectiles, slower moving objects can move through it. Attacks by a Lasgun cause an explosion
-Hunter-seeker: small device that is armed with a lethally poisoned needle, detects movement and will move towards anything that moves. Controller has to be located closely to operate this device.
-12-Uri: explosive, no further info.
-Slither/Sliver Swords: Mentioned in God Emperor of Dune, no further info.
-Cutterray: short range version of Lasgun, mostly used as a cutting tool or surgeon's scalpel.
-Deathstill: Fremen device used to extract all liquids from a dead body, also used as a means of executing enemies.
-Ixian Probe: used to capture thoughts of dead or living persons.
-Shere: drug used to counter an Ixian Probe.
-T Probe: similar to the Ixian Probe, however it cannot be blocked by Shere.
-Distrans: technology enabling information to be stored into lifeforms.

Any more info on weapons, the mention factions and the comparison between them and a normal human soldier today (as in anatomical, performative, etc info) would be very welcome!

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Postby orald » 21 Apr 2008 17:23

My, my, my...The Duniverse before God Leto or HoD's time quite litterally sucks for wargames, but fares a bit better for RPG's that rely alot on swordfighting.

Unfortunately you have quite a few mistakes there.

Hunter-seekers are NOT armed with a poisoned needle as Lynch had it, instead the seeker seems to be very sharp and can burrow and rip through flesh with ease.
It can also be equiped with a long shigawire cord to slice people, such as in HoD.

Slither/sliver swords? You mean this?
FH in GEoD wrote:Blood was buffered water to his body, but death released the water. His flailing body slipped and slithered in it, the water igniting blue smoke from every flexion place where it slipped through the sandtrout skin. This filled him with water-agony which ignited more violence in the great flailing body.

Or this?
FH in GEoD wrote:As he slipped from the cart, he saw the scimitar arc of the river, a sliveredged thing which shimmered in its mottled shadows, a vicious blade of a river honed through Eternity and ready now to receive him into its agony.

There are no such weapons in existence in the Duniverse I'm afraid.

Deathstill are NOT used to execute enemies. They are purely used for extracting almost all the moisture of a DEAD BODY.

Distrans could better be defined as "technology enabling information to be stored into human/animal brains(?) and be decoded from their sound waves"(meaning you need to be able to make sounds). A good advantage you forgot is that the carrier doesn't have to know what the information stored is, so can't be tortured to reveal it(maybe probed though, as it reads your mind).

You forgot, among others I might forget too in this short notice:

-SLIP-TIP: any thin, short blade (often poison-tipped) for left-hand use in shield fighting.
-Snoopers for poison detection, and of course poisons themselves(for assassinations, not for large scale warfare).
-Shigawire, used for strangling(or more like decapitating). Also used for information storage in messages(there's also self-desructing varients).
-PRUDENCE DOOR or PRUDENCE BARRIER (idiomatically: pru-door or pru-barrier): any pentashield situated for the escape of selected persons under conditions of pursuit. (See Pentashield.)
Pentashield being a 5 layered shield that allows specific peopel equipd with a "dissembler" tuned to the shield's code.
-Disruptors are(with almost full certainty) the "bloodless weapons" used by the HM. They kill all living thing(disrupting their nerve functions?) instantly in a determined radius.
The weapon is a little tube and needs to be equipped with a one-time charge.
-Deceptives. Basically holograms to confuse the enemy.
-Lots of unspecified energizing drugs etc you can put in.
-Futars can be used too(good for HM hunting :P ). Probably not half-bad melee attackers then.
-Lots of different ship types you can look up from Dune's glossary(mostly troop carriers though, as fighting was mostly hand to hand) and from battle scenes in Ch:D.
-'thopters equipped with either lasguns or projectile weapons(or both I assume).

I'll have to elaborate on HoD/Ch:D factions later. Having such a wide topic will get me raving on for hours I fear.
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

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Postby malika » 21 Apr 2008 17:51

My, my, my...The Duniverse before God Leto or HoD's time quite litterally sucks for wargames, but fares a bit better for RPG's that rely alot on swordfighting.

Hence my suggestion that is should take place during the time of HoD and C:D. :wink: The idea is that maybe later on, once the "mod" is ready there could be rules for other factions enabling players to re-enact other battles in the Duniverse. That it's mostly hand to hand combat is no real problem here, and even this does not have to be the case. If I remember correctly the Sardaukar used Stunners a lot during the take over of Arrakis from House Atreides. Dune would be a very able battleground for battles with ranged weapons, shields wouldnt be used since they attract the worm! :twisted:

Slither/sliver swords? You mean this?
There are no such weapons in existence in the Duniverse I'm afraid.

No, I mean this:
FH in GEoD wrote:Anteac had seldom seen such a display of weapons-lasguns, long knives, sliver-blades, stun-grenades...


Deathstill are NOT used to execute enemies. They are purely used for extracting almost all the moisture of a DEAD BODY.


According to wikipedia:
wikipedia wrote:Deathstill – Fremen device used to extract all moisture from a living or dead human or creature.[3] This is usually done to reclaim precious water, but in Children of Dune the device is used as a method of execution.

LINK

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Postby orald » 21 Apr 2008 18:26

WTF? Wiki' is wrong then. There's no mention of deathstills used for actual killing in CoD(and nowhere else either in my recollection).
Some idiot might've refered to this:
"There's always the Huanui," Ghanima said, speaking softly. "We have the deathstill as an alternative. I'm sure you couldn't interfere from there."

Clearly the deathstills are used as a way to indicate death, not to cause it.

Seems I missed that sliver-blades mention in my search, should've been more thorough. I guess they're just some other type of blade...God knows there're tons of blade types that look all the same but one is an inch longer so they give it a different name. :roll:
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Postby orald » 22 Apr 2008 02:54

That's what you get when they allow stupid preeks and casual sci-fi channel viewers to add shit in Wiki'.
They can't even read that "his body" bit. :|


Isn't there another "wikipedia" style site that only allows professionals to put in the articles?
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Postby malika » 22 Apr 2008 03:43

Well...you could always try to improve the articles themselves by adding the correct information there?

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Postby SandChigger » 22 Apr 2008 05:36

Exactly.

Sorry, but I really have very little patience with people that bitch about Wikipedia.

Either contribute and take responsibility for something or shut the fuck up and don't access the site at all.

If you see something you know is wrong (and can cite a reputable source proving it) and just leave it, you're no better than the person who entered the misinformation in the first place. You're like someone who walks past some garbage lying on the ground next to a trash can but doesn't bother to pick it up and throw it in. "It's not my job. I didn't miss the can. It's not my responsibility. Let somebody else do it. But isn't it terrible how dirty it is around here with all this litter on the ground!"

Lazy-ass whinging bullshit. It's always so much easier to bitch and complain rather than pull your sleeves up and actually do something.
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Postby orald » 22 Apr 2008 08:35

But they just delete my stuff. I tried adding stuff several times. :?
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Postby malika » 22 Apr 2008 10:11

An explanation can be added for why the alterations were made I think. These things are debatable. :)

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Postby SandChigger » 22 Apr 2008 11:30

Yeah, if you make a change and it gets reverted, take it to the talk page for the article and state your case. Citing sources always helps.

It also helps if you create an account. It shows you're serious and not a vandal or somebody else just goofing off. It also hides your IP address from everyone but the administration.

(Sorry if I flew off the handle earlier. I've always thought Wikipedia was a neat idea, for all its flaws and potential problems. I seem to recall having argued with Byron over on DN about it as well. He was another "Wiki Whiner"...may still be.)
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Postby Freakzilla » 22 Apr 2008 11:36

Regarding the deathstill issue, I never would have imagined putting live people in one, it had to be explained to me on another forum that this is what happened to Korba in the mini-series. I agree that it should not be considered a method of execution.
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Postby orald » 22 Apr 2008 13:45

I think I made an account there, but still my contributions were ignored.

I'm not gonna waste even more time trying to explain to preeks and miniseries fans over there what's wrong with their twisted world views. :?
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Postby The Sons of Idaho » 22 Apr 2008 16:33

I think the death-still as a weapon idea did just come from that scene in the mini-series. Not very effective in a RPG combat system though... you can't really carry one around a battlefield and have it be useful.

But a couple things that could be included -

Unarmed combat / martial arts - this is a huge part of Dune, at least for the Bene Gesserit. Their kicks and such can be as deadly as any blade. Certain factions (BG, HM) could have access to abilities in place of weapons.

Voice - could disable, stun, or control people.

Those barbs that Feyd uses in gladiator combat - I don't remember if they were poisoned or not, but the barbed tips would pretty much disable a limb.

And for Factions you have Sardaukar and Atreides (or any noble house) armies... basically just elite soldiers.
And of course Fremen.
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Postby Freakzilla » 22 Apr 2008 18:58

I wouldn't call the typical soldiers of the Great Houses "elite". I'm sure they all had some special forces like the Atreides though.
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Postby malika » 23 Apr 2008 00:24

The Atreides were feared because they were using the Weirding Way which would mean they could match the dreaded Sardaukar...

If there would be an RPG mod for Dune I rather hope it wouldn't be primarily combat based.

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Postby orald » 23 Apr 2008 05:54

No, they weren't using the wierding way IIRC, those were just the Fremen getting it from Jessica(and I'm quite sure the BG were pissed off about her giving them BG physical training), and they were already kick ass and better than sardaukar prior to that.

The Atreides were feared by the Emperor because Leto was very popular, and started training elite troops, equivilant or barely equivilant to the sardaukar, and was in position to enlarge this force by several orders of magnitude in Arrakis.
It was never said to be the wierding way.
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Postby The Sons of Idaho » 23 Apr 2008 08:31

malika wrote:The Atreides were feared because they were using the Weirding Way which would mean they could match the dreaded Sardaukar...
More confusion from the movies I guess.

Which leads us to another weapon (someone had to say it) - WEIRDING MODULES

Orald is right, the Atreides forces didn't get any BG combat training. Unless you consider the Fremen after Muad'Dib's ascension Atreides forces, which I guess they were technically.
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Postby Freakzilla » 23 Apr 2008 08:38

The Sons of Idaho wrote:
malika wrote:The Atreides were feared because they were using the Weirding Way which would mean they could match the dreaded Sardaukar...
More confusion from the movies I guess.

Which leads us to another weapon (someone had to say it) - WEIRDING MODULES

Orald is right, the Atreides forces didn't get any BG combat training. Unless you consider the Fremen after Muad'Dib's ascension Atreides forces, which I guess they were technically.


I consider those Imperial Fremen.
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Postby orald » 23 Apr 2008 16:28

You've also got armor of some type(mentioned in HoD and Ch:D) and armored(?) ground cars. Though the later wouldn't even defend against a lasgun so...makes you wonder what good this armor does them.

Planetary defences in orbit, space-mines(shield&lasgun triggered to fire) deposited in exit points from, uh, warp-space(what's the term for it in the Duniverse?) where ships appear from their jumps(so this means this isn't a "free" jumping but they've got paths or wormhole-like tunnels?).
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 23 Apr 2008 16:40

orald wrote:You've also got armor of some type(mentioned in HoD and Ch:D) and armored(?) ground cars. Though the later wouldn't even defend against a lasgun so...makes you wonder what good this armor does them.

Planetary defences in orbit, space-mines(shield&lasgun triggered to fire) deposited in exit points from, uh, warp-space(what's the term for it in the Duniverse?) where ships appear from their jumps(so this means this isn't a "free" jumping but they've got paths or wormhole-like tunnels?).


I don't think there are specific points they can or cannot jump to, the mines are just positioned in the most likely places of emergance. Probably based on being far enough from the planet to be a safe jump, but close enough that it doesn't take forever to putz over with regular engines.
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Postby orald » 23 Apr 2008 16:51

Yea you're probably right, they just spread lots of them in certain areas where ships are likely to move. And it's called Foldspace.
FH in Ch:D wrote:But her damaged no-ship would limp no farther. How diabolically extravagant Honored Matres had been! The hatred this implied terrified her.
Strewing the escape lanes around Lampadas with deathtraps, the Foldspace perimeter seeded with small no-globes, each containing a field projector and a lasgun to fire on contact. When the laser hit the Holzmann generator in the noglobe, a chain reaction released the nuclear energy. Bzzz into the trap field and a devastating explosion spread silently across you. Costly but efficient!
Enough such explosions and even a giant Guildship would become a crippled derelict in the void. Her ship's system of defensive analyses had penetrated the nature of the trap only when it was too late, but she had been lucky, she supposed.


Oh, if only sci-fi flicks producers would get that in their heads!*

*Then we'll have one heck of a boring, quiet movie. :P
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 23 Apr 2008 17:08

orald wrote:Yea you're probably right, they just spread lots of them in certain areas where ships are likely to move. And it's called Foldspace.
FH in Ch:D wrote:But her damaged no-ship would limp no farther. How diabolically extravagant Honored Matres had been! The hatred this implied terrified her.
Strewing the escape lanes around Lampadas with deathtraps, the Foldspace perimeter seeded with small no-globes, each containing a field projector and a lasgun to fire on contact. When the laser hit the Holzmann generator in the noglobe, a chain reaction released the nuclear energy. Bzzz into the trap field and a devastating explosion spread silently across you. Costly but efficient!
Enough such explosions and even a giant Guildship would become a crippled derelict in the void. Her ship's system of defensive analyses had penetrated the nature of the trap only when it was too late, but she had been lucky, she supposed.


Oh, if only sci-fi flicks producers would get that in their heads!*

*Then we'll have one heck of a boring, quiet movie. :P

Battlestar is the only scifi where I've ever seen the producers get it through their heads that sound requires AIR.
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Postby orald » 23 Apr 2008 20:45

Really? I do remember lots of explosions, zooming bullets and "wooosh" sounds. :?
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Postby Freakzilla » 23 Apr 2008 21:24

I think you're right, I do recall some sound, but it's not like Star Wars.
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Postby orald » 23 Apr 2008 21:43

Th only thing not SW-like is that they have more realistic manouvering, firing reto-thrusters etc and not flying like they're in the atmosphere.
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