Sunday, August 09, 2015

A FATE based DUNE session report.

Last night I took a couple of excellent players through time and space to a desert planet, the desert
planet, Arrakis, also known as DUNE. We were playing an adventure using the FATE rules and the brave heroes were a native Fremen and an Atreides who had escaped the Harkonnen trap. It was set during the Sardaukar pogrom, around a village so insignificant it did not even have a name.

The Fremen troops were temporarily living in a small cave fairly close to the village when the troop's leader came to our heroes and gave them a mission. The Harkonnen overseers of the village had nearly caught some Fremen out on the sand the day before, and he had decided it was time to take that thopter away from them. Thus the PCs had to get that thopter.

They took to the rocky ridge overlooking the village and spent the day in observation. The thopter returned in the evening bringing the workers back from the factories. The Harkonnens kicked the villagers out and one of them slowly opened the big door on the Harkonnen bunker before rolling the thopter inside. A short while later they observed one of the Harkonnens stomp into the village and drag a couple of resisting women back to the bunker.

They hatched a plan.Sneaking into the village they found the people were not happy with their situation but at the same time were scared of reprisals should they do anything. When they found the husband of one of the taken women, they worked on him for a while and managed to solicit his willing help.

Our Atreides had his best roll of the night when he disguised himself as the villager. A Harkonnen walked into the village and blew a horn to summon the workers to their duties.Our hero joined the throng and boarded the thopter before it jumped up out of the village and left for the factories.

Our remaining hero accompanied by the troop's pilot snuck down behind the Harkonnen bunker and settled down to await the return of the thopter. His Fremen nature was challenged part way through the day when one of the Harkonnen troopers walked round the back of the bunker and peed his life's water into the sand!

During the heat of the day when everything was quiet he sneaked around to the front of the bunker and sabotaged the keypad that was used to open the big door. As the time for the return of the thopter came close, the Fremen moved around the bunker to an elevated position  from which they could watch both the main door and smaller door. Then the waiting continued...

The thopter returned, landing in a cloud of sand dust. On board were two Harkonnen guards, the pilot, a bunch of villagers, and our Atreides in disguise. The two guards literally threw the villagers out of the thopter. The small door to the bunker opened and another Harkonnen was coming out. The Fremen pilot fired her mauler pistol and the Harkonnen froze, shocked by the sudden attack. The Fremen PC leaped to the ground and buried his knife in him, then smashed the keypad seizing the smaller door.

In the thopter the disguised Atreides was the last villager about to be kicked off, when he jumped forwards and kicked one of the Harkonnens out onto the ground. The Harkonnen pilot joined the guard in the back and they both engaged our Atreides.

Outside, the Harkonnen on the floor was quickly despatched as the two Fremen rushed to the thopter.

Inside, the Atreides was wounded as he fought two Harkonnens but one of them was taken down and the other two Fremen leaped into the back of the thopter. The last Harkonnen was suddenly surrounded he took a step back, but the Atreides was in a rage and leaped at him knocking him out and down to the ground. The Fremen PC dived out and pinned the Harkonnen and the Atreides quickly finished him off.

The thopter started readying for lift off and they climbed back on board and took off just as the big door of the bunker started opening. They flew up over the ridge and the two PCs were dropped off before the thopter was  flown south.

The PCs took the time to see to their wounds and damaged stillsuits, no point in dehydrating to death! That done, they decided to return to the village, taking the carbine they had liberated from the thopter. They were thinking of protecting the villagers from any Harkonnen repercussions.  As they arrived in the village three Harkonnens were marching into it from the other end. They were blowing horns and summoning the villagers. The villagers were scared, this was unusual and anything unusual the Harkonnens did was always bad for the villagers.

The PCs hatched a plan, the Atreides would take the carbine and shoot a Harkonnen as the Fremen simultaneously attacked from behind. But the Atreides couldn't wait for his pal to get into position (compel) and shot one of the Harkonnens. The other two bad guys flicked on their shields and met the Fremen hand to hand. The Atreides PC threw away the carbine and ran into the combat.

It was bloody, and FATE points were drained from the PCs. It ended with a villager on the Harkonnen's knife, the Atreides bleeding from a serious wound and the last Harkonnen all but beheaded.

There ended the session with the mission a complete success. The thopter was stolen, seven out of ten of the Harkonnen were dead and the remainder cut off from outside help.

The players were great, both thoughtful and inventive. They were not afraid to dive into the action when the time was right. One PC was almost killed in the final fight, but in the end seven for one would have been a good exchange wouldn't it. :)

Scenario and Char-Gen

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1 comment:

George Quail said...

Interesting to read you playing Dune. I a ran a Dune one-off myself last year using Burning Sands: Jihad and wrote
another session notes thing on my blog
, this time for 80s computer game themed "Save Game". I must confess to being a bit underwhelmed by the rules, which seem very popular in some quarters but at the table didn't really do anything for the group. I think we quite like light systems for games that focus more on inter-personal stuff - Primetime Adventures works good for us when we play Star Trek, where the Next Gen style isn't very gung-ho. For something more combat-focused, though, I dunno if Fate is just a little too light to scratch our itch. I do want to try Save Game again, though, so maybe my opinion will change on a second run.

I'm actually a bit surprised you didn't use Traveller for this idea, since there's a lot in Traveller that would be easily adaptable.