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Exclusive cover art from Dune: Adventures in the Imperium tabletop role-playing game

Pre-orders begin Dec. 7

A sandworm surfaces on Arrakis. In the foreground, three characters run toward a waiting ‘thopter. Image: Modiphius Entertainment
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Dune: Adventures in the Imperium, the highly anticipated new tabletop role-playing games, goes up for pre-order on Dec. 7. Polygon has new details about the scope and scale of the ambitious RPG, plus an exclusive reveal of the cover art.

Based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, the Dune RPG joins a cavalcade of other gaming and media projects — including a fantastic new board game — timed around the release of the major motion picture by Denis Villeneuve. Developed and published by Modiphius, the RPG’s core rulebook is expected in 2021, along with custom dice and other gaming aids.

Three nobles stand near a holographic image of Dune, run through with multiple swords. Image: Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme/Modiphius Entertainment

The 336-page hardcover will have a primary cover as well as three collector’s edition covers, which will help to give some visual variety around the table. The primary cover features art by Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme, who has previously illustrated the Kult RPG and Magic: the Gathering. Alternate covers will each highlight one of the game’s most famous factions: House Atreides (green), House Harkonnen (red), and the Imperial House Corrino (purple).

A green Atreides cover.
A red Harkonnen cover.
A red House Corrino cover.

In a recent issue of the Modiphia magazine, line manager Andrew Peregrine also gave new details on what part of the sprawling Dune universe the game will focus on. Rather than playing at court intrigue in some far-off Landstraad house, players will instead fight their battles on the planet Arrakis itself during the events of the original novel.

“Arrakis is where the adventure is,” Peregrine wrote. “Spice is the most important substance in the universe, and Arrakis is the only place to get it. Every faction wants more of it, or to discover its secrets, and to do that they need to come to Arrakis.”

An interpretation of the Gom Jabbar shows the mysterious box on top of an ornate pillar. Image: Modiphius Entertainment

Modiphius has assembled a diverse and experienced team for the project. They include Peregrine as well as game designer Nathan Dowell, who adapted Modiphius’ own 2d20 ruleset for the game system. The team also include Richard August, Banana Chan, Simon Berman, Rachael Cruz, Jason Durall, Khaldoun Khelil, Helena Nash, Jack Norris, Chris Spivey, Mari Tokuda, Peter Wright, and Ben Woerner. This team has had a hand in many previous tabletop games, including Dungeons & Dragons, Conan, Doctor Who, Harlem Unbound, Infinity, Mutants & Mastermind, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Warhammer 40,000.