Rules, Errata, Clarifications
and Other Resources
Following are the rules which are used by my group, as
well as all of the errata that I could possibly dig up.
The ruleset represents the most accurate and true
to original design intent that I could possibly generate.
We play the most 'pure' game possible, avoiding variants,
expansions and house rules like the plague.
A few comments about my ruleset
As anyone who is familiar with the game knows, the original rules leave something to be desired (although they are not nearly so bad as some claim). The rulebook posted here is simply the basic rulebook with the language "cleaned up" to close loopholes and make the rules much more clear. Every effort has been made to stick to the intent of the original designers, which was much easier thanks to a couple of extensive Q&A files from Jack Kittredge and Peter Olotka (both original designers) that I found posted on the Dune Boardgame Yahoo Group.
The three original designers were responsible for only the Basic Game.
They designed neither the Optional rules nor the Advanced rules. My
group plays with all of the Optional rules but one, and none of the
Optional Rules: There are 5 Optional Rules - Additional Character Advantages, Weather, Special Karama Powers, Longer Game and Increased Spice Flow. The rule that we don't play with is the Longer Game rule (rule XVIII). The last thing that Dune needs is something to make it take longer than it already does! Each of the other rules I will address in turn...
- Additional Character Advantages (Rule XV): These additional advantages (listed on the back of the original player aid pad) include the Bene Gesserit power of co-existence and the Kwisatz Hadderach. They add a great deal of depth and individuality to each of the various factions and are accepted nearly universally by the Dune playing community. In my experience there are no balance issues regarding these rules, nor have I ever been made aware of this concern from others.
- Weather (Rule XVI): This rule allows the storm to be moved from 1-6 spaces instead of the 2-6 spaces of the basic game, and the Fremen player is allowed to know how far it will move in advance. Simple and reasonable, this is certainly the most innocuous of the Optional rules.
- Special Karama Powers (Rule XVII): The special Karama Powers may be the most controversial of the Optional rules. They include the Harkonnen's ability to exchange Treachery cards with another player, the Atreides' ability to look at a player's entire battle plan, the Fremen's ability to summon a worm at any time and the Bene Gesserit ability to use any useless card as a Karama card. Although these abilities may seem to be very powerful, they are only useable via Karama card (with the exception of the BG ability) and there are only two Karama cards in the deck. These powers really go lock-step with the Additional Character Advantages and add depth of play and (ultimately) fun to each of the various factions.
- Increased Spice Flow (Rule XIX): Not to be confused with the Advanced Rule Spice Blow (aka Double Spice Blow), the Increased Spice Flow rule simply allows the occupant(s) of Carthag, Arakeen and Tuek's Sietch to collect 2 spice, 2 spice and 1 spice respectively. The single spice awarded by Tuek's Sietch is often a mixed blessing. While it is nice to have even one more spice, it often denies the collection of CHOAM Charity for the impoverished. On the other hand, the 2 spice awarded for occupation of Carthag and Arakeen would seem to be additional gravy for already greatly beneficial strongholds. Well, let's consider the spice situation for a moment. The Emperor and the Guild are already lousy with spice. They spend little time rooting around planetside. The Fremen (who has least use for spice, save for Treachery cards) has the greatest access to spice. Most of the spice throughout the game blows in territories near the Fremen (and the good Fremen player makes it his business to spread himself out enough to capitalize on this). This means that the Atreides and Harkonnen, who have to maintain a large reserve in Carthag and Arakeen or risk losing them, have to fight amongst each other and the Fremen to get their spice. These two factions are often the first to run out of spice which can cause things to go downhill quickly for them. The extra spice awarded by Carthag and Arakeen may provide a little help keeping them afloat in times of trouble (but again, simply replaces CHOAM Charity in the case of total poverty). Lest you thing I've forgotten the Bene Gesserit, they start slowly, but once they get going they can fight for spice in the desert (quite effectively) but often gain their spice through the assassination of leaders (via the Voice).
- Advanced Combat (Rule XXII): This rule simply requires
that any tokens in combat be 'reinforced' by spice to count
as full value. Play of spice is optional, but any tokens non
backed up by spice on a one-for-one basis only count as half
value. The spice-rich Emperor and Guild already account for
an inordinate amount of solo wins and the Advanced Combat
rule would certainly benefit these two factions the most.
Spice is already enough of an issue in the game, and combat
complicated enough without adding the overhead of this
unneccessary addition which adds nothing else to the experience.
For this reason we ignore this foolishness.
- Spice Blow (Rule XXI): Also knows as Double Spice Blow, this rule really only exists to support the Advanced Combat rule (above) and is simply an attempt to balance out the spice inequity it generates. Because of this, the Spice Blow rule gets thrown out with the Advanced Combat rule.
- Collection Round (Rule XXIII): While there is technically a third Advanced Rule, it simply states that the Increased Spice Flow Optional rule must be used (which has already been covered above).
click to download
The Dune rulebook with clarified language, integrated Optional rules and as much Q&A as can be reflected in the original format.
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Q&A - Updated 07 April 2008
Unfortunately, I found some errors in the first one that I posted, so if you have a copy dated earlier than April 07, please trash it and download the corrected version.
click to download
The original Dune rulebook (complete with errors and vagaries) for archival purposes and those who differ from my Dune philosophy.