With the new Dune movie my interest in the setting is piqued. Here’s how I would tweak Fate to model the world of Dune’s Imperium.

TL;DR summary — these are a simple set of Fate Condensed modifications which emulate the Dune setting. It uses 2 column skills and has simple rules for Dueling and Houses.

Base Rules

Use Fate Condensed, modified by the below changes.


Replace the default skills with these two sets of skills.

  • Attributes: Might, Agility, Endurance, Wit, Perception, Charm
  • Values: Duty, Glory, Justice, Power, Truth, Vengeance

Attributes start in the range of -1 (untrained) to +2 (highly skilled). Assign the numbers +2, +1, +1, +0, +0, and -1 to your attributes in the order of your choice.

Values represent your morals and passions and as such operate a bit differently. You have 4 points to assign to the value skills as you see fit.

You could assign +1 on four values or +4 on the same value or any other combination adding up to +4. For example, you could end up with +1, +1, +1, +1, +0, +0 or +4, +0, +0, +0, +0, +0 or other variations. A character consumed by vengeance and blind to other values would assign +4 to vengeance.

When you take an action, you select one attribute and one value that applies to the situation. So a character fighting in melee (Might +2) for the sake of duty (Duty +3) could add those together for a +5 added to your skill roll.

Stress and Consequences

Your rating in Might and Wit affects how many total physical or mental stress boxes you have.  Characters start with 3 stress boxes. A +1 or +2 adds 1 to your stress boxes. A +3 or +4 adds 2 more to your stress boxes. Going from a +1 to a +2, or +3 to +4 doesn’t add another box. A +5 adds a second mild consequence slot specifically for physical or mental hits.

Optional Rule — Gritty Stress: Have players start with only 1 stress box in each category to emulate the brutality of the setting.


I’ll not list a comprehensive set of stunts here, but at a high level, for characters like Bene Gesserits or Mentats, you’ll want an aspect to represent that role, and one or more stunts to indicate their capabilities. Some ideas for stunt names to build out:

  • Bene Gesserit: The Voice, Weirding Way, Political Intrigue
  • House Noble: Spice Trade Economomist, Duelist, Galactic Diplomacy
  • Fremen: Sandriding, Sietch Leadership, Water Reclamation
  • Mentat: Data Analysis, Strategic Planning, Memory Techniques

As an example:

  • The Voice: You can use Wit instead of Charm for mental attacks. An enemy taken out in this way obeys your commands until the end of the scene.

(Hat tip to Steenan in this thread for inspiration on this stunt.)

In the above example, if your adversary is a Minor NPC with only 1 stress box and no consequences, The Voice is very powerful. Try that against Baron Harkonnen and you’ll probably be disappointed!


Follow the normal Fate Condensed rules. When you have an opportunity to increase a skill, you can select one attribute or one value to increase by +1 up to a maximum of +4. When an advancement allows you to switch the ranks of any two skills, the switch must happen within a single skill set (so you can’t swap a value rating with an attribute rating).


When fighting someone with an activated personal shield (also known as a Holtzman Shield), before you can deal damage, you must create an advantage named ‘The Slow Blade Penetrates The Shield’. This provides narrative justification for dealing damage (you’ve gotten your blade in a position and slow enough speed to deal damage), whether the aspect is invokes in a given attack or not. If someone has a activated shield, they cannot receive physical stress unless the opponent creates the advantage above. The opponent can roll to overcome this advantage.

(Hat tip to BabbageCliologic in this thread for this idea!)


Using the Fate Fractal, you can create a character that represents your House. A house has a single set of six skills:

  • Attributes: Economics, Espionage, Influence, Strategy, Technology, Warfare
  • Values: Duty, Glory, Justice, Power, Truth, Vengeance

A house has a single combined stress track that starts with the same number of stress as characters.

Houses don’t have their own Fate Points, but a character using a house’s attributes can spend their own personal Fate Points on a roll for the house. [EDIT: I’ve since changed this to be that the house has its own Fate Points to spend, and PCs can spend either the house’s Fate Points or their own when making a house related roll.]

Beyond this, build the house as you would any other character.

House Interactions

When you are leveraging you own house, use the house’s attributes instead of your own, selecting from a house attribute and your PC’s value in order to determine your combined skill rating for a roll. This represents you using the resources of your house to accomplish a task. (If PCs are not involved directly in the house action, use the house’s attributes instead of the PCs attributes, in addition to the house value.)

Houses can also interact at a macro level. Want to emulate a mass battle between houses? Model each house as a character and have them duke it out. Space fleet battles, propaganda campaigns, and many other macro events can be adjudicated this way.

Example Houses

And here is an example of the Fate Fractal in play for House Atreides.

House Atreides


  • Attributes: Economics +0, Espionage -1, Influence +2, Strategy +1, Technology +0, Warfare +1.
  • Values: Duty +2, Glory +0, Justice +2, Power +0, Truth +0 , Vengeance +0


  • High Concept: Noble Guardians of Arrakis
  • Trouble: Constant Threat from House Harkonnen
  • Other Aspects:
    • Ally of the Fremen
    • Keeper of Ancient Secrets
    • A Beacon of Honor in a Treacherous Universe


  • Desert Warfare Expertise: Once per session, House Atreides can leverage its alliance with the Fremen to gain a significant advantage in battles on Arrakis, receiving a +2 to Warfare when fighting on desert terrain.
  • Diplomatic Resolve: House Atreides can use its Influence skill instead of Economics when negotiating trade agreements or alliances, reflecting their ability to form connections not just through wealth but through shared values and respect.
  • Bene Gesserit Counsel: Thanks to their close ties with the Bene Gesserit (Jessica Atreides being a member), once per session, they can re-roll a failed Espionage or Strategy roll, representing the hidden advice and foresight provided by the sisterhood.

Stress and Consequences

3 stress boxes and standard mild, moderate, and severe consequence slots.

And here is House Harkonnen. This uses the ‘new character’ point build, but I would probably bump up some of the skill ratings for a real campaign.

House Harkonnen


  • Attributes: Economics +2, Espionage +1, Influence +0, Strategy +1, Technology -1, Warfare +1.
  • Values: Duty +0, Glory +0, Justice +0, Power +3, Truth +0, Vengeance +1


  • High Concept: Ruthless Sovereigns of Industrial Might
  • Trouble: Greed and Paranoia Within the Ranks
  • Other Aspects:
    • Masters of Espionage and Sabotage
    • Feared Across the Known Universe
    • A Dynasty Built on Oppression and Fear


  • Industrial Warfare: Once per session, House Harkonnen can exploit their technological and economic advantage to overwhelm an opponent in battle, granting them a +2 to Warfare when leveraging their industrial might.
  • Blackmail and Intimidation: Thanks to their extensive spy network, House Harkonnen can reroll a failed Influence roll once per session, representing their ability to coerce others through fear and blackmail.
  • Spice Extraction Efficiency: Their historical control over Arrakis has made them exceptionally skilled in spice mining. Once per session, they can use their Economics skill to create an advantage related to spice production, trade, or manipulation.

Stress and Consequences

3 stress boxes and standard mild, moderate, and severe consequence slots.

Final Thoughts

I created this conversion since I have bought most of the Modiphius Dune RPG books, but wan’t in love with the 2d20 system. I do think Modiphius’ Dune may have lurched more towards Fate than any previous 2d20 game I’m aware of. To convert a 2d20 character to Fate, just following this mapping (with adjustments for how aspects and stunts are written):

  • Talents = Stunts
  • Assets, Drive Statements, and Focuses = Aspects
  • Drive and Skill = 2 Column Skills (rated 4 to 8 in 2d20, and 0 to 4 in Fate)

To convert a Modiphius Dune stat block to Fate is a pretty easy task (especially if you use an AI like ChatGPT or Claude.ai) if you load up all the conversion rules above to give the AI context.