By Andrew Peregrine
In Dune: Adventures in the Imperium there are several character types that offer special powers and abilities. We call these faction characters as most have a form of dual allegiance to both the House they serve and the faction that trained them.
In this series, we look at each of these: what they can do, what powers they have, and what sort of characters you can play. However, it is important to note that all of them have options beyond what we detail here. The faction gives them advanced training and a background, but the potential is limitless.
The Fremen are a complex people, and ones who do not give their loyalty easily. It is possible to recruit them as agents of a House, but their loyalty will always remain true to their sietch and tribe. Having said that, a few outcasts look to a House to give them a new home, but those the Fremen exclude are rarely trustworthy. So those who serve one of the noble Houses are usually impressed by the House in some way. The House might have helped the Fremen themselves or their community in the past. If so, the Fremen character is a living reminder of a debt owed and the support of the sietch. Conversely a similar debt might be owed to the Fremen, making the character a reminder of what is owed to them.
While rare, some Fremen choose to serve a House for the sake of its individual members, if they have impressed them enough. However, in all cases, the friendship of a Fremen does not always mean access to all the mysteries of Arrakis and the Fremen way of life. The Fremen keep their secrets, even from their friends if they are outsiders.
While Fremen are exceptionally tough fighters, they are not all warriors. Each community needs leaders, crafters, and gatherers to survive and the Fremen are nothing if not self-sufficient. A life in the deserts of Arrakis offers little mercy for those who cannot take care of themselves.
Some examples of potential player character Fremen are:
Given their prowess, this is the more obvious focus for a Fremen player character. Fremen make very tough opponents and their skill with a blade is almost unrivaled. However, they are not as familiar with mass warfare and more advanced technology, and so work best as guerilla fighters unless their leader has the right skills. A team with such a warrior on their side need not fear many blades.
The Fremen are not just fighters: they know Arrakis. Having worked as servants and among the ordinary people of Dune, they are familiar with Arrakeen and Carthag to an exceptional degree. They know the places nobles never see and can navigate the maze of streets like the back of their hand.
While any Fremen is potentially a link to their people, it might also be the focus of a character. If a deal has been struck, it is not uncommon for a single agent to act as the conduit between both sides. They will be looking out for the interests of both parties, but to see also that the House maintains its side of the bargain and remains a partner worthy of the tribes' respect.
The Fremen don't just live on Arrakis: it is their home. As some of the few people in the universe who do not rely on spice, they look forward to a day when Arrakis might have the same verdant gardens other planets have. For many, this is not just a dream but a clear and definite plan. Hidden in the desert, under the leadership of Liet Kynes, are several labs and hydroponics systems that will one day make the face of Arrakis green. Many Fremen are dedicated to this dream as a holy mission and work hard, not only to make it a reality but to protect its secrecy.
Faith is important to the Fremen, and the sands of Dune are littered with prophecy. The Sayyadinas serve the spiritual needs of the tribe, but many follow the path of Shai-Hulud and seek answers to the mysteries of the universe. A Fremen who has studied these myths might see something in the House worth following up on. Is someone among the House touched by the hand of fate? Are they someone the Fremen must be ready for, as an ally or an enemy?