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 Spacing Guild is one of the most powerful factions in the universe, controlling all foldspace travel, and by extension, all trade. While every House has spacecraft capable of faster than light travel, they are still far slower than the vast Guild Heighliners that can cross interstellar distances in moments. Without the Guild, the Imperium is simply a host of lost planets calling out to a black wilderness where no one can hear.
The most famous members of the Guild are the Navigators who pilot the great Heighliners. But there are a host of other people running Guild operations across the Imperium. The Guild maintains a strict neutrality in House and Imperium affairs and so has also become one of the most trusted banking institutions. Agents of the Guild are sought after contacts for their financial advice as much as their contacts to the powerful Guild. While any agent remains neutral and loyal to the Guild, some are attached to Houses. They are placed to either keep an eye on the House or help facilitate the needs of a favored customer. Every now and again the prescient Guild Navigators will mark a House as important and worthy of observation, because of something they have seen in their visions.
Some examples of potential player character Spacing Guild agents are:
While only a Navigator can pilot a foldspace vessel, there are a myriad of other craft used day-to-day within the Guild. Shuttles take passengers to and from Heighliners and ferry people and cargo across planets or even within star systems. While many Houses trust their own people, Guild-trained pilots are among the best, and familiar with a wide range of systems and craft.
Trade is the lifeblood of all the Houses, and the most lucrative deals are those made planet-to-planet. If anyone in a House needs to travel somewhere, or move assets or large cargo, a Guild agent can be a vital advisor. Knowing the Guild protocols as they do, and with contacts across space, they know the fastest and most efficient routes to follow and take passage on. They can time your transport to be ready the moment a Heighliner appears in the system and possibly pull a few strings if you need any special considerations. Those who know the system often know the best ways around it, and the Guild is good at turning a blind eye for the right customer.
A similar role uses the Guild agent’s contacts and knowledge in a more advisory way. With contacts across space, and a good knowledge of other worlds, they know what people need across the Known Universe. They can tell their House who might be selling a cheap commodity that can sell for a fortune elsewhere. Even if their personal contacts don’t stretch so far, they have contacts among other spacefarers who can furnish them with all the latest rumors and news.
Few people know banking like the Guild, making their financial advice highly sought after. Just as ships move across the Imperium, so does money, and managing such resources well can bring a House to riches. Coupled with a reliable Mentat to record the accounts and keep a few secret ledgers in the darker corners of their mind, a Guild advisor can bankroll all manner of operations under the Imperial gaze.
While not everyone can become a Navigator, many take the test. It is as simple as it is extreme, with the candidate being bathed in orange spice gas to see if they can free their mind into the vastness of the universe. Those who cannot remain planet-bound, never to be given another chance. But that does not mean they cannot serve the Guild in other ways. For most people, a failure at the test has few lasting effects. But some awaken some prescient aspect, even if it wasn’t strong enough to pilot a vessel in foldspace. Such agents often get visions of the future or can connect to close friends in their mind if the tides of the void flow in their favor.