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From water does all life begin


Not technically a drug, but very important on Dune. In the cities, water-sellers charge 20-30 solaris for a litre of water. Both city and desert fremen do what they can to preserve water, though desert fremen are far better at this than those that live in the cities. Desert sietches have death stills, which can retrieve about 40 litres of water from a dead body.


Melange only occurs on Arrakis, but is one of the most important substances in the imperium. Various organisations depend on it, and many nobles are addicted to it.

A melange addict will receive the advantages Immunity to Disease, Longevity and Acute Vision (when on Arrakis or other planets close to bright A, F or G class stars). Once addicted the user can never safely discontinue use of the drug. If forced to withdraw, treat as per the disadvantage Terminally Ill with the character’s expected lifespan equal to his HT in weeks. Unless the addict can gain access to the drug, insanity begins to set in at HT/2 weeks (taking the form of several of the following disadvantages: Berserk, Delusions, Compulsive Behaviors, Mania, Manic-Depression, Paranoia, Phobias, Split-Personality). Access to the drug will reverse some of these effects if the user is not completely gone.

Melange is very expensive, and highly addictive. However, because of the preponderance of spice on the planet Arrakis, addiction to melange will occur naturally within one or two years of living there. It can be postponed a year or two by including many off-world foods into the diet, but is inevitable.

An addict requires two grams of spice per day. On Arrakis, melange is common enough in nature to meet an addicts requirements through normal food and drink. Off-world, however, a 2 gram dose costs $250. Melange is worth -25 points as an addiction, or -5 points if the character lives on Arrakis.

Nerve Poison

Used on crysknives, maula pistols, etc. A single dose injected into the body requires an immediate HT-4 roll to avoid being paralyzed for (30-HT) minutes. 4d damage is taken if an antidote is not taken within 5 minutes. A dose costs $5. Nerve poison is Legality Class 0.

Nerve Poison Antidote

An antidote for the nerve poison used by the Fremen. If it is successfully applied, the target will be immediately freed from the paralysis, and the 4d damage is not applied.

Fremen typically carry the antidote in disposable, one-shot applicators. Once the antidote has been administered, the applicator is discarded. Use of the applicator requires a First Aid roll, and the applicator gives the +1 bonus for using a first aid kit (an untrained Fremen using an applicator therefore rolls against IQ -4). On a critical failure, the dose is used up and so the applicator cannot be used for another try. More “civilised” people don’t tend to use one-shot applicators, and rely instead on their medical personnel.

Non-Lethal Poison

Used on crysknives, maula pistols, etc when expecting to capture, rather than kill. When injected into the body, it causes intense pain but no real damage: the victim loses no HT but has -1 to DX for the next hour, for each time he is hit with the poisoned weapon. This effect is immediate. A successful HT roll prevents all effects. This poison adheres well to a weapon: roll 1 die each time it strikes. The poison wears off only on a 1 or 2, and not at all on blocks and parries. A dose costs $5. Legality Class 0.

Water of Life

The bile of a sandworm, exhaled immediately before death by drowning. A Reverend Mother may change the water, turning it into a powerful narcotic. This is done by drinking a small amount, changing it, then regurgitating the changed water back into the original container. The changed water will lower inhibitions and, in the case of Fremen, release latent prescient and telepathic abilities.

A female character may drink the water of life in an attempt to become a Reverend Mother.

A male character taking the water of life will die in the same way as a female character that fails in an attempt to become a Reverend Mother. Roll vs IQ-4 to determine the time that death takes. If the roll is successful, death takes 10 minutes, otherwise, calculate it the same way as for a female character.


A very addictive narcotic, it is supplied as crystals. They can be swallowed in that form, or added to a drink.

In QAGS, an addict must make a test against their weakness before trying to do anything that requires willpower or concentration. If the weakness succeeds, they does not manage to do the thing.

It costs 700 solaris per kilogram.

dune/dune_sourcebook/06drugs.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/22 21:42 by russ