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Amid escalating conflict between Earth and mysterious alien Outsiders, massive armadas from both sides are set to meet in what looks to be an evenly matched battle. Bob Carson, the pilot of a small one-man scout ship blacks out while engaging with an Outsider counterpart. When he awakens, he finds himself naked in a small enclosed, circular area about 250 yards (230 m) across. In the distance is an Outsider, which Carson labels a “Roller” because its form is that of a red sphere about 1 yard in diameter with several dozen tentacles.

Carson hears a voice in his mind that identifies itself as an evolved intelligence that has decided to intervene because the upcoming war would utterly destroy one side and hurt the other so badly that it would not be able to one day advance into an evolved intelligence like itself. This Entity therefore chose one individual from each species to fight in single combat. The loser will doom its kind to instant extinction. Carson and his opponent discover through trial and error that there is an invisible barrier between them, and that only inanimate objects can cross it. Carson tries to communicate with the Roller, to see if a compromise is possible, but receives a mental message of unremitting hatred. The battle is joined.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look to the past while we discuss Fredric Brown’s classic story, Arena.

Dark Acquisitions

Artifacts of the Ancients
Disruption Ray – Ian Shears (see Monsters: Gringolek)
Energy Pistol – Bob Brinkman (see NPCs: Shala Al Farûl)
Exosuit – Ian Shears (see Monsters: Gringolek)

Space Dwarves – Ari-Matti Piippo

Encounter in a Punjar Tavern – Bob Brinkman

Gringolek – Ian Shears

Rocco Hawser – Bob Brinkman w/Jim DelVasto
Shala al Farûl – Ian Shears

Ghost Smoker – Bob Brinkman (concept by Saint Karloff)

All Heed the Dark God (Saint Karoloff) – Bob Brinkman
Secrets of the World Harvesters (Purple Pirate Games) – Bob Brinkman

The Stacks

Appendix N
Arena by Fredric Brown

The 998th Conclave of Wizards by Jobe Bittman
Death by Nexus by the Dungeon Crawl Cabal
Enter the Dagon by Harley Stroh
Escape from the Purple Planet by Harley Stroh
The Hypercube of Myt by the Dungeon Crawl Cabal

The Ritual (song) by Alexander CourageGerald FriedBob Karlan

Road Crew Appearances
* Cory Welch @ TPK Gaming in Glen Ellyn, IL
* Judges Hoi, Andrew Sternick, Vasili Kaliman, and David Willems @ The Brooklyn Strategist in New York, NY
* M Nicksic @ Tacoma Games in Tacoma, WA (every Saturday)
* Daniel J. Bishop @ Sword & Board in Toronto, ON
* Mike Carlson @ Everybody Reads Books & Stuff in Lansing, Michigan
* Tim Loughrist @ Blank Comics in Florence, AL
* Christian Burd @ The Beer Temple in Chicago, IL.
* Mario Garcia @ Funagain Games in Eugene, OR
* Bob & Jen Brinkman @ Dungeon Games in Estero, FL

Crawljammer from Moon Dice Games
Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms from Leviathan Games
Hubris from DIY RPG Productions
Mutant Crawl Classics from Goodman Games
The Purple Planet from Goodman Games
Star Crawl from Tuesday Night Fiend Club
Umerica from Shield of Faith Studios

Crawl! from Stray Couches Press
Crawljammer from Moon Dice Games

Thanks to

Sanctum Secorum’s theme music was created using Seating Incantation by Landmark Entertainment