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Tales from the Sanctum

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Welcome

The Sanctum Secorum podcast plumbs the depths of Appendix N as it applies to DCC RPG. Each show reviews one piece of Appendix N media — be it literature or film — and then discusses how to bring aspects of it to the table for your DCC game. We explore how the selected piece might already easily fit into particular modules and DCC settings, and we highlight one specific DCC module that really ties into the Appendix N material.

Enter the Sanctum Secorum… and be inspired.

Sanctum Secorum #37 – The Maker of Universes

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #37 Companion HERE!

The story follows Robert Wolff, a man disenchanted with his life and his marriage. One day, while looking at a new house, Wolff discovers a strange horn in the basement. Blowing the horn, Wolff is transported to a strange new world, the World of Tiers. Wolff finds himself initially in an edenic paradise known as Okeanos. This region is the first level of the planet, which contains a number of tiers like a wedding cake, separated by vast mountain ranges. The entire planet is ruled over by a cruel and mysterious lord named Jadawin, who created it. Okeanos consists of a beach, an ocean, and a small forest and is populated by nymph-like humans who originated in and near ancient Greece. In this new world, Wolff regains his youth and vigor and falls in love with a local woman named Chryseis who lived in Troy at the time of the Trojan War.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss the Maker of Universes, the first book in Philip José Farmer’s World of Tiers series and pair it up with The Dread God Al-Khazadar.

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News: April Contest Winners

Our April contest theme was “Gonzo”, an anything goes sort of category. We were wholly unprepared for the amount of submissions that we would receive. Seriously, we will have content from the April entries popping up for a long time because…Wow! Several folks certainly wanted to be sure of a win and avalanche of content was the result (we should have contests more often). After being up all night, the drawing is finally done and soon I will enter the Prize Closet of Mysterytm to select our runner up’s prize.

As rolled at random, our winners are

1st Place – Daniel J Bishop’s The Altar of Woeful Consumption
* 1 copy of Super No. 1 Food Tower
* 1 sheet of pregen characters

2nd Place – Ian Shears’ Patron spell, Infernal Voice
* To be determined by the Prize Closet of Mysterytm

Look for these fantastic entries in upcoming Sanctum Secorum Companions!

Sanctum Secorum #33 – The Powder of Hyperborea

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #33 Companion HERE!

Retired master-thief Satampra, Zerios of Uzuldaroum recounts an adventure from days gone by when he and his two companions (Vixeela and the dubious magician/alchemist Veezi Phenquor) endeavored to rob the temple of the moon god Leniqua, and steal away with the Thirty-Nine girdles of virginity by means of stealth, cunning, and a little bit of hyperborean chemistry. Originally published in the Saturn Science Fiction & Fantasy, it is the last of Clark’s Hyperborea cycle.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look at a work by Clark Ashton Smith, The Powder of Hyperborea and match it up with Edgar Johnson’s delightful Street Kids of Ur-Hadad.

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Sanctum Secorum #27 – The King of Elfland’s Daughter

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #27 Companion HERE!

The lord of Erl is told by the parliament of his people that they want to be ruled by a magic lord. Obeying the immemorial custom, the lord sends his son Alveric to fetch the King of Elfland’s daughter, Lirazel, to be his bride. He makes his way to Elfland, where time passes at a rate far slower than the real world, and wins her. They return to Erl and have a son, but in the manner of fairy brides of folklore, she fits uneasily with his people. She returns to the waiting arms of her father in Elfland, and her lovesick husband goes searching for her, abandoning the kingdom of Erl and wandering in a now-hopeless quest. However, Lirazel becomes lonesome for her mortal husband and son. Seeing that she is unhappy, the King of Elfland uses a powerful magic to engulf the land of Erl. Erl is transformed into a part of Elfland, and Lirazel and her loved ones are reunited forever in an eternal, enchanted world.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss Lord Dunsany’s novel The King of Elfland’s Daughter as well as Daniel J. Bishop’s adventure Through the Dragonwall.

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Sanctum Secorum #24 – Three Hearts and Three Lions

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #24 Companion HERE!

Holger Carlsen is an American-trained Danish engineer who joins the Danish Resistance to the Nazis. At the shore near Elsinore he is among the group of resistance fighters trying to cover the escape to Sweden of an important scientist (evidently, the nuclear physicist Niels Bohr). With a German force closing in, Carlsen is shot – and suddenly finds himself carried to a parallel universe, a world where Northern European legend concerning Charlemagne (“The Matter of France”) is real. This world is divided between the forces of Chaos inhabiting “Middle World” (which includes Faerie) and forces of Law based in the human world, which is in turn divided between the Holy Roman Empire and the Saracens. He finds the equipment and horse of a medieval knight waiting for him. The shield is emblazoned with three hearts and three lions.

 

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss Poul Anderson’s seminal work Three Hearts and Three Lions as well as Terry Olson’s new adventure Escape from the Shrouded Fen. We like one of these far more than the other…can you guess which?

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Sanctum Secorum #17 – A Night in the Lonesome October

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #17 Companion here!

episode-17-covers“A Night in the Lonesome October is narrated from the point-of-view of Snuff, a dog who is Jack the Ripper‘s companion. The story reveals that once every few decades when the moon is full on the night of Halloween, the fabric of reality thins and doors may be opened between this world and the realm of the Great Old Ones. When these conditions are right, men and women with occult knowledge may gather at a specific ritual site to hold the doors closed, or to help fling them open. Should the Closers win, then the world will remain as it is until the next turning… but should the Openers succeed, then the Great Old Ones will come to Earth, to remake the world in their own image (enslaving or slaughtering the human race in the process). The Openers have never yet won. These meetings are often referred to as “The Game” or “The Great Game” by the participants, who try to keep the goings-on secret from the mundane population.
    Each Player has a familiar – an animal companion with near-human intelligence that helps complete the numerous preparations for the ritual. The majority of the story describes the interactions and discussions of these animals, all from Snuff’s point of view. Throughout the book, the Players slowly take sides, form alliances, make deals, oppose one another, and even kill off their enemies. The plot accelerates until the night of October 31st, when the ritual takes place and the fate of the world is decided.”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. No storm can breach the Sanctum Secorum’s walls and once again the doors open to give shelter and to provide enlightenment. In this, special length anniversary episode, we prepare for Halloween with a work by Roger Zelazny. In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your DCC RPG table!

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Sanctum Secorum #16 – Purple Priestess of the Mad Moon

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #16 Companion here!

Episode #16 Covers“Harvey Selden goes down to Mars from an observation ship, and accepts an invitation to visit Firsa Mak’s house by his friend Bentham. He meets a martian woman, Lella, of a type he has not seen before. From there he is shanghaied into observing the Purple Priestess Mad Moon ritual and isn’t able to cope, but survives. The others want him to tell the Bureau, but he runs for Earth instead, into therapy. However, at the end a communique arrives from Lella, saying she is waiting for him at the next ritual.”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we look at a work by the Queen of the Space Opera, Leigh Brackett. In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your DCC RPG table including a mini-adventure!

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Episode #12 – Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman

Get the Sanctum Secorum #12 Companion here!

Episode #12 CoversFrom the world beyond–or past–time Kothar comes. From out of the deepest, most violent recesses of mankind’s collective memory, Kothar the gigantic barbarian strides, the enchanted sword Frostfire glittering in his mighty hand. Lusty, hot-blooded, masterful, unafraid of things real or unreal, Kothar dominates the misty, bloody world before recorded time. Yet, though Kothar’s world existed in another age–perhaps another dimension–it springs vividly to life. Mapped, charted, chronicled, Kothar’s fantastic world suddenly becomes real–the sorcerers, dragons, witches, evil potions, unspeakable monsters. And Kothar, an epic hero for any age, overshadows everything.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we look at the world of Gardner F Fox’s Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman.

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game: classes, magic items and so much more…after the jump.

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Episode #11 – Another Fine Myth

Get the Sanctum Secorum #11 Companion here!

Episode #11 CoversSkeeve, a magician‘s apprentice and wannabe thief from the dimension Klah, tries to learn the basics of magic from Master Magician Garkin for several months but to no avail. Skeeve can do little more than float a feather or light a candle using magic. Wanting to convince Skeeve that being a thief is not as good as being a magician, Garkin summons a demon. During the summoning an assassin barges into the hut, and Garkin and the assassin kill each other. Skeeve is left alone with the demon. To Skeeve’s surprise the demon politely introduces himself as Aahz. Aahz explains that demon is slang for Dimension Traveler. He further explains that there are thousands of dimensions with different races in them, and that he is from the dimension of Perv, making Aahz a Pervect, while Skeeve is a Klahd. Aahz is a master magician like Garkin but loses his magical powers during the summoning ritual (due to a practical joke played on him by Garkin) and becomes stranded in Klah. Aahz volunteers to take Skeeve on as his apprentice and teach him magic. The pair then embark on a series of misadventures.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode, in honor of April 1st, we’ll take the opportunity to look at the lighter side of fantasy with Robert Asprin’s Another Fine Myth!

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game: classes, magic items and so much more…after the jump.

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Episode #09 – H. P. Lovecraft

Get the Sanctum Secorum #09 Companion on DrivethruRPG.

Episode #09 CoversH. P. Lovecraft was a master of pulp horror and, love him or hate him, his influence on modern culture cannot be ignored. Name-dropped by such authors as Stephen King and Robert Bloch; referenced on such television programs as The Night Gallery, The Venture Brothers, and Supernatural; and influential in comics such as Bat-Man (yes, Arkham Asylum really was a nod to Lovecraft) Lovecraft’s reach is long indeed. His communication and collaboration with other greats such as Robert E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and the rest of the “Lovecraft Circle” have shaped fantasy and horror for generations.

Tonight we merely skim the surface, discussing two of Lovecraft’s works, delving into the squamous side of things we discuss Dagon and The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we examine two of the works by Appendix N author, and literary legend, H. P. Lovecraft and match them up with The Portsmouth Mermaid from Daniel J. Bishop and Purple Duck Games.

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game: magic items, weapons, and so much more…after the jump.

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