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Tales from the Sanctum

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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 #25 – The Fallible Fiend

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #25 Companion HERE!

He looked like a cross between a dragon and a catfish, and he could bend iron bars into pretzels with a flick of his hand. But what Zdim the mild-mannered demon really was, was a scholar of logic and philosophy. That’s why when Zdim was drafted for a year’s servitude on the mortal plane, he felt that a monumental administrative error had been made. And even though Zdim resolved to be absolutely obedient and to do exactly what he was told, the wizard who employed him (Dr. Maldivius) soon agreed…

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss L Sprague de Camp’s satirical fantasy novel The Fallible Fiend as well as Terry Olson’s adventure Elzemon and the Blood-Drinking Box.

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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 #21 – The Dying Earth

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #21 Companion HERE!

 “The six stories that make up the the first volume of the Dying Earth are all set in an undefined far future Earth, when the sun is nearing the end of its life. The sky ranges from pink to deep blue, lit by a dim red sun, and many strange plants and animals exist. Much of the story is set within the forested country of Ascolais*, and in the ruined cities that dot the landscape. Seekers of wisdom and beauty include lovely lost women, eccentric wizards and man-eating melancholy deodands. Twk-men ride dragonflies and trade information for salt. There are monsters and demons. It is a world where each being is morally ambiguous: the evil are charming, the good are dangerous.”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight’s episode takes you across the Dying Earth of Jack Vance, introduces you to the new Keeper of Mysteries, and announces the winners of our Tarzan content contest!

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Sanctum Secorum #19 – Steel Magic

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #19 Companion HERE!

episode-19-covers     “A girl and her two brothers are transported across time to the Avalon of King Arthur, where they must return three magic talismans to their rightful owners or remain trapped forever in the distant past. The adventure begins when Sara Lowry wins a picnic basket at the Firemen’s Strawberry Festival. She and her brothers, Greg and Eric, are staying with their uncle at his Hudson Valley estate while their parents are in Japan. Fascinated by the haunting history of the old manor, they pack a picnic lunch and begin their search for the legendary lost lake. They discover a medieval castle – and suddenly they’re enveloped by a gray mist that transports them back to the time of King Arthur! There, they are given an urgent mission to recover three lost talismans: Arthur’s sword, Excalibur; Merlin’s ring; and the horn of Huon, Warden of the West. Can Sara, Greg, and Eric fulfill their quest and save Avalon – the only place that stands between the Powers of Darkness and the mortal realm – and return to their own time?”

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast…

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Sanctum Secorum #18 – The People of the Pit

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #18 Companion HERE!

episode-18-covers“People of the Pit features a pair of prospectors, Starr Anderson and the narrator, Frank, who are exploring the North, looking for gold. There are hints of a backstory between the two men, painting them as more than mere prospectors and it creates an anticipation for oddness to come. We are then introduced to a secondary narrator. A man who, in classic fashion, crawls (near-dead) into the men’s camp. And the manner of his crawling is horrific in itself. This is no collapsing half-stagger, no dragging himself along the floor, but as the narrator says, ‘it was like a baby crawling upstairs. The forepaws lifted themselves in grotesquely infantile fashion’ . On top of this, he wears a band of gold round his waist, and a chain. Gold, of course, is what has brought the explorers to this place, but when they remove it, ‘it was like no gold I had ever handled. […]  it had an unclean, viscid life of its own. It clung to the file. […] It was – loathsome’ . Something is clearly not right when a man in search of gold actively throws it away.
The story then turns to the tale of the narrator, telling a story of a lost civilisation in the bottom of a ravine. Not any old ravine, however, but ‘Imagine the Grand Canyon five times as wide and with the bottom dropped out’. As one can expect, it gets a lot weirder from there…”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast where even attending a convention cannot disrupt things. While the Keepers of Mysteries attend Gamehole Con I, the Gatekeeper of the Sanctum, bring you the latest episode. Tonight the Keepers discuss a story by Abraham Merritt and bring it to your DCC table!

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Episode #12 – Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman

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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 #10 – The Maker of Gargoyles

Get the Sanctum Secorum #10 Companion here!

Episode #10 CoversThe third story in Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne cycle, the story takes place in the fictional French town of Averoigne. Much as Lovecraft based Arkham on Boston, Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne is based on the very real Auvergne region. Even more closely tying this story to our previous episode, H. P. Lovecraft wrote a story “Out of the Aeons” that also intertwines with this fictional province as have a number of other authors. Certainly this is a region filled with potential. All told Clark Ashton Smith left us with eighteen pieces, some incomplete, others mere outlines, of events transpiring in this area.

The story itself involves a stonecutter, shunned and feared by the people of the area, whose affections towards a local girl are spurned, if she recognizes he exists at all. Hired to create a pair of gargoyles for the new cathedral, he cuts two pieces of true masterwork but, in doing so, pours all of his negativity, hatred and lust into their creation. Infused with these black emotions, the gargoyles come to life and wreak havoc leaving death in their wake.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we examine a work by famed author Clark Ashton Smith and match it Carnival of the Damned by the Sanctum’s own David Baity.

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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Episode #06 – Eye of Cat

Get the Sanctum Secorum #06 Companion on DrivethruRPG

#06 CoversWilliam Blackhorse Singer is the Star Tracker — an expert in the pursuit and capture of exotic life forms. The last warrior of the Navajo people, he is a man out of time and place, adrift in an uncertain future. And now he must join forces with an enemy shapeshifter called Cat — the lone surviving member of an extinct alien race — to track down and eliminate a dangerous extraterrestrial assassin. For Singer, it is a costly collaboration. For once the killer is disposed of, the true hunt is to begin: a relentless and deadly chase across worlds and into the heart of ancient mysteries…with the hunter as prey.

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look at Eye of Cat by Roger Zelazny and pair that up with the weird West world of Black Powder, Black Magic. In addition, we bring you some of the most dangerous creatures your players may ever face (and more) after the jump…


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Episode #05 – Song of Sorcery

Get the Sanctum Secorum #05 Companion here or on DrivethruRPG
Get the audio of the Gypsy Rover by Marooned

Episode #05 CoversColin Songsmith sings a song to an old witch who takes an unlikely revenge. The witch’s granddaughter rescues him from the dire threat of being eaten alive by the cat. She hears the song, which happens to concern her recently married sister and a gypsy. Convinced that she has to save her sister, she takes the minstrel, the cat, and her magical resources to Rowan Castle. The story is rich with descriptive details of setting and encounters with magical and fantastic creatures such as a talking cat, a lovesick dragon, and a bear prince.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look at a book not from Appendix N, but certainly one of the period and by an author contemporary with a number of others on the list. We then pair the story with our featured adventure, Prince Charming, Reanimator to really bring some flair to the table.

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game: classes, monsters, spells and more…after the jump.

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