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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.

Review: Dicey Times

Here at the Sanctum Secorum, we don’t do many reviews and so, when we do? It is generally because something really stands out. This is another such case.

Dicey Times, a play on both the product and the troubled times in which we live, is a subscription box delivering a set’s worth (but not a set) of individually curated dice. We ordered a one-time box ($30) to give things a try and eagerly opened the box when it arrived.

I’ll start by pointing out that everything about this box is handled with a real attention to detail. Even the mailing box itself is chosen to be eye-catching and fun. While there is nothing wrong with a plain white box, just the simple act of bringing in the mail was already filling me with anticipation. Now, there is no unboxing video (although we may do one next time – see below) so here are a few more packing details. Wrapped in tissue was a bundle of confetti-colored excelsior, nestled in which were two small pouches and a box. Also included was a personalized note with wax seal.

Cracking open the seal revealed a note to the early adopters (we got in on the first shipment) and a curation list of the individual dice. The dice represented are the “traditional” polyhedral dice chain d4 through d20 with a bonus d6 thrown in. So, here is what we received.

Looking at the dice individually is where things got to be really fun!

“D20 – A weighty monster, this D20 is a unique dragon-themed die made of solid zinc alloy, and sized slightly above average. Guaranteed to make an impression on friends and surfaces alike, best to use with table protection!”

This die is beefy. It has a great weight in the hand and, upon close inspection has some really dice detailing. On the downside, it is a little tough to read at a distance, but a quick black wash would resolve that. This is one of the standouts in the box.

 

 

“D12 – Your D12 comes from a workshop in Poland known for its intricate designs.”

The copy for this die, one of my other favorites, is a bit light and I would love to know a bit more. Still, the pattern evokes Polish porcelain and my family has strong Polish ties. While your mileage may vary, I absolutely love this easy to read d12. How often does one say that?

 

 

“D% – I took a chance on these and only got one to try out – this die is fossilized coral, which is what gives it such interesting depth and detail.”

I recognize the numbering on this die (although the manufacturer doesn’t leap to mind). This is a nice looking piece, one I would be more likely to use as part of a set than individually, but a really nice addition to a dice collection.

 

 

“D10 – …I admit this D10 comes from a set. I included solely as a Star Wars tribute. May the Force be with you as you use it!”

While not a standout die (probably from a Chessex set), I understand that there are going to be some “ordinary” dice in the box to keep the price reasonable. This fits the bill, nothing special, but fully functional.

 

 

 

“D8 – A gorgeous acrylic, with iridescent swirls of sea blues and greens.”

Another “ordinary” die – but – it is a nice looking “ordinary” die. Every die doesn’t need to be cast of mithril, or carved from fire giant bone for me to enjoy it. This is simply a nice die. This one will go into one of my gaming bags and see use. Score another one for keeping the box affordable.

 

 

“D6 – Your D6 was lovingly handmade by a crafting duo who have spent the last ten years touring events in Europe to share their historical and fantasy creations, and have recently been able to open up their own store back home in Italy.”

This one gets a longer write up because this is what I’m calling “my conflicted die”from the box. The die itself feels like a laser cut balsa d6, that has been assembled, glued, and painted. It is really light in the hand and, bluntly, I’m never going to use it. That said, I do like the background of the die. I know a number of traveling entertainers and crafters who are wholly out of work at the moment due to Covid-19. Those folks are really struggling to make ends meet. So, as a die? Meh. As an act of support for a struggling crafter? Hell yes! Opinions on this die are likely going to be fairly strong among gamers; for me, the benefit outweighs the negative. It’ll go up with my other unused dice – and I am fine with that.

 

“D4 – Made from a zinc alloy with an enamel paint, this durable die is styled in an iron finish, with large, clear numbers for easy reading.”

Somewhere between a normal-sized d4 but not a micro die, this is a clean, easy to read d4. It’s actually easier to read than many of my larger dice. This will definitely go into one of my dice bags, but it not one for a place of honor among my collection. It is a nice little metal die though.

 

 

BONUS! I really appreciate you chipping in on this project. Thanks to your generous contribution, I was able to source a great selection, support some small businesses, and gather a few more dice than I expected! I’ve included an extra “thank you” die in your box – a black resin D6 with pirate skull pips. Hope it amuses you!”

So, I absolutely ADORE these dice. I first saw them in a targeted ad on Facebook and Judge Jen gave me a set of these d6s. They are great, and getting an extra one in this box was, for me, the icing on the cake. While I don’t know how much these cost, this certainly adds to my perceived value of what was in this first box.

 

As you may have guessed from the bonus text, this originally was put forth as a way to source some really cool dice as a gift for someone’s first set of dice. This allowed for the purchase of a number of really cool dice and everyone who chipped in ended up getting some really cool dice.

As someone who doesn’t often purchase loose dice, I was a bit leery of what I was going to think when I opened the box but, with shipping (and thanks to the bonus die) it worked out to $3.75/die. For the price, I’m really happy.

I’ve gotten related RPG-style boxes before of varying (and sadly oft-declining) quality. Those have often had dice but those dice were generally packs that one can buy on Ali Baba for $3 a set or so. Either that or REALLY ugly Chessex speckled dice that many stores cannot even give away. In short, they’ve always been giveaway dice. If a new player needs dice, I could give them a set and let them get started. There is a place for that sort of thing, but I’ve got enough sets like that to last me for years.

What came in the mail from Dicey Times was something wholly different. Every detail is meant to elevate the experience: the visually pleasing box, the bright tissue, plucking the pouches and box from the excelsior, and the satisfying act of breaking the wax seal. I was, quite literally, enjoying the opening of this box long before I had gotten to the dice.

Opening this box was fun!

I’ve bought a lot of dice, dice that I’ve really enjoyed getting (especially from our friends over at Crystal Caste) but I never imagined that getting a selection of unknown dice would be such fun. Dicey Times really sets a high bar for RPG boxes. This doesn’t feel like a bunch of thrown together remnants that are gathering dust in a warehouse, there really is an experience here. Additionally, if you really love one of the dice and wish you had a set? Dicey Times buys a lot of dice and will be happy to look through their remaining stock to see if they can help you assemble one.

There is nothing not to love here. Gamers supporting gamers and crafters to provide great stuff for more gamers. There are all sorts of interesting dice being manufactured out there these days and I’m looking forward to seeing where Dicey Times takes me next. Needless to say, we’ve gone from a one-time box to a subscription.

The business is VERY new, still working on getting a full web-presence up (again this just started out as a “do something nice for someone” project that has blossomed into something bigger), but you can jump in now by heading through the link below. Not only that, but you get to set your own price to help determine what you will end up receiving.

#DICEY TIMES

Sanctum Secorum LIVE

For those who missed the live broadcast of the Sanctum Secorum (which, after about 8 minutes, was everyone) here is the entire episode for your enjoyment. The Keepers of Mystery reunite to discuss the Goodman Games releases for DCC Day.

Announcing Skull & Crossbones Classics #1

1650-1720: The Golden Age of Piracy, a time where the seas were ruled by those with
the most powerful fleets – but those desperate (or greedy) enough could live like kings.

You are no hero…

You’re a pirate: a corsair, a buccaneer, a sea-beggar, a whipcord-tough cutthroat plying the
devil’s trade. You seek gold and glory, taking it with sword and cannon fire, awash in the
blood of those who would oppose you, and the tears of those too weak to stop you.

There are treasures to be won upon the seas, and you shall have them.

Issue #1

  • Core Rules – Character Basics
  • Mechanic – Star Signs
  • Character Class – The Jonah
  • Mechanic – The Devil’s Own Luck
  • Inspirations – Sailing Superstitions
  • Mechanic – Ill-Fortune
  • Monsters – Sea Beggar’s Bestiary
  • Inspirations – Appendix S

Print w/PDF
$5 + $1 S/H

  

PDF
$2 DrivethruRPG

News: Bradley K. McDevitt at the Black Swamp Arts Festival

Have you been wanting to lay hands on some original DCC art, but you don’t make it to the “big four” (Gen Con, Gary Con, Gamehole, and North Texas RPG) cons? Well, if you are near Bowling Green, Ohio? Well, you are in luck!

Saturday, beginning at 10am, Bradley K. McDevitt will be selling original art at the Stacked Deck (Bowling Green’s FLGS) during the Black Swamp Arts Festival. So head on out and say hi, pick up some art, and support our DCC community of artists and FLGS.

News: Rick Loomis (1947-2019)

The Sanctum Secorum is saddened to hear of the passing of another gaming legend. It is being reported by Full Metal RPG that Rick Loomis has passed away. Rick was one of the founding members of GAMA and served as its President several times. He founded Flying Buffalo Games in 1970, publishing Tunnels & Trolls, the Nuclear War Card Game, Grimtooth’s Traps and so much more.

Worse, even though he has passed, his struggles continue. In February he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. Even though he is a US army veteran and qualifies for medicare, his portion of the medical bills are in the tens of thousands of dollars placing a burden on his family and threatening the future of Flying Buffalo Games.

His family has started a GoFundMe to help cover the medical bills and Bundle of Holding currently has a bundle available to help defray these costs as well.

The passing of Rick Loomis diminishes us all.

 

News: Spreading the Joy

While DCC has had some appearances on the Free RPG Day Schedule, there have been no official events. Author/Artist Diogo Nogueira has been responsible for shouldering the effort of Free RGP Day Brazil but, this year, other obligations prevented him from doing so.

So, while speaking with New Order Editora, the Sanctum hatched a plan. So, with the aid of DCC’s Portuguese licensee, the Sanctum Secorum is sending our own little PDF care package.

The Tribe of Ogg & the Trials of Moss / A Tribo de Ogg e os Desafios de Moss has become the first Sanctum Secorum adventure to be translated into another language.  Sanctum Secorum Companion #41 is being made available in Portuguese for Free RPG Day in Brazil!

We would like to thank the folks over at New Order Editora who, while discussing the workings of Free RPG Day in Brazil simply asked “Do you have an adventure to publish?” In less than a week, the issue has been translated, laid out, and is ready to go. We would also like to thank Daniel J. Bishop (who originally created the Tribe of Ogg in The Tribe of Ogg and the Gift of Suss) and Paul Wolf of Mystic Bull Games for having allowed us to create this authorized sequel to their adventure in the first place.

We had hoped to provide a direct link to the official announcement of the release but, due to time zone differences, we are heading out the door shortly to go run a days worth of games (at Dungeon Games – Estero, FL). So, keep an eye on their Facebook page for more details!

So….want to see more translations of the Sanctum Secorum?