Skip to main content

Tales from the Sanctum

Card Catalog


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.

The Sanctum Secorum Reading Room: Quag Keep

Join two of our Keepers of Mysteries as they discuss Andre Norton’s Quag Keep, in this first in a series exploring the women of Appendix N.

Originally broadcast live on the Goodman Games twitch channel on January 21, 2022.

Sanctum Secorum #46 – Dead Birds

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #46 Companion COMING SOON

 A group of Confederate deserters, with the help of an escaped slave and an army nurse, stage a robbery at a bank holding a cache of rebel gold. Needing a place to rest for the night, the criminals set up camp in a mansion overlooking an abandoned plantation. En route through the fields, they find a strange scarecrow, which they believe is actually a crucified man, and shoot a strange deformed creature.

It soon becomes obvious that the old house is not as empty as they thought. The former owner was a gentleman farmer with a wife and two children. When his wife died, he attempted to bring her back by sacrificing his children, slaves, and any other living creature, hoping that black magic acquired from his slaves’ native rites would return her to life. However, this simply allowed evil spirits to take over his victims, and these remain in the house, attacking all who dare enter.

A storm is coming … both in the night skies and in the shadowy plantation house.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight, the Keepers of Mysteries once again head to the old West with returning Keeper of Mysteries, David Baity!

Read More

#Dicember2021 Day 1

The #DICEMBER2021 challenge is to produce something dicey / RPG / dice game-related each day of December and release it with the #DICEMBER or #DICEMBER2021 tag.

This can be a blog or social media post, a drawing of something RPG-related, a drawing or photograph of actual dice, a random table or die-drop table for us to chuck dice on, etc. The field is wide open, make it dice-related, and honestly, decide for yourself whether you are following the prompts or doing your own thing. We’re cool with it either way.

Dice on!

#Dicember is the creation of Brian Bird

Read More

Some thoughts on the Goodies

Recently, at the end of Empire of Cyclops Con’s celebratory wind-down, Goodman Games hosted the “Goodie” awards. There were a number of worthy folks there and there were many people congratulating the winners…but I’d lean more towards calling them “recipients” rather than winners…and here is why.

Now first, I’ll point out that I was one of those recipients this year – for being on track to run over 100 games this year. Despite this award, and the rarefied company I found myself in this year, such an award differs from many of the others given out last night. While I do include my award as part of my “recipient” commentary, it isn’t really illustrative of my point. I ran a whole bunch of games and, while I’m sure we can agree that it is a nice thing to do, it is NOT on the level of the people I want to talk about today. I’m not trolling for compliments, I’m happy to have my goodie and thrilled that I was nominated. It is just that I think there are some awards that had FAR greater meaning and while there are so many possibilities, it is two of those recipients in specific that I will be addressing to illustrate my point.

Mica Fetz – What an amazing human being. I had the opportunity to see one of the nomination letters for him and I wholly understand why Jen was moved to near tears last night while giving out that award. Mica represents the best in all of us, working diligently to break down the real, physical barriers that prevent some people from being able to play. Their efforts enrich our community by bringing people to the table who otherwise couldn’t do so. Just ponder that for a moment. Mica is ACTIVELY bringing people, not just to our community, but to the table in general. People for whom this is a very important thing. Mica is literally, no exaggeration, changing people’s lives by helping them find friends, community, and gaming.

Raven Shadowz – Those of you on the DCC RPG Rocks page have likely encountered Raven. If you haven’t, you have missed out. This exuberant member of the Order of Shanna, is much more than simply a “part” of our community. Raven Shadowz really came to my attention during the Crypt of the Devil Lich kickstarter when they mentioned their plan to purchase extra copies as prize support for an event they are planning to run after the project ships. Now, lots of people do prize support for events, I wholly understand that. But, the Crypt of the Devil Lich as a prize is only the beginning…

In OSR circles, much is made of the term “the Old Guard”, referring to those individuals who brought us the gift of gaming in the first place. In a more local form, DCC has its own “Old Guard” from the days before its release. Not only the people who worked on the game, but those who were there at the beginning, play testing. I, certainly, do not fall into that group – I came along later, in what could be termed the second wave. Each subsequent wave has gotten larger, and each wave has brought us new faces with boundless enthusiasm. Both of these people are at the forefront of these waves. Hell, enthusiasm just doesn’t seem to describe it. They represent exactly what our community wants, good people, open, welcoming, kind, and giving.

The DCC community is rare in gaming, in that newcomers can come in and ask questions, without getting flamed for asking something simple. Indeed, it is the sort of people that attack newcomers who are generally shown the door from the social side of DCC. Anyone can play, but if you aren’t at least nice? Well, unkind people don’t find themselves welcomed with hugs and hearty greetings when we gather. The DCC community is something truly special.

That is why I think that the people awarded Goodies are “recipients”, not winners. People like Mica and Raven Shadowz show us that the REAL winners at the Goodies are the members of the DCC community. We all win when we have folks like these, as well as so many others, as part of our circle.

  • Steve Barnett
  • Eric Daum
  • Mica Fetz
  • Ray Franklin
  • Hugh Kaserman
  • William Keller
  • Erica King
  • Alex Kurowski
  • Christian Ovensik
  • Yorkus Rex
  • Matt Robertson
  • Jim Searcy
  • Raven Shadowz
  • Haley Skach
  • Jonathan Snodgrass
  • Ed Stanek
  • Mica Stanton
  • Harley Stroh
  • Rev. Dak Ultimak
  • Jon Wilson
  • Dieter Zimmerman

Those are the people who are going to be taking our community to the next level.
Those are the people who are making our community greater.
Those are the people who I am thrilled to call my peers in receiving a Goodie this year.

Not a single one of those awards last night was a throw-away presentation. All of those folks really help form the foundation of where we are. They, and so many others who weren’t named this year, are integral to who we are as a community.

Like I said at the beginning, I received an award for running lots of games. I’m pleased with that accomplishment, and I’ve had a great time this year meeting and playing with so many people. So, while I’m not holding myself to the same level as the other recipients, I recognize that a whole lot of people had fun. It is just weird writing about the recipients of an award that I too received – especially while trying not to sound like a pompous ass.

What I did, anyone with the time I had could do. I managed to do it because I had the freedom to do so. While that has earned me praise, I think most of you out there would do the same if you had the opportunity. I mean, last year James Spahn ran through all of the Road Crew swag levels in what… one week? I didn’t do anything that everyone in our community doesn’t WANT to do. I mean, who doesn’t want to game more? Who doesn’t want to play at least 2-3 games a week? What I’m getting at is that, in my long-winded way, is that I received an award, but it is different. I won an award for something that any number of you would’ve done had you the opportunity.

Most of you reading this know me. I’m loud and larger than life, I’ve had the amazingly good fortune to create things that folks enjoy, I’m a pretty familiar face. While I singled out Mica Fetz and Raven Shadowz, there are so many people I could point to as examples of what make our community so amazing. Names that many are familiar with already, Jonathan Perkel, Yorkus Rex, Eric Young…even members of the creative team itself like Harley Stroh and Brendan LaSalle. There is no shortage of fine examples… Having people of their caliber among us? That is the prize. It is why *WE* of the DCC community are the true winners of the Goodies.

Recently, I’ve given thought to what sparked the Sanctum Secorum in the first place. In part, it was because the DCC community was large enough to support a second podcast, but it was also to support the community that we have come to love so much. While people may give me credit for my support of the community, I’d say that my support of the community stems from the community itself. I can’t see myself going to the lengths I have for a different RPG community. It is all of you, that is what makes the community what it is.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients!


News: What is on the horizon for the Sanctum Secorum

The Keepers of Mystery have been fairly quiet of late. Indeed, the last, regularly released episode was in 2019, with only sporadic specials since then. So…what gives? Obviously, having all three of the Keepers of Mysteries working on DCC Dying Earth has taken up a great deal of time, and free time has been precious, but fear not!

In January 2022, the Sanctum Secorum will relaunch with new episodes, new zines, and new content. As a small preview…

Episode #46 – Dead Birds (2004) w/ Keeper David Baity
Episode #47 – Hills of the Dead by Robert E. Howard w/ special guest: Judge Eric Young
Episode #48 – Night’s Master w/ special guest: Artist James V. West

So, you can see that things are progressing along, plans are being hatched, and the library is stirring back to life. In addition, a few folks have agreed to join our ‘zine’s creative team and, while you might not see them in every issue – you definitely will be seeing them: Daniel J. Bishop, Mike McKeown, James A. Pozenel Jr., and Jim Yoder. We are thrilled to have them aboard as contributors – and are always looking for more hands so that we can bring you more, and better content.

As the Sanctum Secorum celebrates its 50th episode, and the 50th regular issue of its zine, we have so many thoughts on what to do that we’re still in discussions. Additionally, the idea has been floated of perhaps hiring an outside audio editor to aid in getting the show out on a more regular basis again (audio editors truly do the Dark Master’s work) – but those things aren’t set in stone.

What is still set in stone is that the Sanctum Secorum will continue to bring you episodes, and FREE ‘zines chock full of gameable goodness. So, keep your library cards current…you won’t want to miss the new arrivals.

Do you want more episodes of the Sanctum Secorum Reading Room? Let us know.
Do you want more episodes of the Sanctum Secorum Live? Let us know.

There is even yet another Sanctum Secorum podcast lurking in the shadows…wondering what that is? All we can say is that 2022 is going to be a big year!

Sanctum Secorum LIVE: John Vance and Koen Vyverman

Join the Keepers of Mystery for a special episode of the Sanctum Secorum, recorded live. Joining us for a discussion on the Dying EArth and the life of Jack Vance are our special guests, John Vance (son of Jack and Norma Vance) and Koen Vyverman of Spatterlight Press International.

Originally broadcast live on the Goodman Games twitch channel on July 11, 2021.

The Sanctum Secorum Reading Room: Dying Earth

Join the Keepers of Mysteries, along with special guest Judge Julian Bernick of Spellburn, as they discuss Jack Vance’s Dying Earth in this inaugural episode of the Sanctum Secorum Reading Room.

Originally broadcast live on the Goodman Games twitch channel on July 10, 2021.