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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 #42 – Arena

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #42 Companion HERE!

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.

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News: Darwin Bromley (1950-2019)

Darwin Bromley (1950-2019)

We at the Sanctum Secorum are saddened to report the passing of another key figure in gaming history, Mayfair Games founder Darwin Bromley. Mr. Bromley co-designed Empire Builder and was responsible for bringing Settlers of Catan to American audiences in 1996.

Darwin Bromley passed on January 1st. There will be a memorial service at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville, FL on Saturday at 4:00 PM. We have no further information at this time.

Music: Saint Karloff

Recently, it came to our attention that there was a song on Spotify entitled “Spellburn” by the band Saint Karloff. We gave it a listen and had to reach out to them to see if there might be a DCC RPG connection (because “spellburn” isn’t that common of a term).

Well, guess what? At least one of the members of Saint Karloff is one of us!

The term spellburn is something I found in the roleplaying game Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, or DccRpg. It is an ability that wizards have, where they can sacrifice a physical part of their body to call upon the magic energy of the cosmos make their spell stronger. 

And the lyrics in Spellburn is about a wizard who goes too far with this ability, and drains the universe all it’s magical energy, making his spell so strong that it destroys the rest of the universe. Except he’s not really a wizard, he’s a suicidal alcoholic who has distroyed the positivity in his own little universe, and is now going to release the negative energy which will destroy his small universe, by suicide.

The music feels like early Black Sabbath with a decent amount of acid thrown in. With songs like “Spellburn”, “All Hail the Dark God”, and “Radioactive Tomb” (a personal favorite) this is some music to add to your library.

You can check out the video for “Spellburn” HERE
You can check out the rest of Saint Karloff’s music HERE

Sanctum Secorum #41 – Gone with the Gods

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #41 Companion HERE!

The main character of “Gone with the Gods” would seem to be a thinly disguised Offutt, a writer who turns out a prodigious number of novels at the back and call of his editor, writing in whatever genre is hot at the moment to fulfill the needs of an insatiable audience. When his editor calls him to look into the possibility that a former fraternity brother of the editor’s has invented a time machine, and asks him to check out the possibility that the device is real so the editor can invest in it, the authors finds himself looking into the far-fetched claim. Of course the time machine, disguised as a VW microbus, eventually works and Harvey Moss, the author, Mark Ventnor, the publisher, and Ben Corrick, the inventor, all take their turns traveling in the bus, only to learn its limitations. It can only go one day into the future, but anywhen in the past. Although it remains tied to Earth, so they don’t have to worry about showing up in outer space, they do figure out how to take it to different places on Earth. Eventually, in order to make some money, Moss travels back in time to spur human development and plant evidence that he can use to write a best selling book that Ventnor can publish and sell.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look to the past while we discuss Andrew J. Offutt’s tongue in cheek time travel story, Gone with the Gods.

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News: Sanctum Secorum Companion Bundles

Just starting out with the Sanctum Secorum? Looking at that long list of downloadable ‘zines and thinking about how much you have missed? Well, catching up on your reading is easy now that the Sanctum Secorum has made annual bundles available via Drivethrurpg!

Grab them for free and bring some new life to your table!

2015 Bundle
2016 Bundle
2017 Bundle

Sanctum Secorum #40 – A Martian Odyssey

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #40 Companion HERE!

Early in the 21st century, nearly twenty years after the invention of atomic power and ten years after the first lunar landing, the four-man crew of the Ares has landed on Mars in the Mare Cimmerium. A week after the landing, Dick Jarvis, the ship’s American chemist, sets out south in an auxiliary rocket to photograph the landscape. Eight hundred miles out, the engine on Jarvis’ rocket gives out, and he crash-lands into one of the Thyle regions. Rather than sit and wait for rescue, Jarvis decides to walk back north to the Ares.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we turn our gaze to the red planet, Mars, while we discuss Stanley A. Weinbaum’s, A Martian Odyssey.

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