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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 #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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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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Sanctum Secorum #14 – Conan: The Jewels of Gwahlur

Get the Sanctum Secorum #14 Companion here!

Episode #14 CoversConan, following legends of this treasure, has travelled to Keshan and offered his services to train and lead Keshan’s army against their neighbour, Punt. However, Thutmekri, a Stygian rogue with similar intentions, and his Shemitish partner, Zargheba, also arrive in the country with an offer of a military alliance with another of Punt’s neighbours, Zembabwei, with some of the Teeth to seal their pact. The high priest of Keshan, Gorulga, announces that a decision on the matter can only be made after consulting Yelaya, the mummified oracle of Alkmeenon. This is all the treasure hunters require. Zargheba joins Gorulga in his expedition while Conan travels ahead of them.

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we delve into the character for whom Sword & Sorcery is named, that mightiest of barbarians, Conan!

 

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game. How about a new adventure from David Baity?! That and 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 #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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Episode #08 – The Life of Eibon

Get the Sanctum Secorum #08 Companion on DrivethruRPG

Episode #08 Covers“The Book of Eibon, the creation of Clark Ashton Smith, ranks behind Lovecraft’s Necronomicon as a shunned repository of mystical horrors surviving blasphemously from elder eons. Not content with his own and Lovecraft’s citations of the Book, Smith actually wrote two chapters of it, his famous stories The Door to Saturn and The Coming of the White Worm. Lin Carter knew a good thing when he saw it and decided that it would be fun to write and read the remaining Eibonic chapters. He did not live to finish the Book, but others took up the challenge, supplying more of the droll yet frightening episodes, as well as various liturgical and magical arcana the Book of Eibon was said to contain. A Mythos grimoire– a work of horror, humor, and genuine poetic power.”    *

 

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode, we examine another legendary piece of Appendix N literature by classic author Lin Carter. We also delve into the world of Jobe Bittman’s the 998th Conclave of Wizards and lament that it didn’t receive the Goodman Games boxed set treatment.

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game…after the jump.

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Episode #07 – Who Fears the Devil?

Get the Sanctum Secorum #07 Companion on DrivethruRPG

CoversThere’s a traveling man the Carolina mountain folk call Silver John for the silver strings strung on his guitar. In his wanderings John encounters a parade of benighted forest creatures, mountain spirits, and shapeless horrors from the void of history with only his enduring spirit, playful wit, and the magic of his guitar to preserve him. Manly Wade Wellman’s Silver John is one of the most beloved figures in fantasy, a true American folk hero of the literary age.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode, we are joined by author Michael Curtis as we examine the stories that inspired an entire setting and boxed set for DCC RPG, and a legendary piece of Appendix N literature. There is so much to discuss that our format was literally bursting at the seams and so we present the episode with 10 extra minutes of content!

 

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game: patrons, classes, 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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