Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Data Orb of Metakind

MCC #8: The Data Orb of Metakind was written by Jim Wampler, with additional writing by Tim Kask. Art is by Stefan Poag (cover), Tom Galambos, Friedrich Haas, Barrie James, Cliff Kurowski, Jesse Mohn, and Chad Sergesketter. The publisher is Goodman Games.

The Glowburn podcast has devoted two episodes to Pure Strain Humans in Mutant Crawl Classics. You can find them here and here. Questions get raised because part of the design of Mutant Crawl Classics is that artifacts will create part of the balance of the emergent game. This product is, in a way, an example of how to do so.

In a way, Quest For It may be even more important to Mutant Crawl Classics Pure Strain Human PCs than it is to Dungeon Crawl Classics PCs - but then, there are far more game-altering artifacts in the average Mutant Crawl Classics campaign to quest for. Strange items that might kill you, or might elevate you above the common lot of your kind, are as important to adventure design as are strange mutated creatures that probably want to kill you. Again, this product is a strong example of the kind of game-altering artifact the PCs might attempt to recover.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

For the first time, an entire 24-page supplement devoted to a single artifact of the Ancient Ones!

The most holy of ancient relics, The Data Orb of Metakind has been passed down between tribal shamans and mystic mutants from generation to generation for thousands of years. If you can successfully bond with the golden orb’s AI, tetrabytes of arcane technological data can be yours, if you but survive its use.

For while knowledge is power, it comes at a price.

Crawling Under A Broken Moon Compilation

The Crawling Under a Broken Moon Compilation was written by Reid San Filippo with guest authors Anna Costa, Benjamin Baugh, Bob Brinkman, Chris Tamm, Daniel J. Bishop, David Baity, David VC, Diogo Nogueira, Eric Fabiaschi, Jon Carnes, Kevin Searle, Nate Marcel, Quinn Coffman, R. Dale Bailey Jr, Ryan Moore, Sean Ellis, Talon Waite, and Tim Bruns. Original cover art is by Aaron “Nunkeymutts”, Brad Morris, Claytonian JP, James Yoder, Lee Anthony Deadpoolrus DeviantArt (CC BY SA3), Matt Hildebrand, Reid San Filippo, Sarah Richardson, Stu Rase, and Todd McGowan. Original interior art is by Aaron “Nunkeymutts”, Anna Costa, Brad Morris, Claytonian, CY, David Coppoletti, David Wayne Lutz, Diogo Nogueira, Frank Turfler Jr., Fred Dailey, H-Box, Hovig ghostontheshell DeviantArt CC BY-SA3, James Yoder, Lee Anthony Deadpoolrus DeviantArt (CC BY SA3), Mark Bulahao DeviantArt (CC BY ND3), Matt Hildebrand, Matt Jordan, Matthew Zatkoff, Maxime “ChaosFeeder” Beaulac, DeviantArt (CC BY-ND 3.0), Mitchell Hudson, Naam (naamaak.blogspot.com), Nate Marcel, Ray Otus, Reid San Filippo, Richard Tingley, Rick Kammer, Sarah Richardson, and Todd McGowan. The publisher is Shield of Faith Studios.

Disclosure: I am a Guest Author.

Inside you will find a new Foreword by Jim Wampler.

Following this there is a Table of Contents by Issue, followed by the immensely useful Alphabetical Monster Listings, Alphabetical PC Class Listings, and Alphabetical Locations Listings.

For more information on each issue, see individual listings:

Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3
Issue #4
Issue #5
Issue #6
Issue #7
Issue #8
Issue #9
Issue #10
Issue #11
Issue #12
Issue #13
Issue #14
Issue #15
Issue #16
Issue #17
Issue #18

The first four issues can also be found in Crawling Under a Broken Moon Zine Collection Volume 1, Issues 1-4.

Get It Here!




Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood

MCC #5: Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood is a 4th level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure by Harley Stroh. Art is by Doug Kovacs (including cover and cartography), Cliff Kurowski, Eric Lofgren, Jesse Mohn, and Stefan Poag. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

When your tribe’s prize possession — a functioning medibot — finally breaks down, your Seeker team is given a holy quest. Take the dead bot on a long and perilous journey to the the monks of The Holy Medicinal Order in hopes that their shamans can repair it. But the monks are not as the legends portray, and there is definitely something dark and dangerous going on in the holy monastery.

The Apocalypse Ark

MCC #6: The Apocalypse Ark is a 5th level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure by Brendan J. LaSalle. Art is by Stefan Poag (including cover and cartography), Tom Galambos, Jesse MohnRuss Nicholson,and Chad Sergesketter. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

The Ancients called it Beta Collection Unit NC-787.

Its mission – to find, collect, and categorize animals and plants, record their DNA, and when required, strip invasive mutant DNA from extant creatures to create genetically pure stock. Then the Great Disaster came. Beta Collection Unit NC-787 sat dead and inert for ages while the world evolved around it for thousands of years.

When stories of a rogue “smart metal” being the size of a mountain come to your village, no one takes them seriously, at least until the treaded 10-story-tall monstrosity begins cutting a gigantic swath through your hothouse jungle homeland. Invulnerable to even the mightiest mutations, your only hope to stop its menacing march is to find entry to its interior and access its power sources and sinister inhabitants.

Monday, 21 May 2018

A Fallen Star for All

MCC #2: A Fallen Star For All is a 1st level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure by Tim Callahan. Art is by Doug Kovacs (cover), Stefan Poag (including cartography), Friedrich Haas, Cliff Kurowski, Eric Lofgren, and Jesse Mohn. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Note that the interior title page lists this as a 5th level adventure, which would be quite different. I am guessing that this is a formatting error carried over from MCC #6: The Apocalypse Ark.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

A meteor strike in the taboo crater country opens up a huge chasm in which lies a largely intact city of the Ancient Ones. 

The resulting land rush to go claim the newly available cache of ancient artifacts draws interested parties from all over Terra A.D., and at the direction of your tribal elders, that includes you and your Seeker team.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Crepuscular #1: Sanctum of the Snail

Crepuscular #1: Sanctum of the Snail was written  and illustrated by Joshua LH Burnett. The publisher is JLHB Polytechnic.

This zine focuses on events near and within Xöthma-Ghül, the Crepuscular City. The cover is fantastic, reminding one of a psychedelic black light poster that wouldn't look out of place in the 1970s.

Let's look inside.

Sanctum of the Snail: This is a 0-level funnel adventure designed to put the "fun" back in funnel. Not that Dungeon Crawl Classics funnels are not fun, but there is a sense of silly gonzo-ness to this adventure that is reminiscent of The Wizardarium of Calabraxis. If you know me, you know that this is high praise. While the encounters and the artwork suggest that a grain of salt be taken by everyone involved, the tone of the writing is actually serious, which hits just the right note.

It was a fairly pleasant trip until the storm hit. Your ship sank, and now you and the other survivors--peasants, pilgrims, and gongfarmers--are stuck on this jagged spire in the middle of the ocean. The storm rages all around you while monsters crawl out of the sea. It looks like the only way off this rock is down through that weird door. Who will live and who will die in this 0-level funnel adventure?

Moonblossom & Chance: Two-page comic strip. "The roguish adventures of Xöthma-Ghül’s favorite sword & sorcery couple."

Blorgamorg, the Chthonic Snail: "The Chthonic Snail patiently crawls through the hidden places below the earth, always chewing, always listening, always feeding on the secret wisdom of the world. Blorgamorg is a patient and wise entity, who eschews the petty conflicts of law and chaos. He prizes knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Lore sustains him. All secrets are known to him. Blorgamorg values servants who show tenacity, fortitude, and foresight. Rash and hasty minions displease him. Blorgamorg bitterly hates Bobububilz, and followers of the Chthonic Snail must always guard against the machinations of the Demon Lord of Amphibians."

A full patron write-up is provided.

Items of Interest: "Magical items to tempt or torment your crawlers." Included are two items:
  • The Learned Slug-in-a-Jar of Cornelius Plunk: "As its name indicates, this is a well-educated slug suspended in jar full of pink fluid that belonged to the sage Cornelius Plunk in Times of Old."
  • Flail of the Snail: "The Flail of the Snail is a haft of bronze surmounted by an iron head shaped like a snail shell. The grip is wrapped with slug leather, and two buttons are set along the haft."

Vagabond District: Thirty NPCs which might be used as hirelings or henchmen, not all of whom are 0-level schmucks. Some of them are very unusual, such as "Quvark, humanoid platypus" and "Xander-372, syntheric man".

Get It Here!

Sanctum Secorum Episode #35 Companion: Hundra (1983)

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #35 Companion: Hundra (1983) was written by Daniel J. Bishop, Bob Brinkman, Ari-Matti Piippo, and Ian Shears. Art is by Sophie Black, Crashing Course, Rafa Lee, Madguten, Ethan Nicolle, Lorena Pereda, Ari-Matti Piippo, Michael Richards, Setvasi, and Yuka-Soemy. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 35: Hundra (1983), which discussed the film by Matt Cimbar. The featured adventure was The Trolls of Mistwood by David W. Fisher.

Disclosure: I did some writing on this Episode Companion. In addition, an adventure I wrote (The Tribe of Ogg and the Gift of Suss), and an adventure I co-wrote (Curse of Mistwood, with David W. Fisher) were discussed. Finally, it was announced that I won the April Contest, meaning that the DCC Trove of Treasures will have a listing for Super Number One Food Tower!

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Character Classes

Amazon: "Refusing to be subservient to men, the Amazons are tribes which consists solely of women. Nomadic, these warriors travel to avoid the conflicts which inevitably arise when they encounter male-dominated societies. Preferring to live in peace, these women are well trained in the arts of war and do not shy from combat, for none are their superior." Class by Bob Brinkman. This is the only thing in this Episode Companion which related directly to the featured film.

Bard: "The tradition for song and storytelling spans all cultures and times: bards, minstrels, skalds, wise-men, soothsayers, troubadours and shamans all spin the same magic of the Word, bringing new meanings and ideas to those who care to listen." Class by Ari-Matti Piippo.

For another take on the bard, see Crawl! fanzine #6.

Monsters

Baal Zymymar: "This potent demon has power over a legion of seventy-two lesser demons. It appears as a giant (20' tall) goat-headed man with a patch of bare flesh shaped somewhat like an upside-down star on its forehead. Baal Zymymar gives off an offensive smell, not unlike that of a great goat, but muskier and strangely disturbing to those who smell it. The demon can communicate telepathically or speak in any known tongue." This entry, by Daniel J. Bishop, was originally from a blog post.

The Entourage of Baal Zymymar: Five demons (four specific demons and one type of demon) that are linked to Baal Zymymar. This entry, by Daniel J. Bishop, was originally from a blog post.

Bear Bat: A big bear with bat wings and a venomous bite, by Bob Brinkman.

Bear Crab: A crustacean crab that regenerates, by Bob Brinkman.

The Death Dealer: "The Death Dealer is an un-dead reaver mounted on a great black warhorse. His eyes glow red, but no visage can be seen beneath his horned helmet." This entry, by Daniel J. Bishop, was originally from a blog post. Includes statistics for the Death Dealer’s warhorse.

The Following Thing: "It looks like a well-dressed man in a long black suit with tails, but its face is a stag skull with dead white eyes. It does not walk, but crawls on all surfaces with equal ease. Once it selects a victim, it will pursue that victim relentlessly..." This entry, by Daniel J. Bishop, was originally from a blog post.

Patrons

Lilith: Author Ian Shears describes the "mother of monsters, the queen of demons" with a full patron write-up. Several creatures related to Lilith are also described:

  • Empusa: "Some say Empusa look like attractive women, but from the waist up. One leg is solid brass and the other is a donkey's. Others say that they have the form of a dog but are covered in scales and their head is that of a beautiful blonde woman." For another version of this creature, see D.A.M.N. Magazine #1 - Winter 2017.
  • Lillim: "The Lillim are named after their dread mother. They look like attractive young women with pale skin and stark black hair. Their eyes have no pupils. A pair of jet black bat wings sprout from their back, allowing flight. Although considered plain-looking compared to the succubi, Lillim know they are at least cute and titter and giggle constantly as if at some unspoken jest."
  • Lamia: "Another child with varying form, the Lamia all have the top body of a perfectly attractive woman form the top up. From the bottom they either have the body of a lion or a serpent. Regardless of their form they are the proud warriors and hunters among Lilith's children." For another version of this creature, see D.A.M.N. Magazine #1 - Winter 2017.
  • Succubus: "What is there to say that has not been said of Lilith's favorite children? They embody the ideals of mortal beauty and exist to pervert the natural order by taking advantage of said ideals. These foul ladies seek to seduce men, destroy and dethrone paragons of good and law, and to topple the churches of her hated rivals." For another version of this creature, see The Balance Blade in The 13th Skull.

Lyrics

Hundra-Struck: According to the Episode Companion, this is "To the tune of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck with apologies to Angus & Malcolm Young and all blame to Daniel J. Bishop". Lyrics by Daniel J. Bishop.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #34 Companion: The Face in the Frost

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #34 Companion: The Face in the Frost was written by Bob Brinkman, Marc Elsenheimer, Christopher Lee, Ian Shears,and Anton Wilsbach. Art is by Assumzaek, Dominic Barnhill, Marc Elsenheimer, Pikadude31451, and SpyrusTheVirus. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 34: The Face in the Frost, which discussed the novel by John Bellairs. The featured adventure was Emirikol was Framed by Michael Curtis.

The Face in the Frost was also discussed on the Appendix N Bookclub podcast here.

Apparently, there was once a lost prequel, as well as an unfinished sequel.

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Featured Adventure

The Fate of the Ruthless Wizard: "Tyrannized by a cruel Wizard, the villagers of Pico have suffered for many years. Broshgar the ruthless came a long time and claimed the old tower in Pico's center for himself. Formerly a watchtower, built for a war long forgotten, he turned the building into his home and the whole village into his property. Out of fear of his arcane might, the villagers did nothing to resist him as he stole their food and tools, burnt their fields and even abducted their children."

This is a 0-level funnel adventure by Marc Elsenheimer.

Spells

The Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!! asked for spell entries in March, so it is not surprising that there are some spells in this Episode Companion. Bob Brinkman's additional Runic Alphabets, below, arise from the mention of more than two such alphabets in The Face in the Frost.

Drain Vitality: "The caster weaves necromantic energy to siphon the vital force of his foes." An Honorable Mention in the March Contest, this is a 2nd level wizard spell by Christopher Lee.

Illumination: "The caster creates a magical, heatless light source of varying intensity." This 1st level wizard spell, by Anton Wilsbach, was the First Place winner in the March Contest.

Runic Alphabet (Dwarven): "This spell imparts unto the caster the secret knowledge of the dwarven rune-masters." This is a 1st level wizard spell, by Bob Brinkman.

Runic Alphabet (Infernal): "This spell is a jealously guarded secret among infernalists, allowing them access to the runic language of the Hells." This is a 4th level wizard spell, by Bob Brinkman.

Sunbolt: This 1st level cleric spell is the Second Place winner of the March Contest, by Ian Shears.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature he likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #33 Companion: The Powder of Hyperborea

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #33 Companion: The Powder of Hyperborea was written by Bob Brinkman, Jen Brinkman, Marc Bruner, and R.S. Tilton. Art is by Giuseppe Aureli, Crodeart, J. L. Hilton, Christos Karapanos, Sandeep Karunakaran, Andrew Minor, MrTroll, Mihaly Szemenyuk, and R.S. Tilton. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 33: The Powder of Hyperborea, which discussed the short story by Clark Ashton Smith. The featured adventure was Street Kids of Ur-Hadad by Edgar Johnson.

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Classes

The Huntsman: “You are the rarest of occupations, that which stalks the night, seeking to destroy those creatures that hunt your fellow humans. You are a champion of the community, though greatly feared by the populace, as many Huntsmen fall under the sway of powerful monsters and ravage the countryside.” This is the February Contest First Place winner, created by R.S. Tilton.

Gods of the Eternal Struggle

Author Bob Brinkman brings you two of the deities associated with Hyperborea.

Leniqua: "Among the lesser gods of Hyperborea, perhaps none is so favored by the wealthy as Leniqua, god of the moon. Within his ancient temple in the suburbs of Hyperborea’s capital, Uzuldaroum, are kept thirty-nine maidens. The virtue of those maidens is guarded by the temple guards, as well as golden and jeweled chastity girdles."

Tsathoggua: "An alien god from a time when humans had yet to crawl from the primordial ooze, the cult of Tsathoggua is shrouded in mystery." Statistics for formless spawn (servitors of Tsathoggua) are also provided. See also The Weird Worm-Ways of Saturn and The Vault of Ash.

Magic Items

The Powder of Hyperborea: Jen Brinkman provides game mechanics for the titular substance of this story.

Men and Magicians

Alchemist: Information on, and statistics for, alchemists are provided by Marc Bruner.

NPCs

Bob Brinkman provides statistics for two characters in The Power of Hyperborea. The author uses the Jobe Bittman method from The 998th Conclave of Wizards. They are:

Marquanos: "High priest of Leniqua and religious whoremonger, Marquanos personally holds the keys to the thirty-nine girdles. Repugnant in word and deed, this priest only cares for the lascivious delights offered to him by his position within the temple."

Veezi Phenquor: "Wizard-Alchemist and secret member of the Hyperborean Cabal (see Sanctum Secorum #8), Veezi spends his time during his recent retirement in the research of ever greater potions and unguents."

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #08 Companion: Life of Eibon, containing information on the wizards of the Hyperborean Cabal, can be found here.

Spells

Make Potion (spell expansion): Marc Bruner expands the list of potions from the core rulebook.

Nightmare Nimbus: "The caster summons forth swirling hallucinatory clouds of nightmare to disorient and terrify his foes. Contact with the vapors is enough to trigger the spell effect, although inhaling them enhances the result." This is a 2nd level wizard spell, by Bob Brinkman.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature he likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #32 Companion: Attack From Atlantis

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #32 Companion: Attack from Atlantis was written by Bob Brinkman, Jon Hook, Clifford Morton. Ari-Matti Piippo, James Pozenel, and Anton Wilsbach. Art is by Jon Hook, Holy Lof, Papapanda, Ari-Matti Piippo, Peter Siegl, and Anton Wilsbach. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 32: Attack from Atlantis, which discussed the novel by Lester Del Rey. The featured adventure was The Sea Queen Escapes by Micheal Curtis.


Disclosure: A product I did some writing for, The Lost City of Barako, was discussed in this episode.

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Classes

Ancient Hyperborean: "The hyperboreans are an ancient, antediluvian race, who ruled the world back when the earliest men were still but mewling apes. Their civilization was brought low by a dimension-spanning curse, a creeping doom from beyond the lurid veils of reality. For the hyperboreans were wizard-kings, molding reality with forgotten magics, and con-sorting with all manner of daemons, elder entities and starbeasts from the Great Nether."

In some ways, it is strange that this class was not included in the Sanctum Secorum Episode #33 Companion: The Powder of Hyperborea. Class write-up by Ari-Matti Piippo. The Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!! called for class entries in February, so this may simply be an early example thereof.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box, Part 8: Clifford Morton wraps up the tale started in Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

Monsters

The Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!! called for monster entries in January, and we see herein the fruits of that invocation.

Blood Rats: "Blood rats are hairless creatures with tough leather skin. They have large black orbs for eyes, and a circular lamprey-like mouth. Blood rats have a gland highly sought after by wizards, for it contains a secretion that is vital in the creation of the Vampirism potion..." By Jon Hook.

Bone Ghost: "Bone ghosts are created when a wizard, aspiring to become a lich in his afterlife, steals a bone from a recently-deceased individual and uses it in an arcane ritual." By Jon Hook.

Gobloid: "A gobloid is a goblin mutant created by the experiments of the twisted Baron Nahum Whitlock. By exposing ordinary goblins to the otherworldly rays of the Outre Stone while directing their transmutation and ensuring their obedience with ancient demonic rites, Whitlock hopes to create a monstrously twisted army that he can unleash on his enemies." By Anton Wilsbach.

Harringo: "A harringo is the grotesque amalgamation of an old crone, a reptile, and an ostrich." By Jon Hook.

Hydradeatya (Carnivorous Plant, Giant): "Created in the conservatory of the warlock Baron Nahum Whitlock, the hydrandeatya is a once-normal flowering plant mutated by exposure to the entropic effects of the Outre Stone into a giant carnivorous abomination." By Anton Wilsbach.

Ichthyosaur, Mutant: A creature that actually appears in the featured novel, written up by Bob Brinkman.

Korpuz, Messenger of Ahriman: "Deities often use intermediaries to communicate directly with their worshipers and priests. Only the most fervent and powerful among a deity’s clergy have any hope of interacting with their godhead. Korpuz is one of Ahriman’s messengers. He is tasked with conveying his master’s desires and answering his charges’ prayers." This is the January Contest 2nd Place winner, by James Pozenel.

Octobear: "Transmogrifier and teratologist, Xultich, bred abominations in his laboratories. One of his earliest experiments was the arctic monstrosity, the octobear. The octobear has the head of an octopus and the body of a polar bear. Octobears have the tracking abilities and raw strength of a polar bear, plus the tentacle dexterity, ink cloud defense, and camouflage abilities of an octopus." This was the January Contest 1st Place winner, by Jon Hook.

Pummel Golem: A construct, by James Pozenel, which is usually instructed to pulverize "something into a bloody paste with their massive pinions".

Sunjelly: A creature not unlike a gelatinous cube with a heat ray, by Jon Hook.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #31 Companion: Jack of Shadows

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #31 Companion: Jack of Shadows was written by Daniel J. Bishop and Clifford Morton. Art is by Pedro A. S. Fonsesca, Beatriz Galiano, and Elena Kheidze. The publisher is Sanctum Media. Cartography is by Daniel J. Bishop. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 31: Jack of Shadows, which discussed the novel by Roger Zelazny. The featured adventure was The Jeweler Who Dealt in Stardust by Harley Stroh.

Jack of Shadows was also discussed on the Appendix N Bookclub podcast here.

Disclosure: I did some writing for this Episode Companion. It also includes some cartography I did.

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Featured Adventure

The Ruined Keep: Written by Daniel J. Bishop, this is one of two scenarios originally written for Raven Crowking’s Fantasy Game (RCFG), the “fantasy heartbreaker” I was writing before I switched to Dungeon Crawl Classics. I converted this adventure to the DCC rules, to be used as a funnel for 12-18 0-level characters or 1st level adventure for 4-6 PCs. RCFG was already moving away from D&D tropes; conversion to DCC increases the distance, but this was an early scenario, so it has big spiders, giant frogs, and goblins. All of the new creatures are direct conversions from the earlier version of the adventure. I have tried to make them interesting.

This scenario had originally appeared in Raven Crowking's Birthday Mathom 2014.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box, Part 7: Clifford Morton continues the tale started in Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature he likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #30 Companion: Sign of the Labrys

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #30 Companion: Sign of the Labrys was written by Daniel J. Bishop, Bob Brinkman, Marc Bruner, Clifford Morton, and Ari-Matti Piippo. Art is by Brotherdesmond, Dafne-1337art, Irzun, LeoFlynn, Jean-Pierre Moynet, and Ari-Matti Piippo. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 30: Sign of the Labrys, which discussed the novel by Margaret St. Clair. The featured adventure was Operation Unfathomable by Jason Sholtis (DCC conversion by Paul Wolfe).

Disclosure: I did some writing for this Episode Companion.

Within you will find:

Campaign Tools

Occult Actions: "There are times when those who wield arcane magic wish to draw directly upon their connection to the raw phlogiston of the universe for impromptu effects rather than for use in greater magic. Doing so requires advanced understanding of magical energies and this is not something practiced by mere apprentices."

Author Bob Brinkman offers a mechanic, similar to a Deed Die, to do one of the following:

  • Amplification: "Used specifically as a part of ritualized magic, this working carries additional risk as failure disrupts and taints the entirety of the ritual magic being performed...".
  • Dampening: "With their highly attuned understanding of magical energies and phlogistonic flows, wizards are sometimes capable of dampening the mystic energies around them."
  • Fortification: "By infusing their bodies with mystical energies, wizards may (temporarily) stave off death."

Yeast Plagues: In Sign of the Labrys, the vast majority of humanity has been wiped out by plagues of (possibly intentionally) mutated yeast. Author Daniel J. Bishop provides mechanics for the pulmonary and neutolytic yeast plagues described in the novel.

Featured Adventure

Interlude: The Vault of Future Past: This adventure, by Ari-Matti Piippo, is for any level. It is intended to take place during wilderness travel. The author writes "It contains no combat or pronounced risk of death, although skilled players will certainly be able to kill off a few characters in the plasticrete bowels of the Vault."

The basic conceit of the adventure is that "most of the fantasy worlds we adventure in are
simply post-apocalyptic locales, where the inhabitants have forgotten their vaunted technological past, and consigned its wonders to the realm of magic and superstition. Why else would the wilderness be full of deep tunnel complexes and wandering hybrid monstrosities?"

This is certainly the case in Mutant Crawl Classics, Umerica, or adventure areas such as Silent Nightfall.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box, Part 6: Clifford Morton continues the tale started in Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

Monsters

Cryo-Fungus: An extremely cold and prolific fungus, brought to you by Marc Bruner.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature he likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!



Sanctum Secorum Episode #29 Companion: Creep, Shadow!

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #29 Companion: Creep, Shadow! was written by Bob Brinkman, Clifford Morton, and Ari-Matti Piippo. Art is by Bob Brinkman, Joseph Garcia, Kerd, Miroslav Petrov, and Ari-Matti Piippo. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 29: Creep, Shadow!, which discussed the novel by Abraham Merritt. The featured adventure was Bride of the Black Manse
by Harley Stroh.

Creep, Shadow! was a sequel to Burn, Witch, Burn!, which was discussed on the Appendix N Bookclub podcast here.

Disclosure: Four adventures I wrote (The Arwich Grinder, Creeping Beauties of the Wood, The Imperishable Sorceress, and The Portsmouth Mermaid) were discussed in this episode.

Within you will find:

Campaign Tools

Shadows, Followers, and Whisperers: "Sometimes the darkness has a will and a voice. And sometimes the shadows want things beyond the simple suffering of mortal men." Author Ari-Matti Piippo goes to town on the shadows presented in this novel, supplying everything you need to include similar beings/events in your home campaign.

Really, I cannot say too much about the job done here. In addition to general shadow mechanics, the author delves into specific shadow interactions. To wit:

  • A Shadow of the Past: "A shadow of the past generations has stepped into the character’s soul sphere, and is slowly making itself known. This is not necessarily a bad thing, for there is much to learn from the bygone years. But the touch of a shadow is often painful to those who bear it, and results may vary."
  • A Follower from Darkness: "Sometimes, a young shadow chooses to follow someone, to move to a better hunting ground and to discover the dark places of the world. Too weak to attack or to subsume the target, it stalks their steps, causing unlikely and unpleasant events unwittingly."
  • The Uninvited: "The Uninvited are shadows only in the widest sense of the word: they are creatures from beyond the veil of this reality, existing solely in the void between worlds. They are sometimes able to reach out to the creatures of this plane, in places where the raw, umbral darkness is the deepest."
  • Whisperers: "Being alone in a dark place can make you hear things, as your ears become more sensitive to the micro-sounds around you. These sounds are often scary, but usually just tricks your mind plays on you. But sometimes, they are the actions of trickster spirits called the Whisperers, also known as the Knockers or sometimes Pixie-Ghosts."
  • The Loving Nightmare: "The Loving Nightmares are the memories and ghosts of those who died with unrequited love in their hearts. These forlorn creatures stalk the umbral realms in search for sustenance, forever hungering for the warm touch of a lover’s embrace. The only thing they remember from their past lives is the yearning; all other traces of who they once were are gone."

Curses

Two curses inspired by Creep, Shadow! are given game mechanics by Bob Brinkman. While it is unlikely that the PCs themselves will fall victim to these curses, because of the specifics of how they are cast, these can be used exactly as were their literary counterparts - as motivation when used against other characters in the milieu, and/or as a threat of their use against the protagonists.

The curses are:

Curse of the Captive Reflection: Although it can only be used under very specific circumstances, those who fall prey to this curse become "subject to every capricious whim of the witch who has them enthralled, so long as the witch holds the mirror on their person."

Curse of the Mason’s Knot: A killing curse that requires the victim's shadow to be measured.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box, Part 5: Clifford Morton continues the tale started in Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #28 Companion: Roger Corman's The Raven (1963)

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #28 Companion: Roger Corman's The Raven (1963) was written by Bob Brinkman, Marc Bruner, Clifford Morton, and Ari-Matti Piippo. Art is by Shaun Beaudry, Reynold Brown, Chidog-01, DarkSaxeBleu, MidnightTea7, Ocult90, Dimitris Papastergiou, and Kate Sheridan. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 28: The Raven (1963), which discussed the film by Roger Corman. The featured adventure was Enter the Dagon by Harley Stroh.

Disclosure: An adventure I wrote, Thirteen Brides of Blood, was discussed in this episode.

Within you will find:

Classes

Barbarian: This class, by Ari-Matti Piippo, is another example of the iconic barbarian. Other barbarian classes can be found in the Sanctum Secorum Episode #12 Companion: Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman (itself reprinted from The Gong Farmer's Almanac 2016 Vol 1), D.A.M.N. #1 - DCC RPG Adventure Magazine and News, and the Sanctum Secorum Episode #14 Companion: The Jewels of Gwahlur.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box, Part 4: Clifford Morton continues the tale started in Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

Patrons

Way of the Raven: "Through careful study and ritual, casters – particularly those of a shamanistic or naturalistic nature – can attempt to bond with a specific species of animal, enabling them to draw upon that animal’s strengths." The Way of the Raven is a specific example, detailed by Marc Bruner, as a full patron write-up.

The author notes that "These rules are an adaptation of the rules for Ways found in Dinosaur Crawl Classics. For more information on Ways, including Ways of the Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, and Pteranodon, see the Goodman Games Gen Con 2017 Program Guide." The listing for this program guide can be found here.

Spells

Author Bob Brinkman offers seven spells.

Bedlo’s Promethean Sphere: "The caster draws upon the primal phlogiston to provide a spark capable of creating life or bringing death." This is a 4th level wizard spell.

Deceptive Dissolution: "A favorite among spell duelists, deceptive dissolution uses the strength of an attacker's spell – and their faith in its power – against them. The caster is, by all visible accounts, slain by the incoming spell, while he instead is teleported to safety and his body is replaced with a magical simulacrum." This is a 3rd level wizard spell.

Devouring Void: "The wizard rends open the ground beneath the feet of his foes, sending them tumbling into the yawning darkness beneath." This is a 5th level wizard spell.

Diabolic Dominion: "Harnessing the blackest of infernal powers, the wizard subjugates another to their will, forcing them do to their bidding and enslaving their very souls." This is a 2nd level wizard spell.

Phlogistonic Spray: "Grasping at the raw forces of magic that surrounds her, the caster lashes out with a wave of raw, unfocused magical energy that affects a single target." This is a 4th level wizard spell.

Technical Affinity: "Some wizards make up for a lack of proficiency in their abilities with magic by enhancing their craft through the use of various arcane aids and tools. They may be alchemists who mix strange ingredients with mystic reagents or thaumaturges with a wide array of sympathetic items. They may be astrologers who rely on the ebb and flow of cosmic tides or artificers who construct reality bending tools to elevate their craft. These wizards go beyond their personal limitations by relying as much on their tools as their own energies." This is a 2nd level wizard spell, akin to Arcane Affinity in the core rulebook.

Wand Magic: "Favored by artificers, but relied upon by many, with this spell, the wizard crafts a wand and imbues it with magical energies linked to his soul." This is a 2nd level wizard spell. For other variations on this theme, see Crawl! fanzine #3 and Liber Arcanum.

Wizards

Finally, Bob Brinkman uses the Jobe Bittman method from The 998th Conclave of Wizards to provide statistics for three wizards in Roger Corman's The Raven. They are:

Dr. Adolphus Bedlo: "Dr. Bedlo is both hampered and helped by his reliance on occult apparatus. While it allows him access to spells normally beyond his reach, it has not given him any greater abilities beyond his own, humble, natural talents. Looking out only for himself, Bedlo will seek to curry favor from whoever seems most powerful." Dr. Bedlo was played by Peter Lorre.

Dr. Erasmus Craven: "The son of the powerful magician Roderick Craven, former Grandmaster of the Brotherhood of Magicians and Sorcerers, Dr. Craven is a gentleman’s wizard. Kind of disposition, and loath to show off his talents, he merely wishes to practice his craft in private. Dr. Craven is a vegetarian." Dr. Craven was played by Vincent Price.

Dr. Scarabus: "Grandmaster of the Brotherhood of Magicians and Sorcerers, Dr. Scarabus is a longtime rival and enemy of the Craven family. While outwardly he seems almost grandfatherly, his unbridled lust for power leads him to weave Machiavellian machinations against those whose power he envies." Dr. Scarabus was played by Boris Karloff.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature he likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #27 Companion: The King of Elfland's Daughter

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #27 Companion: The King of Elfland's Daughter was written by Bob Brinkman, Jen Brinkman, and Clifford Morton. Art is by Blacknemera, James Zapata, Joana Rita Gomes, Jonathan R. Neill, Kenneth Sofia, Miroslav Petrov, Nicolas Raymond, and Thibault Girard. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 27: The King of Elfland's Daughter, which discussed the novel by Lord Dunsany. The featured adventure was Through the Dragonwall by Daniel J. Bishop.

The King of Elfland's Daughter was also discussed on the Appendix N Bookclub podcast here.

Disclosure: I wrote the featured adventure for this episode. In addition, four adventures I wrote were discussed in the episode (Creeping Beauties of the Wood; The Portsmith Mermaid; Prince Charming, Reanimator; and Three Nights in Portsmouth), as well as three Harley Stroh adventures I converted to Dungeon Crawl Classics rules (Curse of the Kingspire, Dragora’s Dungeon, and Well of the Worm)

Within you will find:

Curses

Appendix C in the core rulebook deals with curses in-game, as they appear in Appendix N fiction. There are some excellent uses of curses in Dungeon Crawl Classics adventures - The Sea Queen Escapes and The One Who Watches From Below spring immediately to mind - but you can never have too many examples to draw from.

Curse of Impotent Fuel: Supplied by Jen Brinkman, this curse keeps the home fires from burning. Or the travel fires, for that matter. While this might seem minor, when you consider how much we humans rely upon fire - and not only for warmth and light - you might treat this one with a bit more respect.

Curse of the Mislaid Broom: Witches use brooms to get around, and this minor curse by Jen Brinkman makes a witch's broom much harder to find.

Curse of the Faerie Ring: This major curse, by Bob Brinkman, traps its victim in Elfland.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box, Part 2: Clifford Morton continues the tale started in Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

Magic Items

Black Stick of Ziroonderel: This black stick, owned by the witch Ziroonderel, has a number of powers which are more useful around the house than in an adventure. Nonetheless, items like this are great for giving a campaign milieu verisimilitude, and these minor powers can also be used to impress PCs. Write-up by Bob Brinkman.

Broom of Flight: Next to her familiar, this is a witch's best friend. Write-up by Jen Brinkman.

Sword of Alveric: "Using runes forged of fallen thunderbolts, the witch Ziroonderel crafted this magical blade, capable of standing against all but the mightiest runic magics of Elfland." Seriously, Lord Dunsany is worth reading for his creation and use of magic items alone. For another example of the creation of a magic sword which would be cool to emulate in a Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure, see The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth. Write-up by Bob Brinkman.

Monsters

Author Bob Brinkman presents five creatures from Elfland:

Hounds of Erl: Elf-hounds bred to hunt unicorns.

Knight of Elfland: The hollow knights of Elfland. For similar creatures see the Sanctum Secorum Episode #24 Companion: Three Hearts and Three Lions and The Revelation of Mulmo.

Troll, Dunsanian: These are nothing like the classic Dungeons & Dragons troll, which is modeled off the work of Poul Anderson and the Harold Shea stories of by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. Instead, these are fun-loving creatures which serve the King of Elfland.

Unicorn: Exactly what it sounds like.

Will-o’-the-Wisp: Not the Dungeons & Dragons creature of the same name, but diminutive beings of Elfland.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Monday, 14 May 2018

Sanctum Secorum Episode #26 Companion: Changeling Earth

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #26 Companion: Changeling Earth was written by Bob Brinkman, Jen Brinkman, Marc Bruner, and Clifford Morton. Art is by Artsed, Henry Pether, Holy Lof, and NASA/JPL-Caltech. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 26: Changeling Earth, which discussed the novel by Fred Saberhagen. The featured adventure was Silent Nightfall by Daniel J. Bishop.

The Changeling Earth (aka Ardneh's World) is the third volume of the Empire of the East series.

Disclosure: I wrote the featured adventure for this episode.

Within you will find:

Campaign Tools

Elemental Turning: "A wizard can attempt to wrest control of an elemental from another wizard, seeking to turn it against its master, diminish its strength, or even banish it from this plane of existence." Marc Bruner supplies the rules you will need to include this element in your game.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box. Part 2: Clifford Morton continues the tale from Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

Gods of the Eternal Struggle

Orcus: This is a deity write-up by Bob Brinkman, and it is not the Orcus known to Dungeons & Dragons players for decades. "Of all of the demons of the Empire of the East, it is Orcus who reigns supreme. All other demons and living beings are but ash blown before his radioactive might. Chained and sleeping within the abyss, Orcus awaits the day he should be awakened by the foolhardy. Disdainful of both the living, as well as his own kind, should Orcus be unbound it will attempt to lay waste to the world before it."

Essentially, this version of Orcus is a demon created by the influx of magic at the time a nuclear missile detonated. The origin of the demon in Silent Nightfall is an homage to the concept from this novel.

See also Divinities & Cults Volume II for a more standard take on Orcus.

Monsters

Demon Mount (Type II demon): "The demon mount is a chimera-like demonic steed summoned by powerful wizards to traverse great distances at an extremely high rate of speed." These mounts are not all the same, and author Marc Bruner provides a d10 table to determine each mount's head, torso, and form of locomotion.

Elemental, Desert: "Desert elementals are close kin to air elementals and share many of the same traits. However, desert elementals are not merely warm, living zephyrs, they are the howling manifestations of the deserts heat coupled with unrestrained winds." This entry, by Bob Brinkman, follows the standard DCC method of elementals having 8, 12, or 16 Hit Dice.

Elemental, Forest: "The gentle force of life given form, the forest elemental is normally the most gentle and peaceful of all their summoned kin. Unwilling to enter combat unless strongly provoked by actions of a greatly destructive nature or forced self preservation, the forest elemental is greatly sought after for its skill in aiding passage through woodlands." This elemental write-up is also by Bob Brinkman, using the standard DCC method for elemental Hit Dice.

Spells

Door of Orcus: This is a 5th level wizard spell by Jen Brinkman. "This high-powered spell creates a doorway through which the powerful Demon-Emperor Orcus may return to the mortal plane."

Summon Elemental: This is a 3rd level wizard spell by Marc Bruner. "This spell allows powerful wizards to summon the primal elements from the roiling elemental planes of fire, earth, water, and air, reconstituting the same elements to do the caster’s bidding in the form of elementals."

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Friday, 11 May 2018

Sanctum Secorum Episode #25b Companion: Free RPG Day Bonus Companion

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #25b Companion: Free RPG Day Bonus Companion was written by David Baity, Jen Brinkman, Bob Brinkman, and Marc Bruner. Art is by Ferit Quler, GorillaEye, Harry Clarke, hassified, Shadow696, and Toadstone. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion consists largely of reprinted materials from previous Episode Companions.

Within you will find:

Character Classes

Half Giant: From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #07 Companion: Who Fears the Devil?, written by David Baity.

Gods of the Eternal Struggle

From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #12 Companion: Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman, and written by Bob Brinkman. This includes:

  • Astrol
  • Eldrak of the Seven Hells
  • Omorphon

Locations

Elf Hill: From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #24 Companion: Three Hearts and Three Lions. Written by Marc Bruner.

Monstresor Crypt: From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #03 Companion: The Halloween Special, as written by Jen Brinkman

Magic Items

Crystal of Clarity: From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #11 Companion: Another Fine Myth. Item write-up by Jen Brinkman.

Mask of the Mad Moon Gods: From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #16 Companion: Purple Priestess of the Mad Moon, as written by David Baity.

Prince Prospero’s Candles: From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #03 Companion: The Halloween Special, as written by Jen Brinkman

Monsters

Argonian Mermaid: From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #05 Companion: Song of Sorcery. Statistics by Jen Brinkman.

Dweller in the Mists: From the Sanctum Secorum Episode #22 Companion: Hiero's Journey. Statistics by Marc Bruner.

Patrons

Merlin (revised): A revision of Bob Brinkman's partial write-up of Merlin from the Sanctum Secorum Episode #01 Companion: The Shadow People. There may be additional revisions, but I noted that a table for spellburn was added, as well as notes on patron spells, bringing this to a full patron write-up.

"Merlin cannot be bothered to teach spells to all who beseech him for aid. There are no spells unique to Merlin. Instead he grants his followers access to advanced powers. Agents of Merlin are able to learn a single second level spell at first level, third level spell at second level, and one fourth level spell at third level."

Spells

Faerie Mist: Marc Bruner's 1st level fey patron spell, from the Sanctum Secorum Episode #24 Companion: Three Hearts and Three Lions.

Stone Form: David Baity's 1st level wizard spell from the Sanctum Secorum Episode #06 Companion: Eye of Cat.

This one is a compilation from previous Companions. While it can still be used to help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes, it will help said judge to do so if she knows the source material as well as the write-ups herein.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend was written by Bob Brinkman and Clifford Morton. Additional concept by Ethan Nicholle. Art is by Erich Ferdinand, Esben Lash Rasmussen, Holy Lof, Rfteytre6ui, TheElderScholar, Thilo Parg, Tromber, and Bearmageddon News Network. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 25: The Fallible Fiend, which discussed the novel by L Sprague de Camp. The featured adventure was Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box by Terry Olson.

The Fallible Fiend is the third book in the Novarian Series.

Disclosure: An adventure I wrote, The Tribe of Ogg and The Gift of Suss, was discussed in this episode.

Within you will find:

Classes

Author Bob Brinkman provides information for not one, but two, classes of subhumans. In addition, an occupation table and an equipment table are provided. Comparisons to Frozen in Time and The Tribe of Ogg and the Gift of Suss are apt here; Dungeon Crawl Classics has the makings of a full paleo- or neolithic campaign setting. The classes provided are:

Shaman: Somewhere between a wizard and a cleric, shamans of the subhuman people intercede with the spirit world on behalf of their tribes.

Warlord, Subhuman: A tough fighter who trades Mighty Deeds for battle fury and the ability to avoid blows and damage.

Fiction

The Blood-drinking Box, Part 1: The Sanctum Secorum Episode Companions get their first piece of fiction, based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box. Story by Clifford Morton.

Monsters

Author Bob Brinkman brings you a trio of beasts:

Beareagle: From a concept by Ethan Nicolle, this is sort of like a winged owlbear...except with the parts of an eagle, not an owl. This creature does not appear in The Fallible Fiend.

Kangaroo: These beasts were "used as mounts by the aboriginal Paaluan tribes." The Bounder, in Crawling Under a Broken Moon #7, is another version of the kangaroo mount.

Mammoth: These big hairy elephants are also given statistics in Critters, Creatures, & Denizens.

Spells

Mystic Paint: This is a level 1 shaman spell, by Bob Brinkman, for use with the subhuman shaman class in this Episode Guide. "With this spell, the shaman is able to mix and use a number of enchanted pigments in order to achieve one of a number of magical effects."

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Sanctum Secorum Episode #24 Companion: Three Hearts and Three Lions

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #24 Companion: Three Hearts and Three Lions was written by Marc Bruner and Bob Brinkman. Art is by HvN2310, James Zapata, Joseph Holley, Raph Lomoton, Sandeep Karunakaran, and T.C. Dale. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 24: Three Hearts and Three Lions, which discussed the novel by Poul Anderson. The featured adventure was Escape from the Shrouded Fen by Terry Olson.

Three Hearts and Three Lions was also discussed on the Appendix N Bookclub podcast here.

Disclosure: An adventure I wrote, Creeping Beauties of the Wood, was discussed in this episode.

Within you will find:

Classes

Wood Dwarf: "Woods dwarves are gnarled, short demi-humans that dwell in the forests on the edge of the Middle World and the  kingdoms of men. Wishing to having nothing to do with the wars between the two lands, they choose to bide their own lives and let Heaven, Hell, Earth, and the Middle World fight it out as they will."

This is a 5-level class, created by Marc Bruner.

Locations

Elf Hill: "Elf hills are sites of powerful faerie magic that beguile unknowing adventurers or lost travelers. Usually located within ancient woods or those forests most closely associated with tales of the fey, beings of the Middle World hold uncouth revels inside and emerge to dance on moonlit nights. In daylight, an elf hill appears as a prominent rise or mound, typically crowned with a timeless garland of beautiful flowers or roses, with streamers of mist covering its surface at both twilight and dawn."

Author Marc Bruner provides a description, with a 1d4 chart to determine how an elf hill might appear. For another take on an elf hill, see The Revelation of Mulmo.

Magic Items

Cortana: This is the magical blade wielded by Holger Carlsen – recovery of which leads him to discover his identity as Ogier the Dane. Write-up by Bob Brinkman.

The Dagger of Burning: Bob Brinkman provides statistics for the magnesium-infused blades of the elves. Another take on these appears in The Revelation of Mulmo.

May-Skein: This is the garment used by a maiden to turn into a bird. In addition to the swan-may (such as Alianora in the novel), author Marc Bruner supplies statistics for owl-mays and eagle-mays.

Monsters

The following creatures were provided, courtesy of Bob Brinkman:

Hell Horse: An undying steed from Hell, who it is death to look upon.

Hollow Knight: An elvish construct, like an empty suit of armor. (Another take on this appears in The Revelation of Mulmo). Bob Brinkman also includes statistics for elfin steeds.

Spells

Faerie Mist: A 1st level fey patron spell by Marc Bruner. "With this spell, the caster is able to summon a fey mist to confuse their enemies, or even fill entire expanses to entrap those within in its seemingly unending extent." The spell is not linked to a specific patron, but could be taught by any fey patron - a rather interesting idea!

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #23 Companion: DCC Lankhmar

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #23 Companion: DCC Lankhmar was written by Bob Brinkman. Additional concepts by Jen Brinkman, Jim DelVasto, William Ferry, Kirk Kirkpatrick, Bill Porter, and Erik Tenkar. Art is by Bacht, Bob Brinkman, Daniele Spezzani, Eugene Booker, Frederick Runtu, Jonas De Reo, M3rcuryDr4g0n, Mark Hallstein, NoisePlz, Su Yeong Kim, Verona Black, Vikiusha, and William Cho. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 23: DCC Lankhmar, which discussed the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser tales of Fritz Leiber and the upcoming release of DCC Lankhmar by Goodman Games (author Michael Curtis and others). The featured adventure was Masks of Lankhmar by Michael Curtis.

Disclosure: I have an additional writing credit in the kickstarter, and I wrote one of the stretch goal modules, DCC Lankhmar #2: The Fence's Fortuitous Folly.

Within you will find:

Locations

Lankhmar Neighborhood: Part of the core concept of DCC Lankhmar is that the characters begin with a local neighborhood. This neighborhood can then be explored by the PCs, offering not only a place to adventure, but a place that the characters can know and make connections to. This is a pretty good idea for city-based adventuring, and Bob Brinkman (with the input Erik Tenkar) has gone to the effort of creating a complete sample neighborhood in this Episode Guide.

As an aside, it should be noted that, even if the aspiring judge is not aspiring to play in DCC Lankhmar, both the concept and the example neighborhood presented herein should prove useful.

Some locations (for instance, Tenkar’s Tavern), seem to be nods to people within the DCC and/or OSR community.

Cartography is by Bob Brinkman. Erik Tenkar contributed to Tenkar's Tavern.

Men and Magicians

The Stains: This is an eight-member gang of "young toughs and bravos", which could be used either as foils or allies of the PCs.

Notable Personages

"Known throughout their neighborhood, both individually and as a group, this collective of characters is often simply referred to as “the Five” (at least in polite company). Having originally come together during a heist at the grand masquerade of the caravan master Igrik (see Masks of Lankhmar), they have built up a reputation as true hard cases. Rumor is that they have been involved in foiling assassination attempts during high-society parties, have worked for the Overlord, and have forced the Thieves’ Guild to reconsider having placed contracts out on their lives."

Although Bob Brinkman is the only author credited, each of the Five is credited with a different creator. This suggests that the Five were PCs created for a DCC Lankhmar playtest campaign.

The Five are:

Arwin Lost: "Emerging from the Cold Wastes, the wizard Arwin brought his brother to Lankhmar in hopes of caring for him. Arwin’s distinct appearance (covered in purple tattoos), tendency to work magic while naked, and run-ins with followers of Issek of the Jug have made him a prime target of the law in Lankhmar." Created by Bill Porter.

Buyantu: "Hailing from the Mingol steppes, Buyantu fled to Lankhmar to avoid the doom that came to his mentor. Working as a freelance thief, he is quick to silence a foe, striking from the darkness of an alleyway with his bow, Heartseeker, or with a dagger to the kidneys." Created by Kirk Kirkpatrick.

Dudley: "A warrior from the Land of the Eight Cities, as rash as he is ruthless, Dudley is fond of using his twin war hammers, Squish and Splat, in combat (and if one is doing poorly, he is known to punish it by leaving it out of the battle). Dudley is often found carousing with members of a local gang, the Stains." Created by Jim DelVasto.

Lifthrasir the Gray: "A warrior skald from the Cold Wastes, Lifthrasir submitted to wanderlust and found herself journeying to Lankhmar. Armed with her massive sword, Pericles, and her daggers, Justice and Servant, she is known for her signature “trip attack” that often leaves men cleaved in twain from groin to jaw." Created by Jen Brinkman.

Oliver: "Hailing from the Land of the Eight Cities, Oliver is a caravan guard who has struck up on his own. He prefers to use his Mingol bow, Redemption, at a distance before closing into combat. He is often found out and about in the neighborhood, avoiding his wife." Created by William Ferry.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!