Tuesday 5 June 2018

Secret Santicore 2015

This listing is slightly unusual for the DCC Trove of Treasures. As of the time of this writing, there is no pdf, consolidated or otherwise, of the 2015 edition of Secret Santicore, although 2017's edition is apparently in layout. If anyone knows of a link to an actual, finished product, please let me know! The publisher is Secret Santicore.

So, what is Secret Santicore?

According to the Secret Santicore website"Every year around this time, precious little gamemasters of all ages from around the world write Santicore asking for a piece of gameable content. But because Santicore is a busy abomination, he orders his minions to mix up all those wishes and send them all back.

Little DM Bobby and Judge Susie must write or draw their very best response to the wish in their stocking or Santicore will come eat them up.  You would think this discourages anyone from writing Santicore, but every year the mailbag is bigger! All the entries are then published in a free, non-commercial PDF for all to use!"

Because this edition has not (as far as I can tell) been compiled, this listing is going to be a little different than the previous ones. The Secret Santicore archives can be searched for 2015, for DCC and 2015, or just for DCC. I am assuming that this last search comprises the articles that would appear in a consolidates 2015 edition of Secret Santicore.

Disclosure: I contributed to, and had a request in, this year's Secret Santicore.

Without further ado:

The Giant Beavers of the Toronto Ruins for DCC RPG: "Dear Santicore, Creature statistics for one or more type of giant mutant beavers, which dwell in the flooded rivers of Ruined Toronto 200 years in the future. -- D.J.B."

I requested this item, for use with Toronto Crawl Classics. My request was answered in style by author Bob Brinkman, who provided six types of beaver. This includes both a beaverman and a were-beaver. You can find this article reproduced in the D.A.M.N. #2 Web Supplemental, or you can find it here.

The Five-Fold Art of War: "Dear Santicore,  I want a system similar to DCC's patrons but for martial art styles. Martial should get nice things too. -- R.A.M"

Author Noah Marshall delivers with a system built off of Dungeon Crawl Classics patrons. You cannot be wearing armor, but can use a shield, while using a martial arts school. The basics are as follows:

  • Form: This takes the place of patron spells. Each martial arts school has three forms and a Final Form table. "Executing a Final Form represents acting upon a moment of perfect spiritual balance and clarity. Rain drops hover in midair as the perfect sequence of moves becomes suddenly clear to you."
  • Focus: In order to use any form, you need to have Focus. Focus is lost by failing a martial check or breaking a taboo. 
  • Martial Check: "To make a martial check, roll a d20 and add your level or HD and (if you have one) your deed die. Other classes do not add their attack bonus."
  • Taboos: "There are known to be strange taboos, adherence to which is believed to help focus the mind and align oneself with the proper energies required to harness one’s spiritual power. Not all practitioners of the martial arts practice these taboos; in fact, they are thought to be a crutch used only by those who have somehow managed to knock their base-state karma out of whack." Consider this the equivalent of patron taint, admixed with disapproval.
  • Training: The system's version of patron bond.

The author includes information on five martial arts schools: The Slow Water Sickle Way, the Emerald Path, the Southern Ruby Fist School, the 18-Star Method, and the Eternal Heavens Art. Noah Marshall writes: "In the grand tradition of the DCC rulebook I have left 2 of the patro- er… Schools without a full write-up." He also writes:

"These abilities qualify as an unrepentant power increase to the game. My Secret Santicore wanted “nice things for martial too.” Well Wizards and Clerics in DCC can raise up volcanoes from beneath the sea to bury civilizations in fire and ash somewhere around level 4, so you might say the baseline’s a bit wonky. You can control this power creep by remembering that characters require lots of time, access to teachers, and probably access to payment for those teachers to learn these arts. To improve upon them they need access to martial arts opponents. You have pretty strict control as a Judge over all of these things."

This article can be accessed here.

Yddgrrl, the World Root: "I would like to see the Dungeon Crawl Classics patrons, Yddgrrl or Obitu-Que in the core rule book, filled out and completed with a table for Patron taint, spellburn, and three patron spells. - Jason"

Author Daniel J. Bishop completed the information on this patron from the core rulebook, and included the information from the core rulebook so that all information related to Yddgrrl was available in one spot.

You can find it here.

Old Snicker's Stinging Barbs: "Dear Santicore, Write me a spell (DCC Style!) for any being from Petty Gods... -- D.M"

Petty Gods: Revised & Expanded Edition, published by New Big Dragon Games Unlimited, "provides Old School referees with a slew of new, weird minor deities and godlings, for use in rounding out their campaigns. This book includes information for 327 petty gods, 116 minions, knights & servitors, 12 cults, dozens of divine items & new spells, plus a host of other petty-god-related gaming material". (Disclosure: I contributed to this volume.)

Old Snicker, the petty god of insults (author John Feldman, art by Glen Hallstrom) can be found on page 131:

"Old Snicker, the God of Insults, appears as a balding, pot bellied, middle age man of unremarkable features, wearing a tabbard of green with yellow diamonds. He has a twinkle in his eye and always wears a wry smile. An aura of feeblemind (120' radius) emanates from him and any he deems are affected as per the spell (lasting only while the target is within the 120' range). Old Snicker will (5% chance) help out a follower in time of need (see his reaction table below) by prompting the follower to find the most biting insult to use against the opponent. Any follower who is aided in this manner will owe Old Snicker payback in the form of uttering an insult towards another person at the most inopportune moment."

Author Michael Hearn supplies a 1st level wizard spell which "delivers a stunning blow to the confidence of the caster’s victims and their will to fight."

You can find it here.

Mole Men: A PC Race for DCC and OSR Games: "A PC race of Mole-Men. Ideally compatible with either Microlite20 or Dungeon Crawl Classics, but I will be more than happy with any OSR-friendly system."

This article, by Jeremy Deram, appears in Secret Santicore 2012. It also came up when I searched the archive, so there is a chance that it would (will?) be repeated in a compiled 2015 edition.

You can find it here.

Ho ho ho! Roll for initiative, fool!

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