Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Secret Antiquities #1

Secret Antiquities is a weird historical supplement series written by the amazing Michael Curtis. It is esoteric America at its finest. The supplement would be great for any DCC game set in America, such as Black Powder, Black Magic or Dark Trails. It could even work with Umerica.

You can get issue 1 here. Issue 1 focuses primarily on the patrons of the setting. The patrons are a bit different than standard DCC patrons. There power is also based on belief, which will draw obvious comparisons to American Gods. They have the following traits:

  • Manifestation - When did the patron first appear in America?
  • Status - Is the patron still active in 21st century America?
  • Alignment - Unlike typically DCC patrons, the patrons of Esoteric America only strike deals with those of similar beliefs (though exceptions are made).
  • Demands - What must the wizard do to repay their patron for the powers granted?
  • Other Campaign Settings - Not using a mystical version of America? These patrons can be used in other games.
Here are the patrons that receive full write-ups (description, invoke patron, patron taint, and spell burn):

  • Uncle Sam - The American Dream, his patron taint can literally make you bleed red, white, and blue. His spells are Pledge of Allegiance, Rockets' Red Glare, and Uncle Sam's Magical Champions
  • The Anti-Sam - The antithesis of Uncle Sam, the Anti-Sam represents the American Nightmare. His spells include Classified Information, Biological Warfare, and Accidental Death
  • The Old Man of the Mountain (aka The Great Stone Face) - This ancient spirit is the patron of the land and knowledge. His spells include Stone Ward, Endurance of the Mountain, and Lucky Stone.
  • Stagger Lee (aka Stackalee, Stack-o-Lee, or Stagolee) - This is the patron saint of badasses that get in trouble. His spells include Dirty Shooting, Hell is Home, and Make the Mojo Hat.
  • The Dead Rock Star - This spirit of fame and excess goes by many names and has been active in America since the 50's. It's spells include Stage Presence, Summon the Fan Eternal, and Marshall Power.
There are two patrons given partial write-ups (descriptions and invoke patron results)
  • Emperor Norton I - The eccentric Emperor of United States and Protector of Mexico has become the patron of the benevolently mad and those enslaved by circumstance.
  • Mrs. O'Leary's Cow - While the cow didn't actually cause the fire and it was a scapegoat for lots of bad things (like discrimination against the Irish) the cow has become the patron of arsonists. 
This is a unique, but fascination DCC supplement. I love Michael's forward. America can be a great fantasy setting. Still, if you're not playing in America, the patrons are still quite useful. The Old Man of the Mountain would make a great patron for a Shudder Mountains or Portsmaw game. Personally my favorite is Stagger Lee (who I first discovered in Larger Than Life). Emperor Norton (also featured in Larger Than Life) and Mrs. O'Leary's Cow are also really great patrons. I'd love to see full patron write-ups for them.

This is a great first outing for a series. I recommend it to anyone that wants something new or is using a version of America for their DCC game. Michael has recently mentioned on Facebook that he has more plans for the series and will return to it once he's finished with DCC Lankhmar.

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