Wednesday 15 March 2017

The Gong Farmer's Almanac 2016 Vol 1

The 2016 Gongfarmer’s Almanac: Volume 1: Men, Magic, & Drink is a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Zine written, illustrated, and produced by the DCC RPG G+ community under the creative vision and direction of Doug Kovacs, Harley Stroh, Jon Hershberger, Marc Bruner, Matt Hildebrand, and Michael Jones, under the rubric of the Gongfarmer's Local #282.

This volume was written by Bob Brinkman, bygrinstow, Jarrett Crader, Keith Garrett, Doug Keester, Mike Markey, Diogo Nogueira, James Pozenel, Ron Tilton, and James V. West. Art is by Doug Kovacs, Marc Radle, David Coppoletti, Stefan Poag, Wayne Snyder, Mez Toons, Shield of Faith Studios/Matt Jordan, and William McAusland.

Disclosure: I am credited as an editor.

This volume is divided into PC Classes, Rituals & Spells, and other articles. Let's look inside!

PC Classes

  • Hot-Dog Suit Class: Taking "you're no hero" to a whole new level, this pathetic four-level class is nonetheless playable. It is literally a guy wearing one of those restaurant-mascot suits. It doesn't even have to be a hot dog if the judge likes a little variety. It is credited as "J. Kitchen posted the photo, Kevin Heuer said it, bygrinstow wrote it up." It is so hard to succeed in "awesomely pathetic", but here you go. If Jerry Lewis was playing Dungeon Crawl Classics, this would be his class.
  • Barbarian Class: This is Diogo Nogueira's take on the mighty wilderness warrior. There are now several DCC builds available for barbarians. You can select the one you prefer, mix & match, or just use them all. 
  • Halfling Hucker: Do you dream of having your halfling throw stones at giant spiders while singing "Attercop! Attercop!" at them? R.S. Tilton provides an alternative halfling class that has the throwing covered. You will have to provide the lyrics.

Rituals & Spells

  • Fantastic Familiars: Bob Brinkman offers a sampling of five fantastic familiars, including Brown Jenkin from H.P. Lovecraft's The Dreams in the Witch House
  • Enhanced Spellburn: Doug Keester offers some extended rules for spellburn, which includes some interesting options - and some which might be downright worrisome for the party wizard. The "Ultimate Sacrifice" option might mesh well with the "Magic Here and Magic There" section on page 358 of the core rulebook.
  • Skeletal Heap (Thief Spell): This is a spell, by Jarrett Crader, from "North Kovacistan", which is intended to defend a wizard's spellbook from thieves...but which thieves can ironically cast by permanently burning Luck. Of interest, this spell has no Corruption results as "The results of the spell are corruption enough". The author is not kidding. Nor is he wrong.

Other Stuff

  • Drunk’s Luck: It seems that a number of our favorite Appendix N protagonists spend a lot of time in the tavern. A fine pint or a shot of whisky might have its own rewards in real life, but why would our PCs engage in similar activity unless there was a reason? Diogo Nogueira offers a mechanical reason why we might discover our PCs starting or ending their adventures on a bender.
  • Random Tavern Generator: Keith A. Garrett provides some tables for producing a tavern on the fly, or to generate ideas during game prep. All you need are 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, and 1d20. If you roll, in order, 3, 3, 5, 4, 10, and 11, you have the Prancing Pony in Bree as it was first encountered by Frodo & Company. 
  • Fantasy Food Generator: There you are with your new tavern, but what is it serving? Keith A. Garrett has you covered there as well. Roll another handful of dice and you'll know. Braised leg of bugbear for a light snack, anyone?
  • House Rule: Adventuring Companion: Diogo Nogueira offers a house rule where there a benefits and hindrances for adventurers sharing a special bond. 
  • The Art of Infighting: R.S. Tilton provides some Mighty Deeds for fisticuffs, grappling, and close-ranged stabbing with the ubiquitous dagger.
  • Missing Player Tables: Have a player who can't make it to the game? Mike Markey ofers some random d24 tables to determine what her character does. Funny? Yes. Should you use them? Madness, I say. Madness.
  • Peasant Draft: James A. Pozenel, Jr., provides a draft mechanic for selecting your gongfarmers before the funnel begins. 

Finally, the volume is finished with a (0-level?) Character Record Sheet, without attribution to the creator. If anyone knows, please share in the comments! <---Confirmed that this was James West!

Get It Here!

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