Gongfarmer’s Almanac 2020

I wrote an article for the 2020 edition of The Gongfarmer’s Almanac, which is an annual fan produced publication celebrating Goodman Games’ roleplaying games — particularly Dungeon Crawl Classics and Mutant Crawl Classics.* I also helped edit three of the articles as well. The book is available as a free PDF download, so that is nice. I loosen the old purse strings for a hardcover copy for my collection, which is handy because it was a fun read and weighing in at a hefty 792 pages I used it to press tofu a few times before getting a tofu press for Christmas.

I like the art in the book. It has an old school feel that reminds me of some of the art I saw in roleplaying products back in the 1970’s and early ’80’s. Below is the dust jacket for the book.

Dust cover photo used by permission of Shyloh Wideman.

The book is a compilation of ready to use adventures, new classes, monsters, rules, tables and so on. My article is called “Another Man’s Trash,” which features a table of 100 different small, mostly junky, cast off items one might find during an adventure. The idea is to provide the Dungeon Master with a resource to generate some unique items when his players search around instead of having to come up with something off the top of his head or just saying, “You find 16 copper pieces and a bunch of junk.” The DM can pick an item he fancies or roll percentile dice. The choices range from the mundane to the bizarre.

A few examples of items you might find are:

  • Hardwood baby rattle shapped like a pig on a stick. Has been chewed on, probably by an infant with very sharp, little teeth.
  • Firesteel ring from a tinderbox set, in a pouch of moldy tinder.
  • Top part of the shell from a medium box turtle. “Achilles won the race at last,” is scratched on the inside part.
  • A single crossbow bolt that is completely black. The hunting tip is bent as if it hit a bone or punched through heavy armor.
  • Ball of yellow wax bigger than a hobgoblin’s head. Wrapped in cheesecloth. (An earwax collection amassed over many years!)

Many of the items are junk but a few are intrinsically valuable and many of them can be put to some unexpected uses by clever players.

The talented Matt Sutton drew the interior art for my article. He is a versatile artist and I think he also has a special gift for drawing dwarves. Our one-eyed friend is apparently showing off a chunk from an earwax collection he found (number 40 on the table).

Artwork used by permission of Matt Sutton.

Note that the article includes sub-tables allowing for cursed or blessed items or even items that are both cursed and blessed! So, with the right rolls one might get an earwax collection or some other item that is blessed to make a similar copy of itself once a week but also brings the possessor to the evil notice of a powerful devil. (Maybe the earwax collection was hers?)

I hope to contribute to the 2021 Almanac when the time comes. Perhaps another table of items one can find? Maybe something different next time, such as treasures, or in the same vein as “Another Man’s Trash,” so our DM has 200 items to choose from or maybe instead themed for the post-apocalyptic Mutant Crawl Classics game?

On a final, unrelated note, I’ve been having problems getting image captions to center with the block editor, so I had just stopped using captions. I do like my captions so this has annoyed me for awhile and based on what I’ve read on other blogs I’m not the only one who has this problem. I found this little tutorial that allowed me to easily solve the problem. As you can see from this post I now have lovely, centered captions. (At least they are centered on my machine!) I hope some of you reading this find it useful.

* I had no idea what a “gong farmer” was until I became interested in Goodman Games products and noticed this almanac. All I can say is it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

11 thoughts on “Gongfarmer’s Almanac 2020

    • Thank you, Pete. I’m glad I was able to contribute something to the Almanac. DCC is a great game and I’m glad to be part of it in a very small way.


  1. Congrats on getting your article published, that’s very cool! Yea, the art in their line is very close to the classic D&D stuff I grew up with. On occasion they have even used the old artists for module covers. I’ve seen some by Erol Otus and Jeff Dee. Not sure if they ever enlisted Bill Willingham, but he was busy writing Fables around the time I last looked. I wonder if that Sutton artist is of relation to Dave Sutton? If I remember right, he was another early D&D artist.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very much. Yes, I recognized some of Erol Otus’ and Jeff Dee’s work in some GG products. I think one of my favorites of the old timey D&D authors was Dave Sutherland. I don’t know if Matt is related to Dave. I’m not sure about BW or DS so far as early D&D goes. Like a lot of kids I mostly just looked at the pretty pictures and didn’t think too much about who drew them, though Erol Otus’ work was so distinctive he entered my consciousness back then. Same with Jeff Dee because we played a fair amount of Villains & Vigilantes before switching over to Champions. I didn’t care for Dee’s V&V work. I thought he made everyone look like they were weirdly stretched.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s interesting, we idolized Dee’s D&D stuff and especially his V&V art. Though I like Willinghams art even better, and they both had that superhero comic style. Erol Otus’s art I didn’t care for as a kid. It was too ugly and weird. Probably as a teen, I developed a taste for it though. Dave Trampier was another amazing artist for those times, and he did the awesome comic strip “Wormy” in Dragon magazine for awhile.

        I think we started to learn who was who pretty quick. Maybe because of our exposure to comics, but also because nearly all the artists in D&D would sign their name.


    • Indeed! I’m told that it is a common hobby amongst discerning hobgoblins to collect their own earwax and exchange it with their intended upon their betrothal. It is considered bad form and somewhat impolite to allow one’s collection to grow larger than one’s own head. Hobgoblins are Aristotelean, apparently, believing in moderation in most things. (I was going to say “all” but that wouldn’t be moderate.)

      Thank you, John. I was pretty pleased when I saw the rough sketches and then the finished product when the book was in production.


    • Certainly, I’m glad it helped and I hope you are able to get it to work on your blog too. It seemed pretty simple. I just followed the directions exactly as they were presented, hit the Publish button and I magically had beautiful, centered captions! 🙂


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