Product Release: Gongfarmer’s Almanac 2017

At Gen Con this year, another product with my name in it came out. I have a piece in volume 1 of the 2017 Gongfarmer’s Almanac for Dungeon Crawl Classics. In addition to general articles and adventures like those in last year’s Almanac, the 2017 edition provided a multi-author hex-crawl. This hex crawl is a campaignable landscape made of individual small adventure areas bound together only by one theme: they exist on the plane of Pandemonium, the source of chaos magic.

My contribution is “Abyss of Automatons,” which is my take on a robot underworld. Harley Stroh, the amazingly prolific DCC writer who created Peril on the Purple Planet, drew the map for mine!

You can download all volumes of Gongfarmer’s Almanac 2017 from the Google Plus community’s Google Drive links below. If you want to order the Almanac in print, you can get the whole thing in one volume from Lulu (pricing is at-cost, simply covering materials and shipping).

Gongfarmer’s Almanac 2017
Volume 1: Welcome to Pandemonium
Volume 2: Pandemonium Locations, Part 1
Volume 3: Pandemonium Locations, Part 2
Volume 4: Pandemonium Setting: Dark Seas
Volume 5: Monsters and Patrons of Pandemonium
Volume 6: Men and Magic
Volume 7: Adventures and Settings
Volume 8: 2017 Master Zine Index

Editions From Previous Years
2016 Print
2016 PDF
2015 Print
2015 PDF (Volumes 1-5, Volume 6)

Pre-Generated Characters

This is post number 22 in the series “30 Days of Tales from the Loop,” a celebration of the game set in an 80s that never was.

Here are six pre-generated characters you can download, print out, and use in your game if you don’t want to take the time to make characters. These are the ones that my group came up with in our first game. I left the relationships between kids blank, figuring those are the most likely to be in flux and depend on the other party members.

The downloads here use Matt Stark’s form-fillable character sheet, from his own excellent overview of Kid creation in Tales from the Loop.

Amy the Grease Monkey

(Amy uses Max Wallinder’s Grease Monkey Type.)

Chris the Computer Geek

Randy the Troublemaker

Sam the Bookworm

Teddy the Hick

Vanessa the Rocker

Game Creators Endorse Hillary Clinton

Mike Selinker and more than 300 other creators of games (both tabletop and electronic) have posted an open letter endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. In addition to urging Americans to vote for the Democratic candidate, the letter describes Hillary and Trump in gaming terms.

The full letter, along with the list of game creators who support it, is at this link:

The Only Game in Town

The list of creators includes some of the game designers I admire the most, including:

  • Mike Selinker (Betrayal at House on the Hill)
  • Rob Heinsoo (13th Age)
  • Jonathan Tweet (D&D 3rd Edition)
  • Andrew Looney (Fluxx)
  • Allen Varney (Paranoia)
  • Matt Forbeck (Dungeonology)
  • Sean K. Reynolds (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting)
  • Sean Patrick Fannon (Savage Rifts)
  • Dennis Detwiller (Delta Green)
  • Steve Kenson (Mutants & Masterminds)
  • Jonathan Gilmour (Dead of Winter)
  • Bruce Cordell (The Strange)
  • Shanna Germain (No Thank You, Evil!)
  • Greg Stolze (Unknown Armies)
  • Keith Baker (Gloom)
  • James Earnest (Cheapass Games)
  • John Kovalic (Munchkin)

I’m with you, creators. Sure hope we win this one.

RPG Overviews For New Players

I’m putting together a high-level overview of a few RPG systems for some players who may join my group. (Yay, new blood!) We’ll talk this over more when we get together in person, of course, but I thought this might help get them thinking about their options. (Their options, in this case, being games I think will be friendly to newcomers, that I either haven’t played recently or haven’t gotten enough of.)

Here’s the skeleton of my overview:

Game Title
When and Where Are We?
What’s the Genre?
What’s the Premise?
Who Am I? 
What Will I Do? 

And here are some examples:


When and Where Are We? An alternate Wild West
What’s the Genre? Dark historical fantasy
What’s the Premise? In 1863 history diverged from what we know, resulting in a “Weird West” featuring monsters, magic, steampunk…and horrors.
Who Am I? A gunfighter, mad scientist, shaman, sorcerer, brave, or other Western adventurer.
What Will I Do? Fight zombies and spirits. Use Ghost Rock to power weird technology. Cast hexes. Play cards.
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
When and Where Are We? All of time and space
What’s the Genre? Science fiction
What’s the Premise? A Doctor Who game spawned from the current TV series
Who Am I? The Doctor or one of his companions from the show
What Will I Do? Solve mysteries. Run from monsters. Spout scientific jargon. Explore the cosmos. Meet historical figures.
Edge of the Empire

When and Where Are We? The Star Wars galaxy, during the original trilogy.
What’s the Genre? Science fiction / space opera
What’s the Premise? A Star Wars game set during the original trilogy, but seen from the point of view of wretched hives of scum and villainy.
Who Am I? A human, alien, or droid on the fringes of galactic society, including bounty hunters, smugglers, and hired guns.
What Will I Do? Earn money on legally questionable jobs; explore the Outer Rim of the galaxy in your ship; evade crime bosses who loaned you money; get caught between the Rebels and the Empire.

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying

When and Where Are We? Modern-day Earth
What’s the Genre? Superheroes
What’s the Premise? Marvel superheroes doing their thing!
Who Am I? Your favorite Marvel hero: Daredevil! Scarlet Witch! Spider-Man! Captain America!
What Will I Do? Fight supervillains. Save the innocent. Protect your secret identity.


When and Where Are We? Far future (but medieval) Earth
What’s the Genre? Light fantasy
What’s the Premise? Long after Man has vanished from the world, intelligent animals have built a medieval civilization.
Who Am I? A good dog of any breed, specializing in fighting, using magic, or sneaking around.
What Will I Do? Protect the kingdom of Pugmire. Fight monsters and bandits and cats. Seek out relics left over from the Ages of Man.

The Strange

When and Where Are We? Modern-day Earth
What’s the Genre? Science fiction & fantasy
What’s the Premise? Some people on modern-day Earth can travel to strange alternate worlds, many of which are based on works of fiction.
Who Am I? Someone able to visit the other worlds and manifest different powers and abilities on each one.
What Will I Do? Explore alternate realities. Defend the Earth from invaders. Interact with aliens and fictional characters.

Did I leave anything out? Got any suggestions for changes? I considered a line about “What’s Unique About this Game?” but I was undecided about that.


This is my roleplaying blog, where I plan to put recaps of my game sessions, info about gaming topics that interest me, and eventually adventures I’ve written.

I love chatting about this stuff, so please leave comments! (Decent ones, of course. Please follow Wheaton’s Law.)