One of the most popular zines is out! The 2019 Complete Gongfarmer's Almanac is now available, and it's brought along some friends—hardcover editions of the previous four volumes! Below we tell you that we're making an appearance at Frankfortcon this weekend, give you a note about The Road Crew 13-Game Badges, and give you several Adventures in Fiction/Appendix N Archaeologies.

For newsletter subscribers, we give you a preview of the new volume of The 2019 Complete Gongfarmer's Almanac . We also give you a peek at the cover and table of contents of the fourth issue of Tales From The Magician's Skull ! Plus we look at what we're reading and a reminder about some important Gary Con dates.

And here's a little ‘insider tip’ for our newsletter subscribers. We recently cleaned out the cupboards, and next Wednesday—January 29th—we’ll be adding several dozen warehouse finds to our online store. This includes everything from old books to a few rare Kickstarter items to some random swag that’s been gathering dust for years. Make sure you check the site on Wednesday, January 29 to ensure you’re first in line to get the good stuff!

Let's get to it!
Find the Goodman Games booth at one of these upcoming cons to pick up rare con exclusives!
One of the most popular items from Gen Con every year is the release of  The Gongfarmer’s Almanac . This zine is presented in several volumes, each compiling the work of the many fans who contribute to the zine.

For those not lucky enough to be at Gen Con and get their copies, The Gongfarmer’s Local #282 also goes the extra mile to compile all the issues into a single volume—which they sell at cost. That’s right, The Gongfarmer’s Local #282 makes no profit from these books, and neither does Goodman Games.

And now the new volume for 2019 is ready and available—with a new twist. For the first time,  The Gongfarmer’s Almanac  has gone hardcover! The book is still being presented at-cost, but now it’s in a high-quality hardcover format to go onto your shelf right next to your  Dungeon Crawl Classics  core rulebook!

It’s not just the 2019 volume getting that treatment, either. All four of the previous volumes are also now available in hardcover, as well! Check out the links below and grab your copy of  The Gongfarmer’s Almanac  today!
This is the compiled 2019 Gongfarmer’s Almanac zine, for the DCC RPG!

The Gongfarmer’s Almanac  is a  Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG  zine that is written, illustrated, edited and produced by the  DCC RPG  G+ community. This publication of the 2019 publication year zines are collected here in a single volume and offered at print cost. This includes volumes 1 – 14 in full. This is a massive volume, totaling 716 pages, and comes with a dust jacket on the book.

What’s in this volume? A LOT!
DCC Adventures: 4 Level 0 funnels, 1 each of Levels 1, 2, 3
MCC Adventures: 2 Level 0 funnels
Bronx Beasts  funnel (Level 0) adventure 
Trench Crawl Classics  (Level 0) adventure 

MCC Rules Expansions : technological mishaps, malicious code, exploits, and quarantine rules 

For DCC :
  • 7 brand new Patrons, including Aslan, Lady of Shadows, and Baba Jedza
  • The Beastomatic – a table-friendly system for creating Appendix N wildlife
  • 4 new monsters
  • 7 new artifacts
  • 5 new PC classes, plus hirelings, henchmen and other allies

New artifacts include The Blood Stone, The Head of Aharise, The Vespidar Brace, The Zorteen Neurozygote, The Golden Nose, The Boreal Hypercube, and The Neartane Suit. 

The 0-level adventure,  The Gig at the Wizard’s Tower , is a full length, funnel adventure, featuring 4 detailed maps and adventure keys for an exciting romp based at The Tower of the Manticore, a wizarding school. 

Dark Trails  features prominently in this year’s GFA. This year’s zine also includes an adventure set in Dan Steeby’s  Bronx Beasts  zine setting, as well as an adventure for  Trench Crawl Classics , the zine-based weird World War II setting using the  DCC  rules as a game engine. 

Even before the  Dark Trails  Kickstarter began shipping it’s prized pages,  The Gongfarmer’s Almanac  brings the Old West pain with the  Dark Trails Bonanza ! Complete (unofficial) Quickstart rules, Old West-themed adventures for PC levels 0 thru 3rd level, new Patrons The Trickster and Mike Fink, and even  Dark Trails  character sheets will let crawlers dive into Dark Trails’ Old West immediately! 

Dark Trails Bonanza – includes :
  • A Dark Trails Primer & Quickstart
  • Emergent Class Abilities
  • 1 Level 0 funnel adventure and 1 Level 2-3 adventure
  • Carousing in Dark Trails
  • 2 new Patrons for Dark Trails campaigns
  • New Dark Trails monsters

As always, the  DCC Zine Index  has been updated for 2019! Now 5 years in the making, and featuring nearly 80 pages of DCC Index goodness,  The 2019 DCC Master Zine Index  fills up the entirety of volume 14! Looking for new monsters? Looking for a new Patron?  The DCC Master Zine Index  has your back!
Now available in hardcover format!
Now available in hardcover format!
Now available in hardcover format!
Now available in hardcover format!
newsletter exclusive!
The Gongfarmer's Almanac is given away for free at Gen Con—to those who know who to ask. This year there were 14 volumes of this very popular release. The compilation combines those 14 volumes into one big work. In fact, it's more than 700 pages of one big work.

Below you'll find a selection of this year's volume, highlighting what you can find inside and some of the choice tidbits. This is really just a drop in the bucket, but it's a very tasty drop.

Check it out!
newsletter exclusive!
Gary Con event registration opens soon! These dates are coming up fast! For the DCC faithful, mark these dates on your calendar so you can register for your games as soon as they open up! 

  • Diamond - February 1st, 2020
  • Platinum - February 8th, 2020
  • Gold - February 15th, 2020
  • Silver (common) - February 22nd, 2020

Keep these dates in mind, and get ready for one of our favorite shows, Gary Con!
newsletter exclusive!
A peek at the upcoming issue!
Kickstarter backers were recently treated to a preview of the upcoming fourth issue of our sword-and-sorcery pulp magazine, Tales From The Magician's Skull—and now we're sharing it with you!

The issue is now in the proofreading stage, and we present the table of contents and the dynamic cover by none other than Doug Kovacs! Click the link below for the preview!
newsletter exclusive!
by J.R.R. Tolkien and edited by Christopher Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001
by Michael Curtis

Professor Tolkien often gets short shrift from the Appendix N crowd. Many readers praise Robert E. Howard to the rafters or fondly recall their joy in reading Lovecraft, yet dismiss Tolkien’s work as boring, vanilla fantasy at best or a mess of unfamiliar names and places at its worst. I find this attitude strange because J.R.R. Tolkien is the closest thing we have to a game master in the Appendix N catalog. We should be taking inspiration from the Professor, rather than belittling him. Anyone doubting this need only read The Silmarillion .

The Silmarillion is the posthumous publication of Tolkien’s life work, a myth cycle he spent more than sixty years devising, revising, rejecting, and annotating. While casual fans of fantasy know The Lord of the Rings, any Tolkien scholar will argue that The Silmarillion is his true masterpiece. And like any complex work of art, it can appear insurmountable. Yet, like these same works, it rewards those who make the effort.

The Silmarillion is a master’s thesis in world-building, which is both a blessing and a curse. For game masters looking for an exquisite example of a fictional world with a history almost as deep as the real one, The Silmarillion shines as brightly as the jewels from which it draws its name. The book tells the history of Middle-earth as recounted in the writings of the elves, beginning before the world even existed and culminating in a piece of trivial history involving a hobbit and a ring. Tolkien’s love for European myth cycles, be it the Norse sagas or the Finnish The Kalevala , as well as the Judeo-Christian tradition, is evident throughout The Silmarillion , as his mastery of language. The mixture of these elements results in a collection of original myths that feel real, stories that could have been recorded by medieval scribes and preserved for posterity, inspiring their own tales and legends. 
The Silmarillion isn’t an easy read. The first time I attempted it was in high school and I checked out before the singing stopped (and if you know the book, you know that’s pretty early). It’d be two more decades before I made another attempt, but the effort was well-rewarded. I now dearly love The Silmarillion, although I’ve still not mastered it. I’m on my third re-reading of it currently, and I’m only now able to tell my Fȅanors from my Fingolfins or my Finwȅs from my Finarfins without a scorecard. 

A word of caution to game masters considering using the book as inspiration: Tolkien spent almost his entire lifetime developing The Silmarillion and it was rejected by publishers more than once for fear it was too dense or unapproachable, a book incapable of finding an audience. While we can slowly absorb the work today, page by page while referencing a helpful appendix, all thanks to the editorship of Tolkien’ son, Christopher, The Silmarillion shouldn’t be used as a template for game masters looking to convey the history of their game worlds to players. I can think of nothing that would turn me off to playing in someone’s home campaign more than being handed a sheaf of history I need to read before creating a character. While it’s commendable to create deep history to your “secondary world,” as the Professor referred to realms that exist solely in the imagination, it’s best to allow that history to emerge in digestible fragments, or, even better, to hint at the past rather than require an education in it. Your players will thank you. Be inspired by The Silmarillion, but don’t try to emulate it.

If you’ve read The Lord of the Rings, but are looking for more of Middle-earth and the stories behind the legends hinted at in that book’s text, then the time is nigh for you to be introduced to The Silmarillion . At the very least, you’ll be prepared for the new Amazon Middle-earth series, but there are far better rewards awaiting within its pages for those who seek stories richer than dreams. 

In closing, I’d like to take a moment to honor the memory of Christopher Tolkien, who passed into the West on January 15 th. Without his custodianship of his father’s work, those of us who love Middle-earth would have been deprived of much of the material that emerged after J.R.R. Tolkien’s death, including The Silmarillion . Christopher also drew the earliest maps of Middle-earth, and if you’ve ever traced the route the Fellowship took out of Rivendell or imagined Frodo and Sam’s journey into Mordor while looking at those maps, you have him to thank for it. 
Consider it a badge of honor. Something to prove that you are a devoted fan. 

We’re talking about our custom badge pin. The item that we send to anyone who has completed thirteen or more  Road Crew  games as a part of a single season. And if you are one of those proud few that have met this goal, then we have good news: the badges will be heading your way soon! In 2018 we had more people hit the thirteen game goal than ever before, and we couldn’t be more proud.

Over the past weekend, anyone who qualifies was sent an email with information on confirming the name that will be engraved in your custom badge. If you met the thirteen game goal but did not get that email, you need to get in touch with us! Please  email Judge Brendan  so that he can make sure we have your information down correctly. 
The 2020 convention season continues to roll out! This weekend you can find us at the one-day show,  FrankfortCon !

Come visit Dieter Zimmerman at the Goodman Games booth, where you can find a huge selection of Dungeon Crawl Classics , DCC Lankhmar , Mutant Crawl Classics , Original Adventures Reincarnated , and much more.

FrankfortCon is happening at the Capital Plaza Hotel in downtown Frankfort, KY, and is a one-day show, happening on Saturday, Jan 26 from 10:00 to 6:00.

So if you are in or near Frankfort, take some time to drop by the show and visit the booth! You never know what goodies you’ll find at the Goodman Games booth!
Did you know that most Goodman Games new releases include a free PDF with the purchase of the print edition? Yes, it’s true! We’ve been doing it with our  Fifth Edition Fantasy  line for more than five years. Back at  Gen Con 2018 , we announced that we would be rolling out this offer to most other books. So what does it mean?

In short, it means that if you buy a newly published Goodman Games print title, there is often a code for a free digital download! This applies to all of our titles in the  DCC  and  Fifth Edition Fantasy  lines. This includes the  DCC Core Rulebook DCC RPG Annual MCC , and  DCC Lankhmar lines.

Unfortunately, this offer does not apply where our licenses won’t permit it. One of those you’ll find it does not apply to is the  Original Adventures Reincarnated  and select other licenses.

We’re sorry but it also doesn’t apply to our back stock. We have hundreds of thousands of books in print form from before this policy was enacted, and we simply lack the administrative resources to grandfather in all these titles.
There may not be a more iconic character in fantasy—and particularly sword and sorcery—fiction than Conan the Barbarian. From his first appearance in Weird Tales back in 1932, the character has influenced how we see any iconic sword-wielding hero. And for that, we can thank Robert E. Howard.

Over the years a number of posts on our site have been focused on Mr. Howard and his impact not just on literature, but also on the world of role-playing games. All of those posts can be found under our  Adventures in Fiction  banner, but we want to give you direct links to a trio of our favorites, as well as the post included here. So, after reading below, be sure to go give a look at  Films of High Adventure: Robert E. Howard Real Life Adventures – The Robert E. Howard House , and  Gen Con Videos, Part 1: Gaming in the Spirit of Robert E. Howard .

In honor of Robert E. Howard’s birthday, Goodman Games sat down with author  Harley Stroh  and asked about the influence REH had on Stroh’s adventure design and the  DCC  line...
by James Maliszewski
Of all the literary influences on  D&D  and  DCC RPG , Abraham Merritt is perhaps the “most-influential of the least-known.” His work is rarely read in this modern time, yet he is named by Gary Gygax as one of “the most immediate influences on  AD&D . Today, on January 20, 2020, the 136th anniversary of his birth, we provide a little more insight into this little-read but well-deserving author. You can also learn about all the Appendix N authors by listening to the Appendix N Book Club. For Merritt in particular, his most famous work, The Moon Pool, was recently covered in a special session on the Appendix N Podcast in which Joseph Goodman participated. You can find more about it  HERE .

After listing all of the books and authors that inspired him, Gary Gygax concluded Appendix N of the  Dungeon Masters Guide  by stating, “The most immediate influences upon  AD&D  were probably de Camp & Pratt, REH, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, HPL, and A. Merritt.” Most of the writers he mentioned ought to be well known to devotees of fantasy and with good reason: their works form significant parts of the foundation upon which the genre was subsequently built...
by Ngo Vinh-Hoi
John Anthony Bellairs was born on January 17th, 1938 in Marshall, Michigan, which he described as “full of strange and enormous old houses, and the place must have worked on [his] imagination.” A shy and overweight child, he “would walk back and forth between [his] home and Catholic school and have medieval fantasies featuring [himself] as the hero.” He found refuge in books, excelling in college as an English major and even appearing on an episode of the TV quiz show G.E. College Bowl in 1959, where he recited the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in fluent Middle English. After getting his Master’s degree Bellairs taught English at several colleges across the midwest before taking time off in 1967 when he moved to Bristol, England, for a year to concentrate on his fiction writing. Many years later a fan asked Bellairs about his time in England only to have him reply “I lived for a year in Bristol [England], and it was the most miserable year of my life.” Bellairs’s misery was everyone else’s good fortune though, as this is when he wrote  The Face in the Frost ...
By Bradley K. McDevitt
Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson did not dream up the background ideas of Dungeons and Dragons out of thin air. Fans of fantasy fiction, they had borrowed liberally from Tolkien, Howard, Lovecraft, Moorcock, Leiber and many others to build their game. These authors were among many the others who inspired Appendix N. But those authors were inspired by other, older authors. This article, among others in this series, takes a look at some of the writers that inspired Appendix N.

In my  previous article , I examined one of the titans of weird fiction: the legendary Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is an author that, while well-known, has come to be viewed as something of an albatross to be worn around the necks of high school English students: someone to be read as a duty, not something to be enjoyed. I suggested that, far from the confines of the classroom, a new reading of Poe would be an eye-opener...
By Bradley K. McDevitt
In my previous articles on Poe, which can be found  here  and  here , I discussed first why Poe was worth a second look. I then did an overview of some of his lesser-known stories and how they could be used as inspiration in a gaming setting before it was pointed out to me that not everyone in the audience has read Poe since they fulfilled their English requirement in high school.

We all know the titles of his most famous works, but for some, it has been decades since we have actually perused them. So, without further ado, let us take the dust off our English Literature texts, crumple our less-than-fond memories of Poe into a ball, lob them into the nearest trash can, and dive in...
Do you feel lucky? Well…do you?

You should, because this could be your lucky day! We are offering some amazing discounts on some of our products—you just have to trust your luck.

Our  Grab Bags  are back! This year they are bigger than ever, with a 3″ thick box of goodies pulled from our online warehouse. And each  Grab Bag  is unique, with plenty of product to fill out your game shelves.

And we’ve also got a new option for the lucky crowd:  The Mystery Module ! Similar to our  Grab Bags The Mystery Module  is another random selection from our warehouse shelves, but this time it is JUST from one of our printed modules. And  Mystery Modules  can be ordered by international customers, as long  The Mystery Module  is added on to an order with other items!

All the details are below, so let’s take a look!
From time to time we give fans the chance to get a GIANT box of Goodman goodness at a great price. The catch? We pick what goes in the box!

This year we are using a huge 3” deep box, and packing it full of product! We estimate each box will have $100-$150 MSRP worth of product – or more! The value’s so big, we can’t use our custom-printed boxes – we had to buy a new box size for this deal! We will stuff the box full of books and send it your way. Each grab bag may contain up to 5, 6, 7 or even 8 pounds of books! Which books will you get? We guarantee no duplicates in the box, and that all contents are in English. Otherwise, it can be anything from any of our product lines:  Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics, Age of Cthulhu, Xcrawl, Judges Guild, Metamorphosis Alpha, Fifth Edition Fantasy , systems neutral, maybe even older 3E or 4E titles. Some contents may be brand new, others might be scratch-and-dent. It could be anything! Only the gods themselves know for sure!

You might even get a t-shirt! We also have some odds-and-ends leftover tees in various sizes. If you’re interested in a t-shirt, include your shirt size in the comments of your order and we’ll see if you get lucky!

  • The 2020 Goodman Games Grab Bag may only be ordered by itself, and may not be combined with other product when ordered.
  • This offer is only available to customers in the USA. Sorry international folks, but shipping this many pounds of books overseas is cost-prohibitive!
  • We guarantee no duplicate titles in each grab bag, but we cannot guarantee there will be no duplicates across multiple grab bags, even those ordered by the same person—although we will try if they are ordered at the same time.
  • Some of the items may be slightly worn. We include things like customer returns, distributor returns, items with minor bends, and so on. Everything will be usable but some may be ‘slightly loved.’
Do you have the courage to face The Mystery Module?!

You can try your luck and add a  Mystery Module  to your next order at a low low price! Only the Gods know what module you’ll get it – but it’s fun and affordable!

What are the Mystery Modules ? Well, we have a lot of old modules lying around, and they need a home with a friendly gamer! These include  DCC  modules,  5E , even some of our licensed lines. Some of these modules are scratch-and-dent, others are overstocked, others are shop-worn from too many trips on the convention circuit. Who knows what the gods will bring you? The more you buy, the more you save! One  Mystery Module  is $7.00, which is at least 30% off the cover price. If you buy 3  Mystery Modules , they are $6.00 each. And if you buy 6  Mystery Modules , they are only $5.00 each, or at least 50% off the cover price!

  • Mystery Modules MUST be purchased with another product. Orders without other products included will be canceled. 
  • We guarantee no duplicate titles in Mystery Module purchase, but we cannot guarantee there will be no duplicates across multiple purchases, even those ordered by the same person—although we will try if they are ordered at the same time.
  • The Mystery Module CAN be ordered by international customers, as long as you add it on to an existing international order. This is different from our grab bags, and we hope international customers appreciate the addition!
Looking for a great game this weekend? Always remember to check out our Events Page! Below is an excerpt of what is available in the next few days, but for the full schedule click on the image!