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Harley Stroh
Old man falling down on concrete.
Old man falling down on concrete.


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+Goodman Games 's Dungeon Crawl Classics is our game of the month for July on reddit. Come and join us as we chat about this awesome game for te next two weeks!
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When folks wonder why DCC RPG has done so well, one of the answers is +Jon Marr. He'll never charge for his tools, but that doesn't mean he'll always be able to afford keeping them current and available.

Every little bit helps and goes towards ensuring that his tools remain available for all!
That special time of year has rolled around once again: The 2018 Purple Sorcerer Games Free Tools Pledge Drive is Underway!

We do this once a year to raise funds to help cover the costs of creating, maintaining, testing, publishing, and hosting our free tools. As always there’s a pile of awesome prizes and rewards available to those who participate, supplied by the coolest people in the hobby, including the Dark Master himself! (If you’d like to add something to the prize pool, let me know quickly so we can add it to the list!)

The drive will run through next Saturday. I’m always astonished by the generosity of this community: thanks so much for your continuing support of the free tools!
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This deserves a longer post but tournament, DCC projects X, Y, and Z, so here is the short version:

These adventures are nothing without the artists, editors, layout artists, backers.

It’s stupid to have a name on the cover, when the heist is the work of an entire crew.

Olson is my cracksman. Brinkman is the sharper. Kovacs is the wildcard.

What do I do but show up? These people KILL daily.

... so yeah, thank you.

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Ran session 4.5 for the Library Kids last night. Best turnout yet, with 9 players (now ranging from 3rd grade to 40s) ...

... Nine of the most vicious, backstabbing, vindictive reavers and marauders that I've seen at a table in a long time.

Having escaped the dour underworld of Sailors, the 1st level characters immediately set about settling old debts. Our Warrior (who, two sessions ago betrayed another PC to the beastmen and then looted his slain comrade's body) realized that half the party wanted him dead.

J's Warrior immediately set about drafting an adventuring covenant, whereby all the members of the party would refuse to harm, attack or steal from each other ever again. He was the first signatory, then passed around the compact.

The written replies were swift:


Sea Bro's Master amended the covenant to state that no harm would come to each other ... after revenge was had.

Everyone signed that agreement really quickly.

[All the while, the PCs are being assaulted by a tribe of croc-men.]

The party promptly split, one half to investigate a ruined tower in the woods, while their former companions were fending off another wave of the mighty croc-men.

The session ended with our 3rd grader losing his dwarf to the iron-like claws of a croc-man, just as his companions managed to defeat the last of the foes.
...Across the river, the "companions" had successfully lost all their spells in a failed assault of the tower. The Druidess has taken the initiative to paralyze J's Warrior, leaving him helpless as monsters began to stream out of the tower ...
... meanwhile, J has physically recovered the contract and is tearing it into bits, shouting loudly that the agreement is null and void.


If their occupations were all listed as "backstabbing brigand" they couldn't have been role played any better. Thankfully everyone is still having fun. But I'm staring down a table where half the party is out to kill the other half, and we are alternating scenes every 15 minutes. Which is lame for a 2.5 hour session.

As steward of the game, it's a clear fail.

I'm not going to tell them not to kill each other. (More and more I've come to realize that the freedom of choice afforded to kids via RPGs is about the only freedom they have in their lives.) So that's out.

Also, the stick method (Roll for initiative!) isn't working either, since they are only all too happy to use the monsters as pawns in their quest for revenge. (There is an ogre coming? I paralyze the Warrior!)

So that leaves the carrot: Greed.

All this time I've been treating them like players. I should have been treating them like pirates.

The croc-man shaman is going to have a certain overland treasure map and adventure log in its possession. But both will be laden with dread warnings about how magic is needed, how the last party died without healing, how the scout was devoured without warriors to defend her, etc.

Hopefully, the lure of loot, compounded with the threat of overwhelming odds will accomplish what a tribe of croc-men and Chaos Lords could not ...

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Sea Bro’s Master, Pt 2
tl/dr: Sea Bro's Master makes it out alive.
The Library Kids met last night for the third and final session of Sailors. Previous session here:

(In a testament to the eternally subversive element of RPGs, the kids were all ditching baseball or lacrosse to play DCC. Somewhere Doug Kovacs is smiling.)

With Sea Bro’s tentacles writhing up the pyramid, shredding beastmen left and right, I called for initiative. After a bit of terror paralysis (first two players in the count simply passed) the PCs started looting the bodies for better weapons. Better equipped, they charged the shaman en masse, hoping to drive him into the fire. But a dozen peasants swinging massive weapons wildly at the same target carries a degree of risk … I ruled that any roll of 1-3 risked wacking a bro.

… which is exactly when the dice turned on the PCs. They got some good hits in, but the round ended with two dead by friendly fire, a third plummeting into the inferno, and a fourth hanging over the pit, clinging to a spear held by the shaman.

Seeing his companions fall, Sea Bro’s Master got smart.

SBM: Can Sea Bro squirt water?

Harley: …

SBM: I sing the Song of the Sea, and command Sea Bro to extinguish the flames.

Harley: [Internally, delighted. Also: Dude, why do you keep ruining my dungeon?]

SBM scampers off and produces a note composed of single syllable words to command the leviathan to squirt water at the flames in the center of the ziggurat. I call for a Int check and of course he nails it.

A geyser of water erupts from the sea and comes crashing down on the beastman shaman, putting out the flames and any hope of the Chaos Lord rebirth scene. The PCs rally and charge. One throws a chicken. Together they manage to drive the beastman into the pit and to its doom.

Cavern begins to collapse, the PCs sprint for the ship, but then one thinks to loot a corpse. Randomly he comes up with a two-handed sword.

The rest of the players light up. They get greedy.

Blocks are falling, but the looting continues. Then one hits a PC run by SBM’s player.

Harley: Everybody grab a d20. Roll it and add them together. [roll, roll, tally] Max - your character takes 75 hit points damage.

SBM: 0.o

The rest of the PCs make it to the ship and ride out the waves, emerging as first level PCs just outside of some backwater called Hirot.


Leveling highlight: The players are copying their PCs from their zero level sheets to proper PC sheets. One of the kids realizes that after surviving all that, he likes his elf after all …

Elf: Can I, uh, change my character’s name?

Harley: Well he can certainly start calling himself by a new name and introducing himself by a new name, sure. But, all your friends will always know you by your original name: I Like Trains.


Second leveling highlight: The elves and wizards realize that they would need to quest for spells. Immediately everyone is interested in the grimoire handouts. (

Bad news: the PCs who stole the grimoires aren’t about to give them up.

Bob the Warrior (played by a third grader): If I give you this grimoire, will you teach me magic?

Wizard: Dude, you’re a warrior, you can’t -

Wizard is cut off by the Elf Formerly Known as I Like Trains -

ILT: Of course we’ll teach you magic [eye wink to wizard].

Bob hands over the grimoire but as soon as some of the spells are translated and the kids begin to grok how powerful they can be, Bob’s player rounds the table and physically takes the grimoire back. The entire session ends like a larp reenactment of the Otus image, with ILT chasing Bob’s player out the fire door of the library shouting, “Give me your grimoire!”

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GFA Year 4: Speed Round!
Calling all gongfarmers, scribes, and scriveners of dubious virtue!

Year 4 is a go! And we want YOU to write / illustrate / edit content for the best DCC zine never to be sold!

Want to jump in? Of course you do!

Join the community here, and get started!

To recap: The Gongfamer’s Almanac is a DCC zine written, illustrated, edited, laid out, and assembled by a dedicated crew of fierce, DIY volunteers. Twenty-two issues thus far. We want you for the next twenty.

Print volumes are released, FREE of charge for the asking at Gen Con, with FREE digital files being hosted via the digital distros after that.

(Print compilations are offered at cost, usually through Lulu or the like.)

Short version: This is done for the love of the game and our community, and as a testament that anyone and everyone should be writing for DCCRPG. No one gets paid, and we are going to keep it that way.

You have an imagination. You have ideas and a take on DCC that is entirely unique to you. Crack open the cranium, scrawl down your visions and horrors and let’s publish this thing!

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File under cheap props.
The Library Kids are going to level next session and choose their classes. They’ve stolen a few grimoires, so rather than give the elves and wizards random spells, they'll learn the spells from the grimoires. But right now it’s all gibberish because none of it has been deciphered. The kids will be questing for ways to translate the text and suss out the spells.

Using The Lesser Twitter Bot ( and a gibberish generator ( I made up a fake spellbook. (Which invokes real twinges of 3e layout horror flashbacks, but whatever the kids will think it is cool.)

Thanks to +Jon Marr's Purple Sorcerer grimoire generator ( it is really easy to print out DCC spells, one to a page. So as the casters decipher the text, we physically remove the deciphered page, and insert the Purple Sorcerer page.

Voila: Crappy fake spellbook and ongoing plot hook.

Here is a link to the worst fake spellbook ever:

And here’s a list of the spell translations that I’m thinking of using:


ADESHAZ: Chill Touch

SRASIT: Color spray

LAREIS: Cantrip

ZADKIZON: Find familiar

ALPHOEL: Magic Missile

ABIMALATH: Magic Shield

BAETHEYAH: Animal summoning

AZAZCA: Force manipulation

LEAAL: Flaming hands

BIRETHI: Enlarge
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Ya'll know about the GFA. But do you know about the other free DCC zine?
The Sanctum Secorum Companion e’zine is free – so there isn’t a barrier to reading the DCC- madness that gibbers off the page in every issue. Still, we think it is a pretty big deal to pass 15,000 downloads and there is plenty more to come. Thanks for…
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