The Gong Farmer: A Career for WFRP 1, 2, and 3
I was recently at an SCA event, where I heard the medieval term “gong farmer” used to describe those valiant and unsung heroes who empty and maintain the Portajohns (known within the SCA as “Portacastles”). Through some wierd mental process, this got me thinking about gong farmer as a WFRP career. In many ways it’s tailor-made for the grubby and malodorous Old World setting.
What follows is a mental doodle as much as anything, but I also wanted to see how easy it would be to create a career for all three editions of WFRP: from the ground up, rather than simply adapting from one edition to another. I wrote it for my own amusement and not for GW or Fantasy Flight, so it’s not to be regarded as in any way official. Even so, I hope WFRP fans out there find it useful, or at least interesting.
The Gong Farmer
A New Career for WFRP
By Graeme Davis
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and WFRP are trademarks owned by Games Workshop Ltd. WFRP 3rd edition is published under license by Fantasy Flight Games. This article is a fan work and is not intended to be official or to challenge any trademark or copyright of Games Workshop or Fantasy Flight Games.
The gong farmer has the least enviable job in the Old World. In towns and other settlements without a sewer system, the gong farmer gathers up all human waste and deposits it in a communal dump or cesspool outside the walls. Often permitted to work only at night, gong farmers are also known as nightsoil men.
Owing to the nature of their profession, gong farmers are able to remain calm in the face of things that would disgust and even nauseate ordinary folk. They are also well able to resist disease and poison through long exposure to the most noxious of substances.
The job is not without its compensations, but they are few and unreliable. Gong farmers have access – albeit at night and well supervised – to the houses of the great and good and can find themselves privy (pun intended) to household secrets as well as having a unique insight into their state of health. In addition, the by-laws of many communities allow gong farmers to keep any coins, small pieces of jewellery, or other items of value that they may find in the course of their work.
No Sense of Smell (Optional Rule)
A character with this skill or talent literally has no sense of smell. Their olfactory sense has been completely destroyed by long exposure to foul-smelling substances or through some other circumstance. They automatically fail any dice roll that depends upon smell.
First Edition Profile
M WS BS S T W I A Dex
Ld Int Cl WP Fel
Immunity to Disease
Immunity to Poison
No Sense of Smell (see above)
Second Edition Profile
WS BS S T Ag Int WP Fel
— — — +10% — — +10% —
A W SB TB M Mag IP FP
— +2 — — — — — —
Skills: Common Knowledge (local community), Perception
Talents: Night Vision, No Sense of Smell (see above), Resistance to Disease, Resistance to Poison, Strong-Minded
Trappings: Ragged clothing, Shovel, Wheelbarrow, Lantern
Career Entries: Bone Picker, Peasant
Career Exits: Agitator, Bone Picker, Grave Robber, Rat Catcher, Rogue, Sewer Jack (Ashes of Middenheim), Vagabond
Third Edition Profile
Basic Career: Human
Basic, Menial, Social, Urban
Primary Characteristics: Toughness, Willpower
Career Skills: Discipline, Folklore (local area), No Sense of Smell (see above), Observation, Resilience
Action 2 Talent1
Skill 2 Fortune 1
Conservative 2 Reckless 1
Typical Trappings: Ragged clothing, Shovel, Wheelbarrow, Lantern
2nd edition version by Colin Chapman: http://www.scribd.com/doc/156852704/Warhammer-Fantasy-2nd-Edition-Gong-Farmer