Home > games > The Gong Farmer: A Career for WFRP 1, 2, and 3

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

Download PDF version (WFRP 1st Edition)

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

Advance Scheme

M         WS       BS        S          T          W         I           A          Dex     

                                                +2        +2

Ld        Int        Cl         WP       Fel

                        +10       +10


Immunity to Disease

Immunity to Poison

No Sense of Smell (see above)

Very Resilient


Ragged clothing




Career Exits



Grave Robber


Rat Catcher


Second Edition Profile

Advance Scheme

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

Wound 1

Typical Trappings: Ragged clothing, Shovel, Wheelbarrow, Lantern




Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gong_farmer

2nd edition version by Colin Chapman: http://www.scribd.com/doc/156852704/Warhammer-Fantasy-2nd-Edition-Gong-Farmer

  1. August 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Any career in which “Beggar” can be considered a promotion is one I want to play. 🙂

  2. August 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Reblogged this on A Seat By The Fire and commented:
    My friend Graeme wrote up a new career for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, my favorite fantasy RPG. It’s not official, but it’s definitely a career I’d want to play. I mean, a career in which becoming a beggar is considered a step up? Love it.

  3. Rob
    August 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Great stuff. I love adding to the menial level careers – servants, rat-catchers and gong farmers etc.

    For 3rd edition, a career ability is also needed. Given the observational talents of spotting something valuable in the muck and the resilience gained by exposure, something like “Once a session add expertise die to an Observation or Resilience check.”

    Been running Enemy Within 3rd edition and enjoying the Beasts in Velvet easter eggs throughout it.

  4. RogerBW
    August 12, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I’d say “we used to dream of being promoted to ratcatcher”, but actually we did — the combination of immunity to poison and the small loyal dog made it one of the most desirable careers for our group.

  5. August 14, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Some nice 3rd edition feedback over on the Fantasy Flight WFRP forum: http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/88352-the-gong-farmer/

  6. erpegis
    August 18, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Can he become an agitator because he’s a turd flinger?

  7. August 18, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Hmm – from literal to figurative sh*t stirrer. That seems like a logical career progression to me! :^) Reminds me of a (sadly, canned) MMORPG I worked on a few years back where one designer decided to give monkeys a feat he called “fecal fling.”

  1. May 6, 2015 at 10:57 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: