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why? fatal error: invalid device 'ascii'

I attempted to upgrade a macintosh SE/30 (of all things)
that is running OpenBSD 2.7. It runs an internal name service, a small task
which it handles quite well, besides what else would you use an SE/30 for today.

First I got the current 2.7 source, via CVS (the stable/patch) branch.

Then rebuilt a kernel, that was ok.

Then I attempted to rebuild the binaries by of course doing

make obj && make build

After running all night it died at

building shared c library (version 25.0)
ld -x -Bshareable -Bforcearchive -o lib.so.25.0 libc_pic.a
nroff -Tascii -mandoc /usr/src/lib/libc/db/man/btree.3 > btree.cat3
groff: can't find 'DESC' file
groff: fatal error: invalid device 'ascii'
*** Error code 1
Stop in /usr/src/lib/libc.
*** Error code 1
Stop in /usr/src/lib.
*** Error code 1
Stop in /usr/src (line 79 of Makefile)

Note I've gnu's version of awk and gmake installed. The man directory was erased many months ago to save space.

Anyone have any idea what I've done wrong? Or what I need to do to continue?
John M. McIntosh <johnmci_(_at_)_smalltalkconsulting_(_dot_)_com> 1-800-477-2659
Corporate Smalltalk Consulting Ltd.  http://www.smalltalkconsulting.com