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8/31/22

writing and the internet a d100 table

I did this drawing last night. I call this piece Fort turtle hybrid with 'wet eyes'. It's depicting a scene from one of my upcoming adventures. 

To the best of my ability, I've taken a week off discord.

I'm writing every day.

I've been working on my next few adventures.

Here's a typical 'session' of me working on my adventures.

1. get a can of Valentino Rossi's signature Monster energy drink and drink half of it

2. check e-mail

3. check twitter

4. check for any new submissions to the Troika City Jam

5. feel a little bad that there are no new submissions

6. get up and go to the bathroom

7. sit back down at the computer

8. check twitter

9. maximize the manuscript of the adventure in google docs

10. begin to read it

11. feel a little uninspired

12. think briefly about my future

13. feel a little doomed

14. drink the rest of Valentino Rossi's signature Monster energy drink

15. look on the internet for something to inspire me

16. open youtube in a new tab, click on 'mixes', click on 'Mix - Laura Les - gone with a knife; given all wrong (Slowed + Reverb) [CC]'

17. message my friend 'Sean' on messenger what I'm listening to

18. think about maximizing the manuscript of the adventure in google docs

19. feel small, flex, feel small

20. use the bathroom

21. feel a little hungry

22. go outside and smoke a cigarette

23. back at the computer, check twitter

24. feel social and good from the energy drink and from having just been outside

25. message 'Tony' that 'I think I really want to see what it's like to have a dev editor, like 'Jert', or someone like him'

26. promise 'Tony' that 'I won't go back to college' with a 'shit-eatin-grin' on my face

27. maximize and scroll through my adventure, quickly, without actually thinking about or acknowledging it really

28. scroll to the top and begin to read my adventure

29. notice that my eyes are unfocusing a little 

30. think about other aspects of my life

31. focus my eyes

32. stretch my neck

33. stand up and stretch my neck and arms

34. select-all my adventure and change the font size to eight and single-space it all, to gain perspective

35. scroll down, quickly like a game

36. stop suddenly

37. read over a section

38. delete a comma that I had added the day before

39. delete an adjective that I had added the day before

40. delete some other things I had added the day before

41. go to the part that I consistently enjoy working on and write one or two sentences and add em-dash parentheticals to a few places

42. rewrite those one or two sentences for a long time

43. finally combine the two sentences into one sentence and rewrite that sentence and then finally get a really good sentence there

44. feel really good and social after writing that sentence that was really good

45. reply to some messages because of feeling really good and social

46. send some tweets to some people

47. talk to people for a while

48. use the bathroom

49. begin to feel a little tired and uncreative

50. look at my adventure

51. tell myself to spend one hour straight only working on the adventure

52. acknowledge to myself that it won't happen

53. check twitter

54. tell myself one hour starting now

55. get up and use the bathroom

56. realize the music I have on is getting annoying

57. click on the youtube tab, click on 'Mix - Post-Hardcore' because it has a thumbnail of the album 'Frame & Canvas' by Braid and I know it's going to be the song 'A Dozen Roses', fuck I love that song

58. feel really agitated and hopeless

59. threaten myself to work on the adventure or else

60. begin to read the beginning of the adventure

61. realize that that sentence I thought earlier was good is derivative and not even that good and go to where it is and look at it and then delete it

62. 'undo-delete'

63. copy the sentence and paste it at the end of the manuscript

64. go over all the words pasted at the end of the adventure that I am not going to use for the adventure

65. find that some of those things are really good

66. try to re-insert some of those things into the current manuscript

67. tell myself I shouldn't trust myself to do this right now, since the last coffee I had was a while ago and right now I won't think that anything is good, overall, no matter what, in life

68. type 'PRINT THIS OUT AND ORGANIZE IT' on the top of the manuscript

69. realize I don't have printer ink

70. check twitter and messenger

71. decide to work on my adventure for thirty minutes straight or else

72. go outside and smoke a cigarette

73. sit at the computer, maximize my adventure, and think about screaming

74. check twitter and messenger

75. read reviews of books by Richard Yates

76. think about how I just finished reading his novel 'The Easter Parade' and how depressing but lovely it is and that it feels like a book I'd read to an older woman, in a hospital, at her bedside, and she would think of how much she thinks she relates to the characters but most likely didn't understand or remember what was happening in the novel, because I only came to see her for 45 minutes once a month and spent only 20 of those minutes reading while a nurse stood slightly out of my view in the doorway listening in on my reading and actually relating to the main character

77. really hope that isn't how my future plays out

78. maximize my adventure and write stats for a Utahraptor, Triceratops, and a T Rex Zombie

79. send 'Sean' my dinosaur stats 

80. just keep writing

81. I started this adventure august 6th and it's almost done

82. don't try AT ALL to be sensitive or moving, but just odd and interesting

83. decide to walk to the market and get dinner

85. drink an iced coffee on my walk back 'home'

86. listen to the album 'Shed' by Title Fight.

87. someone should organize all that into a poem and then submit it simultaneously to fifteen online literary magazines as an experiment in... something

88. I thought about deleting the sentence directly above this one, then left it there and wrote this sentence instead; that's like the opposite of revision

89. not the opposite, but you know what I mean 

90. I made it worse instead of improving it

91. what else

92. um

93. I intended every other night to make my adventure better

94. I don't like that I put it all on hold

95. this is the worst blog post ever

96. I want to be attacked in the comments section

97. I want people to attack, to make personal attacks

98. I'll probably attack myself in the comments section

99. actually, I promise to do that

100. I look forward to it


8/17/22

the food critic, an enemy for troika!





Perrine Anouiih, The Food Critic

Pompous and aggressive. She likes to think of herself as ‘stealthy’. Armed with broken glassware, stolen serving forks, or knives. 

Mien
1. “Where’s my wine?”
2. ”What does this plate suggest to you?”
3. ”Is it art ?!”
4. Wants a personal meal, if served will then sigh and ask you for something else
5. Becoming irritated
6. Will eat their meal, write the review, and then burn the place down

Stamina 8
Skill 7 
Initiative 2
Armor 0
Damage as weapon

I'm hosting a game jam over on itch all about Troika City! It started August 1st and will run all month long. There's a ton of great entries so far! Make sure you go check that out.

I think this enemy would pair especially well with Evey's diner game. I highly suggest grabbing that as well as buying all of her other games.


8/11/22

6 variations of the same encounter featuring a gargoyle

 


This started out as a writing exercise. If you have your own idea for a related encounter please leave a comment. (The image is from the Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. It is haunted.)

1. A gargoyle comes to life every night and eats someone they find walking the city streets.

2. Due to lack of building inspections the roof of the church is deteriorating. Last night a section of the corner with that creepy statue fell off and killed someone.

3. The gargoyle doesn't actually come to life. It's a normal statue. The stories of them are lies. A cult is murdering folks for blood rituals. They stalk the streets every other night.

4. OOPS! A wizard accidentally cast a spell which ricocheted out of sight. Unknown to them it was stone to flesh which hit the gargoyle.

5. A new fad of owning monsters-as-art has been spreading across the city. This has been dangerous. Did you hear about the person who bought that gargoyle thinking it would be cool to show off to their friends?

6. A piece of solid stone spoke to a sculptor. "Carve me in the image of a monster" it said. When the last piece was chiseled off the gargoyle killed the man.

Anyway, the point is, gargoyles are cool! I think they would make for a great encounter using Kriegmesser (troika). Below I've provided my own stats for gargoyles and cultists to be used with Troika

Gargoyle
A stone elemental twisted by demonic magic.

Mien
1. Irreverant
2. Skulking
3. Protruding, but not moving

Stamina 24
Skill 8
Initiative 2
Armor 4 or 0 against tools designed to damage stone
Bite or Claw as Large Beast

Special - Immunities of inorganic constructs

Cultist of the Broken Statue
They worship chaos. 1d6+1 appearing. Armed with garrotes, daggers, a net with hold person cast on it, and each with a scroll of flesh to stone. Test luck or be turned to stone for d3 rounds. If a scroll is used a second time on the same target the effect is permanent.

Mien
1. Faithful
2. Hospitable
3. Muttering, "what'cha doing with your life?"

Stamina 11
Skill 6
Initiative 1
Armor 0
Damage as weapon

Special - They have a third eye (unseeable until opened), test luck or be stunned for the first round.

8/10/22

Frontier Scum mini-campaign

session 1

I am starting a mini campaign of Frontier Scum with 3 of my friends. Only 2 players made it for the first session. Here’s a quick summary of our game.

I was planning to run The Bark Witch of Carcass Country but figured it would be something I needed to plan more for as knowing my players would just kind of run through it fairly quickly.

Anyway, I started them with a prompt from that adventure. They are on the run from some regulators and the party is on their way to find a place to lay low.

They started off at sunset traveling through the hillside when they find a two story home. It’s the Family of Carcass County adventure.

They decided to just walk up and knock on the door. The father of the family answered the door and as soon as I described his face being ‘long in the tooth’ they shot him in the chest. So needless to say from here on out they just found themselves fighting the entire family. Which ended up going well for them. Never had to roll on the death/drop table.

After exploring most of the house they went into the last room where they all got bed bugs. They stripped naked, set the house on fire, and were back on the trail.

After getting enough distance from them and the house they set up camp for the night, still naked except their boots. The following morning Ol’ Skrumpy from the Bark Witch adventure came across their camp. Immediately they got the upper hand on him and took his clothes. They tied him up and told him to lead them safely to Sickwater Oasis. They got into a fight with a Trog, found the derelict boxcar and are a few days from Sickwater Oasis still.

Friday we’ll see if they can survive their next encounters.


8/8/22

my thoughts on Fungiable, or the only zinequest4 post I'll be making


First off FUCK nfts and crypto. The author of Fungiable feels the same. 

This zine is built off the absurdity of nfts and how they spread like fungal spores, disgustingly. 

It's a hack of the Wretched & Alone rpg which I've never played. I'm a fan of playing rpgs solo but I've never played a game that is intended to be a journaling experience. Looking at the kickstarter all you need is some dice and a deck of playing cards to begin your tech horror journal. 

I'm a big fan of satire and dystopian futures. Something new this zine is doing that I think is a first (leave a comment if I'm wrong. leave a comment if I'm right) is after completing the game there's a new game plus feature. 

One of the stretch goals for it is a limited handcraft version printed from L.F. OSR that will come with an actual coin. Definitely check out their stuff if you've never heard of them.

I really enjoy body horror for some reason. It's the most frightening thing I feel that can happen to players in games. Something inside of you. 

Here's a quick introduction I copied from the kickstarter page.


"You see a message from an old college friend. Intrigued, you decide to check it out. After a little catching up, they ask if you've heard of SPOR coin, the next big cryptocurrency according to them. You've heard the rags to riches tales, so what could possibly go wrong?"

Seems like as your character's bank account grows so does this fungal infection. CREEPY. Fuck, this reminds of that segment from the Creep Show movie where Stephen King is that farmer that turns into his crop. I think it may have been CORN.

Fungiable can be found here
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dicemaven/fungiable

P.S.
Let's keep brutally punching up at tech bros.

8/5/22

first time running Frontier Scum

 

Tomorrow I’m running my first session of Frontier Scum. The plan is to make a short campaign of it that lasts 5 sessions or so. One player who does awesome design work for TTRPGs may not be able to make the game tomorrow so we decided to run a quick 1 on 1 game.

I decided to use a little zine I’ve wanted to play a while now called Swine. It’s available in a few places. You can find a physical copy at Exalted Funeral, here on Blark’s itch page, and from Spear Witch in the the Violence TTRPG jam zine.

We started the game in middle of the action. Fire Bug, the nick name of the player, was robbing a pig farmer of his whole head of 18 pigs.

After failing to make any type of negotiations with the rancher Fire Bug shot him dead. He realized after the fact that moving 18 pigs to be sold to a man 4 days away on horseback might be harder than he had originally anticipated. So he went to the neighbor to try to convince them to lend a hand.

For the neighbor I used Loraine Moody, from The Family of Carcass County entry that was submitted to the Frontier Scum Jam happening right now on itch.

Obviously hearing the gunshot from earlier and knowing that the pig rancher doesn’t usually have outsiders as guests she set her large dog on Fire Bug. She tried to run into the house but took a shot to the back first.

Fire Bug got into a whipping fight with the dog and rolled a natural 20 so he gained a skill in whip fighting. Oh and he rolled a 1 in this encounter too and lost his ace.

After a real nasty bite from the large dog Fire Bug retreated back to the pig ranch to heal up using the whiskey bottles he found in the man’s house.

Now ready to get the 18 pigs to the buyer I asked the player if he wanted to take the hills or the road. It turned the 4 days journey into a 5 day ride. Course he wanted to take the hills. He’s a wanted man. Wanted dead for arson I think it was.

I decided to roll 3 encounters a day.

The first one was “1d3 pigs have been led astray by a hill witch’s song deeper into the wood. It will take time to find and retrieve them.” Fire bug tried to whip at the single pig that was following the song but it ran off and he still had 17 to worry about.

Further down into the woods the next encounter was “the pigs get into fermenting barrels buried in the earth, becoming too drunk to walk. They need 1 day to recover fully.” Fire Bug decided to set up camp for the night. He looked for tracks in the area for bears or wolves but failed his wits check. I asked the player if he was going to try and keep watch or anything like that but he said he was just going to sleep. I had them roll a difficult Wits check to see if he would wake up in the night but he didn’t. 3 bandits ended up coming through his site and stealing 6 pigs.

In the morning Fire Bug successfully rolled a WITS test and found tracks of the men and the pigs. It lead to the road.

He passed by to witchy looking older ladies and they offered to trade their talisman for a pig but Fire Bug wasn’t interested.

Further down the trail Fire Bug came across some hastily buried graves but kept moving.

Oh, I kept rolling a d6 when I rolled each encounter the second day. On a 1 he would find the pig bandits.

Right before sundown he saw the 3 men and his 6 pigs up a ways. He tried to rustle up all his pigs and have them stampede the men. I decided he would need to pass a difficult luck test. Fire Bug failed that and the men heard him coming. They turn away and see him. We roll initiative.

Fire Bug was able to take out the only bandit that had a rifle from a distance. When he rode in to attack the other two men who only had melee weapons it went real bad real fast. They clubbed him real good and he fell off his horse. Fire Bug was at -1 HP and rolled on the drop check table. The bandits took all he had and left him for dead but Fire Bug was still hanging in there.

We ended the session there. I realized after he should have rolled d4 at the end of the scuffle which would have at least brought him to zero HP. He was out of food, drink, dip, and smoke though so he probably would have ended up having to crawl his way back, somewhere, somehow.

R.I.P. Fire Bug.

When I asked the player about the session a few hours later he said Frontier Scum was like GTA and he wants a better goal next game, like robbing a bank.

cryptid in july poetry day 22, the merman

 

a poem about the merman

i am in my cocoon like cave

the ocean is very cold

there are too many fish

i tried to hold a dolphin’s fin and hug it

but it doesn’t want to hug me

so i swam away


i swim slowly to the surface

it is rainy today

it is grey and boring

i have a feeling of immense foreboding


i glare at everything

everything glares back at me


it’s the anniversary of my cousin’s suicide


he screamed at a lionfish

until it stung him

in his neck

with an anal fin spine

8/4/22

cryptid in july poetry day 21, the lizard-man of scape ore swamp

 

a poem about the lizard-man of scape ore swamp

it’s raining outside my window
i think that this rain
should probably symbolize death

i wonder if it is raining outside
my other window
i walk into the kitchen
look out the window

”it is raining
and it still symbolizes death”

my girlfriend looks at my forehead and says
”why do you say things like that?”

”i was joking”

”i don’t think you’re joking
you’re always saying stuff like that”

it is raining outside both windows
i am in the kitchen
sitting on a small chrome stool

i pull my cellphone from my pocket
look at it in my open hand

my cell phone opens up like a mouth

”i was just being funny
i’m bored and tired of watching tv with you”

”maybe if you’re really bored you can just fuck me on the couch with my legs up in the air and i can scream real loud, or something”

i pretend to smile

but she knows i’m not really smiling

”you’re kind of a bastard” she says

”what?”

”nothing”

”i’m tired”

i turn off my cell phone
go outside
sit on my stoop
lean my head against the railing
the railing is cold
hard
but i lean my head there anyway
i wait a while
i don’t know what i’m supposed to do anymore
i should wait here until somebody tells me what to do

i go back inside
i clean all the dishes by hand
i dry them with a towel
i walk into the bathroom
shut the door
sit down on the toilet
i stand up
open the door
walk into the kitchen
i spray the counters with spray cleaner
sit on the couch
i stand up
walk to the window
look out the window

my bear neighbor is looking through their window at me so i wave back but they don’t wave back

i walk into the kitchen
lie down on the floor
feel the floor’s cold
through the scales on my back

”what are you doing?”
my girlfriend asks

”contemplating”

”do you want some ice cream?”

i nod

i will eat the ice cream

8/1/22

cryptid in july poetry day 20, the black eyed kids

 

a poem about the black eyed kids

black eyed kids are able to view all things equally
they are not obsessed with any one thing
unless sarcastically

they have the ability
to scream in agony
while maintaining a neutral facial expression
and calm body posture

they forgot where they were buried
and return to the wrong hole
unable to enter the earth

there should be a specific word for this disappointment