A new background for your Troika! games...

Hamster Girl <3
You ride the bus to the store to shoplift batteries. When you get back home you sell the batteries on an online auction site. Working part time as a janitor at the nearest school isn't coving the bills. 

Bottle of organic cruelty free shampoo
3 boxes of pasta made from organic soybeans your friend mailed you
Bus pass
A box cutter

Advanced Skills:
1 Climbing
2 Shoplifting
2 Sneaking
2 Writing poetry and short stories about feeling existentially challenged
2 Making smoothies
3 Biting (damage as small beast)

I've been writing a modern suburban troika adventure for a MINUTE. Imposter syndrome is real. Don't let that shit get you down. Don't lose momentum. That top piece of art was made using a prompt based AI art generator. I'm including a portrait I drew of her in paint below. Thinking about making my suburban adventure a project for Zine Quest 4. Also contemplating just printing it myself and you know trying to get stores to buy it in bulk and sell copies out of the back of my truck along with my mixtape.
Drop an 'ell Yeah! in the comments if you love Hamster Girl. <3



Book Review: The Yellow Forklift by Sam Pink

I really wanted this short story to be more than 15 pages. It reminded me of a girl I dated that wanted to get her forklift operator certification. She came out as bisexual recently I heard. I should have seen her interest in heavy machinery as a sign (I guess). Maybe I never gave her enough attention or appreciation. Good for her. I feel happy about her being happy. (Now back to this book review). To me the eyes on the cover of the book are filled with dread. Like fuck I have to drive the yellow forklift today. The triangles circled around the eyes are like a sharks jaw circling our narrator in dread. This book was released in 2021.

The main character is a water delivery truck driver based out of Indiana (it seems super bleak) we only know by a nickname he gives himself. The Rainman. The yellow forklift is a piece of shit that gives the Rainman a huge headache when he has to load his own pallets of water jugs. You see delivery drivers such as him are only allowed to operate the yellow forklift. It takes like 10 minutes for him to get the damn forklift to even start, the breaks hardly work and the fork's hydraulics are hit or miss. Sometimes Rainman is lucky though and a forklift operator from the warehouse will be available to unload/reload his van for him using the nice red forklift that's electric. 

We only follow the Rainman for two days as he makes his deliveries. On the second day Rainman returns to the warehouse to find the yellow forklift is being driven by Joe. Rainman has never met Joe. Joe was on a leave of absence after trying to get clean for like the third time since losing his wife to cancer. Rainman can't believe the grace Joe has when operating the yellow forklift. It's like it's been completely refurbished overnight or something. Joe is the man! 

I really enjoyed this window into a days life of a water delivery driver. I feel it would make a really great short mumblecore film (honestly I think most of Sam's books would.) Maybe I should buy the rights (I'll ask Sam about that one day perhaps).

This story can be found in Sam’s short story collection Hurt Others.

5 out 5 World Stars!

If you think you'd like Sam's books you should send him a DM on twitter (@sampinkisalive) and buy one directly from him. 


A new background for your Troika! games...

Menial Desk Jockey

If you are an introvert this is for you. Surrounded by grey walls and head down in paper work. No one wants to talk to you but they have to pass by your cubical every day so out of politeness they say "hello". Possession: -TPS report covers. -Suspenders and glasses (+1 awareness and armor) -Piles of paperwork -Fish wrapped in paper (counts as always fresh and a ration) -Red Stapler (ranged and causes damage like whatever your GM agrees to) Advanced Skills: 3 filing paper work 2 business stuff 3 red stapler 1 slacking off Special: You aren't... XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX UPDATE: Someone was so moved after reading my background on the official Melsonia (Troika! discord) that they made a companion background called Office Printer. Get it here.


Book Review: The No Hellos Diet by Sam Pink

A Florida-Man sent me this book as part of a care package after a bad break up. We played this table top rpg together online called TROIKA! I was laughing out lout not 7 minutes after reading the first sentence. It's a really short story but I took my time reading it for a week a little bit each night after my corporate whore of a job. After reading it I immediately wanted more. Have you ever worked stock room at a grocery store? In my own words. I pay the grocer. I fix the toaster. Sam's style is so fun to read. This is a great introduction to Sam's writing. When Sam said "you just imagined that and it made you dizzy" I felt that. My favorite character in the book is Sour Cream. He wears fake diamond earrings and has catch phrases like "Big-dick time."

Ell yeah! 5 out of 5 WORLD STARS!!!


Pretty Paleozoic Pals part 4 (I invited a friend to play a session with me!)

 Walt is playing Moonbeam, a Fern Hag from Dry Wind Gap. (he's heard about troika before and bought some of their books recently) We met while both attending Memorial University of Newfoundland circa 2009. More on that story another time. I asked Walt to send me something to post on the blog. Let's start with Moonbeam's side of the story...

As the sun was setting Moonbeam waddled along outside of her village to a nearby river. She rarely ventured outside of her village because she wasn't the oldest of dimetrodons but was keen for an adventure every now and again.

The leader of the town of Dry Wind Gap, left earlier in the day and had yet to return. When Bubble Eddie's away, Moonbeam will play! In an attempt to hone her skills, Moonbeam wanted to fish. She hoped to catch a coelecanth but really any fish would do for a bedtime snack. She put her front quarters into the river and thrashed about. Nothing! As she stepped backwards out of the water and let out an exasperated sigh she noticed two travellers about 100 feet away. One was a dimetrodon with a beautiful sail and the other was floating about the ground, a squid-like blob.

'Hey! Hey you, squid girl!' Moonbeam called. The squid-like creature who was holding a number of stone tablets said 'my name is NOT Squid Girl. I am Harpnoodler...' and she chattered on with annoying facts about herself that Moonbeam did not care to pay attention to. Frogbroth the dimetrodon was next to introduce themselves. Moonbeam learned they had been travelling for 3 days and were weary and needed to rest. Frogbroth and Harpnoodler asked Moonbeam if she knew where they could find a friendship bracelet. As Moonbeam was allied with the Guild of artisans and crafters in Dry Wind Gap, she knew it wouldn't take Bliss long to whip one up. 'I think I might know someone in town who might make friendship bracelets,' said Moonbeam - careful not to reveal too much information to these strange travelers from a distant land. Moonbeam was aligned with the elder crafters and artisans guild in her village. There were three kooky dimetrons that were a part of this artsy group. Mud, a quiet and shy dimetrodon who is a cermacist in Dry Wind Gap. Mud made all types of pottery and earthenware dishes, but she would put her own unique spin on them -- incorporating bits of insects and bugs into each piece. Splish, a rough and tough butch lesbian dimetrodon that doesn't take no shit and don't need no man. Splish makes watercrafts and vessels to traverse the rivers and bays outside of Dry Wind Gap. She's a real hammer and nails kinda gal. And lastly, there's Bliss - Moonbeam's closest friend. Bliss is a hippie dimetrodon at heart, one who follows only good vibes and chill flows. Bliss makes beautiful garments using organic fabrics as well as accessories. Although the elders are generally fearful of flowers as they are new to the Permian period, Bliss embraces them and wears a flower crown on her head of yellow and white flowers. Hey, a garment maker has got to keep up with the latest fashions, right? Even if she is a bazillion years old! Frogbroth decided to try to catch a fish and plunged themselves face first into the river. They came out with a fish flapping in their mouth and dropped it on the bank of of the river that was covered in algae. It flapped about. Moonbeam offered Frogbroth and Harpnoodler to stay with her and the other guildmembers for the night and they obliged. Frogbroth tried to catch another fish to bring with them to the village as a token of their appreciation but was unsuccessful. The fish they caught and cut into fillets with a stone would have to do. The sun was almost fully set when Moonbean encouraged them to all head back to the village. So off they set, for Dry Wind Gap.

A collection of my #Inktober artwork

1. Nautiloid in my work notebook. Here's a tip. If your job sucks try using gel pens with glitter to bring the slightest happiness to your work day.

2. A little map I drew for my solo Paleozoic Pals game.

3. An alligator looking for cocaine.

4. An airboat. I love bayous. 

5. Self-portrait as a frog. 

5. Bull riding is a metaphor. Ultimately the rider will be thrown. Failing to subdue (insert forces). I drew this because I watched the film Brokeback Mountain for the first time. My heart was broken and I wanted a really sad movie to just break my heart even more. It's a really underrated film. Anyway that's the story behind this one. 

6. This is from a one page dungeon I made that I should share here at some point. He's a druid with 100 dogs and he has this weapon called the 'neuterazor'.

6. One boo and 5 shrooms.

7. What's Stupid Horse thinking? Here's what some of the answers people submitted were...1. "I should feel up their tattoos when I ask them about it." 2. "The perfect mount doesn't exis... I have found the perfect mount!" 3. "Deez Nuts!" 4. "I bet my liver is bullet proof."

8. My final and favorite image. "Where I want to be."

October was really bad personally. I went through a terrible break up. I spent most of my time trying to stay numb. Drawing helped. I got a lot of compliments on my style and I believe my drawing has improved. The plan is to keep making art pieces in my distinct style and to become a true bloomer and no long a doomer.


the beautiful sunset...Very Pretty Paleozoic Pals part 3 solo

(if you're on your phone scroll down and select view web version. when it reloads hit play on the video to listen to music while you read if you like)
     The voice of a talkative Wet Grass Beast calls out to the party.

    "Come. Sit. Talk."

(photo i edited from the book)

    Steam rises from rain hitting the hot coals. But there's not a fire. There's a mound of mud, sticks and wet grass beyond the coals. It actually seems cozy. A few flowers are included.  

    Frogbroth's disconcerting white eyes lock with the figure that spoke. Their eyes are dead. 

    "I'm Sail-Gem." The tall permian throws brush on the coals. A fire starts to burn.
    "I love polkadots." Harpnoodler compliments Sail-Gem's bow tie.
    "Mmms. Yes. Thank you. You have a lovely shell. And you..." Sail-Gem nods to Frogbroth. "Is that a voidstar?"
    "Indeed Sail-Gem. I'd like to summon another tonight."
    "Have you heard of the pretty dig?" Sail-Gem asks, placing a pot on the fire. The flames don't seem to bother her as it clearly burns her flesh for a second. 
    "The pretty dig?" Harpnoodler holds a thin stone tablet and her eyes narrow on Sail-Gem. 
    "I knew a digger I did. From 'round up there. It's a hole... to the North. That's where I'm headed. I'd like to see them again."
    "Are you dead?"
    "I've never been so alive."
    Sail-Gem serves a bowl of stew that smells ripe to Frog and Harp. Harp heals 5 stamina from the meal and Frog offers her serving to Harp. Harp heals another 1 stamina. 

    Frogbroth leaves the fire and makes her way into Sail-Gem's brush tent bedroom. She blows out their candles and calls to the voidstar constellation. The spell fails and she feels betrayed. She calls her lone voidstar to her face and settles in for the night. The voidstar vibrates against her smooth skin. She calls upon the constellation of dead wisdom. Nothing happens. She cries clutching her ancestors toothed necklace until she falls asleep. 

    In the morning the party awakes on opposite sides of the brush tent. Frog looks over and harp and all she can see is her and slightest sound of snoring. Sail-Gem is nowhere to be found. The coals are still hot. There are tracks leading into the marsh east. 

    "Well that's where we're going too." Harpnoodler and Frogbrother hold each other as they walk eastward. 

    The rest of the day is a short, streamy rainstorm, then more sunshine. Frogbroth wishes she grabbed the flowers from Sail-Gem's camp.

    "We made it." Harpnoodler says, overlooking many streams that surround a village in the distance centered between two large orange hills. As the sun sets Harp winks at Frog. 

    Frogbroth lies down on some rocks near the stream and Harpnoodler levitates beside her. Harp lays a tentacle on Frog's hip but and Frog readjusts herself. Harpnoodler retreats her tentacle and they soak up the last bit of sun. 


"4pm and raining..." a Very Lonely but Pretty Paleozoic Pals part 2 solo

(if you're on your phone scroll down and select web version. when it reloads hit play on the video to listen to music while you read if you like)


    In the morning Frogbroth uses herbology again and fails. She loses 3 hours while Harpnoodler goes her own-way. (You can go your own way! 🎼)


    The first hour Harp spends theorizing on how to find food. Instinctively thinking of marine prey. Her stone tablets, half-full of theories and musings reassure her she can get food. Even better if she doesn't have to spill blood. She spends a second hour and still finds no food. 


    Harp stumbles across 2 Secodontosaurs taking a nap. They each have beautiful red sails on their backs with black splotches. Harp makes her way back to camp without finding food but remembers her name. Harp came from the sound her hood made. She withdraws her tentacles under her hood as she levitates to camp.


    Once at camp and reunited Frog and Harp are silent. They begin to walk east. Along the trail they find wild tasty chutes to eat. Mid afternoon comes and there's nothing but sunshine and humid breeze. Frogbroth tells Harpnoodler of her dream. 


    "Gold Stone Island is North East."
    "But the plan was to find the village and buy friendship bracelets." 
    "Right but that would take longer. I mean it's an island in the biggest part of the river and you're marine."
    "We don't have fo-."
    "Food I know but we can fish there."
    "We don't even have any money."


    It's 3pm now.


    During all this commotion 6 nearby Sphenecadon show up all hostile with a witch in their midst. 

    The first enemy hits Harpnoodler. A second one attacks her and poor Harp is at 1 stamina. On Frogbroth's turn she bites one to death. She swallows and recovers 5 stamina. (end of round card appears twice in a row)


    Frogbroth snatches one of Harp's tentacles.


    Frogbroth drags Harp's body into the marshes. 


4pm and raining...


    On the side of the trail Harp levitates over Frog.


    "We need to rest."



Very Lonely but Pretty Paleozoic Pals part 1 a solo game to hook you

    Harpnoodler, the Natural Philosopher Nautiloid was the bestest of friends with Frogbroth, the Fern Hag Dimetrodon. Neither one of them had any memories of their parents. The only memories they each possessed were of playing along one another's side in the Dimetrodon Marshlands. 

(alright lets get some music going... if you're on your phone scroll down and select view web version. when it reloads hit play on the video to listen to music while you read if you like)

    "You know what?" Harpnoodler asked under a starlit sky night on a beach in the marsh. 
    "What?" Said Frogbroth.
    "I want to find that nearby village and buy us real friendship bracelets."
    "But I like the one you made me." Frogbroth buried her back left ankle into the sand. Hiding the fact that the anklet Harpnoodler made her a few days before had been torn off her leg earlier this day.

    They left at dawn. They only knew it would be 3 days east along the marsh. 
    Almost immediately along the narrow trail they come across two Thrinaxodon wanderers that seem dissatisfied. They seem to be diggers for hire walking right towards Harpnoodler and Frogbroth. The Thrinaxodons are eyeing Harp and Frog up and down, looking at their belongings. 

    The Thrinaxodons pass mumbling to one another. Harp and Frog don't look back. Both Thrinaxodons grab Harpnoodler. Pinning her. They in-fact rolled a mighty blow against her. Harpnoodler attempts to use telekinesis to bash one with a rock but misses. Frogbroth gets a chance to bite one and she kills them, feeding for a moment. Harpnoodler breaks free and uses her weighted shell to crush the other one to death after struggling way too long.

    "I'm pretty hurt." 
    "No me."

    Harpnoodler hands a fish jerky to Frogbroth.
    "Come nightfall I'll call the voidstar," Says Frogbreath swallowing the last of her fish jerky.

    Their feet get sore...
    Harpnoodler says she's tired of walking and casts levitate.
    Eventually the trail leads them to a clearing. There are 8 statues in a circle. Each one is 5' tall. The Circle of statues is 50' wide. The statues look dark grey with alien (human) faces carved on them. In the center is armor made from Rubidgea hide (armour 1). 
    "Take it. It's yours" Harpnoodler says to Frogbroth.
    "Alright. This freaky. Lemme try to find some medicinal herbs."
    ...6 hours later they didn't find a single herb.

    "Sorry we'll have to do this sober." Sighs Frogbroth.

    It's dark now and there's footprints on the trail if anyone notices. Harpnoodler does as she levitates above them.

    "Let's call the voidstar here," Frogbroth whispers. A void melon appears in the paws of Frogbroth.
    "This did nothing! We need food!" Harp says as the void orb hovers 6' from the ground. "The foot tracks are headed north. We're going east."
    Harpnoodler levitates into the treetops and takes nest for the night. Frogbroth sweeps the brush under the trees with her snout, legs and tail. She circles herself a nest under the trees calling to the constellation of dead wisdom. It's successful.

    The voidstar vibrates and glides to Frogbroth's long spanning fan. It collides against it and rolls down to the tip of her tail. It levitates there and vibrates at the end of her tail. 
    The spirits of the marsh commune to Frogbroth as she sleeps... she dreams of her family history ashore Gold Stone Island and the waves beneath. 


Very Pretty but Lonely Paleozoic Pals (soloing ttrpgs)

As part of going through a bad break up it's good to look inward and reflect. I decided to finally give solo gaming a shot. I will be recapping each session of my soloing adventures for Very Pretty Paleozoic Pals Permian Nations by Evey Lockhart. My ex purchased this book for me and I never had a chance to run it for any of my friends before. I've made 2 characters to start out with and I'm just using Troika!'s rules as written to the best of my understanding. Won't be using any kind of soloing house rules that I have seen online before. 

One thing you do need for soloing ttrpgs though is an oracle. I'm using one called Recluse. It's just a questions answering tool. 

See you soon with highlights from session 1! 



how to write a ******* song with a die

clean off a table.

no don't. it's better if you don't.

throw a bunch of dice on the table.
(you should already have dice on your desk)

pull a synthesizer out of a bag.

slap it on the table.

connect chords. cords.
(be sure to wear headphones)

snatch up a the closest dice.
(it's a d20)

roll it.
(it's an 8)
(when one eight becomes two zeros)

count that many keys starting on the left.

(hold it)
(TWIST knobs)
(FIST buttons)

grab another DIE and THROW IT.

place a FIST where you should.

(repeat /record _release)

...expect a new album soon. 


I released my first Dungeon Synth album and here's what people are saying about it!


Last knight in Town by Spooky Rusty

1. Emergency Broadsword Syndrome
2. Jimmy Tango's Magic
3. Here's Lookin' at Yew
4. Punch-Drunk Punk Rock Necromancer
5. Enter Without Knocking and Notify the Cleric
6. The Lethargy of Crocodiles
7. Human Pincushion
8.Nothing Dreadful Ever Happens... in the Dungeon
9. Catatonia, Gracefully
10. Shallow Water Black-Mage

You can listen to/buy my entire album here for $4

Cover art drawing by Andrew Stenbakken. 

"Great feel. Sounds very HDK. I would prefer long tracks with maybe some improvised melodies that allows for deeper contemplation"

"The presentation does not match the quality of the music. Unfortunately, with a sea of releases, a lot of people judge on cover and titles before anything else."

"I think the music is overall really solid! A lot of folks might see the name of the project and the names of some of your song titles and assume that the music is a joke."

"Between the music and cover art, you have succeeded in creating an old-school RPG feel, which for me is always a plus. That said, the song titles undermine what your cover art is depicting and what the tone of your music conveys."

People take their music scene too seriously like Varg. I hate that mindset. I'm serious about every project I've ever done, but there has to be humor. We're using synths for Christ sake. It's cheesy in and of itself. Have fun. Even the Nine Inch Nails are cheesy and they know it, but they are a serious band. They put jokes in a lot of  song titles and lyrics, but these people would say Trent has no talent and is lame. Their views are so narrow, but you know every synth player wants to be Trent because he's a genius. Nine Inch Nails recorded an album in the house Sharon Tate was killed. They tried so hard to be edgy. I will remain trve to myself with hand drawn cover art and interesting song titles.