Toublan, Bordeaux, and Merlot walk into a Barn
1 April 2024 | 12:00 pm

Toublan, Bordeaux, and Merlot walk into a Barn

The pig surprised everyone. Often, pigs will do that when they either start talking and become the most lovable friend you could ever had, or, when they suddenly sprout wings and start flying. Our pig, the one we're talking about here, is a very unique pig, but when this story starts this fact is not yet known.

He was named Toublan after the last wine bottle that the farmers had the weekend before. His brother and sister were also named after wine: Bordeaux and Merlot. As the months went by, the wine pigs led an unremarkable life just munching about and being pigs. The kids would play with them and Toublan even learned to play fetch with cabbages. The kids considered that remarkable given that his brother Bordeaux would always eat the cabbages instead of bringing them back. It was said that his sister Merlot could fly when no one was looking, and that was how they explained the food that went missing from the upper deck of the barn, but that was not something anyone could prove.

One day, they found Merlot on the roof of the barn. No one was sure how she got there. The commotion was so loud that neighbours came to watch the impossible scene. Which caused Merlot to be scared and slip. As she rolled down the roof, her older brother Bordeaux screamed "Fuck! She's gonna fall!" much to the surprise of everyone present including Merlot who squeaked at the unfamiliar voice coming out of her brother.

That was too much for granny, a potentially flying pig and a definitely talking one were not something her heart was prepared to cope with and it just gave up.

Amidst the mayhem, Bordeaux screamed "Merlot, go get help!" upon which, blushing like a tomato, Merlot took flight in the direction of the hospital. Three people passed out at the sight of the flying pig. One of them hitting the barn fusebox, causing a short that shut everything down.

The lights went down just as the farmer was about to try to revive granny with the emergency defribillator.

"Fuck it" said the farmer and simply unplugged it from the wall socket. He slowly walked towards Toublan and plugged it into his nose. The machine beeped and a couple seconds later, after a huge shock, granny shouted "The pig is talking!" and collapsed again after seeing the sparks flying from Toublan nose.

Outside, an air ambulance guided by a flying Merlot landed. A kid looking at Toublan gleefully shouted "It's Pigachu!"

Solo TTRPGs that I like
22 March 2024 | 12:00 pm

Solo and Weird TTRPGs that I like

I have a collection of solo and weird RPGs. One thing I learned, is that just like books, buying TTRPGs and playing them are totally separate hobbies. I have way more games than I can actually play, but here is a list of some of the ones I like the most at the moment.

Thousand Year Old Vampire

A Thousand Year Old Vampire

A solo roleplaying game of loss, memory, and vampires.

In Thousand Year Old Vampire you chronicle the many centuries of a vampire’s existence, beginning with the loss of mortality and ending with inevitable destruction. Prompt-driven play and simple resource tracking provide easy rules for exploring your character’s human failings, villainous acts, and surprising victories. Expect gut-churning decisions and irreconcilable acts.

The game mechanics are simple and intuitive. Play progresses semi-randomly through a book of Prompts which let you explore your vampire’s wants and needs, resolve problems, and chart the decline into senescence. Play can happen entirely within the character sheet or can become a journaling activity--both work equally well.

That's straight from their page.

I love how you write your journal and then destroy pages of it as your own memories are lost through the ages.



A forest of beasts need your help!

Play as a tiny animal from the Guild of Poulticepounders, making remedies for local beasts as you go on grand journeys with your Familiar sidekick.

Explore Scotland’s varied landscapes as seasons change, reagents bloom and fade and the beasts of the Bristley Woods adapt to survive.

Go on adventures spanning all four seasons, across bogs, lochs, mountains, ancient titan ruins and devious behemoth barrows.

A quest game that gets you exploring woodlands always conscious of your resources, the environment, and those you can help. It is a hard game but soooo cute.

Four Against Darkness

First dungeon for my crew
First dungeon for my crew

Four Against Darkness is a dungeon delving game. You build four characters and put them through dungeons until you find the final boss or you’re forced to escape. The mechanics are simple and easy to learn and just reading the core book and maybe watching a couple videos on YouTube is enough to get you started. I really recommend checking the tutorial videos by Livi and the dungeon playthrough by the Tabletop Engineer.

I posted my first adventure here

Alone Among The Stars

The first solo game I played. Super easy, all you require is a pack of playing card and dice. It is a simple journaling game you can learn in ten minutes and it is a delight to play. There are so many hacks built upon its simple premise, you can get a bundle of them called Alone On A Journey on itch. There is a version for two players called Together Among The Stars.

The play is basically journaling about your journey on strange planets and environments.

Alice is Missing

An immersive RPG played entirely via text message.

Alice is Missing is a silent role-playing game about the disappearance of Alice Briarwood, a high school junior in the small town of Silent Falls.

The game is played live and without verbal communication. Players inhabit their character for the entirety of the 90-minute play session, and instead of speaking, send text messages back and forth to the other characters in a group chat, as well as individually, as though they aren’t in the same place together.

Hauntingly beautiful, deeply personal, and highly innovative, Alice is Missing puts a strong focus on the emotional engagement between players, immersing them in a tense, dramatic mystery that unfolds organically through the text messages they send to one another.

This is a deep and hard game. One to be played with a group of friends you trust.

Automattic betrayal of its users
28 February 2024 | 12:00 pm

Automattic betrayal of its users

This is a rant commentary about the 404 Media article: Tumblr and Wordpress to Sell Users’ Data to Train AI Tools.

"Tumblr and Wordpress are preparing to sell user data to Midjourney and OpenAI, according to a source with internal knowledge about the deals and internal documentation referring to the deals." — from the linked article.

If true, this is a disgusting move by Automattic. Blogs are the last bastion of a user-driven Web. By now, we all realised that social networks will both mine and influence users for a profit, that the real product they sell is not convenience or connection, but user data and attention to whoever is able to pay. Blogs on the other hand has been the opposite, they've always been about connections and relationships, fostering communities and grassroots content over algorithmic anxiety-inducing feeds. Many people flocked to Automattic-owned platforms such as Wordpress and Tumblr in an attempt to escape social networks and own their own content. Automattic promised a home on the Web for its users, and now it will apparently simply sell them out.

This is not an opt-in scheme, there is no revenue sharing with users, there is only greed.

I don't think we can trust these companies anymore. Clearly, all of them will simply sell your content to train A.I. models and to hell with your ownership.

It is crucial that we pay more attention to movements like the IndieWeb. As Web users we need to own our own platforms. For a while, it seemed that hosting a blog on Wordpress was enough, now it is clear that we need more than that.

If you have a blog hosted on Wordpress dot com or Tumblr, maybe it is time you make yourself heard by moving your data elsewhere. IndieWeb's own Getting Started Guide will help you out. Move away from those leeches.


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