Postcards Beyond The Edge

28 December 2016 | Hisham | | Recent News, Star Wars
 

"Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it, and eventually the confidence will follow." - Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher died earlier today. She was 60.

I did not think it would, but it did hit me harder than I ever thought it could. Because I am unsure why because I did not believe she affected me much as a child despite my being a Star Wars fan. For me it was always about the universe first. The characters, who had their own great story in that universe, came second.

So what did she imprint onto me at that pubescent age when I first saw Star Wars? It was probably something like this: if there was an older girl playing on the playground, I would want her to be like Princess Leia. If the boys run out of ideas, grab a gun and blast a hole in the wall. If I had an older sister, I would definitely want her to be like Princess Leia. So, unlike a lot of stories from many fans I had read, I never fell in love with Princess Leia, nor Carrie Fisher.

But I had a younger sister. And I believe subconsciously, I pushed her into becoming someone who I would love to play with on the playground. If assholes talk you down, look them in the eye in defiance.

I think - I believe - my sister Sila did grow up to be like this idealised version of her which I had in my mind.

It was only fairly recent that I learnt that the Carrie Fisher herself was as fiesty as her character Princess Leia. I marvelled at her acerbic wit and sharp tongue during interviews. I discovered how opened was about being bipolar. If anything, I wish I had been paying attention to her when I needed it. I think if I did I would have bounced back from the edge quicker.

Thanks, Carrie Fisher, for being an inspiration on many a level. Rewatching the films will never be quite the same from today.

Plus Gary's ears

Andi Gutierrez interviews Carrie and Gary Fisher during Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016.

 

EOTE: Problem Child

14 December 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Problem Child

Dramatis Personae:

  • Amri as Grabow, male Wookiee doctor
  • Ijam as Matwe, male human smuggler pilot
  • Fazrie as Lumpy, male Wookiee mercenary soldier

Just as it was more than 20 years ago in Sitiawan when a bunch of unfamiliar people asked if I could run Star Wars RPG for them, here I am in the same situation in Sitiawan where online friends I have never met before asked me to run a Star Wars RPG session for them! No big deal to me: it is a great way to make lasting friends!

Unfamiliar with any form of Star Wars RPG, I brought the Edge of the Empire and Force and Destiny rulebooks along with some sourcebooks, the FFG narrative dice set, Force tokens and my trusty homemade paperminis. I forgot to bring the percentile dice so I used the phone dice roller app. I thought I would give the scenario some recognisable Star Wars elements by first starting out the game on Naboo. Then, soon after the Empire could make its presence known...

Human smuggler Matwe, Wookiee doctor Grabow and Wookiee mercenary soldier Lumpy (no relation to Lumpawarrump son of Chewbacca), the crew of the Corellian YT-2400 light freighter Seagate. arrived at the city of Theed on Naboo to look for trader Zo Arkon who was looking for tramp freighter services.

The crew of the Seagate

Arrival at Theed

Upon setting the Seagate down in Hangar 14 on the side of the cliff face, the crew debarked, paid their 50 credit service tax to the port officer and headed for the cantina built into the side of the large cavernous hangar. A series of large windows and automatic sliding doors adorned the facade of the Piledriver Cantina. As the crew approached, the doors slid apart and two Imperial stormtroopers strode out.

The troopers suddenly stopped the crew and addressed Matwe: Did he have permit for the two Wookiee slaves?

As Grabow and Lumpy rolled their eyes Matwe quickly convinced that the Wookiees were from offworld and just arrived as crew on a light freighter for a transport job pickup on Naboo. Thankfully (thanks to a Success in Matwe's Charm roll) the stormtroopers were easily persuaded by Matwe's fast talking.

It was the truth anyway.

Gamemaster in the shot

Soon after the droid bartender directed them to Zo Arkon who having lunch in a booth at the back of the cantina. Zo Arkon treated them to some bantha steak for lunch while the Matwe authorised Arkon's droids to load the Seagate with the cargo: a regular looking cargo container. Before the crew left the cantina, Arkon paid them 500 credits, with another 2500 credits to be paid by their contact Milo Renn upon arrival at their destination: the south polar town of Bamboo River on Takodana.

As the trio traipsed back to their YT-2400 freighter, they noticed something peculiar. There was a puddle of dark lubricant on the deck not far from their ship. There was also a set of smudged tracks that ran from the puddle toward the underside of the Seagate where it then disappeeared. Did someone sneak aboard the ship somehow?

The tabletop
 

A Hometown of Sorts

13 December 2016 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

...Sitiawan! We drove from Pasir Mas to where I grew up and where nothing now looks familiar, except for the old house.

Because I was not able to go to Kuala Lumpur for vacation earlier, I figured we should visit Atok and Opah in Sitiawan during Maulud Nabi. Of course Irfan was glued to his grandparents desktop computer for hours, even late into the night.

Zzzz

So he was pretty tired in the mornings.

Still zzzz

It was a chore to wake him up in my old bedroom.

Dinner

We mostly chilled out and relaxed in Sitiawan. We wanted to visit my cousin, but they were not in town. Irfan's Atok and Opah also took us to dinner, before I went to GM a Star Wars RPG session. Wait what?

At the rojak and pasembor restaurant

The pasembor and rojak place under the rubber trees had quite the tasty food, even if there was quite a swarm of flies in the area. I wished Vin, Sila, Yaya and Rafiq were there with us.

Heading home

Soon it was time to go. We bade my parents and Sitiawan farewell as we headed back to where class revisions and final exams of my students awaited me.

 

A Send Off to Mekah

12 December 2016 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

For the first time ever, Tok Bah and Tok Ma in Pasir Mas got the opportunity to go on an Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca. We drove to Kelantan to see them off. En route, we got to see a herd of elephants, pale and monolithic, at about three a.m. along the Grik-Jeli highway over the mountains. They must have just crossed the road as their butts were to us. No, we did not stop the car to take photos.

The entire party

Tok Bah and Tok Ma would join a group of pilgrims from Terengganu and be escorted by Ain's cousin and her husband in their journey. Many came from Pondok Lubuk Tapah and other places to see them off at the Kota Bharu airport.

Ain, Tok Bah and Tok Ma

Yes, Ain shed tears at the airport.

Cousins of two generation

Irfan should get to know his cousins a bit more. Though I think his extraordinary height (and his somewhat introverted demeanour around unfamiliar people) might make them nervous around him.

Group photo

All of us before they left.

Group photo plus Irfan

All of us plus Irfan before they left.

After they departed, we headed back to Pondok Lubuk Tapah to get our gear and then begin our drive to...

 

Ain and Irfan Go To KL

08 December 2016 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

It came to pass that Ain and Irfan went for vacation back in KL but I was not able to join them because of work. A side effect of given a new position at work after one has planned one's year end vacation and bought travel tickets.

So while I held the fort during exam season, the anak beranak spent their time with Ayah Cik, Cikma, Ciksu and Little Rania. Here are some of the photos of what happened during their away mission. Mouseover the images to read the captions.

The Seri Kembangan Six sans Ciksu
Meanwhile down the Shah Alam expressway to the west
Incarcerated!
Baby in Zero-Zero Ejection Seat
It's a babby!
Time to go home
His new hoodie

They had a fun time there, visiting some folks including Zara and Aiman, and Irfan's former uztazah, our old neighbour back at the tenth floor. Hopefully I would be better at planning vacations next year after I have acclimatised better to my work schedule as a teacher.

 

Patreon: Human Adventurers

01 December 2016 | Hisham | | Patreon Paperminis, Role Playing Games
 

I have uploaded a pair of new paper miniature releases for Patreon, but forgot to announce it here. So here are the two sets of freely downloadable PDFs usable as player characters (PC) or non-player characters (NPC) in any medieval fantasy roleplaying game campaigns.

Rangers of Sword Valley

These guys are woodsmen and warriors

Sword Valley was once the most dangerous regions of the wilderness and filled with deadly creatures and hideouts of murderous brigands. Until the Rangers appeared out of nowhere and cleansed the valley of evil and danger. Now the valorous services of the Rangers of Sword Valley are in demand throughout the land - even when there are whispers of a dire secret being kept by these skilled woodsmen.

Click here to download the free Rangers of Sword Valley PDF file on Patreon.

Wilderfolk of the Dust Plains

Denizens of an arid land

In the arid, dry lands of the Dust Plains where death await even the most prepared adventurer, there live the hardy Wilderfolk who can survive the worst of droughts. When a Wilderfolk leave the Dust Plains to join travellers from other lands, there is certain to be an intriguing and astonishing story behind it.

Click here to download the free Wilderfolk of the Dust Plains PDF file on Patreon.

Feel free to become a patron, or share with your circles! Thanks.