A Solo Return to KL

28 May 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Friends

I got a call from Shide with whom I had several work adventures with years ago who needed me to return to Kuala Lumpur for some minor business. He graciously footed the travel bill for me, so after we decided on a flight ticket.

So yay! I get to ride on one of these new-fangled flying machines again.

Clouds and stuff

The ride was rough enough through storm clouds that some passengers exclaimed loudly.

My host is here

At the airport, Nia came to pick me up. (Aided by Cik Ma and Cik Su of course.)

Buka puasa at Saba

Being the month of Ramadhan, we all went to buka puasa at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Cyberjaya.


The View To Work Today

23 May 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News

Today on the way to work, I pulled over and took a picture of the rice fields beside the road because it looked spectacular. Unfortunately I could not linger as long as I would like to as I had a meeting to attend in half an hour.


Click on the thumbnail above to view the full image of the morning vista.

One meeting and one class later, I headed the opposite direction to attend another class. Again, I decided to take a picture of another rice field along the road. The rice plants had yet to fill up the landscape with green and instead became a beautiful mirror of the sky.


Click on the thumbnail above to view the full afternoon scenery.

That is all.


BBF: The Day The World Burned

15 May 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games

The second RPG session I ran during the Geomatics Carnival 2018 at UiTM Arau was DwD Studios' BareBones Fantasy. This session had even less prep time than the Star Wars session I ran earlier in the day.

However, it turned out to be one of the most hilarious sessions I have ever had he pleasure of gamemastering in recent years.

BareBones Fantasy

The Day the World Burned

The day began like another day for the two adventurers the elven thief Mus and human warrior Kazuma (both at Rank 1) and their hireling Aqua, an archer, who were travelling through the wilderness on horses. Upon Kazuma's shoulder was his faithful hawk.

The Blood in the Standing Stones

The light woodlands ended and a wall of dark twisted trees and dense thickets blocked their path. They were considering what to do when they heard a scream from beyond the wall growing before them.

Kazuma exclaimed, "We should go and investigate! Aqua, you're with me!"

Mus yawned and said, "Good luck. I'm going this way." He grinned and rode north away from the thick foliage. Kazuma muttered, "Forget him, Aqua. Follow me!"

2-Player game

BareBones Fantasy allows for a quick character generation, I noted.

After Kazuma let loose his hawk into the air, he and Aqua dismounted from their horses to cut a path through the foliage.

They soon burst into a clearing. A circle of stones surrounded an irregularly-shaped slab on rock on the ground. Two men were on the slab. One appeared to be some sort of robed cultist. The other was lying on the ground. The cultist was chanting in an unknown language and he held a black dagger high and was about to stab the second man.

"Shoot him!" Kazuma ordered as he drew his longsword and charged. They had one chance lest an innocent would be murdered. Aqua nocked an arrow and loosed it. He missed. The cultist stabbed his victim's chest, killing him immediately.

"No!" Kazuma fought the cultist, who dodged his swordplay. Aqua now had the time to calm himself, aim and fire another arrow. His bow twanged and the arrow missed its quarry. Again.

Finally, Kazuma slashed down across the cultist's chest, killing him.

"Uh, Master," Aqua called out, pointing at the rock slab beneath them. The murdered man's blood had flowed into channels carved into the stone, which formed an elaborate pattern.

Suddenly a swirling black portal appeared before them. From the pitch black hole in the air, something leapt out: it was a canine, as large as a mastiff, but with glowing red eyes. The air shimmered around it as if extremely hot. It opened its mouth and glowing embers flickered out from it as it emitted a deep unearthly growl.

They fought the hellhound for a bit, and ultimately won.

The portal disappeared.

"Let's get back to Mus."


EOTE: Rescue on Crait

15 May 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars

The first RPG session I ran during the Geomatics Carnival 2018 at UiTM Arau was Fantasy Flight Games' Edge of the Empire/Age of Rebellion. The players, who were UiTM students, used the Legends of the Galaxy pregenerated character sheets I used in class previously.

Edge of the Empire

Rescue on Crait


Image from Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Lucasfilm).

The YT-2000 light freighter Sitichepa (I'm... sure this is an in-joke between the players) dropped out of hyperspace off the Crait system. Aboard the ship are a group of rebel operatives in search of fellow rebels whose ship disappeared near Crait: the star-pilot who was born and raised on space freighters and barges Kreepo, the sharp Twi'lek engineer Byt, the droid assassin FLAM-O who was bristling with weapons and Malea the Force sensitive warrior who had a lightsabre on her belt.

Kreepo brought their ship closer to the desolate planet so Byt could scan its surface for signals. The Twi'lek (upon a successful Computers roll) picked up a faint signal below. The pilot dove into the atmosphere and headed for the source of the signal.

It was a lonely gray mountain jutting up from the white salt flats of Crait. The ship circled the mountain where Byt spotted a large cave entrance, large enough for a light freighter to have flown into. After a short discussion, the team decided they should land on the plains several hundred metres from the cave.


The players of Kreepo, Byt, FLAM-O and Malea.

The Sitichepa set down upon the vast, bone-white salt flats within sight of the cave entrance, surrounded by large boulders.

Malea reached out with the Force trying to sense if there was anyone in the vicinity. The ubiquitous energy field generated by all living beings reached out into the distance. Through the Force she perceived two humans in the cave before them, but there were several other non-human life forms dotting the interior of the hill. What were the creatures and why did the humans not come out of the cave?

Kreepo lowered the ramp. Two of the crew, FLAM-O and Malea, popped out to scout ahead. Malea brandished an HL-27 light blaster pistol while FLAM-O hefted an unidentifiable heavy blaster rifle.

Meanwhile, Kreepo went to check on the Sitichepa's landing gear with a tool box.


Gaming at the Geomatics Carnival 2018

15 May 2018 | Hisham | | Board and Card Games, Recent News, Role Playing Games, Teaching
Bazli and I

Today, the Centre for International Languages was officially invited by Zainee to UiTM Arau nearby for their Geomatics Carnival 2018 exhibition. There was a hobbies exhibition section where I set up shop with tabletop RPGs with my colleague Bazli.

I would talk to visitors about using RPGs as a language learning tool. Also, to run games if and when I can.

Ace of Maths

Sharnizan of Serious Games UUM was also present to introduce and sell his product the Ace of Maths game to UiTM students. Though at this point he was explaining the card game to Bazli.

Play the game

There was no dearth of visitors to our tables when the exhibition started. The exhibition organisers even provided Bazli and I with a packed lunch.


My usual suspects line up was arrayed for display at their table, eliciting enquiries once in a while. I ran two game sessions for visitors.

(Links to actual play reports pending. Watch the list above for updates.)


The hall was quite packed with visitors who quickly transitioned into players.


Breakfast at Gua Cenderawasih

13 May 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Sundays can be a great time for picnics. There is no lack of picnic spots here in Perlis if you knew where to look, and we have looked at many over the last three years or so.

We decided to visit Cenderawasih Cave Park. It was close to Kangar so it was not out of the beaten path. Cenderawasih translates to "bird-of-paradise". Sadly there were none present at the park this morning.

Here are some photos.


We took photos after consuming the nasi lemak that we brought.

Us, Part 2

The foothills were rocky.