PHILIP: love it! Morgan Blackhand: Remember that Bill Slaviscek and West EndGames got a ton of source documents directly from Lucasfilm.… sila: irfan’s next PC name should be buchbinder very nice! Whill: You have a blog! Awesome! Thanks for compiling these! I tried to read all of tweets about these bu… Korpil: Great to see your complete list in one place! I will make a fuss out of it! sila: awww looks like a really awesome time. Balik Pulau is always cool. i loved when we used to drive arou… zarin: awesome! terrer gila. she’s definitely improving leaps and bound. Well done Yaya! Hisham: Yeah. They’ve come back.
Hisham and Sila has been writing stuff down on this weblog since 2005. Sometimes they post photos of family, sometimes they talk about film, books and music, sometimes there is artwork and stuff about tabletop gaming.
Here are paper miniatures of characters created for my own various Star Wars RPG campaigns for your own use. There is space at their feet on one side of the paperminis to write their names on.
Time is the Hunter characters
L-R: Jax Hunt - human bounty hunter, Iris Helena - human amnesiac
Note: Iris Helena is based on Helena on Orphan Black.
Edged by the Empire characters
L-R: Giin Lawquane - human mercenary, Hondo Pash - human smuggler, Yuzy Pash - human kid, Numa - Twi'lek soldier
Note: Numa is the same Numa that appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and later (after her appearance in this campaign) popped up in Star Wars Rebels.
Modesty Blazing characters
L-R: John Tray'Essek - Trandoshan hired gun/marauder, Qillian Ryn - Trianii bounty hunter/assassin, VAX-11/750 - technician/slicer, Vendrik - Duros spy/infiltrator, Nora Romanova - human smuggler/scoundrel, Darter Kel - Zeltron explorer/scout
Note: VAX-11 body design is based on robots seen in the movie Elysium. Nora's clothes are based on costume from The Dirty Pair anime. All of Darter's weapons and gear are on him even if they are not visible.
Alan Tudyk made the role of K-2SO the reprogrammed Imperial security droid from Rogue One a memorable one. If you require paper miniatures of him or other KX-series droids for your Star Wars RPG campaign, download and assemble the one I made here.
BB-8 the spherical rolling astromech unit belonging to Poe Dameron is quite the popular droid. Finally I had gotten around to making paper miniatures of its type of droid for your Star Wars RPG campaign.
Obviously the scale is wrong because a 20-30mm scale football sized figure would not be worth printing out and making into a papermini.
The other RPG campaign I played in more-or-less regularly with the Gamers of Kuala Lumpur crew is Night's Black Agents where we played an group of international freelance agents with contacts with various countries' espionage network who were embroiled in a plot to take over the world. With dogs. Who might be sentient vampires. Also, an infectious hemovirus pathogen.
Over the years I drew pictures for the actual play reports of Eclipse Phase that I played with the GOKL crew, I have never collected all the artwork in a single post... until now.
Hokusai Tarnungshaut my neo-octopus player character
Hokusai, Bishop-Six and Billy Cable Jr in spacesuits
The original Fastball Express crew during their pre-Venus days
The covert, tiny Sheldon morph
Welcome to Parvati Aerostat on Venus
Montage as the team form Gamera Security on Venus
Main Street, Cloud Nine
DANAI/Ina and Hokusai posing for a selfie while sneaking into Yamaha-Pacifica
The Janet morph
Hokusai in the Slitheroid morph
Christoph de Beers of the Jovian Republic
The Gamera Security (GamSec) logo
Billy Cable piloting an ultralight
Karamojo Bell even has a pith helmet vacsuit
The six-in-one Flexbot that shredded Karamojo Bell into a bloody smear, but it's okay. His cortical stack survived intact
The Maiko Clarimonda in the Jorōgumo morph
Bye, Maiko Clarimonda, but it's okay. She'll be reinstated from a backup with no memory of having her head blown off
The GamSec team descends to the Lucifer aerostat. Check out Danai in the little Sheldon morph beside Hokusai
The team finally meet Mr. Snuggles the ursomorph of the Teddy Bear Roadside Picnic Company
Hokusai and Danai are resleeved in q-morphs
How is Thomas Bangalter alive on the surface of Venus without any pressure suit and speaking to the team in their mind?
The campaign banner
So many other occurences that I did not during various earlier gmaing sessions before I started writing the play reports, such as...
Cable tumbling down Olympus Mons for two sessions -- at least
the team breaking Hokusai out of a sushi bar
driving with neo-chimpanzee trucker BJ the Bear
that time Bishop was sleeved in the neo-corvid morph (a.k.a the "chicken suit") for a reconnaissance mission at the 2309 Mr. Spock asteroid habitat in the Belt which turned into a one-man battle scenario while the others watched remotely from their ship
and that one time the team travelled to a protected section at the centre of Mars, discovered a Pandora Gate there and accidentally activated an alien device that gave the red planet a brand new magnetosphere.
Sadly, these happened before I began writing actual play reports in earnest here, so many a detail has been lost into dim memory, like tears in the acid rain. Good times, good times.
Irfan has now taken up bookbinding as a hobby so I thought I would commission from him a small gamemaster's notebook for me. I printed out the cover design at the print shop on blue paper and gave it to him. The cover was designed quickly using Inkscape and saved as a pdf.
Irfan stacked and folded some blank A4-sized papers for the interior pages.
He carefully measured where the staples were supposed to go on the spines.
Then he stapled the spine of the folded papers together carefully onto an eraser and bent the staple legs inward manually.
Here is the notebook almost done.
All that is needed to be done is to slice the extra piece of paper away for a flat edge.
The notebook is now ready for me to write in to continue our Time is the Hunter Star Wars RPG campaign that I am gamemastering. Perhaps I will follow up this blog entry with another when I have filled up the notebook with notes, stats and sketches in the future.
In West End Games' The Star Wars Sourcebook (1987) written by Bill Slavicsek there is a four-page technical write-up on the X-wing fighter. The text is an order of magnitude more detailed than any other write-up on the Incom T-65 X-wing ever written and filled with an abundance of elements that can be adapted and used by gamemasters for any Star Wars RPG scenario.
What has been vexing me for a quarter of a century are several "Star Wars-esque" non-English words used in the book for names of equipment make and manufacturers. Even if the spelling does not reflect it, when they appear to be transliterated words from my own native Malay language.
Tana Ire and Melihat
Tana Ire and Melihat are both flight sensor manufacturers who have developed sensory equipment for the X-wing fighter.
Malay: Tanah Air, (IPA:/tanah air/) literally "soil and water", meaning "motherland". The Tana Ire electro photoreceptor needs to scans water and land below the X-wing to be an effective terrain following sensor.
Malay: Melihat, (IPA:/məlihat/) is translated as "seeing", with the me- prefix of the word lihat making it the present participle of the verb "see" - but not a gerund. Never a gerund. A sensor sees, you see.
Bertriak is a manufacturer of the "Screamer" sensor jammer. Malay: Berteriak (IPA:/bərtəriaʔ/) is a derivative verb from the work teriak, which means crying, or screaming. Is this not how jammers work anyway?
Taim & Bak
Taim & Bak is a manufacturer of ship-based weaponry, specifically the KX-9 on the X-wing and the IX-4 on the Y-wing. Malay: Tembak (IPA:/tembaʔ/) is literally "shoot". This corporation would have been literally named "shoot" if not for the ampersand between the two syllables.
Chepat - renamed Chempat in later sources for some reason - manufactured the "Defender" shield projectors. Malay: Cepat (IPA:/t͡ʃəpat/) is "quick" or "fast". Perhaps the Defender shieds are quickly deployed in battle - I dunno... I got nothing.
While cepat translates as "quick", another manufacturer elsewhere in the book translates as "strong", namely kuat, as in Kuat Drive Yards based in the Kuat system. Kuat is definitely a strong presence in the lore of Star Wars with many vehicles designed by it, including the Imperial Star Destroyers we see on screen.
I wonder if there are other Malay words hidden within the non-English proper names in the Star Wars Sourcebook, perhaps hidden by transliteration of the word. So now the question is: is all of this a coincidence, or did Bill Slavicsek have a Malay dictionary with him when he was writing the article up?
23 February 2017
After this article was published, I thought I should email a query to Bill Slavicsek with a link to the post. Shortly after, he graciously answered:
Turns out my co-author Curtis Smith traveled to Malaysia and other locations as a child with his missionary parents. He wrote the X-wing section and must have snuck in those words when I wasn't looking. I thought he just made them up! Even after all these years, I'm still learning new things about my Star Wars Sourcebook!
Here is the 14th batch of RPG paper miniatures I created and released at my Patreon page. Call them mechanoids, drones, droids, bots, synths... they are useable for any science fiction RPG campaigns with droids.
There are mechs than walk, waddle, roll and climb which can be used as player characters or non-player characters at your gaming table. There is space to write their character names too.
After receiving it as an early birthday present from Ivan earlier, this month I discovered that DK Publishing's Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide (UVG) by Pablo Hidalgo which fills the Star Wars universe as seen in Rogue One with a multitude of world-building details, was also a treasure trove of lore which originated from West End Games.
West End Games (WEG) published the Star Wars roleplaying game series of books from 1987 until 1998 or thereabouts after which the licence went to Wizards of the Coast. In that decade or so, the game company had created and populated the Star Wars universe with hundreds (if not thousands) of worldbuilding details enough for gamemasters and players to play in the setting without having to create, for example, the Imperial DMV. Similarly, species, location and technology (and corporations that made these technologies) were named and fleshed out.
Which brings us to the Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide. Pablo Hidalgo was a freelance writer for West End Games and an experienced Star Wars RPG gamemaster. Instead of reinventing the wheel, a lot of minutae created by WEG have been included in the Rogue One UVG, which means that at one point or another, these details have been used by a multitude of Star Wars RPG gamemasters and players in their own campaigns. See the Chandrila section below for an example of my own.
Here is a (incomplete) list of items featured in the UVG and created earlier in various WEG rulebooks, sourcebooks and periodicals according to their appearances in the UVG from front to back.
The corporation that built the GX-8 condenser unit installed at the Lah'mu homestead also built the WPR-60 water purification system. Source: Galladinium's Fantastic Technology (1995).
Detonite and Baradium
Detonites are the plastic explosives of the Star Wars universe and baradium gives you more bang to the buck in thermal detonators. Sources: top - Imperial Sourcebook (1989), bottom - The Star Wars Sourcebook (1987).
Crozo Industrial Products
It is important to note that Crozo doesn not solely manufacture hand comlinks, but also a host of computer and cybernetic products in the galaxy. Source: Cracken's Rebel Field Guide (1991).
Class One & Class Two Imperial Penal References (ImPeRe)
Jyn Erso had two high level Imperial Penal Reference Classes slapped on her which would explain her incarceration in an Imperial Penal Colony. I wonder what her cellmate's Oolin Musters ImPeRe violations were. Source: Galaxy Guide 6 Tramp Freighters (1990).
Wetyin and Starloft Continents at Yavin
Scout Lile Gorsek mapped the fourth moon of Yavin and named the continents Koos, Swivven, Wetyin and Starloft. Source: Galaxy Guide 2 Yavin and Bespin (1989).
Cantham House Meetings
The Cantham House Meetings involving Mothma and Organa have been part of the origin of the Rebel Alliance lore since nearly the beginning of West End Games. Source: Rebel Alliance Sourcebook (1990).
Not only has Chandrila been identified as Mon Mothma's homeworld by West End Games in their first roleplaying sourcebook, but I also ran a game session back in the late 80s where my rebel agents manage to avert a bioweapon attack there. Also time of writing, my current players (okay, just Ain and Irfan) are stuck in a cliffhanger and a deadly standoff there in an ongoing Star Wars D6 campaign. Source: The Star Wars Sourcebook (1987).
The Telaris System appears to be a secret location where the Alliance fleet especially Mon Calamari capital combat starships go to for planning and repairs. Source: Rebel Alliance Sourcebook (1990).
General Draven and Kolor Delan are compatriots from the same planet. Source: Wanted by Cracken (1993).
Returning to the themes of transhumanism for the Hishgraphics paper miniature releases on Patreon, here are some uplifted animals to be used in your campaign. There are two designs each of crow uplifts, octopus uplifts and chimp uplifts perfect for your science fiction campaign.
Genetic modifications in the future allow for some animals to possess human-level thoughts and consciousness.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
After their rescue of the rebel agent known as "The Skywalker", who turned out to be a Togorian named Meow Skywalker, bounty hunter Jax Hunt (played by Irfan) and the amnesiac lady who then named herself Iris Helena (played by Ain) were taken aboart the VCX-100 frieghter Screeching Arrow to rendezvous with a Nebulon-B escort frigate at an unknown location in deep space.
The Star Wars Sourcebook hardcover made a great dice rolling platform.
After three days of being cooped up in the Arrow, Meow finally approached them with a mission.
"The mission is to travel to the Chandrila system in the Core Worlds, land at Nayli Spaceport, travel to Apartment 7C, Blackback Building to pick up a 10 year old girl named Wencie Kelauae, whose rebel sympathiser parents had been kiled by the Empire. The Empire is looking for her. Get to her before they do and bring her back here."
They accepted the mission.
Oh hey! Look! It's Jax Hunt's Relby-k23 blaster.
The Journey to Chandrila
Iris piloted the Screeching Arrow as Jax manned the navigator's console beside her. However Jax must have programmed the navicomputer badly because they flew too close to a hyperspace shadow of a black hole and something exploded, sending flames and sparks billowing in the main corridor behind the cockpit.
"Keep flying," yelled Jax as he headed aft. "I'll handle this." At the corridor, a wall of flame blocked him and the automatic fire suppression system was knocked out. He steeled himself and jumped over the fire, reaching for the damage control panel on the wall beyond it. He hit the manual button and the suppressor force field killed the flames.
"I wish we had an astromech droid," Jax said, studying the damage done by the overload explosion. He reported to Iris, "Our shields are dead. We'd better get them fixed before we get shot at."
In the meantime, Jax started cooking some eggs for a light meal while Iris fussed over him and told him he reminded her of someone, perhaps a son.
She could not really remember.
The Landing at Nayli Spaceport
Two hours later or so, they reverted back to realspace off Chandrila. The ship automatically greeted Chandrila's traffic control system and they were assigned Landing Bay 19 at Nayli Spaceport.
Iris guided the Arrow towards her berth. But 300 meters above it, the repulsorlift generators gave out and the ship plummeted downwards.
At first Fantasy Flight Games released the Edge of the Empire rulebook which allowed players to be the scoundrels and smugglers of the galaxy. Then they released the Age of Rebellion rulebook for players to play soldiers and military spies. Finally, their final Star Wars role-playing game (RPG) rulebook is in my hands: Force and Destiny, where players are able to choose from a range of Jedi characters to play.
It had been released for almost two years now, but I was not able to get my hands on it. I was unable to grab it off Amazon because I possess no credit card. Nor was I able to use Paypal to order it from Book Depository because it has been "out of stock" for many months.
On a whim I offered to draw for the book and Erik Jensen on Google Plus accepted. So I drew this for him. And as payment I asked of him the Force and Destiny core rulebook. He sent me more than I bargained for.
I might review Keeping the Peace in a later blog post.
From a cursory flipthrough of the book, I believe I can run diverse campaigns, from Tales of the Jedi/The Old Republic era 4000 years ago to a Sith-only games. The setting section of the book mentions Tython, the Great Hyperspace Wars and the Ulic Qel-Droma shenanigans.
The rules are almost the same as the two books mentioned above, except for Dark Side rules with regards to using the Force Dice. I have not run this system for almost a year and this book is making me want to run it again. I wonder how would I intergrate Force users in the campaign I ran for Irfan, Edged by the Empire, presently on hiatus.
One thing is for sure: the artwork in this book is top notch.
Like the other books, there are six Careers available for players to choose from, all Force slingers, with three specialisations for each Career. Each Career sets a specific role for players and the specialisations allow for them to refine the characters more. The Careers are Consular (with the Healer, Niman Disciple and Sage specialisations), Guardian (Peacekeeper, Protector, Soresu Defender), Mystic (Advisor, Makashi Duelist, Seer), Seeker (Ataru Striker, Hunter, Pathfinder), Sentinel (Artisan,Shadow, Shien Expert) and Warrior (Aggressor, Shii-Cho Knight, Starfighter Ace).
I found it a nice touch that one specialisation in every career uses a term that had been invented earlier in other books.
I have always stated that tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) can be amazing teaching tools, not only for language purposes but to develop critical thinking skills, social skills and general knowledge. Yesterday, I finally ran a game in an English for General Purposes class to see the students could be engaged enough for them to communicate with each other and me without being shy.
The horror begins!
Seeing that polyhedral dice were rare in these here parts, I thought I would run a game that used the ubiquitous six-sided dice. Thus, AntiPaladin Games' Mini Six was chosen. Besides, the system is based on West End Games' D6 system which runs the Star Wars RPG which I have been familiar with for the last 26 years.
The previous week the students and I had agreed to participate after briefly explaining to them what the game is, how it would be played and what my intentions were. Six of them volunteered to be Player Characters (PCs) while the rest would be able to observe and give suggestions to them as they played. I would become the gamemaster (GM) and pregenerated characters would be provided to the players.
I thought I would create a setting riffing off The Mist and Silent Hill because I had no idea how familiar the students were with genre tropes. A mystery setting with lethal monsters might provide enough motivation for the players.
I also played the video above that I quickly made with OpenShot Video Editor.
I thought I would get the ubiquitous Republic clone troopers from the Clone Wars out of the way before we get swept up by Rogue One fever in the coming months.
These are just standard Phase II armour without any armour decorations. There are ten clone troopers and two clone commanders on the PDF. Everyone has one DC-15 blaster. Here is what you can do: Customise these troopers! Decorate it yourself with coloured markers, and write their name in the box.
Download the PDF files at the link above for use in espionage tabletop role-playing games, from Night's Black Agents to Covert Ops! This series of paper miniatures display a group of secret agents in high society (or what I think is high society based on a miasma of movies that merge together in a single mass in my mind) trying to schmooze it up with guns and high tech devices.
As per the previous releases, the Pioneer-class file (with flat colours) is free for download. The Mariner-class (with shaded and highlighted illustrations) and the Voyager-class files (like the Mariner, plus full-sized character artwork!) are also available for patrons.
If I have some time in the next couple of weeks, I will create and release paperminis of mooks for these guys to fight it out with. A follow-up release to this in the future will be spies... in tactical gear!
Across the Stars RPG artwork commissions have begun again! Below is the first illustration I made this year for this science fiction project:
According to the caption: A Garçon organizes appropriation documents for Hish, who is worried how much he'll pay in fines for the robot, a crashed starship, and insta-evac from the jungles of newly discovered Xanth.