BFF: The Free Wizards of the Clave

26 June 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games
 
Tabletop roleplayers!

The last day of Ramadhan, Irfan taught cousin Aiman to play RPG, specifically BareBones Fantasy (BBF). With the Eid Tabletop RPG Travel Pack I brought, I gamemastered an impromptu session for the cousins in the morning. Irfan tweaked his old player character (PC) Jake Hastur to be the Halfling wizard Drego Andre. Aiman adapted a pre-generated character from the BBF rule book to be an Elven wizard who called himself Johnson Jones.

Session 01: The Cave in the Clave

Tabletop roleplayers!

The Crossing

The two free Wizards Drego and Johnson were travelling the thick woods on foot in the Emondran Clave of the Keranak Kingdoms. (Presumably Johnson is an Emon Elf.)

It was getting dark but there was no place for them to hole up and camp. There were large trees and thick brush everywhere. They came across a river which flowed dangerously fast. If you fell in the water, you would be swept away in its swirling current. On the far bank was the perfect campsite: a sandy riverbank overgrown with delicious edible mushrooms.

Drego volunteered to look for a bridge but (because of his failed Scout skill roll) he was unable to find any way to cross it.

Tabletop roleplayers!

Johnson, who was able to cast a telekinesis spell, silently levitated Drego and floated him over the river toward the far bank. Then, Johnson managed with some difficulty to levitate himself to join Drego on the other side.
Drego said, "Well, I guess we should have done that in the first place."

Tabletop roleplayers!

The Company of Wolves

Night fell. The stars were out and Drego, a very good cook, had picked some mushroom in order to make dinner. Johnson was more than satisfied with the food as he loved having dinner with friends. Then they heard the grown of an animal. They both leapt to their feet. Drego cast a minor fireball (Offensive Strike) spell to light the forest which abruptly halted the growling. Johnson warned him that he spotted four wolves in the bushes about to attack them.

The wolves show themselves and prepared to pounce on the Wizards. Johnson's crossbow bolt struck one of the two wolves eyeing him (removing only 3 Body Points from 15). The other two wolves leapt at Drego. One of them succeeded in biting the Halfling's arm (removing 8 BP from his 20). The bleeding Drego cast a blast of magical fire than swept through both wolves. Both canines were seared by the flames but were still trying to attack (the Offensive Strike spell dealt a 12 point damage).

One of the wolves jumped at Johnson and missed. It fell onto the sand by the river and prepared to attack again, but Johnson used his magic to push the wolf into the river. There was a splash, a yelp and it disappeared into the darkness. Meanwhile, the other wolves - the ones injured by fire - had failed to bite Drego again allowing Drego to cast another burst of flames that killed only one. (The survivor only had 1 BP left and was on fire.)

Johnson pushed the second wolf attacking him into the water using his mind, then helped Drego by doing the same. They thought they heard the final wolf yelp in relief (because the water doused its flames) then immediately yelp in distress (because of the raging river).

Then they were alone again.

 

Force and Destiny: Jungle in the Sky

17 May 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

I was finally able to run another role-playing game session for my students for an English Language speaking exercise, the first for this semester. Probably no other games will be run because it is already quite late in the semester for other sessions. Students will be concentrating on their finals.

Although it was technically a Force and Destiny game, we had character types from Edge of the Empire too, thanks to the Legends of the Galaxy pregenerated character sheets.

Blue and red title card?

Force and Destiny:

Jungle in the Sky

The GALACTIC CIVIL WAR rages
across the Empire! Thousands of
suspected rebel agents have been
rounded up and imprisoned by
the IMPERIAL SECURITY BUREAU in
secret prisons across the galaxy.

        Many innocent citizens have disappeared
because of the Empire's evil wrath,
including SENATOR GAR LODOS
from the DURO system.

With little time to spare,
the REBEL ALLIANCE has sent
an extraction team to the
south pole of the planet CANTO BIGHT
to rescue the senator...

 

Bobo Inbound

A Lambda-class T4 shuttle dropped out of hyperspace and an asteroid the size of a mountain stood in its path. The pilot Malea - a Jedi Warrior/Starfighter Ace - was able to swiftly dodge out of its way (thanks to Enhance power that boosted Piloting - Space skill with a Force die). Her passengers, Byt the Twi'lek Technician/Outlaw Tech, Koogik the Rodian Explorer/Big Game Hunter, Merick the Zabrak Jedi Guardian/Armorer, Salporan the Wookiee Technician/Outlaw Tech and Vonnick the Gand Bounty Hunter/Survivalist were nonplussed by the event and went back to whatever they were doing.

Meanwhile the planet Canto Bight shone like a beacon beneath them.

The projector is busted though. Everything is yellow.

There was a Star Wars crawl, but no music because of technical difficulties.

Traffic control contacted them and Salporan answered them in his native Shryiwook language, telling them that the shuttle Bobo requested permission to land at the southern region of the planet. (For some reason, even with the Setback dice the Deception worked.)

Arrival at Ketri Hill

The Bobo flew toward a small with a landing field called Ketri Hill. The shuttle landed and the team disembarked into the frigid morning air, their breaths billowing visibly and blown away by a light wind.

A stormtrooper approached them as they were about to leave the landing field. He said, "Halt! Civillians are not usually allowed to land here. What is your business here?"

Merick stepped forward and told him that they were expected and invited by the Governor here. (Another successful Deceit check with Setback die!) The armoured trooper stepped aside and told them, "Welcome to Ketri Hill. Enjoy your stay."

After they were alone, they considered their first move, which Vonnick immediately insisted to be looking for food. He quickly took the lead and led the team on a merry chase throughout Ketri Hill streets. He came to a stop at a Gand street vendor and started digging in. (Success in Streetwise with...) However the food was inedible for non-Gands, toxic even (...some Threats).

Amani as Byt, Faeezah as Koogik, Nailah as Malea, Adha as Merick, Saiful as Vonnick, Ridzuan as Salporin

The students with their character sheets wonder what in the world is their teacher up to.

"Sorry, guys," said Vonnick as he slurped his soup through a hole in his mask.

 

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
 

SWD6: The Chandrila Extraction Fiasco

12 November 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Time is the Hunter
 

Episode 5

Time is the Hunter

Episode 05: The Chandrila Extraction Fiasco

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 27 year old sourcebook

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.

The custom GM screen to the rescue

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.

 

Mini Six: Shadows Through The Mist

13 October 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games
 

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 players at the table

The horror begins!

The Setup

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.

Shadows Through the Mist

Episode 1

 

The Laundry: The Man From Counter Possession

17 July 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games
 

Title Card!

Far Afield: Episode 01

The Man From Counter Possession

On this slow lazy Sunday afternoon, after binge watching the new series Stranger Things which I had described elsewhere as "totally a Laundry RPG scenario set in America, where Black Chamber operatives in the Department of Energy attempt to contain their screw up in a small town in Ohio", I thought I would sit down with Irfan to generate a Laundry RPG character. And if I had the time, then I would run a short, simple scenario for him.

The Laundry RPG is based on Charles Stross's The Laundry Files novel series, which is a delightful mashup of unspeakable horror and droll British humour, where the world of espionage meets the Cthulhu Mythos. It uses the Basic Role Playing (BRP) system used by Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Pendragon and Stormbringer RPGs.

Irfan created a 25-year-old British grad student named Dustin Hopkins, a Capital Laundry Services operative from their Counter-possession Department, who is also a "thinker". Without a proper character sheet, we wrote everything with a pencil on a blank piece of paper, and will transfer the stats to a charsheet proper once I have one printed out.

The Taxi Ride to a Gate

Dusty Hopkins, a recently trained and appointed Laundry field agent, was travelling in a taxi near midnight when his Necronomiphone rang. He had been authorised to investigate a sudden burst of thaumic energy in the outskirts of London. He was given a GPS location on his phone.

Later, he was deposited by the cab several hundred metres away from a closed and locked gate. The gate was located along a fence that surrounded the grounds of a computer software company. A cargo container, converted into a security office, had been planted within the fenced area right beside the gate.

Hopkins drew his standard issue Glock-17 and made sure that the GPS had put him at the correct location. He sneaked up to the security office and peered into the windows facing him. It was dark within, and he could see nothing.

 

SWD6: The Privilege of Choice

12 June 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Time is the Hunter
 

Episode 4

Time is the Hunter

Episode 04: The Privilege of Choice

A 1500th post special!

Last time on Star Wars Time is the Hunter, Jax Hunt finds himself being forcibly inducted into a bounty hunter posse bent on killing his mark, known only as The Skywalker in the abandoned structures deep beneath Spaceport Tower 214 in the Byblos system. Jax recently learned that The Skywalker was also helping to save young orphans of victims of the tyrannical Galactic Empire.

An actual crawl was played on TV

With the John Williams theme and all!

Surrounded by a colourful group of nearly 20 bounty hunters consisting of a variety of species, Jax Hunt faced their prune-faced Dressellian leader who wore a DL-44 blaster at his hip.

The leader barked with a smile, "My name is Kozener. And I lead this crew to claim the bounty on The Skywalker. But we will kill this Skywalker and claim 20 times the reward of the one posted through your House Benelex. Stick with us, and we will all be rich."

It took all Jax had to keep any hint of emotion off his face.

"Are you with us, Jax Hunt?" Kozener asked, his smile turning a dull shade of malice. Jax noticed that all the other hunters hands were hovering over their holsters.

"Yes," Jax carefully said, "I am."

"Excellent!" Kozener grinned as the others eased their hands off their weapons. "We'll need to work as a team as this Skywalker easily defeats anyone who approaches him solo. A five-man team reported that they succeeded in shooting him a few days ago, but soon after we lost contact with that team. You are to assist these two, the Rodian twins Dragillo and Dave. They will be taking the high position and wait for the attack signal."

Then Dragillo was dragging Jax down the corridor, exclaiming in Basic, "Let's go, rookie!"

In Splendid Company

The two Rodians and Jax left the main group and travelled down badly-lit, grimy hallways with exposed floor plates oxidizing in the musky air. Soon they were at a stairwell, Dragillo pointed upwards, "Go."

Jax complied, and several heartbeats later the twins followed up. From below, Jax heard Dave sneer, "It'd be a shame, eh, if you got shot in the back for accidental reasons. I suppose we both will have to share your portion of the bounty."

They cackled evilly.

 

SWD6: Deeper Undercity

05 May 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Time is the Hunter
 

Episode 3

Time is the Hunter

Episode 03: Deeper Undercity

Last time on Star Wars Time is the Hunter, a gunfight between bounty hunters accidentally activated a trio of Separatist BX commando droids from the Clone Wars. Malfunctioning, they began hunting for targets deep in the bowels of Spaceport Tower 214 on level Brown-212 in the Byblos system.

The three rusty droids fanned out with vibroswords drawn, their joints sparked when they moved jerkily. "Kill all Republic clone troopers." "Roger roger!"

Jax Hunt hugged the debris-strewn floor behind the engine of a Y-wing fighter. Beside him, a fellow bounty hunter - the Nimbanel named Tulon Tash - lay injured and semi-conscious after being shot by a rival hunter. Meanwhile the furnace behind both bounty hunters illuminated the chamber of scrap metal and discarded technology with angry colours.

Jax considered throwing one of the two grenades he was authorised to carry, but the droids were too far apart for it to be effective.

Continuing from last episode

Flat in front of the furnace.

Then he had an idea. He grabbed the nearest piece of scrap he was able to - a keyboard from a control panel that was broken in half - and hurled it up above their heads and down the corridor to the right where it clattered out of sight.

The three droids jerked their head in that direction. "Probable clone trooper." "Investigate and destroy." "Roger roger." And then they were gone.

Jax searched Tulon for a medpac but found an unmarked datacard instead. He pocketed it for later inspection. It was imperative they leave quickly before the droids wandered back.

"Come on, Tulon." Jax supported the Nimbanel as they hustled toward the elevator doors down the left end of the corridor. Jax noticed comm jammers stuck to the wall of the corridor. They appeared freshly fitted. He studied the closest jammer but could not figure out how to turn it off (with a Technical skill failure 11/12).

Jax and Tulon were several metres from the closed doors when a mechanical voice behind them boomed, "Republic clone trooper! Destroy! Kill!"

One of the BX droids had doubled back.

Behind the GM screen

I actually referred to the tables more than once this session.

 

SWD6: Stalk the Lower Levels

14 March 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Time is the Hunter
 

Star Wars opening theme begins!

Time is the Hunter

Episode 02: Stalk the Lower Levels

Last time on Time is the Hunter, Irfan played bounty hunter Jax Hunt who signed up with the Byblos chapter of the House Benelex Bounty Hunting Guild at Tower 214.

Jax Hunt arrived the next day at Abbit Mowba's office. The signs of battle from when Jax saved Mr. Mowba from a disgruntled bounty hunter the previous day were still there. But Mowba seemed distracted.

"Hi Mr. Mowba," Jax greeted the Aqualish manager.

"Jax," he stuttered. "I... There seems to be a problem."

"What is it?"

"There is a new mark. The bounty is right here on Byblos. In Byblos Spaceport Tower 214 itself. Way down dozens of levels in Brown-212. It's a difficult mark. I sent three bounty hunters after the mark. They should have returned yesterday evening."

"I'll take the bounty," Jax exclaimed.

"I usually do not send rookie hunters out after this kinds of hunts."

"I can handle it."

Abbit Mowba hit a sequence of buttons on his office table and considered Jax. "Okay. I'm out of datacards and my table is a mess. Go find the hunters I dispatched: Tulon Tash, Arbo Kee and Wex Ringthreader. They will have details of the mark on them. They should still be down at Brown-212."

Jax smiled at the Aqualish and headed out for his first hunt.

The GM screen is ready. Are you?

Paper miniatures standing by to be deployed. Not all were used by the end of the session.

Imperial Entanglements

Trying to leave Blue-772 was a chore. (Bureaucracy skill failure of 9 point from a Difficulty of 20 - Byblos was an unfamiliar locale for Jax.)

For some reason Imperial stormtroopers were patrolling the city. There was a squad of four troops menacing the northern blast doors of the main pedesterian thoroughfare through the city, right between the park - illuminated by the morning sun of Byblos through the outer transparisteel wall which revealed the vista outside - and the many levels of terraced office buildings and apartment blocks propped up against the opposite wall across the large space that was Blue-772.

Jax thought he would have no trouble going through the troops, but as he walked past the lead stormtrooper barked, "Halt!"

 

SWD6: Point of Entry

14 February 2016 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Time is the Hunter
 

I figured it was time to return to the source from whence my interest of simulationist/narrativist tabletop games originated: Star Wars The Roleplaying Game once published by West End Games and run using the D6 system. It was the first RPG that I ran for Irfan once upon a time and we have never played it since.

I can't read the writing on the GM screen without my glasses now.

Irfan plays Jax Hunt, a young human bounty hunter who is on his way to get his House Benelex Bounty Hunters' Guild membership card from an agent/broker in the Byblos system.

Jax wears a flak jacket body armour, a Relby-k23 on his hip and a modified helmet to protect his head. After some decades living alone and scrounging in the streets, bottom feeding, Jax had decided to pursue a career as a bounty hunter. Perhaps someday he would even be able to catch the outlaw who had murdered his family when he was a little boy.

Catch? No, kill perhaps. Someday.

Time is the Hunter

Episode 01: Point of Entry

Created by Peter Schweighofer.

A Taylander shuttle landed in one of the many gigantic hangar bays, a dot on the side of the colossal city named Byblos Tower 214. Among the passengers disgorged into the space bustling with people and cargo was Jax Hunt.

He left the hangar bay area and tried asking the locals where he could find Mr. Abbit Mowba who runs the local Benelex Guild office located at an area named Blue-772, but he was not savvy enough with the streets of Byblos to do so. (Streetwise skill roll failure, 8 on a Difficulty Number of 15.) After travelling for some hours through the vast hallways of commercial marketplaces, narrow corridors of residential areas and the local travel tube network, he found himself alone in a dingy, badly-lit street which did not have an external window illuminating it. (Irfan rolled Streetwise one more time, but failed with a 11 on a 15.)

But on the far end of the street is a heavy blast door marked Blue-772. He scanned the empty streets and saw nothing but tightly-shut doors, overturned crates and puddles of liquid created by hidden leaky infrastructural pipes. The smell was almost unbearable. (Perception failure of 6 on a Difficulty Number of 9!)

He had another block to go before he reached the blast door when a voice called from down a dark alleyway. A grimy-looking Devaronian appeared from out of the shadows. He said, "Hey. Do you have some spare change?" There was a beat-up blaster pistol in the Devaronian's hand.

"No," said Jax. "I don't have any money on me."

"I think you do. You people never have any money on you, but when we look, we'll find it."

A door behind Jax on the other side of the street opened and a Gran bounced out. His blaster pistol was pointed at Jax's back. Jax was outflanked. The Gran sneered, "We are going to eat well tonight. Search him!"

The Devaronian lowered his weapon and strode toward Jax, grubby hands going for his pockets.

 

EOTE: Dirge of the Nepotist Captain

22 November 2015 | Hisham | | GOKL Actual Play, Modesty Blazing, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Modesty Blazing

Episode 06: Dirge of the Nepotist Captain

Previously (and 14 real time months ago) on Star Wars Modesty Blazing...

Game prep at Aiman and Zara's house

Thanks to the course I was sent on  gave me the opportunity to continue Modesty Blazing, the Edge of the Empire campaign I run for GOKL. I honestly never thought I'd be able to continue the story that had begun more than a year ago when I still lived in Kuala Lumpur. After a quick social media notification, the group agreed to meet at Wira Games and Hobbies.

Where the hell is my grilled cheese sandwich - I mean players?

The obligatory fake photograph of zero player attendees was taken.

The Rancor's Rancor

Ghyel had been annexed by Captain Bullpup Barqueslayer of the Imperator-class Star Destroyer Cockchafer!

The stolen Lambda-class shuttle carrying Zalo Hai the lost Prince of Ghyel and his de facto aides and protectors temporarily attached to the Ghyel Ministry of History and Archaeology, Trianii Qillian Ryn, Zeltron Darter Kel, Trandoshan John Tray'Essek and droid VAX-11/750 reverted from hyperspace and cruised toward their rendezvous site at the edge of the Ghyel system where their new ally the former Imperial captain Razi Sunmote waited.

- What do the fins do? - Absolutely nothing.

Then, a gigantic starship jumped into existence out of the ether.

The spacegoing vessel was basically still Section 12 of Smallberries Station - a trove of salvaged Clone War hardware on Hypori - which had been jettisoned and stolen by Sunmote on his quest for revenge. The only thing that was different about it were the two large fins bolted onto it, which appeared to have no function. Several fighters were launched from the ship - Vulture droid fighters - and screamed into formation.

Darter hailed the spaceborne slice of Smallberries salvage station, but Sunmote spouted in advance. The comlink crackled,"Where is the scum Flintlock Tile? Give him to me now!" Darter calmed him down by telling him that Tile has now taken on the Barqueslayer identity and in order to defeat him - and for Sunmote to exact revenge - the group needs his help to formulate a plan and carefully execute it. Prince Zalo hoped that this would also save his home system of Ghyel.

"The Vulture droids will escort you in!"

The four droid fighters guided their stolen shuttle toward a small growing dot on the hull of the ship, which grew into a moderately sized energy shield-protected hangar bay.

As they landed, they spotted a battalion of armed B1 battle droids marching in their direction. The group walked down the ramp. The battle droids ceased their march and remained motionless. The group with Prince Zalo behind them became apprehensive.

Suddenly the droids parted to reveal Razi Sunmote in the back.

Beside him was a familiar figure: Nora Romanova, who left Ghyel a few days earlier to escort their Duros friend Vendrik offworld. Everyone rushed forward to greet her. "How did you-?"

"I got a call from Sassatania the Hutt," Nora said. Darter cringed at the name of his Hutt fiancée who had promised to marry him at the end of the Ghyel job. "She told me you needed help and I was to meet with Sunmote to return to the group. Where's the Modesty Blaze?"

"How the hell did Sassastania know where-... Never mind. Barqueslayer's people took the Blaze," Darter told her. "She's now in some berth in a landing bay on the Cockchafer."

"Darter," Nora said.

"Yes?"

"Sassatania sends her kisses."

"I'm sure."

"Gentlemen!" interjected the now-well dressed and very eager Captain Sunmote. "Welcome to my flagship the Rancor's Rancor! Come with me to my conference room and we can begin to plan the downfall of the wretched Flintlock Tile!"

Wira Games and Hobby is a great place to run games

The team devices a plan to take down Captain Bullpup Barqueslayer.

 

Call of Cthulhu: Happy Endings

01 November 2015 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Stark Future of San Francisco
 
Retroactively created 26th March 2016

Last time on Call of Cthulhu (back in June) our solo protagonist, the young Detective DJ Stark failed to stop whatever unholy occult occurence at Horton Opera House. Stabbed by cultists, blind luck caused a passerby to notice him and call for an ambulance.

Episode 5

The incident cost Stark another two weeks in the hospital, but he insisted on returning to duty quickly. Mr. Chao had all but disappeared, and there was no sign of the cultists in the opera house. There was no clue as to what the swirling bright light that he saw before he fell down the trapdoor.

At the end of his shift he was approached by his new partner Detective Alex Sim, a young Asian woman who knew of Stark's proclivities with investigating strange and unexplained things and getting into severe injuries. She warned him that she did not wish for her career to be jeopardised by such happenings. She said, "If anything happens that is even a tiny bit strange, I will report you and drop you like a bad habit fast."

Soon, Stark returned to the opera house for the first time since he was hospitalised. Armed with a shotgun and a flashlight, he crossed the two-week old police tape and scoured the building.

But he found nothing.

Everything that happened before this point was played when we were in Sitiawan a last month. We were interrupted then. We continued earlier today at home.

CoC 5.5 Edition
 

Without nothing to go on, Stark started to drive back to his apartment.

At a stoplight, the world shook violently. The quake caused the roads to shudder and the streetlamps to shudder and spark. A streetlamp beside Stark's car fell toward him. He hit the accelerator pedal and screeched out of the way safely. (36 out of 40% Drive Auto)

 

Call of Cthulhu: A Night At The Opera

22 June 2015 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Stark Future of San Francisco
 
Retroactively created 26th March 2016

Last time (a year and 4 days ago in real time), despite being badly injured and walking on crutches, Detective DJ Stark (played by Irfan) succeeded in thwarting the scheme of the Cult of the Pale Nurses in their bid to summon the ultradimensional being Sharakh-Kheth from crossing over into our universe and utterly demolishing the Saint Agatha Medical Centre in Brisbane, San Francisco.

(Yesterday afternoon we continued the Call of Cthulhu RPG campaign to see how Detective Stark was faring. Polyhedrals and paperminis deployed, Irfan wondered what Lovecraftian creatures and machinations he would encounter in this session. It was six weeks later in game time...)

Episode 4

Stark had been back to work at his precinct for two weeks, getting quickly bored by a desk job. His phone rang. A familiar elderly voice could be heard.

"Mr. Chao," said Stark.

"I take it my handwritten manuscripts were destroyed at the Saint Agatha? No matter. Meet me tonight at nine. I will have something for you. You are worthy of it."

It was just after 8.00 PM and an overcast sky darkened the dusk. Finishing up some paperwork, he started to leave for Chao's restaurant.

"Stark!" his boss Greta Hack called him from her office. When he sat at her desk, she said, "Word is you're bored with your desk job? I'm putting you back on the streets. Here's your new case."

Stark picked up the case file. Caldwell Broome, 50 year old antique dealer, had been missing from his office for a week. "You'll meet your new partner, Alex Sim, a rookie tomorrow."

"Thanks, chief."

"Listen, Stark," Captain Hack muttered. "Everyone knows how you lost your last partner. Please make sure nothing happens to your new one."

"Sure thing, chief."

Winter is coming

Stark's Shenanigans Spills into the Streets of San Francisco

 

EOTE Tabletop Day Episode: Together Again For The First Time

11 April 2015 | Hisham | | Edged By The Empire, RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Edged by the Empire

Episode 10 Together Again For The First Time

Previously on Edged by the Empire...

It was International Tabletop Day again, and like last year we played Star Wars Edge of the Empire again. However we played not on a table, but on the floor.With the 15 XP carried over from the previous session, Irfan bought the Grit talent for his smuggler character Hondo Pash, increasing his Strain. The finale for the campaign that started on January 2013 with Escape from Mos Shuuta begins...

Completely edged by the Galactic Empire.

One Man Revolution

Radiation and stellar gases swamped the Shadda-Bi-Boran system from its primary star. A squadron of five Star Destroyers aided by numerous smaller corvettes and tenders manoeuvred themselves to surround a three-klick wide asteroid that sheltered a secret Imperial base that belonged to Admiral Keargan Kanu.

As the cordon closed in on the flat lump of rock, Admiral Kanu was surrounded by his newly-reunited family, from his estranged wife Doro Pash, their 21-year-old son the young smuggler pilot Hondo Pash and their 9-year-old daughter Yuzy Pash. The two astromech droids R2-8D8 and R5-K2 slid down the ramp of the YT-1300 light freighter Lava Jaeger, screaming their warning of the incoming Imperial fleet.

They kinda look flat

The paper miniatures ready for action at Shadda-Bi-Boran

Writhing in pain at their feet was Hondo's armoured and heavily robed shipmate and gunslinger Giin Lawquane. It was Giin who had called the Imperial fleet into the system to ambush them. Suddenly, Giin stopped screaming and fell unconscious. Kanu dismissed his troops who saluted the Admiral and hurried to the elevator of the main hangar bay. Two remained: a pair of black-armored storm commandos who immediately flanked the Admiral as guards, whom were introduced as Lieutenants Kildruun and Gundeep.

The Imperial fleet was preventing them from leaving and returning to Admiral Kanu's safeworld, where he kept the family of his staff and troops safe and before they planned to vanish into the Outer Rim away from the Empire's grasp.

Meanwhile, the large tactical hologram above them showed that shuttles and small transports were launching out from smaller bays on the asteroid base. Turbolaser cannons from the Star Destroyers fired on the small, fleeing fleet. A shuttle and a freighter were shredded into superheated debris before the surviving ships jumped to hyperspace.

No! I am your father!

Admiral Keargan Kanu turned to Hondo...

...and gave him one of the metal alloy cylinders from his jacket pocket. He said, "Take this rank cylinder. You would be able to access any computer and open any doors in this base with it."

 

EOTE: Adversity of the Unexpected

01 January 2015 | Hisham | | Edged By The Empire, RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Edged by the Empire

Episode 09 Adversity of the Unexpected

Previously on Edged by the Empire...

Never tell me the odds?

It's the first of January. Irfan didn't spend any of his 15 XP. He rolled up three Light Side Destiny Points, and triggered no Obligations with 99 on the percentile dice.

Ticket to Ride

A pair of grey Aratech 74-Z speeder bikes - modified to have no flight ceiling - flew westward from the city of Shoribus, the capital city of Kabal in the Mayagil Sector, on a personal mission. Smuggler Hondo Pash's sister Yuzy and mother Doro were abducted by his father, whom he recently learned was an Imperial Admiral named Keargan Kanu. To retrieve them, he would have to find Admiral Kanu. The only clue as to where Kanu might be is his secret weapon cache located upon the vast Skolaris Cliff.

As they passed over thick swamps with winding rivers and the occasional gargantuan trees that towered over everything else, Giin Lawquane, the armored mercenary and security officer in the other speeder spoke via his helmet comlink, "Bothth. What if Yuzy doethn't want to come back with uth?"

"I don't know what I'll do, Giin."

"You know. It'th been a while thinthe I conthidered anyone to be friendth. In fact, it'th been ten yearth thinthe I let anyone near enough for me to call them a friend. Hondo, I conthider you, my friend."

"Thanks."

Two more 74-Z speeder bikes. painted dark red and piloted by droids, flew up from the swamp canopy in pursuit. The first droid fired his mounted blaster, but missed. This, of course, captured Hondo and Giin's attention.

Giin said, "You thee, bothth, I only do thingth like thith for my friendth." And he veered to the left then to the right, trying to skew the droid's concentration. Hondo's DL-17 blaster pistol was in his hand as he spun and fired. A red bolt struck one of the droid's arm which jerked down, pulling the handlebars downward. The droid's speeder dropped down and rammed into a large monolithic tree.

The remaining droid was unperturbed by Giin's riding and fired at Hondo and scoring a glancing blow. Hondo, still in control of his superficially damaged vehicle, aimed and blasted at his attacker. The droid's chest erupted in a miasma of sparks and smoke, but he hung on to his speeder.

That's a lot of blast for a blaster.

The BlasTech EE-3 boomstick is a glorious boomstick.

Suddenly, Giin braked and came alongside the injured droid, his EE-3 blaster rifle unslung. The droid, still shaken by the blast, reacted too late. The point blank shot disintegrated the droid, a beat-up Z-X3, he noticed, and the riderless speeder spiraled down and crashed into a wide river beneath them.

The two sped on wondering why they were attacked.

 

EOTE: On the Trail of Dad

31 December 2014 | Hisham | | Edged By The Empire, RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Edged by the Empire

Episode 08 On The Trail of Dad

Previously on Edged by the Empire...

Irfan had 35 XPs, so he blew it on a couple of more Talents, namely a second Skilled Jockey, a second Galaxy Mapper and Improved Dead to Rights. He was free of any Obligations for this episode after rolling an 81. (His Obligation: Family is 30 and Giin's Obligation: Bounty is 20). Finally the Destiny pool was 2 light side and one dark side.

First RPG session in Perlis!

We still don't really have a table for a tabletop game so we play on our moving boxes.

On his homewold of Blue Nirvada, the young smuggler Hondo Pash, the captain of the Lava Jaeger has discovered that both his parents, long thought to be dead, were still alive and appeared to be mortal enemies. His mother was Doro Pash and his father, the Imperial Admiral Keargan Kanu. Upon Hondo and his armoured mercenary guard Giin Lawquane rescuing his aunt Zosy Pash from Imperial agents, Zosy revealed that it was a trap to capture Hondo. However, when the trap was sprung, Admiral Kanu captured Hondo's 9-year-old sister Yuzy instead, making the jump to lightspeed in a Lambda-class shuttle in space...

Snow swept through and over a black caldera - known as Obsidian Island - that formed a ring-like atoll on the glistening icy, white plain surrounding it as far as the eye could see and the blizzard would allow to see.

Three figures walked through the snow in the open streets of the city in the inner rim of the caldera. Hondo, Giin and Aunt Zosy headed for the Lava Jaeger after admitting local Trandoshan police officer Klikwask - who was badly injured during Zosy's rescue - in a bacta tank at the public infirmary.

"What do we do bothth?" Giin's eeriely modulated voice said through his full helmet.

"We have to find Yuzy."

"How, bothth?"

"I'm going to track Yuzy's comlink."

 

Eclipse Phase: The Viking Funeral Undertaking

09 November 2014 | Hisham | | Eclipse Phase, GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games
 

Static. A disjoint in time, and perhaps space. Venus is a thread in another wisp of memory.

I see red and grey skies over the maglev as it speeds toward the city of Ashoka through the dry, rocky Martian desert. I used to be Hokusai the neo-octopus artist, on the run from Nine Lives the soul stealing crime cartel. Now I walk on two legs in a ghost morph, in a physical body optimised for stealth operations. With me is the female async Quill, her telepathic mind percolating with a thousand paper cranes.

Back in Valles-New Shanghai, we are the only two members of Fastball Express hypercorp who answer the VR call from one Mr. Miyazaki. He gives us the time and invitation for an upcoming Zanzibar marketplace that would occur in 30 hours in Ashoka. There a neo-gorilla named Winston will be attempting to sell something valuable and rare: a handheld controller for a Pandora Gate.

My cover is Shankar, a game hunter. Quill is Devi. As soon as we disembark, Shankar and Devi blend into the Ashoka afternoon crowd.

A Martian city
 

EOTE: I Was Young When I Left Home

30 October 2014 | Hisham | | Edged By The Empire, RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Edged by the Empire

Episode 07 I Was Young When I Left Home

Previously on Edged by the Empire...

Irfan did not use any of his 15 XP to upgrade his character Hondo Pash. He rolled Destiny Points for the PC and the two main NPCs, who are basically auxiliary PCs anyway.

Blowin' In The Wind

Recently departed from the port of Silverlake in the Naboo system, the Lava Jaeger flew into Blue Nirvada's atmosphere, a frozen ocean world orbiting a blue dwarf star in the Tarabba Sector.

However, there was a vicious snowstorm along their flight path toward Obsidian Island, the hometown of Captain Hondo Pash and his 9-year-old sister Yuzy Pash where they grew up. The armoured mercenary gunslinger Giin Lawquane in the co-pilot seat with the BlasTech EE-3 blaster rifle slung on his back asked, "Do we wait it out?"

Hondo took a second to ruminate, then decided, "Let's go in." The YT-1300 light freighter plunged into the maelstrom of ice and snow. Buffetted by incredible bursts of wind, Giin was thrown off the co-pilot station. Astromech R2-8D8 rushed to help with the controls, but a tremendous downdraft slammed down hard onto the Lava Jaeger. Hondo was unable to control the ship which then crashed into the snow-swept ice fields beneath. The ship skidded on the plains.

Giin Lawquane is floored.

Artoo beeped a warning: They were skidding at high speed towards a large patch of rock that rose above the ice field. Hondo fired the ship thrusters to bring the ship to a stop before they crashed into it. Damaged, they decided to wait out the storm. Yuzy served everyone meiloorun-flavoured ice cream.

 

BareBones Fantasy: The First GM Session

20 September 2014 | Hisham | | Role Playing Games, RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays
 

Earlier this week, Irfan gamemastered his first RPG session with his friend at his friend's house.

He had took my printed out copy of BareBones Fantasy, created his own pregenerated characters (asking me a few questions along the way), drew a simple terrain map and filled it with opponents.

His friend Fikree, I was told, named his pregenned human spellcaster William Jester. Irfan's own GMPC is a dwarf named Hector Zorin, a warrior with a greataxe, a battleaxe, and a warhammer.

The Simple Scenario

Because I was not present to witness the game being played, I interviewed Irfan for details of what went down in the session.

William and Hector were scouting the woods near the town where they lived because travellers had been disappearing there.

Near a rocky hill surrounded by thick trees they spotted a cave entrance that was guarded by a lizardman.

The session notes and charsheets

Photo of the artifacts used in the event!

They decided to attack. (Initiative order resulted in lizardman first, Hector second and William last.) The lizardman stabbed Hector with his spear (causing 11 Damage). Hector swung his greataxe but missed. William used his spellcasting power to hurl a fireball at the lizardman (using the Offensive Strike spell inflicting 7 Damage on 10 Body Points. 3 BP left).

The lizardman lunged once again, but his spear failed to stab Hector once more. Hector's greataxe sliced the lizardman in two (with 10 Damage) ending the battle.

They decided to explore the cave passage and discovered a crossroad that continued forward and also branched left and right. The passage ahead had a large cache of gold, which was freshly mined, apparently by the lizardmen. There were no lizardmen seen except for two guards waiting at the left and right passages.

Hector and William attempted to sneak past them. (They rolled Scout skill for stealth, but they both failed.) Lizardmen noticed their approach, readied their spears and attacked. (Initiative order: Hector, William, then the two lizardmen.)

Hector had his battleaxe ready but failed to strike a blow on the attacking lizardman. William's fireball blasted second lizardman into fiery bits (with 12 damage, 2 more than needed to kill him).

The first lizardman then succeeded in piercing Hector's body (inflicting 11 Damage, leaving 18 BP left; Hector was a tank - I saw Irfan roll Strength 60, then augmented it by 10 because of his dwarf characteristics). Hector retaliated with his greataxe, but missed. William's fireball attack also missed!

The lizardman thought he would finally be able to kill Hector, but fortunately the dwarf deftly dodged the spear thrust. Then Hector used his warhammer to strike the lizardman's head and slaying him (for 18 damage).

William Jester said, "Can we claim the gold now?"

Hector replied, "Yes." And the session ended.

I asked Irfan what his plans were for the game. He said, after the lizardmen disappeared, travellers were still going missing, so William and Hector will have to investigate further. He hopes to continue the adventure in the future.

I was pleasantly surprised that he was able manage a game session with a solo player. I remember he was very reluctant when I asked him once. Obviously, he needs to work on his worldbuilding skills so I'll be trying to teach him how to do that. (Why are the lizardmen there? Are they really evil? Why hasn't anyone else discovered the cave and the gold within?)

 

Golden Sky Stories: Intro Game

19 September 2014 | Hisham | | GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games
 

Last night, Doug came over to run a game for Irfan and I before he had to move, and it would be more difficult to meet up at nights regularly.

We played Golden Sky Stories for the first time. Set in rural Japanese township (not unlike a films like Tonari No Totoro) Golden Sky Stories is a tabletop roleplaying game where players take the role of magical animals called henge who are able to change into human form.

It's a great game to be played with children because there's not a single iota of violence, or situations that put the player characters in dire peril. It's all to do with making friends with other henge or little children in a small township in a rural Japanese countryside.

In fact, if you can grasp the situations in Tonari no Totoro where characters experience wonder and express their likes and dislike in childlike ways. The characters are never in any physical danger and there are no villains.

Doug and Irfan and shoes!
 

Diceless System

Task resolution is not achieved by rolling dice, but with points that you use to activate your powers, or increase your characteristics to beat a target number or your opponent's characteristics. It's like GUMSHOE's resource management system without rolling any d6s.

Whatever you need to do can be defined by four characteristics: Henge, Animal, Adult and Child. You also have points in Dreams, Wonder, and Feelings. Dreams allow you to create and strengthen connections with other characters. You also spend Dreams to transform into your human form or partial human form. Wonder allows you to activate your magical powers. Feelings are the points you need to increase your characteristics to beat high target numbers.

Intro Scenario

We generated characters quickly. Irfan was Kamineko the grey sleepy cat who lazes all over the town of Hitotsuna. I played Kuro, the black rabbit who lives in the town school, who thinks he's a dog.

Kuro was digging up (or trying to dig up bones) in a field outside of town when he came across Kamineko who was trying to sleep on top of an old abandoned shrine. Kuro invited Kamineko to help him dig for bones, but the cat henge refused to help the manic, identity-challenged rabbit henge.

Suddenly Kuro discovered that there was another henge in the shrine. It was a fox who identified herself as Suzune. The shrine was hers!

After a conversation that led to Suzune to bash her head on the side of her shrine because of Kuro's insistance that he was a dog, it began to get dark. Kuro and Kamineko thought it was time to get back home and transformed into their half-human forms (by spending Dreams.) Then it started to rain!

Kuro transformed back into his rabbit form and hid in the shrine. But Suzune convinced them all to huddle together under a big tree.

I rabbited!
 

Kuro noticed something strange. There were no clouds in the sky and the full moon was bright. Kuro used her Please power to act cute, rub against Suzune's legs to get her to submit to his cuteness. Suzune began to weep. She said she was lonely and no one had come to her shrine for many, many years. Kuro promise that he and Kamineko would come every day to visit her so she wont be lonely.

Immediately the rain stopped. Suzune was happy, bade her new friends farewell, then waited for the next time Kamineko and Kuro would visit.

The End

After that, we created new Connections and Irfan spent Dreams to strengthen the non-player character Suzune's connection with him.

Irfan had some trouble adapting to the whimsical and childlike aspects of the game, probably because he was more used to firing blasters in Star Wars and using an axe in BareBones Fantasy, but in later talks he appeared to be able to grasp the concepts better. Perhaps he would be able to game better should we play it again.

Many thanks to Doug for running Golden Sky Stories for us!