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

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.

Players

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.

 

EOTE Tabletop Day Session: The Pilot and the Spy

29 April 2018 | Hisham | | Edged By The Empire, RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Last night before the end of International Tabletop Day, Irfan returned to his role as Hondo Pash the Smuggler Pilot in Star Wars Edge of the Empire role-playing game.

Movin'

We began with an obligatory Star Wars crawl:

Crawling
Oh noes a Fulcrum agent

Just imagine the Main Titles by John Williams playing right here

Edge of the Empire

The Pilot and the Spy

It had been several years since the fateful Battle of Shadda-Bi-Boran. While his family were safely sequestered away on an Alliance safeworld, Hondo Pash had been working as an Alliance operative travelling the galaxy taking on one piloting mission after another.

The Corellian Engineering Corp G9 Rigger-class modified freighter known as the Junk Bucket dropped out of lightspeed off the Igmalar system. The planet Igmalar was a humid, fog-covered swamp planet deep in the Enteague Sector in a minor star cluster slightly above the galactic plane. Nestled in the Outer Rim Territories, the Enteague Sector was under the absolute grip of the Empire because of its rich natural resources. To illustrate, Igmalar City the capital of the planet was under Imperial military control because the planet was rich with raw materials to be processed as pharmaceuticals.

But at the moment, Hondo was to retrieve a rebel spy only known as "Fulcrum".

With a spoofed BoSS ID transponder, the astromech droid R2-8B8 - Hondo's co-pilot since the days of Mos Shuuta - landed the Junk Bucket on landing platform 44. Wearing a dark helmet and spacer's jumpsuit with equipment pouches strapped to his belt and his trusty DH-17 blaster pistol, Hondo descended the ship's ramp alone where an Imperial port officer awaited.

Hondo with a port officer

"Welcome to Igmalar City, pilot!"

The officer greeted him and insisted he disclosed his business on the planet. Hondo said, "I am meeting a friend for some business here in the city." (Irfan had to roll his Deception skill with one Setback die because he did not define what business it was, but he succeeded anyway.)

The officer smiled at the smuggler and said, "Well, take care in the city. Make sure you get out of line. If you do, the Empire will take action. We will be watching."

Hondo smiled at the man and strode out into the city.

 

SWD6: A Hot Day in Mos Espa

23 April 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Teaching
 

I brought West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game 2nd edition Revised and Expanded with me to class on Monday. There was time for me to run an hour of Star Wars RPG for my students, so I mustered together all the ones who would speak and ones who would take notes on behalf of their characters, which meant two students per player characters.

The students used the pregenerated characters I made for last semester's gaming session in class but they named their own characters themselves.

Title Card

Star Wars D6

A Hot Day in Mos Espa

Dramatis Personae (Pregens):

  • Creed Kenobi - Failed Jedi
  • Dini - Kid, Creed's apprentice
  • The Mighty Jedibo - Bounty hunter
  • Wakanda - Outlaw
  • Uvuevuevuenoenoonosac a.k.a. "Osas" - Rodian saboteur

Two suns shine down upon the planet Tatooine. A Rebel team landed their modified YT-1300 freighter at a landing bay in the city of Mos Espa and debarked, upon paying the ship berthing fees, on a mission to look for the Alliance Intelligence agent only known as Agent X for some reason. Agent X claimed that he required backup and would wait for them at Warehouse 34.

Wakanda, Jedibo, Creed, Dini and Osas strode out of the landing bay into the streets of Mos Espa. There was quite a sizable Imperial presence in Mos Espa, they noted. Stormtroopers were patrolling the streets in twos.

Welcome to Tatooine

Image from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (Lucasfilm).

They tried to ask around for the warehouse district, however someone threw a two-credit coin at them, thinking they were panhandlers.

Then, they tried the more aggressive tactic of accosting an innocent citizen passing by and attempted to ask him for directions to Warehouse 34. However, the man ran away as if he was being mugged and unfortunately caught the attention of a pair of white-armoured Imperial stormtroopers.

FTK4

Stormtroopers are coming. What do you do?

With Imperial troops walking their way, they did the first thing that came to their mind.

 

Mini Six: Whiteout, or an RPG Workshop at SILK 2018

30 March 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Teaching
 

This weekend I was honoured to be able to run a tabletop RPG workshop during the 2018 Symposium for International Languages and Knowledge which was held at Walailak University at Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. Last year, SILK 2017 was held here in Perlis and was featured on the blog as well.

Here are some photos of the event with an actual play report of the game that I ran for the Thai students.

Cover
Interior

My name is somehow in this book.

The little abstract for the workshop which I submitted a couple of months earlier appeared in the programme book for the symposium.

There's a desk

The best part was when they gave me a desk with my name on it.

Parallel talk session were underway when I went to scout the room where I was due to run the workshop. I quickly set up the table and then did some last minute game prep for the coming participants.

The usual suspects

Why educators are NOT using RPGs to teach language at this point is beyond me.

Besides showing off the diversity of RPG systems, these book covers displayed side-by-side on the table can be quite pretty.

Setting up

Setting up is easy yet nerve-wracking.

 

EOTE: Dude! Where's My Starship?

22 February 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays
 

It began as a impromptu invitiation to a roleplaying game (RPG) session. Suddenly there I was running a short Star Wars Edge of the Empire scenario for my colleague Rizal at my office.

title card

Commandeering Oskara's character folio, Rizal became the human male bounty hunter known as Riz who owns the YKL-37R Nova Courier named Glamorous Hedgehog manufactured by Gallofree Yards.

Edge of the Empire

Dude! Where's My Starship?

The previous day, Riz arrived at Port Emerald in the Ord Mantell system. He accomplished a mission to retrieve a family heirloom for a local entrepreneur and earned four thousand credits. He was gleeful of his newfound wealth and booked a nice room at a two-story old tavern-style bed and breakfast at the very edge of the mesa that housed Port Emerald, overlooking three landing platforms. The Glamorous Hedgehog was parked upon one of the platforms.

Money

The Bright Jewel sun was shining and the birds were singing when Riz threw open his window to enjoy the refreshing morning air. He wore his bounty hunter costume and with his trusty blaster carbine at his side he left his accomodations to look for breakfast. (Rizal failed a Perception roll I asked him to make though got an Advantage.) As Riz strolled along the street, he had a bad feeling about something but was unable to put his finger on it.

(Failing his Streetwise roll) Riz went up and down streets and alleyways but was unable to locate any restaurants that were open. The lanes he travelled on grew darker and danker. Soon he found himself trapped in a cul-de-sac enclosed by a series of abandoned houses.

A Gamorrean appeared behind him and blocked his way out of the cul-de-sac. He grunted and gestured something that was immediately understandable: pay up or get clobbered by my club. Riz was flabbergasted at being mugged by this porcine thug. All he wanted was breakfast.

Then he remembered something: he was a mean and fearsome bounty hunter. He should act like it.

His hand reached for his carbine and drawled, "Dude. I'm a bounty hunter." (A successful Coerce roll!) The Gamorrean turned and fled into the shadows. Then Riz, too little too late, called after the thug, "Dude! Where do I get breakfast around here?"

illustrations

Map of the first encounter and the holomap.

 

Mini Six: The Vanishing at Kuala Perlis

02 February 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games
 

Plans are underway at work to create a tabletop RPG actual play video web series to be posted online.

Initiated and managed by Bazli, it would be our push to promote role-playing games (RPGs) as language learning tools that would not only be holistic and comprehensive, but fun and immersive when done right.

Bazli takes point

What is this arpeegee shenanigans?

My task is to run the session as a gamemaster (GM) and Bazli will cut the video into encounter-sized bits to be uploaded.

To begin with I ran the participants an impromptu session of Mini Six using the pregenerated templates I created for the Doom Agents class.

Like the students before them, the participants took the roles of international agents sent on a mission to investigate extraordinary occurences.

Mission Report (in brief)

Six agents were sent to Kuala Perlis to look into a phantom island that appears after sunset between the Kurong Tengar beach and Langkawi. A fishing boat have attempted to land there, but had vanished. The next day when it appeared again, a police boat sent to investigate never returned.

The agents arrived at the beach at 7 p.m. in an attempt to wait for the island to appear. However, they were greeted by dozens of merry making locals. There was an island spotting festival underway at the beach.

The strait between Kuala Perlis and Langkawi

Actual photographic reference!

 

Mini Six: Rescue in the Rainforest

24 November 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Teaching
 

Mini Six: Doom Agents

03 Rescue in the Rainforest

The team gets rescued after a fashion

Title image

Last time on Doom Agents, four operatives sent to investigate the Eternitech factory deep in the South American rainforest located by the Amazon river had been captured by Eternitech's security forces led by Hideo Eguchi.

After an enemy flashbang grenade did its job in the store room where they were laying an ambush, the four agents found themselves each tied to a chair in the Eternitech factory floor, specifically on a conveyor belt that would lead to a shredding machine.

Nixon's list

Cast of characters

Dramatis Personae

  • Agent Trolala Zelimkhanov, a Chechen driver - Nasha and Nurul Ain
  • Agent Nancy Nassirian, an Iranian fixer - Athirah and Sabrina
  • Agent Adam Mbokota, a South African shooter - Syafiq and Weng Zun
  • Agent Adrien Nicolas, a French hacker - Malvinder and Asyraaf
  • Agent J. Johnson Jonathan, a Nepalese hitter - Alif
  • Agent Harry Wilson, a British talker - Azuwan
  • Doctor Zolila Okhunjonov, a Uzbek medic - Intan and Azmah

I Want To Break Free

"You think you can stop us from launching our plant?" Eguchi said, slightly gloating over the captives. "We know you are not from the UNEP. If you won't tell us where you're from, then you're useless to me." Then the Security Director of Eternitech pulled a lever and machines came to life. The conveyor belt began to move. So did the various robot arms and waldos. And so did the spinning set of shredding gears at the end of the conveyor belt! Eguchi smiled then exited through a door out of the factory floor.

Nassirian, Zelimkhanov, Mbokota and Nicolas struggled the best they could but they were unable to get free. If they could not free themselves then they would die. Their weapons and gear had been confiscated. They were about to surrender to their fates when Nassirian looked up and saw three figures dressed in black creeping along on a catwalk 7 meters above the floor. Nassirian gestured for the team.

The newcomers comprised of their teammates, Agents Jonathan, Wilson and Okhunjonov. The four were elated, but tried not to show their glee too early.

After quickly setting it up, Wilson's tactical training allowed him to slide down his 10-meter rope onto the floor. Wilson hit the ground running, his pistol trained at the door. The others descended swiftly. As Jonathon looked for a way to stop the machines, Dr. Okhunjonov leapt onto the conveyor belt. She picked out a surgical blade from her medical pack and cut the captive agents' cable ties that were holding their hands and feet to their chairs.

Classy.

Class Warfare

 

SWD6: The Battle of Corulag (Instance B)

16 November 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Teaching
 

Star Wars D6

The Battle of Corulag

Instance B

This Star Wars RPG game session (D6 system) was the first of two that I ran today using the same scenario I quickly devised yesterday for my English language classes. It was to see how different two different groups of students would play through the same adventure in the same day and if I could cope with both. The scenario was also written so the students would be able to discuss compare and contrast essays however because I started the class with an hour of presenting the conventional syllabus, we only had 45 minutes before time was up, thus we were unable to complete the scenario.

The session I ran earlier in the day can be found here.

That's an old valley

Dramatis Personae

  • Sergeant Jadoo, Human male outlaw - Lutfi
  • Fetty, Human female bounty hunter - Pei Yong
  • Broboroi, Human male failed Jedi - Saiful
  • John, Male security droid - Fauzan
  • Bob, Human male ex-TIE fighter pilot - Kok Peng
  • Ryuz, Human male saboteur - Shah
  • "Baby", Human male 8 year-old kid - Swee How

The gray and blue YT-1300 light freighter Speed Hip slowly landed on the landing field at the southern outskirts of town of Oldvalley, a population hub in the agricultural fields of the planet Corulag. The Speed Hip's ramp descended and seven individuals were disgorged into the cool Oldvalley morning air.

Their orders were clear: make contact with their agent Wes Qualto at Firelight cafe in Oldvalley. Qualto would brief them on what he had learned about the secret Imperial weapons factory that was rumoured to have constructed in the area and if they were required to destroy it.

The former Imperial TIE fighter pilot Bob led the team into Oldvalley. Beside him was the armoured bounty hunter Fetty, who took her name from the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett.

Bob: I was a pilot with a dark past and was now trying to make amends.

Jadoo took point in town, looking for a site that could be used as a temporary base. (Succeeding in a Streetwise roll,) Jadoo led the group to a small abandoned warehouse still connected to the power and data network grid. After an hour, they had converted it into a forward operating base.

Whiteboard notes

Then the team headed out for Firelight Cafe.

 

SWD6: The Battle of Corulag (Instance A)

13 November 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Teaching
 

Star Wars D6

The Battle of Corulag

Instance A

This Star Wars RPG game session (D6 system) was the first of two that I ran today using the same scenario I quickly devised yesterday for my English language classes. It was to see how different two different groups of students would play through the same adventure in the same day and if I could cope with both. The scenario was also written so the students would be able to discuss compare and contrast essays however because I started the class with an hour of presenting the conventional syllabus, we only had 45 minutes before time was up, thus we were unable to complete the scenario.

The session I ran later in the day can be found here.

The crawl

Dramatis Personae

  • Paragas, Human male bounty hunter - Haziq
  • Vyruz Girl, Human female outlaw - Ganageswari
  • KC, Human male brash pilot - Ong
  • Kert, female security droid - Kertana
  • Lauren Ginger-Soup, Human male failed Jedi - Khairul

Paragas, Vyruz Girl, KC, Kert and Lauren disembarked from a C-ROC transport at the landing field on the southern outskirts of the agricultural community of Oldvalley on the planet Corulag. The five were Rebels, part of an Alliance Intelligence team assigned to gather information on a rumoured secret Imperial weapons factory constructed nearby, and destroy it if required.

Paragas wore leather and fur with a long cloak that hid his blaster rifle. Beside him was Vyruz who was tall wearing a long duster jacket and wide brimmed hat. KC wore a non-descript flight suit with many pockets that held everything from macrobinoculars to a comlink. Kert - being a manumitted KX-series Imperial security droid - strode taller and thinner than any of them. Lauren brought up the rear in his heavy hood and black cloak, his lightsaber deep within its folds away from prying eyes.

Oldvalley was located in one of the many agricultural regions of Corulag. Although the towns here were not as populated as the bigger cities there such as Curamelle, there was still a substantial Imperial presence here. Imperial stormtroopers patrolled the streets, harassing the local farmers and business owners looking for rebels.

GM screen even

Walking into town, the team decided to visit a local cantina to gather information about the secret weapons factory.

 

Force and Destiny: The Lost General

04 November 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Teaching
 

Force and Destiny:

The Lost General

As role-playing practice for my theatre class, I ran a FFG Star Wars RPG session for the students. If playing a space swashbuckling character which might also be an alien or a droid does NOT stimulate their acting chops, I have no idea what will!

The party

Actors and role-players.

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. It was the same pregen sheets I had used in a class earlier in the year.

Dramatis Personae

  • Merick, female Zabrak Guardian/Armorer - Veronica and Siew Yee
  • Malea, female Human Warrior/Starfighter Ace - Haziqah and Syafikah
  • Koogik, female Rodian Explorer/Big Game Hunter - Syakirah
  • Byt, female Twilek Technician/Outlaw Tech - Nadhira
  • Kree, female Human Smuggler/Pilot - Amelia
  • Flames, female Droid Soldier/Commando - Siti Aisyah

Martial Law on Zaadja!

With the Empire clamping down hard on the remote system such as Zaadja, it became more and more difficult to travel in and out of the system. Meanwhile, a rebel general named Pella Vick had been trapped on Zaadja because of the martial law.

A group of six rebel operatives had been sent there to extract the trapped general whose last known location was the lidium mining town of Cumulus. 

The Star Wars crawl

Yes, the theme music was piped.

The team disembarked from the C-ROC Gozanti-class cruiser they had chartered to take them to Zaadja. As they walked out of the landing field, the C-ROC took off again to resume its scheduled cargo run in the Outer Rim Territories.

The mean-looking Zabrak named Merick led the group into the town centre. The air was frigid. Freezing winds blew in from the north. Tall, dark clouds laden with ice and snow rose above the horizon to the north east.

The town square was sparsely populated. One or two citizens could be seen briskly walking from shop to shop, their eyes on the cold, hard ground. In fact there were more Imperial stormtroopers than citizens in the Cumulus streets.

One stormtrooper spotted the group and approached them, and by default the person on point: Merick.

"Newcomers, eh?" the trooper said. "What is your business here?"

Merick answered by igniting her blue-bladed lightsaber and skewering the trooper's chest. (One Success on her Lightsaber skill check which took 10 Wound Points off the Imperial.) She quickly deactivated her weapon and caught the trooper before he fell to the ground, dead as a doorknob.

Everyone else in the team was horrified. There were other stormtroopers coming into view. They noticed that a trooper on the roof of a two-story building, a storefront, had turned his attention on them.

Zaadja

Zaadja, as drawn by Brandon Badeaux and Brad Anderson in Dark Horse Comics's Republic #67: Forever Young.

 

Mini Six: Debacle in the Amazon

02 November 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Teaching
 

This marks the first time students played a second game in a single campaign, although they all played new characters because of a TPK in their first session.

Mini Six: Doom Agents

02 Debacle in the Amazon

Dramatis Personae

  • Agent Trolala Zelimkhanov, a Chechen driver - Nasha and Nurul Ain
  • Agent Nancy Nassirian, an Iranian fixer - Syafiq and Weng Zun
  • Agent Adam Mbokota, a South African shooter - Athirah and Sabrina
  • Agent Adrien Nicolas, a French hacker - Malvinder and Asyraaf

A year after the incident in Fukushima, a fresh new group of agents were sent deep into the Amazon in South America. Command was suspicious of the construction of a manufacturing plant owned by the multi-national corporation Eternitech located by the Amazon river.

Title card

Boulders Are Falling On My Head

Trolala Zelimkhanov, the elegantly dressed agent, drove their pink Ford Ranger along the private road that would take them to the Eternitech factory. She had picked them up at the airport and was now driving them through the lush green Amazon rainforest. Because the road was wide and empty, she drove like a Fast and Furious stunt driver scaring the poop out of her colleagues.

They had been driving for over three hours when they passed through a valley, flanked by tall steep hills. Tall and skinny, the dark-skinner shooter Adam Mbokta was stretching at the back of the car when he saw something somewhat distressing: The top of the cliffs they were driving past was crumbling and tonnes of hard, rocky boulders were tumbling down the hill headed towards them!

Mbokota quickly warned Zelimkhanov, rousing the others. She, however, took a while to understand because of Mbokota's pronounciation. Only when Mbokota kicked the back of her seat and pointed to the rockslide did Zelimkhanov realise their peril.

Nicolas: A big boulder fell from the top of the mountain and rolled down towards us at high speed. Then, Trolala pushed the pedal to the end, increasing speed to be able to dodge the falling boulder.

She drove like a speed demon as a mass of destructive rocks came down upon them. (She rolled a successful Drive Vehicle check.) But she drive intelligently and in a blink of an eye was able to reach the safe zone before the avalanche swamped down, shredded the road into debris, cutting off their way back to civilisation. 

They were trapped, so they pressed forward towards Eternitech.

Will these players lose their team again?
 

Mini Six: The Seaside Catastrophe

17 October 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Teaching
 

And so it came to pass that I was given the opportunity to present my ideas for tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) as a language learning tool to the workplace. During the workshop, I also ran a Mini Six session for the participants. For the first time ever, I gamemastered (GM) an RPG session for colleagues, which was something I never thought I would do.

The GM is in red

The GM has no idea what he's doing

This entry chronicles the epic events that transpired in-game during the session:

Mini Six: Agents of CIL

The Seaside Catastrophe

If this actual play report sounds familiar, then it is because it is the same scenario I ran for my class last month. This time though, the pregenerated player characters (PCs) consisted of a whole new mix of agents.

Dramatis Personae

  • Alex and Farahhein as Agent Mustonen the Finnish combat medic
  • Sareepa and Masturah as Agent Khoo the Malaysian sniper
  • Ivy and Angela as Agent Takeuchi the Japanese engineer
  • Syakira as Agent Petrovic the Bosnian driver
  • Yuzy as Agent Hussein the Yemeni linguist

A Peaceful Drive

It was March 2011.

The five Agents of Central Intelligence League (CIL) had been sent to Fukushima, Japan in 2011 by their Agency Director (who was at the time about to undergo a medical procedure) to investigate the disappearance of their colleague Agent Yamaguchi (which Agent Mustonen reminded was nicknamed Tamagotchi at the office). CIL was an independent international intelligence agency that helped governments to keep the peace worldwide.

Initiative list

Some whiteboard or something

Petrovic drove their car through the Japanese countryside towards the town of Ōkuma which was the last known location of Agent Yamaguchi. Everyone else was drowsy and lethargic except for the supermodel-by-day Agent Khoo who somehow (with a Perception roll) noticed that a car behind them was driving up towards them fast! Khoo noticed that the driver wore a completely black outfit and a cloth mask that covered his mouth and head.

Khoo alerted Petrovic who at the last moment (with a sucessful Drive Vehicle roll) swerved out of the way. At this point everyone was wide awake, jostled about by Petrovic's wild manoevre. As the car skidded past them, Mustonen drew his weapon - a big and shiny Magnum .45 - and fired at the driver of the attacking car. (The Shooting roll and its Damage score were both high.) The bullet hit the driver squarely in the face, causing his car to veer sideways and smash against a large tree.

Petrovic brought their car to a skidding halt approximately 50 metres away.

Agent Mustonen was sure that their attacked was dead. He jumped out of the car with his gun trained at the wreck ahead and approached carefully. Takeuchi accompanied him. When they both arrived at the car - which was wrapped around the tree - they discovered that there was no driver. There was no body. A pool and splatter of blood were the only proof that there was someone at the driver's seat. According to Takeuchi (with a Techonology roll) anyone involved in such a collision would be immediately killed. How was this possible?

Mustonen took a sample of the blood on the seat with a vial he had in his medical kit.

Mustonen

The Finnish agent

Meanwhile a police car stopped behind the agents' vehicle. A police officer approached them, asking, "What happened here? Why are there so many foreigners here?"

 

Mini Six: A Day By The Sea

21 September 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Teaching
 

For the third time I ran a tabletop RPG session for my class using the Mini Six system, and this time I have integrated it with the English curriculum we had. The week's lesson theme was Natural Disaster and I also had to teach them about Descriptive Essays.

The RPG became a teaching tool in this situation, because students were able to interact verbally with each other in the context of the narrative. I did some research on the seaside towns in Fukushima, Japan to prepare for the session. During the game they also had to roll dice to determine that the action they declared succeeded or failed. And then had to write their game experiences as in-universe stories for homework using a structured set of questions I sent them via Google Forms.

Mini Six: Doom Agents

01 A Day by the Sea

Should have been 'Doomed Agents' instead

Dramatis Personae

  • Sabrina as Berry, the scientist
  • Athirah as Tirr, the engineer
  • Malvinder as Michale, the reporter
  • Nasha as Musk, the spy
  • Haqqi as Captain Lucci, the soldier
  • Lutfi as Naruto, the bodyguard

Here is the actual play report as taken from the students' written homework (with some paragraphs written by the GM) and edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation and clarity. A number of students who did not play listened in and submitted their homework as one of the characters being played:

Sabrina as Berry: Agent Berry was a nerdy scientist who wore round glasses and a white lab coat. One of its pockets was constantly filled with junk food such as chocolates or cookies to energise herself during work. She was a timid person but actually she had hidden skills that not everyone knew of.

Athirah as Tirr: Agent Tirr was a metallurgy engineer from Dubai who likes to research about new metals or minerals. She was constantly invited by well-known companies to join them in their team to handle big projects. However, she became a secret agent for her second career.

Malvinder as Michale: So basically I’'m reporter and my job is to update everyone what had happened and how it had happened. I came all the way from America and I'm a professional reporter.

Nasha as Musk: The six agents were sent to find a missing agent named Ishikawa in Japan. He disappeared near Okuma at the east coast of Honshu, Japan. The last messange that was received from him was that someone is trying to create "an evil thing".

Going into Fukushima

Gamemaster (GM): It was a lovely morning when the team drove a black Range Rover into town. Arriving at Okuma, they stopped at a takoyaki eatery. Agent Naruto showed the owner a photo of Agent Ishikawa and asked if he had seen him. (A successful Diplomacy roll occurred.) "I have seen him before. He loves my takoyaki. He said he was staying at the Sakura Hotel."

On the way to the hotel up the street, a pompous police officer by the name of Saito stopped them, asking why there were so many gaijin in a car. "Will you be making trouble here in Okuma?" Hot-headed Agent Naruto who was Japanese wanted to punch the cop, but the others held him back. Agent Michale managed to sweet talk the officer into letting them pass.

Malvinder as Michale: As the bodyguard was from Japan and we told the policeman that all of us had come to visit him.

Mini Six charsheets

GM: Before long they pulled up in front of the Sakura Hotel.

 

SWD6: Out of the Red

20 August 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Time is the Hunter
 

Episode 6

Time is the Hunter

Episode 06: Out of the Red

Continuing the adventure I ran for Ain and Irfan last December...

Bounty hunter Jax Hunt and amnesiac lady who called herself Iris Helena were waiting in the Corellian Engineering Corporation VCX-100 light freighter assigned to them, the Screeching Arrow, by the rebel fleet when the Togorian rebel coordinator Meow Skywalker came to them with a job:

"The mission will require you to travel to the Chandrila system in the Core Worlds to extract Imperial bureaucrat Ton Kelauae, his wife Aklu and his daughter Wencie. Land at Nayli Spaceport. The Kelauaes are holed up in Apartment 7C, Blackback Building. The Empire is looking for them and it will be a matter of time before they are discovered. Get to them before the Empire does and bring them back here."

Then they went off on their mission...

The character sheets

Check out the character illustrations on the PC sheets.

And Now, a Standoff!

A dozen visible Imperial stormtroopers were waiting on the streets, blasters pointed at the entrance door Blackback Building. Some of the troops were behind cover of an Uulshos Manufacturing Chariot command speeder.

Jax and Iris pulled 10-year-old Wencie Kelauae close. Jax was preparing two grenades to throw when he considered talking his way out of the standoff. He whispered the idea to Iris, who while slouching as usual, called to the stormtrooper, "Mr. Stormtroopers. Why are you pointing your guns at us? We were just walking out of here. I cook well. Can I cook some lunch for you-" (Failed her Con roll.)

"Drop the weapons, rebel scum," the platoon commander barked at them. "Now! Or we will shoot. Do you want the child to get hurt?"

As Jax quickly mulled over the words, four stormtroopers were moving towards them. Jax was at his wit's end. Neither Iris or he knew what to do next.

Irfan loves the Westward dice

A photo of Irfan as Jax and Ain's arm as Iris.

That was when the Chariot speeder exploded in a ball of flames. Half a dozen armoured troops flew into the air among debris and flame like rag dolls. The Imperials were caught in a crossfire from different attack points across the streets. This allowed Jax, Iris and Wencie to turn and retreat back into the building foyer.

One of the stormtroopers who had fallen in at the lift lobby had regained consciousness and about to fire at them. Jax dropped him again with his Relby-k23 blaster pistol. Iris grabbed a discarded E-11 blaster rifle from the floor. An explosion rocked the building, a cloud of dust billowed into the lift lobby from the foyer.

Lift lobbies are perilous places

Fleeing back into the building!

"Into the storage room!" Jax herded them into the room where he had earlier pilfered new weapons from some crates. The loading bay door was closed and locked. To open it, he fired at the door controls, an action that served only to destroy the door controls and nothing more.

Another explosion rocked the building from within. They now heard blaster fire tearing concrete and plastic in the lift lobby just outside their closed door. Eerily, the sound of battle suddenly ceased.

Jax and Iris pointed their blaster at the inner door, pushing Wencie behind them.

The door slid open. A dark-haired man wearing a dark brown overcoat carrying an A280 blaster rifle stepped in from the lift lobby. He looked at Jax and said, "Why are you here, Jax? Once again people will die because of you, just like Mom and Dad."

Jax said, "Fell?"

It was Jax's brother Fell Hunt.

 

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, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Teaching
 

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
 

Edge of the Empire

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 will require you to travel to the Chandrila system in the Core Worlds to extract Imperial bureaucrat Ton Kelauae, his wife Aklu and his daughter Wencie. Land at Nayli Spaceport. The Kelauaes are holed up in Apartment 7C, Blackback Building. The Empire is looking for them and it will be a matter of time before they are discovered. Get to them before the Empire does and bring them 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, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Teaching
 

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