Some Dungeons and Some Dragons

12 July 2018 | Hisham | | Books, Role Playing Games
 

I spent most of Saturdays this past two semesters teaching extra English classes. This semester after I was paid, I ordered the Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook and Monster Manual from Book Depository. I was told by many that the fifth edition rules handles very well and figured it was time for me to purchase D&D books.

Aimaan called messaged me to let me know

Book Depository has free shipping and up to 25% discount on the books! It would cost more for me to grab copies from Kinokuniya.

I don't have the DMG though

I have not played D&D since AD&D second edition back in the late 80s. The covers are amazing.

Fish jokes will commence

I love aboleths. I think it was the first major critter I fought back in the day as a Half-Elven Ranger.

He's got his eyes on you

A beholder is right up there on the cover.

His name is Spike

I sometimes refer to this as the death salad. I do not believe this monster is a vegetarian though.

And its rank shall be captain

I believe I should deploy a hook horror in my eventual first session, and it will be entitled "Adventure Hooks".

I should also be able to use the fantasy RPG paper miniatures I made! Grab them on Patreon at this "fantasy" tag link if you want to download some!

 

New Dice Arrive

05 July 2018 | Hisham | | Role Playing Games
 

I ordered a set of cheap dice from Lazada. They arrived just before I came home from work today.

You can never have to many dice
I have nothing else to say except to post pictures

I was stoked to receive things through the mail and I am stoked to use these dice some day.

Sigh. Some day.

 

A Registered Student Once More

05 July 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

I never thought it possible even three years ago, but now I am registered as a postgraduate student at my workplace! (It helps that I work at a university, obviously.)

No I don't work for Facebook

CGS does not mean Centrifugal Gravity Systems; it means Centre for Graduate Studies.

I would like to thank my family and friends who supported and encouraged me one way or another. I would have never reached this point if it were not for them.

More news to come, I would wager...

 

Overnight at the Office

30 June 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

One Friday morning we woke up discovered we had a water outage. We did not know how long the roof tanks would sustain us because driving through the town of Mata Ayer (ironic name in this case) nearby we noticed that the repair work being done, digging into the street there appeared to be major.

I thought that this would be a good time to have a sleep over at the office which was not affected by the repairs. After Irfan's Bahasa Malaysia tuition, we headed for the office with our overnight bag. Also I actually also brought over some work from home back to the office.

I signed in with the guard and all.

More harebrained plans

The R&R restaurants in front of the office were open, so we took away some food from there to my office.

The AC unit was recently installed thank God

Soon we made ourselves at home at the office.

 

A Northern Route Back to Kelantan

13 June 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. Yesterday, we travelled out of the country as a family for the first time. Granted it was only over the border into Thailand, but it was something that all this while was out of our ability to do for fiscal reasons.

It was almost time for Aidilfitri and we drove from Padang Besar to Rantau Panjang via Thailand to reach Tok Bah and Tok Ma's home in Pasir Mas!

Drivening

Ain did a lot of legwork done beforehand, getting the Thailand vehicle insurance and such, days before we departed. We mulled over acquiring some Thai currency although we did not plan on stopping anywhere to buy anything. However, we stopped at a currency exchange and converted some ringgits into bahts. It was lucky that we decided on it as we had to pay some sort of vehicle tax at the border.

Resting place of the HMS Repulse

We used the phone's Map app to navigate. We found ourselves gazing at the South China Sea on the other side of the peninsular only over two hours from Padang Besar! Using our normal southerly route it would take us more than six hours to reach the east coast from Perlis.

Fruity

There were fruit stalls by the beach. Ain and Irfan used the Thai bahts to purchase watermelons and pineapples. A fellow buyer came to their aid with regards to Thai-Malay translations.

 

A New Place to Eat

07 June 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

We are always looking out for an affordable restaurant with delicious food. Luckily, there are still many places that surprise us in a good way in Perlis. South of Kangar towards the highway, while looking for a nasi mandi restaurant, we came across this good Thai restaurant for iftar.

Right by the padi fields

Click on the thumbnail above to view a larger image.

We parked by the fields which had been prepped for sowing. It would not be long before a more lively field of green would grow and cover up the brown mud.

Ain

We discovered that the nasi goreng Thai here was delicious. It has a side of soup and sambal.

Irfan

The nasi mandi restaurant was right across the road. We might return to it later.

Signage

Here is Irfan posing with the multicoloured lights that marked the restaurant's location and illuminated the its signage.

 

A Ramadhan Weekend in Sitiawan

03 June 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

The previous week, just after one of my classes I was informed by Atok Irfan that Opah was hospitalised for a because of dengue fever. We headed back to Sitiawan to check up on her in the weekend.

Nasi Ayam Penyet or something

After breaking fast in the car along the highway while passing by the Gurun rest stop, we decided to have our dinner in Sungai Petani.

Aeon Flux

Fortunately, Opah was on the mend although the doctor forbade her to continue her fast until she was checked out. Later, we went on a drive around town and watched Solo: A Star Wars Story at the Aeon mall - a second viewing for me since Kuala Lumpur.

 

A Solo Return to KL

28 May 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Friends
 

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

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

Clouds and stuff

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

My host is here

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

Buka puasa at Saba

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

 

The View To Work Today

23 May 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

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

Morning

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

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

Afternoon

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

That is all.

 

BBF: The Day The World Burned

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

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

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

BareBones Fantasy

The Day the World Burned

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

The Blood in the Standing Stones

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

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

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

2-Player game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The portal disappeared.

"Let's get back to Mus."

 

EOTE: Rescue on Crait

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

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

Edge of the Empire

Rescue on Crait

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.

 

Gaming at the Geomatics Carnival 2018

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

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

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

Ace of Maths

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

Play the game

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

Books

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

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

xxx

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

 

Breakfast at Gua Cenderawasih

13 May 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

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

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

Here are some photos.

Us

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

Us, Part 2

The foothills were rocky.

 

Multicultural Night

30 April 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News, Teaching
 

With Ain away at Pasir Mas to take care of some things there, it was just Irfan and I at home for the weekend. After spending most of the weekend binging on The Terror, an excellent show by the way, we would have nothing else to do until the weekday rebooted itself.

Thankfully, I had bought a couple of tickets for the Multicultural Night 2018 at the university great hall. After dark, we both drove there not just to check out the event, but also to hunt for dinner.

What awaited us there was something that blew me away.

Here are some Twitter posts, videos included.

I will give this event a nine out of ten exploding eardrums. Very well managed and coordinated with top notch production qualities. I would attend again if I could in the future.

 

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.

 

Atok and Opah Loves Thai Food

22 April 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

Atok and Opah came to visit from Thursday and over the weekend. We took them to the White Lily restaurant up north at Padang Besar. The restaurant made iced carrot milk that was Atok's favourite drink there.

Here follows a series of photos that documented our visit to Padang Besar.

Teratai Putih
Everyone
Nasi Goreng Pattaya
 

The Unofficial Kangar Gunpla Builders Club is in Session

19 April 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

Irfan it appears has become the ad hoc leader for a Gunpla Builders club at his school. Sometimes they would descend upon our house to assemble their plastic models.

Yum

Sometimes Ain has lunch ready for them.

Food done. Let's build.

I think Irfan was building an Arios Gundam from Gundam 00.

Even behind the couch!

I wish the group the best in their hobby. Also, I hope they would make it an official thing, like registering it as a club at their school, so they would have support from their teachers.

 

Ain Made Spaghetti

12 April 2018 | Hisham | | Food
 

Today, Ain made spaghetti. It was delicious.

I like the onions

Once upon a time we could not even afford to make this at home. I am grateful that we now can.

 

A Bowling Sunday With Colleagues

08 April 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Earlier today, the language centre welfare club organised a tenpin bowling session for the centre's personnel for some rest and relaxation as a group. It was quite the fun experience. And the last time I bowled was... holy crap! 8 years ago?!

What's Nole doing in the back?
Bowling
Our team

I did discover that my joints are in need of lubricants.