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.

EOTE: 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.


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?"


Map of the first encounter and the holomap.


A Sunday Morning Walk

18 February 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics

This morning Irfan, Ain and I went for one of our rare morning walks. We took the path through the kampung and circled back to our house through the countryside. I will let the photos do all the describing.


Unripe mangoes.

Then pineapples

Unripe pineapples.


Sinanju Assembled!

17 February 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News

Irfan had presented me with a Super Deformed Sinanju (MSN-06S) gunpla for me birthday a couple of weeks earlier, and I did not have the time to sit down to assemble it... until tonight.

With the Banshee

Both Irfan and I worked on it until it was complete. In the above pic, you can see it back-to-back with the SD RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee.

Weapons ready

I discovered that it is quite the robust figure and decided that will adorn my table at work in the future as the Second Coming of Char.


First Class of the New Semester

12 February 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching

The second semester for the 2017/2018 academic year has begun! And here are photos from the first class of the semester.

FTK4 hard at work

Wait what? What are the students doing fiddling about on their phone, you ask? Why are they not listening to me in class? Well, it's because they were...

It was tense

...signing into Kahoot to do the quiz I had set up for them. The full question is, "Oh my God! Amir and Sathya ______ finally arrived!"

I blame Jules-Pierre Mao

For skimming and scanning exercises, I asked the students to identify the general location of the events on the page displayed above. Then I asked them to identify the weapons mentioned therein. Thankfully the students were not affected by the protomolecule.


Sunset Dinner by the Sea

09 February 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

After I returned home from the academic workshop we decided to have dinner at the beach. So we took a trip west towards the sea.

That sun looks low

Before exiting the car, we had a video chat with Nia Nia on the phone. Then we enjoyed the sun which was dropping fast onto Langkawi Island, from our point of view.

Waiting for food

The last time I had some seafood here, by the way, I had a really bad gout attack. So, no seafood for me.


Photos from an Academic Workshop

09 February 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching

Once upon a time, the entire department was invited to attend an academic excellence workshop in which it was hoped that we would all be much more excellent than we were at being academics. Here are some photos from the programme. Perhaps some mouseover text will be provided as well.

Where did that ICE come from?

It is entirely possible I might have scrawled some words upon this page.

Ina takes point

Ina introduces blended learning to the bullpen.

Saf takes point

Saf talks about using Moodle to teach and assess students online. A bell goes ding in my brain.


Photos from a Keynote Address

06 February 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching

The university's vice chancellor was slated to hold his annual keynote address before the entire staff, and I was given a new task some weeks earlier.

day before

I visited the site a day earlier to help prepare the multimedia guys to run an online Kahoot quiz for the audience.

in kahoots

I handed over my set of questions to them and ceded the table. I hoped that they would use at least one of my questions.

day begins

The next day, everyone assembled at the main hall. I sat with a coterie of departmental colleagues.


Ultimately I discovered that they only used three questions for the quiz session and one of them was mine! It made the effort worth it.

Nole too

I suppose we would assemble again at the hall next year!


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!


45 and Counting

01 February 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

I am now 45 years old.

For the first time ever my family threw me a small birthday celebration.

The Away Team

It began with Yaya and Adik's family calling from the other side of the planet. We had a good talk. Yaya and Adik had plenty to tell us after they sang me the birthday song.


When I got home from work Ain and Irfan sprung me with an unexpected birthday present.


A Moon of Blood

31 January 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News

It was an evening of something quite unexpected.

True, I did hear about the coming of the "Super Blue Blood Moon" which was talked about all throughout social media. Bu I never thought it would look breathtakingly spectacular.


Ain alerted me to the start of the lunar eclipse during the full moon. It was a clear night. The stars were out.


The moon was gradually and visibly being devoured by the shadow of Earth.


When it was completely engulfed in shadow, the moon turned blood red. The photo I took above does not do it justice.


Soon after, the light of the sun began to shine upon the moon once again, slowly revealing itself to the night sky. The evening began with me underestimating how the lunar eclipse would look like. In the end, I felt fortunate that Ain called me outside to view the phenomenon.


Patreon: Doomed Surgical Team

31 January 2018 | Hisham | | Patreon Paperminis, Role Playing Games

Perfect for any horror tabletop role-playing games (RPGs), these paper miniatures of a doomed surgical team with a swarm of patients who are clearly hostile and infected with... something.

cut up

Those stains on their medical smocks are perhaps blood, or infected vomit, or perhaps paint - because of a catastrophic hospital painting incident. Yeah, run that session and let me know how it turns out.

sick people

Download the paper miniatures from Patreon for free!


Further Gastronomical Adventures with Atok and Opah

29 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

More photos from Irfan's grandparents' visit chronicled two further sojourn to sample food at eateries nearby. I should think it was a collective celebration not just of their anniversary but also of Sila's birthday which as you know falls on the same day. Additionally, my birthday would raise its head several days later.

First we would treat them. Then they treated us.

Bottom line, though, I am still astounded that we are able to afford these types of food these days. Granted they are cheaper than similar food in Kuala Lumpur, but we would not be able to afford these prices back then neither.


Enjoy the photos. First we went to Kangar for these dishes.


Celebrating an Anniversary

26 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

Irfan's Atok and Opah came for a visit this week.

Selfie or something

And their anniversary will be up in three days!

Grandparents of Irfan, Yaya and Adik

On this fine Friday, and you can tell it's a Friday because Irfan and I are in Baju Melayu, we went to the food court at Kuala Perlis for an early celebration of their anniversary!

Button up, Irfan

Bored at Work But Not Really

25 January 2018 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars

Between semesters, I need not head to classes to teach. I do have a lot of work at the office though such as grading papers, planning for the next semester, employee assessment forms, workshops to attend and things such as the previous day's brochure to create.

So, alone in my room sometimes I just set my RPG gear and paperminis on my table just for kicks.

rebels vs imps
scoundrels vs stormies

Classes will start soon, so I will not have the opportunity for this again in a couple of months hence.


Crafting a Brochure Once More

24 January 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching

It has been decades since I made an actual three-fold brochure for real.


The workplace needed one for an upcoming postgraduate programme they would be running.


Using Inkscape (and actually running around the office buildin to take fresh photographcs) I managed to hammer a design out. The photos above are of the mockup printed out. These brochures would be first brought to Bangladesh for an event there.


Happy Birthday Ain

22 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Because the extra teaching work I took last semester earned me some extra Republic credits, I was - for the first time in our lives together as husband and wife - able to buy Ain a real birthday present!

Bought at Lazada

I ordered it online and it arrived much earlier than it had announced it would.

Happy birthday, my darling wife. I love you very much.


FAE Printed and Bound

17 January 2018 | Hisham | | Books, Role Playing Games

I downloaded a copy of FATE Accelerated Edition even before I moved up here. But I never got it printed out until today. I had sent it for printing the previous evening and the print shop called me up today as we were getting the car's tyre replaced.


So we picked it up. It did not cost a lot of Republic credits even with perfect binding at A5 sized pages.

back cover

The output looks and feels amazing. The Needless to say, I might print more stuff I downloaded from DriveThruRPG / RPGNow at the print shop. All I need now is some FATE dice.


Not the Tire Again

17 January 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News

It was early in the morning when we sent Irfan to school as usual. I took the following photo of the sky in front of his school upon dropping him there. Click on it to expand.


We then took the long way round back to the house.

Not a good idea

In hindsight we should have just made a u-turn and headed home the way we came.


Only when the mechanic removed the tyre from the hub could we see this screwdriver shank. It had pierced the tread complete and had been rattling inside the tyre as air was escaped.

Bye bye, Republic credits.


Another January Weekend

14 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

Last weekend, we went for a drive. This weekend, it was time for the farmer's market.


There were a bunch of fresh produce Ain wanted to pick up at the market. She knew of cheaper locations to purchase some of the things here, but it has been a while since we visited this market.


Lots of green grown were sold here that we could consume to keep our biological avatars running without any errors.

These biological things make awesome salad

Ain pokes a papaya.

There's always a bigger fish

All this fish gives me an idea for an epic RPG campaign. (No it does not.)


One January Weekend

07 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

We decided to take a drive on Sunday. Headed north, we then stopped at the restaurant overlooking the dam for lunch.

Waiting for food

But first, a photo to preserve the moment since we have no access to the quantum informational layer of the universe.

The menu

It is weird that we need to absorb and grok the information using spectral patterns of a certain frequence of electromagnetic radiation reflected off the menu and into our occular organs before we could figure out what to order.

Click to expand image

Can you imagine the sheer amount of quantum information that was formed and being formed, while interacting with each other in this photograph?