Rafe's 16 Month Birthday

29 April 2013 | sila | | Family Pics

After another fast-paced month, Adik is now 16 months old. He seems to have grown so quickly - when I look back at pictures of him as a newborn I can hardly believe it is the same baby as he is becoming more and more of a person in his own right. We saw that with Yaya, and continue to see it with her, and now we are seeing it with Adik and this is definitely the greatest gift anyone can ever receive - the opportunity to watch our children grow and become their own little persons. :-) Especially when they are as funny as our Adik is getting to be!

Jelingan manja (coy glance)

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Beach Escapade: Part I

28 April 2013 | sila | | Family Pics

So we went to the beach in April! We went to Orange Beach, AL. Neither Vin nor I'd ever been (not just to Orange Beach but to Alabama in general) so this was a first. We had an amazing time!

Family portrait on the beach

Oh Adik! Why didn't you look up? Anyway, I had been planning a short entry with a few pictures of our fabulous time in Orange Beach, but I ended up with way too many photos and a chronic inability to edit it anymore. I think we must refrain from taking so many pictures next time. Some of them actually turn out quite nice.

* Mouse over pictures for captions


57 Months

22 April 2013 | sila | | Family Pics

The countdown is on to Yaya's fifth birthday! 3 more months! Time passes so quickly - I can't believe how big Yaya has gotten. Where did my little newborn baby go? :-)

Happy girl at the playground

* Mouse over the photos for captions


GOKL Escapes The Insurmountable Ned

21 April 2013 | Hisham | | GOKL Actual Play, Modesty Blazing, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games, Star Wars

Earlier today I ran Star Wars Edge of the Empire for GOKL for the second time, using the Beginner Game truncated rules and extra stuff found on the internet.

Everyone was given 10 XPs from the previous session with an option to advance their characters. Qillian Ryn the Trianii and Darter Kel the Zeltron advanced their characters. 41-VEX the manumitted colonist droid saved his XPs for later.

That's my stash of custom Star Wars RPG paper minis

NPC stats and GM notes and stuff

A Brief Prologue

A brief prologue was run to account for the absence players of Lowhhrick, Oskara and Nora. The commandeered Corellian YT-1300 light freighter Krayt Fang landed on a small oceanside shadowport on Rodia. Actually before landing, they kicked the ousted slaver captain Trex out into the humid Rodian swamps a hundred klicks from nowhere. An outlaw tech would be able to install a new BoSS transponder on their ship, but only for 10,000 credits as times are tough. Seeing that the crew did not have the money, the outlaw tech suggested they look for work at the Ithorian herdship that just made orbit recently.

Landing Bay 1138

This particular Ithorian herdship, named Green Fields, was an interstellar starship that was disc 5 klicks in diameter and had a giant transparisteel canopy 4/5th of the diameter that has a living jungle and ocean biomes.There was a central island that formed a mountain 400 meters tall. This type of herdship travelled from system to system and opened their doors to locals as tourists, encouraging them to visit their biomes, to stay in their hotels, to go on safaris and to generally spend a lot of money there.

Krayt Fang was berthed at Landing Bay 1138 at the rim of the Green Fields. Darter, 41-VEX and Qillian went out into the bustling landing bay which was able to support two medium ships and eight light ships such as their own. There were technicians, deck officers, tourist groups heading to or from their ships, load lifter droids, security droids, hustlers, businessmen, entrepreneurs and wanderers. Thanks to some fast talking Darter found a terminal that listed immediate job ads. Most did not pay well, but one ad from Captain Beru Highbringer paid 4000 credits per successful applicant. The job: crew of a Corellian YV-664 converted freighter - now a tour ship - that brought tourists offship to visit gorgeous astronomical sights of the region.

Landing Bay 1142

There were three Lambda-class Imperial shuttles berthed in Landing Bay 1142. Worried, Darter asked around about them. An Ithorian deck officer told them not to worry. Imperials were always boarding the herdship wherever they stopped; always looking for rebels - especially when there were so many outsiders aboard the ship. So far none had been found on Green Fields.

The trio met with Captain Highbringer at the cantina at Landing Bay 1142. She was a grizzled spacer, as grizzled as a 28 year old human female with long, wavy blond locks could be. It disturbed them that she kept disrupting Darter's spirited job application pitch to her by whispering strangely to the old force pike by her side as if it was alive.

It was even more disturbing that she hired them and paid them half in advance because the inanimate force pike had somehow "allowed" her to.

Before leaving they noticed four humans in casual tourist garb slipping into the cantina, a woman and three men. They were all clearly on edge, as if on the run from pursuers. The group decided not to interact with them.

They returned to the Krayt Fang to pick up their gear as well as extra space suits. (Yes, even VEX grabbed a space suit for arcane reasons.) They had a light lunch with Nora, Oskara and Lowhhrick before returning to Landing Bay 1142.

Pash isn't used in this campaign

The group's initial pool of 4 Destiny Points among 3 PCs 


Cover for Five's The End

18 April 2013 | Hisham | | Artwork, Books, Misc Sci-Fi
Cover with the creature Three

Here is another cover commissioned by Ebb and Folks. Five's The End is a novella by David Leyman that completes the trilogy that begins with Three's Company and continues with Four of a Kind (the second artwork in this post). The style of digital inks and colours (instead of a painterly look) of the cover for all three novellas is an editorial decision.


Additional Tugboats Card Art

16 April 2013 | Hisham | | Artwork

Recently, I was asked by The Sages of RPG to draw three more cards for their fun card game Tugboats. The game is still in beta and it was played during last year's PAX East.

Contrary to popular belief these aren't Somalian pirates

Pirate Attack

At first I thought I should draw Al Franken on a tugboat


For past work on this project check out the blog post on tugboats and cargo ships.


Darkness Falls

15 April 2013 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Power outages used to be part of normal, everyday life back when we were growing up in Sitiawan. Not that there were blackouts every night, but perhaps once or twice a month (although my memory on the matter might be imprecise). The point was that we were prepared for total darkness when the power went out and it happened often enough to have the experience be a lasting memory.

Time is a fire in which we burn... or something like that

It almost never blacks out at the Tenth Floor, but last night most of this sector of town fell into darkness. Power outages are a rare event here. Over the many years we have lived here, there might have been less than five power outages that happened at night.

Candles had to be lit. Irfan had a good time studying the candle and its flame.



13 April 2013 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Humour

I chased Irfan down two aisles at the supermarket with a toilet plunger saying. "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!"

I was sad that the egg beaters weren't close by.


Night's Black Agents: The Eurovision Job Ends

08 April 2013 | Hisham | | GOKL Actual Play, Nights Black Agents, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games

And thus ends the Eurovision Song Contest Job where the company investigates a white supremacist terror group in Malmö, Sweden. This arc of the game took four sessions and in the final session, things go south for the group and then some. A game campaign recap can be found here, followed by descriptions of certain scenes that led us to the finale.

A thematic change in the game is that the players discovered that the Lampir-blood boosted terrorists were not merely from a fringe group, but part of the consipracy that led to the top levels of the Försvarsdepartementet (Ministry of Defence), who was trying to bring down the Socialdepartementet (Ministry of Health and Social Services) who had become our allies in Sweden. Therefore, we were not just running our operation in neutral territory, but in a country that was steadily becoming an enemy terrority.

The party split up between Jacob, Misha, Rose with borzoi hound Abraham Lincoln; and Sami, Zlatan, David with the other borzoi hound Abraham Van Helsing.

Team one would guard Romany singer Milla Cesarescu - lead singer and social activist of the band Half Kingdom - in her Malmö hotel room before the contest from attacks that her security detail will not be prepared to deal with. Team two would rendezvous with Snorre Dahlquist, the Health Ministry Special Agent, to visit the late (no thanks to Zlatan) Dr. Ishmael Sjöberg's house in Blackeberg, near Stockholm.

Three game highlights followed.


The Cousins' Weekend Sleepover

07 April 2013 | Hisham | | Family Pics

We spent most of the weekend at Baby Zara's where Irfan and Aiman had a fun time together playing and watching cartoons. Once in a while they played with Zara as well, so she wouldn't feel left out. Irfan even carried Zara around once in a while.

Zara on the sofa like a boss

We all went out to the Chicken Rice Shop for dinner where the children enjoyed themselves.

How much did the cousins enjoy themselves? By this much!

The chikin was delicious too

Even Ain had extended talks with her niece. I don't think they understood one another, but it looked like they were having fun conversing over the weekend.

I think my aunt wants me to get a job

Everyone was so well-occupied I managed to draw 8 pieces of artwork over the two days, drawing at the laptop with the graphic tablet.

All the cousins on the Othman side of the family

However, we had to leave before noon on Sunday as Irfan had Quran lessons and I had to go to Sweden to continue investigating bioterrorists using Lampir blood as a physical enhancement agent.


SWAG: Squeak, Claire and Dutch

04 April 2013 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
Squeak, Claire and Dutch

I love it when children play RPGs. Their young imagination make any game soar. If there's any way to help introverted children to help express themselves more and be better speakers, I would always recommend parents to run tabletop RPGs for them.

This was why I immediately took this request on the Star Wars Artists' Guild, which was requested by Juanflaco. He gamemastered a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG game for his children, ages 12, 9 and 7. The 12-year-old plays Claire, the young teenager on the run from Tatooine. The 7-year-old plays R2-79 a.k.a. "Squeak", Claire's astromech droid. The 9-year-old plays Dutch an amnesiac former Clone pilot who has to protect the two.

Click here for the forum request.

Click here for the SWAG art post.

Click here for a larger image at DeviantArt.


BareBones Covert Ops: Rogue's Gallery

02 April 2013 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

What sort of enemies can you populate your BareBones Covert Ops campaign? What would you model your enemy organisation on? SPECTRE? SMERSH? HYDRA? Cobra? Here's a visual example of enemies you can employ to hinder your heroes in your game.

Bad guys