The End of January...

29 January 2014 | Hisham | | Recent News

...specifically today, marks both the Anniversary of Atok and Opah, and the birthday of Sila, the best sister and bounty hunter ever!

Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday to everyone involved!

This is where I'd post old black and white photos of all Atok, Opah and Sila if I was able to get them and scan them.

But I wasn't. So I can't.


Eclipse Phase: The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

27 January 2014 | Hisham | | Eclipse Phase, GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games

Last time on Eclipse Phase: Clouds of a Morning Star...

Location: Sacajawea Patera caldera in Ishtar Terra, the surface of Venus.

Active Gamera Security (GamSec) Personnel: The infomorph DANAI in a q-morph, the other infomorph Wandering Ina in a Venusian flyer morph, Billy Cable Jr. paranoid terrorist in a neotenic pod morph and Hokusai Tarnungshaut - neo-octopus artist in another q-morph.

High pressure professionals


The Venusian chapter of Fastball Express, under the cover name of Gamera Security, had been commissioned by Morningstar Constellation security executive Kage Musha to investigate possible terrorist activity among the aerostats of Venus. They began operating on the orbital habitat Gerlach, then established a branch in a dirigible docked in the aerostat Aphrodite Prime. Their investigations brought to light that the orbital habitat Timothea Bush-Kennedy, also known as Timbuk3, had been attacked by TITANs during the Fall more than a decade ago, broke up and crashed into the surface of Venus, no one knows exactly where.

When the reclusive artist Marquis d’Homem-Christos farcasted to Aphrodite Prime to display the unique psycho-empathic sculptures he acquired from the aliens known as the Factors, GamSec discovered a terrorist organisation known as the Free Fall Network (FFN) were violently against the terraforming of the surface of Venus. The terraforming drive was headed by the Solid Ground Initiative (SGI), a patron of which was the Marquis himself.

Their investigations led them to the aerostat's Aviary where genengineered avian fauna were being developed for atmospheric terraforming. They discovered that the Aviary was being renovated and expanded by a hypercorp named Ikea-Tata Constructions. The construction site hid a flexbot combiner tank which GamSec and their allies neutralised before further damage was done.

Ikea-Tata Constructions, GamSec discovered, was created by a clique of Venusian thrill-seeking skydivers who was involved in a fatal crash to the surface, all cortical stacks lost. After their backups had been reinstated in new morphs they were compelled to form the hypercorp to vie for terraforming construction projects across Venus.

The Marquis security job also led them to the FFN terrorist agent Saladin Pelita who only appeared to them as an AR projection. After the Marquis returned home, Saladin was successful in somehow poisoning all the animals in the Aviary. Later, Kage identified him as Baron Julian Robbari, the heir to Soletta Corp. Robbari had instated a former employee of Timbuk3, Shelby Cobra, from storage and set him to work in city cybersecurity. Using remote surveillance, GamSec had discovered that Shelby had been bouncing line-of-sight signals off Gerlach's hull mirrors. The signals had been directed back to Venus, to a caldera on Ishtar Terra called Sacajawea Patera.

Under Kage's authority, GamSec travelled to the mining aerostat Lucifer where the ursomorph members of the Teddy Bear Roadside Picnic Company salvage hypercorp where their CEO himself Mr. Snuggles decided to fly them to Sacajawea Patera to  Shelby's signal was bounced, where according to Mr. Snuggles was an area claimed by a rival salvage hypercorp known as Ladyboys Salvage and Repo. They had claimed the area, but kept it dormant for months.

What were the Ladyboys protecting and what did it have to do with Shelby Cobra, Saladin Pelita, Free Fall Network, their anti-terraforming drive and attempts to keep the Marquis d'Homem-Christos away from Venus?

At the caldera, Mr. Snuggles and GamSec discovered a large fragment of a fallen orbital habitat that against the laws of physics had survived uncontrolled planetfall. It was being monitored by a Ladyboys domed encampment. A closer inspection identified the half-buried debris as Lake Okeechobee Research Facility, a compartment from Timbuk3! Its systems still active, it scanned and identified Billy Cable Junior's mesh ID as William Cable, confirming memories stolen from Shelby Cobra earlier that his father had been on the habitat before it crashed into Venus.

And despite Mr. Snuggles' protests, Cable was determined to get into the fallen fragment to discover its secrets.


It took DANAI's persuasive skills to make Mr. Snuggles agree to the plan. (Persuasion success 43/60.) He only agreed when they informed him of a possible TITAN threat. The plan was for Mr. Snuggles to fly in with the lander, jam all comms as it approached allowing GamSec to attack the Ladyboys' q-morph guard. The universal airlock would then be used to board the fragment of Timbuk3 station for boarding from within the lander.


Ain's Birthday Dinner

23 January 2014 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

Ain levelled up yesterday. She's gained a year, so we thought we'd splurge a bit on a proper birthday dinner. It would be a proper dinner with proper food, namely burgers.

Meanwhile Irfan made his specialty ice cream cheese cake.

Mixed flavour of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry

That evening we went to this burger restaurant at the Ampang Waterfront. It seemed to be a great place to dine on burgers. If I were to go out and have burgers for dinner, this would be the place I'd go to.

Wish I could do this for Ain every year... can't even buy her a present

Irfan and his Cik Su scour the menu for consumables. Irfan is happy with stuff smeared with tons of cheese.

As I write this I hear 'ass thrusters' coming from the TV

A fried egg (or perhaps the interstellar neural parasite that killed Jim Kirk's brother Peter on Deneva) obstructs our view of Ain's chicken chop.

The sauce is delicious

Even Atok and Opah joined the event via a phone call. We should bring them to this place the next time they come and visit.

They call Irfan on his own phone nowadays

Finally, this one is mine. All you bloodsuckers stay away from it. GET BACK! GET BACK, YOU PEONS!

The chilli sells it

In closing, happy birthday & lots of love, Ain!


66 Months

22 January 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

66 months! Five and a half years old! Whee!

My baby girl!

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Eclipse Phase: At the Bottom of the Gravity Well

20 January 2014 | Hisham | | Eclipse Phase, GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games

Gamera of KL.Last time on Eclipse Phase: Clouds of a Morning Star...

Location: Lucifer, Venus.

Active Gamera Security (GamSec) Personnel: DANAI and Wandering Ina the infomorphs, William Cable Jr. - paranoid terrorist in a neotenic pod morph and Hokusai Tarnungshaut - neo-octopus artist in a slitheroid morph.

In Transit to Altitude 40km

The mining aerostat Lucifer was a bustle of activity. Miners. Support staff. Security. Tethered over Ishtar Terra close to the north polar region it was being assailed by gale force winds generated by a Venusian polar vortex. The aerostat appeared from a distance to be listing although tethers allowed it to maintain station keeping. But Lucifer was their destination, tracking a terrorist signal from the city aerostat of Aphrodite Prime that was bounced off a mirror assembly on the superstructure of the orbital habitat Gerlach.

GamSec descended upon Lucifer via an elevator from the floating high altitude docks. Their patron Kage Musha had his salvage contractors the Teddy Bear Roadside Picnic Company provide them whatever they needed to complete their investigations. The TBRPC representative who escorted them down was Mr. Goldie, sleeved in a sun bear-variant ursomorph.

Mr. Goldie explained to them that Lucifer mined minerals from Venus surface, and two security hypercorps were contracted to protect the operation. TBRPC and the Ladyboys Salvage and Repo hypercorp, who also had salvage operations on the surface. Teddy Bear and the Ladyboys had a well defined boundary of operations which they both adhered to. This caused a slight competitiveness to emerge between them.


The One with the Party and the Forgotten Cake

15 January 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

So two weeks after Adik turned two, we had a small gathering at our house with friends and neighbors.

Birthday boy happily riding Rocky the Rocking Giraffe

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


EOTE: Return to Mos Shuuta

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

Edged by the Empire

Episode 04 Return to Mos Shuuta

Upon the Lava JaegerThe Star Wars RPG adventure continues from the previous session with Act 2 of The Long Arm of the Hutt free downloadable adventure (PDF download, low res version, 2.4MB). The story arc concludes with "Return to Mos Shuuta", but the module has been extensively modified to account for a lot of changes that took place in the course of several sessions.

Irfan rolls the Force Dice and gets 3 Dark Side Points.

Kaliklak Hive, Geonosis

As Teemo the Hutt's agent Zasvid the Brizzit was being taken away from Archduke Poggle the Irredeemable's audience chamber in Kaliklak Hive on Geonosis, Hondo Pash the captain of Lava Jaeger, the Twi'lek Numa of the Nabat Militia and the astromech droid R2-8B8 considered their next move. For his transgressions against Teemo's less-than-savoury enterprise on Ryloth and Geonosis, the Hutt planned to abduct Yuzy Pash, Hondo's sister at Mos Espa on Tatooine.

Because of his badly injured arm (Critical injury: Crippled Arm) Hondo spent the night in a bacta tank courtesy of Archduke Poggle. The next morning, after Hondo was decanted from the tank, Numa and he geared up for the mission to Tatooine.

Archduke Poggle gave permission for R2-8B8 to join their company and bade him farewell. Lava Jaeger took off and Hondo made a success jump to Tatooine. (Astrogation 1 success)


Night's Black Agents: Attack On Titan

13 January 2014 | Hisham | | Artwork, GOKL Actual Play, Nights Black Agents, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games

Previously, Nikolai Kaidanovsky, Sami Härkönen, Shiina "Misha" Mikado and Zlatan Kljujic were joined by the French thief Marcel Clouseau in Bucharest who once dealt with Inish Medical before their exile fro Romania. (Clouseau has been relegated to a non-player character as his player had moved out of town.)

At midnight, the agents met up with the freelance cleaner Brendan, who had worked with Misha and MI6 before in Eastern European black ops. Plenty of codewords were exchanged at the cafe between Misha and Brendan before trustworthiness was established. In the end though no one could tell if a codeword was being used.

Brendan said, "Thank you, I'll leave now."

Misha paused for a second then asked, "Is that a code phrase or are you actually leaving?"


DAY 04 Sunday

Before Dawn

Sami and Zlatan prepared to support Clouseau's undercover dog-catching job at the Harmony Wings apartment building near Lake Titan. Zlatan bought them all a Toblerone bar each in case they need to defend themselves against evil, mind-controlling vampire doggies down in the park. Meanwhile Sami prepared their gear. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just some GoPro cameras, scooter helmets, jogging suits, firearms, quadrotor drones, remote listening devices, improvised explosive devices and one RPO-A Shmel rocket launcher with a thermobaric warhead.

Never know when one would come in handy against vampire dogs.

It should read "Concealed Sidearm".

"This place looks worse than the first season of The Wire," Zlatan told Sami when they saw the condition of Harmony Wings. It was still dark when Clouseau and the other two hirelings Petru and Drago were met by Doctor Ana of Keller Training at the park. She led them through the trees by the decrepit 20-story building. It looked older than it was. It smelled worse than it looked. Other apartment blocks stood out among the trees of the park in the distance. Lake Titan was within eyeshot of the block. Connected to Harmony Wings by a pavement was an even worse looking building: the abandoned public swimming pool, its windows darkened by what appeared be extreme mildew.


Eclipse Phase: Thanks for the Memories

06 January 2014 | Hisham | | Eclipse Phase, GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games

I missed two roleplaying sessions of Eclipse Phase since the last game.

Location: Aphrodite Prime, Venus.

Active Gamera Security (GamSec) Personnel: DANAI and Wandering Ina the infomorphs, William Cable Jr. - paranoid terrorist in a neotenic pod morph and Hokusai Tarnungshaut - neo-octopus artist in a slitheroid morph.

Hokusai-free Session 01: Don't Play Koi With Me, Cable

A more detailed write up of this session can be found on Obsidian Portal.

After the Cumulus Hotel caper, Hokusai stayed on their dirigible while Cable, Ina and DANAI went out into the field.

As Cable was viewing the flying gasbags that they'd saved from destruction at the Aviary, the animals began falling and crashing onto the deck dead.

Kage Musha their patron in Morningstar Constellation called for GamSec to chew them out. How could have the Aviary animals be poisoned? There was a danger of Kage punishing GamSec by resleeving their egos in koi fish and displaying the koi in his aquarium in his office.

Cable confidently allayed Kage's doubt about GamSec by informing him that he had direct connection with Free Fall Network (FFN) and their contact, Saladin Pelita. Saladin had believed that Cable was a fellow anti-terraforming terrorist. Satisfied by Cable's information, Kage informed him that from his own surveillance and intelligence gathering, the individual named Saladin Pelita was sleeved in the morph resembling Baron Julian Robbari, the heir to Soletta Corp a known front for the Fa Jing criminal organisation.

Cable also informed Kage that they would next be investigating FFN's agent in Cumulus Hotel cybersecurity, the reinstated civil servant named Shelby Cobra.

Hokusai-free Session 02: This Time We Keep A Copy

A more detailed write up of this session can be found on Obsidian Portal

The speck bot they left in Shelby Cobra's apartment alerted them to suspicious activity. The laser communication system had been transmitted while being pointed at Gerlach station in orbit. To investigate, Cable, Ina and DANAI booked seats on a shuttle from Aphrodite Prime.

Meanwhile, Cable had fabricated a new tripod walker morph with installed weapons ranging from railguns to seeker weapons for DANAI to use. The walker was named "Paul".

The trio investigated the spot where the laser comms had been transmitted to on Gerlach and discovered that the mirror system there had been hacked and coopted to bounce line-of-sight beams back onto Venus: specifically somewhere in Ishtar Terra at the north polar region of Venus. The patch was rigged with an improvised explosive devise. Unable to defuse it, GamSec had to call station security to help neutralise the bomb.

Unable to determine where the signal was directed to exactly, the team returned to Aphrodite Prime to interrogate Shelby Cobra.

As management consultants, GamSec would invite Shelby for an interpersonal, live interview. In preparation, they rented an office space and fabricated two more Paul walkers mounted with non-lethal armament and EMP microseeker launchers to quickly prevent him from calling for help. Ultimately, foam spray, EMP and neural agoniser were deployed to take down Shelby... who was basically a regular unarmed civil servant.

In simspace, Shelby was confused but cooperative, confirming that he was an indentured ego who was reinstated and offered work in Aphrodite Prime by one Julian Robari. But he did not remember bouncing the secret communication laser off Gerlach.

DANAI and Ina performed psychosurgery to delete Shelby's memories of them and released him. Also, they pocketed a fork of Shelby -  a copy of his ego - for further interrogation.

It's the little boy that's the psycho

The New School Year is New

02 January 2014 | Hisham | | Family Pics

It's Irfan's final year of Primary School. He starts on Secondary next year.

I can't believe five years have come and gone since he registered for Standard 1.