Rafe's 30 Month Birthday

29 June 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

Adik is two and a half! 30 months old! Happy half birthday, little boy!

Innocent and a little amused

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Call of Cthulhu: Cult of the Pale Nurses

23 June 2014 | Hisham | | Role Playing Games, Stark Future of San Francisco

The first confirmed recorded appearance of the Pale Nurses was in a hospice in Massachussetts in 1925, although there might have been unconfirmed activity hundreds of years before in hospices and monasteries that cared for the sick. As far as investigators and researchers are able to tell, the Pale Nurses have a blood pact sealed with some form of magic to relieve pain from the suffering. They have since come to believe that all human life is a constant suffering of pain and it is their duty to remove it by killing all life. When first they only slowly take over hospitals and kill off the patients, they have now moved on to summoning powerful extradimensional entities to wipe out all life on Earth.

Constant use of their arcane rites causes their skill to turn pale and sallow, with sunken eyes. Their nails are elongated and becomes tough and sharp as steel blades. Newer acolytes that has not undergone physical changes prefer to use scalpels and other blades to kill. Because of this there is a constant glamour spell about them to maintain the lie of human appearances among other hospital staff and patients. These cultists do not wear modern nurses' uniforms and the glamour spell also prevents others from realising this, even after being noticed. Sometimes the Head Nurse is the one maintaining the glamour spell which only would collapse upon her death.

Although there have been more women than men sighted where the cult appears, there has been a few recorded instances of an all-men group around the world.

Nurse Cutler

CULT OF THE PALE NURSES, Alleviators of Pain

STR 14
CON 12
SIZ 13
INT 13
POW 14
DEX 14
APP 09
EDU 14
SAN 10
HP 10
Damage Bonus
: +1d4
Weapons: Finger blades d8+2 (+db)
: First Aid 60%, Hospital Administration 65%, Human Physiology 80%, Medicine 30%, Slashing 40%, Spot Hidden 40%, Tracking 35%
Spells: Pose Mundane

I made them up for the Call of Cthulhu game last week.

Retroactively created 26th March 2016

71 Months

22 June 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

71 months! One more month and the girl is six years old! How amazing is that? Where does the time go?

My baby girl

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Call of Cthulhu: Healthcare Blues

18 June 2014 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Stark Future of San Francisco
Retroactively created 26th March 2016

Episode 3

Last time on Call of Cthulhu (almost two years ago in realtime), Detective D.J. Stark played by Irfan (the youngest Call of Cthulhu player ever? I have no idea) killed his partner who turned out to be a ghoul cultist and prevented an entity called Sharakh-Kheth from emerging from its universe into ours. However he was badly injured - lots of broken bones - and was hospitalised.

Three weeks later he was moved from intensive care into a shared hospital ward at Saint Agatha Medical Centre in Brisbane, San Francisco, located all the way in Firth Park Canyon.

Doctor Geisler was his doctor. His wardmates were three other elderly men Beck, Dolce and Nunez. The ward had one window that had an iron grill installed. Stark could see trees outside from the third story of the hospital.

Everything is awesome!

Doctor Geisler looking at Stark at his bed. Beside him and by the door is Beck. In front of Beck is Dolce. In front of Stark is Nunez.

Day One

In the morning, Eleanor Stark a professor of linguistics and mother to D.J. came to visit. She mothered him, telling him that Dr. Geisler had told her that he would be released after a week. He would be undergoing physiotherapy every day in the meantime. Before she left, Eleanor gave him a package addressed to him and hastily wrapped in brown paper that she found at his house.

Once left alone, he unwrapped the package. Inside was an old book with yellowing pages. But before he could continue reading Beck called out to him to introduce himself. Dolce joined in. Nunez, the oldest of them, did not. He was awake, sitting up but appeared catatonic. Beck said, "Mister Nunez here was fine when he first got here. A few days ago he woke up and never spoke again. Just looks into space."

Stark began to study the book from the package. The cover had ornate Chinese characters with "Chao Manuscript" lightly written in English with pencil. He thought, It must have been sent by Mister Chao. Everything had been written in Chinese. Some sections had handwritten translated English notes. He began reading some of the translated passages. "Spells"? "Impose Will For A Short Time" (The Mental Suggestion spell from the rulebook)? He spent all morning and noon trying to understand the passage.

At 3 P.M. the physiotherapist Salazar arrived with a pair of crutches for Stark. Together they left the ward, passing by the nurses' station, some storage rooms and an empty pediatrics ward. While hobbling past Doctor Hagen's office - the hospital's Operations Director - he saw the man at his desk talking animatedly into his phone at his desk. There was a computer on his desk, a closet behind him, an aquarium tank on the wall.

Finally they reached the Physiotherapy ward.

Stark returned to his ward by 5. Soon it was dinner time. Yay, hospital food.

At 8 P.M. while family members were visiting the others Stark tried studying Chao's book some more. Beck's granddaughter came over with a plate of pie which Stark graciously accepted. Stark noticed that Nunez's only visitor, his daughter, was in tears trying to coax her father to respond to her to no avail.

Then, Nurse Cutler entered the room. She was there to take some blood from Stark. Stark (successfully rolling his INTx5 for Perception) noticed that Nunez began trembling, his eye wide with absolute fear. He allowed the head nurse to do her job and leave. Nunez ceased trembling after she left the room. 

Lights were turned off after visiting hours.

Stark heard a sound and woke up. According to the wall clock it was 11 P.M. In the shadows, he saw Nurse Cutler standing over the sleeping Beck. She produced a large, unusually archaic-looking needle from her apron pocket and appeared to be taking his blood. Stark thought nothing of it and returned to sleep.

Gary's Gift

Edition 5.6.1

Day Two


Cover for My Name Is Not A Number

17 June 2014 | Hisham | | Artwork, Books

David Leyman commissioned a cover recently for his new novella entitled My Name is Not a Number. I read it so I could do art direction for the cover myself and I thought this was his best work yet.

My Name is Not a Number.

My Name is Not a Number

And the cover turned out well too I think.


We Keep Going Back To Sungai Congkak

15 June 2014 | Hisham | | Family Pics

...probably because it's the picnic spot in the woods that's closest to us. Still we needed to drive over the hills to reach it.

It was Irfan's school holidays, so Atok and Opah came over for a visit. Sunday morning we went for a picnic.

Atok with his photography gear
Opah sets the breakfast table

Instead of more pictures of us dipping in the river or having nasi lemak, here follows photos of the surrounding environment.


Ruthermore's Second and Third Covers

11 June 2014 | Hisham | | Artwork, Books, Misc Sci-Fi

After illustrating the cover of David Leyman's first "Ruthermore Heidigens" science fiction novella, Ruthermore Heidigens and the Fifth Planet, here are two more cover artwork from two other stories in the series, Ruthermore Heidigens and the Voices and Ruthermore Heidigens and the Nights at the Round Table - the former of which I made over a year ago but forgot to post here since.

Ruthergens Heidimore and the Voices!

Ruthermore Heidigens and the Voices

Ruthergens Heidimore and the Nights at the Round Table!

Ruthermore Heidigens and the Nights at the Round Table


Warbirds RPG: East or West, Bombs are Best

09 June 2014 | Hisham | | GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games

I played for the first time in GOKL's still new Warbirds RPG campaign yesterday.

We fly the friendly skies

Warbirds is a dieselpunk role-playing game where players are mercenary pilots who fly alternate-universe versions of circa-1940 combat fighters among the Caribbean Islands. But this version of the Caribbean Islands - including the parts of the Yucatan and Florida - were enveloped by a strange devastating storm in 1807. When the storm abated, the islands found themselves floating in mid-air over a sea of murky clouds. At night, the stars are different than the ones the survivors are used to on Earth. The world was called Azure.

After more than a century, the islands have formed new nations and new alliances. Using local exotic material known as floatstones, hovering ships were created as vehicles to travel between the islands. A mercenary group known as the Esteemed Guild of Combat Aviators was formed to fight to gain fortune among the cutthroat politics of the nations of Azure.

Player characters are from various peoples and nations of Azure who joined the Guild to be their combat pilots. The system uses only a d6 which makes it quick and cinematic. Character generation too was quite simple and I created a character swiftly from reading a few pages in the rulebook.

Wait! "Rookie" Only Has One 'E'?

I played a rookie pilot named John Piriki'ki, a Carib journalist from the floating island of Barbados who arrived on the island of West Grand with a bunch of other Rookies via a Guild Carrier commanded by Captain Martin. John had been recently assigned to the Grandstander Squadron by the Guild with mechanics. The arriving Rookies were greeted with pomp and circumstance by the daughter of West Grand Governor - who appeared to be a bit bloodthirsty against their enemy, the island of East Grand.

The squadron's publicist Esteban Munoz met John who then introduced him to the rest of the squadron: Sous Chef, Pyro, Deadline and squadron commander Tequila. John also showed them his owl tattoo on his right deltoid. The publicist has arranged for Grandstander Squadron to have a press conference in the city.

Local journalist Alan Ashland of Bradley Printing Works arrived at the airbase to ask for the Grandstanders' help.

He knew that the squadron would be called for a night reconnaissance mission over East Grand soon, and would like them to drop leaflets there calling for the enemy to lay down their arms because both islands had been one nation once and a lot of families were separated by the war. Ashland and his allies in the city wished for a bloodless end of the war. A war between East and West Grand would be a bloodbath for East Grand as they had minimal armed forces and combat equipment.

However the West Grand Governor wanted East Grand to be utterly defeated in war. So this would have to be an illicit mission.

Not only did the Grandstanders agree, Deadline and John offered some ideas to the leaflet (by rolling on their Craft: Journalism skill).

I fly a canard-winged plane!

Interior Art for Reign of the Descended

06 June 2014 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games
In the previous blog entry I posted the cover art I made for Heroic Journey Publishing's Mecha RPG: Reign of the Descended!

Currently available on DriveThruRPGReign of the Descended is a setting book for Chris Perrin's Mecha role-playing game. Long story short, it's a pastiche of Genesis Climber MOSPEADA and/or Robotech: Invid Invasion. Now here are interior art I made for the book.

ARX-14X multi-use armor, the transformable bike variant can be seen on cover
Guardian transformable fighter mecha
The Powell mecha as seen on cover
The Strongarm mecha
The Descended's Kichou mecha
The Descended's varied Shirei mecha as seen on cover
The Decended's headquarters Evoculous Hom

Check out Reign of the Descended on DriveThruRPG. Create more stories as you play to liberate the Earth from the scourge of the Descended.


Cover for Mecha RPG: Reign of the Descended

03 June 2014 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Heroic Journey Publishing's Mecha RPG: Reign of the Descended has been released on DriveThruRPG.

It's a setting book for Chris Perrin's Mecha role-playing game where players live in an apocalyptic aftermath of an alien invasion. The human resistance fighters are underpowered and badly armed, but with the power armour in their possession, the player characters can plan to fight the alien invaders and kick them off the Earth once and for all.

I drew its cover, which looks like this:

Even the aliens have powered armour!

Here is a glimpse of the cover process artwork:

I had to convince them that the sound effects will not be in the final artwork.

Check out the Reign of the Descended setting at DriveThruRPG!