We're Not The Droids You're Looking For

03 September 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Star Wars
 

Irfan got a present from his aunt last weekend when two aunts visited. He got this great t-shirt filled with droids. There's everything from the demolitions droid, some astromech droids, battle droids, a power droid to protocol droids. But there is no Bollux and Blue Max, sadly.

And there's no Great Heep on it...

So I too wore a t-shirt with a droid on it and took a photo of us. So we would have a photo. Of both of us wearing t-shirts. Of droids.

 

Hi New New Office

01 September 2015 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

After a week or so of having no office while hardware transportation was being carried out, I have finally moved into the new new office out in the boonies.

yopwaH!

It is a bit warmer than the old new ofice, but I do get fresh air. But only if I open the window. And only if there is no life-choking haze from the evil Malaysian agricorps burning the Indonesian jungles across the strait.

 

Visitors to Burger Republik

31 August 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

When the visitors formerly from the tenth floor visited, we thought we would take them to some place fancy, namely Burger Republik.

People!

For the occasion, two tables were joined together to form the robot lion.

Oern Jus!

The day the sign was made, they told us that anyone who pointed out the spelling mistake of "oren" got a free orange juice.

Onions!

So anyway... this is Ciksu's burger. It has all the onions, which makes it more awesome than awesome.

Chikin!

Many ordered the chicken chop, including Ain, which as usual had a great flavour to its gravy.

Fish!

Cikma ordered the salmon.

Little burro!

I thought I would just enjoy the burritos. Because it should be a burrito day everyday.

 

Visitors Formerly From the Tenth Floor

30 August 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Over the Merdeka Day Weekend, we received some visitors, two of which lived back at the Tenth Floor with us back in the day

Cikma, Ayah Cik the Younger and Ciksu travelled to the north all the way from Kuala Lumpur to spend time with us. Also, Irfan had some questions about Steam to ask Ayah Cik.

After an afternoon at Padang Besar where no padang besars could be found, we had dinner at the beach in Kuala Perlis, which for some reason I keep calling "Kuala Selangor" by mistake for no good reason.

Maghrib prayers were performed at Masjid Kuala Perlis which was built over water off the town promenade. It was the first time I visited this mosque. Unfortunately it was low tide.

 

Strikeforce Enteague The Movie?

16 August 2015 | Hisham | | Humour, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Once upon a time, Shanna Toarinar the bounty hunter stole a captured A-Wing Fighter from the Empire. Soon after, she was recruited to be the first member of the Strikeforce Enteague. Thus begins the Star Wars RPG campaign - using West End Games's D6 system - that lasted for 10 years in real time as well as game time.

Today Lucasfilm released a cast photo of their new Star Wars film: Strikeforce Enteague the Movie*. With Felicity Jones as Shanna Toarinar, Diego Luna as Ace Browning Crossfire and Donnie Yen as Ben-One-Howel. Download the Worlds of the Enteague Sector D6 pdf supplement that I made here!

Totally a point buy group, not random chargen

* Sigh. I wish. Sigh. But seriously, doesn't the Rogue One cast photo looks like someone's Star Wars D6 (or an Age of Rebellion) rebel commando party? Sigh**.

**Siiigh!!!

(Just in case this needs to be said: Yes, that is a promotional photo from Rogue One with names of characters from my own RPG campaign. No, there is no and will never be a Strikeforce Enteague film. Probably. Maybe.)

 

Bye Old New Office

14 August 2015 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

This was the office I was assigned to in the last 8 months or so.

Now it has been cleared out - no more books and RPGs on the shelves - as the entire department is moving from town to deep in the boonies.

 

Weekend at Sitiawan

10 August 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Last weekend, we balik kampung to Sitiawan.

Coincidentally, we got to attend my cousin's wedding in Ipoh on Saturday. All except Opah Irfan went to the community hall where the wedding took place. She was unwell. As a bonus, we discovered some nifty new roads heading into the capital city of Perak by way of Batu Gajah. 

Twice the Yongs!

Yong Neni and her newborn with Yong Ain together again. We invited them to visit us in Perlis if time permits. It would be great to have them as houseguests and show them the sights.

Strawberry Cafe is its name

Later that night, Atok and Opah took us to dinner at a restaurant of Atok's old acquaintance. We drove past the restaurant many a time in the past, but failed to notice it. The ambience was good. The food was great. When Vin and Sila return, we should totally come here for dinner at some point.

 

Brett's Star Wars RPG Group

03 August 2015 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Recently, Brett Pisinski of Wicked North Games commissioned a group artwork of the adventuring party for his Star Wars Rebels D6 RPG campaign. Here is the final illustration:

Includes an R5 astromech and a Loth-cat

(L-R): Kurshk Sho'kre human cyborg from Alderaan, Liakan the Wookiee mercenary, Voss Dorn the Kel Dor former-Jedi and Suna Foss the Togruta cargo hauler captain.

 

Patreon: Transhuman Heroes 1

31 July 2015 | Hisham | | Patreon Paperminis, Role Playing Games
 

In a transhuman or posthuman setting, you are able to enhance your body and your mind with cybernetics or nootropics, or you could discard your body and drive a totally different body which might be organic or synthetic, or you could discard physicality and live as a ghost in a machine, in one of many simulated realities. Human minds are becoming more and more posthuman, being able to share their experiences, store their memories in exocortexes, fork their minds and reintegrate their minds later, and to create simulations upon simulations upon simulations for purposes that would eventually become incomprehesible to the human mind.

Players straddle that point in the post-scarcity setting where anything could be created with a 3D printer, from food to entire space habitats. Just died? Retrieve your cortical stack where your memories are stored, print out a new body and insert the stack into the receptacle in the brain, and you're back. Are you a new individual or are you the same? What if you fork your mind and there are dozens of you walking around in either similar bodies as you or in different-looking bodies? Are they all still you?

These are questions posed when you play RPGs like Eclipse Phase. Of course it's not all just heavy discussion on philosophy. You also get to shoot bad guys with railguns and beam weapons.

Get them flat!

Here is the first set of Transhuman Heroes paperminis I created on Patreon. These are all organic human bodies. No mechanical bodies, uplift bodies nor bodies adapted for conditions such as like in the skies of Venus or the seas of Europa.

All six Transhuman heroes

Paperminis for those other types of bodies will be released soon. As usual, the download is a PDF of two sets of six characters as seen in the photo above.

The ninja dude is surrounded by fans

In the meantime, please download and assemble them from the Patreon creation page here. Also, support me on Patreon for me to be able to create more paperminis for tabletop RPGs!

 

Homeward Bound Over the Hills

23 July 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Aidilfitri vacation was coming to an end. We left for home from Pasir Mas at 0430 hours and arrived at the eastern end of the mountain roads just in time for Subuh prayers. By the time we reached the Titiwangsa rest stop an hour later, this was what we saw while the cold winds buffetted us:

Travelling the East-West Highway in the dark could be a bit daunting, then the sun rises

We got one amazing view from the top of the hills as the sun peeked over the horizon. If only we could stay up there and enjoy the view forever.

This view beats anything back at the Tenth Floor

The photos here could not do justice to the view because of the low light conditions, as well as the sun coming up right before us. 

...is the love that I've found ever since you've been around

It was like the top of the world, with the layer of clouds were like a carpet of whiteness in the valley far below us and the only explanation I can find...

From Baling to Sik we passed through Kampung Memali

We stopped for breakfast at Baling, which we usually bypass.

Sik, dude

We also stopped for photos at Sik, because Sik.

Then we headed home, safely reaching home base after lunch.

Lunch at Subways.

 

Hari Raya at Pasir Mas

20 July 2015 | Hisham | | Board and Card Games, Family Pics
 

This year I was able to take a full week's vacation for Eid vacation at Pasir Mas. I was able to take a vacation because I had a job to take a vacation from this year, which is one of the many things I am grateful for this year. We arrived a couple of days early so Ain could work her magic in the kitchen. There was also a lot of orange soda thanks to Abang G.

Orange and Brown family

Eid was on a Friday. Irfan and I walked to the masjid, and almost missed the Eid prayers but got into the back line just in time.

Tok Bah and Tok Man, also a Tall Boy
 

Almost Time for Aidilfitri

14 July 2015 | Hisham | | Artwork, Recent News
 
First we break the shell, then we crack the nut inside

Hari Raya Aidilfitri looms at the end of the week. Ramadhan is almost over.

Last weekend, I was tasked with making a Aidilfitri card at work. As seen in the image above, I am in the card climbing a coconut tree. In fact, everyone in the department is in the card.

Click here to view what everyone else is doing and magnify it for full visibiliy on Google Drive.

 

Betty Was Missing

12 July 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 
Sad rainy day

A month ago, Betty went out for her daily roams and never came back. The neighbours reported not seeing her. She was gone all throughout Ramadhan. We live close to thick tropical-grade underbrush. One possibility is that she might have come afoul of local wildlife - and I don't mean squirrels. After three weeks, I had accepted that we would never see her or hear her little mewlings again.

For weeks only Comel, the neighbour's cat, hung around about the house. Here she is trying to persuade me to let her drive us to town. Well, not without a valid driver's licence, missy.

 

But on Sunday, while Irfan was playing with Comel's owners from next door, his classmate came a-visiting bringing with him Betty!

Thanks to Irfan's sustained crowdsourcing efforts and detailed descriptions, his friend from school recognized Betty's markings and her collar at a housing area half a mile away! At first she was somewhat reserved, but ultimately she went back to her old self, napping in her old shoebox.

 

She also still enjoys car rides!

We are overjoyed by her return! 

 

What? A Nasyid?

09 July 2015 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Way, way out from the left field comes a blog post about nasyid. I was assigned to sing in the department's nasyid group for an interdepartmental nasyid competition despite not having to sing in public since 1987.

Here is a screen capture of a video of our singing, which is linked below.

Oh noes disturbing the peace

We took a team photo after our performance.

Ain took the video, some photos and lent her support. The team ended up at fifth place out of twenty, which meant that my unholy, discord screeches were not strong enough to pull the team down.

Check out the video of the team's performance here. After 15 years of ekeing out a meagre living in the city, I am now starting to live in stranger - more enjoyable times.

 

Legendary Guardians

05 July 2015 | Hisham | | Board and Card Games, Recent News
 

On our recent return to the city, the GOKL gang gifted upon us more fun stuff: the Guardians of the Galaxy expansion set for the Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building game. Since then, we never had the opportunity to break it out of the box to play it... until today.

The Hero cards included were Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot and Rocket Raccoon - thrown into the limelight thanks to last year's film no doubt. Poor Phyla Vell, Adam Warlock, Bug, Mantis and Cosmo the Space Dog. Pip the Troll was absolutely inconsolable.

The Masterminds provided in the set are Thanos the Goonie and the Kree Supreme Intelligence, supported by two Villain sets: Kree and Infinity Gems - the latter able to act as either Villains or Artifacts.

Irfan and I played twice, both times against the Supreme Intelligence. The first game against the Intergalactic Kree Nega-Bomb Scheme was a massacre because all the Master Strike and Scheme Twist cards were shuffled on top of the Villain Deck. We could barely touch the Supreme Intelligence because it collected a truckload of Shards that increased its strength against players attacks before we all lost. (Irfan was glad he captured Korath the Pursuer though.)

Early in the game and how many KOed Master Strike cards?

Also, Scheme Twists activate the Nega-Bomb that wiped out all the Heroes arrayed in the HQ.

So we thought we'd switch Star-Lord for the Hulk in the second game, because he's a heavy hitter! Irfan wanted to capture Korath again. He even collected enough Hulk cards in the Forge the Infinity Gauntlet Scheme to punch the crap out of the Time Gem.

HULK SMASH

Hulk will punch the crap out of anything.

For this game, the Henchmen cards were Hand Ninjas. Why would Hand Ninjas be henchmen to the Supreme Intelligence and the Kree villains? BECAUSE COMICS! Irfan took out three Hand Ninjas in a single... um, hand.

The game's afoot... er, a-hand

I bet the Hand wishes all they had to fight was Daredevil.

Meanwhile several Scheme Twists returned captured Inifinity Gems back into the city, reinforcing their strength with more Shards. Finally, here is Irfan's hand of three Hulk and one Groot cards, the coup de grace that wiped out the last Supreme Intelligence Mastermind card, dealing a whopping 16 damage points!

Final Victory Point tally: I got a measly 9 points while Irfan acquired 32 - for capturing 3 out of 4 Mastermind Tactics cards and the final Mastermind card, as well a host of Kree and Hand bad guys.

Korath the Pursuer escaped Irfan though. Next time, Korath! Next time!

 

Ruthermore's First Cover: Redux

30 June 2015 | Hisham | | Artwork, Books, Misc Sci-Fi
 

The cover of Ruthermore Heidigens and the Fifth Planet was the first in the series that I drew for Ebb and Folks back in 2011.

There was a request for an enhancement of the cover. Originally painted in water colours, I employed GIMP to give it a digital upgrade by smoothing out roughness and applying digital paints where required.

That's a big book

For a look at the original painting, click here.

 

Call of Cthulhu: A Night At The Opera

22 June 2015 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Stark Future of San Francisco
 
Retroactively created 26th March 2016

Last time (a year and 4 days ago in real time), despite being badly injured and walking on crutches, Detective DJ Stark (played by Irfan) succeeded in thwarting the scheme of the Cult of the Pale Nurses in their bid to summon the ultradimensional being Sharakh-Kheth from crossing over into our universe and utterly demolishing the Saint Agatha Medical Centre in Brisbane, San Francisco.

(Yesterday afternoon we continued the Call of Cthulhu RPG campaign to see how Detective Stark was faring. Polyhedrals and paperminis deployed, Irfan wondered what Lovecraftian creatures and machinations he would encounter in this session. It was six weeks later in game time...)

Episode 4

Stark had been back to work at his precinct for two weeks, getting quickly bored by a desk job. His phone rang. A familiar elderly voice could be heard.

"Mr. Chao," said Stark.

"I take it my handwritten manuscripts were destroyed at the Saint Agatha? No matter. Meet me tonight at nine. I will have something for you. You are worthy of it."

It was just after 8.00 PM and an overcast sky darkened the dusk. Finishing up some paperwork, he started to leave for Chao's restaurant.

"Stark!" his boss Greta Hack called him from her office. When he sat at her desk, she said, "Word is you're bored with your desk job? I'm putting you back on the streets. Here's your new case."

Stark picked up the case file. Caldwell Broome, 50 year old antique dealer, had been missing from his office for a week. "You'll meet your new partner, Alex Sim, a rookie tomorrow."

"Thanks, chief."

"Listen, Stark," Captain Hack muttered. "Everyone knows how you lost your last partner. Please make sure nothing happens to your new one."

"Sure thing, chief."

Winter is coming

Stark's Shenanigans Spills into the Streets of San Francisco

 

83 Months

22 June 2015 | sila | | Family Pics
 

83 months of Yaya!

Happy girl at the beach at night

* Mouse over the pictures for captions

 

Yaya loses a Tooth!

18 June 2015 | sila | | Family Pics
 

Yaya lost her first baby tooth today! June 18, 2015. She is a little over a month shy of her seventh birthday!

Buh-bye tooth!

* Mouse over the pictures for captions

 

Paper Minis: More Imperial Troops

13 June 2015 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

It's that random time of the week/month/year again when I draw and release a new free set of Star Wars RPG paper miniatures for your player characters to tangle with on your tabletop.

They feeling kinda flat

Imperial Naval Troopers and the new Imperial Combat Drivers (from Star Wars Rebels)!