About Ralph Kelleners
Ralph is a gamer, dungeon master, youtuber, and RPG collector who's incredibly passionate about roleplaying games. Coming from a computer roleplaying game background, he discovered tabletop roleplaying games at GenCon Benelux and a whole new world opened up. When he was properly introduced to them in a local gaming store, he knew he had found the best game ever!
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In this video I talk about my first experiences as a GM and the first item of what would become my RPG collection.
Ever since my parents bought me a Commodore 64, I've been a gamer.
I've never been much into shooters although I played a lot of Duke Nukem back in the day. Most of my early gaming love went to point-and-click adventure games like Full Throttle, Leisure Suit Larry, and Police Quest.
Not sure when exactly the transition happened to computer roleplaying games but I assume playing Lost Wishes MUD with my friends had an impact.
Computer Roleplaying Games
A really a milestone game for me was The Elder Scrolls Daggerfall. There were whole weekends in which I would do nothing else but play Daggerfall.
I absolutely loved the freedom of going wherever you wanted, and doing whatever you wanted. You didn't even have to follow the storyline! The seeds for my roleplaying game passion definitely were planted with that game.
Other roleplaying games I intimately enjoyed were Fallout, Shadows over Riva, Baldur's Gate, and Planescape Torment.
Discovering Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Those last two games are from the Dungeons & Dragons brand although I had no clue about the existence of tabletop roleplaying games back then.
That all changed when I went to GenCon Benelux. The European headquarters of Wizards of the Coast is in Belgium so we had our own GenCon back in the day.
I went there thinking it was a convention about computer roleplaying games! Imagine my surprise and disappointment when there were barely any computer games to be found.
What I did find was a game called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. I picked up the Starter Set and even bought some artwork from Birthright artist Tony Szczudlo.
I also managed to insult a Star Wars actor by telling him I didn't remember his character from the movies. Yeah I did that.
Back home I got my MUD friends around the table and since I bought the starter set I ended up being the GM. None of us had any clue how to play AD&D so we basically played it like you'd play Descent of Heroquest. This was D&D the boardgame version.
Finding out how you're actually supposed to play the game
A friend at school informed me of a local gaming store that sold Dungeons & Dragons. Over the moon I headed over right away and spent quite a while perusing everything on their shelves.
It's there that I met 2 friends who introduced me to roleplaying games properly. Both of them were amazing storytellers and my imagination was triggered in such a way that there was no turning back.
I had found the best game ever!
Through my friends Steven and Koen, who owned the gaming store, I was introduced to a whole slew of roleplaying games like Call of Cthulhu, Legend of the Five Rings, and Fading Suns.
Them introducing me to a new game meant me buying all the books. That was the start of my RPG collection.
I ended up in their regular group and I can count the times where I went to work straight from one of our game sessions.
Koen was one of the very early Pressgangers for Privateer Press. When they released the Iron Kingdoms roleplaying game to accompany the Warmachine miniature game, our group thought we might be able to create some fun content for that game.
And so the Buccaneer Bass website was born. To our surprise it became quite well-known in the IK community and received loads of love from Privateer Press with artist Brian Snoddy hiding our logo in his artwork.
For the Buccaneer Bass I wrote the adventure Raid on Rannigh's Cliff, and edited the adventure Jack of all Sides and a few others that appeared on the website.
The website has been offline for years now but to this day people are still asking about that website. That was a very fun project to be a part of.
Gaming with the stars
Over the years I have been very fortunate to have been able to meet and even play with some of my favorite game designers.
I've played games with Adam Scott Glancy, Sandy Petersen, Lynne Hardy, Jason Durall, and Robin D. Laws.
Going to conventions all over Europe has enable me to meet RPG luminaries like Frank Mentzer, Monte Cook, and Wayne Reynolds.
My RPG Collection
A hard drive crash erased the overview of my collection so I will slowly start to compile a new one on this website.
At the time I stopped counting, the number of items in my collection reached well over 2.500 and that was years ago.
When I first started considering myself an RPG collector, I wanted to collect everything ever published by TSR. Talk about aiming for the stars, right?
Over time though, I noticed that my gaming preference had moved away from D&D and more towards the horrors of Call of Cthulhu. So I switched my collection goal to everything ever published by Chaosium.
A bit more modest of a goal, but not by much.
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