Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Ferry Bazelmans

Your name: Ferry Bazelmans
Location: The Netherlands
Age: 29
Sex: Male

Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement? Hahaha...no. In fact, to be able to answer this question with a 'yes', I'd first have to create a basement underneath my parents' house. I did live in someone else's basement for about 6 months, though that was more because I found it inexplicably cool that I was the only one who could walk around in my room without having to stoop. Being 5'7" can have its advantages.

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? I wish I could claim that I love to go out and fight undead Nazi conspirators, foil crime or save the world from demented evil scientists, but the truth is I prefer being with my loved ones, reading, shopping and snuggling under warm blankets. Of course, should someone call me and ask me to be in his ultrasecret anti-Nazi supersquad, I wouldn't blink an eye.

What is the most frightening thing you've ever done? I stepped out on a 6" windowsill about 40' up to climb to my balcony and retrieve the key my then girlfriend accidentally dropped through the small window above the door. In hindsight, getting a copy of the thing made would probably have been a bit less hazardous. I have no idea what the hell I was thinking, although I can remember humming the Mission Impossible themesong as I contemplated the various fractures I would sustain if I fell.

Which of your accomplishments are you the most happy with? First of all the fact that my son is growing up to be a wonderful human being. Sure, he's a kid, he's got his vices, but overall I look at him and see a lot of politeness, love and caring. It makes
me proud to be his father.

Also, the one time I actually managed to finish
something and got my game SOAP published. Even
though it never made money and the good folks at Wingnuts
Games money probably lost out on the whole deal, I'm proud to see it
standing on my shelf.

What was your first word? No idea. It might have been 'wreck' or 'destroy' though. Because those were definitely the first things I did as a child if I believe what my mother tells me.

How many languages do you speak? I speak four. Fluent English and Dutch, passable German and the bare essentials of French. All of which I have the Dutch schoolsystem to thank for. Although the BBC and Sky Channel are really to blame for my mad English skillz. I feel dirty for just having written that.

What is your most prized physical possession? A small Dutch almanak from 1723 on display in my coffeetable, under a thick sheet of glass.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Honestly, superficial as it may seem, I would get rid of some unwanted hair. I'm not too self-concious about it, but if we're talking a magic-pixie-fairie-dust scenario here, why not make it disappear?

What was your favorite toy as a child? I had so many. But my Soundwave action figure would have to rate pretty high. Or maybe all the Playdoh I mashed up into the same dull grey sludge over the course of my youth.

What makes you cry? Child abuse. Every time I read about some poor little toddler ending up wounded or dead because the kid happened to be born to complete morons I die a little inside.

If you could have one superpower, which power would you pick? Telepathy. I wish I could say I would use it to the better the world, but I'm afraid my life would become one big imitation of Porky's.

What did you want to be when you grew up? First a chef, then an archeologist. At this point in my life I am neither, have no hopes of ever becoming either and have a thorough knowledge of what I do not want to be.

If you could pick any other time period to live in - including the future - which would it
be, and why?
The late seventies or early to mid-eighties. Neon, Transformers, Knightrider, The A-Team, muscle cars...*sigh*

What is one thing that you regret that you would go back and change if you could? When I was growing up, I didn't 'get' one of my younger brothers. He always wanted to play with me, but he was four years younger and thus in a completely different age group. As a result, we never really connected and I didn't spot difficulties he had growing up. If I could go back I'd sit down with myself at age 10 and kick some sense into my egocentric little head.

You've just purchased a small island off the coast of any continent of your choosing, and you are preparing to start your own country there. What does your flag look like? A skull and crossbones on a black background. What did you expect? Oh, and possible a 'no door-to-door salesmen'-icon in the lower left corner.

Do you have any tattoos and is there an idea or some sort of reasoning behind them?
I have several. On my upper right arm I have the words 'Vulnerant Omnes, Ultima Necat'. It's something the Romans used to inscribe on sundials and means 'Every [hour] wounds, the last kills'. I got it after my divorce when I realized that I needed to live life to the fullest each day and that feeling down and sad over lost love was not going to make things better for anyone, our son included.

I also have a vertical row of three stars on my lower right calf with the skull in the middle one. It means absolutely nothing. I was young and he needed the money.

Three quarters of my left arm is taken up with a large green octopus, a blue crystal skull with the elder sign on its forehead and the words 'That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.' I saw the wonderful work the artist had done on my best friend's arm and decided it was time I honoured H.P. Lovecraft. It cost me dearly, but I know I have a unique and well-crafted tattoo on my body.

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've
ever played.
My favourite character was probably the gnomish
inventor with an intelligence of 6, Trimperfink Dinglebong.
This was in AD&D 2nd edition.

The character did not make for a very involved roleplaying
experience of course, but with a definite smirk of mirth I recall
the happenings in that campaign. There was the invention of the 'Boots
of Jumping'. Fully non-magical and available to everyone who had the cash.

They involved coiling a spring very tightly inside a hollow compartment in the soles of the boots, with a 'lid' attached to the other end of the spring. You then tied a string over the lid so it wouldn't pop loose. This meant you could pull the string loose and the spring would pop out, catapulting you up. That was the theory. If you untied one of the strings only a little bit earlier than the other one, you very thrown sideways. Or back. Or anywhere but up basically. Still, he managed to sell a couple of dozens of pairs before being hounded out of town by irate (and crippled) customers.

And then there was the Haggen-Dinglebong Wash-o-matic he tried to sell to inn owners around the country. It consisted of a series of pulleys on a wooden frame and was constructed - very quietly - over a sleeping patron, in the middle of the night. When the patron woke up and sat up in bed, he'd push away the string that had been drawn tight over his sleeping form and a bucket would dump its cold contents on him or her. This one routinely resulted in bodily harm to Dinglebong.

One of the other characters had a riding boar. When a riddle that had to be solved called for 'A boar from a great height', Tirmperfink winked and disappeared from the group. No one took notice, including the character with the boar. A few minutes later, a bloodcurdling scream sounded as Trimperfink launched the riding boar off the abandoned tower they'd been camping in for the past few nights. Again, bodily harm ensued.

And the real kicker came when we found a small cache of magic items. The DM rolled randomly in the DMG and came up with a few things. We got to choose and no one seemed interested in the pretty hat, so Trimperfink gladly took it and put it on his head. It was the Hat of Stupidity. Yes, he now had an intelligence score of 5.

What are your favorite RPGs? Well, I started out with AD&D 2nd edition, so that one will always have a special place in my heart. Apart from that I love Call of Cthulhu (both BRP and d20) and the very much underappreciated Cyberspace game from I.C.E.

What was your first RPG session like? My local gaming club had held a mini-con and I hadn't been able to attend, so I asked if I could come by the president's house about a week after to find out what exactly it was they did there. I was intrigued because it sounded a lot like MB's Heroquest, which I'd gotten for Christmas the year before. When I got there, the place was absolutely disgusting. The people were nice, but total slobs, there were eight cats running around and more birds and rodents in cages than I'd ever seen together in one room. Still, they sat me down, explained what roleplaying games were and invited me to play something straight away. They made a character with me (for AD&D 2nd edition, an elven warrior with a rapier) and we played.

I was mesmerized and hooked, managing to forgive my hosts for being disgusting people. See also one of the many Geek Fallacies. ;)

What was your WORST RPG session like? Probably an attempt at the old FASA Star Trek RPG. It involved a catpiss man, the guy screaming 'INTRUDER ON THE BRIDGE!!!' at us at the top of his lungs when there was nothing wrong, him cheating on dicerolls that were wholly inconsequential to begin with and the GM finally getting up and walking away from the table.

Not a fun evening.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? My friend Maarten, who I named my son after. He is able to conjure up feelings of horror with little details. A slight alteration of tone, a look in his eyes, a room description that seems harmless enough, until you start analyzing what he just said. He led us through a 4-year campaign that constituted the pinnacle of gaming to me.


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