Wayne Phelps running a game session
Interview with Wayne Phelps (Tabletop Game Room Manager & GM)
Me: So you are the manager?
Wayne: yes I am the manager of the table top game room
Me: How did you get to be the manager of the table top game room?
Wayne; I was referred to staff by Kenji Ono who is the manager of the cosplay department. I started out as staff, you know regular staff, helped out at the YuGiOh tournament, was asked back the next year as the table top coordinator, Last year I was the coordinator and this year I was asked back as the manager, because I guess I keep doing a good job.
Me: What got you into tabletop?
W: I have been a gamer all my life, I started playing RPGs as MUDs back in junior high, then I got into Star Wars by west end. From there it went to D & D and then it just expanded on out, then I just started buying any book that I could get my hands on, learning the rules and everything. In Ohio there isn’t much to do.
Me: What’s the most challenging part of being the TT manager?
W: Dealing with the hordes. Our yugioh tournament pulled in over 200 responses and that’s when we stopped counting and we sat about 160 standing room only. We had to cap the tournament at 160 because of fire safety. There was no room to sit. The hardest part is trying to be fair while trying to maintain order in that chaos.
Me: What’s the best part of being the TT manager?
W: The fact that I get to watch the kids sit there and play the games and watching people enjoy the game and knowing that I provided them a safe haven a place to come in fellowship and do what they love to do. Not all the places at the con offer you a place to go and do something you want to do if you’re bored. Its nice to know I have a hand in offering them a place to go.
Me: What do you want to change about TT Gaming room for next year?
W: More space, I’d like more staff. We have 6 individuals on staff this year, not including me. I’m running 2 crew members on emergencies because I need the support. We have a profound increase in traffic the past couple of years, This year alone we’ve had close to 2000 people in this room in the past 3 days. I’d like more people to help out.
Me: Are there any different games you want to try to include that you had to turn away?
W: Definetly do something with Go. We have a profound interest in Go this year, that wasn’t there when I announced I wanted to do something with it. It was a sleeper event and it was something that happened we didn’t expect to happen. I would like to do more with lesser known anime card games and collectable card games.
Me: What do you want the people of AG.net to know?
W: Contrary to popular belief I’m human. I’m not a dick, I’m fanatic about fair game play, a fun time, the TT game room is a safe haven for any gamer, it’s a place we all can come and hang out and be equals of each other. As long as I’m here I’m going to strive to be sure that my doors can remain open at any time for people to come in a fair and equal environment. Contrary to popular belief I am a nice guy.
Me: if you could recommend one game for AG.net people to play what would it be
W: it would have to depend on the interest. For the RP’ers I recommend BESM produced by Guardians of Order. For family, Settlers of Katan, for Children cranium.
Me: Did you really scare a little boy in Wal-Mart while LARPing
W: yes… *takes hat off and looks down* guilty, the mom thanked me.
Me: What is your personal favorite RPG, and what is your favorite anime?
W: OK, RPG BESM, unique versatile and lets you do whatever you want, its about creativity and story not about rules or arguing semantics, Favorite anime, there are several, current crush would be Bleach, but all time favorites are slayers, initial D and Hellsing.
BESM Game Review
During the Anime Expo I was able to sit in on a game of BESM, Big Eyes, Small Mouth, that was lead by our very own Wayne Phelps. He was the GM of about 12 people who all came in to play. They each had a certain number of points to put where they wanted and they got to pick which traits and skills they had. After all the characters had been drawn up and figured out Wayne put out a large map and drew several land masses and formations then placed the characters around the map. He explained about the terrain in intricate detail along with the people watching over the “arena” and the goal of the tournament.
Each person went in turn and had to roll each round to see what order they would go in. This was called “rolling initiatives”. Every move and attack each person makes has its own set of rules and stats that has to be rolled against to see if you “pass” or “fail”. Everyone was very focused and involved in the game. One person went so far as to do all of his turns standing on a chair because his “character” was a giant.
One by one the characters are eliminated by another person at the table. There was a small disagreement that broke out amongst two of the players, and Wayne stepped in to settle it. The other more powerful characters that were described at the beginning at the tournament stepped in and helped move the game play along and in a way forced every player to participate rather than stand back while a battle was going on then step in at the end. One person attempted to hide behind a rock formation and a character named “Wu” nicely removed the formation for him to join the battle. I did have the opportunity to convince one of the player to mess up Wayne’s character’s hair. This was very entertaining as Wayne decided to pick on the poor fellow and left him with 1 point of life. Ironically this is the character that ended up winning the tournament.
Each of the last 3 people standing were able to choose a DVD and were invited back to the “Tournament of Gods” later that night, with the first place winner receiving a 5 day pass to next years Anime Expo. The three winners, in order of placement were, Jacob, Aether, and Shigushi. All in all it was a fun learning experience and an interesting game to watch.