In our first 2019 Winter Series, we bring you an episode we did with Sherman Sanders, a board game master. Sherman is a founding member of the Gryphon Games and Comics Cooperative. Gryphon was looking to host a game night at their store in Fort Collins and needed a way to organize everything that goes into game night. Enter Airtable, 

Sherman and his wife have owned Gryphon Games, and brick and mortar store, for 13 years. Not only are they a store for all things gaming, but they also provide an organized play space for players to join together and do what they love. In Sherman’s day-to-day, he manages his store with about 20 employees. His store has a retail side as well as a cafe. He manages employee schedules, orders products, organizes events, and his most favorite task, talking with fellow game-lovers about what they would like to see in the sore. 

Sherman and his wife have a love for all things games and that sparked the idea of a game and comic store. At the time of airing, they were transitioning to becoming a cooperative. Their goal was to become a community hub that players can come to and feel comfortable, have fun, and meet people. 

Gryphon Games hosts a magic night four times a week for Dungeons and Dragons players to gather and play. Each week they have about 40-50 people that come in to play the popular role-playing game. He needed a way to keep track of an organized play program, track players and their characters levels, track the number of games and to track and make sure they have enough dungeon masters, who are players that run each game. He wanted a system that would allow him and his team to provide a space for all game lovers to be able to show up and get started playing immediately with others that have similar game experience. In a sense, Sherman wanted to be a gamer matchmaker. 

Sherman found airtable by an internet search. He handed the project off to a friend that was very familiar with excel to help get him started. Now, his bases have matured over time but still maintain the same format that was needed from day one. He has since set up automation within his airtable bases so that he and his team only have to input data once a week. He has fully immersed all aspects of his business into the airtable system. He tracks daily tasks, employee records, and his biggest use, game nights. Sherman has fallen in love with this platform because he can manipulate it to fit all his needs. The best thing he likes about it is that he feels it goes hand in hand with his love of gaming and keeping his store orderly and running.

Sherman’s Demo Bases: 

  Gryphon Dungeons and Dragons Game Night Base

  • Adventures Table showing the name of players, number of nights and games played, number of times being the dungeon master.
  • Items Table that tracks rewards as magic tokens with point values. Each player can purchase magic items based on their gamer level.
  • Game Night Table uses a form for employees to fill out the date, players and game master for each game. 
  • Level Chart Table keeps track of each player’s gamer level. Players can level up by attending and playing more games. 
  • Player Reporting and Suggestions Tables allow players to call attention to issues and suggest their own ideas on how to make game night better. 
  • Sponsors Table is aimed at youth players to ensure they can play with others at their own level. 

Campaign Organizer for Forbidden Lands

  • Personal use for Sherman.
  • Sherman has completed web searches to pull images into his base that relate to the game. 
  • Players can view game maps, characters, game stories, and much more all from their phones. 
  • Serves as a double purpose that informs players during the game and also serves as a record that can be looked back on. 

Sherman’s bases that he demoed are expertly executed to include everything that a game player would want. His integrations and forms make it easy for him and his staff to help their customers get right to the heart of game playing, and takes the hassle of tracking all the details out of it.  He was able to utilize the powerful system that is airtable and really make magic come alive using it.

Here’s the video of the original podcast, including more of Sherman’s story, and the live walkthrough of the bases described above:

Episode Video:

Here’s an audio version of the above, with links to download or share if desired:

Episode Audio

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