Vertical axis pendulum wave energy converters are a relatively unknown type of point absorber whose ostensive robustness and simplistic design merit further exposure and investigation. To this end, an exploratory empirical study of such a converter-one that is a small-scale generic prototype - is presented in this work. The prototype was deployed at Oregon State University's O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory and subjected to varying wave environments and operational conditions. The exploratory study was governed by evaluating how the prototype's net mean power output responded to the varied wave environments and operational conditions. These varied environments and conditions included the following: 1) the number of mooring lines; 2) the amount of wave scatter; 3) the wave direction; 4) the pendulums' inertial characteristics; and 5) the amount of torsional loading applied to a pendulum's swing (simulating electric power generation). Results from the study give a general analysis of how a representative, but generic, vertical axis pendulum wave energy converter performs in irregular waves with different deployment configurations. Likewise, the results promote pathways for further vertical axis pendulum wave energy converter research and development.