Phenonemon 2001 - A Gaming Odyssey

Phenomenon 2001 - A Gaming Odyssey

For those of you who are wondering - and I'm sure some of you are - the history of Phenomenon has been a rocky one, plagued with doubts, financial troubles, dinosaurs, mad computers bent on world destruction and incredible and unwarranted slander by their own web designer. If you would like to look at some previous years, find out more about the Tryptychs or just have a vague fascination for how a team of homeless reprobates could forge one of the most powerful roleplaying conventions ever to join the forces of righteousness, then read on!

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In the Beginning...

In the late 1980s Necronomicon was born. At first it was envisaged that Necro would alternate between Sydney and Canberra and in its second year Necro did indeed run in Canberra. However, it was decided that it would be better to continue Necro running in Sydney without alternating to Canberra and so it was agreed to split some of the profits from the past Necronomicons to seed a convention in Canberra. That convention is Phenomenon.

Phenomenon was created at a meeting (held in Montezuma's, in Civic), in late 1993. Around thirty people attended that meeting. We had a few decisions to make and we made them. We needed to decide if we would run a convention, what we would call it, what type of convention it would be and who would run it. At that time eight people volunteered to help run what was soon called Phenomenon. Those eight, in no particular order, were: Wes Nicholson, John Hughes, Peter Rousell, Jon Naughton, Jo Mendez, Lindsey Beaton, Grant Allan and Karl Lommerse. Ingrid "I'm not an organiser" Jakobsen and Phillipa Hughes were present at most of our meetings and contributed often but also mentioned many times that they were not organisers.

Our first Phenomenon was arranged to be held at Karabar High School (later referred to as "No Hoper High" in a game run at another convention...), in Queanbeyan, NSW. At the time, ACT school prices were fixed by the local government and would've cost us about 10 times the amount we paid for Karabar, so our Canberra con was held in New South Wales.

In our second year Phenomenon was also held at Karabar High School but after that we were helped with a venue by the ANU Roleplaying Society (ANURPS). So, since 1996, Phenomenon has been held at the ANU, with one exception.

In January 1999 CANCON was due to run for the 21st time. Due to internal problems, they had little experience in running roleplaying events at a convention, and were seriously considering not running any roleplaying events. In fact, at the time, it was even possible that CANCON might not run at all. So, Phenomenon agreed to run the roleplaying portion of CANCON 99, in January, and also ran Recon in August. Recon was organised as a one-off event of previously run convention games to allow a small but fun second convention for Canberra.

Last year many of you would recall that Necromicon ran at Easter, instead of its usual October, due to the Sydney Olympics running at the same time. Phenomenon decided to run in Necro's normal timeslot to offer people an excuse to leave Sydney during the closing ceremony.

This year we have moved to after Necronomicon, in December. Our preferred date (first weekend in December) was not available at the ANU and so we had to settle on mid-December.

The Tryptychs

"A treatise in three parts"

The Triptych is considered to be the centrepeice of Phenomenon's game selection. Each year three designers are asked to present a systemless single-session scenario.

The Triptych offers a forum for designers to present something special, often experimental in design. While not all experiments work, they should at least be interesting.

Phenomenon is very proud of our Triptych, and ask all players to consider playing them. The best team to play all three events, as judged by the designers of that year's triptych, will win the annual Triptych Perpetual Trophy.

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