Phenomenon 2003
Location & map
What’s a Phenomenon?

Entry form
Terms & conditions
Writer petting zoo

Pheno crew

Contact Pheno

What’s a Phenomenon?

Phenomenon 2003 is a roleplaying convention. Its goal is to provide exciting, creative, imaginative, challenging and fun games from across the roleplaying spectrum. Pheno is intended to extend the roleplaying community in Canberra—to provide a place where you can relax, chat, make new friends, play games both familiar and unfamiliar, and otherwise do stuff you wouldn't normally do in a weekend.

Are you new to conventions?

Roleplaying conventions ('Cons') offer us all a chance to try out different styles of games and different systems, to swap ideas and meet other people who are as crazy as we are share our interests.

You don't have to have a team! Pheno's highly sophisticated computerised scheduling system (Hi Karl!) caters for individual entries. Because most games are designed for five players, part-filled teams will be really keen to recruit you. This is a fabulous way to meet new friends and try out new games.

If at any point you're not sure what's going on, ask an organiser. They're certified free of rabies and are always happy to help you out.

Phenomenon history


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.

First Dynastic Period

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, from 1996 to 2002, Phenomenon has been held at the ANU, with one exception.

Young Kingdom

In January 1999 CANCON was due to run for the 21st time. For financial reasons they were seriously considering not running any roleplaying events. 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.

In 2000, 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.

In 2001 we 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.

In 2002 Pheno returned to its old time of August to spread the warmth in a Canberra winter!

2003 sees Pheno seizing the high ground of a real long weekend—God Save the Queen! We also have a new venue, Daramalan High. This is also the 10th Phenomenon.