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
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
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.
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.