The Crew + Writers

Feed Me Caffeine Now!!!Here are the fine organisers and writers of Pheno 2004’s games and activities. As you will note, they are beyond classification, beyond reason, and beyond thanks.

Buy them lots of drinks at post-Con drinkies.


Emeritus Professor Ryan d'Argeavel, Dean of Stuff Studies and Loud Pants


Professor Shane Donohoe, Reader in Other Stuff

Design Diva

Professor Nadina Geary, Reader in Great Hair and Escaping From Tamworth


Major-General Paul Naveau, Commissar Plenipotentiary of the Emperor and Custodian of the Regimental Silver

Marketing + Writer Wrangling

Professor Xole Karman, Attenborough Professor of Making Cute Furry Animals Do Stuff On Camera Whether They Like It Or Not

Web Team

Doktor Elissa Von Feit, She Who Shall Rule The Internet (Whether It Likes It Or Not)
The Fiendish Doctor Andrew Smith

VSOM (Very Special Order of the Morph)

Magister David James
Chief Engineer Mike(y) McClure
Mistress Sandra d'Argeavel, She Who Must Be Obeyed (Whether You Like It Or Not)

Game writers

Writer blurbs are submitted by the writers so the players can get to know them a bit before leaping boldly into their games. If any of the blurbs below sound made up, it’s because writers are notoriously hard to get blurbs out of. Xole is very very sorry if your mother doesn’t like the blurb she’s written for you, and asks that you write a new one if you’re not happy with it.

Triptych Writers

Robbie Matthews — A legend in his own lunchtime, Robbie is a veteran tabletop GM with an interest in ‘period pieces’. He won Pheno’s New Writer Award last year with And Now Presenting...Murder!. Robbie is also a published writer and member of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild.

Peter Roussell — Peter has been an organiser for Pheno, veteran Con gamer, and remains a virtuoso cocktail mixer. Despite hearing good things about his tabletop GMing over the years, it has taken Morph this long to bully him into running a game for Pheno.

Eric Henry — Eric has been to every Con in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne since the early 1990s, cloning himself or using arcane quantum-duplication technologies where necessary. This has taken an unfortunate toll on his sanity, which he hopes to share around through his Triptych Freeform this year.

New Designers

Stuart Barrow — Stuart is a mild-mannered bureaucrat by day, and a mild-mannered writer by night. After an interesting (Chinese curse interesting) academic career, he finds life in the public service eerily agreeable, and eerily conducive to writing weird fantasy stories. He writes, he cooks, he games. He will not be providing cheese, but soft ginger cookies are a distinct possibility.

Matthew Chalmers — Otherwise known as Pollux (at least to the Pheno organisers), Matthew is best known for his furry pants and shiny sunglasses. He is not President d’Argeavel’s long-lost siamese twin.

Peter Trueman — Peter Trueman has been roleplaying and game-mastering since 1980, principally D&D but with some experience of Traveller, Heroes Unlimited, and Vampire the Masquerade. Since discovering the Witchcraft roleplaying game, he and his group have been playing a continuing Witchcraft campaign for nearly a year. He is currently playtesting for Witchcraft products and the next version of Conspiracy X, another Unisystem game by Eden Studios.

Jason Cebalo — Otherwise known as the Great White Hunter, Jason roleplays only when not in Africa tracking down the rare tri-horned Flooglebeast.

Chris Stevenson — In his spare time, Chris is the Old Man of the Mountain. His wisdom is beyond reckoning. His secrets are not sold cheaply. It is perilous to waste his time.

Crusty old designers

Andrew Smith — Although Andrew is actually dead, the ambient temperature of a Canberra winter keeps him passably fresh. Still, should you notice him wilting or getting whiffy, pop him in the freezer for a couple of hours. He still likes Guinness.

Bernard Philbrick – When not furthering his plans for world domination, Ubergrupenfuhrer Philbrick assiduously maintains a secret identity as a mild-mannered government employee and part-time political adviser. But he is ever-alert for the call to action.

David James + Xole KarmanMirrordark is David and Xole’s second co-written freeform. Apparently they just don’t learn. David James has been role-playing since 1982, writing his first convention game with Andrew Smith for CanCon 1987. His latest offering was the Triptych "Can you go home again" for Pheno last year. When it comes to writing games, either table-top or freeform, David prefers to indulge in characters and situations that allow players to explore their own paths, morals and emotions; in worlds where no one is black or white, but all, including the PC’s themselves, are varying shades of grey. Xole is primarily a freeform writer, earning her reputation through the Shadowplay series of Amber freeforms and the Greek mythology 2020 games. She also co-wrote the Carbonek series of freeforms with Andrew Smith, and is a writer for the Camarilla Changeling freeforms coordinated by Marissa Harris. Mirrordark is her tenth freeform, which she thinks is a very scary number.

Ingrid Bean — Though Ingrid has always had plenty of ideas for great character driven stories, she’s never been able to come up with decent dialogue. She finally realised the somewhat obvious solution to her problem when she decided to try writing games. She ran her first game "Keeping the Faith" at Phenomenon 2000, and was very pleased with the positive response she received for it (she even won the best new writer award and subsequently wrote a Triptych last year). She has now caught the writing bug, and has many more games planned for the future.

Liz Waldock – When not ruling her grateful subjects, HRH Elizabeth can be found in her garden, tending to her mandrake plants.

Marissa Harris – Actually a water-breathing mermaid, Marissa lives on dry land thanks to a cleverly hidden rebreathing device fitted to her gills, and keeps several aquariums full of fish so she doesn’t get homesick. Marissa is the coordinator of the ongoing Changeling freeform campaign, Twilight’s Dreaming.

Mark Bruckard — Recently returned from Ireland, Mark is still recovering from his terrifying encounter with the White Lady of Caer Kilderrie. Please speak softly around him, and whatever you do, don’t mention turnips.

Barbara KearinsThis blurb has been deleted for legal reasons. Madame Kearins is not the Baby Eating Murderess of Bolsover, and the Pheno organising committee retracts all comments to the contrary.

Mike Walker — Mike Walker started writing games in 1985, when he was thirteen years old. He has been writing for Phenomenon continuously since 1997. He is best known for his Amber Diceless Role-Playing Games (most notably ‘Silver Spires’), and the very successful Red Dwarf freeform ‘Split Infinity’.

Mike(y) McClure — Purveyor of all things Traveller, Mikey is also Canberra’s local dealer in strange addictive things on DVDs. Any suggestion that he might be planning to cripple Australia’s military by addicting them to Invader Zim should be given the contempt it deserves.

Paul May — Actually an immortal swordsman, Paul May has roamed the Earth for centuries, searching for others of his kind and murdering them for the chance to eventually ascend far enough up the ranks to be able to claim the Prize. Paul is also a local representative for Steve Jackson Games.

Rob Barbetti – Actually a boojum, Barbettibob hides his condition through the clever use of plasticine. Please do not read math textbooks in his presence, as equilateral equations can startle him.

Graham Dolby — Graham has been roleplaying since 1985, attending conventions since ’87. He was an assistant GM with LargerThanLife™ at CanCon with the tabletop game The Darkness of Being and the freeform proto-tryptic Midnight – Sunrise – Sunset. In the early years of Phenomenon Graham designed and ran a couple of Earthdawn games.