Team games

These are the roleplays that your mother would know: about five players versus one GM. The table is optional but traditional. Some are system-based games, others systemless. But they’re all good.

The games

Brave New Frontiers

by Barbara Kearins

To boldly go where no student has gone before…
The final frontier…
At least as far as Miss Duntime has let on…

Rumors and tales abound in the halls of St. Tyrants. It is said that fabled vice principal Miss Duntime has developed a new way to torture the students, and extort more money from the parents. She calls it a “test”, but the students know better.

We students with the more finely honed survival skills have hidden ourselves in order to avoid being selected for the “test”. The last bunch of unfortunates selected to act as guinea pigs for one of Miss Duntime’s excursions, only 3 returned whole and 2 of those had to take extended mental rehabilitation leave (at the parent’s expense of course).

So here I sit comfortable in the knowledge that no one has found me in this place when I choose to hide, arrogant in my own abilities to survive anything the school can throw at me. Terrified at the familiar scent of cigarette smoke, and the gravely voice which says, “Come with me. School records indicate that you have not completed the compulsory number of school excursions this year and have therefore been selected to participate in the up-coming one."

My heart sank around my knees as I trudged off toward an uncertain fate.

A 1-session St. Tyrants Bridge Crew adventure for 5 unfortunate students.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 3–4 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 2 Seriousness 2 Adult content PG


Cold Homecoming

(or, the Ammitibel Horror) by Andrew Smith

Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy is the town whose wizards are all ashes.

At the end of the 19th Century the township of Ammitibel briefly bloomed as gold made her rich. But at the start of the 20th Century the gold ran out and Ammitibel languished. In the 1920s Hungarian immigrant Michael Benedek brought new life to the town with the oddly alloyed gold recovered from the deepest mines by his mysterious 'sonic mining drill', and the town grew to over 3,000 souls by 1950.

But Michael Benedek had made many enemies among the mining companies, and in a botched attempt by one of them to steal his technique, he was killed. The mines failed. Ammitibel died a second time. Perhaps it was merely the companies pulling out; perhaps it was Benedek's dying curse. People seemed to just disappear into the nights. Of the former township, only a handful remained.

In June 2004 Ammitabel celebrates its 150th anniversary with a reunion of its former inhabitants and their children. For the Benedek family this is a wearisome duty, but Grandma, one of the few who stayed, has insisted. And it’s not like she’s going to be around for ever, right?

A 2-session contemporary Classic or D20 Call of Cthulhu foray into small town horror, would suit a family of 5.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 4 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 4 Adult content MA (violence and tentacular horror)


Dark Aether

by Ingrid Bean

Dark Aether
Generations ago, the Mage Wars ravaged the world of Sharnevor. The legacy of this destruction remains in the minds of the people, and in the scarred desert that divides the continent in two.

Sharnevor is still plagued by skirmishes between the surviving factions of the Mage Wars, and it seems that all out war is imminent once more. The Mage Wars nearly shattered the continent, and many doubt that Sharnevor can withstand another such outpouring of magical destruction.

In the hope of averting another War a select few have been chosen to deliver a peace offering to the Mage-King of Kelteel.

The Blasted Lands, shaped during the cataclysm and haunted by dire beasts created by the powerful magics wielded in the Wars, must be crossed; the offering itself, perhaps not what it seems, must be delivered; and the chosen have their own ghosts to deal with…

A 1-session systemless dark fantasy/horror/mind-f*ck for 4-5 players.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 2 Seriousness 5 Adult content MA 15+ (contains supernatural themes, violence, adult themes, sexual references and coarse language)


Down Among the Dead Men

by Graham Dolby

It was Friday night — one like any other. Four of us at the bar, awaiting the ever-late Ben. He looked like hell when he arrived. Jack rushed the bar for two shots of whiskey. Ann checked his vitals as Kath bit her lip with worry. “Dave?!” he hoarsely whispered as his free arm thrust out towards me. In his hand was a piece of paper. On the paper was a message.

The message was simple enough:

The bottom of the note was covered in our signatures…

…and dated next Monday.

A single session systemless game for 5 players.


The Lake District Needlework and Adventure Society invite you to take part in a THRILLING ADVENTURE!

by Stuart Barrow

Comprising: Fiendish Plots! Dastardly Deeds! Machinations Devilish and Obscure! Belching Steam Engines and Grinding Clockworks! Fetching Embroidery! Breathtaking Scenery! Adorable Wildlife! Smart Suits and Classic Corsetry! Mysterious Strangers! Amazing Airships! Truly Astounding Handicrafts! Grave Danger! The World in Peril!

A 1-session systemless divertissement for 5 players, as ladies of style, grace and courage.

Ginger biscuits provided.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 3 Genre 3–4 Rules knowledge Madame jests...
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 2 Adult content G (but may include bosom heaving and/or fisticuffs)


One Dark Night

by Chris Stevenson

In the world of Caen, the "gift" of magic helped free the Iron Kingdoms from slavery. Since then, magic and mechaniks have driven progress towards a Renaissance of clockworks, steam engines and guns, crowned by the mighty steamjack (a construct combining all three). The jewel in this magical-mechanikal crown is the Kingdom of Cygnar and Cygnar's own jewel is Corvis, the City of Ghosts, and a trade nexus shared with Cygnar's neighbours, feudal Llael, and imperialist Khador.

Each year, when Caen's three moons are in eclipse, Cygnar gathers in Corvis to celebrate its progress at the festival of the Longest Night. This Longest Night, however, someone is hell bent on ruining the celebrations, and Cygnar with it; something which Corvis' City Council and Guilds won't let happen. To the rescue: dedicated City Watch and civic-minded Guild members, who are really going to need some time off come this Longest Night!

A full-metal-fantasy game for 3-5 players, set in Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms D20 setting, with an added measure of "swash". That's if you're interested in the rules, of course. If not, don't worry, because knowledge of the setting and D20 rules is not essential. However, if you do want to find out more about the setting, check out and

An Off-the-Cuff production by Chris Stevenson, mob. 04 1847 5097 or email christopher @ (remove the spaces around the '@').


Steve Jackson GamesPrayers at Bedtime CANCELLED — our apologies

by Mark Bruckard

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep.
Should I die before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to take.

An In Nomine game for 5 relievers, imps and gremlins watching over a symphonically aware child simultaneously destined and fated to forever change the war between Heaven and Hell. Ordered not to interfere, but each nursing their own agendas, these minor spirits find themselves torn between their own nature and their duty.

MA (violence, horror). Not a light fluffy game.


Psi II: Expanding Horizons

by Mike Walker

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Four students are about to graduate, but from more than just high school. Their teacher in psychic powers has informed them that in order to save the world, they have two weeks to say goodbye to everything they have known, and everything they have ever hoped for. It’s unlikely they will be coming back.

Before saving the world, you have to save yourself...

A 1-session systemless game for five players.

Psi is a story in three parts, and started as one of the Triptychs from last year.
It will conclude at Phenomenon next year. This session can be played on its own or as part of the ongoing story.

A Pegasus Unlimited Production. For queries, please contact Mike at pesgausunlimited @ (remove the spaces around the '@').


The Sentinels: A Most Unfortunate Murder

by Peter Trueman

The Sentinels are a team of modern day monster hunters. Armed with divine inspiration, psychic abilities and big guns, they work behind the scenes to keep humanity safe from and ignorant of the horrors that lurk in the shadows. It's dirty, dangerous work, the hours are lousy and the pay is non-existent, but someone has to do it and it looks like God has chosen the Sentinels.

The town of West Fork, Missouri, is a small, peaceful place. But when people start disappearing, or turning up torn to shreds, and when there are reports of men changing into savage animals, then you know it's a job for the Sentinels. But is everything as it seems in this sleepy, little backwater town?

A 1-session Witchcraft mission for 5 Sentinels.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 2 Rules knowledge Good intro
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 3 Adult content MA 15 (contains graphic violence and sexual violence)


A Shadow in the Darkness

by Mike(y) McClure

There are those who spend their whole lives in the dark places. People who quietly keep the Imperium running, using methods we pretend not to know about.

To us these people are merely shadows, flickering in the edge of our vision — and we prefer it that way.

If you spend your entire life in darkness and a shadow falls over you, how could you tell?

A single session Traveller game for 4–5 agents of the Imperium.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 1 (spies in space) Adult content MA (contains adult themes and concepts)
Video rental scale Len Deighton in space? Awesome! Seriousness 5


Survival of the Species

by Matthew Chalmers

In human society, every day is a struggle for survival. People protest Australia’s involvement in wars overseas while others argue that it is a battle that needs to be fought. Few pay heed to the battles that occur around them every day.

Every day is a struggle for survival, but only a chosen few actually realize.

Survival of the Species is a story based in current-day Sydney. A 1-session systemless game for five individuals that are “chosen” to save mankind from an unseen horror.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 5 Seriousness 4 Adult content PG 13 (contains potential mature themes)


Steve Jackson GamesWaltzing Matilda

by Paul May

Someone has done a good job of cornering the beef market in East Tredroy.

A small military group has kidnapped an elf child from her merchant parents.

There is a lot of smoke coming from the sewers in the dock area of East Tredroy.

Some of the wizard's friends are abuzz about a new skin treatment.

There's no porter left to drink in the local tavern. You wonder what connects all of these.

You know they are connected — they always are...

A single session GURPS Fantasy (mostly) for 5(ish) investigators. Rules knowledge useful but not necessary.  Characterisation and humour are preferred — you do the characters and I'll do the system...

By the Guerilla Ontologists.