Phenomenon Labs has the pleasure to offer...
A roleplaying convention

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Phenomenon crew & writers

Here are the fine organisers and writers of Pheno 2005’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.


Lord Ryan d'Argeavel, the Earl of Kitchen


Sir Shane Donohoe, Minister for Dogs & Canine Appurtenances

Graphic Design

The Hon. Nadina Geary, Chairwoman of the Royal Arts & Alcohol Foundation


Major-General Sir Paul Naveau, The Oldstring Guards

Writer Wrangler

Mistress Xole Karman, She Who Must Be Obeyed

Web Team

The Fiendish Dr Andrew Smith (design)

The Actually Very Nice Dr Elissa Feit (database)

The Too Nice For His Own Good Justin 'Doychi' Deutsch

VSOM (Very Special Order of the Morph)

Lord David McJames, Laird of the Clan McJames

The Very Reverend Mike McClure, Archbishop of Bath & Wells

Princess Sandra d’Argeavel of Belgravia

Master Phil Goodwin, inventor of the steam-powered thing

Mistress Eleanor Goodwin, author of Propriety for the Hard of Thinking

Game writers

Get to know your gamewriters (a bit) before leaping boldly into their games! Some liberties with the truth may have been taken with the blurbs, but only a complete bounder would bring this up in conversation.


Stuart Barrow

Stuart Barrow is a bureaucrat by profession, a writer by inclination and an editor by accident. He won best new designer at Pheno last year, chiefly for tapping into a latent yet near-universal desire to pretend to be a Victorian Woman of Adventure, but also for making ornithopter motions with his hands. This year, he's hoping people secretly yearn to be Highwaymen, and will be miming horses. Game: The Mask and the Moonlight

Xole Karman

Xole (That's pronounced 'Kole') 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 'Court of Mirrors' freeforms coordinated by David James. 'Familiar' is her thirteenth freeform, which might just be an omen of some sort. Game: Familiar

Andrew Smith

Andrew has written 18 or more games for Cons dating back to 1987, including a Triptych ('Fatalism') and a Necronomicon Short Sharp Shock ('Bridget's Dance'). He watched 'New Wave' become 'old school'. Often referring to himself in the third person, Andrew believes roleplaying is the second most entertaining thing you can do in the company of others, and lives for the vicarious sense of power he gets while GMing. Andrew likes Guinness, fluffy bunnies and long walks in the rain. He is famous for writing serious writer blurbs. Game: Something Wonderful

New writers

Joe McNamara

Afficionadoes of 'Atlantean Idol' will no doubt remember Joe's impassioned subaquatic teen anthem, 'My Tentacles Are Only For You'. Since being knocked out in the semi-finals — thanks to a badly-placed piece of scenery — Joe has profitably used his extended convalescence to write his first game for Pheno. Game: Viva Las Vegas!

Peter & Janet Trueman, with David Gould

Peter Trueman has been roleplaying and game-mastering since 1980, principally D&D but with some experience of Traveller, Heroes Unlimited, Vampire: the Masquerade, Witchcraft and Armageddon. Last year his favourite roleplaying flavour was Unisystem ('The Sentinels: A Most Unfortunate Murder'). This year it's Hero System. Peter tends to fixate on things that grab his attention. Only God knows what will catch his fancy next.

Janet Trueman has been roleplaying since the early 80s. Her experience includes D&D, Witchcraft, Armageddon and GURPS. Her talents include GMing with style, illustrating, dealing with extra-dimensional beings, and designing the perfect headquarters. Oh, and she cooks a wicked vegetarian lasagne.

David Gould is an evil reductionist and neo-conservative. You will consider yourself fortunate to have him as your GM. Understand?

Game: Copy That!

Vintage writers

Liz Argall

Liz is doing her bit for the Australian economy by single-handedly keeping the band-aid industry solvent. She knows all sorts of disturbing things about robot dogs, kerosene, knee injuries and chewing-gum. Games: Munchausen and Mission: Improv-able

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). She has now caught the writing bug, and has many more games planned for the future.. Game: Eden's Daughters

Ryan d'Argeavel

Pheno’s presidency runs several nice little sidelines in disciplines as diverse as page-turning, stage management, loud pants, and running around like a headless chicken. He plans to be shot out of a cannon next year as an offering to performance art. Game: Unravelled

Brett Evill

Brett Evill was born in Kempsey in 1964. His first gaming experience was a disastrous AD&D session at Sydney Grammar School in 1980. Since then he has wasted all his time on RPGs, majoring in The Fantasy Trip at UNSW 1982-1984, and in ForeSight at ANU 1986-1990. The result of this tragedy is that he was not able to retire into genteel poverty until the age of 37. Please give generously. Game: Après Moi, L’Enfer

Hugh Fisher

Hugh Fisher is one of those ancient roleplayers who can reminisce about first-edition D&D. He has written several games for Cancon and Phenomenon over the years, although an aptitude for Paranoia is really rather worrying if you think about it. Game: You Don't Have Clearance for This Game Title

David James

David James has been role-playing since 1982, writing his first convention game with Andrew Smith for CanCon 1987. His latest offering was the freeform 'Mirrordark', written 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. Game: Use by date

Renee McCalister

Renee will be enjoying her 4,718th Pheno 2005, thanks to a gypsy seer-woman's curse. Be tolerant of the way she finishes your conversations for you. Game: Of Cards & Convenience

Mike(y) McClure

Actually Emperor Strephon's other clone, Mikey is assembling a massive space fleet in his backyard (under the gazebo) to retake his rightful place on the Iridium Throne. He also does a mean curry, and thinks the Sci Fi TV shows of the 70s and 80s 'weren't all that bad'. Game: Mission: Improv-able

Fi McConachie

Actually an award-winning breeder of fine musical instruments, Fi is only appearing for Phenomenon because we have kidnapped her favourite hammered dulcimer and are holding it to ransom. Game: The Unicorn's Lance

Andrew MacLennan

Andrew has been writing games for conventions since he foolishly agreed to write for Conquest 98. Once started, the generation of 'Hey, wouldn't this make a fun game' ideas has refused to stop and he has written for at least one Melbourne convention each year, most recently resulting in the 'Righteous Demon Hunter' series of Hong Kong Action games, inspired by the genre of films he so loves. Pheno 2005 will be the first convention outside of Melbourne to experience Andrew's 'creativity' — let's hope it survives the encounter. Game: Jerry Does Canberra!

Andrew Mahoney

Lot 20: Andrew Mahoney & Co – a rare and interesting minute repeating duplex movement with wolf-tooth gearing throughout. London no. 4741, circa 1810. Reserve price: $700-1,000. Previous works - Shadowrun at Phenomenon and Cancon (when they still had RPG's). Game: 28 minutes later...

Robbie & Stephanie Matthews

The team of Robbie and Stephanie Matthews have been writing quality games for ages now. Well, a couple of years, anyway. Robbie assisted in running 'Bridge Crew' for several cons before finally breaking down and writing a module of his own: 'And now Presenting Murder...' which went on to win 'Best New Designer' award at Pheno 2003.

Stephanie helped write and run 'And now presenting...', and the next year the two of them did 'Mayhem Over Manhattan', a manic pulp-fiction glasspunk romp which did nothing to help either of their sanities. This year, the Sky Marshalls ride again...

Game: Beaker: Sky Marshalls the Freeform

Paul May

Paul May once answered how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, before having their festivities violently dispersed by troops. Paul is also a local representative for Steve Jackson Games. Game: Frag

"Uncle" Wes Nicholson

Rather better known as "Uncle" Karl Marx, Wes's tireless efforts to empower the working classes by redistributing access to the fruits of industrial production have culminated in Pheno's first second-hand stall.

Bernard Philbrick

Misplaced by his intrepid explorer parents in the wilds of Peru, Bernard was raised by an ancient snapping turtle who taught him to bite through bone and breathe through parts of his anatomy best not mentioned in polite company. He finds both skills uncommonly useful in politics, his hobby. Game: Diplomacy

James Walker & Eric Henry

It's the lunacy James 'Fish' Walker rejects that makes his madness the best.

Eric is the reincarnation of Akhnaten, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh renowned for his revolutionary spiritual enlightenment, poetry, and predilection for wearing frilly shirts.

Game: An Arthurian Idyll

Peter Wass

Peter Wass is not the Messiah. Game: Camarilla —Vampire: the Requiem