Loyal democratic Random Inc presents, a peoples' phenomenon labs socialist games convention


Phenomenon 2008

Phenomenon crew & writers

Here are the fine organisers and writers of Pheno 2008's games and activities. As you will note, they are beyond description via the written word, beyond reason, and beyond thanks.

Buy them lots of drinks at post-Con drinkies.


President — Ryan D'Argeavel

Co-Secretary — Jenny Mason & Paul Naveau

Treasurer — Mike(y)

Writer Wrangler — Ingrid Bean

RPGA Wrangler — Wes Nicholson/ David Adams

Wargaming Wrangler — Paul Naveau

Venue Wrangler/ Site Manager — Shane Donohoe

PIT (Pheno Information Technology) Crew Manager — Justin Deutsch

PIT Crew — Shane Donohoe, Elissa Feit, Robbie Matthews

Website Designer — Andrew Smith

Official Photographer/ Identity Manager — Xole Karman

Support Group & All Round Useful Person — Kevin Cox

Venue Liaison — David James

Random Inc. Liaison — Nigel Cunningham

Game writers

Get to know your gamewriters (a bit) before leaping boldly into their games! Some rehabilitation of the historical details may have occurred in the interests of dialectic accuracy. We have always been at war with Eastasia.


Liz Argall

A legendary English Liz and the most famous historical Argall. She became the subject of legend, romanticised in English ballads and popular theatre of the 18th and 19th century, and later in film and television of the 20th century. There is considerable convergence between the history and legend of Liz.

David Hollingworth

An interstellar wanderer of uncertain origins around whom an astounding cycle of rumours has arisen. For instance, he's supposed to be a confidant of the Emperor, the former Governor of Bond VII, the vanquisher of the Nharg Star-horde, and owner-pilot of the mysterious super-ship Gravity Problem. He is more reliably known to be the inventor of the Shivering Jester, a cocktail so potent it's banned in over twenty star systems.


Mike(y) had a promising career as a pro basketball player, being drafted to the Utah Jazz in 1998, but was discovered to have lied about the length of his legs. His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare.

Andrew Smith

Rather more difficult to remove than a red wine stain — ground-in Andrew stubbornly resists most chemical cleaners, kryptonite, and philosophies invented after 1782. Diligent housewives will know that Guinness always dissolves him quite nicely, however.

Vintage writers


Aveline lived. Aveline inspired us. Aveline went away.

Stuart Barrow

A seventh-dan master of bureaucracy and former adversary of Buffy (season 5), Stu's time is divided between his game writing and the star Tau-4 Eridani, AKA Liberflux, where he runs a B&B for middle-class space-cephalopods.

Ken Carcas

Ken Carcas (Deadmeat Productions) has been playing D&D in its many incarnations, for over 30 years. At 42 years of age he has written for such conventions as Cancon (The Staff of Power, They Who Cry Shark, Pleasure Plane (a 2 sessions adventure), A Night To Remember and Spawn), SydCon (Red Alert: a two-session Startrek episode), and Arcanacon (on a special invitation to run Pleasure Plane). For those who remember, Ken served on the Canberra Games Society as Editor for a couple of years, before moving interstate for work reasons. He held positions within the (now closed) Illawarra Games Society as President and Editor in Chief, and helped in co-organising and running the Illawarra Games Weekends. Ken, who mostly plays nowadays and is eagerly awaiting D&D 4th edition, is in a private local gaming group of friends who meet whenever possible.

Hailing now from Wollongong, his home near the lake provides suitable accommodation to his adorable wife (a registered nurse) and 2 female dogs (who would no doubt aspire to be nurses were their 'mother' able to get them intellectually motivated to attend Uni). He is also the father to a daughter (yep ... another nurse) who will soon grace his and her mother's existence with their 1st grandchild.

Robert Cox

Robert Cox has been a Roleplay GM since 1977 (yes the early 3 book D&D). He has run Bridge Crew at conventions since 1993. Nell and Anneke are players of his current Gurps campaign and are less experienced. Normally when Bridge crew is run we rope in other players we know at the con to help (Robbie Mathews and others).

Nadina Geary

Saint Nadina of Corsey was a humble charcoal-burner's daughter who heard The Call and took up arms against The Foe. Martyred through means too impious to relate, she appears in effigy to the faithful. It is said that she will grant a trophy to anyone who plays her game really well.

Travis Hall

In behavioral system theory and in dynamic systems modeling, a Travis Hall reproduces the required behavior of the original (analyzed) system such as there is a one-to-one correspondence between the behavior of the original system and the simulated system. The behavioral approach is motivated by the aim of obtaining a framework for system analysis that respects the underlying physics and sets up the appropriate mathematical concepts from there.

The concept is named for Travis Hall, a writer of fine freeforms.

Michael Hitchens

Nothing was proved.

Philippa Hughes

Pip is a glossy-pelted mammal with sharp teeth. She watches far too much anime. Everything important about Pip can be found on Live Journal. Watch out though... she bites! And she doesn’t like fluffy bunnies...

John Hughes

Before the dinosaurs, before the trilobites, there was John. He watches far too much J-horror. Everything important about John can be found on Facebook, which is just as well, as he’s forgotten most of it. Drop by and throw a sheep at him.

For more see http://www.pen-paper.net/rpgdb.php?op=showcreator&creatorid=5507

Pip and John have been part of the Australian roleplaying scene since 1983. AD.

David James

David James has been roleplaying since 1982, writing his first convention game with Andrew Smith for CanCon 1987. In recent years he has co-written 'Seek', 'Mirrordark' and 'A Personal Apocalypse' with Xole Karman and 'Use By Date' with Virginia James. His Triptych offerings have been 'You can't go home again' and ‘Those Left Behind’. 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.

Dan L'Estrange

Dan is a roleplayer with 18 years experience in running and playing in a huge variety of games, and 13 years experience in writing for and running roleplaying conventions. Dan has played (and mostly GMed) a large number of tabletop systems, from DnD through to SpaceMaster, ShadowRun to DragonQuest and thousands in-between. His preference is for running games of high energy and well thought-out plots, or at least that's what he thinks.

Dan comes from Wellington in Aotearoa - that is, New Zealand - and started at RPG conventions with KapCon (New Zealand's largest Annual Roleplaying Convention) which he was harrassed into running from Kapcon 5 to Kapcon 9. KapCon has recently had its 17th birthday and is coming of age (18) in early 2009.

Dan has travelled the world in his efforts to find the perfect convention and convention game, having played or run games at GenCon in the UK, Pheno here in Canberra, KapCon, MageCon, Buckets of Dice, and America's Cup in New Zealand.

Dan currently runs a ShadownRun (4th Edition) game.

Robbie and Stephanie Matthews

Robbie and Stephanie (a father and daughter team of some notoriety) have been performing their art for the pleasure of their peers ever since Pheno in 2003.  They have displayed "the mad ninja skills" according to some onlookers. This year they are departing from the well known adventures of 'The Sky Marshalls', and are presenting a mystery designed to baffle and excite the imagination. Rumour has it that playing this game will alleviate world hunger.

Fi McConachie

Fi McConachie is a fictional recurring character in the Network 23 soap opera, All Pirates Sunburn, played by several actresses. Fi is a fiesty pirate wench with a talent for ambuscados, ripostes, and salmagundi.

Joe McNamara

A denizen of the Night-lands, also known as the magnum innominandum, a name that never fails to annoy him since he can't spell it. No pencils in the Night-lands, you know.


Games written by the above individual are occasionally meditated upon while sitting wrapped only in a faux-moose-skin teacosy under a waterfall somewhere near Melbourne's Eastern suburbs, before being committed to paper with a tooth pick dipped in the ink of a yearling squid. Although mostly they're written to try and get all the images and ideas out of my head and put away somewhere where they can't keep me up at night any more. Go easy on me, this is only the second time I've written a freeform, but I'm trying to keep the same level of quality in it that I put into all my tabletops.


Random is an elm cultivar widely esteemed for his ornamental leaves that go bright red or purple in autumn. Once thought a sub-tropical variety, Random has acclimatised well to more temperate climes.


The 'Last Hero(ine) Standing' in the Crisis in Infinite Melbournes, Renee's powers are subtle but far-reaching, and seemingly unvanquishable.

Stacey L Payne

The kami of the gentle night wind who causes you to suddenly remember that other night, years ago, when the wind blew gently.

Mike Walker

Mike Walker started writing games in 1985 at thirteen years of age. He wrote for Phenomenon continuously between 1997 and 2004. He was best known for his Amber Diceless Role-Playing Games (most notably ‘Silver Spires’), and the very successful Red Dwarf freeform ‘Split Infinity’. He was abruptly kidnapped from Australia and married in the US. Due to a timely spatial anomaly, he is due to reoccur in Canberra for Phenomenon in 2008.


Xole (That's pronounced 'Kole') is primarily a freeform writer, creating games based heavily in thick soupy politics. She likes the Amber setting rather too much and does scary things to Greek mythology. 'Undeadwood' will be her 18th freeform.