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


Phenomenon 2008

Team (tabletop) games

These are the most ancient and democratic form of roleplaying game. The table is optional but traditional. Some are system-based games, others systemless. But Chairman Morph guarantees that they're all good.

Am I here?

By Michael Hitchens

Five people in a white room
Three dressed as guests, two as servants
A body lies at their feet, the blood slowing creeping towards them

They can't remember why they are here
Or who they are
Or if the dead woman should mean anything to them at all

Memories are precious, so they say
Though sometimes there are things we want to forget
Things we've done, and had done to us

But what if we don't have the choice of what to remember and what to forget?
And when we remember, before the morning, all the people we have been
Which one will we be?

A 1 session systemless module for five players
By Michael Hitchens
Set in 1920s England

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating M (adult themes, sexual references, horror)


The Disembodied Man

By Robbie and Stephanie Matthews

It's the height of Queen Victoria's reign. The sun never sets on the British Empire, and stage magicians are all the rage in London. Of all the stage magicians, the top of the heap is The Great Mundini. His illusions are the best, his stagecraft is second to none. All in all, things are looking pretty bright for The Great Mundini — and his assistants.

Then there was a newcomer on the scene: The Guru. For a while he threatened The Great Mundini's  pre-eminence, thrilling audiences with his amazing trick, "The Disembodied Man". Making people vanish on-stage was old hat, but this was something else, something new.

After a great deal of study, The Great Mundini told his assistants that he'd worked out how the trick was done, and proceeded to demonstrate the trick in front of the cream of London society — but without telling his assistants how it was done.

The "Improved Disembodied Man" was a hit. Until the time the Prince of Wales volunteered to be 'disembodied'. And The Great Mundini failed to bring him back.

So now the heir to the most powerful throne in Europe is missing, and The Great Mundini is a guest at Her Majesty's Pleasure, being asked increasingly  pointed questions.

It's up to his five top assistants to work out what happened, and how to fix it: To save their jobs, their boss's neck, and possibly even their own...

A Diptych game

The Inaugral Diptych is a new perpetual Pheno prize, comprising two linked comedy games, with an emphasis on light-hearted humour and whole-hearted silliness. With a trophy and everything!

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 4 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 2 Advisory rating probably M...ish


Familiar Times

By Ken Carcas

The Familiar - the ' ...always there and dependable...' backbone to any successful Mage that has ever graced the ground We walk on. Without Us, the 'Masters' wouldn't know which direction to turn, come up with any idea worth listening to, or survive to see their next 'milk and cookie' snack time!"

So ... what happens when Us 5 Familiars, companions for 'Mages' who belong to a 'secret' multi-specialised group of freedom fighters, are stranded in the middle of nowhere after they hastily conceive a hair-brained scheme and teleport without Us?"

We do the only sensible, sane, and life preserving thing We can ... We find them before their gallant and noble butts end up screwing Our situation beyond it's presently successful state ... and kill themselves.

This 1 session adventure uses the DnD 3.5ed rules. It is for 5 players of Familiar (Mage Companion) characters who must conduct a search and recsue mission to not only save their Masters from screwing 'their' still successful mission, but also their Masters lives and therefore securing their own continued existence.

Although the game does involve some combat, this is mostly a role-playing adventure. Players need to come to the table expecting more to role-play intelligent, cute, furry/feathered companions than combat.

Players need not have experience with the DnD 3.5ed system as the system will be explained to newbies as situations arise. Pre-made Character Sheets and Situation Blurbs can be provided on registration night or at the beginning of the gaming session. Don't forget your dice (just incase you need them).

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 3 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 2
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 2.5 Advisory rating M (contains violence)




Transformations of moonlight on snow

By Philippa and John Hughes

The greatest journey is the one that takes you home.

Tokugawa Japan. Shimotsuki, the month of frosts. Koyasan, the sacred mountain. Five pilgrims, five secrets, one impossible destination.

Storm wind on mountain
wander nameless traveller;
winter’s first snow.

An eternal tale of ghosts and lovers, shared with simplicity and restraint. Encounters with obake and yurei, blessings of the Pure Land, mysteries of the suffering heart.

A systemless kwaidan or weird tale for five storytellers, presented by Philippa & John Hughes. Tea will be served for the comfort of weary seekers.

Much much more background info

Please visit http://mythologic.info/kwaidan/ for further information and background, including the exceptionally useful article Turning Japanese: A Gamers Guide to Bluffing Your Way Through A Japanese Ghost Story.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 4.5 (a basic knowledge of Japanese culture may be an advantage: watching anime or Ringu counts) Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 3.5 Advisory rating MA (sexuality, adult concepts, mild horror, wasabe)


The Last Action Heroes

Last Action Heroes

By Dan L'Estrange

With the Gotham Tower under threat from some of the nastiest villians known to man, seven heroes are called to save the day. Powered by gut instinct, a preference for wanton destruction and an all out attitude to 'get the bad guy', these seven will stop at nothing to finish the job.

When bad guys threaten our way of life. When villians strike fear into the hearts of the normal guy. When killers bring death to the streets. There is only one cure:

The Last Action Heroes!

The Last Action Heroes is a game for seven heroes of the silver screen. With system light game mechanics, and over enthusiasic GM, it should be a romp to TAKE DOWN THE BAD GUYS.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation Action Heroes! Genre 1 Rules knowledge 1 (system lite variant on ShadowRun)
Story/plot 1 Seriousness 2 Advisory rating PG


Last Man Standing

By Stuart Barrow

Last Man Standing (or sitting)

"And she's got brains enough for two, which is the exact quantity the girl who marries you will need."

— PG Wodehouse, The Adventures of Sally.

art deco thingy

It began as a wheeze, and became a challenge, and, ultimately, a shining aspiration: the one among our number who could evade the blessed state of  matrimony the longest would collect the pot, the cup, and the envy of his fellows.

There were five of us left, and five fellows less likely to wander into that sacred institution were not to be found in the annals of the Club, the Nation, or the Empire.  We had suffered — Oh! how we had suffered! — by way of aunts, servants, misunderstandings, lasses of improbable resolve, villains, fathers, objects d'art, foes, rivals and so-called friends — but there we remained, bowed but unbroken, each determined to be the

Last Man Standing

But unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove...

A diptych game by Stuart Barrow, for five idle bachelors who intend to remain both.

A Diptych game

The Inaugral Diptych is a new perpetual Pheno prize, comprising two linked comedy games, with an emphasis on light-hearted humour and whole-hearted silliness. With a trophy and everything!

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 3 Rules knowledge None, Sir!
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 1 Advisory rating PG


Platinum Angels

By David James and Nadina Geary

Platinum Angel logo

Get Well Or Else...

Ask any ShadowRunner what the one bill they will never pay late, never skimp on or try to cheat, and they will all reply:

"My DocWagon Contract"

Those medical angels that will pick you up when you are down and bleeding, get you to safety and, for those on the Platinum Contract, even engage the enemy to ensure your safety.

It's a new moon tonight. That means the runners will be out in force. It's going to be a busy night.

Oh, did we mention it’s also New Year’s Eve?

A Shadowrun game for a five person DocWagon Platinum Team on call for the graveyard shift. It's only eight hours... after all, how much trouble can they possibly get into in just one night?

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 2 (Shadowrun, but don't expect to roll lots of dice)
Story/plot 5 Seriousness 3 Advisory rating MA



By Mike Walker

If you gaze for long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.

— Frederick Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

To save two worlds, four psychic teenagers and their mentor plunge into the depths of space. They are about to face an ultimate evil, capable of feeding on the group’s most terrible nightmares. But their personal failings may prove even more dangerous...

Fear is the greatest enemy.

A cathartic one session multiform for five players.

Psi is a story in three parts, and started as one of the Triptychs in 2003 It continued in 2004, and will finish in 2008. This session can be played on its own or as part of the concluding story.

In Memory of Aveline.

A Pegasus Unlimited Production. For queries, please contact me at

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 1
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating M


Starship Bridge Crew: Mission Clean Sweep

Lost a string!

By Robert Cox, with Anneke Cox and Ellen 'Nell' Hungerford

You are captain and crew of the starship Bloodhound, a Raider class vessel. You have been entrusted with a secret mission, to infiltrate the Xingon Empire and retrieve the Federation of Independent Planets (FIP) top spy “Callan.” This involves a dangerous run through hostile space to a secret rendezvous point where the spy will be beamed aboard. Callan is carrying vital information to the security of the Federation of Independent Planets.

How will the crew of the Bloodhound react to this dangerous mission?

Recruitment begins Phenomenon 2008.


BRIDGE CREW is a computer assisted science fiction themed role-play game system that uses personal computers to simulate the functions of a starship bridge. The players form a crew which engage in various activities under the control of a GM. Crew stations include captain, Weapons officers, helm officer and others. When run at conventions it usually is a sort of blend of computer game and a LARP. You will spend about the first hour learning to use the software.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 3 Genre 4-5 Rules knowledge 0 - I/we teach all!
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 2-4 Advisory rating G or PG (players' option)