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


Phenomenon 2008

The Triptych

Triptych (trip-tick) n. A picture or carving on three panels able to fold over the centre; a set of three associated works so placed esp. as a centre piece; a set of three writing tablets hinged or tied together; a set of three artistic works; such used as an altar piece; a treatise in three parts.

Each year, Pheno invites three respected designers to present a systemless single session game as part of a triptych. Each game showcases what we consider the best of Pheno roleplaying: characterisation, drama, entertainment, innovation. Each game will be judged separately, but teams competing in all three games will also be eligible for the Triptych Perpetual Trophy.

Crime and Punishment

asteroid 1/93-6

by David Hollingworth

Humanity has leapt out into the stars. Following the Last World War, the war that left the the cradle in ruins, a new Golden Age of discovery and exploration has dawned.

But for some, this new dawn brings no joy. Humanity is still plagued by its baser instincts. Crime is rife throughout space, and for the guilty punishment is swift and harsh. Mining Colony 1/93-6 is one such punishment. Here, those deemed unfit to mingle with the rest of society are incarcerated where they can give something back. It is a life sentence of hard labour, extracting vital ores from cold rock.

It is no less a punishment for the prison wardens and staff, watching over their charges in the long dark, as they are left behind in the great age of expansion... doing whatever it takes to keep the prison running, profitable and secure.

A game of ideals and making ends meet for the five staff of Asteroid 1/93-6.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 2 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating MA (adult themes, politics, violence)


The Fall of the Family


by Andrew Smith

For five hundred years since they conquered Yantary, the tyrannical Drachon 'First Family' has bled the nation white.

But their grip is weakening. The war is lost. Soldat aerial dreadnoughts control Yantar skies. The economy has collapsed. Yantar factories are smoking ruins; Yantar ducats are not worth the paper they're printed on. Loyalty is criminal. Revolutionaries of a hundred different ideologies fight in the streets. The only thing they have in common is their desire to see the Drachons dead.

This won't be easy, however: in their fortress-palace, guarded by their Praetorians, the Drachons still think themselves powerful enough to keep ruling Yantary — for another five hundred years.

A nasty awakening for the five members of the Drachon family.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 1 (Dieselpunk political) Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating MA (adult themes, violence)


The Group

by Mike(y) and Liz Argall

Five strangers.

One shared experience.

Five wounds.

One shared goal.

Please use care in selecting this game as it is emotional in nature and contains psychologically confronting elements.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 0 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating MA (strong adult themes)
Video Rental Scale: "Hey, look! A one room improvised drama"


Previous triptychs


John Hughes — Quest: Mask of Heroes

Jacinta Thomler — Six Soldiers

David James — Those Left Behind


Liz Argall — Being There

Joe McNamara — Killing De Villefort

Ingrid Bean — Rebirthing Eden


Stuart Barrow — The Mask and the Moonlight

Xole Karman — Familiar

Andrew Smith — Something Wonderful


Robbie Matthews — Mayhem Over Manhattan

Peter Rousell — Last Night in Eden

Eric Henry — The Fishbowl


David James — Can you go home again?

Mike Walker — Psi

Ingrid Bean — Silence


Ben Hunter — Project Hydra

Robert Barbetti — Something Wicked

Mark Bruckard — This Way Comes


Larry Larkin — Once upon a time

Ryan d'Argeavel — I knew she was trouble the minute she walked into my office

Jon Naughton — They don't advertise for killers in a newspaper


Michael Hitchens — You are Number 4, I am Number 6

Caitlin May — What is Honour?

Tony Guyot — Citius Altius Fortiu

1999 [The year Pheno ate Cancon]

Richard Canning — Memory Lost

Jo Ellem — Signor Jacemo's Circus of Wonder

Morgan Morningstar — Redemption


Liz Argall — When I Meet My Family

Felix White — Lost Highway

Scott Walton & Daniel Wilks — Spazmo


Andrew Smith — Fatalism

Diana Leithead — The Charity Gig

Antti Roppola — Understanding Ellen West


Richard Percy — Covenant

Mark Barnes — Prometheus Rising

Brent Steves — Graenlendinga Saga


John Hughes — Fallen Angel

Madi — Freaks

Grant Allen & Lindsay Beaton — Portents


Ian Wanless — The Breaking

Robert MacLean — Faded Giant

Chris Slee — Uncle Jurgen's Happy Hour