Random Inc presents a Phenomenon Labs games convention

Team (tabletop) games

These are the traditional games from the Old Country. The table is optional but also very traditional. Some are system-based games, others systemless. But Don Morpho guarantees that they're all good.

Execute Order 66

By Jimmy Riley new designer

Execute Order 66...

The last thing you heard before the universe spiraled into a new Dark Age.

The Republic is but a memory, the light of the Jedi has been extinguished, and the boot of the Galactic Empire grinds entire worlds under its heel.

You are on the run, hiding from the betrayer, Skywalker, who now styles himself Lord Vader. If you are caught, or even seen, whatever world you are on will suffer.

But you still live, waiting, ready to fight for one last chance to make a difference before the Empire finds you at last; on a backwater planet, in a cantina in the middle of nowhere, that chance is about to arrive.

The Force will be with you, Jedi. But in the end, will that be enough?

A Star Wars roleplaying game for 5 Jedi — broken, wounded, on the run... but still Knights of the Old Republic. Set five years after the events in Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith.

By Jimmy Riley, with special thanks to Phil Goodwin and David Hollingworth.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 This is their last story, make it count Genre 4ish Knowing Star Wars helps... not knowing... who are you?! Rules knowledge 0 These are not the rules you're looking for...
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 4 to 5 It is Star Wars though, the cliche will be with you... always Advisory rating MA 15+ Lightsabers are very nasty when they need to be


Knights of the Stagnant Pool

By Joe McNamara

From their kingdom in the poisoned lands of the dead, the Knights of the Stagnant Pool ride out to save the world. They don’t want to — they hate the lands of the living, and the living hate them back, but the Maggot God who holds their souls in its hands and who granted them eternal life has commanded it. Despite all the distractions, temptations and opportunities for violence the lands of the living have to offer, the Maggot God’s will must be done. The Apocalypse will happen on their terms, or not at all.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre Dark chivalric fantasy Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 3 Advisory rating MA (high level violence, adult themes)


Last Action Villains

By Dan L'Estrange

I want to be Eevill!

— Eartha Kitt (Catwoman vs Adam West's Batman), RIP 25 Dec 08

The Last Action Villains are the survivors of an attack by Skynet and Aliens that has sent Gotham city into a spiral of horror, depravity and panic. The Villains now have a city ripe for the taking, its people ready to accept strong leadership, its police force decimated and the heroes are finally out of the picture (see Last Action Heroes).

So take to the streets, with The Joker, HAL 9000, Al Capone, The Wicked Witch of the West, Darth Vader, Venom, Hannibal Lector, General Chang, Nurse Ratched, Dr Evil and a few others, take back Gotham City for the bad guys!

This is a high energy game based loosely on comic and movie parodies, puns are intended and groans are welcome. This is a sequel to Last Action Heroes, run last year at Pheno.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 1 Genre 1 Rules knowledge 1
Story/plot 1 Seriousness 1 Advisory rating MA


London Girls


A Random Event Production

Over eight million people disapeared instantly, leaving Greater London almost completely devoid of any life.

For the few miraculous survivors, what had been intended as a night of fun and frivolity celebrating a friends recent engagement became the start of an ordeal like no other.

A systemless game for 5 young women, alone in a world that no longer makes sense.

More information about this game

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre NA (real world) Rules knowledge 1
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating MA - Adult themes and situations


Mainspring: Theft of the Forged Gear!


By Mark Bruckard

Dr Moroton,

Great news! After all these years I have finally discovered the location of the infamous Forged Gear of the Tzars, worth more than the rest of the Tzars' treasures together. All sources point to your Florin city of Mainspring. I have resolved to come join you and help find it myself. The War between our countries forces me to employ skypirates to smuggle me into the city. Hopefully the border patrols will be light this far north of front, and I should reach you in just 3 weeks. Once I reach Mainspring I need only aquire the keystone from their Grimtooth prison, take it to a Wormgear castle and ... [remainder of letter burned beyond legibility]

The zeppelin carrying the letter was shot down, and the rumours are already spreading. Treasure hunters are gathering and the race is on.

A spirited heist game for a motley crew of five researchers and treasure-hunters, nobles and ne'er-do-wells.

This game is run in the same rules and setting as the Mainspring freeform. It is intended to introduce new players to the setting and to expand on the gameworld for the regular players.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 1
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 3 Advisory rating PG (some violence)



By Mark Somers

Australia, 2071. The Awakened World is now, as magic and high technology live side by side. In the cracks between the many facets of life lie the shadows, that dangerous place of black operations, corporate warfare, criminal enterprise and deniability. This is a place of half truths and trickery, where things are rarely what they seem on the surface. Thus it should come as no surprise that a simple escort job may have nuances and complications aplenty, more than enough to keep a team of Aussie shadowrunners on their toes.

A single-session 5-player Shadowrun 4th Edition game with pre-generated characters. For more information on Shadowrun, check out the official site at www.shadowrun4.com.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 3 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 2
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 2 Advisory rating PG



By Jacinta Miller

The middle of an evening, a phone call "Come to the hospital, Poppa's been hit". You drop what you are doing, you always drop what you are doing, and rush over.

Maria and Angelo sit on one side of the waiting room, Ricco, Renzo and Rosa sit on the other. A man in a hospital gown walks in. "You are all Poppa Gotti's children?" You all nod. "He's in surgery I'm afraid. It doesn't look good. It'll be a couple of hours before we know for sure. I'll let you know more once I do".

Sometimes, there comes a moment. Before, all is familiar.

In the space of a breath, everything changes.

In that breath what has occurred before, all that was important — changes. Bonds are sundered, allegiances change.

A game for five children of the Mafia, set in a hospital waiting room.

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


Positions Vacant

By Barbara Kearins with evil genius by Tim Smith and Stuart Barrow

Minions wanted. On the job interview this Saturday. Applicants should be ambitious team players that knows their limits. No previous experience necessary. Good Salary Package offered including generous Health and Death Benefits.

This position is only being advertised internally. Evil Enterprises (TM) wishes to state that although they are an equal opportunity employer, the successful applicant/s must successfully demonstrate some form of Super Power during the Interview Process.

Via the Grapevine: Professor Anvil Snaraster has lost seven minions in the last fortnight alone. He’s absolutely unbearable at the moment as he’s finding it almost impossible to get the last bits for his doomsday machine. The whole organisation will fold unless he get some minions that can get the pieces before The Good Guys (TM) bust this operation apart and we’re all out of a job. Yeah... know their limits, means he doesn't want another idiot that wants to rule the world when thats in the Professor's job description. It'll probably be a scavenger hunt that way the professor gets his parts and his minions all at the same time and possibly even in one piece.

Positions Vacant is a GURPS SUPERS© game for five unorthodox wannabe evil minions.

A Diptych game

The Diptych is a 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 M...ish



By robert Barbetti

Game cancelled - Don Morpho apologises for the inconvenience.

An old spooky manor looms on the edge of a cliff, dark and sinister.

The locals avoid the house, whispering of evil deeds and horrifying noises. Passers by give the place a wide berth, whispering afterwards, over a pint, that the Manor looked at them with envious eyes.

To this lonely place comes a lone traveller to spend the night.

A 5 player game of suspense and horror.

Note: this game has strong supernatural elements and may set characters against each other.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 0
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating MA: Strong supernatural themes, adult concepts, low level violence


The School for Heroes

By Rebecca and Sarah Plush new designer

The King Randolph School for Heroes was built to provide a place to teach those with an adventurous bent to hone their skills before seeking their fortunes. This is its first year of operation. 25 young men, and maybe women, will be chosen to attend this school to specialise in one of five heroic disciplines — Melee Combat With Weapons, Ranged Combat, Stealth, Magic and Religion.

Hundreds of young men and a few women sat the entrance exam. Who will get in?

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 2 Rules knowledge 1 (there are rules?)
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating M


A Secret of Amber


by Mike Walker

Came a whisper, out of darkness: “Corwin. Is it time?”

— Corwin’s narration from A Secret of Amber

Three ghosts, Benedict had said, and had been on the brink of saying more ere his face had smoothed and he’d turned away. Which meant he’d recognized the one he’d seen.

— Corwin’s narration from A Secret of Amber

He must have realized the state of affairs his passing would produce, but refused to believe that the situation would ever occur. And no one of us really knew all of his duties and responsibilities, his secret commitments.

— Corwin’s narration about King Oberon, from Guns of Avalon

It is a year since King Oberon sacrificed his life to save the universe of Amber. He died with many secrets that he never passed on. One of these secrets has now arisen, and threatens to destroy the royal family of Amber. Strange and hungry ghosts prowl the halls of Palace Amber... At first they fed on the servants, devouring both blood and souls, leaving dead husks in their wake... Then the ghosts started feeding upon royal family members... Flora and Julian barely survived. It is clear the ghosts represent an even greater and mysterious threat, perhaps linked to a commitment Oberon failed to keep. There are signs that one of the family is in league with the menace, for purposes unknown...

A one session tabletop for five members of the royal family of Amber: Benedict, Bleys, Caine, Corwin & Fiona.

Uses the Amber Diceless Role Playing Game System and is inspired by the story fragment by Roger Zelazny and Ed Greenwood.

Knowledge of the books and/or rules useful but not necessary.


Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 4 Rules knowledge 1
Story/plot 4 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating PG


A 'Ship' in Time

By Ken Carcas, Deadmeat Productions

Everyone knows how inventive Gnomes can be ... and flying machines are no exception.

A reclusive group of “know all ... do everything ... achieve very little” Gnomes have invented a new flying ‘ship’ ... problem is that on its maiden voyage, the prototype was blown off course. Way Off Course!!!

They have tracked it down through the use of a highly secretive ‘experimental’ homing beacon and sent in a recovery team. That was 3 weeks ago and the recovery team haven’t been heard from since.

Your party, having just returned from a successful ‘find the so-called bad guy ... kill everything in your path ... loot everything that isn’t nailed down ... feel really good about doing it’ mission, are contracted to go in an recover the gnomes' precious (and highly valuable) ‘ship’. You won’t be going alone as the gnomes have attached a gnome engineer to your group to help you repair any damage the ‘ship’ may have obtained, and eventually fly the ‘ship’ home.

Oh ... if you happen to locate the missing recovery team ... tell them they’re sacked!!!

A single session, DnD (4th Ed) module for 4 ‘over confident’ Adventurers and 1 ‘highly skilled’ Gnome Engineer. Yes ... someone in the party actually gets to play the Gnome ... oh ... goodie!

Friendly Note: Players are HIGHLY encouraged to collect their character sheets BEFORE the game (Rego night is good ... shameless plug). Players from previous games will know that I tend to like to give you the maximum amount of play time which cannot be accomplished if you are sitting at the table reading your character sheet. This also gives you ample time to track me down during the con to ask any of those ‘must have an answer for’ questions players always have.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 3 – Some role-play is always good ... Keeps the DM amused! ... and Oh how I like to be amused Genre 3 – Think medieval with funny little people and mystical creatures and you cannot go wrong. Rules knowledge 2 – I’m not a rules lawyer and the game runs better for it. Everything you need to know is generally provided.
Story/plot 3 – There’s always a story ... generally comes with a subtle twist. Seriousness 2– Life is to be taken serious ... it’s a game ... enjoy it. Advisory rating M – As there is always bloody bits, an M classification should suit but I have run for mature minors before with no hassle.


Sympathetic Magic

By Stuart Barrow

Magic is governed by a few simple laws.

The Law of Sympathy: Like Affects Like.

The Law of Contagion: Once Together, Always Together.

The Lennon/McCartney Maxim: All You Need is Love.

The Law of Averages: You've Got To Be Lucky Sometimes.

Xerxes has a problem — a century-old binding spell is about to fade, leaving Canberra at the mercy of unspeakable horrors.

Fortunately, he has a solution. It involves his former apprentice, a library, a museum, old magic, new magic, deep magic, shallow magic, ribbons, roads, toads, toasters and arcane secrets from the dawn of time.

And something borrowed, and something blue.

It's that, or a Fate Worse Than Death.

A mystical romantic comedy for four occult weirdos and a lawyer.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 4 Genre 3 (modern fantasy) Rules knowledge 0 (systemless)
Story/plot 3-4 Seriousness 2 Advisory rating PG, with a handful of adult concepts


Victim Squad

By Rod Kearins

In the not too distant future there is no disease...
    There is no hunger...
        Many consider it a Utopia...
            And everyone has at least one super power...
                ...well almost everyone.

The release of the RX47-34 Human Universal Adaptive Antigen (HUAA) was hailed as a breakthrough in BioGenetic engineering. With one single dose the patient became immune to all known diseases and enjoyed a longer healthier life. Afflictions like cancer and heart disease disappeared overnight even those who had been paralysed, regained their mobility. But there was however a side effect: people began to gain superpowers. Some became stronger, some became faster, some smarter. Soon everyone in the country became super powered in some way. Well almost everyone.

If everyone has super powers... then no one has.

— Mr Incredible

And yet for a very small percentage nothing happened. Oh they still enjoyed the health benefits offered by the treatment, but in a world of super heroes and villains, they were unique. Then somebody had the brilliant idea, to round up the small numbers of non powered citizens as a government sanctioned group that could be saved by the super powered. After all what good is it being a super hero if there are no citizens’ to save?

But all is not well. Some of the victims are growing increasingly frustrated with their life and for one group based in Canberra rebellion is in the air.

A light hearted adventure for five normal humans who finally (they hope), will somehow get even.

A Diptych game

The Diptych is a 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 There are rules?!
Story/plot 3 Seriousness 1 Advisory rating PG-M