Random Inc presents a Phenomenon Labs games convention

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.

The Triptych games are all for 5 players.

Eternal Companions

by Jacinta Thomler and Stuart Barrow

To discover you are immortal, wouldn’t that be grand? To discover you haven’t aged since 1834. Nothing about you has changed.

Yet it’s a sad thing to see all you love and hold dear fade away. To see strong families wither and die, buildings destroyed simply to make way for progress. Technology develops, and builds on itself, all the while becoming more confusing and further from understanding.

Each of you hides in her own way. Helen hides in the present, pretends she isn’t immortal at all, has a husband and tries for a family. Margaret hides in history, pretending two hundred years have not passed. Agnes hides in the future, hoping for something better will come - and soon. Elizabeth hides in feigned innocence, an ageless mind trapped in a child’s body. And then there’s Hazel, who hides in money. Such companions for an eternal life.

You don’t meet so often anymore. You celebrated the end of the 19th century and then the 20th. Almost everything you know has changed. But the tradition of helping each other through the funerals hasn’t. All the people are gone, but the building remains.

134 Goldbright Circuit. The Athenaeum Club. One of the most important buildings. To all of you. Tonight is the wake. Tomorrow it is demolished.

A collaborative storytelling game for five accidental immortals.

The collaborative storytelling style invites an increased contribution to setting, character and story from the players.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 1
Story/plot 5 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating M, but strongly dependant on player input


Project Legacy

by James Riley and Terrence Janssen

How do you live a full life if it's not free?

The slave lines march across the wasteland, people forced to haul rocks hundreds of kilometres for no reason other than they lost.

How do you live a full life if it never ends?

The daughter smiles as the cloning tube opens, revealing her mother's new body. The clone gingerly steps out and waits as a technician inserts a simple chip into the base of her neck. Moments pass, memories upload, and that smile that the daughter never forgets shines on her mothers face, on a body that is younger than her own...

How do you kill an enemy that won't die?

His voice is calm amongst the sounds of the bombardment. "Earth stands at the brink. We have no choice now, the time has come.

"... Activate Project Legacy."

Project Legacy is a systemless Triptych set in the far future, in a universe on the brink of destruction, in a time where the lines between life and death have become meaningless, with characters whose decisions will shape the future of the universe.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 4 Rules knowledge If you can count how many chips you have, you know the rules.
Story/plot 5 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating M


The Sacrifice of Immortality

by Ingrid Bean and Shane Donahoe

Tell me a tale of love across the centuries,
And of the war it caused.
Tell me a tale of the grief of creation,
And of the immortality we share.
And tell me why you’d give it all up.

One thousand years ago, Queen Ulthua came east across the sea to plant a tree, build an Empire and uplift the Humans from their barbarism. Five centuries later her daughter, Iovir, turned against her and the war began. Now, after centuries of war, the Dark Queen is defeated: but the past is rarely clear, even to those who lived through it, and the future never ends for elves.

If you could understand your past would you choose a different future?

A tale of queens and warriors trying to reconcile the past and determine their future.

Pheno ratings
Characterisation 5 Genre 3 Rules knowledge 1
Story/plot 5 Seriousness 4 Advisory rating MA15+


Previous triptychs


Andrew Smith — Body Corporate

Ryan d'Argeavel — The Cabinet of Doctor Makundi

Michael Hitchens — Floodland


Mik Bonsall — Dead Man Walking

Fi McConachie — Silence of the Bush

Nick Argall — Vengeance of the Vampire Lord


David Hollingworth — Crime and Punishment

Andrew Smith — The Fall of the Family

Mike(y) and Liz Argall — The Group


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