Random Inc presents a Phenomenon Labs games convention

Phenopocalypse 2012

Phenopocalypse 2012

Phenomenon crew & writers

Here's a big shout out to the organisers and writers of Phenopocalypse 2012 games and activities!

Buy them lots of drinks at post-Con drinkies.


President — Divine Empress Ingrid Bean

Vice-President — Divine Dauphine Sarah Hall

Secretary — Stephen Justice, Chancellor of Heaven

Treasurer — Cthonic Lord Mark Ashcroft

Writer Wrangler — Jade Hierophantess Jacinta Tholmer

Volunteer Wrangler — Ebony Hierophantess Marissa Harris

Webmaster — Sorcerers' Guild Master Anestis Kozakis

Canteen Manager — Nick Matthews, Demiurge of Festivity

Marketing/Graphic Design — Nadina Geary-James, Demiurge of Weavers

Trade Wrangler — Wes Nicholson, the Laughing God

IT Guy and Gal — Shane Donohoe, He Must Not Be Named (Err...) and Elissa Feit, Doyenne of Mysteriousness

With website design by Andrew Smith

Game writers

A big shout out to these fine, fine humans.

Triptychs and Diptychs

Sandra D'Argeavel

Either Sandra has been roleplaying for too many years and has written two other games for Pheno, or Sandra is actually the lovechild of Marie Antionette and a fern-eating alien. This is why she loves corsets, cake and why she should never be left alone with houseplants... Game: Once Were Famous

David James

Roleplaying since 1982 and writing for cons since 1986 places David very securely in the 'Classic' or 'Retro' GM category.  David's games tend to place the characters first, with the main plot of the game becoming the stage for the character's personal lives, hopes and dreams to be played out upon. This year is David's third time around as a Triptych writer. His last offering at Pheno was World of Darkness High in 2010. Game: In Sceadure — In Shadow

Dan L'Estrange

Dan — a kiwi with strong ties to Canberra — is our guest writer from New Zealand. Dan favours strong story based games with intense action and high energy. Dan has been writing (and playing) RPGs for around about 16 years, and has tried to really capture the different trends as they arrive on the scene. Dan has played Pathfinder through to My Life with Master, Rolemaster through to Fate, Toon through to (soon) Grey Ranks. Game: Home

Adam Raymond

Contrary to popular belief, Adam is a completely sane and a normal person. He even works in IT, so how strange can he be? His associates, however, are all completely mad and made him write this game. That is his story and he is sticking to it. Has written bits and pieces over the years (though never for Pheno, so can't give you examples), but his highest writing honor is that he is married to Fi McConachie. High station indeed! Game: Priscilla, Orcs of the Wasteland

Mike Walker

Mike prefers running and playing in games that focus on deep characterisation and are low in game mechanics, such as the Amber Diceless RPG.  He is best known for co-writing the teen 80s freeform This Party Tonight in 2010.  He has been writing for Phenomenon since 1997, including the Triptych Psi in 2003. Game: Death Journey

New harbingers of the Phenopocalypse new designer star

Daniel Connor new designer star and Terence Janssen

Daniel started writing in the early 90s for Dundracon, a con that happens every Presidents Day weekend in Febuary in San Ramon, California. http://www.dundracon.com/. His focus has been table top roleplaying space and mostly using the Hero System. Daniel was exposed to Freeform when he moved to Australia in 2000 and has loved it ever since. He has co-GMed for the Age Of Aquarius Freeform which ran for about 2 years in Sydney. Also, he has been roleplaying for just over 30 years, so you can say he has a little experience. :)

Consumed by The World of Madness™ and trapped inside a box with an assortment of terrifying fluffy sheep that go baa provides the catalyst that generates humor, chaos and merriment in the worlds that Terence attempts to create. From societies of people who use marionettes as a means to eat their meals to crazy ship of fools shenanigans, anything is possible. Terence aims to reinterpret and stitch together bits from anime, wuxia cinema, sci-fi and other random bits and bobs into some form of roleplaying Frankenstein's monster. Previous experience includes running a campaign of Feng Shui and Hero Quest along with two games at Phenomenon including All Aboard the Fine Balenka and co-running the triptych Project Legacy with James Riley in 2010.

Game: Holiday at World's End

Kane Edwards new designer star

Kane has been roleplaying for five years, and a gamer all his life. Within the last three years he has been moving into the wider world of roleplaying, getting involved in live action roleplaying and competitive play. His style of storytelling is most often described as player based, with a view to letting the rules slide in favour of awesome. The homebrew template for bard is the work of two years of numerous caffeine-fuelled nights with friends developing what he hopes is a clean and smooth setting. Game: Honeygrit

Chris Foggin new designer star

Chris makes a return to roleplaying conventions after many years being involved with running a game store and working for companies focused on collectable cardboard. After being ‘behind the game counter’ and soaking up way too many stories about other people’s games, as well as the support from the Australian Game Designers Facebook Group, he was inspired to finally nail down the game world and characters that had been pestering his subconscious for so long. Game: Friend or Foe

Emily Jackman new designer star and Travis Hall

Emily has far too many hobbies and is easily distracted. She's managed to co-write one game by sheer force of persistence by her co-writer and attempted the beginnings of several others. She's been a ballet dancer, a musician, a singer, an archer, a medieval recreationist and a student of naginata as well as briefly trying her hand at circus skills. Warning: Do not feed after midnight.

Travis has been switching amongst playing, writing for and organising roleplaying and games conventions for about 18 years now. He stopped travelling from Brisbane to Melbourne to attend conventions only when he started travelling from Melbourne to Brisbane to attend conventions, travels to Canberra for Pheno (of course) and swears he will get to a Sydney convention one of these days. Easily recognised by his beard and, usually, lack of shoes. Travis and Emily are two very different people united by a single idea that inspired them both. They have yet to encounter a second such idea.

Game: Catch Me I'm Falling

Oliver Granger new designer star with Stuart Barrow & Jacinta Thomler

Stu, Oli and Jac play together on occasion in the spirit of experimentation, wandering through a wide variety of Indie games, systems and settings. Some work, some don't. We picked a number of the best and are ready to share them with you :)

Nick Matthews new designer star and Stuart Barrow

Nick is a second generation gamer raised on such hardline rules systems as Tales of the Floating Vagabond and a homebrew system relying on rock-paper-scissors, and whose teenage rebellion took the path of playing lawful characters given both his parents tendencies toward the chaotic. Antiques Roadshow of Doom is his first ever tabletop and con GMing experience, though he has recently dabbled in the dark arts of freeform GMing in an ongoing freeform. Other than that he's been attending Phenomenon pretty much every year since he was 10 or so, and recently got press ganged and is now in charge of keeping the Pheno Canteen being overrun by wolves.

Stuart has been writing games for Pheno for some years, usually with a comic bent. Games include The Lake District Needlework and Adventure Society, The Mask and the Moonlight, the PG Wodehouse-inspired Last Man Standing, and Pack. Games written in collaboration with witty and clever people include Don't Know Where, Don't Know When, Uptime Girl and this year's Antiques Roadshow of Doom!

Game: The Antique Roadshow of Doom!

Shannon Spencer new designer star

"Coffee is required for the continued operation of this work unit." Shannon may not be someone you would expect to have spent the last five years as a member of the Beyond the Sunset Whitewolf Roleplaying Club (y'know, the Camarilla) but, there she is, LARPing it up with the best of them. She has run a Changeling campaign for the club, and has been running VALA Modules at AEoncademy's School Holiday programs for the last 6 months. Her favourite food is pasta, and favourite colour is blue. Game: For the Overlord

Elder prophets of the Phenopocalypse

Alicia Cameron

Game: Is Jack Back?

Hugh Fisher

Hugh is one of those ancient roleplayers who can reminisce about first edition D&D. He has written several Paranoia games for Cancon and Phenomenon over the years, although an aptitude for Paranoia is really rather worrying if you think about it. He has been known to let real life interfere with writing games, but is trying to break the habit. Game: The Fellowship of the Thing

Michael Hitchens

Michael has been attending roleplaying conventions for over twenty years (ouch) and writing for them for almost as long. He has written 19 (he thinks) convention modules, including Tender Prey (Sydcon 1993), Dead but Dreaming (Necronomicon 1994), The Rain like Dust (Sydcon 1996), The Loyalty of Men (SAGA 1994 and Necronomicon 1998), Bridge of Dawn (Phenomenon 1994 and Macquariecon 1995), Silver, Tears and Ashes (Phenomenon 1999) and You are #4, I am #6 (a Triptych at Phenomenon 2000). After a break from conventions he returned to help GM one of the Triptychs in 2007, wrote Am I Here for Phenomenon in 2008 and in 2010 wrote Floodland as a Triptych. Game: A Strange Day

John and Philippa Hughes

John and Pip Hughes have active on the Australian convention circuit as writers, con organisers and players since the world’s first freeforms in 1983, and were among the pioneers of systemless gaming in the early 1990s. Individually, as writing partners or in collaboration with others, they have produced approximately fifty modules for publication and convention play. John writes game material and fiction for Glorantha games such as RuneQuest and HeroQuest, while Pip's muse runs to short fiction. Their digital home is <http://myth-o-logic.org>. They really hate that third movie. Game: Xenomorph

Stephen Justice

Barb Kearins, Rod Kearins and Robbie Matthews

Barb, Rob and Robbie (no relation) are part of the loose conglomeration known as the Blue Room Gamers. Some of them have been gaming since the late Cretaceous period. Chocolate optional, tea/coffee not so much. 

Joe McNamara

Joe has run various tabletops for Pheno since 2004. His previous oldMage games were Viva Las Vegas (Ocean's 11 with magic) and Diamonds & Guns (Syndicate mages in a 3rd-world hellhole). Game: Mage: Among the Fallen


Random has been writing games for far longer than he really wants to admit. He's been running games in Melbourne since Conquest 2000 and at Pheno since 2007. Games he's run at Pheno include: 12/1 (2007), Ball of Dreams (2008), 100 Years Ago Today (2009), London Girls (2009), Back in the Biz... (2010), A Darkened World (2011), What Does This Button Do? (2011). Random doesn't chew the furniture all that often, and apologises for the inconvenience. Game: A Joining of Equals

Andrew Smith

Andrew has run a lot of games for Pheno over the years. His cephalopoid inner voices tell him his goals as a GM are to make a player's brain explode and to start a personality cult. in any case, he still likes Guinness. Game: Libretto

Penny Sullivan

Penny has previously co-written a freeform game for Pheno 2011 The Art of Politics (Vampire: the Requiem). In addition she has run numerous Changeling: the Lost live action games for the Beyond the Sunset live action roleplay club. She has had experience running several tabletop games, including Changeling, Call of Cthulhu and Deadlands. Game: Goblin Market

Greg Tannahill

Greg is an experienced Canberra-based gamer and GM. At Pheno 2011 he ran the very successful zombie drama, Every Body Else. His other recent convention games include The Heist (Pheno 2010) and Sharkscraper! (Arcanacon 2012). Game: Begin Again


Xole (that's pronounced 'Kole') writes freeforms replete with soupy politics. She is rather too fond of Zelazny’s ‘Amber’ setting and does scary things to mythology. She has been writing freeforms since 1996, which is rather longer than she likes to think about. Game: Moytura