Phenomenon crew & writers

Ok lovers of meteorological Phenomena, Chief Meteorologist Morph will now introduce the organisers and writers of Phenomenon 2017 games and activities!

Buy them lots of drinks at post-Con drinkies.

Bureau Staff (the Orgs)

Game Writers

This year Morph has engaged the following cloud seeders

Triptychs and Diptychs

Barbara Kearins

Barb ran her first St Tyrants over 23 years ago at a convention in Sydney with a recently born baby in tow. Despite that experience, she has continued to write games for conventions. Barb was definitely not writing this year but then the Triptych happened. Barb's more recent games include: Race for the Throne, A certain Reputation and Positions Vacant. Some of her Co-written games include: The day the Earth Stood Up and Uptime Girl.

Game: What about the Children


Joe McNamara

Joe McNamara was dumped in an unmarked grave in Dickson after Pheno 2004, and has been Fettered to the con ever since. His last three games were Bat Country, Unfinished Business and Tragedia Rusticana.



Luke Jordan

Luke (they/them) was introduced to roleplaying games at the tender age of 10, and is now an anthropologist of religion and empathy, a professional GM for children, and a big hecking nerd. Correlation or causation? You decide. Their design interests centre around indie games, roleplaying as a tool for education (and also ritual), and the intersection of mechanics and themes/genre. Their previous games include A Road to Somewhere, To Tread the Spiral Path, and The Horror That Came to Albion.

Game: As Blossoms Fall


Robbie Matthews

Game: William Shakespeare's "All Vampires Must Die Part II - The Movie"


Rodney Kearins

Rod Kearins has been playing, writing and running games since 1976. Some would say that puts him in the same timeline as the ancient Egyptian GMs. He feels that there must be something to this roleplaying thing to have done it for so long. He has written and run games previously at Phenomenom, both as a solo effort and as part of a creative collective.

Game: Monster Hunters"


New Rain Makers New Designer Star

Andrew Hunt

Andrew started roleplaying in the 70’s and playing at cons in the 80’s, he has co-written two free forms prior to Domino Effect, and with the support of some awesome folks is inspired to offer this story for Pheno consumption.

Game: Domino Theory


Andrew Watson

Andrew (they/them) is an Adelaide-based writer and historian who has been playing and running RPGs, especially LARPs, for far too long. As a designer, they’re interested in story games, Nordic-style LARP, and the intersection of games and politics. Outside of that, they’re somewhat hyperactive and generally enthusiastic with an appreciation for good food and good sci-fi.

Game: Red Sisters, Black Skies


Ben Dawson

Game: The Emperor Wants a Wife


Cassandra Williams

Cass has been roleplaying since her terrible teens, and has been kicking around Pheno since 2006. So far there seems to be an annual consensus that she’s allowed to come back. Having spent several years gleefully indulging herself as a player (which is unsurprising given the calibre of the writers and GMs at Pheno) Deathless, in collaboration with Jenny Mason and David James, is Cass’s first foray into freeform writing.

Game: Deathless


Jenny Mason

Jenny occasionally writes things and has been playing in various RPG campaigns for a number of years. This is the first time though that she’s combined the two into something larger and she hopes you enjoy it.

Game: Deathless


Nathan Lee

Nathan Lee is currently undertaking his Honours in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra, primarily focussing on Worldbuilding. He has been playing in and running games of various systems for a number of years, and ran The Horror at Haberman Hotel at Pheno 2016.

Game: They Come With the Storm


Perry William Fox Forsyth

Perry Forsyth has been running roleplay games for various groups for the last 6 years and in that time has killed more than 218 player characters (To be fair 97 of those were in a single session). He assures you they all died worthy deaths, even the one that merged flesh with a possessed goat. Perry will be running a convention game solo for the first time at this Pheno. Things are going to get messy, or at least that’s the hope right?

Game: Dissonance


Returning Storm Chasers

Andrew Smith

Andrew has written and co-written a bunch of Pheno games over the years, most recently Bloodrunner in 2015 and Game of Suns in 2013. 2017's The Eskaton Horror is his return to tabletop Cthulhu Mythos fare, his eldritch and abiding obsession.

Game: The Eskaton Horror


Daniel Ryan

Daniel first attempt at writing for cons was a Babylon 5 freeform in 2000 and has been hooked ever since. He spent a few years writing games for the Camarilla before returning to cons with a Burning Wheel Orcs game and then Paranoia, and then Paranoia again at Pheno 2014 and then Torchbearer. He has an on again off again thing for D&D but generally prefers Ars Magica or pretty much anything rules lite and big on story or roleplay. He runs games to find out what the players will do with them.

Game: Fools! We’ll show you all!


David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing Star Trek games for fifteen years, and, apparently, is still not sick of people making fun of him for being a giant nerd. Most recently, he co-wrote a Fading Suns freeform with Xole Karman and Andrew Smith (no, not *that* one, the other one), and a fair-to-middle attempt to dramatise WW2 history as a gritty sci-fi game. He's a writer by trade, which likely means less than you think it does when it comes to actually writing games.

Game: Star Trek: Justice & Loss


David James

David is quite sure that Pheno is merely yet another dastardly ploy to keep him working at Daramalan. This year, apart from being the ‘keeper of the keys to the school, it’s has given him the chance to write a freeform with two new writers who have crafted an excellent game concerning the exploits of Alexia Tarabotti, a lady of considerable assets including a large Scottish werewolf, a battle-parasol, and treacle tart tendencies. Oh yes, and she has no soul.

Game: Deathless


Emma Sharman

Emma has been role-playing since 2008 and first had a go at GMing in 2015, the same year she first played at Pheno. Emma typically spends much of her free time wrangling small animals, and is curious to see if these skills transfer easily to players. This is the first time Emma has helped GM at Pheno but she is resigned that she is unlikely to escape now she has begun.

Game: Star Wars: A Planet of No Importance


Fi McConachie

Primarily a writer of freeforms and multiforms Fi McConachie as now been writing games for far far too long. It started with a long term love of 7th Sea, swashbuckling and melodrama and rapidly expanded into games set in Australia with strong themes of Indigenous culture, traditional and modern.

Game: Truth or Dare


Greg Tannahill

Greg Tannahill is a Canberra based GM whose previous games include The King In Winter (Pheno 2015), The Day Before The Dragon (Pheno 2014), The Carol Of The Bells (Pheno 2013) and Begin Again (Pheno 2012). He also writes comedies. He promises this year's game is not a comedy.

Game: Five Queens


Hayley Gordon

Hayley is an avid roleplaying and icecream aficionado, and is one half of Storybrewers Roleplaying Games (the taller half). As part of Storybrewers, she created her first Kickstarter in January this year for her game Alas For the Awful Sea. She really digs microgames, experiential games, and a lot of other homebrew nonsense. Her main life goal is to spawn new roleplayers at as fast a rate as possible and alert people to the existence of things other than pathfinder and D&D.

Game: Pride, Prejudice, and Roleplaying


Hugh Fisher

Hugh Fisher has been roleplaying for a long time, and writing Paranoia games for almost as long. In real life he doesn't shoot, electrocute, or otherwise torment people and is actually quite harmless.

Game: Rings of Power


Jim Riley

Jim Riley has written a few games for Pheno; Star Wars: Execute Order 66, the Sci-fi Triptych "Legacy" with Terence Janssen, and Star Trek Crisis and Opportunity with David Hollingworth. He ran out of time to ask someone to create an amusing writer bio for him, so it'll probably just end awkwardl...

Game: The Lottery


John Machin

John Machin is a pro-system carbon-based lifeform.

Game: The Lottery


Mark Somers

Mark Somers has been knocking about Canberra roleplaying for quite a little while and may be known to some of the old codgers out there. He’s worn a number of guises in that time – from rules-heavy stuff like Living Greyhawk administration and Shadowrun Missions, through to systemless silliness as a member of the Evil Game Designers crew. If you ever had to change a light bulb in Parliament House, saved a talking pig, desperately sought Elvis or got stuck in a lift for a few hours, odds are you know who to blame. Mark pops in and out of convention writing hiatus almost on a whim and has reappeared once again, just because he has a soft spot for Pheno.

Game: The Last Song of Cardolan


Michael Hitchens

Michael has been attending roleplaying conventions for over twenty years (ouch) and writing for them for almost as long. He has written 20+ 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). Am I Here? (Phenomenon 2008) Floodland (a Triptych at Phenomenon 2010), A Strange Day (Phenomenon 2012), The Room (Eyecon 2014) and Leviathan (a Triptych at Phenomenon 2015)

Game: Servants of the King


Mike Walker

Mike has been writing for Phenomenon since 1997, including two Triptychs. He prefers running and playing in games that focus on deep characterisation and are low in game mechanics, such as the Amber Diceless RPG. Mike has a lot of nostalgia for the 1980s, and co-wrote the popular teen 80s freeform This Party Tonight in 2010, and the first Breakfast Slayer Club as a Diptych in 2013. Since first seeing the Breakfast Slayer Club, Mike has been fascinated by the question of what happened to the characters afterwards. So a follow up felt necessary.

Game: The Breakfast Slayer Club II


Morgan Morningstar

Game: Trance-humanism


Nick Matthews

Nick is still unable to escape the clutches of Phenomenon, and remains thrall to it's dark whims. While he's been attending since he was a child, in 2012 he turned to writing, joining forces with the dread Dr. Stuart J Barrow on the Antiques Roadshow of Doom!. Since then he has written two solo games, 2015's The Last Night on the Mountain and 2016's Things to do in Denver When You're Dead. This year, he has somehow convinced someone to collaborate with him, on the condition that this year that his game has no ghosts.

Game: Star Wars: A Planet of No Importance


Penelope O'Rance

Game: Sgt Scion's Lonely Hearts Club Band


Penny Sullivan

Penny Sullivan has been writing freeforms for Pheno since 2011. She specialises in player-driven political and trading freeforms with simple mechanics. Her previous games include Vampire: The Art of Politics in 2011 (with Jason Chappel), Changeling: Goblin Market in 2012 and the Tryptich freeform Inner Space in 2014 (with Jason Chappel).

Game: Farscape: The Nebari Who Sold The World


Xole Karman

Xole (that's pronounced 'Kole') has been writing games since the early nineties. She likes heavy inter-personal politics and deep characterisation. Her favourite settings are Amber, Fading Suns, and Marvel superheroes, and given enough gin, she will talk for hours about Greek mythology, feminism, and fictional metaphysics. This is her fifth game dealing with Greek myth.

Game: The Fall of the House of Atreus


Assistant GMS

For the times when the writer's ambition exceeds their capacity for time travel and teleportation. When a freeform is just too big or there are more players than sessions. When that happens, GMs call in the cavalry.

Ruth Hunt

Ruth is the real workhorse behind Domino Effect, she writes the backgrounds, creates the tensions and gives the characters depth and complexity, enabling them to transform from supporting cast to become stars in their own right.

Assisting with game: Domino Theory

Kane Edwards

Assisting with game: The Emperor Wants a Wife

Graham Schneider

Assisting with game: The Emperor Wants a Wife

David McKie

Assisting with game: The Emperor Wants a Wife

Stephen Justice

Assisting with game: The Emperor Wants a Wife

James Woodman

Assisting with game: The Emperor Wants a Wife