Team (tabletop) games

The table is optional but traditional. Dice may not be involved as while some of these games are system-based (which often just means 'a published system'), others are systemless (which also tends to cover 'home-brew system'). There are also multiforms, which encourage you to stand up and move around a bit.

These games are for 5 players unless otherwise indicated.

New designers' games are marked with the New Designer Star: New Designer Star Here is the New Designer Policy

The Phenomenon Games Rating System. So you know exactly what you're in for!
What's the game again? Game Summary
Seriousness? On the lighter side / In the middle / On the serious side
Genre/Setting A brief summary of the setting
System What system the game uses, if any
Movie Rating If this was a movie, it would be rated…


By Morgan Morningstar

We're swept away, by dreams and video overlays, into a world where we care less.

We're careless.

Our realities are mediated, massaged, personalised and streamlined. We only see what we want to see.

We see beauty.

All watched over by machines of corporate grace.

Five people break their bonds and run for freedom.

What value has human truth in post human world?

A game by Morgan Morningstar, no seatbelts required or allowed.

What's the game again? A bombastic rollercoaster in the cyberpunk tradition
Seriousness? Serious
Genre/Setting Near future, via the Matrix and Philip K. Dick
System Character driven multiform
Movie Rating M


Five Queens

by Greg Tannahil

A game about the terms we die on, for five players

You were the five greatest warriors of your age, each of you the queen of your homeland. But you were betrayed in battle and vanquished, and now the traitor, the Bear Queen Helena, consolidates a stranglehold on your realms.

She thought you were dead. You are not dead. You are alive, and very, very angry. You rose from a field of corpses and now you will journey into the teeth of winter on a mission of vengeance. You will march to Helena's fortress and you will lay siege to her gates, side by side with the women you would give your life for, and you will bring down Helena and all of her works and crush her nation and salt the earth on which it stood.

And you will all die in the process, and the bards will sing of it for years.

At least, that is the plan....

Five Queens is a character-based story of warrior queens on a mission of vengeance. The game is system-lite, cooperative, and focused on collaborative storytelling and characterisation. The tone is serious and tragic. It is suitable for mature players of any level of roleplaying experience - new players are welcome and encouraged.

What’s the game again? Warrior queens on a mission of vengeance
Seriousness Very serious
Genre/Setting Revenge in a world of savage fantasy
System Systemless / custom
Movie rating M


The Eskaton Horror

by Andrew Smith

It's obvious everything's going to shit. The End Of The World As We Know It can't be far off. If you want to survive, you need to be ready for when the End comes. You can't trust either side of politics to fix the mess: racist assclowns to the right of you; elitist New World Orderistas to the left. You can't trust the Government to keep you safe. No way. It's all up to you.

You spent your weekends training with a militia and set up a local unit. You kept fit. You stockpiled gear and supplies. You stayed vigilant and prepared.

So when your unit's quartermaster says there’s a deal to buy the entire ghost town of Eskaton and turn it into a defended freehold against the End, how can you say no?

It’s just a pity something else with the same idea got there first.

Five minutes into the future. Five post-political survivalists vs Cthulhoid Cosmic Survival Horror.

What’s the game again? 5 survivalists vs mythos horror
Seriousness More serious than funny
Genre/Setting Contemporary, Cthulhu mythos / cosmic survival horror
System System lite or Call of Cthulhu
Movie rating MA to R: horror themes, potential violence


Pride, Prejudice, and Roleplaying

by Hayley Gordon

The year is 1807. Winter in the congenial town of Habershire has thawed into a bright and glistening spring. Another season of balls, outings, and weddings is about to begin. As flowers begin to open their faces to the sunlight, you cannot help but think to yourself – this, this is to be an exceptional year. This the year that your plans, dreams, and ambitions are to come to fruition. Whatever transpires this year, your situation, and that of Habershire is bound to change dramatically.

In this game, you and your fellow players will create a story in the style of a Jane Austin novel. You will create and play a regency lady or gentlemen armed with a secret objective, and your desire to make your mark on the world. You will also create your family, your town, and of course, your future. This is a highly improvised game for 5 landed gentry with charming English accents. Your aims and ambitions will throw you into conflict with some character, and make you fast friends with others. But at the end of the day, it's all good regency era fun.

Familiarity with any particular work of Jane Austin is not needed, but if you've had no exposure to the regency era, this short video should help get you up to speed:

What’s the game again? Jane Austin style world, secret character objectives
Seriousness On the funny side
Genre/Setting Regency Era
System The High Society System
Movie rating PG


Servants of the King

by Michael Hitchens

We’re the ones that save the day. For king, for country. By sword and flair and cunning. A flashing smile and devilish wit.

And never looking back.

The king needs us, the Princess is missing, we’ll answer the call.

Because if we don’t, who else will?

And try not to think about what it costs. Try to forget the ones who don’t come back. Try to ignore how hollow life feels when death isn’t an inch away. Try not to think about how we can’t explain it to anyone.

Note: There are no competitive/PvP elements inherent in this game. The characters may sometimes argue, but that happens when people are stressed.

What’s the game again? Swashbuckling heroes breaking under pressure
Seriousness Serious
Genre/Setting Angst in a swashbuckling setting
System Simplified Fate
Movie rating MA


The Lottery

by Jim Riley and John Machin

Congratulations! Your purchase of a GOLD level ticket has been registered.

You have been allocated a berth on board the sleeper ship Goodspeed, departing from Luna colony on 23 June. Estimated arrival time at the New Haven colony is 357 years.

From all of us at O.T.S Industries we thank you for taking advantage of our 50% ticket discount and agreeing to enter The Lottery.

Entering The Lottery gives you the chance to become one of the Honoured Few.

The trip to New Haven colony will take six generations, and staff are required at all times to keep the ship running smoothly. In each generation, five Lottery winners will be woken. If you are one of those five, know that you are a vital part of securing the future of the human race. While attending to your duties, you will live a life of luxury, with boundless opportunities for learning.

And you will be remembered forever as a saviour of the human race.

Safe journey!
O.T.S Industries Booking

Author’s Notes

Will you be the first generation, just leaving Earth? Or the last generation, with a chance of seeing a new home? Only the Lottery knows.

What’s the game again? Sixty years of the lives of people who thought they would awake to see a new world, and instead have thousands of lives dependent on their actions
Seriousness Fairly serious
Genre/Setting Sci-Fi Generation Ship
System Custom system - think skill slots which allow characters to gain new skills
Movie rating MA-R



by Perry William Fox ForsythNew Designer Star

“The Nelumbo hum filling all of creation with their song.
There is a place of silence.

The Great Atonal journeys ahead to prevent the end of all creation.
Atonal has cast aside all greatness.

In the silence of the Chords springs forth life.
A distraction that dooms all.

In 4000 years the silence will end.
In 4000 years all will fall silent.”

A game of gods, choices, civilizations and consequences. You are the Chords, being made of the very music of creation cast from The Great Atonal, forger of the Nelumbo, so it might prevent the end of all. You must journey through the ages to collect together what Atonal has lost. Be warned every action has a consequence and immortals live to suffer them all.

What’s the game again? Gods walking through time
Seriousness Serious
Genre/Setting Mythos/Fantasy
System Systemless
Movie rating MA


Rings of Power

Paranoia by Hugh Fisher

For those who've played Paranoia before, this year's game asks if the virtues of the traditional heroic fantasy can continue into the machine age. I was going to draw inspiration from Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, but those take, like, *forever* to watch, let alone read. So instead it's an examination of the Hero's Journey as interpreted through episodes of Danger Mouse. Or in other words, the usual three hours of light hearted treachery, shooting each other, and hilarious explosions.

For those who haven't played it before, Paranoia is a tabletop roleplaying game from the 1980s. It has survived to this day because it overturns most conventions of roleplaying. What happens when characters respawn when they die, are conspiring against each other, in a futuristc dystopian city ruled by an insane computer where nothing works? The general answer is three hours of light hearted treachery, shooting each other, and hilarious explosions. My Paranoia games are intended to be fast paced, high energy sessions where you can let off steam.

Hey! The best player gets their name added to the John Patruno Memorial Award.

What’s the game again? Rings of Power
Seriousness Seriousness will be difficult to detect
Genre/Setting The Paranoia setting. Have a look at if you want to find out more
System Paranoia, XP edition. Or maybe the just-released new edition. It's a rules-light game so won't matter
Movie rating PG, with cartoon violence


The Last Song of Cardolan

by Mark Somers

One would wander far and wide
One hearkens to home and hearth
One watches ways at night
One seeks secrets under earth
One loyally marches miles from home
All are called upon the way
Together, onward, they will roam
Into the hills, where the dead lay.

Thirty years have passed since a respectable hobbit was whisked away on an adventure by a disreputable wizard and a company of dwarves. Such matters barely concern the men and hobbits of Bree-land. Little news of interest comes down the Great East Road and none at all along the Greenway. The reach of the Shadow rarely troubles this quiet corner of Middle Earth. But sometimes, sometimes…

What’s the game again? Five go adventuring in Middle Earth
Seriousness 3 (There may be laughter, tears, or trembling of knees)
Genre/Setting Middle Earth – set between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings
System The One Ring RPG (easy rules, though we may not use all of them)
Movie rating PG


Fools! We’ll show you all!

by Daniel Ryan

Those fools laughed at you, called you mad or weird or insane but you see things they don’t you can make wonders of Science they only dream of.
Taking over the world is really hard. Taking over just Australia should be much easier but you’ve lost count of how many times you have failed.
This time is going to be different. You have a new patron who has provided resources to help build your latest plan and brought together a team of enlightened Scientists who will be unstoppable together.
Only there is a nagging feeling something is wrong. Didn’t you use to hate other Mad Scientists? Aren’t they a bunch of egotistical maniacs out to steal your ideas and your glory?

But the feeling always passes, its not like you’ve been mind controlled into working with rivals, preposterous! Ha! And the work is going so well, surely you will succeed this time.

And then you’ll show them, you’ll show them all! Bwahahahahahahaaaa!

What’s the game again? A game of megalomania for 5 Mad Scientists who have to choose who they hate more, the world, each other or a common enemy
Seriousness Not very
Genre/Setting Mad Science! / Modern Australia with extra BIG Science!
System TBD Probably Fate
Movie rating PG


They Come With the Storm

by Nathan Lee

Jarl Elric,

Send help.

The holds are falling, and every day their survivors seek refuge behind our walls. We too will fall if this threat is not eradicated. They come with the storms, shrouded in thunder and lightning. Fiends in fur. The survivors tell of a great beast at their helm; a monster of immense size, its eyes like fire, its claws like swords, and all around it the stench of death. Many in our village do not believe it exists, that the refugees are in shock, their minds creating horrific fancies.

But I have seen it. Send help.

We have sent our best to defend the outlying settlements, yet none return. We are now too weak and too few to do anything but hide in our homes while the creatures slaughter our livestock and probe our defences. Our walls will not hold for long. The island will soon be theirs.

By the Allfather, send help.

Your brother,


What’s the game again? A fantasy adventure for five Vikings protecting settlements from an encroaching evil
Seriousness Semi-serious
Genre/Setting Fantasy/Vikings
System Dungeon World
Movie rating MA15+


Sgt Scion's Lonely Hearts Club Band

by Penelope O'Rance

Dr Morph regrets to inform you that this weather event will not be making land fall

Some Scions use their superhuman abilities to fight the good fight. Working tirelessly to keep the forces of evil from gaining a foothold in the world, they keep their true nature a secret until Fate makes it impossible for mortals to not realise what they are. They are the stuff of legends, the sort of Scions who become the heroes of stories that last millennia.

The Hummingbirds use their superhuman abilities to be a boy band.

What's the harm in taking advantage of the gifts your divine parent gave you to get some fame and make some money? On the eve of a farewell tour, the last hurrah before the band takes a much-needed break - some to strike out on their own, others with some soul-searching to do - with a rival looming and strange disappearances haunting the preparations, it just might be that the harm is far, far greater than anyone anticipated.

What’s the game again? Five children of the gods out to save their show, the world, and each other. Previously run at Sydcon 2015
Seriousness The GM tends towards the lighter end of the scale, but there's some drama involved
Genre/Setting Modern day fantasy
System White Wolf Scion, very pared down. Knowledge of the rules is unnecessary
Movie rating PG.


The Breakfast Slayer Club II

by Mike Walker

Dr Morph regrets to inform you that this weather event will not be making land fall

"...and these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through...”
David Bowie

Dear Editor of the Shermer High Bull Dog,

In case we don’t survive today, we are writing to the student newspaper to let you know who we are…
It started with a Saturday detention when we first met...
We thought we already knew who we were… a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal… and the cliques, clubs and groups where we belonged.
That day changed us, taught us to look beyond appearances to see who we truly were… heroes fighting the forces of darkness.
But come Monday… due to social pressures from our friends… would we look away, pretend that we never existed to each other? Or would we form a special club of our own, knowing our friends would never truly understand?
We made our choice. But what will you remember us for?

Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Slayer Club.

A 5 player game inspired by the idea of a 'Breakfast Club' style story in a 'BtVS' style world. This is a sequel to the 2013 Diptych, but there is no need to have played the original to enjoy this game.

Using the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ RPG system. Players are free to choose a systemless or system-lite version of the game when they play.

For questions, please e-mail

What’s the game again? A 5 player game inspired by the idea of a 'Breakfast Club' style story in a 'BtVS' style world.
Seriousness The GM tends towards the lighter end of the scale, but has potential for character development
Genre/Setting 80s tropes and Buffy lore are both prominent
System BtVS Knowledge of the rules is unnecessary
Movie rating PG. (teen sex and drug references)