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Crew & writers

The Phenomenon Crew

Pheno's Silver Age is brought to you through the tireless contributions of the organisers and writers!

Buy them lots of drinks at post-con drinkies.

Phenomenon's Dirigent Committee (The Orgs)

    President Sarah Hall-Kearins: the Head Honcho. Keeps us in line, is an arbiter of policy, and understands the strategic goal and design of the con and committee.

    Secretary Emma Sharman: Does the admin work, like writing meeting minutes, sending them out, telling us when the next meeting is, and spends countless hours arguing with banks.

    Treasurer Daniel Ryan: Handles the money. Cons cost money, even if they’re non-profit. Ensures that we’re not embezzling everything and moving to Seattle.

    Our unofficial roles and areas of expertise are:

    Venue Manager David James: We like our spot at Daramalan College. In order to keep it, we do what he says. Luckily, he makes it easy.

    Vendor Manager Wes Nicholson: Participating in Capitalism is more fun when you’re buying shiny things. Unca Wes brings the people who have the shinies to the con.

    Writer Wrangler James Woodman: Unless the committee learns how to clone themselves, we require YOU to run games for the convention. Jimbles tries to make sure you do.

    John Machin—archiving and ontological enlightenment

    Katie Cox—ad hoc duties when available

    We also have working in our IT Sub-committee:

    • Elissa Feit—database, rego, coding, scheduling
    • Andrew Smith—pheno website
    • Stephen Justice
    • Laura Lowe
    • Jon Lowe
    • Shane Donohoe
    • Daniel Ryan

    And, give a warm welcome to Matthew Bailey, joining us for the first year! Matt will be assisting with our advertising this year!

    Phenomenon's Red Sash Volunteers

    If you are interested in becoming a Red Sash Volunteer at Phenomenon 2019 please contact us at info@pheno.org.au, or contact an org.

Game Writers

The Pheno Silver Age has been made enlightened by these fine writers.


Jenny Mason, David James and Cassandra Williams

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

David thought he was perfectly placed for the Phenomenon theme of "Silver" about ten years ago. Since then his hair has gone stark white but what can you do? He's been writing for cons since 1987, which may give you a clue as to reason for the colour, or lack thereof, of his hair. This year he is co-writing two submissions for Phenomenon; the Triptych game "The Intriguing Incidence of the Corpsefied Contact" with Cass Williams and Jenny Mason, and the freeform "Silverton" with Xole Karman. And no, most think he probably will never learn.

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), The Curious Case of the Corpsified Contact in collaboration with David James and Jenny Mason, (aka Nefarious Menacing Teacup) follows up on 2017's Deathless Freeform.

Game: The Curious Case of the Corpsified Contact



Gavin Lucan

Some say that Gavin is human, others that he's a life support mechanism for a beard. Either way, there are few who've seen his chin and lived to tell about it. His hobbies include swashbuckling, historical swordplay and the band Iron Maiden, and he will talk at you about these at length with little to no provocation. He is the sentient personification of bad dice luck, and on no account should you let him touch yours.

Game: 'It's a Long Way to the Top'


New Writers

These writers are writing their first game for Phenomenon, and are eligible for the new writers award. Their games are marked with a

Sean Allsop


Jason Cebalo

Game: Into the Dead Zone

Bogdan Constantinescu

Game: Table for One—A Grey Cells Mystery

Selphie Corke

Selphie Corke is a small creature native to Singapore and may be considered an invasive species in Newcastle, Australia. It enjoys nesting in warm, enclosed spaces like walk-in wardrobes. Its daily activities include accounting, listening to books on tape, writing snail-mail letters and wasting time on the Internet. It cohabitates with bees, rabbits and rats. It has previously run games at Necronomicon and Newcastle Con. It looks forward to seeing what madness will come of its game this year.

Game: The Family Jewels

Steve Dee

Steve Dee receives no financial renumeration for his appearance at Phenomenon, but he is open to the idea. He likes to run games with a delicious glass of frosty cold OK-Cola, the Cola With Style, and wears Hard Dice Pants: The Pants for Gamers.

Game: By Demons Driven

Melissa Esler

Game: The Big Cthuna

Jake Nelson

Jake Nelson is a writer and veteran game master of eleven Sydney cons. In his spare time he LARPs as a cleric, a mage, and occasionally a functioning adult with an actual day job. CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS MUST DIE!, as seen at Sydcon 2018, is his first outing at Pheno.


Penelope O'Rance

Penny has spent almost two-thirds of her life roleplaying and still has trouble writing blurbs. She loves modern fantasy and reinterpreting mythology and fairy tales in narrative- and character-driven games, both freeform and tabletop, and is a big fan of doing the fun NPC voices. She is made of anxiety and whimsy.

Game: Sergeant Scion's Lonely Heart's Club Band

Drew Triebe

Game: Red Markets—Argent Eve


Returning Savants

It's never too late to create new ancient glories!

John Hughes, Philippa Hughes and Aidan Scott

John Hughes has been active on the Australian convention circuit as a writer, con organiser, publisher and grey-haired grump since the world's first freeforms in 1983, and is a pioneer of the Australian systemless and thematic tradition. He has produced over fifty modules for publication or convention play, writes game material and fiction for a variety of genres, and dabbles in 3D game illustration. John's recent Pheno modules include Xenomorph, Dark, The Turn of Midnight Waters, and Sorry Business. John’s roleplaying website is http://myth-o-logic.org

Pip Hughes has been playing and writing roleplaying games for more than thirty years. She started reading science fiction when, at the age of ten, her father tossed an Isaac Asimov novel to her. Pip then tried to write her own, but at that age you have the attention span of a newt. She found, however, that building a story with other people is both far easier and far more enjoyable. Ah, roleplaying… she hasn't stopped since. Pip's recent Pheno games include Kwaidan, Gaze, Xenomorph, Dark, The Turn of Midnight Waters, and Sorry Business.

Aidan Scott wrote his first novel at sixteen. Aidan loves movies. Aidan eats movies. Aidan drinks movies.

Game: Panic

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.

Game: Silverton

Evangelos Hugo Paliatseas

Evangelos Hugo Paliatseas (Evan) is a Czechoslovakian-Greek whose parents met in Canada working for IBM in the 60s. He is descended from pirates, industrialists and immigrants. His surname means “Old Drinking Mug”. The first game adventure he wrote was ADnD in 1982, and had a goblin, a skeleton and a vampire in it. He survived a terrorist bombing in Athens in 1986. He was briefly president of Sutekh at Sydney University in 1990. His writing is eclectic, with about two dozen games for Cons over the past three decades covering most established genres. He co-authored a horror novel that got the Aurealis Award in 2006. He was on the QF001 A380 flight that had the engine explode over Singapore in 2010. His son just turned seven, and he just turned seven sevens.

Game: Sliver Chord

Daniel Ryan, Willow Lucas-Smith and Amanda Norton

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 a Paranoia Freeform, and hasn’t stopped. He likes both complex games like Ars Magica and simple elegant things that emphasise roleplay. This year combines his love of time travel and Freeforms.

Amanda recently returned from a research expedition to 2354. Amanda is a Pheno regular player and an experienced GM taking a dive into helping write and run her first Freeform.

Willow is a regular player at Pheno and this year helping to develop and run her first Freeform. Well versed in medieval costume and pointy things she is of course writing a game about the future(s).

Game: Peace In Our Time

Mathew Sforcina

Mathew Sforcina* is less a singular human being and more a collection of context sensitive button pressings. At various points he is a Professional Wrestler, a Writer, a consumer of sugar-free soft drinks, a Writer about Professional Wrestling, and/or a big guy constantly telling people how to pronounce his last name. This is his second game at Pheno, his third con run Fiasco game, and he’s really quite tall.

* (Silent S) 4, Sea, Na.

Game: Discworld: “Streets of Ankh-Morpork”

Mike Walker

Mike has been writing for Phenomenon since forever, including two Triptychs, and the Diptych ‘Breakfast Slayer Club’. He prefers running and playing in games that focus on deep characterisation and are low in game mechanics, such as the Amber Diceless RPG and Lords of Olympus. Running a four year long campaign, with the PCs as children of Aphrodite, intensified his fascination in Greek mythology.

Game: Age of Silver



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.

Pheno thanks these heroic individuals!