Pheno 2023 Freeforms

Tauris 2077


Gender and pronouns

These characters’ stories originate in the Chrome (or maybe Bronze...) Age, where gender roles were pretty binary, and for the most part the character texts follow these templates.

We the GMs of course welcome and encourage players to embrace alternative depictions.

The Taurians

These folk are locals to Tauris, or if not exactly local, they’ve been in Tauris long enough to know the ropes.

Proteus (he/him) — Tauris’ legitimate Tyrant, heir to the arco-state’s long-ruling dynasty. Despite some troubling events in the last few years, Proteus is sure it will all work out. Brother of Theonoe. Patron of the Brontodrome’s Team Green and the fearsome war rig Chimera. Costume ideas: ageing rockstar, former action movie hero, aviator sunglasses.

Thoas (he/him) — Tauris’s equally legitimate Tyrant, an upstart technocrat who knows he can fix things if the old incompetents would just get out of the way. Patron of the Brontodrome’s Team Blue and the fearsome war rig Gorgon. Costume ideas: tech bro superstar, evil vizier robes, clipboard.

Helen (she/her) — The perfectly gene-touched eldest child of Sparta, created by the GodCorp ZEUS to rule and bedazzle. Wife of Menelaus, mother of Pylades, and sister of Penelope. An ambitious chaos-magnet who is nobody’s sexy lamp. Costume ideas: couture punk or harajuku, golden apple earrings, hidden pistol.

Iphigenia (she/her) — A priestess of ARTEMIS, bound to do the failing GodCorps’ bidding. Allied to Thoas. Supposedly sacrificed by her father to effect his war against TroyCorp. Sister of Elektra and Orestes. Costume ideas: cyberpunk chic, sacrificial scalpel (bloody), crown of dead leaves.

Theonoe (she/her) — A priestess of the Old Gods, fighting for relevance as even the newer gods are failing. Dispenser of curses and nobody’s fool. Keeper of many ancient secrets. Sister of Proteus. Costume ideas: cyberpunk scientist, geiger counter talisman, tarnished crown or headset.

The Wanderers

These lost folk have found themselves in Tauris and must prove themselves or be ejected back into the Wasteland.

War Rig Echidna

Menelaus (he/him) — CEO of Sparta. Husband of Helen and father of Pylades. Destroyed TroyCorp to retrieve his wife and lost a decade, a brother, and more warriors than he can count. Annoyed to find his Helen is a replicant. Desperate to return home before it’s destroyed. Costume ideas: battered suit or black fatigues, big gun, battle scars.

Selena (she/her) — Confusingly, a replicant double of Helen, the perfectly gene-touched eldest child of Sparta, created by the GodCorp Zeus to rule and bedazzle. Somehow older and more careworn. Tired of being a chess piece on the GodCorps’ board. Costume ideas: coveralls and a party dress, sleek mechanic’s tools, Hollywood dirt.

Teucer (he/him) — A veteran of the war against TroyCorp who covers his pain with terrible jokes. Lost his brother Ajax to the war and with him, his only way home. Currently employed by Menelaus. Looking for a new family. Costume ideas: backstreet superhero grunge, sniper rifle, thousand-yard stare.

War Rig Scylla

Elektra (she/her) — Mycenae’s priestess, trained to distract the family’s many ancient and hungry curses. Possibly also trained to direct those curses. Sister of Orestes and supposedly long-dead Iphigenia. Fleeing from fallen Mycenae, looking for fresh blood. Costume ideas: cyberpunk corporate or ganger, more red than Orestes, flail or whip.

Orestes (he/him) — Heir to cursed Mycenae, who murdered his mother to avenge his father and is now pursued by many demons. Brother of Elektra and supposedly long-dead Iphigenia. Fleeing from fallen Mycenae, looking for salvation. Costume ideas: cyberpunk corporate or ganger, less red than Elektra, worry beads.

Pylades (he/him) — Possible heir to Sparta, son of Menelaus and Helen. Raised with his uncle’s kids and rather enjoyed the lack of parental supervision. Misses the easy party atmosphere of Delphi and annoyed by Tauris’ lack of nightlife. Best friend of Orestes. Costume ideas: 1920’s aristo garden party, artisanal leather tool roll, pockets full of other people’s stuff.

War Rig Griffin

Aretus (he/him) — A nomad of the Griffin-tribe, son of the ancient hero Nestor. Many of his brothers died in the war at Troy and he feels he missed out. Looking for adventure, and especially to prove himself in combat. Friend of Telemachus. Costume ideas: 1950s 'bad boy', battered toolbox, filthy (but still cool) goggles.

Penelope (she/her) — CEO of the tiny arco-state Ithaka, which she’s been running without her husband Odysseus for more years than she cares to count. Caught between being a good manager, a good mother, and a good wife. Mother of Telemachus. Costume ideas: demure headdress, hidden holdout pistols, ring of keys.

Telemachus (he/him) — Heir to the tiny arco-state Ithaka, son of Odysseus and Penelope. Smarter than he looks, but unable to convince his mother. Frequently in receipt of secret instructions. Looking to prove himself. Costume ideas: hand-me-down suit, secret service earpiece, obvious gun.

War Rig Typhon

Nausicaa (she/her) — A princess of a lost tribe, out looking for adventure. Smarter than everybody else but with totally bizarre social skills. Shockingly ignorant of the GodCorps. Either the saviour of Odysseus and Polyphemus, or their pet alien. Costume ideas: 1950s Hollywood sci-fi, incomprehensible tools, is that a ray gun?

Odysseus (he/him) — Prime shareholder of the arco-state Ithaka. Husband of Penelope and father of Telemachus. Just trying to get home to his family after too many years at war, and annoyed to be lost yet again. A complicated man. Costume ideas: borrowed clothes (1950s sci-fi), collection of other people’s dog-tags, empty kit bag.

Polyphemus (he/him) — A terrifying cybernetic Frankenstein’s monster, pieced together out of the GodCorps only know what. Probably capable of throwing a war rig. Very careful where he puts his feet. Self-appointed bodyguard to Nausicaa. Costume ideas: cyberpsycho (silver paint and mismatched rags), eye patch, alarmingly big weapon.

The War Rigs

While individual warriors (‘solos’) fight, battles are won by titanic, monstrous fighting machines: mecha – war rigs. There used to be many of these. The few left are held together by jury-rigging. They have grown into legendary monstrous identities.

A war rig crew of 3 control their rig directly through neural links. The Lancer (or hero) commands the rig’s weapons. The Driver (or charioteer) steers the rig. The Engineer (or blackthumb) directs the rig’s self-repair systems.

Echidna — Although not the fastest war rig, Echidna’s hunched chassis is covered in hardened spikes, making attacks on it as likely to damage the attacker as Echidna. Epithets: shambling, digging, spiky, robust, earth-moving, crushing and piercing.

Skylla — Somewhere in the middle of this war rig is the luxury superyacht it started out as, but that was before the heavy armour and the ever-vigilant WASP 5000 auto-targeting turrets were grafted on. Epithets: complicated, amphibious, vigilant, devouring, stinging and unbalancing

Gryphon — Originally a swift vanguard/scouting rig, over its service Gryphon has grown hardened and slower to endure greater punishment without flinching. Epithets: leaping, fast, jet-assisted, howling engines, streamlined, stabbing and raking.

Typhon — An odd design, strangely curved and armed with strange weapons. Epithets: hulking, tentacular, pulsating, dust cloud bringing, acid-spitting and biting

In Tauris lurk the Beasts of the Brontodrome:

Gorgon — Sinuous Gorgon of Team Blue was designed to intimidate as much as overwhelm. Its sonic and photonic projectors make it a fearsome rig to get close to, let alone fight. Epithets: articulated, armoured, all-terrain, howling sirens, blinding spotlights, tearing and rending

Chimera — at first glance an implausible hybrid of three different rigs, until its prey discovers just how many different ways it can destroy them. It’s no slouch on defence either: elusive, flexible, unpredictable. Team Green’s champion. Epithets: hybrid, adaptable, snarling visage, venting smoke, stabbing and flame-throwing

The Calydonian Boar — Even though Team Red’s war rig is on the smaller side, its compact frame is designed for close assault and is highly resistant to impact. Epithets: lurching, running, bristling, shrieking, crashing and goring

The Nemean Lion — Team Yellow’s old war rig is, despite its recent woeful record versus Teams Green and Blue, a sentimental favourite with the older Brontodrome crowd. Epithets: sleek, retro, ambushing, roaring, stabbing and raking


The World of Tauris 2077

The Chrome Age

The Chrome Age was a time of wealth and technology, blessed by the GodCorps.

The world was dominated by the concrete arcologies of the arco-states. Everyone had personal cybernetics: even the poor. Everyone interacted with Olympus: the information network overlay and home of the GodCorps.

Everyone was fed.


Each arco-state is an autonomous nation. Mycenae and Sparta were the leaders of the Achaean Coalition in competition with the ASIA(M) markets dominated by Troy Corporation.

Each arco-state is ruled by a prime shareholder (legislative, judicial powers) and a CEO (executive powers). These are typically a married couple so one of their children inherits the shares, while the other children strive to become the CEOs of other arco-states.

The Chrome Age Collapse

The arco-state economies tanked in the last decade. Their populations succumbed to recession, war, famine and pandemic when the GodCorp AIs came into conflict with each other, neglecting their civil duties.

The cause was the Achaea – Troy Corporation War. After Troy abducted the Spartan prime shareholder Helen, the rivalry went hot: Achaea took a thousand war rigs to the walls of Troy. Their contracts with the GodCorps drew the AIs in and set them squabbling.

Even though the Achaeans beat Troy and tore down its datawalls, no one won. The world withered into wasteland.

The Road to Hades

The Wasteland is a bitter desert. No green plants grow in the poisoned dust under the pitiless sun. Wasteland creatures are mutated monstrous predators, some as large as war rigs.

Only a few arco-states struggle on. The rest have been sacked by road nomad Locusts.

War Rigs

While individual warriors (‘solos’) fight, battles are won by titanic fighting machines: mecha – war rigs. There used to be many of these. The few left are held together by jury-rigging. They have grown into legendary monstrous identities: Hydra, Gorgon, Chimera, Echidna.

A war rig crew of 3 control their rig directly through neural links. The Lancer (or hero) commands the rig’s weapons. The Driver (or charioteer) steers the rig. The Engineer (or blackthumb) directs the rig’s self-repair systems.


Tauris is the last powerful arco-state in the wasteland. It is ruled by a Tyrant (currently two of these struggle for pre-eminence).

It is the home of the Brontodrome, an arena where war rigs compete in speed and violence. The Green team and Blue team are its champions.

Wanderers new to Tauris must pay an obol for residency, or more for citizenship. There is also a departure tax: nobody leaves Tauris rich.

The Green Place

Everyone has a dream of a haven: warm, comfortable and dust free, where there is no violence or hunger or disease.

No one agrees where the Green Place is.

The GodCorps

Humanity created the AIs, and the AIs became as Gods. Through their control of the world’s complex systems they have great power over the mortal world. Some GodCorps:

  • Apollo – power, prophesy, medicine
  • Artemis – ballistics, pestilence, mutant beasts
  • Athena – skill, cunning plans, technology
  • Hephaestus – making things, forge-fire, robots
  • Hermes – travel, communication, sneaky stuff
  • Hestia – home, fertility, hearth-fire, family
  • Poseidon – earthworks, the sea, war rigs
  • Eris – chaos, change, Locusts
  • Hekate, The Furies – two of the eerie proto God-AIs. Revenge, lost things, wasps and scorpions.