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Triptych and Diptych


Triptych (trip-tick), n. A picture or carving on three panels able to fold over the centre; a set of three associated works so placed esp. as a centre piece; a set of three writing tablets hinged or tied together; a set of three artistic works; such used as an altar piece; a treatise in three parts.
Diptych (dip-tick), n. A picture or carving as above, except one of the panels has been nicked.

Each year Pheno invites respected designers to present bespoke single-session games: a trio of more serious games (the Triptych) and a duet of lighter, more humorous games (the Diptych).

These games have tended to be system-light (emphasising characterisation and drama over rules use and tactical simulation), and showcase what we consider the best of Pheno roleplaying: characterisation, genre, entertainment, innovation.

Players and teams can enter each game by itself and the games will be judged separately, but complete teams finishing all three games of the Triptych will also be eligible for the Triptych Perpetual Trophy. Teams finishing both Diptych games will be eligible for the Diptych Perpetual Trophy.

The Triptych


By Mike Walker

“Watch Thou for the Mutant”

The Old People, at the pinnacle of their civilisation, erred and bought down Tribulation upon themselves, destroying the world that was. It is up to us, then to climb the same path, but to restore the world as God intended for us. We must destroy any creatures among us that deviates from the norm, whether it be the wrong colour, or an extra limb, or horns where there should be none. And any deviation that resembles a human, must be cast from us into the Badlands to either live, or hopefully, to die…

From a lecture by Joseph Storm, Preacher at Waknuk

We are telepaths. We are other. And we are in hiding. They fear the very idea of us, because they can’t tell just by looking at us that we are different.

A woman, once one of us, now threatens to marry one of them. She threatens to reveal our nature… to protect ourselves, we have a terrible decision to make…

A story for five telepaths surviving in a society seeking to destroy them…

Based on the novel The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. Knowledge of the book is useful, but not necessary.

Pheno game ratings
How many players? 5
What's the game again? A post-apocalyptic sci-fi story for five telepaths surviving in a society seeking to destroy them...
Seriousness? 5
Genre/Setting 4
System 1
Movie Rating PG
Content Warning Deals with topics that touch upon gender identity, gender roles and sexual attraction. The Pcs are progressive; but the setting is of a repressive society. If you have questions, please e-mail Mike at kingtheseus(at)hotmail.com


The Edge of the World

By Ian Bartlett

The land is dying. Rotting. Crops are sparse, animals feeble, and the sun's rays are dulled by oppressive grey clouds. Unless the journey is made to the edge of the world to visit the healer, the residents of the forgotten continent will perish to famine.

Healing the land comes at great cost: the sacrifice of a beloved, who must volunteer. Their spent life buys time free of the sickness for the next generation.

Two worlds come together to make this journey: those born to this land, for whom the ritual is an old and sad custom, and the newcomers, acclimatising themselves, their machines and their gods to the forgotten continent. A group of heroes is formed from those who haven't yet made the journey - for the healer may see you but once.

With heavy hearts, your worlds’ fate hangs in the balance...

Pheno game ratings
How many players? 5
What's the game again? The Edge of the World is a sorrowful journey for five players, four heroes escorting a beloved person to the edge of the world, where the beloved must give up their life to heal a great curse.
Seriousness? 4
System Rules minimal — minimal dice rolls and bonuses for roleplay
Movie Rating M15+


A Song of the Transfigured

By Nardia Kelly

The prosperous King Aeetes has charged his sole heir with their first crusade to save the kingdom from the shadow of evil. Out on the south-western edge of the lands at Mount Circaeum, the Sorceress Circe turns all the brave men who seek to drive her from their lands into pigs.

A Pythian prophecy long-buried is bubbling to the surface, the pieces falling into place as the group gathers to set forth: Princex Surtis, inexperienced yet brave; their betrothed, Canens, daughter of a god; Ambrosious, teacher of the Princex and knower of Prophecy; Aeolus, a musician whose beautiful music makes men weep; and Medina, the best sword in all the lands.

Will the champions be transfigured by Circe? Will they unite in the face of tyranny?

Pheno game ratings
How many players? 5
What's the game again? Hero's Journey plus revolutionary elements, to save a kingdom and its warriors from being pigs for the rest of their lives.
Seriousness? 4–5 — On the serious side
Genre/Setting Fantasy setting inspired by Ancient Greece, with swords, magic and mystery.
System Homebrew! Rules are designed to be light and easy to pick up
Movie Rating M (15+) for mature themes


The Diptych

Wheel in the Sky

By Daniel

The rules are simple.  Once you have landed on Teran, you are to meet in Canberra, Australia at the Phenomenon 2022 site.  You are not allowed to let anyone see you use your powers because of the rules of the Non-Interference Directive.  You can contact fellow travellers and get help from them.  That is your Journey.  May the Wheel in the Sky keep on Turning. 

Pheno game ratings
How many players? Up to 6
What's the game again? Wheel in the Sky is about aliens' Journey to Pheno 2022.
Seriousness? On the lighter side.
Genre/Setting Modern Sci-fi
System 2D20 System Light
Movie Rating PG13.


A Familiar Tale

By Barbara Kearins

The wizard is dead, hurrah! Now finally you're free!

... except, you're not??

It would appear the wizard's death was not enough to free you from the spell. Someone needs to disenchant you.

Princess Felicity supposes this means that the wizard has an heir, and that the heir must cast the required decharming spell.

But there's a problem. The heir must provide proof of their inheritance before they can claim the wizard's domain. And there are others who seek the spoils...

A Familiar Tale is a hijinks adventure systemless 5 player table top for four cats and an ignorant human.

Pheno game ratings
How many players? Five players: Four cats and an apprentice, not necessarily in that order.
What will we be doing? You'll be clever cats steering a hapless human. You'll be solving conundrums and approaching barriers creatively.
Seriousness? Not very! 1-2 - hijinks and playfulness abound.
System Australian Convention Systemless.
Movie Rating G. Kids welcome. It's like an old Disney movie.