Phenomenon 2014

Roleplaying games


Other games


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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

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/SettingA brief summary of the setting
SystemWhat system the game uses, if any
Movie RatingIf this was a movie, it would be rated…


Blue Box Fade to Black

Captain Morph is sorry to announce that this crewmwmber was Lost in Space.



Closing the Gate of Dawn

Age creeps up on us. Aching knees. Fingers that are not as nimble as they once were. Changing priorities. Friends grow old. Get married. Move away. Die. Technology advances. New rules appear.

A door in your home still leads to a place where this is not true.

Will you give away everything real for a chance at lost glory?

What's the game again? An exploration of getting old
Seriousness? On the serious side
Genre/Setting Modern Urban Fantasy
System Systemless
Movie Rating M




What is the difference between cosmic wonder and cosmic horror?

Nothing at all.

Listen up drop bears!

We're not diplomats or scientists. We're just a corporate security crew escorting a prisoner to trial.

Suddenly we're there, on the front line of history. A first contact situation with a powerful alien entity.

Deep in the Kuiper Belt, we're all that humanity has.

The readings are off the scale. The implications are terrifying.

Keep your fingers off the trigger. Our orders are to learn—to observe and understand.

We're a long, long way from home.

We don't know the rules.

And everywhere, it's dark.

Dark—neutronium hard SF, organ soft cosmic horror in a game of exploration and mystery from John and Philippa Hughes. Gender choice characters. Tablet optimised character sheets and game aids. A table-top scenario featuring the Cthulhu Dark system, and glow-in-the-dark dice.

For additional information visit the Dark mission briefing page at

To understand the alien
you have to relearn the human

What's the game again?Science fiction horror game. With tentacles.
Seriousness?On the serious side, pretty grim, pretty dark
Genre/SettingHard science fiction with a touch of HP Lovecraft
SystemCthulhu Dark - it's very simple!
Movie RatingMA



The Day Before the Dragon

A game about other kinds of heroes, for 5 players.

Every generation, the dragon comes to the village, and every generation the village sacrifices one of its own to placate the great beast. It is a terrible price that scars all those left behind. But this year, a different choice has been made. The village has sent for brave heroes - heroes able to fight the dragon, and destroy it.

You are NOT those heroes. You are the villagers, on the day before the dragon, preparing for the day that will change your lives, or end them. What will you do on the most important day of your life? What matters to you, and what will you sacrifice to protect it? What price will you pay to survive?

The Day Before the Dragon is a dice-free collaborative roleplaying game for five players. Gameplay focuses on characterisation and collaborative storytelling. Players can expect an emotional, atmospheric and (probably) uplifting co-operative experience. First time players are both welcome and encouraged; experienced players will find a thematically rich scenario that rewards investment and participation.

Praise for past games from this writer:
"…an incredibly moving game…" - Matt K
"A great game and a great GM." - Kat W
"The finest cathartic game I've ever played." - Luke J

What's the game again? A game about other kinds of heroes
Seriousness? On the serious side
Genre/Setting Fantasy Drama
System Diceless custom system (fully explained before play)
Movie Rating M



The End Approaches

Captain Morph is sorry to announce that this crewmwmber was Lost in Space.



Ever On

Too few years from now.

Our Earth in decline.

A last frontier; a last hope - but a hope for what?

Five explorers venture into space to find solutions to Earth's problems but return with only more questions.

Ever On is a substantially free-form/somewhat systematised exploration of super-humanity and decision-making across a flexible time-scale. It intends to present players with an opportunity to engage with the consequences of making decisions that direct their personal, cultural, and civilisational development.

Thematically influenced by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Warren Ellis, Cordwainer Smith, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Nikolai Kardashev—amongst many others—it is a lighter-touch system than the designer's previous offering (Pheno 2013: Apocalypse World: the Understate).

What's the game again?Longue durée superheroic psychodrama.
Seriousness? On the serious side
Genre/Setting Near Future setting with Silver Age Superheroes
System An experimental customised graphical decision-tree is used to ensure a somewhat coherent con experience
Movie Rating M–R depending on an initial discussion prior to commencing play



The Horror that came to Albion

London by Gaslight, 1881. Five Restorationist terrorists plot treason against the Crowned Old Ones.
A macabre follow-up to Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald

For seven hundred years now the thrones and empires of the world have been commanded by the Old Ones, whose prophesied return from R'lyeh and dim Carcosa, where they had slept, or waited, or passed out the time of their death, had been greeted with rejoicing and merriment by the mortals they came to deliver from the burdens of choice and self-guidance. But there are some, anarchists and terrorists who claim to be mankind's deliverers, who do not accept this status quo and wish for humanity to reclaim control over its destiny.

"She was called Victoria, because she had beaten us in battle, seven hundred years before, and she was called Gloriana, because she was glorious, and she was called the Queen, because the human mouth was not shaped to say her true name."
Neil Gaiman, A Study in Emerald

A story about five desperate men and women fighting for a world free from the tyranny of ancient cosmically-powerful tyrants, and the depths they will sink to and sacrifices they will make in order to make that world a reality.

What's the game again?Victorian heroes plot against Cthulhu
Seriousness?On the serious end of middle
Genre/SettingLovecraftian Gaslight
SystemCustom system
Movie RatingM






Jinkies: A Space Opera

The air duct is dark, claustrophobic. Stale air clings to you, exacerbating the felling of confinement. You still your breathing, straining to hear the footsteps in the corridor beyond the vent. Gradually, you adjust to the darkness, and can make out the forms of your friends, four others in all, silent and shivering from the cold. And the fear. At the edge of your hearing, it comes, the rhythmic tapping of feet, and the metallic grind of a large blade dragging on the steel floor. It seems to be getting louder, and one of your compatriots lets out a noise, little more than a whisper.

The scene is Prima-Rho Alpha, an abandoned scientific outpost turned hip and happening hang-out for all the cool kids. It's Earth-Hallow, October 31st, and all the kids in the system have turned out for a rocking evening of costumes, pranks, spiked punch and unprotected premarital…holding hands

What could possibly go wrong?

Five long-time friends and co-workers are united in an epic struggle of self-discovery, of personal growth and endurance, and of not getting murdered.

Mainly that last one actually.

The Mystery Machine's here, the refreshments are spiked and masked men with machetes are out in full force. So fasten your ascots and pull up your knee socks, grab the Scoobie Snacks and …something about jinkies? What is a jinkie? How does one jinkie? If a jinkie could jinkie, should it jinkie, and would it choose to jinkie? The philosophical questions regarding jinkies are endless.

A comedy survival horror, where staying alive depends on your teamwork, impulse control, and genre-savvy, Jinkies: A Space Opera promises nail-biting, edge of your pants tension and more than one joke.

TL;DR: This is a comedy game, based on the universe of Scooby-Doo, with almost every 1970s horror villain thrown in for good measure. This is a team game, with a focus on metagaming and being genre savvy. The game is a simple FATE-style system, and is designed with a semi-open game in mind (players will be trapped on a space station; plot can go in any direction from there). Players will fight, run, hide and probably crossdress their way through a typical summer camp bloodbath, and maybe even discover the point behind it all.

What's the game again?Scooby Doo. Cabin in the Woods. Spaaaaaace!
Seriousness? On the lighter side
Genre/SettingThis is a sci-fi comedy horror game. The setting is a devastating combo of Scooby-Doo, and every slasher film you've ever seen.
SystemThe game uses a semi-simplified FATE system. Fate counters (Scooby snacks) are present. Simple, one-dice rolls to determine success. Metagaming and genre savviness will be actively rewarded.
Movie RatingThis game will traditionally be rated R—for the typical slasher violence we all recognise. We can organise more child-friendly games with some forewarning.



Minus Time

Message to the past crew of Starbug, formerly of Red Dwarf…

"This is your beloved captain, Arnold Rimmer… Listen up, past people because this is important… that includes, you Cat, stop looking at yourself in the mirror!

And Arnold, stop blathering on about how you never recorded this message… You will be recording it an hour from now into your past, as you will be me, and I need to have recorded this so I can remember having heard it. Clear?

Don't nod your head like a goit and pretend to understand what I'm talking about… I'm you and I know you don't understand… not yet. And Lister, don't smirk like a chipmunk. There's going to have been a horrible past in store for you!

As you've worked out already, our experiment failed, while getting Kochanski back we also created a time anomaly. We're moving backwards in time in fifteen minute segments, a phenomenon known as 'Minus Time'.

We already will have saved the universe from imploding once, so good on us. But there's a second implosion about to have happened, so we must-

« sound of bazookoid fire and a monster roaring »

(gulps) "Ah, and that would be the polymorph interrupting, right on schedule… Have to run!"

Message Ends.

A Red Dwarf roleplaying game for 5 players, using a modified version of the Red Dwarf RPG. Set near the beginning of Season Seven. Knowledge of the rules not necessary, knowledge of the TV show useful. Also inspired by the movie 'Memento'.
For more information, please contact Mike:

What's the game again?If you don't know Red Dwarf, get onto it already. I can recommend episodes.
Seriousness?On the lighter side
Genre/SettingScience fiction time travelling silliness
SystemRed Dwarf RPG (lite)
Movie RatingMA 15+ This game contains some material not appropriate to be experienced by… humans.




Power Play

Hong Kong 2075. Bright lights, dark streets, corporate machinations, ruthless Triad soldiers, spell flinging magicians, wide-eyed tourists, spaced out chipheads, exclusive night spots, squalid slums, meddling dragons, dangerous spirits… and five agents for hire with dubious loyalties who would scoff at being described as the 'good guys'.

Load your guns, sharpen your blades, check that grimoire and remember - trust no one. You may survive the night richer than you started it.

A single session 5-player Shadowrun 5th Edition game with pre-generated characters. For more information on Shadowrun check out the official site at

What's the game again?Shadowrun visits Hong Kong
Seriousness? On the lighter side / black humour
Genre/Setting Cyberpunk with magic
System ShadowRun 5th Ed.
Movie Rating MA (Shadowrunners are violent criminals after all)



Project Freelancer: Stationary Objects

Before there was Red vs Blue there was Project Freelancer.

A Space Station turned casino is hosting an auction, an auction where a certain piece of Intel is going to be sold off. A certain piece of Intel that could be considered bad for the Project and the Director, which is why you have been sent in, after all, why should a Black Ops group buy when they can steal?

So now you and your team are infiltrating the Space Station of an eccentric billionaire with a personal army of security forces trying to find where they keep a piece of information that could bring down the project.

At least it's better than two bases in a box canyon.

Project Freelancer: Stationary Objective is a co-operative game for 5 people based on the web series Red vs Blue where super soldiers fight through mooks and tells jokes. It uses a modified version of the new Star Wars: Age of Rebellion rules.

What's the game again?Soldiers fight mooks and tell jokes
Seriousness?On the lighter side
Genre/SettingSoft Sci-fi in the Red vs. Blue universe. Expect Applied Phlebotinum.
SystemStar Wars: Age of Rebellion (modified). Cheat sheets will be provided and the rules are cut down.
Movie Rating MA 15+ Contains Violence, Adult Language and Adult themes



Secret of the Waterless Lake

It is year 2046. The first ion rocket spacecraft left Earth in 1966. The first spaceship reached Venus in 1970.

They found a world in many ways like Mesozoic Earth. Great oceans, huge steamy swamps, vast jungles, enormous misty mountains. Oh, and huge monsters as well There are also bronze age humans belonging to no known culture or race. But there may be something else, not necessarily human in origin. Stories abound of strange powers and strange gods.

One of you has been driven away by the priests of a mountain city after seeking to reach an island in the middle of a lake filled with something that certainly isn't water. He heard stories of great powers and wealth to be gained here. For various reasons the five of you are coming back, prepared.

What's the game again?Heroes exploring a mystery on an alien world
Seriousness?A little above in the middle
Genre/SettingPlanetary Romance. High adventure in the Solar System as it was portrayed in science fiction in the 1930s to 1950s.
SystemGURPS (loosely)
Movie RatingPG. Some violence, adult themes



Swan Dive

"Hello Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Neuschwanstien Castle. Please stay close and don't cross any of the rope barriers that are in place as you might damage some of the priceless antiques on display. My name is Friedrich, and I'll be your guide through this magnificent, if tragic castle."

The tour had been fascinating, the castle a true work of art and the guide informative; enthralling and entertaining the tour group with stories of the construction of the castle and conspiracy theories, spoken with a hushed tone and theatrical glances over his shoulder, about the death of King Ludwig II. I'm sure his entire spiel was planned as part of the fun, including when he emphasised that his boss said he really wasn't allowed to say these things, but I couldn't help but feel hidden eyes watching us as we walked the corridors, and a shiver went up my spine as we entered certain rooms.

During the dinner that night back at the hotel, over Bavarian beer and schnitzels of every persuasion, our tour group shared our experiences of the castles we had visited that day. The stories we had heard; hidden grottos dedicated to Venus, the King's best friend Wagner writing an unknown opera, mysterious architects and missing workers. A magical day, if only the stories were true…

What's the game again? A five player historical mystery surrounding "mad" King Ludwig of Bavaria and the building of the Neuschwanstein Castle. Murder, intrigue, supernatural threats and accidentally time-travelling tourists.
Seriousness? On the serious side
Genre/Setting Historical fiction with a supernatural twist
System Dirty World (lite)
Movie Rating MA mature themes



Vampire: The Ugoogaly

Death. Such a simple and complete concept. One second you are here, and the next you are not.

Time. One thing you cannot fight against, as your face withers, and the things and people you knew move on.

Is there anything that can stand up to these irresistible forces? Well anything besides an Orange Mocha Frappuccino of course!

There is one thing, one thing we're always lead to believe is a dark and tragic existence, one thing which is painted in horror and tragedy. The so called curse of vampirism.

To five friends, all models of exceptional looks, all the talk of the town, the promise of immortal beauty and youth is too good to pass up. To these five, a curse becomes a gift, and a gift they plan to use to its full advantage.

Maybe it is possible to have a good time, even when blood replaces milk in your nightly pick me up. Maybe it is possible to not let the loss of friends and family be the only thing to define you, as there's always new and interesting people to meet, and new places popping up to explore.

Maybe it's even possible to show the stiffs that there's still a good time to be had after all.

Just have to make sure they don't find you breaking their precious Masquerade.

Vampire the Ugoogaly is a game for five stunning fashion models, out to live eternity to the max. Angst is for those who don't know how to let go, instead you're going to use your powers to have fun and see it all.
This game will be using a very abstract system based on the rules and setting of Vampire the Requiem. However no dice or knowledge of the rules are necessary.

What's the game again? Five fashion models living throughout the ages to enjoy the experience as best as they can.
Seriousness? On the lighter side
Genre/Setting Silly gothic vampire
System Abstract system of minimum use
Movie Rating PG



When the Inquisition Comes to Town

To Inquisitor Joseph Wheelwright, Confluence, West Reach.

The recent murder of Reverend Gideon Euler, priest of Shlieshi, and his guardian, Sir Ethan Potter, Knight Templar, both stationed at the village of Whitewater, has raised great concerns amongst the West Reach Directorate. Rumours of witchcraft, necromancy and even heresy are circulating throughout that region and now the Church of Miragail has lost touch with its resident priest, Minister David Forester, who was purportedly preparing a report on the situation.

Accordingly, you are instructed to gather and lead a team of suitably qualified priests and paladins to Whitewater to investigate these rumours and occurrences. You have the full authority of the Inquisition to pursue your investigation wherever it leads and no member of the nobility, government official or officer of the Church is exempt from your inquiries. Should you uncover such proscribed activities, you are authorised to deal with the perpetrators in a manner which best befits the safety, both physical and spiritual, of the community at large.

May Rishon guide you in your investigations.

In His service,
High Inquisitor Moab Hawking, Confluence.

For more information Click Here

What's the game again? A heroic fantasy murder-mystery.
Seriousness? On the serious side
Genre/Setting Heroic fantasy
System Modified Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Ed.
Movie Rating M for blood and violence