Phenomenon crew & writers

Ok chaps and chappettes, Scout Leader Morph will now introduce the organisers and writers of Phenomenon 2015 games and activities!

Buy them lots of drinks at post-Con drinkies.

Survivalists (the Orgs)

Lead Bushwalker: Shane Donohoe

Secretary and Wrangler of Volunteers: Sarah Hall-Kearins

Quartermaster: Nick Matthews

Camp Cook: Nick Matthews

Cartographer, Wrangler of Writers and Campsite Organiser: David James

Assistant Cartographer: Stephanie Matthews

Semophore Expert: Nadina Geary-James

Architect and Inventor:: Elissa Feit

Surveyor and Keeper of the Tome: Anestis Kozakis

Archery Instructor (and Keeper of the First Aid kit): John Lowe

...and with heartfelt thanks for years of service to Pheno:

Outgoing President: Ingrid Bean; Outgoing Treasurer: Mark Ascroft

Game Writers

Boldly orienteering without compass or supplies this year are:

Triptychs and Diptychs Troupe Leaders

Michael Hitchens

Michael has been attending roleplaying conventions for over twenty years (ouch) and writing for them for almost as long. He has written 21 convention modules, including Tender Prey (Sydcon 1993), Dead but Dreaming (Necronomicon 1994), The Rain like Dust (Sydcon 1996), The Loyalty of Men (SAGA 1994 and Necronomicon 1998), Bridge of Dawn (Phenomenon 1994 and Macquariecon 1995), Silver, Tears and Ashes (Phenomenon 1999) and You are #4, I am #6 (a Triptych at Phenomenon 2000). Am I Here? (Phenomenon 2008) Floodland (a Triptych at Phenomenon 2010), A Strange Day (Phenomenon 2012) and The Room (Eyecon 2014)

Game: Leviathan

Greg Tannahill

Greg Tannahill is an experienced Canberra-based GM who specializes in dark system-lite emotional games and gimmick-driven madcap comedy adventures. His previous games at Phenomenon include The Day Before The Dragon (2014), The Carol of the Bells (2013), Begin Again (2012), Every Body Else (2011) and The Heist (2010). He is also the author of the high-octane actionstrocity Sharkscraper!

Game: The King In Winter

Shane Donohoe

Shane is a long-term Pheno organiser and has been role-playing for as long as he can remember. He has co-written and run numerous games at Pheno and other conventions.

Game: Year King

Stephanie and Robbie Matthews

Stephanie and Robbie Matthews are a father and daughter writing team who have been contributing to Pheno since Steph was 13 and Robbie wasn’t. Noted for light-hearted and only occasionally traumatising romps, and the shortest character sheets in the business. Stephanie is small, cute, and deadly. Robbie is large, cute, and furry. Neither of them has ever exhibited any supernatural abilities that anyone has lived to tell about.

Game:Supernatural Studies Club

David McKie

David McKie (Commonly mispronounced as “the accused”) has been running and playing roleplaying games for the same amount of time he has been living inside your medicine cabinet. Which is to say 10 years. He has been attending Pheno since 2011, and ran his first Pheno game last year. Despite a few bruises and one unfortunate situation with an airlock, he has decided to give it another go. He has replaced one of the books in your home with a complete description of every hair on his beard, read it…the book is a metaphor.

Game: The Campfire Initiative


Cub scouts

Ian Bartlett

Several years ago an entity appeared at Phenomenon impersonating one K Edwards. On the second time around this creature was identified as Ian Bartlett, widely regarded as a very poorly regulated cloning experiment. Ian has been plaguing various persons with his interpretation of roleplaying games since late primary school. Like a fine wine, Ian has been in the cellar too long. This is his first attempt at a design and run for Phenomenon this year. Having been so impressed with Phenomenon’s thriller/horror games in the past, Ian is keen to throw his hat into the ring (literally) and attempt to hold a candle (not literally) to the veteran designers.

Game: Dyatlov

Callie Doyle-Scott

Callie is a rabbit pretending to be a person, and so is rather experienced at roleplaying. She has been running games for approximately ten years, but mostly for the same group of people. This is Callie’s first Pheno, and first Con experience. Please be gentle.

Game: Cold Legs

James Woodman

James "The Jimothy" Woodman is a man pretending to be a bear pretending to be a man. His various hobbies include role-playing, underwater basket weaving and arranging orphan knife fights in front of convents. He says that he is a Professor but his credentials are suspect. He has been gaming since high school and presents for his pleasure A Torchlight Tale. This is his first year running for Pheno and has foolishly allowed others to write his bio.



Stuart Barrow

Stuart Barrow has been writing for Pheno and other conventions for some years. Perhaps nine, perhaps ten. But some, and no small number. He has written such games as The Lakes District Needlework and Adventure Society; The Mask and the Moonlight (Triptych, 2005); Last Man Standing; and FUD. He has co-written such games as Don't Know Where, Don't Know When; Uptime Girl; Eternal Companions (Triptych 2011) and Antiques Roadshow of Doom. He is a founding member in good standing of the Diptych committee, such as it is, and is really quite nice.

Game: The Marauders From Mars

Sandra d'Argeavel

Sandra hails from the Planet Ogg and is hoping to successfully complete her transformation in to a houseplant before the mother ship arrives to take her home. You may remember her for stomping all over your childhood memories with Once Were Famous.

Game: A Weekend In the Country

Kane Edwards

Kane normally only exists in theory, and also when Pheno is on. Kane has been running games for the past three years at Pheno—and last year was partially to blame for the Scooby Doo Diptych. When and if he exists outside of Pheno, Kane spends a great deal of time running and playing games, and assisting the roleplaying community in Canberra: this includes experience with both comic and serious games, tabletops and freeforms in many rules systems and genres.

Game: Gasteranthus Atratus Nobilis

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing Star Trek games for fifteen years, and, apparently, is still not sick of people making fun of him for being a giant nerd. Most recently, he co-wrote a Fading Suns freeform with Xole Karman and Andrew Smith (no, not *that* one, the other one), and a fair-to-middle attempt to dramatise WW2 history as a gritty sci-fi game. He’s a writer by trade, which likely means less than you think it does when it comes to actually writing games.

Game: Star Trek: Crisis and Opportunity

John Hughes

John Hughes has been active on the Australian convention circuit as a writer, con organiser, publisher and wild-eyed dreamer 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 Quest: Mask of Heroes, Kwaidan, Gaze, Xenomorph, and Dark. John’s roleplaying website is

Game: The Turn of Midnight Waters

Pip Hughes

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, and Dark. Someday, she will get back to writing that science fiction novel.

Game: The Turn of Midnight Waters

David James

Roleplaying since 1982 and writing for cons since 1986 places David very securely in the 'Classic' or 'Retro' GM category. David's games tend to place the characters first, with the main plot of the game becoming the stage for the character's personal lives, hopes and dreams to be played out upon. His more recent offerings at Pheno were World of Darkness High in 2010, the Tryptich In Sceadure in 2012 the freeform What do you do with a problem like Dresden? in 2013 and Swan Dive last year.

Game: A Weekend in the Country

Luke Jordan

From classics like D&D and Call of Cthulhu to Mountain Witch, Apocalypse World, and various home-brewed systems, Luke has now at the age of 21 been exploring the width and breadth of roleplaying games for more than half his life. For the last five years now he has been working for Aeoncademy’s partner Vala Games as a professional GM and module developer. His main interests outside of roleplaying revolve around the study of culture, history, myth and legend, and literature, and his games tend to reflect this. This is his second convention game; the first, a Victorian(-Gothic)/Lovecraftian pastiche titled The Horror that Came to Albion, won the Pheno Best New Designer Award for 2014.

Game: To Tread the Spiral Path

Stephen Justice

Stephen has been running games at Pheno a number of years now, and over a decade outside of Pheno. He has experience with many different styles of games, as well as experience with both Tabletop games, LARPS, and Freeforms. Last year he ran one of the Diptychs for Pheno, and he currently runs a number of ongoing games, including a LARP, around Canberra.

Game: Gasteranthus Atratus Nobilis

Barbara Kearins

Barb ran her first St Tyrants over 19 years ago at a convention in Sydney with a recently born baby in tow. Despite that experience, she has continued to write games for conventions. Barb's more recent games include Up-time Girl (co-written with Stuart Barrow), and Positions Vacant.

The Day the Earth Stood Up

Rod Kearins

Rod Kearins has been playing, writing and running games since 1976. Some would say that puts him in the same timeline as the ancient Egyptian GMs. He feels that there must be something to this roleplaying thing to have done it for so long. He has written and run games previously at Phenomenom, both as a solo effort and as part of a creative collective.

The Day the Earth Stood Up

Nick Matthews

As a second generation roleplayer, Nick was basically doomed from the start. After a teenage rebellion phase of playing lawful good characters, and an attempt to run off and join the accountancy, he's now GMing. Nick's been around Pheno most of his life, and has cowritten games before, but this is his first solo venture.

Game: The Last Night in the Mountains

Joe McNamara

Joe McNamara is a thing that walks like a man. You might remember his L5R game Black Feather Shrine from two years ago or his previous World of Darkness tabletops; Diamonds and Guns, Among the Fallen, Burn the Witch or freeforms Auto da Fe. Last year he ran the immensly popular two session freeform Vampire: Bat Country

Game: Unfinished Business

James Riley

Jim Riley has wanted to be in a Star Trek game for fifteen years; sick of waiting, he decided to help write one. His Pheno GM experience includes writing the tabletop Execute Order 66 and co-writing the Tryptych Project Legacy. Game: Star Trek: Crisis and Opportunity

Daniel Ryan

Daniel Ryan's first con game 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 Paranoia, and then Paranoia again at Pheno 2014. He has an on again off again thing for D&D but generally prefers Ars Magica or pretty much anything rules lite and big on story or roleplay. He runs games to find out what the players will do with them.

Those That Can't, Go Adventuring

Xole and Andrew

Xole and Andrew have written a lot of freeforms for Pheno over the years, including 2013's A Game of Suns, 2012's Libretto, 2009's The Erebus Incident (with David Hollingworth), and 2008's Undeadwood. Xole (that's pronounced 'Kole') writes freeforms replete with soupy politics. She is rather too fond of Zelazny’s Amber setting and does scary things to mythology. Andrew likes world-building to set freeforms in, frocking up, and Guinness, and rather misses the 1990s.

Game: Bloodrunner


Phenomenon 2015

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