Dark (2014)

phenoPhenomenon 2014
Queen’s birthday long weekend, 6–9 June 2014
Daramalan College, Dickson, Canberra ACT


Player Downloads


What is the difference between cosmic wonder and cosmic horror?

Nothing at all.

drop_bearsListen 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.


So what’s it about?

This isn’t Xenomorph. Xenomorph, our riff on Aliens, was about running around in the dark knowing you were going to die. Dark is different. Dark is …

Umm, let me start again. At its heart, Dark is a science fiction mystery. It’s about alien contact. Players will seek to unravel the mystery of the aliens, and in doing so perhaps understand a few mysteries about their own humanity. It ain’t no bug hunt.

And despite being a Cthulhu game, the science will be as accurate as we can make it. Dark will be SF with a hard edge. There will be no magic and little hand waving, because real science is a big part of the mystery. And its solution, if you live that long. You don’t need a PhD in quantum astrophysics to play though. We have rolls for that sort of thing.

But it is a Lovecraftian game. There will be elements of horror: the squishy bits. For Dark we’ve chosen a variant of Graham Walmsley’s Cthulhu Dark, a simple, one page D6 system. We like it for lots of reasons, but we think its especially good for convention games because insanity becomes an issue for everyone with just a few hours play. There will be pace room if you want to yell and scream at each other as well.

The mood will be tight and gritty: your characters will be out of their depth and at each others throats even as they sort out the future of humanity.

Dark: there may be tentacles.


The Crew

Download Character portraits: Low Rez, High Rez.

Download Character Stats and System.

Kaito, the Commander

Unimaginative and overwhelmed, struggling to retain control of a mission where everything is at stake.

Locke, the Company Exec

A corporation player, a corporation survivor; aware of the danger, hungry for the opportunity.

Wulf, the Prisoner

Sociopath and perfect predator, bio-weapons expert, awaiting trial for genocide.

Trinity, the Combat Engineer

Three personalities, one body. Trinity, Thunder, Stare.

Yama, the Mission Specialist

Half machine, ninety per cent scar tissue. Hungry for sensation, driven by a singular obsession …

If you’re not in pain, you’re not alive. Dark.


Mission briefings

Briefings will be added progressively as Phenomenon approaches.

1. Dakini

Mission profile 1: RSV Dakini (PDF Schematic)

dakini scaledakini beauty shot

2. Life in the Universe?

Mission profile 2: Is there anybody out there?

Read the briefing and complete the one question survey!

3. Mission Briefing

Waking up, how it started, and the terrible truth about Dapto II.

Mission profile 3: Mission Briefing


Proudly sponsored by CSIRO Billington Environments and Weyland Yutani Corporation.

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