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The Game That's Truly Terrifying Because It's Real


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UFOs. Ghosts. Magic. Ancient temples. Men In Black. The world we live in is an illusion. But, will you dare to step into this world that is all too real and search for hidden truth? Armed only with guns, gadgets, and your own good sense, will you and your friends be able to penetrate the security of Area 51? Will you be able to find the treasure hidden in the labyrinth beneath the pyramids? All you have to do is cast aside the illusion of the modern, mundane world and dare to imagine something far more fantastic indeed, and far more sinister.

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Phenomenon began fittingly enough at an 'X-Files' convention. Amongst all the merchandise, we wondered, "Where is the role-playing game?" Well, now there is one! However, it's not called 'X-Files' for two reasons. One, because we don't want to get sued. Two, because 'X-Files' is written as science-fiction. In 'Phenomenon', we rely on the "It's scary because it could be real . . ." formula. That meaning, anything that is investigated for real is molded into game concepts and encounters. However, the game is written so that one doesn't need to know anything about the supernatural in order to play. It's a detective game, relying on finding clues and using your wits, and then taking chances when it comes to action.

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The Phenomenon game is an experiment in role-playing. The classics of sword-and-sorcery are timeless, and science-fiction offers us endless frontiers, yet we always have a desire if not a need to live fantastic lives in our own world. Yet as rules are not an attempt to re-create reality, and if taken so are a poor attempt at best, how can a system set in our own day-and-age, wherein our Characters might not posses any skill or talent we couldn't have ourselves, be so fantastic? The answer is the ultimate riddle of the game itself, in that we are fantastic, people, the enigmatic beings that have only begun to understand ourselves and our world that is both timeless and full of endless frontiers! Perhaps the greatest adventure of all lies not in fantasy, but in an amazing reality . . .

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