It's a great time to be a fan of pretending!
Sponsored by the fine folks at Chaosium, Aracanacon, Australia's only tabletop Roleplaying Game convention, is running in Melbourne this coming weekend.
Arcanacon will be a great weekend that celebrates this fantastic hobby. As we've said before, RPG's have had a sudden resurgence in the last few years, and the community is buzzing with newbies and old hats alike, primed and ready to roll some dice and tell some stories together.
Wargamers may recognise the name of the event- for a few years, Arcanacon played host to one of the biggest Warhammer: 40,000 tournaments in the country. This year, however, the con is returning to its roots.
I spoke with John Coleman, one of the three principal organisers, about Arcanacon 2019.
'For many years, Arcanacon was a Melbourne based roleplaying convention.' Coleman said. 'It came out of the University scene in the 80's, and finished up two years ago. Arcanacon 2019 is a relaunched roleplaying convention. It's aimed at a new and diverse generation of roleplayers.'
At the beginning of each day of the con, attendees will be given an hour to register for the games they'd like to play before the sessions, most of which are around three hours long, kick off.
Sponsored by Chaosium, players can expect a lot of Call of Cthulhu tables, as well as 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. The West End Games version of Star Wars will also be on offer, alongside a wide range of independent games, almost all of which are Australian made.
Good Society, the Jane Austen roleplaying game that raised over $150,000 on Kickstarter, will be hosting a Live Action event on the Saturday night. Additionally, Arcanacon will feature a cosplay competition on Sunday night, co-run by the Live-Action Role Play group, Swordcraft.
It's been a big year for the Arcanacon team. Seeing first-hand the level of interest in roleplaying when helping to run the tabletop section at PAX Australia, Coleman and other principals Murray Robinson and Hayley Gordon went to work planning Arcanacon 2019.
'The concept for the new Arcanacon came from the high level of interest at PAX.' Coleman said. 'We realised that for many new players, it was not easy to know how to continue roleplaying, or to connect to a community of roleplayers and find regular groups.
'We felt this created the need for a new roleplaying convention, focussed on achieving these outcomes.' He went on. 'I initially discussed the idea with Michael O'Brien from Chaosium, who was very keen to support the idea. I then approached Murray [Robinson] because he has outstanding business technical skills, and has been involved in Arcanacon in the past.
'Hayley [Gordon] is part of the Storybrewer Roleplaying Company.' Coleman said. 'She brings the perspective of a young woman who works extensively within the roleplaying industry.'
If you're familiar with playing roleplaying games at conventions like PAX Australia, Coleman assures that you can expect a more intimate experience at Arcanacon.
'The big difference is the environment.' Coleman said. 'It will be much more quiet and comfortable, and more conducive to roleplaying. The games themselves will be more substantial and immersive, and there will be far more games to choose from.
'For example,' Coleman went on, 'there are three different Call of Cthulhu scenarios, and I don't even know how many Dungeons & Dragons adventures.'
While other conventions might be focussed on introducing people to gaming, Arcanacon is offering a more significant and long-lasting experience for fans of tabletop roleplaying. The convention will also feature panels and guest speakers from across the RPG industry. Chief amongst them are guests Sarah Newton and Mark Morrison.
Newton is is travelling to the convention from Europe. She is author of ENnie award winning titles Mindjammer and Zero Point, a campaign for Achtung! Cthulhu.
Morrison is a multi-ENnie award winner based in Melbourne, who has done extensive work in the games industry, notably with Chaosium, on titles such as Reign of Terror and Horror on the Orient Express for Call of Cthulhu.
Good Games are proudly attending the convention as a retail vendor. For those of you going, we will have a wide range of roleplaying products available for purchase, including titles from Chaosium like Call of Cthulhu and RuneQuest, as well as a wide range of Dungeons & Dragons books, and many other roleplaying games- some of which you may not have heard of!
We're so excited to be supporting this excellent convention. If you'd like to attend Arcanacon 2019, don't wait! Buy your tickets online right now!
You can read more about Arcanacon 2019, the games available, and the guests, on their website.