ARC – Arcanacon Australian Roleplay Community


Arcanacon is an annual role-playing conference that takes place in Melbourne. It is one of the numerous role-playing conferences held in Victoria, Australia. Arcanacon is Victoria’s longest-running role-playing conference. Melbourne University hosted the meeting in 1983. It featured a Dungeons and Dragons major, the second-ever freeform tournament in Australia, and tournaments for Traveller, DragonQuest, RuneQuest, and Call of Cthulhu. 

The convention was held at University High School in 1984, and Syd the Arcanasaur, the convention’s mascot, had a prominent presence. The tradition relocated from Melbourne College of Advanced Education to Collingwood Education Centre in 1988, where it stayed until 2013. It relocated to Melbourne High School in 2014, where it joined Conquest and Unicon conference was initially held in September, but it was later shifted to August and then to July, when it was held during the Victorian school vacation season. Finally, authorities rescheduled the convention to Australia Day Weekend in 2001. 

The decision was potentially motivated by a perception that CanCon’s focus had shifted from combined role-playing and wargaming to simply wargaming. Although certain portions of the convention have been handled with various themes throughout the years, Arcanacon XII was the first time they ran the whole event with a single subject. This theme became a feature of the convention’s festivities in 2000, and games based on it were sought to provide each year with a unique flavour. For the Channel 31 television show Planet Nerd, creators produced a short documentary on role-playing during Arcanacan XXI in 2007.

Arcanacon 2019

Australia’s only tabletop role-playing game conference, took place in Melbourne, thanks to the generosity of the Chaosium. Arcanacon was a glorious weekend dedicated to this wonderful pastime. As previously stated, role-playing games have had a renaissance in recent years, and the community is alive with newcomers and old hands alike, eager to roll some dice and tell some stories. Do you know? Arcanacon hosted one of the giant Warhammer: 40,000 tournaments in the country for a few years so that wargamers may recognise the name. Arcanacon was a Melbourne-based role-playing event for many years. It began in the 1980s on the University scene and ended two years ago. Arcanacon 2019 is a role-playing event that has been reintroduced. It’s targeted at a new generation of roleplayers with a wide range of interests. Attendees will be given an hour at the start of each day of the event to register for the games they want to play before the sessions, which are typically three hours long, begin.

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Players may expect several Call of Cthulhu tables and 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, thanks to Chaosium’s sponsorship. A wide choice of indie games, virtually all of which are Australian-made, will be available as the West End Games edition of Star Wars. On Saturday night, Good Society, the Jane Austen role-playing game that garnered over $150,000 on Kickstarter, will stage a Live-Action event. Arcanacon will include a cosplay competition on Sunday night, which the Live-Action Role Playgroup Swordcraft will co-host. The Arcanacon crew has had a tremendous year. When I was helping to oversee the tabletop portion at PAX Australia, I got a firsthand look at the magnitude of interest in role-playing. So Coleman, Murray Robinson, and Hayley Gordon, together with the other principals, got to work preparing Arcanacon 2019.

Fun Fact

When was the first Arcahacon Convection?

The first Arcahacon Convection was in 1983. 

Dave Peterson
Dave Peterson
Be a little better today than yesterday.


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