The con’s mascot: Syd the Arcanasaur

Location: Melbourne, Victoria (Australia) First Year: 1983 Next Convention Date(s): 23-26 January, 2016 Website:

NOTE: ARCANACON 2016 CANCELLED – (from the website) Unfortunately the Arcanacon committee has been unable to secure a venue for 2016 suitable for hosting a convention in the style and quality that Arcanacon attendees expect. While the search for a new venue is ongoing and we hope to run Arcanacon in 2017, organising a convention takes time, and we no longer have enough of it to give attendees the Arcanacon you deserve this coming January.

Arcanacon is a role-playing convention held in Melbourne annually. It is one of several Role-playing conventions of Victoria, Australia run through the year.

Arcanacon is the longest running role-playing convention in Victoria.

In 1983 the convention was held at Melbourne University. As well as a Dungeons and Dragons major, it also included the second ever freeform to be run in Australia, as well as Traveller, DragonQuest, RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu tournaments.

1984 saw the convention at University High School and the major appearance of Syd the Arcanasaur, the convention’s mascot. In 1985 the convention moved to Melbourne College of Advanced Education, in 1988 it moved to Collingwood Education Centre where it remained until 2013. In 2014 it moved to Melbourne High School, joining Conquest and Unicon at that venue.

Initially the convention was held in September, but it later moved to August and then to July, where it was run during the Victorian School holiday period. In 2001, the convention moved to the Australia Day Weekend (the weekend closest to 26 January). The move was in part due to a perceived change in the focus of CanCon (which is run in Canberra on the same weekend) from mixed roleplaying and wargaming to solely wargaming.

Although sections of the convention had been run with various theme over the years, at Arcanacon XII the convention itself started running an overall theme. In 2000 this theme became a part of the events run at the convention, and games in the theme were sought out to give each year a different feel.

In 2007, a short documentary about roleplaying was filmed at Arcanacan XXI for the Channel 31 television programme Planet Nerd.