Monday, December 31, 2007

New games

Ethel of Troy (Nick Cole - Scion)

As the Gods wage war against the escaped Titans in the Overworld, it falls to their mortal children to fight battles here on Earth.

The most beautiful woman in the world Ethel Wigglesworth of Troy, Idaho has disappeared and as the Scions of the Gods you are charged with finding and returning her safely.

Resident Evil : Desperate Measures (Gino Moretto - The Mountain Witch)

Five prisoners in a maximum-security facility are given a chance to redeem themselves and earn their freedom. They must brave the horrors of a ravaged Raccoon City and retrieve what could be the world's salvation from the clutches of the Umbrella Corporation. But everyone harbors a dark past which threatens to tear the mission, and each other, apart...

Fruits Basket (Jenni Dowsett - freeform)

The Sohma family is cursed, when hugged by members of the opposite sex they turn into the animals of the zodiac. Tohru Honda, an outsider has discovered their secret and wishes to help.

Based on the anime and manga of the same name, you will have your choice of many characters.

Friday, December 28, 2007

MiniLARP: Graduation Day

"Graduation Day" is a 9-player lighthearted fantasy LARP being run in session 5 (Sunday afternoon). In the hope of getting it filled, we're taking bookings - just email the kapcon account, or mention it in the comments field when you register.

The independent city-state of Tourmaline is ruled by the wizards of the White College. Prince Ambrose, the younger son of the King of neighbouring Arlandia, was sent to the White College to receive a gentleman's education. To the surprise of many he actually passed his final exams. Today Prince Ambrose is holding the traditional graduation feast to honour the College Masters.

Cast list

  • Lord/Lady Agate: Archmage of the White Council. Head of House Tenebris. Has a reputation for espionage and intrigue.
  • Lord/Lady Malachite: Holder of the Green Chair. Master of Earth Magic. Head of House Domini (rivals of House Tenebris). Controls an extensive merchant empire.
  • Lord/Lady Cordite: Holder of the Red Chair. Master of Fire Magic. A former adventurer with a taste for danger.
  • Lord/Lady Moonstone: Holder of the Blue Chair. Master of Water Magic. A prophet "gifted" with visions from the gods.
  • Lord/Lady Amethyst: Holder of the Violet Chair. Master of Air Magic. A pampered dandy who spends more time on wine and poetry than magic.
  • Prince Ambrose (M): Prince of Arlandia. About to graduate from the White College
  • Azure: Prince Ambrose's mysterious foreign companion (Note: Azure is not a wizard, but is not entirely mundane either)
  • Jasper di Tenebris (M): Son of Agate. Student at the White College and friend of Prince Ambrose.
  • Crystella di Domini (F): Sheltered daughter of Malachite.

If you want to play a specific character, then mention that in your email.


Admired, not required - this is meant to be a no-mess, no-fuss LARP. The GM will bring the Suitcase Of Surprises which should include some handy props for most characters (such as a fine collection of wizard hats). If you can be bothered, or have stuff just lying around, think fantasy wizards (robes, staff, pointy hats), with some renaissance Italy thrown in.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Three week warning

Three more weeks to go!
Three more weeks till Kapcon!
Three more weeks till the big fat gamer
sits at your table and
rolls your dice and
drinks your coke...
Three more weeks till Kapcon!

OK, so that's pretty bad. But it is only three weeks away, so if you haven't preregistered, its probably time to do so. Our webmonkey is back from the UK, so the website has finally been updated with lots of shiny new games to drool over. And some of them are filling fast. So if you want a spot, register now.

Speaking of games, we'd still like a few more. So if you've had a good idea over Christmas which you wish to inflict on some helpless victims, please let us know.

Finally, there will be two mini-LARPs running during the con: For the Honour of the Family (14 players) in session 4, and Graduation Day (9 players) in session 5. We want these to run at or close to their optimum number of players, so we're taking bookings for them too. Just drop me an email, or mention it in the comments field while registering, and I'll stick you on the list.

I have played both LARPs, and they are good.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Games update

Sleeping Ducks and Doom Town in round one, and Best Friends, Cold City, and To The Manor Thorn in round two are now full. Despite what it says on the form, we do have other second-round games (listed here), so there's plenty to play in.

We've also had two new games come in:

The 18:25 to New London (Sophie Melchior)

The oceans have risen and the world is a changed place. You boarded the 18:25 train from the Scottish Isles to New London a mere 3 hours ago when a foul murder is uncovered. In three days you'll arrive at your destination. Will the murderer be uncovered before then? Or will they slip away into gaslight?

A neo-Victorian Horror run under Unisystem

One Crowded Hour

"Welcome aboard the Maxos Shipping liner Duchess Selene. During our one-week jump you will enjoy the luxury facilities only Maxos Shipping can provide. Relax and enjoy the entertainment system, gym facilities, or the services of our five-star chef, while our trained crew whisks you to your destination in safety and comfort."

"In the unlikely event of an emergency, please remain calm and follow the instructions of your crew. Emergency exits are located at the top of the ship, and are accessible from the transit lounge. In the event of cabin pressure failure, don the vaccsuit in your stateroom or enter the nearest rescue ball. If accompanied by a child or other person needing your assistance, don your own suit first. Remain in your suit until a crewmember advises you to remove it. If the order to abandon ship is given, please form an orderly queue in the transit lounge to await your space in the lifeboat..."

Interstellar travel is safe. Nothing ever goes wrong. There is no need to pay attention to the pre-flight safety briefing. It's just a routine trip, after all...

A Classic Traveller adventure, from Comstar games.

Our webmonkey should be back in a couple of weeks, so these games will appearon the website then.

Monday, December 03, 2007

SDC Closed and miscellany

The SDC has closed, we will be working through them and sending them off to our judge soon.

remember to make sure that you prereigster for the weekend and you will be able to prebook your spots for the first and second round.

If you can get your t -shirt orders in Paul will be making the order soon, so we need colour , size and some moneys. Be in touch at

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Let the rush begin

It's December, so time for the traditional pre-registration rush to begin. So, hit that form!

We've also had our first games fill: Sleeping Ducks in round one, and Best Friends in round two. We also have some new second-round games:

  • Bump in the Night
  • It's Glarlgle past Threep
  • The Truckstop
  • The City
  • Last Action Hero

Details of some of these games are here.

Unfortunately our web-monkey is in the UK ATM, so we won't be able to update the website until he gets back in a few weeks, but if you want to play in any of these games in round two, just stick it in the comments field when you register.

We also have a pair of mini-LARPs: For the Honour of the Family (a 15-player family / political drama, which ran at ConFusion, to much enjoyment) and Graduation Day (a 9-player game set in the White College of Arlandia, a magical university). I've played in both, and they are both very good.

Finally, a reminder: if you were entering the SDC, send us your entry ASAP. You only have until Monday.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kapcon LARP: Sanctuary - Second Round of Casting

The organising team (Naomi, Sean and Steph) are going to be meeting this Saturday (24/11) for the second round of casting. That means now is a good time to fill in that questionnaire ( It looks like after this meeting half the characters will be cast, so if you can fill in the form before Saturday we will be able to consider you for a great deal more characters than those who fill in the quiz later on... People who've not been cast, and have already signed up are welcome to email us about any more thoughts they've had on what kind of character they'd like.

What we'll do for the (uncast) people who've signed up so far is:
- Consider your character questionnaire and any additional comments you've made to us.
- Suggest two or three characters that we think you'll like to play.
- Send you an email with a brief blurb about them.

What we expect back from the people who've been offered characters is a response something like:
- Yes, I'll have that one thanks.
- I'm still unsure, can you tell me more about X?
- I don't like any of them, what else have you got?
and we'll keep talking with you until you're happy with your character.

If you want to email feel free to use this address:
sanctuarylarp at

Sunday, November 18, 2007

This is your two month warning

Two months to go till KapCon, and the registrations are trickling in. This means the first round games are filling up, so if you want to play in "Sleeping Ducks", it might pay to pre-register now to nab the last slot.

We've also had a pile of new games come in. Our web-demon is in the UK, so we're unable to update the website, but here's a short list:

It's Glargle Past Threep (Ivan Towlson)

Join the Time Police, they said. It’s a cushy life, they said, in the Women’s Auxiliary of the Xenochronometry Division of the Standards Inspectorate. Snappy uniform, they said, government pension and nothing more laborious to do than fill out the occasional B11 Notification of Noncompliant Measurement Units (Revised).

Yeah, right.

Because since breakfast you’ve been shot at twice, erased from history six times, trapped in five temporal paradoxes and narrowly avoided having sex with your own grandfather. And it’s still only glargle past threep. Again.

The Truckstop (Marcus Bone)

Area 51, Groomlake or the Dreamlands. Call it what you want, for the soldiers of the 8th Recon and Border unit it's just plain old Air Force Test Centre, Detachment 3. Here the day is just like any other Air Force Base, the same old food, the same old bunk beds, and the same old dull border security patrols.

Still, the buzz has it that something big is on it' way, perhaps another one of those hybrid jets or advanced Space Defence Initiative probes. Whatever it is, it's probably just as likely to be as boring as it was last week...

Or will it?

A Fear of Dreaming (Marcus Bone)

The year is 1940. The location, London, England.

Like so many others, you are about to be swept up in the great exodus of the young, who are leaving the only home you’ve ever known; heading out to the supposed safety and sanctuary of the English countryside.

But the world is a cruel and vindictive place, where those who say they’ll look after you are often the ones to do you the most harm. Can you survive the horrors that await you? Will you ever be the same innocent child who left the city? Or will you too develop that FEAR OF DREAMING…

Cold Front (Michael Foster)

MacReady Base, a UN-run research outpost in the frozen depths of Antarctica. "Home" to 13 personnel, where they must live in close proximity to each other for months at a time. After a murder leaves one of their number dead, tensions are running high, not helped by the sudden arrival of unexpected visitors.

And there's a big storm closing in...

(This is a re-run from Fright Night, and its damn good).

Bump in the Night (Michael Foster)

Finding himself alone after Martha says goodbye, the Doctor travels about while he wonders whether or not to take on a new companion. Fortunately, or perhaps not, potential candiates seem to be popping up all over the place.

There are already more good games than I can possibly play in. But maybe if I join the Time Police, I can get around that...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Scenario Design Contest - 3 Weeks to go!

(here's hoping this doesn't do anything weird to the LJ feed)

The deadline for the Kapcon Scenario Design Contest is about three weeks away. It's the first Monday in December, which is the 3rd of December this year (according to the calendar in my office, which as a picture of a cute fox on it).

Remember: you are invited to write a scenario or adventure for 4-6 (ish) players, to be run in a 3 hour timeslot. You can include as much detail as you like, use any game system (or make up your own), and you have totally free reign as to what you include. Send your entries to kapcon's gmail address (kapcon at), or post a hard copy to Kapcon, PO Box 24155, Wellington.

Good luck, and get writing!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Why we need you to GM

There's an interesting discussion over at GameTime on how we can encourage people to GM at KapCon, which has seen some numbers crunched on the way the GMing burden has shifted over the past few years. Five or six years ago, KapCon relied heavily on GMs who ran one or maybe 2 sessions. We heavily pushed the logic that 6 sessions of 6 participants each meant that on average everyone had to run a game, and so GMs made up ~40% of attendees. Unfortunately in recent years, we've seen a shift away from that, and towards relying on a smaller pool of people who GM 3, 4, 5, or even 6 games during the con, with the result that the proportion of GMs has fallen to 25% (it was ~22% in 2005 - 2006).

This is a trend we want to reverse. Partly this is because of long-term sustainability - relying on a small pool of people leaves us scrambling for GMs when some of those people can't make it. But its also an aesthetic preference. Part of the joy of KapCon is the wide variety of games and gaming styles on offer - and to provide that, we need a wide variety of GMs.

So, if you can GM, please think about trying your hand this year. If you need help, advice, or a playtest group to iron out the bugs in your game, we can help with that. If you want a relaxed atmosphere with no pressure, we can put you in the last session. But please think about it - KapCon needs you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kapcon T-shirts

Each year Kapcon sells t-shirts to commemorate the occasion. They're usually around $15 - $25, come in a range of sizes and colours, and most importantly need to be ordered in advance if you want to make sure you get one.

There'll be more details coming soon, but here's the current design:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Kapcon - Playtesting

One way to make sure the game you're going to run at Kapcon will be as good as possible is to playtest it. To do this, you need to have your game/scenario (or at least a rough version of it) ready in advance of Kapcon, and get together a group of players who will play through the scenario and give you a little feedback afterwards.

In the past, I've found playtesting incredibly useful for identifying the good bits of the game, spotting areas that need beefing up, and for stealing cool ideas off the players to make the scenario better (especially at the end when I've asked for suggestions on how to make the game better).

This year Alasdair Sinclair, aka Mash, will be helping Kapcon GMs to find playest groups (as well as doing his best to get into some playtests, since he's going to miss out on playing in the rounds when he's GMing). To do this, he's going to use a tool called doodle. It's a really easy to use website calendar thingy for multiple people to use to indicate availability. Why use it? It gives you access to keen players other than your regulars, and might give you a chance to sneak into playtests you otherwise wouldn't have heard of.

Mash will no doubt have more to say on this, but here's the page for his Fright Night horror game playtest (this one's Wellington based):

Check it out - it's incredibly easy to use!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Kapcon First Round Games Announced

Over on the official Kapcon website, the first 11 games for Kapcon have been announced. Nine of them are in the first round, and registration is now active!

The following games are confirmed as part of the first round:

* Doom Town - Alasdair Sinclair.
* Horror on the High Seas - Liam Jones.
* A Midsomer Night's Murder - Michael Foster.
* Sleeping Ducks - Susan Harper.
* The Last Action Hero - Dan L'Estrange.
* PX Poker Night - Idiot/Savant.
* Games on Demand - Mike Sands, Steve Hix, etc.
* The Strange Affliction and Decline of Dieter Kozier - Grant Robinson.
* Yesterday's Woe - Dale Elvy.
* The Seven Samurai of P-ram - Andrew MacLeod.

Games on Demand is a new idea this year, a dedicated room where non-timetabled games will be played throughout the weekend, with a see-who's-there-and-who-wants-what organisational approach. In the words of Mike Sands and Steve Hix:

Games on Demand: We'll provide a big selection of games and we'll play or run whatever you're interested in. You can also bring your own game to run.

Second round games so far:

* Best Friends - Jenni Dowsett (nee Sands).
* Games on Demand - Mike Sands, Steve Hix, etc.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kapcon Scenario Design Contest

For the past 6 years Kapcon has been running a scenario design contest. The challenge is to write a 3 hour con scenario (usually including pregenerated characters) which could be picked up and run by a GM at Kapcon with minimal preparation.

Usually, people who write SDC entries also run them at Kapcon, but you don't have to. In fact, you don't even have to come to Kapcon to enter the competition!

Examples of previous entries can be found at, the website of the scenario design contest.

Entries are due in on the first Monday in December, so if you feel like entering the sooner you can start writing the better!

More details available on the official Kapcon website.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Looking for GMs

Who is keen to run games this year?

Can you please either email or post up here.

Facilitator :
Number of Players:
System :
System Knowledge? :
Genre :
Genre Knowledge? :
Style :
RPG Experience? :
Age / Maturity :
Classification :
Energy / Volume :
Scored :

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fright Night

When: Saturday, October 27, 2007. Venue opens 16:45. First round 17:00 - 20:00; second round 20:30 - 23:30.
Where: Turnbull House, opposite the Beehive, Wellington
What: Two rounds of horror roleplaying
How much: Players $20. WARGS members $15.

16 players only; register here.


When: Saturday, August 4, 2007. Sign up starts at 9am. First round 9:30 - 12:30; second round 13:30 - 16:30; third round 17:30 - 21:30.
Where: Turnbull House, opposite the Beehive, Wellington
What: 3 rounds of roleplaying, with a 14-player LARP in the final round.
How much: $10 GMs and WARGS members; $15 players

Bring V.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Six month warning

And somewhere, a multi-headed beast stirs...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What's this year's LARP about?

The LARP for January 2008, Kapcon 17, is probably going to be a fantasy based LARP. There's lots of potential for great costuming, and it should be a lot of fun.

Discussion about the LARP is happening at under the upcoming cons sub-forum.

More information will be made available over the course of the year!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Interview on bFM

Matt Cowens was interviewed on bFM this morning about Kapcon and roleplaying in general. There is a 2.4mb mp3 of the interview available at bFM - it won't be there forever, but if you're quick you too can hear Mikey Havoc reminiscing (albeit briefly) about his own roleplaying experiences, and Matt doing his best to make roleplaying sound awesome.,

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kapcon 16 was Fantastic

Another year, another Kapcon. This was the second year that Debbie and I were in charge of Kapcon, and it was a great con to run. We kicked things off with pizza and drinks at Syn bar in Wellington on Friday night, a great casual evening (with delicious Hell’s pizza). We left early, having a drive home and an early start, but things were in full swing when we departed.

The number of GMs who offered to run games this year was great, and while a couple of arms were twisted to fill the few remaining spots in the timetable on the day, it was fantastic to have 90% of the timetable filled before the start of the convention.

The quality of games run at Kapcon this year was excellent, and this was reflected on the second day of the convention when a noticeable trend of people having a first choice for a game, followed by ‘anything – they all sound good’ coming through on the game selection forms.

Nick, Nasia, Katrina and Frank put together a brilliant 1930’s era LARP – ‘The Flight of the Hindenburg’, which ran on the Saturday night. 60 players spent an action, intrigue and politics filled night on the Hindenburg, mixing with aliens, a superhero, Nazis, a mummy, a werewolf, a vampire, a ghost, and lots of movie stars, politicians, businessmen, gangsters and other colourful characters. It was a highly successful LARP, and I look forward to hearing more stories of how people’s nights went (in person and over on

Evinshir games was present, with a huge display of boardgames and roleplaying products. There was a near-continuous stream of boardgames being played in the main room, and more than one con attendee walked out with a lighter wallet, but a pile of very reasonably priced games under their arm.

In the process of continually improving and adapting Kapcon, there were a few subtle changes this year. One of the more noticeable, and fun for me, was the hiring of a PA and wireless microphone. It made announcements, and GMs describing their games, much more audible. I must also confess that I do love playing to an audience when I have a mic in my hand. We also had colour coded forms to make paperwork easier, and a greater amount of information available to attendees about the schedule, what games they were in and so on, through the use of an oft-updated wall display of blurbs, the timetable, and the list of games, players and rooms for the upcoming round.

Once again a pizza run was done each day, and a candy bar was in operation, for the convenience and sustenance of attendees.

Numbers were very close to last year (final count pending, about 107). As Paul put it, Kapcon’s recent attendance has stabilised at 100 plus 2d10. Kapcon managed its goal of being a non-profit convention, with expenses coming incredibly close to income – closer than I had thought possible to zero.

We are passing the torch onto Paul this year – just as Scott passed it to Debbie and me, and Luke and Sam passed it to Scott before that, and so on. Scott, Luke and Sam were all still heavily involved in Kapcon this year, and will continue to be over the coming years I expect. Debbie and I will also continue to be involved in the running of Kapcon, helping Paul (and Zac, I believe) to make Kapcon the best convention it can possibly be. We all have a lot of love for this convention, a strong will to see it flourish, and a firm belief that Kapcon is a damn good way to spend a weekend. Thank you to everyone who made the weekend possible, those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, GMs who ran games, players who played in them, everyone who had a hand in Kapcon’s success.

My verdict? Kapcon 16 was a blast, a roaring success, and I can’t wait for Kapcon 17, in 2008.

I look forward to seeing you all there,

Matt Cowens
Kapcon Committee Leader, Kapcon 15 and 16

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pre-con Food and Drinks at Syn Bar

Kapcon kicks off tonight with the pre-con gathering at Syn Bar (14 Bond Street, Wellington CBD), a fully licenced family restaurant (according to their website) wo serve delicious Hell's Pizza, sell beverages of an alcoholic nature, and even have a pool table for those who are so inclined.

Feel free to show up any time - the function room (to the left at the top of the stairs) is booked from about 6pm, but there will probably be a group of organisers heading in early, having set up the venue this afternoon.

See you there :)

Kapcon starts soon!

Kapcon starts at Wellington High School at 8.45am tomorrow! Doors are open from 8.15 so come early and hang out, catch up with old friends and make some new ones, or you could purchase a coffee or delicious snack from the Kapcon candy bar (prices below).

Kapcon Candy Bar
Can of Coke etc $1
Bag of lollies $2
Bag of chippies $2
Mini pump $1
Cookie Time Cookie $1
Almond Gold/Peanut Slab $1
Tea/Coffee 50c

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The day after tomorrow... all begins. Two days of gaming mayhem, a LARP, caffeine addiction and bad food. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

LARP characters

LARP characters have begun appearing in people's email boxes. Meanwhile, if you haven't received yours yet, check out the cast list here. If you signed up for the LARP, but aren't on the list, please email us, and we'll try and get things sorted out ASAP.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"T minus ten and counting..."

Ten days to go, and another update. Registrations are open for a few more days, so better sign up, as the first round games are filling fast. The latest to fill is Apes on a (Mutha-Freaking) Shuttle, but there's also only one slot left in Firebird and The Station Agent. Fortunately we have a few other first-round games available on the day, so you won't miss out - but if you want a choice, or have to play a particular game, better get in quick.

More new games: Ivan Towlson is running Get Me to the Church on Time, described as "a tale of romance, betrayal, margaritas and blowing up the universe" - which sounds disturbingly similar to Hix's My Life with Master, described as "a game about villainy, self-loathing, and unrequited love" (margaritas optional). Housemonkey also has a fantasy offering, The Long Dry, which uses shared narrative ideas.

We still need a couple more games to round out the timetable, but it looks like it will all come together in time.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Two weeks to go

Two weeks till KapCon, and we have more news. Firstly, registrations are working properly again, and have been extended till the 14th. So, if you are planning to come, but haven't registered, sign up today.

Second, I Know, Right?" has filled.

Third, we've had two more games added. Jon Ball will be running Star Wars - The Tomb of Freedon Nadd, a quest by five Sith Apprentices attempting to gain the favour of the Dark Lord, and Donna Giltrap will be running WonderQuest (tm), involving a magical tour company offering authentic epic fantasy quest experiences in a world of magic and adventure (all major credit cards accepted).