Later this year, TRU’s Grand Hall will host the very first KamCon, a tabletop gaming convention created by local gaming enthusiasts Tyler Carpentier and Julian Leader. The event, which takes place on October 27 and 28, will feature a variety of different gaming systems, first and foremost being the well-known Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).
Though 5th edition D&D is certainly the most recognizable system that will be at the convention, there will be other tables for systems like Scion, Genesis, FATE and others, says Carpentier.
“It’s not just D&D, a lot of our marketing and social media has promoted D&D, just because it is the most recognizable franchise out there,” Carpentier said. “But there will be a lot of systems that will be played like Scion and Genesis and different types of D&D like Pathfinder.”
In addition to this, the event will have a main stage, which will feature special guests, as well as a marketplace with local vendors.
According to Carpentier, while the schedule has yet to be fully finalized, Leader and himself have targeted a variety of local personalities, YouTube channels and even theatre groups to come give talks, acts and demonstrations. There will also be room for crafters looking to sell gaming accessories and art.
“There will a lot of room for crafters as well, with their gaming accessories or gaming-related artwork,” Carpentier said. “So we want to have a really good variety there. It is always nice to go down to the store and shop around for this or that, but it’s tough to get everyone all in one spot.”
The gaming sessions themselves will be run in four-hour blocks. This will give players enough time to experience the game and accomplish something without taking all day, said Carpentier.
Carpentier says the idea for the event originally came out of his own D&D group just over a month ago.
“It is our first time running this convention,” he said. “It is a brainchild of my D&D group actually. Myself and Julian Leader, the two of us are undergoing most of the organizing for it. We both operate in the same way and we both work very well with each other.”
Originally, Carpentier and Leader’s plan was to work alongside the already established Kamloops wargaming convention Attack-X. While the two events share some similarities, Carpentier said that they were just different enough to warrant the creation of a completely new event.
“How they run Attack-X and how we are running this is similar, but slightly different and with it, it made more sense for us to take on the risk ourselves because it’s something a little bit different than what they are doing,” Carpentier said. “Also, Attack-X is heavily focused on wargaming, where as we are focusing on roleplaying and board games.”
Unlike wargaming conventions, which can be run as tournaments, roleplaying conventions can’t be managed the same way. As such, Carpentier believes that KamCon presents a great opportunity to bring the Kamloops tabletop gaming community together.
“There is a huge amount of growth in the industry as a whole, but there is really no meeting place,” he said. “We kind of want to give the community a place to meet and grow around, make it easier for people to find games, make it easier for people to find players.”
Despite the event being in its inaugural year, the community’s response has been much better than anticipated, according to Carpentier, with so many requests from locals in the community wanting to dungeon master games being almost capped out.
“We started this in earnest about a month ago and the response has been fantastic, we are ahead of schedule, the response is way better than anticipated, it’s blown us away,” he said.