Sunday, June 21, 2015

Montreal Homicides 2013

This is old news now, of course, but this great interactive map gives an insight into homicides in Montreal in the modern era. The CBC interactive map, with points for all the 28 homicides in Montreal for the year of 201. If you want to now more, each of the map pins has a link to the story of the death on the CBC website. 

These are only those related to deaths on the island of Montreal. I was a little surprised it was only 28. Not that I feel Montreal is a dangerous town, but that just doesn't seem like much. This is of course a good thing.

Another thing to note, in game terms, is that they are spread around the city, making no one borough more dangerous than any other.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Montreal Sourcebooks II: Montreal by Night

Way Back in 2012, I wrote a post that was intended to be one of a series. A short series, but a series none the less. That was on sourcebooks for various games that were describing Montreal in terms of the game setting. Montreal as a background for your game.

In an attempt to go through my own backlog of  drafts of posts, to get these posts out into the wild, I am reviving this series with the second instalment of Montreal Sourebooks.

This one came across my radar more than a few years ago now, back when the storyteller system was all the rage. Black Dog Games, the darker, more adult daughter company of White Wolf publishing, released "Montreal by Night: Litany of Blood". A  sourcebook for Vampire the Masquerade, based in the city of Montreal.
Welcome to Montreal, City of Black Miracles and unhallowed shrine of our most glorious Sabbat. Yes, we're so glad you came, n'est ce pas? Walk our catacombs in search of blasphemous knowledge, enjoy all manner of titillating diversions with our deliciously putrescent "Toy". And forget that language-barrier nonsense; we'd be delighted to hear you scream for mercy in English or French.
By all accounts, a good book, and a good example of the"By Night" series, which were not for the feint of heart, as they were released by the adult version of White Wolf, meaning they could go down all sorts of rabbit holes. I shall have to track myself down a copy. For research purposes, as I'll nopt likely be one to run or play Vampire an time soon.

Whilst we're on the subject of the World of Darkness (not something you will read about here often, as I am not really all that interested in their products) there is one other sourcebook that mentions the city. In "Nights of Prophecy", an adventure book, where the final chapter of the adventure is named "House of Lies," wherein a new fragment of the Book of Nod is discovered in Sabbat-controlled Montreal. A review of this book can be found on here.

Any WoD fans out there able to tell me anything more on these titles? I'd be interested to hear of you have read them.

Click on the images to buy on

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

L. Berson & Fils.

I read recently, with some sadness, of the closing, or moving of an establishment, that seems to me at least, to be as old as Montreal itself.

In a recent Gazette column, I read of the relocation of L. Berson & Fils off of the Main. To those from out of town, the Main is the name given by locals to Rue St Lauren, or St Lawrence Street (of all the names the street has, that last one is never used).

As the article states, the business was established on the Main in 1922, and it was indeed a landmark. I remember seeing it on my first visit to the city, and at the time, I did find it a bit of an eyesore, if at least one that clearly had history, it was what looked like a builder's yard in the middle of a busy main shopping street, but the sign hanging above it made it obvious it was just part of the fittings and fixtures of the town, and that it hearkened back to an earlier era.

It was this obvious recalling to an earlier age that meant when I came to running CoC here, and the investigators visited Montreal, the look and locale of the place became a direct inspiration on the company "Guerard et Fils", a warehouse an yard in town for a house moving and clearing company, who the Investigators came in contact with whilst searching for some artifacts, or books.

This was the second time they had visited the town, the first time being to run through the Horror's Heart scenario. Obviously, when they came back, things had changed, and much of it was to do with the fallout of their actions on their first visit. One of the cultists they had 'taken care of' on the previous visit had a library full of useful artifacts and books. However, they were not aware of this the first time round. When they came back, and had to track the items down, they found the house had been cleared by the aforementioned firm.

This led to an eventual visit to the yard, which in my minds eye was Berson & Fils, and I described it as such. If I had another game in town, I would endeavour to use these house clearers again, as I thought it was such a great way to let the investigators rummage around in old stuff. You never know what they'll find, even if it's not what they thought they were looking for!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Burnistoun - Lovecraftian Sketch

I have not seen previous episodes of what seems to be a current BBC Scotland comedy sketch show, going by the name Burnistoun, however, through an old school friend on facebook, I was made aware of this sketch. 

"There's an unnamable, unimaginable thing in my basement and I want it punted."

Take three minutes to watch it. It's chock full of references, delivered with particularly Scottish understatement.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Horror Express

With the sad and recent passing of Sir Christopher Lee, who led an amazingly full life, I post here a link to the full film Horror Express.

This film is moving rapidly to the top of my play list for multiple reasons, Lee's recent passing is one, and my reading through of the Horror on the Orient Express campaign being another.

The lovecraftian themes are of course there, but we really need no further excuse than the actors whe are present in the film.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Sedefkar Simulacrum

Last year I noticed, too late, an Indigogo campaign by a French Artist to make a3D prop version of the Sedefkar Simulacrum, which is the artefact that the players collect as they trek round Europe as the Horror on the Orient Express campaign progresses. The campaign original ended without being funded. Fortunately for me, if not for my wallet, the campaign has been relaunched, now on Kickstarter.

The project has the official backing of Chaosium, and is such a licensed product. This is not, however, a Chaosuim Kickstarter, as we all know by now to keep those puppies at arms length!

This is also another chance to get a copy of the Eye of Light and Darkness prop for the Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign, as was made for Ben Patey's prop set Kickstarter, which I have backed, but not to the extent of getting the clay props, only the paper ones.

So, a twofer really on the props front. I am sorely sorely tempted to go for this one. I'll let you all know if I do.