I've recently started a new campaign with my players, in a homebrew setting I have which basically is my way to pick whatever parts I like between the lores of the Secret World MMO, oWoD, nWoD and a bunch of others sources to write my own urban fantasy. Taking place in the modern era, I told my players they could pick whatever city they wanted and I'd work out the supernatural community there. They decided on Marseille in France, and I was actually excited to run the game outside the usual 'London - New York' axis I often ran this world in.But now I'm a bit stuck cause I don't know much about Marseille and after reading a few articles of people who lived there and the Wikipedia page, I still feel that I don't get the 'vibe' of the place as well as I get other more famous cities. So this thread is to discuss urban fantasy in general but also looking for any french anon, or just Anon who lived there who can tell me about Marseille and preferably it's creepy side!
look at degenesis, whole game and campaigns are free and a part of it actually is located in the South of France - Montpellier or Marseille, can't remember. Also has an article on 1d4chan.
Marseille has a strong rap culture, that was opposed to Paris' during the 90's. Like west coast and east coast rap in the US for example. You could use some of that music as background during your sessions - try IAM, Shurik'n, Akhenaton. YouTube the MVs for the mood of the city.
>>73530543You should focus your supernatural beings/legends towards sea creatures : mermaids, lovecraftian fishmen, etc. Also Marseille is a veeeeeery old city, actually the oldest city in France, the city was founded in the year 600 B.C. So you can link it to a lot of extremely old creature living in the area since the Roman empire or something (if you want vampires and such).
>>73530572>degenesisactually had Marseille razed, but nice maps. https://degenesis.com/downloads/maps
>>73530543>I'd work out the supernatural community thereoh man, you're in for a good time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_d%27If
>>73530596This is very good. I like to use modern cultural elements to contrast and sprinkle against the older threats and ancient lore.>>73530603As a coastal city I was already planning a lot of that. In this setting, the Atlanteans are basically a super-human creepy type of ancient culture that was almost extinct but the survivors, ever-living, are often pulling strings in the shadows.>>73530668This is great stuff. Definetely can use that
>>73530543Tell us more about your setting, OP. I really like Secret World and would have fun playing a game based on it
>>73530543>I have to travel a lot for my job and Marseille is the only city where the cop show up at my hotel room because apparently someone got killed/injured in a room on my floor>It was in a good hotel not a shitty drug addict den>This is an average day in MarseilleLot of North AfricanDistrict at the north of the city and near the train station are the most poor of France and under drug dealer controlSome territory fight amongst gangSome district are in very poor shape with building in important need of restauration because they are on the verge of collapse (some actually collapsed 2-3 years ago, killing eight people)Local politician are corrupt, and nepotism is highIt's port was known to be where French Connection sent its heroine to the US in the 80'sThere was a strong mob with a lot of influence in drug traffic and racket but the bosses are arrested one after the other.The old port is a nice place.
>>73531572I think the main premise of the setting is that most urban legend style creatures exists: Werewolves, Vampires, etc. And there's a supernatural phenomenon called 'the Veil', in which, people who aren't in the know about the supernatural world will subconsciously repress memories and fail to notice weird things. The Veil is also used as 'the Masquerade' in WoD to mean 'the set of unspoken rules all those who exist in secrecy must abide for'. Templars and Illuminatti both exist as warring secret societies. Templars are like the Men In Black, but with supernatural instead of aliens. They act as a international police that arbitrates and sometimes hunts rogue supernatural. Illuminatti are former Templars that centuries ago broke away from the order because they felt the whole knight in shining armor thing was naive and they preferred to use their position in the shadows to gain control over countries. Some Illum want to guide humanity into a brighter future. Some want money and riches. The setting is called 'Shadow World', which is how in setting people referred to the hidden side of the 'Veil'. THe setting includes my own take into changeling, demons, feys, angels, paladins, fish people, lovecraftian horror and dragons. A lot is shamelessly stolen from other sources, like my vampires use a lot of World of Darkness concepts, but I created my own clans/bloodlines. And templars and Illum are shamelessly taken from Secret World, but some stuff, like my take on changelings, I feel, are pretty much unique (probably not but I'm not aware of a setting that does what I do with them).
>>73532220So a port city which is a focus of poverty, crime and immigration. That's rich storytelling material, thanks anon!
>>73532276Some district are nice, a lot of italian influence in the architecture.The north district are basically (very) cheaps projects building (seriously it's like the slapped 5 giant concrete rectangle together and called it a day, no wonder crime is high)You have to keep in mind that this part of France is very sunny, so don't go american noir movie, with hot temperature in summer and it's just a little fresh in winter. Their is also a strong wind because the city is at the exit of a valley.
>>73532220>Local politician are corruptThere's actually a Netflix fiction about it. https://www.netflix.com/fr-en/title/80037278 OP could use some of that corruption for hiding supernatural/new world order stuff.
>>73532220How did it come to be such an horrible place? Is the rest of France that shitty too?
>>73532646Marseille is far different from the reste of France. In fact there are strong differences between northern and southern France. I am not talking about crime and stuff, but mentality and culture.Now, concerning crime and all, I think the reason behind that is immigration. I am not saying that immigration is a problem in itself, I am saying that these people were treated with very little respect, and the rest of the society made them into the criminals we think they are. I don't know if I am clear.Marseille is one of the oldest immigration spot actually. To understand immigration in France you have to go back to the 60s : when Algeria (and Marocco and Tunisia) won its independence over France, a lot of people from the formers colonies wished to live in France. They came, and the government sent them into these horrible soviet-style buildings in the outskirts of many cities of France, especially MarseilleFor the setting, OP can use some Northern African mystic shit I guess. I don't know a lot about that though
>>73530543I don't know if you want to stick to the city itself but you might wanna check out the coutryside around it, especially the coast, which is very rocky and cliffy, with little creeks (calanque in French) where you could hide a smugglers boat or something like that I guess. The region is in fact well known for its "calanques", it is part of the things we associate with Marseille
>>73530543Wtf that's my city
>>73532858Definitely will be using the surrounding areas to some extent since a few supernatural critters and cults will prefer to stay away from highly urbanized areas.
>>73532897The tarasque that you might know from D&D is actually part of southern French folklore (provençal folklore). The story of the Tarasque is linked to the town of Tarascon, just north of Marseille
>>73532921Nah I like it there, what you heard about crime and stuff is not untrue but it's a bit exaggerated, Marseille is a normal city for the most part
>>73532646>How did it come to be such an horrible place?It's an old (the city was founded by the greek in 600 bc), large port (largest mediterranean port).So you have everything that come with that, lot of immigration from all around the Mediterranean sea, old building and of course easy way to smuggle thing.
>>73532964I know that you might be French like me but I'll keep speaking in English so our friends here can understand what's happening. Would you say that what I wrote here >>73532797 is true? I have never been to Marseille and have never really studied the reasons behind the violence of the Northern District but I just figured I could guess
>>73530543A cool thing to use is the tarot of Marseilles, it's used in cartomancy.
>>73532276It's mostly the North districts, where there is a lot of soviet style ugly ass appartement bloc, people often call them "barres" because well they are thin, long and once behind it you hardly get out.Rest is a better, especially those day, it was way worse a few years back.There is a big joke about the port too, who go back to La French (when it wasn't so much of a joke) that someone would end up at the bottom of the harbor (with the feet tied/in concrete). You could probably make it a execution method for something hard to kill
>>73532351>You have to keep in mind that this part of France is very sunny, so don't go american noir movie, with hot temperature in summer and it's just a little fresh in winter. Their is also a strong wind because the city is at the exit of a valley.That's a important point. Hot and windy (le mistral!) or hot and dry. Though you could still do a bit of noir by night time and now I'm thinking of Cybersix.
Other french anon here, I've never been to Marseille (almost never in the PACA, if you know what that is), but I can tell you that in addition to rap, criminallity and being one of the oldest and largest cities of France, it's also well known for its football (soccer) team, and they have a long rivalry with parisian teams.
>>73533106https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8G13J89N6IA bit old but eh.Another joke I like:> Il y a deux ports à Marseille, un devant la mairie, et un dedans.But it's a pun that can't be translated.
>>73530543It is a place of immigration since its foundation by greek settlers, so you could give a dark american gods twist to it, with each wave of immigrants bringing its legendary creatures / spirits (greek, gallic, roman, germanic, north african, gypsies, slavs, etc...) and have thme clashing with each other. Mix it with the fact that the old style downtown mob have been replaced by the suburbs drug dealers "gangs". I don't know maybe greeks satryrs and all vould try to wrestle the power from north african entities (don't know shit about it) themselves at war with gypsies entities. Of course the "mainland" french republic paranormal forces would like to retake control of the city (2nd or 3rd largets of the country) but you also have catholics and neo pagan cells.As stated lot of criminality(every now and then we still ear about shootouts and assassination in Marseille suburb), cultural diversity , political corruption, inequality and poverty (couple years ago there were some habitation buidlings litteraly collapsing downtown, killing people inside it) makes it a great setting for dark supernatural adventures.
>>73533275As seen recently, I think the rivalry goes way farther than the football for the massilians (not sure the parisians really care tho)>>73533101This my dude is a brilliant idea, OP you got to use it someway.
>>73533035I'd say i agree with most of your post but i don't think immigration is the direct cause of crime.
>>73530543What time period is this taking place in?
>>73533358>Neo paganShould just be pagan Imo, one of the advantage of being in Europe instead of American is not having to deal with all that wiccan shit.
>>73532897There's a prehistoric cave that was found there too, the entrance is underwaterhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosquer_Cave
>>73533607Current year(ish) in a corona free timeline
>>73533584Yeah, reading my post again made me think that this explanation was a little too simplistic. And to be clear : I am not a racist, or fascist or whatever; I myself come from immigration to some extent.
>>73530543French anon here. I'm not from Marseille but the few times I got there, the 2 things that stroke me the most were - how quick you could get from a perfectly clean and nice tourist place, to a wretched hive of villainy with drug dealers and rats battling for ''''food'''' in torn, uncollected trash in the middle of the streets- drivers are crazy. Way too fast, no turn-signals, most don't respect priorities, etc. Driving there was more of a challenge than I thought it would have been.Also, lots of young, stupid people driving Yamaha T-Max scooters in underwear for some reason (well, I guess the reason is 'it's pretty hot in summer', but they don't seem to understand that at least wearing a short and a helmet could help them if they are hit by a madman in a car - which is incredibly likely)>>73532220can confirm that this anon's take is what is known/believed of Marseille in France from other cities. When you heard of 'Les Quartiers Nord' ('the Northern Districts/Blocks', roughly translated) on the radio you don't have to precise the city, everyone has heards of turf wars and drug dealing in there.>>73532858>calanque in FrenchI might be wrong but I'm pretty sure the term is typical from Marseille and its surrouding, I don't think you can call a creak in Bretagne a calanque.
>>73536794I realize I insisted mostly on bad aspects here, and indeed I'm not fond of the city, but I must also add that the good neighborhoods are really pretty and it's really nice to stroll on Le Vieux PortPeople are pretty friendly, though a lot of them talk very loudly. I think they're very proud.
>>73536897Almost forgot again: try and include some Savon de Marseille and Pastis 51 to your game. Some would say Ricard is better, but the same often say Earth if flat too.
>>73530543>I still feel that I don't get the 'vibe' of the place as well as I get other more famous citiesit's hot, dry, sunny and french, what is there to describe? overall an unpleasant experience
>>73536794Yes calanque is specific to Marseille but it is relevant here. The general french word is criqueAlso OP, it is southern France, so don't forget to add racist old women in your setting
>>73530543You can add this. I very like the spirit of that place near La crypte du Jeu (a Card / board game store).
>>73533101Tu me feint le cœur !>>73530543 You could also add some reference to the french connection who smuggled drug to NYC on the 60 If you want you can add some of the slang like whesh for what, Inshallah, and other couillonades for fun For the accent try to find the Pagnol movie trilogy to give yourself an Idea. And for a more fantasy note you can use the château d'if the one from the count of Monte Cristo
>>73537240As a Brit, this amused me.
>>73530543I visited there last year before the plague. It is filthy and decrepit. It looks like someone made a shitty replica of Lisbon and decided to fill it with Africans and Arabs. Seriously, French people are nearly absent from Marseille.t. American
>>73540090>Shitty replica of LisboaAka southern Europe coastal city, what is your point? >DecrepitIt's called having a history, i'm sorey you don't have that>French are absentMost of these people you call Arabs and Africans were born in France and have grand parents that supported the French gouvernement during the Algeria War, or fought to liberate the country against nazis at the end of WW2. Go back to /pol/ fucking retard
>>73538075Noice. Those are all great recomends
>>73533238>That's a important point. Hot and windy (le mistral!) or hot and dry. Though you could still do a bit of noir by night time and now I'm thinking of Cybersix.I am not the person who started this thread, but thank you very much.
>>73537320Dude... Like, what even is this?
>>73530543Marseillebro here.More interesting history elements you could use>the foundation myth: a Pocahantas style story between a Greek explorer from Phocea named Protis and a Gallic princess named Gyptis (of course this is a Greek version of her Celtic name)>Saint Victor Abbey is located on the Southern side of the Vieux Port. It dates back to the Late Roman Empire, was built atop a Roman temple and has catacombs. Go crazy!>the Galley Arsenal: Marseille used to be the place where the Royal French Navy based its fleet of convict and POW-crewed galleys. The "Arsenal des Galères" was located on the South Side of the Vieux-Port, it's now dry and replaced with a huge plaza since the 19th century.>the Great Plague of 1720: trade ship "Le Grand Saint-Antoine" brought the plague to the city after it breached quarantine because the maor at the time had a stake in its cargo and didn't want to miss out on the cash. The city was quarantined by Royal troops but a few inhabitants managed to flee the city. Some got shot, others took refuge in caves in the surrounding hills.>Seasonal fires: every summer, the dry garigue goes up in flames due to some retard throwing a cigarette out of his car or whatever. This may block highways and endanger the outlying villages and suburbs
>>73530543>the feel of MarseillesDetroit/Camden but more Arabs and Maghrebis. Most french people loathe what's happened to Marseilles and when asked will say it's not France. Mafia everywhere, Corsicans and Arabs.
>>73532646>>How did it come to be such an horrible place?Immigration.It's always immigration.
>>73549067Cont.Greek era Marseille was home to an explorer called Pytheas who may have been the first Mediterranean to go into the Atlantic, up to the British isles and maybe to Scandinavia (he described what sounded like an aurora borealis) but most of his writing was lost in the fire of the library of Alexandria. Maybe in your setting he brought back something from Atlantis to his homeport?About the people here: sure there's tons of gang stuff with automatic weapons and shit (in my opinion the Parisian suburbs are even worse) but most of the times this stays in the northern districts and the rest of the city's crime is pretty standard stuff for a big city. The average Marseillais is rude, loud but overall friendly.Politicians are extremly corrupt. We're having municipal elections right now and one candidate had to withdraw because it was discovered she arranged for people in the hospital (people in a coma or old folks with Alzeihmers mostly) to "vote" for herI should also let you know that it's not all Arabs and Blacks in the Northern district. Tons of poor white people there too but they tend to adopt the maneerisms of Arabs and Blacks. Other important communities are Armenians who came in the 20's. they make up about 13% of the population and are very well integrated. Same with the Vietnamese (mostly ethnic groups like Hmongs, Catholic converts and loyalists who fought for France, very similar to boat peoples and ex-ARVN in the US)>>73549136Not so much immigration per se (Marseille has always been an immigrant city, period) as excessive, uncontroled immigration followed by herding people in atrocious commieblocks (trust me I was born in one) and leaving them there to rot. Also corruption. Insane levels of corruption.
>>73549211>Not so much immigration per se (Marseille has always been an immigrant city, period)Contrast Marseille pre-60s to Marseille today.Calling it an "immigrant city" in that context is at best deflective and on average dishonest. It's a port city that always used to be majority French and is now majority "born in France".
>>73549233I was not saying it in the "Oh it's an immigrant city, nothing to see here, move along" way, but more in the sense of: this city is the most common entry point into France, it's not surprising if there's tons of immigrants. But there is indeed way too much immigration (and the wrong kind if you catch my meaning) since the 70's and 80's and way too little control of it. But that's not a strictly Marseille problem, that's a France-wide problem.
>>73548982I dunno, a scene from Marseille drawn by Marcel Dubout, a french cartoonist.It's not a joke but as you can see, Marseille has always been a multicultural city since its foundation. All French people think it's hell on earth but I find the city rather cool (except the gypsies).
>>73549336To be fair absolutely no one like gypsies, inluding people with arabs or North African origins. And that's the case everywhere.
>>73549129>Most french people loathe what's happened to Marseilles and when asked will say it's not France.More like we don't care, only hearing about the city because of football, manifestations's numbers being comically overstated and executions with AKs. I'd daresay most of the French people, especially those who aren't in the south-east of France don't care about the city.Paris is the city everybody in France as an opinion about, for good (or bad) reason. Well mostly an opinion about parisiens but still.t. north-west French
I didn't think I'd like this idea.But it's growing on me.
>>73536794>When you heard of 'Les Quartiers Nord' ('the Northern Districts/Blocks', roughly translated) on the radio you don't have to precise the city, everyone has heards of turf wars and drug dealing in thereWow, that's really interesting.