The Pettiest County Seat War in Frontier Indiana

Between 1811 and 1873, Wayne County, Indiana had three different capitals and six different courthouses. Each time the county seat moved, it was incredibly contentious, involved lots of guns, and one time a cannon. The stakes were high – these events led to one town’s irrelevance and another’s outright dissolution. Yet the stakes were also trivial. […]

The Villainous Sorcerer-King Against Imperial Mali

Last week, we dug into the West African griot-song The Epic of Sundiata, about the eponymous founder of the Mali Empire who lived circa 1217-1255. Sundiata’s mother dominates the first half of the epic, and she makes a fabulous NPC! This week we’re going to look at the second half of the epic through a […]

Ballad Hunters: Early-Access Zine Edition now on Kickstarter!

I’m running a Kickstarter campaign right now for an early-access zine edition of Ballad Hunters. It’s a tabletop RPG where amateur folklorists fight magical folk ballads as agents of the Crown in 1813 England and Scotland. The folk ballads of the common people are coming to life. Where ballads are sung, sometimes the lyrics take hold of people, […]

The Buffalo-Ghost Queen of Imperial Mali

Sundiata (circa 1217-1255), the founder of the Mali Empire, is famed in song and story in part because of his eponymous griot-song The Epic of Sundiata. And it’s deservedly famous – it’s a great story! But the coolest character in the epic isn’t Sundiata. It’s his mom, Sogolon Kondé. She’s a sorcerer with a buffalo ghost, […]

Lucilla

Once a month here on the Molten Sulfur Blog, I run content taken from our book Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs. This post is one of eighty entries in Archive, each more gameable than the last! This post is brought to you by beloved Patreon backer Arthur Brown. Thanks for helping keep […]

By Order of General Ludd and His Luddites

The Luddites were a British labor movement active roughly between 1811 and 1817. They opposed the growing mechanization of the British textile industry by smashing machines, burning buildings, and threatening – and sometimes killing – business leaders and magistrates. They had a secret, probably fictional, leader. And they’re more relevant now than ever. Let’s look at what […]

The Hidden Treasure of Bahadur Shah & Ultraviolet Grasslands Review

Last week, I wrapped up my five-part Babur series, but I still wanted to present a little coda to the Babur story: a tale of hidden treasure found by his son and successor, Humayun. Because this post is about half the length of what I usually shoot for, I also found the time to (finally) […]

The NPC Guest List at Babur’s Last, Greatest Party

This week we return for our final intriguing moment in the autobiography of Babur (1483-1530), the founder of the Mughal Empire in India. In 1528 he threw an enormous party with an astonishing cast of characters. Having all these people – all with their own reasons to love and hate one another – in the same place […]

Cotton Mather’s American Ghosts

The Puritan clergyman Cotton Mather (1663-1728) is one of the boogeymen of early American history. Among his many sins, he helped fuel the Salem witch trials that executed 20 people for witchcraft. In the trials he successfully argued that the contents of magical visions should be considered legally admissible evidence. Mather was a prolific writer. […]

The Siege of Lal Masjid

Once a month here on the Molten Sulfur Blog, I run content taken from our book Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs. This post is one of eighty entries in Archive, each more gameable than the last! This post is brought to you by beloved Patreon backer Arthur Brown. Thanks for helping keep […]

The Scandalous Memoirs of Regency England

For the upper classes, the early 1800s in Britain were an elegant and glamorous age. This is the time of Bridgerton, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice. In London high society, it was an era of lavish balls, fabulous outfits, and not thinking too much about the ongoing Napoleonic Wars or the growing poverty in the […]

Chasing Your Boss’ Mirror-Universe Twin Through Punjab

This week we return to another intriguing moment in the autobiography of Babur (1483-1530). He would go on to found the Mughal Empire in India, but at this point in his story he was mid-career: king of Kabul with his eyes on the stars. This post is going to be about a manhunt! It’s got […]

The Secret Peasant Book Club

In the countryside near 1500s Venice, most people were illiterate – but not all. A small number of literate peasants swapped books amongst themselves. Some of the books were forbidden. One miller was hauled before the Inquisition, not for reading banned books, but for developing his own theology from them that existed outside the bounds of Christianity. […]

The Library of Ivan the Terrible

Once a month here on the Molten Sulfur Blog, I run content taken from our book Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs. This post is one of eighty entries in Archive, each more gameable than the last! This post is brought to you by beloved Patreon backer Colin Wixted. Thanks for helping keep […]

The Shaman/Detective Team-Up

Uluksuk Mayuk was an Inuinnait (Copper Inuit) shaman active in the early 1900s. In 1914, he heard about a double murder and went to investigate it. Two years later, a Canadian detective arrived unexpectedly from a world away. Uluksuk and the detective pooled their information and their resources, then Uluksuk led the detective to the […]