PCs on the Battlefield: the Rock Island Keelboats

In 1814, a band of the Sauk Indian nation led an attack on three U.S. Army keelboats on the Mississippi River. The resulting Battle of Rock Island Rapids is an excellent template for a combat encounter at your table. It’s got an interesting geopolitical context (the three-way tug-of-war between America, Britain, and the Sauk), interesting […]

Fort Jefferson

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! Fort JeffersonRemote Tropical Fortress The Dry Tortugas are a group of seven small islands 70 miles […]

Wild Adventures Mapping the Khorasan Border

An 1880s joint expedition to map the border between Russia and Iran provides an amazing template for a surveying adventure. “Surveying?” you say. “How dull!” But hear me out! This joint expedition is full of smuggling, religious confrontations, international incidents, small-scale domestic politics, pride, feuds, and maybe even a secret villain operating from the shadows. […]

The Jicarilla Escape and Blog News!

In 1883, the Jicarilla Apache nation was forcibly moved from land they’d been promised as their reservation to the reservation of a sister nation, that of the Mescalero Apaches. Neither group was happy with this state of affairs. Three years later, the Jicarilla Apaches snuck out of the Mescalero reservation in a blinding blizzard to […]

The Great Whiskey Fire of 1875

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 Justin Moor. Thanks for helping keep […]

The Puzzling Genesis of the Piasa Bird

Rocky bluffs line the Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois. Painted on one is a terrible dragon with golden scales, red wings, antlers, and the face of a fanged man. It’s just a replica. The original painting wore away centuries ago – if it ever existed it all! This creature, the Piasa Bird, is a contentious piece […]

The South Sea Scam Colony

From 1879 to 1881, a French nobleman found several hundred willing dupes, took their money, and packed them off to a nation he’d made up. Dazzled with promises of land and ease, these peasants found only pestilence and death beneath the hot Pacific sun. The audacity of the scam, the ambiguous motives of the scammer, […]

Four Machine Puzzle Rooms

This week, I’m deviating from the blog’s usual history-and-folklore content! Instead, let’s talk about four simple pieces of hardware and how they work: a faucet, a rotary vane pump, a pin tumbler lock, and a chain hoist. Each works in a clever fashion, and when enlarged to the size of a room, it has components […]

The Secret History of the Mountain Folk

Material more than one year old is available to Patreon backers at the DEEP TIME ($2/month) level and higher. If you’d like access to this piece and hundreds more like it, consider becoming a patron! I’ll even write you a handwritten thank-you card.To view this content, you must be a member of The Molten Sulfur […]

Hoskinini’s Fugitives

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Weird Japanese Monsters

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The Ethiopian Sepulcher Letters

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Theobald Meyrick, Urban Villain

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Shen Fu’s Complicated Family

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The Rubber-Cutters’ Outdoor Disease Dungeon

Material more than one year old is available to Patreon backers at the DEEP TIME ($2/month) level and higher. If you’d like access to this piece and hundreds more like it, consider becoming a patron! I’ll even write you a handwritten thank-you card.To view this content, you must be a member of The Molten Sulfur […]