Ports of the Erythraean Sea

The Indian Ocean has been a hub of trade as far back as we have records. Merchants have long traveled its coastlines and—in ancient eras where leaving sight of land was often a death sentence—taken advantage of its predictable annual monsoon winds to cross the ocean itself in long, daring journeys. While we know ancient […]

Lop Nor, the Wandering Lake

Lop Nor was a salt lake in the Taklamakan Desert in remote western China. The lake no longer exists; damming the Tarim River to create an agricultural reservoir doomed it. But while Lop Nor existed, it was a terrible puzzle, because every time outsiders visited the lake it seemed to be in a different place. […]

Akbar’s Hunt

The court hunts of the Mughal Empire in 16th-century India were remarkably gameable affairs, where the army beat the bushes to gather a forest’s worth of animals into a ring for courtiers to fight. They were also tools of geopolitics, used to quell rebellions before they arose. Money changed hands, hunters fought tigers and elephants, […]

Maroons of the Great Dismal Swamp

Before the American Revolutionary War, slavery was legal in all thirteen colonies. There were no slave states and free states, no Mason-Dixon line that people fleeing slavery could cross and find freedom. Still, there were places you could go: English Florida to live among the Seminoles, a big city to lose yourself in the crowd, […]

The Battlemap Entrance of Maiden Castle

The east entrance to the Iron Age hillfort at Maiden Castle, Dorset, England, makes a really great battlemap for RPG combats. Lucky for us, it also has some really interesting history and archaeology behind it! As a battlemap, it’s got strongpoints a single PC can hold, branching paths, and restrictions on movement that are interesting […]

Old Essex County Jail

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 Abandoned God of Wat Kon Laeng & 13th Age Review

Sukhothai, in what is today central Thailand, was the capital of a Medieval Thai kingdom in the 1200s and 1300s. The city was later abandoned, and by the mid-20th century, the ruins were totally overgrown by jungle. When archaeologists began to study the site, they were initially perplexed by an odd pyramid south of the […]

Five Dead Bodies in an Old Chaco Farmstead

In or around 1030 AD, two women, three babies, and two dogs asphyxiated to death in a farmhouse in a thriving community at the bottom of a canyon in New Mexico. Was this event a tragic accident or was it murder? Modern archaeologists have investigated the site thoroughly and lean towards accident – but it’s still […]

The Murder Castle

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 […]

An Investigative Dungeon Crawl in the Royal Art Mine

Herculaneum was a Roman town buried in 79 A.D. by the eruption of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius. These days, it’s a bit of an afterthought to the neighboring buried ruin of Pompeii. But from 1738 to 1748, before excavation began at Pompeii, the excavation at Herculaneum was the big exciting hotness of Europe. Except it […]

Mount Roraima

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! I’m running a Kickstarter campaign right now for an early-access zine edition of Ballad Hunters, my RPG about magical […]

The Villainous Sorcerer-King Against Imperial Mali

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 […]

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

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 […]

Mendenhall Ice Caves

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 […]

The Lavish High Society of 1888 Vienna

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 […]