Ben Franklin’s Almanac Prank

In 1730, future American founding father Ben Franklin published his first almanac. While Poor Richard’s Almanack is famous today, Franklin had to do something to stand out in a crowded market. So he used a gimmick: he predicted the death of the author of a rival almanac, then kept the gag going for years, absolutely […]

PCs on the (Failed Invasion) Battlefield and Coleridge’s Red Herring

In February of 1797, a small French military force landed in Wales. It was farce, easily rolled up by the British defenders. Participating in an invasion based on this one – either as an invader or a defender – is a surprisingly interesting RPG adventure hook! One of the weird events that followed the invasion also makes […]

The Lavish High Society of 1888 Vienna

In 1888, the Austro-Hungarian empire was in its decadent final decades. In Vienna, the capital, baroque splendor was on full display. Yet while ‘baroque’ can mean glitzy and overwrought, it also refers to an artistic style then over a century out of date. And that’s late 1800s Vienna: a cultural Mecca that was also the […]

Fantastical Islands from a Roman Novel

Lucian of Samosata was a second-century author writing in Roman Turkey. His best-known work is A True History, a satire of ancient historians who breathlessly repeated whatever half-baked tall tales they’d been told about foreign lands. Much as it pains me to see my beloved Herodotus so ill-treated, A True History is both funny and […]

Professional NPCs from the Medieval Joke Book

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Lower-Class NPCs from the Medieval Joke Book

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The Poltergeist of Furze House

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Teddy Roosevelt’s Crime-Fighting Guinea Pigs

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Extraordinary Folkloric NPCs

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Icelandic Sea Monsters

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Weird Medieval Monsters

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Iktomi: The Selfish Sioux Trickster

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Zany PC Schemes from Xenophon

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Chelm, the City of Fools

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Elephants vs. Dragons

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