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

Last month, we looked at some jokes from the earliest known printed joke book, the 15th-century Facetiae of Poggio Bracciolini. This month we return to the Facetiae for more late Medieval/early Renaissance Italian jokes, each of which has at its heart a character who makes a great professional or tradesman NPC. Some readers of last […]

Lower-Class NPCs from the Medieval Joke Book

The earliest known printed joke book, the 15th-century Facetiae of Poggio Bracciolini, is a fabulous window into how this late Medieval/early Renaissance Italian saw his world. It’s also legitimately very funny. This week we’re going to look at seven jokes from the Facetiae, each of which has at its heart a character who makes a […]

The Poltergeist of Furze House

This week I offer a peculiar ghost story from an equally peculiar source. It’s an odd tale from 17th century Britain of an undead married couple, a wronged servant, and a most perspicacious gentlewoman. It’s a neat template for an RPG adventure! This post is brought to you by beloved Patreon backer Arthur Brown. Thanks […]

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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