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 […]

Lord Thomas of Marle, the Wickedest Man of His Generation

Thomas of Marle (1073-1130 A.D.), the Lord of Coucy, was a Medieval French nobleman so evil that the King of France, the Catholic Church, and his own father all tried to destroy him. The era’s chaotic politics gave Thomas the opportunity to rampage across the landscape – and sometimes threw him a lifeline when the consequences […]

PCs on the Battlefield: the Siege of Cartagena

The 1741 siege of Cartagena, in what is today Colombia, featured a really interesting variation on the normal siege framework. The British attackers knew going into it that they would likely suffer a devastating outbreak of yellow fever, and that the Spanish defenders would likely be unaffected. Thus, they were racing the clock: they had […]

Occult NPCs from Aubrey’s Lives

Back in November, we looked at a weird ghost story from an even weirder source: Aubrey’s Brief Lives. This week we return to the Lives to look at his biographies of nine bizarre occult NPCs from 1600s Britain. Some were (according to Aubrey anyway) literally haunted by the ghosts of their sins; others were outright […]

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. […]

Hiroo Onoda

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 Trans Conquistador, Lieutenant Erauso

This week we’re going to look at a series of bloody, hair-raising adventures from the autobiography of a 17th-century nun, conquistador, murderer, and transman. Lieutenant Erauso was a celebrity in his own day, and his tales of mischief and mayhem across South America make terrific templates for RPG adventures! I’ll talk more about identifying Erauso […]

Talking the Tsembaga out of War

The Tsembaga were a tight-knit cluster of clans that lived on the fringes of highland New Guinea. Around 1930, they almost went to war with their neighbors, the Dimbagai-Yimyagai. The reasons why the war never materialized are complicated, and they make a great template for a diplomatic or social adventure rooted firmly at the level […]

The Bizarre Court-Martial of Francesco Caracciolo

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Zheng He’s Alien Invasion

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Three Unusual British Castles

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The Contemptible NPC You Can’t Say ‘No’ To

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The Wokou Raiders

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PCs on the Battlefield: Caesar’s Wars (Part 4)

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PCs on the Battlefield- Caesar’s Wars (Part 3)

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 […]