Manaburnt Podcast – Episode 10: Tolkien

Welcome back to the Podcast, probably the last one in 2019! Don’t worry though, we made up for it by unintentionally making it almost twice as long! But what do you expect from our special Milestone episode 10 all about Tolkien stuff, chosen by the listeners!

You can listen through Spotify below, or find links for all other places to listen at

In this episode we are joined by our friend, Tolkien nerd and all round awesome RPG guy – Jason Tondro! We talk about all things Tolkien, his works and the adaptations: the movies, the videogames, the music, the RPGs (I never miss a chance to bring up The One Ring) And of course most excitingly we have a lengthy discussion of our hopes and fears for the upcoming Amazon Prime Lord of the Rings series!

Manaburnt Podcast – Episode 7: RPGs

Another podcast coming at ya! This one is on our most beloved subject – RPGs!

Also our podcast is now on Apple HERE
This means you can easily listen in the Apple Podcasts app, or any other IOS and Android podcast tracker/app! just search ‘manaburnt’ and you’ll see us!

Alternatively, find links for all other places to listen at

Lilly and Alex are joined by Mike again in this episode. We go over some of our favourite RPGs and things we’ve played recently, before getting into some topics such as character death and combat realism. We all have a great love for RPGs, and different perspectives on many, listen and you’ll see!

There will surely be many more RPG discussions in the future. Maybe you’d like to join us? Get in touch!

The One Ring Chronicles – Part Four: Into The Long Marshes

The group arrived at the Stair of Girion late in the day as the sun was just disappearing behind the tallest trees of the eastern eaves of Mirkwood. They considered making camp themselves but were soon invited to join the lake-men who lived near the shore to take seats around their fire. These porters were simple men, and most of them young. They were easily excited by the sight of adventurers daring to go south on a boat, and jumped at the chance of hearing a good story or song from them. Unfortunately the party lacked any musical individuals, but Burin was happy to entertain them with stories from the histories of the Dwarves, mostly of great battles with the Orcs in the far off Misty Mountains.

The Lake-men were pleased to have such interesting company on that night, and before it grew late they introduced the party to an ancient looking individual that supposedly lived nearby. Old Nerulf was his name, and when he spoke to the group the decrepit Northman was hardly intelligible, but when he heard that these travellers were heading south he repeated over and over again what seemed to be some words of warning, perhaps a rhyme of lore he learned as a child: ‘If you go south into the marshes take heed: tread lightly and fear the gallows-weed…’ Continue reading “The One Ring Chronicles – Part Four: Into The Long Marshes”

“Armed for Battle”: a backstory for Brunihild for the One Ring

A while back you may have seen my character creation process for Brunihild for a game of the One Ring I did not get to play – yet. You can see the character creation here

As a very thorough player that I am, I cannot create a character without giving them a back story – does not feel right. How am I supposed to know who they are if I don’t tell others?! But this is no news – everyone knows I am the best bard in all of Krynn! (I will tell you about it one day). So this the background for Brunihild. I am a massive Tolkien fan, so I have tried to keep the story consistent, not only with One Ring dynamics, but so I would fit in within the general narrative sphere of Middle-earth:

Continue reading ““Armed for Battle”: a backstory for Brunihild for the One Ring”

Creating Brunihild for The One Ring – Brunihild Creada para el One Ring

So here is a character concept I developed for The One Ring game Alex was working on for an online forum, but that we didn’t really have the chance to go through with. However I very much enjoyed the proces and liked the type I came up with. Who knows, maybe I will get to play as her in the future:

Aquí os dejo un personaje para el  The One Ring, el juego de Cublicle 7 basado en la Tierra-media justo después del Hobbit y antes del Señor de los Anillos en la narrativa de Tolkien. Alex estaba desarrollando el juego para un foro online, aunque al final no pudo ser. Ha conseguido redirigir su campaña a esta narrativa tipo fan-ficción que escribe como si estuviese masteando la partida, pero bueno yo decidí seguir con el personaje, y bueno igual con un poco de suerte puedo usarla en un futuro próximo:


I used the main books from The One Ring and the online character generator, which is extremly useful. Me limité a usar el libro de reglas original del The One Ring – aunque hay expansiones, tampoco quería complicarme mucho la vida ya que solo he jugado un par de veces – y este generador de personajes online que es muy útil:

This is really useful as well if you want to have a full discussion as a group about individual characters and how to link stories together – it saves the characters online and it allows you to chat amongst yourselves. Handy! Esta herramienta es genial si además quieres comentar una partida online o incluso jugarla si no tienes otros medios, porque te permite guardar ahí mismo los personajes de todos los jugadores e incluso sus fichas de trasfondo.

That’s all for character creation, but you can read her back story next. Y eso es el personaje creado. Su transfondo esta aqui –

The One Ring Chronicles – Part Three: A Long and Weary Way

After waiting a short while for other search parties to be sent on various other routes, Arnulf and Burin were finally called forward to set off themselves. Burin was dreading the thought of an endless trek down the long marshes between the forest and the lake, but they were thankfully given a document with Glóin’s seal that would allow them to borrow a decent boat for their journey.

They found themselves grouped up with two other volunteers. One was a young man of the Laketown watch by the name of Lifstan. Arnulf was sure he had heard of the man before for some reason, but decided to leave the conversation until they were on their way. The other companion that joined them was named Runa, a woman of middle age who Arnulf knew was part of one of the noble families once linked to the town council. Today it seemed she was a member of the bowman’s guild.

After the four of them introduced themselves, it didn’t take long for them to find their way to the jetties used for official town business and acquire a boat. Lifstan appeared to have the most experience with boating on the lake, and especially with the use of a sail boat like this one, but Arnulf and Runa, having grown up in Laketown, were still of use. Burin wasn’t very helpful, but sailing continued smoothly southwards.

It would take them a whole day to cover the fifteen miles that separate Laketown from the southern end of the lake, close to where its waters pour out over high waterfalls. During the day they mostly kept watch for any signs of trouble on the western shores, and occasionally passed the time with conversation. Arnulf, being an inquisitive sort and an aspiring weaponsmith brought up the strange looking sword on Lifstan’s belt. It was fairly well decorated and more curved than what he’d seen of any blade made by Man, Elf or Dwarf. Lifstan handed the weapon over, allowing Arnulf to examine it, not seeming to mind his curiosity.
‘They call it a scimitar where it’s from, more specifically a serpent scimitar for the snake’s head decoration on the hilt. It’s actually been in my family for a couple of generations since my great uncle Nefstan, a merchant, brought it back from the lands to the East. Usually watchmen wouldn’t carry such a serious weapon, as there’s no real need for them, but since it was used by my father in the Battle of Five Armies I wouldn’t dare leave it to collect dust on the mantelpiece now’
‘So your father passed it to you after the battle? Or-‘ Arnulf began to ask.
‘No, no it was ah, found on the field. Still in his grasp’ Lifstan interrupted.
‘I see, I’m sorry to hear that my friend, mine is a similar story’
‘I’m sure many of our stories are these days, but it’s ok, I’m proud of his bravery, which is why I carry the blade now. It’s also why I’m here, my father proved that a man from a long line of watchmen can do more than simply watch, I feel I need to live up to that’
Arnulf nodded slowly, thinking about what the man said. ‘That’s very admirable, I think I understand your feeling’.

Arnulf then tried to learn more about Runa, but couldn’t get much out of her about her reasons for being on this quest, or much about her past. He did definitely recall her being related to one of the council members of the old Laketown some years ago however. He considered that she would still be reticent on the subject, so gave up his polite probing and decided to finally ask her about her own equipment. She was clearly a member of the Bowman’s Guild with her exquisite longbow taller than her, but he was more interested in the strange armour adorning her upper body. It had the appearance of golden scales, probably made of some form of copper or brass as far as he could tell. It reminded him of the dragon’s own armour, and he wasn’t sure if that was deliberate or not.
‘Not unlike the watchman’s sword, it also came to my family by way of trade with folk from the East. Many coats of mail like this one hung in the great hall of the old town until…’ She paused for a moment, cleared her throat then carried on. ‘I acquired it then, and have decided to make use of it where I can, and today seemed appropriate time for it, as… Lifstan, said things like this probably should be left to collect dust’ She finished as she gave a slight nod to the watchman manning the tiller.

Soon enough the sky was beginning to darken and they could hear the distant rushing of the falls, so they knew it would soon be time to stop. Travellers heading south usually disembarked on the western shore of the lake, where several wooden piers would jut out from the shingles. There were a number of huts huddled close to the lake and they could see fires twinkling in the dim light. These were the homes of the Lake-men that seved as porters for the Stair of Girion.

The Stair of Girion was a paved portage trackway, built long ago by the Lake-men with the help of Dwarven masons, allowing for the swift transport of boats and their contents from the lake down to where the Running River resumes its course beyond the falls (or up to the lake from the river, for boats coming from the south). Entire boats could be loaded on wheeled carts, that were then pulled along grooves dug into the paved trackway.
The stair of Girion hadn’t seen a lot of traffic in the past few centuries. Not even the death of Smaug had provided the chance to put it to much use, as only well armed and courageous merchants (a rare breed…) dared to approach the lake directly by boat. Fearing to enter the darkest parts of the Long Marshes, they would usually prefer to unload their wares ninety miles south of the lake, where the Running River enters Mirkwood and the marshes, and then continue their journey overland along the eastern borders of the wood.
The group arrived at the Stair at the end of this first day and proceeded to load their light boat on the trackway to proceed the next morning.

The One Ring Chronicles – Part Two: Where Noisome Waters Pour

Arnulf and Burin approached the large main entrance to Laketown for the first time in many months. Since they had permanently moved to the new City of Dale a few years ago they had only rarely needed to return here. Today, of all days, seemed the perfect reason to come however. Today was the first day of the great new festival to be held hear each year named Dragontide, in commemoration of the events five years past and those who lost their lives, as well as a celebration of the new age of prosperity the people of the lake and Dale were enjoying.


The pair passed through the main entrance, manned by a few more of the town guards than usual, and then through the busy tollhouse to enter the town. As they opened out onto Bridge Street Burin was quite surprised to the place heaving with people.
‘By Durin’s beard lad! Would you look at the amount of folk they’ve managed to squeeze into these streets, it’s a wonder the place hasn’t sunk!’
Arnulf couldn’t help himself from beaming with pride at the success of his hometown
‘I know, isn’t it brilliant?’ He said ‘I only hope we can see the great streets of Dale as busy as this soon!’
They continued down the main street until they reached the market pool, which was somehow even busier still, with various merchants and craftsmen from lands near and far. They spent some time wandering the stalls, taking in the sights of exotic wares and enjoying the somewhat frantic but cheerful atmosphere. Continue reading “The One Ring Chronicles – Part Two: Where Noisome Waters Pour”

The One Ring Chronicles – Part One: Introduction

It is late Autumn in the year 2946 of The Third Age. It has been five years since the dragon came down from the mountain and laid great fire upon the lake. Five years since the great Battle of Five Armies, and five years of rebuilding.

Bard the Bowman has completed the reconstruction of Dale and has been crowned the new King. A new Laketown has been completed and trade has resumed up and down the Running River. Beorn has recently established his rule as a great chief at the head of his new followers, now known as the Beornings.

There is peace in the land as the Goblins are scattered, the wolves cower away and even the necromancer has supposedly been driven from his lair in the south of the forest. The number of Dwarves and Elves in these mannish towns grow less since the towns reached completion. Memories, especially the memories of men, fade fast, and maybe in the years to come the time of the alliance, when the free peoples fought the Goblins and wolves will fade, and Dwarves and Elves will be seen as intruders and interlopers once again.

But for now, after almost two centuries of misery, the people of Wilderland are finally free to celebrate harvest and planting festivals, Yuletide, the breaking of Spring and the end of Winter without impending threats. The streets of the new Laketown are crowded for the most part of the year, but teem with activity especially in the period that goes from September to December, when many crops are sown and animals are slaughtered, and people from neighbouring lands enter the town leaving their woods and fields and pastures to bring their goods to the market.

Many foreigners from all over Wilderland join the townsfolk of Esgaroth this year in the first year of the festivities called Dragontide, held to celebrate the death of Smaug. This is a three-day festival held in Laketown from the first of November to the third, celebrating the killing of Smaug the Dragon and the end of the harvest season. All three days are to be given to much eating, drinking and singing, as hundreds come to enter the town, or camp on the grounds cleared for the purpose on the shore at the end of its bridge.


The One Ring Characters: Arnulf and Burin

Before I eventually get into the story I’m writing set in Middle Earth using the One Ring RPG, I’m going to start off with a few posts introducing some of the characters I’ll be introducing. To begin here are the two main characters I plan on starting the story off with.

Arnulf son of Arn, Man of Dale and Burin son of Frár, Dwarf of the Iron Hills

Arnulf is one of the many Northmen in the region that have taken to calling themselves ‘Bardings’ after King Bard, the ruler of the reconstructed city of Dale and the surrounding Dalelands. In the five years since the slaying of Smaug and the Battle of Five Armies Arnulf has been eagerly helping with the restoration of the city and was among the first to resettle in the small community there a few months after the battle. Being a fairly young man at the age of twenty-one years he has spent most of his time under the guidance of his elders, particularly his master and teacher Burin the Dwarf, and looking up to the example that King Bard has led. Continue reading “The One Ring Characters: Arnulf and Burin”

The One Ring RPG

Seeing as Lilly’s latest post highlighted the fact that we somehow hadn’t talked about RPGs yet, I have decided to make a quick post about one of my favourites! This will also serve as a nice intro to my new series of posts I am working on 🙂

The One Ring, as I’m sure is obvious, is an RPG set in Middle-Earth. It was first released in 2011 by Cubicle7, making it a relatively new game in the world of tabletop RPGs. I first discovered it when I was looking for ideas for the first RPG i could have a proper go at DMing myself (I had tried a one shot with Discworld already, but didn’t get on well with GURPS). I eventually decided to look up what Middle-Earth or Lord of the Rings RPGs were out there. With me still being quite new to RPGs having only tried D&D for the first time a few years earlier, I thought that running a game in a very thoroughly realised world that i was quite familiar with would make things a bit easier for me. I started looking through the previous two RPGs of MERP from 1993 and LOTR RPG from 2002. They seemed like decent games, and were fairly standard. But then I stumbled upon The One Ring, and suddenly found it in my possession…


Continue reading “The One Ring RPG”