“Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Part 2

Hello everyone and welcome once again to ManaBurnt. Firstly I would like to apologise for our sudden quietness in the last week or so. With the snow hitting England “unexpectedly” apparently our internet connections are not prepared for the freezing cold – And I am still waiting for my WiFi to work as there was some serious damage done to the green box outside of our flat where the connection comes to?! In any case, I managed to steal someone else’s connection to bring you this: my part two on “Wouldn’t that song just make a great RPG?”. You can find part one here: https://manaburnt.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/wouldnt-that-song-just-make-a-great-rpg-tunes-lyrics-to-get-your-creative-juices-going/


I was trying this time to make it something other than metal. So then I started looking for other things, and even used them on RPGs we have had recently to test the effects of them. However, I am afraid that the metal component will still be strong with this one, but here are some other things 🙂 Continue reading ““Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Part 2″

My Name is NPC#4 – Or Why You Should Give NPCs Actual Names

Just yesterday night, I returned to DMing the RPG Alex and I are working on, and that most of you would probably be aware of due to Alex’s magic with cartography and making pretty maps. Well, my post today will not have to do anything with this topic, but something I find that in RPGs is often taken for granted: NPCs. What would you actually do without your good friend Joe the Tavernier telling you that there are monsters attacking the caravans coming in and out of the settlement? Pretty much nothing. Although player interacting is – in my opinion – crucial for a good game, without the NPCs the DM would be 100% bored and the players most certainly lost. So today I am gonna dedicate the post to the many Joes and Daves you’ve encountered in many tales.

One thing that always fascinated me when I was little of the RPGs my parents played, was that my dad always had a quirky character waiting for something to happen in the story and mess up the party – I would love to say help out, but I probably don’t remember that well to confirm such thing….And the thing was that, although this was always my dad, these characters were never the same. Not one merchant was equal to another, nor where the Innkeepers always jolly or informative, neither were his villains always monsters. These were fully fleshed people with thoughts, emotions and agendas – the latter being perhaps the most important one. I believe this is how NPCs should be. The world your roam for your own personal reasons is full of other people, just because Jack didn’t turn up to play, it doesn’t mean that Kronk the Barbarian that you just helped out doesn’t get his 5 minutes of glory. Nevertheless, I find that a lot of people struggle making meaningful NPCs, and even worse, useful NPCs that help the story move forward and add to the narrative. Continue reading “My Name is NPC#4 – Or Why You Should Give NPCs Actual Names”

“Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Tunes & Lyrics to Get your Creative Juices Going


Have you ever been listening to some tunes and thought to yourself, “OME, this would make a great RPG plot/story line/character concept”? If you have then you know what this is going to be about – and if you haven’t, dudes, you need to get your musical mojo on because music is a great source of inspiration for all sorts of things! These are things I have been thinking about for some time, so, forgive me, but some of these ideas are a bit more developed than others. In any case, I hope you can see how they could work.

Oh, and prior warning, this includes, a fair amount of METAL! :8

Rhapsody of Fire – The Emerald Sword & Dawn of Victory

If you are in for some high-fantasy stuff, this is perfect. Both songs are really fast paced and they scream epicness. Starting with Dawn of Victory, I think it is pretty obvious but here is a lot of stuff for a very cool battle/fight.

Continue reading ““Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Tunes & Lyrics to Get your Creative Juices Going”

Lilly’s Player Guide to Being a Good RPG Player

Continuing with our RPG run of blog posts here is something based on personal experience from the point of view as a DM and as a player. I guess you can call this the player’s guide to be a good RPG player, According to Lilly, of course. I have been involved in RPGs since I was a kid. I started DMing by the age of 11, so I have already nearly 15 years of different game experiences at several levels and from a unsual point of be: I be them rare species of female gamers. I have noticed with time that usually people fall in certain stereotypes of players and/or characters – which I guess is inevitable, it is just human nature. But I am sure this is not unheard of and you all have come across the destroyer (all he/she does is kill…team-mates included), the tank (he just can’t roleplay or doesn’t want to so he is just there to attack things – not the same than the destroyer, destroyers usually roleplay with the purpose of…well…destroying), the-guy-who-no-one-knows-why-he/she-plays-rpgs-cause-they-never-do/say-anything (a lot of the time a mate or someones gf who has been dragged into this…not really sure how), the smart ass (the guy who thinks that knows best than everyone, including the DM)…This is obviously just a sample, but they are a very common tendency. And, unfortunately, if you fall into any of those categories, you will not do well in my games. That is like noob status in an MMO. If you truly want to enjoy and get RPGs you need to pass that stage and actually engage with what is it that roleplaying is about. And it usually comes down to challenging oneself, experimenting, and pushing the boundaries. (Note: Destroying, as a pathological M.O is NOT any of the above!!)

So, what makes in my opinion a good player for a demanding DM? Continue reading “Lilly’s Player Guide to Being a Good RPG Player”

Music as a Roleplaying Tool – Do’s and Do Not’s

Following our RPG month theme today I bring you something that has often been source of discussion among the people in my circle with regards to roleplaying, which is how to create ambiance with the use of music. This is something that I guess to a degree depends on taste, but there are also some does and don’ts that I personally stick to simply because I have had too many bad experiences with this subject, sadly. I love incorporating music or anything else that makes RPGs be cool, something to get you in the zone, but some people just destroy games by the misuse of these tools. And here are some examples…

Continue reading “Music as a Roleplaying Tool – Do’s and Do Not’s”

Being a Better DM ( Part 2/2 )

This is Part 2 of the Being a Better DM writeup with Adie Bernhardt! We hope these articles provide you with some new inspirations for your tabletop games and we invite you to stay alongside us for our RPG focus month. Now on to point 6 of improving your DM experience…



#6 Build adventures around the players

Continue reading “Being a Better DM ( Part 2/2 )”

Being a Better DM ( Part 1/2 )

Being a DM is kind of like being God, but with more paperwork.

I’ve been an avid player of tabletop RPG’s for the past eight years or so, and before that I was an addict to the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts that still continue every year at PAX. They were my introduction to the world of pen and paper, but I never got the chance to roll the dice for myself until I visited a little Texas store called ‘The Dragons Den’. Here I enjoyed my first session of Dungeons & Dragons. Living in a distant country, surrounded by unfamiliar people, stepping into a world of strange new possibility… could it have been more fitting?

Since then I’ve explored dozens of systems and played with a great many groups- some long-term, some short. Most of them in person but a couple of online too thanks to the wonders of Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds. The one consistency though is that I am hardly ever the player in the games, but instead I take the seat of the maniacal overlord out to kill the heroes.

At least, that’s how the players always see it.

In truth being a DM is about taking responsibility for the enjoyment of the game. With that comes many challenges, some seemingly high hurdles to meet, but a good DM can turn even the most standard of adventures into a memorable and cherished experience. So today I’d like to share my ten tips towards becoming a better Dungeon/Game Master.

These observations are not limited to any particular game and apply to all tabletop RPGs (and probably some other games besides). They are just the quiet insights I’ve made over my near decade of playing, and while I don’t claim to have the experience of some, I’ve seen many veteran magicians of the table supporting the same points. So without further ado;

Continue reading “Being a Better DM ( Part 1/2 )”