Category: Roleplaying Games

Materials written for or about various roleplaying games.

Life of a Bounder, Part IV

Only a month behind now. Soon it’ll be current!

December 20, 2008
Maedhroc finds himself, much against his will, being taken further and further from the Shire. He’s seeing lots of places he’s only heard about from his old gaffer, but for the most part, they were places he was content to have only heard about — like the Old Forest, where he met this bizarre fellow.

Maedhroc meets Tom Bombadil

Hey dol, derry dol, what-the-hooey-are-you-saying???

Then he’s sent eastward as a messenger boy for the rangers. Did he really work his way to Honourary Shirriff just to end up delivering mail again? But at least he got to see some sights along the way.

Maedhroc at the Midgewater

We’re on the wrong side of the Misty Mountains for Erebor — that must be the famous Weathertop.

Maedhroc looks up at Weathertop

Yup, that’s Weathertop all right.

What’s next, delivering pies to Rivendell?

Meanwhile, half a continent away, Galadhalion comes to the unhappy realization that Moria has sewers, and he’s in them.

Galadhalion in the Moria Waterworks

Don’t step in balrog scat, whatever you do. 0.o

-The Gneech

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Life of a Bounder, Part III

Catching up, slowly…

December 18, 2008
Maedhroc, in his little tin helmet and baggy vest, found himself considered decidedly bumpkinish in Bree. Certainly, a stout spear and a heavy pack are just the thing for tromping around the countryside fighting wolves and brigands, but you’re in town now, son! There are elves here, for goodness sake! You don’t want to look like a hick in front of the elves, do you?

So to that end, Maedhroc found himself a barber and a tailor and got himself a makeover worthy of a sophisticated Shire gentle-hobbit such as himself.

Maedhroc, Shire gentle-hobbit, at the Prancing Pony

-The Gneech

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More Warden <3

Something struck me tonight; it was the first time I’d played much with “recklessness” on and I found that it reminded me of the good times I’d had as a Champion — except not so squishy! It’s certainly not something I’ll want to do when operating as the main tank, but it was mighty fun for grinding out old quests and medium hides. 🙂 Other times, I’ve found myself sneaking like a burglar, soaking it up like a guard, or pelting things from afar like a hunter. So many different options!

I think one of the things I like best about the Warden as I progress is this “little bit of everything” hybrid feel. A little stealth when that’s needed, a little mobility when that’s needed, and so on. The Warden has such a wider “tool box” at their disposal than other classes, that if you get stuck somewhere there’s always another approach to try. Need an item from the back of a camp, but don’t want to slaughter your way through? Slip in, grab it, run like the dickens! 😀 Need ten boar stomachs? Find a camp of boars and either pick ‘em off with ambushes or turtle up and let ‘em come at you in a rush!

(Being a hobbit helps with the sneaking of course. 😉 But even without the racial stealth, Careful Step can be remarkably useful for things other than just setting up an ambush.)

-The Gneech

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Life of a Bounder, Part II

I had intended to catch up with these faster, but life had other plans. But I’m back now, so here we go…

December 17, 2008
Last night in LotRO, some members of the Valar Guild asked for high-level assistance going into Carn Dum, so Galadhalion volunteered to come along and act as the de facto tank, since he was not making a lot of progress in Moria anyway. The group consisted primarily of Melco (grandfather), Aungrod (father), and Lorelana (son), plus myself and a couple of others. I was running with earphones and listening to in-game chat, and it was quite a kick to hear “All right now, let’s let Galadhalion do the pull on these war-trolls.” “Okay, Grandpa!”

Alas, our attempt to destroy the beast Helchgam was not successful, but some folks got their first taste of the stark terror that is the capitol of Angmar, so that was fun. 🙂

Following that, Maedhroc finished off his last deeds and quests in the Shire: wolves whomped, bandits beaten, slugs squashed, and goblins gutted, pausing only to admire Brockenborings’ statue of the Old Took.

Maedhroc Meets Bullroarer Took

Old Bullroarer Took himself — surely a giant among hobbits!

Then, as he is an Honourary Shirriff, he helped escort a lost dwarf (lowbie player) from Michel Delving to Waymeet as his last official duty as a member of the Bounders, said his farewell-for-now to his beloved home, and followed his next mission to Bree, where he had to deliver a message to this guy.

Maedhroc and Strider at the Prancing Pony

I dunno … the rangers trust him, but he looks pretty seedy, to me.

-The Gneech

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Home and There Again — A Bounder’s Holiday

Wow, go away for a month and you suddenly discover that a month has gone by. In the non-LotRO world, I am a cartoonist, so I went off to a convention to sell some comics, and came home with the most vicious case of con-crud this side of the Cardolan plague. It wasn’t until last night that I was caught up enough with both real life and my cartooning that I felt like I had time to play.

I signed on to find Maedhroc in the Trollshaws (at night, of course), looking around for soloable L35 content because most of the kinship was offline and because I was only going to be on for an hour or so anyway. After one bear and three wolves too many I got discouraged there and wandered back to Esteldin, where I decided on a whim to take on an aurochs to see just how much of a nightmare those three group quests in my log were.

Much to my surprise, the aurochs was a pushover. 0.o I mean, I know that wardens are awesome and all that, but after getting my little hobbitey hinder handed to me by three wolves in the Trollshaws, I wasn’t expecting an aurochs to fall over the first time I went “YEAAUUGH!” at him. Within short order I had quickly devastated the North Downs aurochs population and finished off three near-level quests.

After that, so that Maedhroc can have had a little vacation during my own vacation, I headed back to the Shire to test my luck at the various fishing holes there. I did manage to catch a few trophies among the rusty daggers and balls of gunk, so that was fun. But it felt rather strange to have NPCs saying “Hullo, Bounder Maedhroc!” after having been tromping all over Eriador for so long.

I’ve discovered that I miss the Shire, not only because it’s such a nice zone, but also thematically. Maedhroc’s whole character (in my mind) is based on the idea that he became a Bounder to protect the Shire, and then was recruited by the Wardens to help watch the roads and so forth. But once you reach the North Downs and the Trollshaws, you’re not really doing that any more. With the exception of defending Trestlebridge, you’re no longer defending people and their homes, but now being sent on forays into enemy territory, which has a very different feel. And it’s not really Maedhroc’s calling. He’s not a crusader, he’s a defender.

Not sure what (if anything) I’m going to do about it. I have an elf warden and a human warden, either of whom I might start working on for a while; I think a warden would be a mighty fun character to play in the Misty Mountains or Forochel, for instance, although I have a hard time imagining Maedhroc going there of his own free will.

-The Gneech

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