As I mentioned, I’m not going to go into server/name/specific details since I already have players I game with and am blogging about it for fun. Also, just to cut down on typing out names over and over, I’ve decided to use the format many of my friends use when talking about family and friends in a private way… by referring to them by initials. I’m not sure how many names I will eventually talk about. My husband only has one character so far, I have three, and I’m honestly not sure how many my friend has (I really only interact with two of them on a regular enough basis though).
Also a reminder, that although I’ve become a bit obsessed with LOTRO, I’m really not a gamer. I’m still learning new things, and honestly although I’m definitely “getting around” a lot better than I ever imagined I would, I definitely am not fully up on what’s going on. There are times I have no clue what people are talking about if I read forums or tip pages, I don’t do things the “proper” way. It’s probably also why I am a little selective about who I game with. Folks who know I have no clue (and never will) what I’m doing and won’t be a lot of help on really huge team-based attacks. In other words, very patient people. 😉
I also asked my husband how he’d like to see me do the introductions. “Should I introduce all three in one post, or go into a little more detail about each in separate posts?” He preferred the latter, and I suppose he has a point. It’s not just about stats or titles… in a way, I’ve created a bit of a character for each of them. It might be more interesting to get to know them each one-by-one.
“Th” the Dwarf
My first character, “Th” we will call him, is a dwarf. Of course! I also have no problem roleplaying (RPing) a male character… and let’s face it: In LOTRO, dwarves are a little limited gender-wise. Both look exactly the same (much to the dismay of many players, and I admit I quite like the look the dwarrowdams have in The Hobbit movies. Yes, they have facial hair, but I’m not a big fan of the “all looking alike” dwarf thing… male or female. Makes me think of cheesy garden gnomes). Regardless, I decided to go with a male character and I’ve very much enjoyed it.
Next was his style of fighting. I don’t really recall doing much research into how each class was to play, but they give you little descriptions of the different fighter classes using Lord of the Rings characters… Guardian for Samwise Gamgee, Hunter for Legolas, Champion for Gimli I believe is how it went. Well there ya go, easy choice there! Dwarf Champion! But oh, more choices!
It’s all about the accessories
Do I let him use a two-handed weapon? A weapon in each hand? And what about his actual attack styles? Gah! Thank goodness for having an iPad to look up some things while I was making decisions in-game.
So I did decide: a sword and an axe (something I still try to keep with him even if there are better options to pick from), along with the allowed bow (not as powerful, but handy on occasion), and although this might not make a lot of sense to non-LOTRO folks: I went with the yellow tree trait, The Deadly Storm. His attacks are meant to spread out across multiple attackers (Area of Effect/AoE). Handy, especially when playing solo or when our group has wandered into trouble (plural). 😉
Building the character
So I ended up talking a bit much about stats there, unavoidable really, because in a way these stats helped start the shaping of the character. So let’s talk about looks. If he sort of reminds you of Thrain from the first Hobbit movie, there is a reason for that. Except he’s not missing an eye, merely a scar across one eyebrow. And quite a handsome dwarf Th is, if I may add!
Th is a typical dwarf. Loyal to those who have earned it, grumpy (especially while being made to prove himself to strangers by doing their endless tasks), and he absolutely worships the ground Thorin Oakenshield walked on — very proud of his heritage. You know he met Thorin once when he was younger, yes? That crazy wizard told him about the Quest to reclaim Erebor, and while discussing that with him, he had the absolute delight to meet Thorin. He wishes he could have gone with Thorin to help, but he was too young at the time. He was but a small dwarfling when the dragon attacked, and while he calls Ered Luin his home, he looks forward to the day he can see the Lonely Mountain again.
A place to call home
And speaking of which, he does have a house. A medium-sized house in Ered Luin near Thorin’s Hall. It’s inside a mountain, which means screencaps are dark and somewhat fuzzy. In LOTRO, you can have small houses, medium houses, or your kinship can buy really nice BIG houses. With three characters sharing the house (and you can tell elves live there too, because they planted trees in the front yard. Really. Trees. Inside a mountain. At least he got to put dwarvish statues by the door, hmph!), the extra storage and “cosmetic hooks” for decorating run out quickly. In fact, that is one thing I’ve tried to pour a lot of focus on recently — stocking up on storage space! Oof. Apparently I’m a hoarder online. But back to Th…
And a brother
When Christopher made his dwarf (who I will eventually introduce), our dwarves ran together a little bit to help increase their levels to catch up with their waiting friend. At some point, they were running around in the Shire, and they met another dwarf who asked a little about them. Christopher blurted out that they were brothers, and that little story has stuck (and is a little amusing, that a husband and wife have two male characters who are brothers).
I admit, I haven’t really built up family history as much, and I haven’t even touched the bio section. Something I probably should do. Th isn’t married, he’s a typical overly-focused dwarf who obsesses about crafting and adventuring (bah, who has time for romance, especially when there is gold to gather!). In fact, he is a little too focused. The two elves he shares a house with continually hound him to change his clothes — he admittedly has not gone through many clothing changes. First, what he started off with (quickly abandoned), a dwarf-make hauberk, a spring festival outfit (after the aforementioned hounding by the elves to get with the festivities for once), and the start of some nice red armor. He doesn’t understand the need for many outfits outside of a good cloak in rain or snow. Of course, after stomping through the Misty Mountains and Forochel especially, he knows he needs something a little warmer. But if you craft enough, you spend plenty of time in front of comfortably warm, glowing forges. And even swinging a pick axe to gather ore keeps a body warm enough!
Can’t forget a career
Speaking of crafting, you can also choose careers in the game. I knew without having to think twice that I wanted my dwarf to work at the forge. I had a few choices, but he went with weaponsmithing. There are three “crafts” you are able to do and level up. Prospecting (gathering ore and working it into usable ingots), weaponsmithing, and woodworking. Woodworking is also part of the weaponsmithing (bows, spears, maces), but he can’t gather the wood on his own. That was a big annoyance for me, and why I created a second character who I’ll talk about next.
There are even hobbies!
While he hasn’t done either in a long time, he also spent some time fishing. Several trophies on display in his house were caught in Rivendell. He also plays the lute, but after my computer crash (lost those tunes) and a LOTRO update, I haven’t bothered seeing what new songs I can load for him. I mean, let him learn.
I’m not sure if collecting mounts (ponies, in the case for smaller characters like dwarves and hobbits, and small goats) counts as a hobby, but although I swore I wouldn’t… all my characters are starting to build up a collection. Even pets!
At the moment, Th — who was my first and only character for a few months at least — is now in Eregion working through the quests, and waiting to start the preparation to go into Moria. My other two characters have or are passing him level and location-wise. In fact, his brother (level 50) has technically gotten closer despite being a level below him still (Th just hit level 51). He’s determined to stick with his dwarf-friend, but sometimes scheduling time can be difficult.
Next I’ll introduce you to one of my two elves…