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  1. #26

    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    I would just like to say "Well done"! In all my years of RPing, this is one of the best introductions to the fine points of RP for beginners (and a little humour never hurts as well) that I've seen. Understanding that this was not intended to be the Big Book of Everything You'll Ever Need to Know About RPing In and Out of Middle Earth (and by the way, that title is for sale should any of you ever decide you would wish to write that book), it covers all the basics that a new player might want to think about when starting a character. Hey, even after all my years RPing, there were points in there that I said "hmm, thats a new take on that. Hadn't thought of it that way before." So thank you very much for an excellent post.

    Cheers

  2. #27
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    Red face Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Bregir.Stoutheart View Post
    Please, enlighten us, share the love!

    Bregir
    Concerning Hobbits

    "In the hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" this is where Professor Tolkien decided to start the whole saga of Middle-earth in the Third Age. The first thing we learn about hobbits is that they are amazing creatures, to them the honour to open the doors of Middle-earth to all. In many ways Elves were Professor Tolkien's favourite race , yet hobbits captured the imagination of many of his readers. Hobbits are likeable and in them people can see many traits and characteristic which are familiar and comforting. Professor Tolkien referred to himself as a hobbit, for like them , he loved to smoke his pipe, simple food, the beauty of a simple rural life, and peace and quiet.

    We hobbits are deeply connected with our land and our way of life. To understand the depth of this connection is important to better grasp what is our role in Middle-earth. This is why Professor Tolkien did spend a lot of time explaining and writing about us.

    Among the many lovely aspects of hobbits is our way to see things in life...the lanky men and elves call this 'wisdom'. Professor Tolkien's talent for words, poems, songs, riddles, proverbs and more can be found in the hobbits. To those that know little about us this 'hobbit wisdom' can almost look comical, rough, and simple...but one must look always a bit deeper and be amazed about what one can findd.

    Yes, we are short and do not wear shoes...yes, some of us...well many of us, are quite chubby around the belly, we love pies, pipe-weeds and a good party...we are small in size but despite all this hobbits are the heroes of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Our way of life may suggest we are just wee folk, simpletons and commoners only preoccupied with the 'good life' and do carry on our duties and tasks without looking behind the Shire's bounds...so many can be forgiven if they think this is what hobbits are all about but...

    ...in Professor Tolkien's view, the common folk is the hero, the wee little hobbit . As it's been pointed out already by Vestrinexx, we have history, genealogy, politic, and diplomacy, different 'clans' of hobbits have individual story lines. There are great hobbit heroes , bards, and story tellers, there are amazing tales of bravery. In short I personally think that to RP a good hobbit one must really feel like a hobbit and do a bit of homework by reading the many resources Professor Tolkien has left for us..this is what I love to be and what I will always be...a hobbit at heart

    There is little more I can say about hobbits that has not already been said by Professor Tolkien himself, so reading his resources is a excellent start for all those who want to give a little hobbit a go, but I want to thank the OP for the great effort put in writing this post which was clearly created with the best of intentions.

    Thank you kindly
    Last edited by Amorey; Jun 21 2011 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Excuse me spelling...I am from Overhill :)

  3. #28

    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    I really enjoyed reading this article and I think the advice in it is well worth paying attention.

    If you are new to LOTRO, Laurelin and perhaps MMOs there are definitely some challenges to getting a good Role playing experience, and a lot of that is going to be finding people and getting involved.

    Here's some advice based purely on my experience, both good and bad.

    Introverts end up alone

    Aragon was cool right? he was so cool, he sat in the Pony exuding danger and coolness waiting for someone to come talk to him. I'd like to be just like him.

    That's a fine goal, and it can work, but its going to be really difficult to get involved with others. As your first character, play someone who is friendly, interested, involved, and perhaps a little too nosey for their own good. Anything that gives you an excuse to walk up to someone and talk to them.

    This may feel pushy and intruding, but when you are starting out and you're not involved in a kin, you really do need to put yourself out there. In general, other players are happy to have someone come up to them, if theyre arent, they will usually be polite.

    Sitting around somewhere fidgeting nervously, or arrogantly ignoring others might be "in-character", but will almost certainly not make you new friends.

    Once you have a good kin, or players you know interact with, you can then bring in your doom-laden elf, who regularly sulks in the corner. Hopefully, you can send a tell to your friends say "Im playing a grumpy misanthrope and I need someone to hook him in.".

  4. #29
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    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    If I had to add my 2c worth, its this:

    Do not try to make your first character a legendary hero-type. Keep it simple. You may dream of being an archetypal hero and that's fine, but if we all RPd heroes nobody would ever cook the sausages or make the beds. What really made me adore the LOTRO world was things like going into the Pony and seeing the barmaids.

    Characters take a lot of time and effort to flesh out. When you make them, take time to get to know them. Attend RP events where you listen more than you talk. Get to know the community in which your character lives. My young elf (Aelaer is only 650 years old) has had some very special times sitting listening to some very old elves recount events from their past. I am still getting to know all my characters better.

    There is no such thing as a name floating above a player's head in RP. If a kinship name bothers you, think about adjusting your UI settings. Some people RP that their kin name is a family or a company name and that's great, on the other hand a lot don't. Some kinships move from game to game across the internet. Some names may even be in languages other than English.

    Regarding hobbits: truly, from the hobbit RP that I have seen, hobbits are amazing. Pies are important, yes, but there is a lot more to them than meets the eye... And they are FUNNY! They are curious, and like to discuss things, and ask a lot of questions, and quite honestly I love eavesdropping on a bunch of hobbits.

  5. #30
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    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Its no fun coming into game in an already exulted position like perhaps the first son of the Capt of Gondor for then where/what do you do with the character.
    Personally i think its always best to start simple to find your footing in the community and to then see your character develop. Its fun seeing where the in character decisions you make take your character. You may indeed become in time that hero, or perhaps a town watchman who knows.

    What i do know from my own experience is that its the life journey of your character thats the most rewarding.

  6. #31

    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    A middle-aged hobbit woman strolls up to the one pointed out to her as Master Pfeifenkraut.

    Master Pfeifenkraut? Hullo! I am Tibba, Tibba Stoutfoot, at your service.

    Tibba gives a polite bow.

    Excuse me, Master Pfeifenkraut. I have read your description of the four races, and as you asked for suggestions, please allow me to make one or two.

    Tibba looks at Pfeifenkraut questioningly for a moment, making sure she is welcome to speak, before continuing.

    Concerning hobbits, it is very true that we do not know much about the happenings beyond the Shire. We do listen to the news brought to us by travellers, of course, but I would say our interest mainly lies in the mundane things, the weather, the local gossip. You are quite right in saying that most hobbits are not learned in any lore outside the Shire. But as a consequence of this, it must be understood that the Shire is the home of simple folk, not of heroes. (And by simple, I most certainly do not mean stupid.) In a Shire inn, you are much much more likely to hear a lad telling about the hard time he had with a pig at his farm that day, than about how he just came back from an afternoon of skewering a few goblins and thinning out the wolf population. And I think that many hobbits I know would much rather listen to a well-told tale of the former than the gory details of the latter, even though all will be very polite and friendly and encouraging (with perhaps a more or less direct hint of doubtfulness as to the veracity of the tall tale) to the goblin slayer. I believe it is important to realize that. Perhaps you could add in your discussion of hobbits that they are a simple folk, peaceful, friendly and good-natured. They are polite, quick-witted, love music and dancing. There are many talented minstrels in the Shire, who care a lot about the music they play and make sure it fits the occasion. All of this is important to know to keep the Shire the homely, friendly and welcoming place it is, and I think that is what some others missed in your discussion of hobbits.

    The second thing concerns a point you mentioned about the Men of Bree. You write about the relations with dwarves: "Or know why a Man from Dale has probably interacted with a Dwarf, and a Man from Bree probably hasn’t." I am a bit confused by this sentence, because Bree is at the crossroad of the Greenway and the East Road, and the East Road is used by dwarves, who also stop by the Prancing Pony, or so I hear, and therefore it seems to me that the Men of Bree are quite likely to be familiar with dwarves and to have interacted with them. If I even may quote something I once read about the Men of Bree: "[The Men of Bree] were more friendly and familiar with Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, and other inhabitants of the world about them than was (or is) usual with Big People."

    May I also take the opportunity, Master Pfeifenkraut, to say that I enjoyed reading your discussion, and I am sure it will be a big help to those who wish to inform themselves about the races. Tibba nods.

    Farewell then, Master Pfeifenkraut, and take care.

    Tibba smiles at Pfeifenkraut and gives him another bow, then turns and walks back the way she came.


    ----
    ((Quote taken from J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Part I, Chapter 9 "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony". In that chapter you also learn that when Frodo and his friends enter the Prancing Pony, several dwarves are guests there. So any local visitor of the Pony has a good chance to interact with dwarves simply by exchanging news.

    Personally, I think that no matter what race you play, reading the Lord of the Rings is a big help to learn about the world. Although the movies do a very good job depicting the Shire, there is a lot more to know about hobbits and their world, and I do not think the movies do the dwarves justice by far. Reading the books will give a much better impression of who dwarves are.))
    Last edited by TibbaStoutfoot; Jun 22 2011 at 05:06 PM. Reason: typo

  7. #32

    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    I'd just like to say I am enjoying this thread a lot. Lots of good discussion about types of characters and races.

  8. #33
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    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Bregir.Stoutheart View Post
    Please, enlighten us, share the love!

    Bregir
    What is a Hobbit?


    In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
    Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell,
    nor yet a dry, bare sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat:
    it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
    It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green,
    with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle.
    The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel:
    a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs. JRR Tolkien - The Hobbit


    A wonderful and welcoming introduction to a book and to the world in which our characters live.
    From this paragraph alone we know that Hobbits are lovers of comfort and style.
    Tolkien goes on to describe Hobbits, their general characteristics and their predisposition to 6 meals a day.


    Whilst it sounds like a breeding ground for greed and laziness. Tolkien then expands on the theme and shows us Hobbits are far from lazy, they work hard and play hard.
    The Shire is the idyllic rural setting. Rolling fields filled with crops and grazing animals.
    Anyone who has spent any time in a rural area knows of the long hours of back-breaking work that goes into each field.
    In this pre-mechanised setting the work is laborious and time consuming.
    No wonder Hobbits love a good party and will find the flimsiest of excuses to throw one.
    Along with parties comes the matter of gifts. They give their guests gifts on their Birthday rather than receive. These gifts are often extravagant items which are then in return given as a gift to another Hobbit at another occasion.
    In fact (in The Hobbit) Bilbo returns with a huge amount of wealth then spends the majority of it on “gifts both useful and extravagant”.
    To me, this shows that Hobbits do not have a greedy nature.




    The Sackville-Baggins family are viewed as odd amongst Hobbits, they, or rather Lobelia, has an unusual trait. She has a huge dollop of jealousy. She wants all that Bilbo has, his home, his wealth and most of all the respect and love of his family and friends. She believes this can all be achieved by possessing Bag-End.








    Language and culture


    Hobbits are referred to as “simple”, this is not to be confused with stupid.


    The Great Smials has one of the few libraries mentioned in Middle-Earth.
    Bilbo put a note on his gate “No admittance except on party business”
    These suggest at least a rudimentary knowledge of reading and writing.


    Music, song and poetry feature heavily in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, not to mention the riddles Bilbo uses to gain the One Ring.


    The maps that Bilbo draws aren't just functional, they are decorated with illustrations. This suggests art in its visual form is also a Hobbit trait.


    Hobbits have their own dialect, distinct from that of neighbouring Bree-Land and indeed the rest of Middle-Earth. Whilst this dialect is a derivation of Westron it has its own Old Hobbitish words, meanings and nuances.
    Old Hobbitish language has roots in Rohirric and Sindarin and even a smattering of Khuzdul. With words from all and often two or three different words with the same meaning. (Tolkien's joke based on the English language being a bastardisation of many languages?)
    This gives Hobbits a unique position of being able to understand a little of each race.
    Hobbits do not have words that represent social rank, except those that are elected offices.
    A Lord or Lady is likely to be referred to as “Mister” or “Miss”. The more worldly travelled Hobbit may call you “Sir” or “Madam” but this is only being polite rather than showing deference.


    Politics and Law


    Hobbits live in a meritocracy, you earn your place in the world. Mayors are elected (and deselected) on their actions rather than words and promises.


    The only exception to this is the Thain. This position was granted by agreement of Hobbits on the Oldfoot family, and later passed to the Took family. It is a hereditary position. The Thain acts as a King-stead, upholding the original agreement and enacting the Laws.


    Whilst Tolkien didn't write a thesis on the Laws of The Shire, it is easy to surmise the Laws are simple. Don't kill each other. Don't steel from each other. Don't hurt each other deliberately. Don't damage or destroy another's property.


    There are 12 Sherriffs in The Shire, 3 in each Farthing. Their job was to ensure the Law was adhered to, since the Law was rarely broken the Sherriffs would turn towards to outside world and patrol the Bounds to make sure no trouble came into The Shire.
    This patrolling was mostly done by Bounders who were deputised into this task.




    Diplomacy


    Hobbits are not only clever, learned and arty they also have the “gift of the gab”.
    The lack of deferential language aids in this. A lowly Hobbit can be seen to be equal to a Lord in the nature of language used.
    The “gift of the gab” was shown in the granting of the Shire-Lands to Marcho and Blanco. The stipulation for the use of the land is a very low price (Acknowledge the King, keep the roads and bridges in good repair and help speed the King's messengers).
    Marcho and Blanco must have been able to talk the hind legs off a donkey, then convince the animal to take up tap-dancing because The Shire was formerly Hunting lands, farms and vineyards that serviced the King's court.
    (Try convincing your neighbour to give up their vegetable garden to you)


    Religion


    Hobbits have no formal religion. They recognise the world was created by The Ainur's song, but do not worship.
    Hobbits view the entire world around them as part of that song. They treat all things with respect and love especially the land and its creatures.


    Life and Death


    Hobbits are mortal creatures. They can live to the grand age of 130 years, but 100 years is the average lifespan.
    I have not found any reference to funerary rites associated with Hobbits.
    It is not known if Hobbits are interred, cremated or if the body is disposed of by any other means.
    I have chosen to believe that the body would be buried. A symbolic return to the land.


    Love and Marriage


    Hobbits follow tradition when it comes to love.
    A long courtship is followed betrothal, a giving of rings. After the period of betrothal, usually about a year, the wedding is held and the rings are given back to the giver to signify marriage. Of course a party is held afterwards.






    In short, and you don't get much shorter than a Hobbit:



    Their no-nonsense approach to life shows us (the reader) the truth
    behind the story. The beauty of the Elves, the good in the hearts of men
    and the honour of the Dwarves
    The bitter taste of defeat, the pain of loss and the horrors of war are
    all seen and presented by the eyes, ears and voices of the Hobbits.

    We see love, not as an overwhelming fire that consumes, but as a torch
    that is kept and cherished for the light it brings our lives. Love of
    Home, family and romantic love.
    It is the love of The Shire that keeps Frodo on his feet when all hope
    is gone. It is Sam's love for Frodo (love as a brother) that helps him
    fight the Orcs.

    Sam's love for Rosie Cotton drives him forward and acts as a shield against the power of the ring.

    Hobbits are the bridge between worlds, that of the reader and Middle-Earth.
    They are a mirror and lens, reflecting our own (as it was at the
    time of writing) rural way of life and bringing into focus the harsh
    realities of imposed change and war.

  9. #34

    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Vestrinexx View Post
    Hobbits are the bridge between worlds, that of the reader and Middle-Earth.
    They are a mirror and lens, reflecting our own (as it was at the
    time of writing) rural way of life and bringing into focus the harsh
    realities of imposed change and war.
    That's pretty much it. Hobbits are the reliable english middle class of the early 20th century. Tolkien is holding up their attributes of simplicity, reliability and hard work as admirable traits that can overcome the darkest evil. He is also yearning for the english village life which he could see disappearing before his eyes.

    In short: you pommy middle class people... you are hobbits, but that's something to be proud of.
    Last edited by Dunderklumpen; Jun 24 2011 at 02:32 AM. Reason: spelling *blush*

  10. #35
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    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    for some reason im getting the urge to put on a white smock, straw hat and to ramble on about apples and cider.....

  11. #36

    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Harbut View Post
    for some reason im getting the urge to put on a white smock, straw hat and to ramble on about apples and cider.....
    And don't forget to talk like a pirate! Yes, its true, in England there are people who talk like pirates on land! . In Devon, everyday is Talk Like A Pirate Day

  12. #37
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    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Great thread! Lovely reading. Good tips and great additions inviting people to further research.

    All I can add it takes some effort and research to create a char, even a shallow waitress. Some choose to think out a char before they start, and some just go along with the offered RP. Over four years ago Cymaru entered the Prancing Pony and some dwarf yelled 'Waitress! One pint of ale please' and I decided to go along. And look what it brought me since then!

    But it greatly helps getting fully immersed as that character if you have a more solid foundation, a well thought out background. Just answer a few questions:
    - where was your char born?
    - what age is your char currently?
    - what kind of family? Brothers and sisters, family's trade?
    - what level of education? scholar / goo goo? baa baa?
    - any significant or even traumatising events? Does/does not want to talk about it?
    - anything notable at first glance? uncontrolled winking / limp / limp and uncontrolled winking / missing four front teeth
    - anything your char can't do / is an expert?
    - what knowledge of the world does your char have? Seen the world / Seen Moria / decorated Elrond's bedroom / cousin of Frodo / cousin of Sauron / knows little / doesn't have a clue what day it is / goo goo? baa baa?
    - thing(s) your char greatly desires?
    - thing(s) your char really detests with passion?
    - thing(s) your char is completely indifferent about?

    And after thinking out your char it's a good idea to try a few so called Mary-Sue tests. Just google those and have fun!

  13. #38
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    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Cymaru View Post
    And after thinking out your char it's a good idea to try a few so called Mary-Sue tests. Just google those and have fun!
    Eeep! Bootsy has a Mary-Sue of 21 *laughs*

  14. #39
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    Wink Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Cymaru View Post
    ...
    And after thinking out your char it's a good idea to try a few so called Mary-Sue tests. Just google those and have fun!
    Lovely test...fun to take and very useful in many ways , thank you lady Cymaru.

    I had a quite revealing result of 50 *giggles*

    Amorey Sweetrose isn't a character: she's you!

    Now I know why I do not like to wear shoes *nods*

  15. #40
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    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Vestrinexx View Post
    Eeep! Bootsy has a Mary-Sue of 21 *laughs*
    Quote Originally Posted by Amorey View Post
    Lovely test...fun to take and very useful in many ways , thank you lady Cymaru.

    I had a quite revealing result of 50 *giggles*

    Amorey Sweetrose isn't a character: she's you!

    Now I know why I do not like to wear shoes *nods*


    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Sue
    Andarne is suspiciously similar to you as you'd like to be. He isn't really very cool: he blends into crowds, he hangs out on the fringes at parties, and wearing shades after dark makes him run into things. There's never been anything special about him that he could see; boy, is he in for a surprise. He's come in for his share of hurt, but gotten off with minor damage. And he's gotten no slack from you.

    In general, you care deeply about Andarne, but you're smart enough to let him stand on his own, without burdening him with your personal fantasies or propping him up with idealization and over-dramatization. Andarne is a healthy character with a promising career ahead of him.

    Score Breakdown
    He's Got My Nose 18
    You Mean Plaid Is Out? 6
    Plain Joe 1
    Can't Complain 4
    Momma HATES Him! 3
    Total: 32
    I suppose that's good!

  16. #41
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    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    I tried that Mary Sue test for Tanes. She got a score of 20. Not too bad I suppose.

  17. #42

    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    I am building a Hobbit based, but not entirely limited to, kinship.
    The Out of Bounders. I'm recruiting from scratch and once I have the 8 minimum (or even 2 accounts and a bunch of Alts) I'll create it officially. Heres the link to the concept.

    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.p...ut-of-Bounders!!!

    Let me know if you'd be interested.

    Limdalen

  18. #43

    Re: Ready to Roleplay: Picking a Race and Looking Approachable

    This is such a good thread, and a very edutaining read that I find myself coming back to check it out over every so often for update. Perhaps it should be stickied, or at least bumped with regularity :P

  19. #44
    Great post and discussion here, especially on the truer nature of dwarves, Hobbits, and elves.

 

 
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