Oh do we have some stories to tell you. On last week's Choose my Adventure, Gibbi the Hobbit had decided that The Shire life was not for him, and he ventured off into the far-away lands of Archet. Not only were his measurements a bit off, but it turns out Archet was actually in great peril from the Blackwolds. He arrived just in time.
This week has seen some more great adventures for Gibbi and myself as the Choose my Adventure project has taken some exciting turns. We've formed a kinship just for this project, named Massive Hobbits. It seems an appropriate name (thanks to reader Shane), and quite ironic when we have Men, Elves or Dwarves in the group. I've also made dear Gibbi gain the Explorer crafting vocation, as voted upon last week. Gibbi's coinpurse thanks you for choosing the best money-making vocation there is. Read along after the jump for some exciting screenshots and Gibbi's own story through his adventures in Middle-earth.
The hospitality in Archet was unmatched this week as Gibbi has spent so much of his time just chatting with the townsfolk and making new friends. He is ever-so curious about these Men and often wonders how there could be those as nice as the Archet folks, but at the same time, those as evil as the ones who killed his family. Hobbits have always been a merry kind and it's very rare that even the harshest of arguments wasn't laid to rest over some pie and ale.
Through his travels around Archet, Gibbi met some other hobbits who seemed keen to share his journey. There were two brave hobbits by the names of Kabbage and Rotolo who joined Gibbi on many of his adventures killing boars, wolves, spiders and even those nasty Blackwolds. But eventually the Blackwold threat got too strong and Gibbi's bravery was tested to its limits. An evil man by the name of Eógan led his forces to a grand assault on Archet, which was obviously not ready for such an onslaught.
Captain Brackenbrook and the remaining Archet guards were quickly losing ground, so Amdir called Gibbi over through the screams and blazing of the flames that surrounded them.
"If we are to stop these Blackwolds, we must get past these flames!" The injured Amdir called out.
This time, Gibbi decided he's going to make a fresh start in his adventures. Instead of going at it alone, he realized the true importance of a group of like-minded individuals fighting together for one cause. He posted a notice at the Michel Delving training hall and awaited a reply. Even if he could find one or two others to compliment his fighting skills, his journey would be so much more exciting. And less dangerous, of course.
The next morning, Gibbi was overwhelmed with the response from his note. A fairly decent-sized group of travelers were gathered outside the training hall, just as he'd requested. There were certainly hobbits, but Gibbi was surprised to see a man, an elf and even a dwarf joining his ranks. Even ole Kabbage had returned to the Shire to join Gibbi. He was so excited to start his adventures with his new friends.
The following day, Gibbi decided to take a break and do some fishing to remind him of the more simple life that he once enjoyed. Did he miss it? Only sometimes, but it was good to just relax and enjoy the day as he once had.
That night, before laying down to rest, Gibbi found himself uneasy with his new surroundings. Sure, he loved Bree -- it was a wonderfully delightful city! -- but something still didn't feel right. He wandered the Market Square in search of something to fill his belly and extinguish his worry, when he happened upon a rather large building full of clinking and clanking from within. Gibbi pushed open the door and a wave of heat blew his curly hair back from his face. Inside he found craftsmen of all shapes and sizes hammering away at the forges or chopping wood in the corner. There were elves setting small white crystals into platinum necklaces, men tanning hide for some trousers and of course hobbits stirring their pots full of stew for that evening's supper. The combination of roasted coney, leathered hide and coal embers was quite a new smell for Gibbi, but he quite enjoyed it.
"Excuse me little hobbit, can I help you with something?" Asked an aged man standing near the entrance.
"Welcome to Three-Farrow Crafting Hall, home of the best craftsmanship this side of Thorin's Hall."
"This side of the Brandywine, ya mean!" A weathered dwarf shouted behind his hammer. "Don't flatter yourself, Sorrel!"
The man let out a stifled chuckle as he dropped to one knee and continued talking with the hobbit more quietly.
"The name is Roger Sorrel. I'm the Master of Apprentices in these parts and I can help ya learn a bit of crafting for yourself. Do ya have any trade skills?"
"Well. Not really. I was orphaned as a young hobbit and never learned much more than scaling a fish or shoving a pie down my throat. I'd like to learn that, though." Gibbi remarked as he pointed dreamily towards the forge.
"Consider it done! If I can teach a dwarf to sew leather, I can certainly teach a hobbit to pound out some iron ore!"
So Gibbi decided to postpone his meeting with Strider for a few more hours as he learned the tradeskills needed to be a true Explorer. He had no use for most of what Old Roger wanted to teach him, but the ways of metal, wood and hide were enough for him. It would not only allow him to craft clothing for his new companions, but also allow him to make some extra money at the auction house, now that he knew how to spot the right resources.
With a head full of knowledge and a belly full of pie, Gibbi retired for the night a new hobbit. He couldn't wait to show his friends his new skills and put them to work the next day.
As you can tell from this story, the Choose my Adventure kinship is off to a great start. I've really been having a lot of fun playing with Massively readers, and it seems they're having fun as well. Being part of the story here is only a fragment of the allure, as many members say they were simply looking for a good group. At the time of this writing, the members of the Massive Hobbits kinship include:
Despite the fun we've been having, there has been one minor annoyance with a group this large. Fellowships (or groups) can only consist of 6 players. So in order to complete a quest for everyone, you need to either do it twice with two groups, or leave some people out. This hasn't been a major problem yet, but I can see it becoming an issue later on. We all want to play together, I want to play with everyone, but logistically, it's near impossible.
As the kinship grows and our adventures continue, it's time to vote on the goal for next week. Not only are you voting on my adventures now, you're voting on the adventures of a dozen other players as well, so keep that in mind. No pressure!%Poll-33486%
- Finish Book 1: This would mean doing all chapters of Book 1 up to Book 2
- Gain 'Acquaintance' rep status with Bree: This involves progressing to the next level of reputation points for the Men of Bree.
- Run to Rivendell: This would involve running all the way from low-level Bree to mid-level Rivendell as characters in their teens. No cheating (Hunter porting) would be involved and screenshots would be taken along the way.
My playing times vary each day, but I'll try to continue with at least one or two set time each week where we can all meet up. This time it will be:
Saturday at 10pm EDT
Monday at 9pm EDT
So look for our continuing adventures next week and feel free to join us at any time! Just send an in-game tell to Gibbi on the Brandywine server to be invited to the kinship. You can also follow along with our achievements and members over at our my.lotro.com page. Safe travels!