Saturday, March 16, 2019

Bare-chested Bard

It all started in September of 2016 when Gamutdorok, of Crickhollow's amazing Second Breakfast kinship, started the LOTRO hashtag #NakeDwarfGo on Twitter. (Of course, it's safe. I wouldn't intentionally link questionable content on this family-friendly blog!) What was a completely innocuous joke then has transformed into a cheerful, hilarious, and addictive subculture showcasing any and every dwarf encountered using the Bare-chested cosmetic. It's filled with dwarves parading in hot pants, dwarven bands singing and strumming shirtless, dwarves proudly displaying carefully sculpted beards, dwarves that...well, the list is endless. Frankly, I'm surprised nobody started the racy "Dwarves of Middle-earth" calendar, which would have better funded the expedition into Ered Mithrin! (If anyone asks, you didn't hear that from me!)

I couldn't resist and joined the fun, adding my own to the Twitter collection!

Meet one of my model dwarves, Toraden Gamaldorn, drunken bard extraordinaire:

Toraden spends his time in The Great Hall and the Hall of Kings, often seen garbed in red and gold, captivating audiences with skillfully sung ballads or his elaborate and embellished tales of Durin's line. His impassioned and dramatic performances evoke ancient memories carved into the stone halls. They've also awoken a desire within listening dwarves to return to the prosperous days of old, before the curses of dragons, balrogs, and other foul creatures plagued them. When off duty or taking a break from his bardic activities, he's at Thorin's Hall Inn with his bearded mug parked in a frothy mug that seldom remains devoid of ale. And it's here he's listened to the tales of travelers, which became the foundations for his songs...after having taken a few liberties, of course.

And now that I've established a background for Toraden, written specifically for this entry, he could could return. And I may leave all of his outfits shirtless.

This has been an unexpected, yet highly enjoyable experience. I hadn't expected to take the plunge and challenge myself by using the Bare-chested cosmetic. I'd always avoided it because the chest slot has been, arguably, the most important and obvious component in all of my outfits. I'd never left it "empty." Without anything to connect the top and bottom halves of this outfit, I had to be more cautious and more deliberate with my cosmetic choices. I was forced to pay more attention to the legs, which are often covered by onesies, the feet, and the shoulder slots. It's definitely a different approach to outfitting. And I would be willing to do it again!

Head: Ceremonial Circlet of Restoration (Crimson, Lalia's Market)**
Shoulders: Shoulders of the Mighty Verse (Crimson, Minstrel class vendor in the Twenty-first Hall)***
Back: Plain Cloak (Crimson, Bree-town Outfitter)
Chest: Bare-chested (Default, LOTRO Store)
Legs: Leggings of Durin's Guard (Crimson, Guardian class vendor in the Twenty-first Hall)
Feet: Boots of Durin's Guard (Crimson, Guardian class vendor in the Twenty-first Hall)

**This circlet also shared the same appearance as the Circlet of Restoration, a Lore-master's barter item from the Ettenmoors.
***Also available at Lalia's Market at the time of posting.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Staff Skins Collection, Part 3

Like the previous CWP entry with swords, this collection was created to flesh out the staves a bit more. A glaring number of crafted one were missing from the first two installments.

As usual, if there were other ways of obtaining any of the skins below, please let me know in the comments.

 Ash Staff - Crafted from the recipe of the same name

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Feathered Fury

Approximately two weeks ago, LOTRO Family of Twitter hosted another delightful themed screenshot contest. This particular one revolved around cosmetic pets--not to be confused with Lore-master combat pets--earned from various festivals, deeds, and side quests. Luckily, I had a screenshot on hand that fit the criteria and submitted it, which you can either see here or before the outfit breakdown below. I've always loved the various vistas in LOTRO, taking screenshots at every opportunity. Although most of my landscape screenshots are just that, I've occasionally used my character and an emote to enhance the atmosphere. In this case, it included a raven earned from the Anniversary Festivals's Tome of the Raven, which was a royal pain to position properly.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Cosmetic Implements Collection

Ah, one-handed implements. These are probably the most unique category of weapons in the game. Some are purely cosmetic. Others, like the aptly named Slapper Fish, have incredibly low combat damage. These are also all one-handed, which means they can be overlaid on any one-handed weapon except for spears. I don't know exactly why, but I expect it has to do with both the animations and how spears are held. Lore-masters will find the same problem with their staves, despite eventually learning how to dual wield. Two-handed weapons users will also find they can't use these either.

If you're interested in these, they make for home hilarious outfits. Imagine dual-wielding Breads of the Third Age or the Giant Flower! And, as usual, if there's another way of obtaining anything you see here, let me know in the comments.

Bane of Warm Butter - Bartered from Bert Bartleby in Michel Delving

Basket of Apples - Bartered from the Fall Festival

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Iron Garrison Miner

It's been a long time since I've entertained role playing on this blog. I used to write stories--short blurbs may be more accurate--for my characters that matched the outfit and images contained within a given entry. It's been years, probably five or six, since I last did that. I almost wrote a brief story, but I decided to let the images themselves tell the tale of an often exhausted dwarven miner, hard at work, deep within the darkness of Moria.

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