I like the idea of having a hobby in game, and fishing is just a bit of fun which doesnt detract from the lore. As there is a hobby tab rather than a fishing tab, it made me wonder what other hobbies could be available. It needs to be something fun but also feasible, and not derided by the Tolkien purists out there.
One of the main suggestions has been golf; people would enjoy it (except me, I’d rather watch paint dry), and the crafters could get involved. Woodworkers or Metalsmiths, or a combo of both, could make the clubs and Tailors could make the funny pink hats and argyl socks they always seem to wear. Personally I think Hobbits would appreciate cricket more, okay so there is no evidence that cricket was a favoured sport in Middle Earth, but any game which is played in the sunshine and has a half time stop for a pint of beer and a few cakes must get the Hobbit’s vote. I have a couple of suggestions of my own, see what you think.
One idea is that the various drinking establishments could provide a place for games of chance, like dice. You could enter a game in much the same way as a skirmish, and either play solo against the computer (people will love this- seriously how many of us has played freecell or solitaire on the computer?), or go in groups and play amongst yourselves. You could place bets and either make cash or, like skirmishes, recieve marks to be bartered with. There could be a new faction to get rep with so there are lots of possibilities. Gambling has already cropped up in the game, for example in the festivals- betting on hobbits in an eating race, and dwarfs in a drinking race. Horse racing would be another option as there are already racecourses in game, it would just be the actual mechanism which needs put into place.
Yet the more I have been thinking about it, my favourite idea has been for a bottany/bug-collecting hobby. The way I have worked it out is that it would follow the same mechanism as the fishing hobby, and would need no grand redesign to anything to incorporate it. With a piece of crafted equipment such as a net or magnifying glass. You could access the hobby at a ‘bush’ or ‘rock formation’ which randomly spawn, and be interacted with like an ore node. You would then use your ‘skill’ to see what you could get, collecting specimens as with fishing.
Fishing items seem to fall into the following categories:
- Trash items to just sell:- weeds, rusty daggers, driftwood etc
- Fish to just sell:- goldfish, barbel, minnow etc
- Fish to sell but contribute to deed and get a trophy when have the set:- trout, darter etc
- Fish used in crafting:- catfish, dace, golden mullet etc
- Trophys:- 2lb salmon, magnificent minnow, superb smelt etc
My new hobby idea would follow this pattern and these could be insects, plants or interesting rocks, for example;
- Trash to just sell:- rusty dagger (again, and why not?) moss, cocoon, small rock etc
- Trash used in a deed:- stag beetle (different types of beetle to get a trophy when you have collected the set), flowers etc
- Items used in crafting :- truffle, mushroom, lichen, spider webs
- Trophys:- large geode, magnificent mushroom, rare flower etc
I think this could work, people would enjoy it as much as fishing, and there would be useable items for crafting – food items for cooks, dye items for scholars, or even items to trade for crit materials, like in t’olden days when you needed a special type of eye to crit a scholar recipe!