The Ballad of Bingo Boffin is a completely separate quest line to your Epic and Class Quests in LOTRO. It follows the adventure of a Hobbit called Bingo Boffin as he decides to start his own quest across Middle Earth.
This series won’t cover many of the specific quests unless there are particular complications you need to address. Instead it will retell his story – and I’ll provide the exclusive barter rewards you can claim as you accompany Bingo. In this opening blog post we’ll cover his escape from The Shire!
Also as I adventure through Middle Earth myself I’ll add to my posts about the Ballad!
Where is Bingo Boffin?
You can start The Ballad of Bingo Boffin questline by talking with Bingo himself outside his Hobbit Hole in the North of Michel Delving. At first he’s just trying to organise a party and sends you to the market to find food and ingredients. From such small beginnings, his own Epic Adventure begins.
Bingo Badges are a unique barter currency which you can only earn through completing quests as part of the Ballad. These are then tradable with Bert Bartleby. Bert moves his location across Middle Earth after various quests in the Storyline.
What Got Bingo Started?
While organising a party, a recipe book borrowed from the Great Smiales contained a map of Eriador. Being a Hobbit, thinking about life outside The Shire was not in his blood. Initially he wanted nothing to do with the Map. After all, why should any Hobbit desire to leave the haven of The Shire? But as you attempt to take the map to The Mathom House, Bingo catches up with you – he’s changed his mind! He decides he does want to see these places, and a call to adventure begins to take shape.
Leaving the Shire
But Hobbits don’t trust anyone who acts outside the acceptable norms for a Hobbit – and adventuring definitely falls outside that remit! So it is, as Bingo starts to return items on long-term loan to their rightful owners that Myrtle Boggs decides to get a petition together to stop Bingo leaving the Shire. The poor, harrassed Mayor takes the brunt of this storm! His response is brilliant:
“If I had known the sorts of complains I would have had to deal with as mayor, I would never have accepted the office! Do this! Do not do that! Stop this person from leaving! Making this person leave! It is a constant din of noise!”
Poor innocent Bingo Boffin thinks it’s sweet people care so much about him that they want him to stay safe in the Shire! Eventually he is permitted to leave!
Bingo Learns to Swim!
If a Hobbit is to go on an adventure he must be prepared to cross some rivers. To that end Bingo decides he has to learn to swim. So he gathers some friends at the Brandywine, and after taking your lead, has a go at “swimming” himself!
Bingo Boffin is a little…ditsy let’s say! Unaccustomed to travel he keeps forgetting things. In the Shire portion of the Ballad, you have a fair amount of to-ing and fro-ing fetching things for Bingo. His walking stick and satchel are things you’ll have to retrieve from Michel Delving for him! I guess going back himself might risk him changing his mind?
Over the Brandywine Bridge and Into Bree-land
The official last quest of The Shire is “A Brood of Boffins” which happens to be in Buckland on the border between The Shire and Bree-land. You get to meet Bingo’s sister Prisca and her family (and their cow on the roof of a Hobbit Hole, obviously!). Once you’ve assembled the family you complete the quest!
Note: If you want rewards from The Shire, don’t complete this quest until you’ve purchased the items you want. Once you complete “A Brood of Boffins”, Bert Bartleby moves to Bree with a different set of rewards.
- The Prepared or The Unprepared
- The Buoyant or The Sinking Stone
- Happy to Help or The Loner
- Honorary Boffin
Bingo Badge Barter Items
Bert Bartleby’s Location: Next to Michel Delving Stables (Taxi)
TL;DR The Ballad of Bingo Boffin: A Call to Adventure
It’s really neat that you have your story, the Epic Questline (which runs alongside the classic Lord of the Rings story) and the Ballad of Bingo Boffin. That there are pets, decorations and gear rewards for doing so is a bonus incentive. I’m looking forward to seeing him adventure across Bree-land, so that’s where the next episode will be. See you then!
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