Friday, October 31, 2014

Fearsome Monsters

A Fearsome Monster

Text from some ads for OD&D and Holmes Basic in the mid-1970s

"The Dungeons are filled with fearsome monsters, fabulous treasures and frightful perils" - J. Eric Holmes, from the Introduction to the Holmes Basic rulebook.

For Halloween, a 'new' creature for OD&D and Holmes Basic... 

Fearsome Monster

Hit Dice AC Attacks Damage Move
1 9 1 1d6 60
2 8 1 1d6 60
3 7 1 1d6 60
4 6 1 2d6 90
5 5 1 2d6 90
6 4 1 2d6 90
7 3 1 2d6 90
8 2 1 3d6 120
9 1 1 3d6 120
10 0 1 3d6 120

The forgotten builders of the vast Underworld imbued it with the ability to create its own strange defenders. The earth and stone was imbued with the essence of chaos and attuned to interact with the subconscious mind. Thus, the fearsome monsters are unwittingly shaped by the very delvers who dare to enter the prehistoric corridors. And the deeper the dungeons, the more deadly the created beasts.

For each surface dweller entering the dungeon, one monster at a time will be created. This will take 1d4 days. Brief periods of leaving the dungeon, such as overnight, will not halt the process of creation. The monsters will attack any intruders, although they will preferential pursue their creator. Adventurers may encounter monsters created by earlier trespassers. The monsters will slowly return to their original substance if their creator leaves the dungeon. If a monster is destroyed, another will begin forming after 1d4 days.

The monsters vary in form (roll on the table below), but all generate an unnatural aura of fear. When first encountered, each character must save vs Spells or flee in terror, dropping all items held in hand. The monster's pursuit will be slow but relentless. A character who fails a save must roll again the next time the monster is encountered.

Form (roll 1d10):
1. Tentacled Humanoid
2. Hopping Monopod
3. Flapping Thing
4. Cyclopean Construct
5. Crawling Fungoid
6. Cackling Primate
7. Floating Monolith
8. Oozing Insectoid
9. Mouldering Heap
10. Roll Twice, using the first adjective and second noun.
 
If the monster is defeated, it will rapidly decay back into to the substance of its creation, leaving a pile dirt, rocks and gems. There will be 1d6 gems per HD of the creature. Roll for value randomly on the Gems table. 

(The idea of the environment creating monsters from the mind is inspired by the mythagos of Mythago Wood by the late Robert Holdstock).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Part 39: "The Wand Produces a Fire Ball Which Will Travel"

Part 39 of a comparison of Holmes' manuscript with the published Basic Set rulebook. Turn to pages 36-38 of your 'Blue Book' and follow along... (pages 35-37 for the 1st edition)



Wands and Staves

Holmes has ten wands and staves in his list, all of which are found in the original list on page of 25 of OD&D Vol 2. Nine of these make it into the published rulebook, with only the Staff of Power being swapped out for the Rod of Cancellation from Greyhawk.


Descriptions

The introductory paragraph is adapted from the similar one at page 34 of OD&D Vol 2. One thing that I never noticed before is that OD&D specifically excludes Detection wands and certain Staves from having charges, and Holmes keeps with this by stating that "[w]ands that have projectiles or rays are considered to do six 6-sided damage and to have 100 charges or projectiles". Since the Detection wands do not have projectiles, they do not have charges.

Wand of Magic Detection: OD&D has the wand "reveal the operation of any form of magic", whereas Holmes limits it to magic items, and has these "glow or otherwise signal its presence". No changes as published.

Wand of Secret Doors and Trap Detection: OD&D has that the wand "when held will give warning of either thing when it is brought within 2" of it" [2" is scale for 20 feet] which Holmes renders as "gives warning or points to any hidden door, panel, trap etc." Since Holmes left out the range, the published version adds, "within 20 feet" to the end of the sentence.

Wand of Fear: Holmes closely follows the original description. The published version adds a new clause at the end of the second sentence: "dropping everything they are holding and running away at top speed for 1-3 turns". The effect of dropping held weapons is similar to how surprise is treated in OD&D (25% chance) and Holmes (on a roll of 6 on a d6).

Wand of Cold: Another which follows the OD&D description closely. No changes as published.

Wand of Paralyzation: In OD&D Vol 2 and Greyhawk this is spelled "Paralization"; Holmes corrects the spelling in the manuscript. The original nonsensically says "creatures take half damage if their saving throw is made". This seems to be a direct copy from the entry for Wand of Cold, and is clearly an error in view of Vol 1 stating that making a saving throw versus "paralization" means "no effect" (pg 20). This was not corrected in Greyhawk. Holmes corrects it by having a failed save result in paralysis for 6 turns (perhaps drawing on the duration of Hold Person being 6 + level of caster?). This is left unchanged as published, and is in fact incorporated into Moldvay Basic. The duration of paralysis was generally left unstated in OD&D and Holmes, fore example no duration is given for the paralysis caused by a Carrion Crawler, Gelatinous Cube, Ghoul or a Mummy. Most likely it was just assumed to last as long as the encounter did.

Wand of Fire Balls: The original just indicates that the Wand produces "a Fire Ball exactly like the spell of the same name". Since Holmes didn't include third level spell descriptions in Basic, including this wand means he needs to add the description here. He does this by adapting the text from the spell in OD&D Vol 1. Some text he includes directly, like Fire Balls "generally conform to the shape of the space", and other he rewrites while keeping the same concepts, "On activation, the wand produces a fire ball which will travel any distance up to 240 feet desired by the user and then then explode with a burst radius of 20 feet".
The published version keeps all of the text of the manuscript, but adds a brief "(so watch out!)" at the end after the sentence about the fire ball filling the area.

Staff of Healing: The original says that it acts as Cure Light Wounds, healing 2-7 points of damage. Holmes omits the mention of the spell, and instead says that it requires a touch, per the spell. No changes as published.

Snake Staff: Holmes follows the original, but adds a new sentence at the end that it can be commanded "by the owner to release its victim". He may have inferred this from the rest of the description as well as the spell "Sticks to Snakes", which produces snakes that will "perform as he orders" (OD&D Vol 1). No changes as published version, which retains "1 die + 1 points of damage", which of course means 1d6 + 1 damage.

Staff of Striking: Holmes uses the text from OD&D, Vol 2, but also adds that only a magic-user can use it. This is actually in contradiction to Greyhawk, which indicated that it could be used by a magic-user or a cleric (pg 43). Holmes leaves out the clarification from Greyhawk, pg 48, that each use of this Staff requires a charge. The published version changes "two dice of damage" to "2-12 hit points of damage"


Staff of Power (Limited): Holmes' original text for this:



The original version in OD&D Vol 2 does not refer to the staff as "(Limited)", as Holmes does. I believe he uses this because his version is missing two of the powers of the original: Lightning Bolts and Telekinesis. I imagine he left these out because these powers are not described elsewhere in the rules, unlike the other powers, which duplicate other wands, staves or spells. The 8 dice damage and 200 charges come from notes on staves from the introductory text in OD&D Vol 2, page 34. 

Rod of Cancellation: Gygax/TSR used this in place of the Staff of Power, making it the only Rod in Basic (although the section is still just called "Wands and Staves"). It was described in Greyhawk, but there are two additions here: the length of four feet, and the +2 to hit that it gives. Neither of these bits made it into AD&D or B/X. 

Legacy 

Moldvay Basic (B/X) shortened the list to six, with five from the list in Holmes Basic. The addition is Enemy Detection, reintroduced from OD&D Vol 2. The others are all relegated to the Expert Set, with the Wand of Secret Door and Trap Detection being split into two separate Wands.A radical change in B/X is to charges - each wand, staff or rod contains 1d10 charges in Basic when found. Expert ups this to 2d10 for Wands, 3d10 for Staves, still far short of the 100 charges for Wands in OD&D and Holmes Basic, and 200 for Staves in OD&D. Expert also includes the Staff of Power, with all six original powers rather than the "limited" version of Holmes.

The Wand of Fire Balls is the only Wand appearing in the original version of B2 Keep on the Borderlands, by Gary Gygax. In the revised version for B/X this was changed to a Wand of Paralyzation, since the Fire Ball Wand was moved to Expert.

Holmes later made extensive use of a Wand of Fire Balls in his Boinger & Zereth novel, The Maze of Peril, which he was working on as early as 1979 and was published in 1986.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Part 38: "Rings Can Be Used By Anyone"

Part 38 of a comparison of Holmes' manuscript with the published Basic Set rulebook. Turn to pages 36-38 of your 'Blue Book' and follow along... (pages 35-37 for the 1st edition)




Rings

Holmes has ten rings in his list, seven of which are found in the original list on page 26 of OD&D Vol 2. For the other three, he tweaks Mammal Control to Animal Control, adapts Plant Control from the Potions list, and adds Contrariness from the Greyhawk expanded list of Rings. The published rulebook makes just one change to his list, substituting another Vol 1 ring, Weakness, for Human Control. This increases the number of cursed rings from 10% to 20% of the list.

Descriptions

The introductory paragraph is an abridgement of the material at the start of the descriptions on page 33 of Vol 2. Holmes adds the clarification that a ring "can be carried and put on only when desired". He leaves out the sentence, "Those rings which are not specifically noted below function as would a like spell or potion but on an unlimited basis regarding duration", instead opting to provide a description for each ring.

Unless noted below, the published version keeps the text of the manuscript.

Invisibility: This ring does not have a description in OD&D Vol 2 because it duplicates a spell effect. Holmes gives it a brief description, indicating that the invisibility lasts as long as the ring is worn, unless the wearer is engages in combat, per the spell.

Animal Control: Holmes uses the original description for Mammal Control, but adds a category of medium animals from the Potion of Animal Control. He leaves out the range (6"). The published version adds a clarification at the end of the 2nd sentence: "so long as the wearer concentrates on the control", qualifying the indefinite duration.

Plant Control: Holmes uses the description from the Potion of Plant Control, including the mention of fungi, and again leaves out the range. The published version again adds, "but concentration must be maintained" at the end.


Human Control: As mentioned above, this the only ring in the list that was cut from the published rulebook. Holmes' text is almost verbatim from OD&D Vol 2.

Weakness: This ring replaced Human Control. The description follows OD&D Vol 2, but with a new addition: a 5% chance of making the wearer stronger instead of weaker. AD&D kept this feature, but with a drawback - the strength is paired with berserker tendencies. So the version in Holmes Basic represents an intermediate form. In retrospect, the description for Weakness has the appearance of a Gygax insertion because it is much longer than those for the other rings. 

Protection +1: In OD&D this ring was just "Protection", until Greyhawk added a +3 version, necessitating the name change, which Holmes uses. The original description said, "A ring which serves as +1 armor would, giving this bonus to defensive capabilities and to saving throws". As later rulings make clear, Gygax intended for this to simply mean a +1 to defense and saving throws. However, the way it is written is not clear, and Holmes seems to have misinterpreted it. In the manuscript he writes: "Serves at plate armor +1, and adds +1 to all saving throws". This makes the ring vastly more powerful, giving the wearer AC 2 - a real boon to a magic-user who finds one! This text survived into the published rulebook, but was changed in the 2nd edition to: "adds +1 to armor class, i.e. a magic-user with no armor (armor class 9) would be treated as if he had armor class 8. Also, +1 is added to all saving throws." 

Three Wishes: Holmes closely follows the relatively lengthy description in OD&D Vol 2, including Gygax's reference to "an endless closed time loop". The published rulebook adds a new sentence to the end: "Often absolutely literal fulfillment of the wish wording is sufficient to limit its beneficial effects". 

Regeneration: Holmes follows the OD&D description but adds that the ring works on dismembered as well as dead characters. The B/X Expert Set later changed the ring from 1 hp/turn to 1 hp/round. Mentzer Expert then changed it back. See the recent discussion on Dragonsfoot about whether the B/X version is too powerful.

Water Walking: This ring is missing a description in OD&D Vol 2, even though it does not duplicate a spell or potion effect. Holmes creates a simple one-sentence description of its effect.

Fire Resistance: OD&D has no description for this ring, as it duplicates the effect of a potion. Holmes closely follows the potion description for the ring.

Contrariness: Holmes follows the Greyhawk description closely. The published rulebook makes two changes. First, the "exact opposite of normal" is changed to "exact (or nearly exact) opposite of normal". Second, a new sentence is added at the end: "If, for example, the wearer is told to not kill himself, he will agree - and instead attempt to kill the person suggesting he not kill himself".

Legacy

Moldvay Basic (B/X) shortened the list of rings to six, but all of these are from the list in Holmes Basic, and with close descriptions with some tweaks and clarifications. Plant Control, Regeneration and Three Wishes are moved to Expert, and Contrariness was dropped completely. AD&D ignored the developments of Basic, keeping Animal Control as Mammal Control and leaving Plant Control as a potion only.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Random Animal Table - 1E DMG


I recently rediscovered these random tables found in the 1E AD&D DMG on page 138,  presumably by Gygax. They are meant for the Bag of Tricks, so are often overlooked in the magic item section but could be used in any situation calling for a random animal. They are nicely ordered by HD and have the most important stats right there. Most of the animals are found in the Monster Manual, and having stats matching that source, but about a third of them are not, including weasel, skunk, owl, goat, ram, eagle and ostrich (several of these are found in giant form in the MM, but not normal form). For other opponentes with 'stealth stats' in the DMG, see this thread on the Knights & Knaves Alehouse.

Here's an earlier version of this table from the Bag of Tricks entry in Greyhawk (1975). These are some of the earliest 'normal animal' stats for specific animals. The stats for the same animals found in both tables are similar, but with many minor changes.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gen Con IX report by Ian Livingstone

GEN CON IX report by Ian Livingstone (Click on pic for a larger view)

In the summer of 1976, Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson of Games Workshop traveled to the US to attend the ninth Gen Con. This was the last year that the event was held it is original location, the Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva. Ian Livingstone later wrote about their trip in a con report for Owl & Weasel #18, September 1976, the predecessor of White Dwarf magazine.

The scan quality is not great, since I grabbed this image from an Ebay auction, but it is readable if you click on the picture above.

Some choice quotes:

"The Con kicked off with an auction at 10am with a great pile of games and figures being skillfully sold off by this-is-cheap-at-twice-the-price Tim Kask"

"...naturally Fantasy was featured strongly, with games of D&D, Lankhmar (see review), War of Wizards and Petal Throne being played everywhere"

 "Before lunch, Fritz Leiber gave a seminar on sword and sorcery and also on the development of his game Lankhmar. During the afternoon there were even more games but perhaps the most interesting part was an Empire of the Petal Throne adventure guided by the inventor Professor Barker and made famous by the enormous model of the Jakala Palace he'd built together with his red-shirted entourage"

"The ubiquitous insomniac D&D brigade carried on through the night whilst lesser mortals slept"

"Steve and I spent [Saturday] checking out new games with a view to importing some of them and obviously spent a lot of time with all the members of TSR to whom go our thanks for putting themselves out for use despite the time constraints of the Con. Special thanks go to Gary Gygax and Rob Kuntz for the guided tours and introduction to the Next Door Pub!"

Here is a picture of Leiber, Gygax, Barker, Jackson, Livingstone and Kuntz from this con, published in 40 Years of Gen Con by Robin Laws. I grabbed a scan of it from here.


A Rogues Gallery of Game Designers

This relationship bore fruit - Jackson and Livingstone obtained the rights to distribution TSR products in the UK, and by late 1977 Games Workshop was printing UK versions of TSR products, including the Basic Set.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Part 37: "Any Ring Spell Except Wishes"

Part 37 of a comparison of Holmes' manuscript with the published Basic Set rulebook. Turn to pages 36-37 of your 'Blue Book' and follow along... (pages 35-36 for the 1st edition)




Scrolls

Unlike the other magic item lists, this one has an introductory sentence, "Scrolls may contain any of the spells previously described, under Spells or described here as potions, rings, wands, etc". This sentence is included unchanged in the published rulebook. The reference to "any of the spells previously described" seems to indicate the scrolls can contain magic-user or clerical spells. However, in the section describing Scrolls, Holmes further writes, "The spells written on the scrolls can be read only by magic-users, except for the protection spells", which seems to indicate that scrolls with cleric spells are limited to magic-users. For a more detailed look at this, see my earlier post, No Spell Scrolls for Clerics. Gygax didn't see this way, even for Holmes Basic: the clerics in the original B2 module (written for Holmes) have standard clerical spell scrolls.

Holmes follows with a list of ten scrolls, sourced in part from OD&D. The only OD&D Scroll table is found in Vol 2, page 24, and has 9 types of scrolls (unlike the other types of magic items, Greyhawk doesn't include an updated Scroll table). In the manuscript, Holmes uses 7 of the 9 original entries, dropping only the scroll of 7 spells (too powerful for Basic?), and Protection from Elementals, a monster not covered in Basic. To bring the list up to ten entries, like the other tables, he comes up with something interesting: scrolls that duplicate the effects of potion, ring or wand spells. This neat 'Holmesian' twist greatly increases the variety of available scrolls without adding a lot of extra rules or verbage to the rulebook. It also provides the DM for a way to give Basic level characters some one-shot disposable items with powers normally reserved for permanent (such as a Scroll of Animal Control) or multi-charged (such as a Scroll of Cold) items. The published rulebook keeps these non-standard scrolls, only limiting them slightly by further excluding delusion from the potion spells, and regeneration from the wand spells. Unfortunately, this great idea was dropped from B/X, where Moldvay shortens the list to 8 scrolls, cutting Protection from Magic and the Potion/Ring/Wand Spells, and adding Treasure Maps to the list. AD&D also dropped this idea. So it remains a Holmesian feature, perhaps his most significant addition to the range of D&D magic items. 

Dragon #50 contains a module written for Holmes Basic called The Chapel of Silence, by Mollie Plants. It won the Basic Division of a Dragon magazine contest. The module contains a Scroll of Healing, which appears to be a scroll containing a Potion of Healing spell.

Another implication of these scrolls is that effects like Healing and Fire Resistance, which mimic clerical spells, could be researched as magic-user spells.

The section describing Scrolls appears in the manuscript in identical form as published. For this section, Holmes draws on two parts of OD&D Vol 2: the material on Cursed Scrolls at the top of page 25, and the section describing Scrolls on page 32. He reduces the short table of curses to two examples. Holmes omits the info that spells are cast at the 6th level, probably because such levels are not covered in Basic. Holmes also simplifies the Protection Scrolls by giving them all a standard radius and duration.

Continue on to Part 38 (forthcoming)
Or Go Back to Part 36: "They May Dare a Tiny Sip"
Or Go Back to Start: The Holmes Manuscript 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tolkien's Wild Hobbits

This is a follow-up to the earlier, "Hobbits as the Rangers of Basic". I started on it right after that post but didn't get a chance to finish until now.

* * * * *

How might one envision a Hobbit Ranger? Tolkien considered this idea in the late '30s when he was working on the sequel to The Hobbit, which eventually became Lord of the Rings. In these drafts, published in The Return of the Shadow (1988), the role of Strider was served by Trotter, a Hobbit Ranger. 

As the Hobbits approach Bree, the idea of "Wild Hobbits" is introduced:
"For not all hobbits lived in the Shire by any means. But the Outsiders were a rustic, not to say (though in the Shire it was often said) uncivilized sort. Some were in fact no better than tramps and wanderers, ready to dig a hole in any bank, and to stay there just as long or short a time as it suited them" (pg 132 of the Return of the Shadow). This sentence survived in edited form into the published Lord of the Rings as part of the introduction to Bree.

When Trotter first appears, he is described much as Aragorn in the Prancing Pony:
"...a queer-looking, brown-faced hobbit, sitting in the shadows behind the others, was also listening intently. He had an enormous mug (more like a jug) in front of him, and was smoking a broken-stemmed pipe right under his rather long nose. He was dressed in a dark rough brown cloth, and had a hood on, in spite of the warmth, - and very remarkably, he had wooden shoes!" (pg 137 of RotS).

Mr Butterbur, proprietor of the Prancing Poncy, describes him:
"O! that is one of the wild folk - rangers we call 'em. He has been coming in now and again (in autumn and winter mostly) the last few years; but he seldom talks. Not but what he can tell some rare tales when he has a mind, you take my word. What his right name is I never heard, but he's known around here as Trotter. You can can hear him coming along the road in those shoes: clitter-clap - when he walks on a path, which isn't often. Why does he wear 'em? Well that I can't say. But there ain't no accounting for East or West, as we say here, meaning the Rangers and Shire-folk, begging your pardon" (pg 137-138 of RotS).

Gandalf equates the Rangers with Wild Hobbits in his letter:
 "...I am giving this to a ranger (wild hobbit) known as Trotter: he is dark, long-haired, has wooden shoes! He is an old friend of mine and knows a great deal. He will guide you to Weathertop and further if necessary" (pg 154 of RotS). Tolkien considered having the wooden shoes be wooden feet - Trotter having lost his feet in Mordor (pg 413 of RotS), though he never developed this story further.

Trotter goes on to serve the same role in the following chapters as Strider; much of his dialogue and actions are unchanged in the final book, and the wild hobbit Rangers are much like the human Rangers. It's striking how much of our concept of Rangers in D&D comes from material that Tolkien originally wrote for a Hobbit character.

In one outline, "Trotter takes them to a wild hobbit hole, and gets his friend to run on ahead and send a message to Weathertop by pony" (pg 162). In draft form, this becomes: "Trotter also had a notion that if he came across any of his friends among the wild hobbits, one that he could rust, they might send him an ahead on the pony to Weathertop" (pg 166). 
  
In a later draft, Tolkien considers having the Rangers be a mix of Hobbits and Humans:
"In the wild lands east of Bree there roamed a few unsettled folk (men and hobbits). These the people of the Bree-land called Rangers. Some of them were well known in Bree, which they visited fairly frequently, and were welcome as bringers of news and tellers of strange tales" (pg 332 of RotS). 

In a draft of the Prologue of Lord of the Rings, Tolkien also writes:
"For [Hobbits] existed now only in the Shire, Bree, and lonely here and there were a few wild Hobbits in Eriador. And it is said that there were still a few 'wild hobbits' in the eaves of Mirkwood west and east of the Forest" (pg 10 of The People of the Middle-Earth). In the published Lord of the Rings, the area west of Mirkwood is identified as the ancestral home of Hobbits (see the Prologue), and also the place where some Stoors, possibly Smeagol's ancestors, returned after trouble appears in Eriador (See The Tale of Years in Appendix B). Eriador is is where the ancestral Hobbits migrated before settling in Bree and The Shire (Prologue), so it makes sense to associate remaining wild hobbits with this region.

An interesting back-story for Trotter was tried out in the later drafts:  
"Peregrin was the grandson of Bilbo's mother's second sister Donnamira Took. He was a mere babe, five years old, when Bilbo came back from his journey; but he grew up a dark-haired and (for a hobbit) lanky lad, very much more of a Took than a Boffin. He was always trotting round to Hobbiton, for his father, Paladin Boffin, lived at Northope, only a mile or two behind the Hill. When Peregrin began to talk about mountains and dwarves, and forests and wolves, Paladin became alarmed, and finally forbade his son to go near Bag-end, and shut his door on Bilbo. 

Bilbo took this to heart, for he was extremely fond of Peregrin, but he did nothing to encourage him to visit Bag-end secretly. Peregrin then ran away from home and was found wandering about half-starved up on the moors of the Northfarthing. Finally, the day after he came of age (in the Spring of Bilbo's eightieth year) he disappeared, and was never found in spite of a search all over the Shire.

In former times Gandalf had always been held responsible for the occasional regrettable accidents of this kind; but now Bilbo got a large share of the blame, and after Peregrin's disappearance most of his younger relations were kept away from him. Though in fact Bilbo was probably more troubled by the loss of Peregrin than all the Boffins put together.

He had, however, other young friends, who for one reasons or another were not kept away from him. His favourite soon became Frodo Baggins..." (pg 385 of RotS).

The reference to Gandalf is based on Chapter 1 of the Hobbit:
"...and once in a while members of the Took clan-clan would go and have adventures" (pg 12), and "'Not the Gandalf who was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad ventures? Anything from climbing trees to visiting elves - or sailing in ships, sailing to other shores!" (pg 14; the original 1937 version of the Hobbit said "...to stowing away aboard the ships that said to the Other Side?").

As he continued to draft, Tolkien eventually decided that having a human Trotter as a  worked better in the chapters following Rivendell, and the larger story, and changed his character and all of the Rangers to all humans. While Trotter didn't make it into the published LOTR, there are still references to hobbits acting more like the 'wild hobbits' than the typical Shire resident:

-The Fallohides, who are the ancestors of Tooks like Pippin, love the woodlands, prefer hunting over farming, and are elf-friends (pg 12 of the Fellowship of the Ring). This is later echoed in the 'Scouring of the Shire' where the Tooks that Pippin brings out of Tuckborough are described as hunters, with bow & axes. The history of the Hobbits in the Prologue also retains a strong association between the early Hobbit migrants and the Dunedain (who became the Rangers) in Eriador.

-Hobbit bowmen are sent to fight for the last King of Arnor against the Witch-King at the Battle of Fornost against the Witch-King (pg 14 of FotR). The draft of this section reports that they "took some part as allies of the king in the wars of Angmar (sending bowmen to battle)" (pg 9 of The Peoples of Middle-Earth).

-The 'Bounders' patrol the borders of the Shire to "see that Outsiders of any king, great or small, did not make themselves a nuisance" (pg 19). Aragorn & the human Rangers also  guard the borders of the Shire so we could imagine some contact here. ('Bounder' might be might be used as the name of a dedicated 'Hobbit Ranger' class).

-Sam's cousin Hal goes hunting up in the North Moors in Northfarthing, where he encounters a "Tree-Man" (pg 53 of FotR). This is the same location where a runaway young Trotter was found wandering (see above). Some of the farmers in the 'Scouring of the Shire' also have hunting bows.

-Smeagol's people, perhaps related to Stoors who returned to the vicinity of Mirkwood (see above), have an affinity for swimming & boating (pg 62).

-Hobbit Outsiders: "There were probably many more Outsiders scattered about in the West of the World in those those days than the people of the Shire imagined. Some, doubtless, were no better than tramps, ready to dig a hole in any bank and stay only as long as it suited them" (Chapter 9). This is an edited version of the first sentence I quoted above, and the strongest remaining reference to the 'Wild Hobbits' remaining in the published book that I could find. The stereotypical view of a Hobbit is influenced by the Shire and may not accurately represent all Hobbits. 


-In some ways, the idea of Wild Hobbits is preserved in the Woses or "Wild Men" of Chapter 5 of The Return of the King, who (like Hobbits) are a short and secretive branch of humanity: "Remnants of an older time they be, living few and secretly, wild and wary as the beasts ... Let us be thankful they are not hunting us: for they use poisoned arrows, it is said, and they are woodcrafty beyond compare".