Game of Hobnanigan, A - Flying Feathers & Steel Beaks

Special Events Quest

This is an event that is active during the Summer Solstice Festival, June 20 - July 10, 2007.

Hobnanigan is not an easy name to remember, unlike say... "ChikkinBowl". In fact, I suspect that is exactly what Hobnanigan means in archaic Hobbit-tongue.

The Hobnanigan field is located just south and a little west of the Bree-land Festival Grounds. From Bree-town's West Gate, head north along the Greenway, a major road. When you reach Saerandin's cabin, turn right and run past it, up the hill. You should immediately see the field before you. The Festival Grounds lie just a little to the north and east.

There are two quests available in fact; one for the Flying Feathers, and one for the Steel Beaks.

The NPC for the Flying Feathers team is Haggo Boffin, found on the east side of the field, under the red banner, at 25.7s, 52.0w. He will reward a win with the title "Flying Feathers Champion".

The NPC for the Steel Beaks team is Carnelian Bracegirdle, who stands
under the blue banner on the west side of the field, at 25.7s, 52.3w. If you win for her team, you will gain the title "Chicken Chaser".

"So you want to join the Flying Feathers (or Steel Beaks) do you? Fine then, come on and play a round of Hobnanigan. You must wait in the area for 5 others to join you, and then you shall play for the right to become a winner in the great Chicken Chasing League of Eriador. This is no small honour!"

"The game will start when twelve sticks have been taken!"

The NPC's instructions are quite simple:
1. Take the stick from the table
2. Don't leave the field!
3. Don't lose the game!

Sounds easy, huh? WRONG. Read on, sport!

In order to run this quest properly, you will need 12 people, 6 for each team. Those who wish to vie for the "Flying Feathers Champion" title will speak to Haggo Boffin (red team), and those who want to try for the "Chicken Chaser" title need to seek out Carnelian Bracegirdle (blue team) on the opposite side of the field.

While this can be run as a pick-up game, you will have a lot more fun if you have two reasonably organized groups. Waiting to fill 11 slots with pick-ups can be maddening.

1. Form two teams. Have each team designate a team captain (group leader), who will communicate with the opposing team captain via tells. This will enable them to get the groups organized and ready at the same time.

2. Ensure that the team-mates know not to start, talk to, poke at, or pick anything up until the captain says so. It is easier to maintain order if the teams form up AWAY from the playing field.

3. When both captains are ready, they should instruct the team to follow them to the appropriate side of the field, and the attendant NPC. Haggo is on the east side with a red banner, and Carnelian is on the west side, with a blue banner.

4. At the captain's command, the team should speak to the NPC, accept the quest, and then pick up a stick from the nearby table.*(see notes, below) At this time, you should equip the stick, and hotkey it to your favorite location. I use #1.

5. You will see that your team-mates will all have a rune floating above their heads. Red for the Flying Feathers, blue for the Steel Beaks. These are very easy to see, and I recommend that you turn off names in your UI (default command "N"). Compare the image at left to the one below, and you can see how much sense it makes to do so. The chikkin is SMALL and hard enough to see, without names, titles and kinship affiliations getting in the way!

6. You will note in your quest tracker that you need to score 3 goals in order to win the game (and gain your title). If you want both titles, you will have to play the game (and win) for each side!

7. The Referee will announce the Game Hen's arrival, and the game begins!

8. You need to target the chicken with your mouse cursor - no mean feat when there are 11 people blocking your view. Decide what direction you want it to go, get behind it and give it a whack by hitting the appropriate hotkey. Do try to aim. At least a little.

9. Keep in mind that if someone else ALSO hits the chicken, your shot may be deflected in a most unexpected manner!

10. Once you hit the chicken, there is a 5 second cool-down on your stick - use this time to get to a strategic location.

11. If the chicken is whacked out of bounds, you must wait for it to re-enter the field. Do NOT leave the field in pursuit, for you will immediately be teleported to the Bree Graveyard, which is quite a way south of the venue.*(see note)

12. Goals are scored when a team sends the Game Hen through the opposing teams goal-posts (the banner color above the goal indicates who it belongs to.

13. Have FUN! If you have a good group of people, you can begin to explore playing positions and strategies - perhaps one day we'll see a permanent arena game of this type in Lord of the Rings Online!


4* If there are fewer than six sticks on the table, then not all of your team can be fielded - this is an annoying vestige of passers-by who took the quest and didn't end up running it. It is not a bad idea to run a game anyway, to get a feel for the action. Some of your team will just have to sit it out.

11* At this time, the event is BUGGED such that very often, when the Game Hen is knocked out of bounds, it does not respawn properly. The Referee will keep repeating "The Game Hen is Out of Bounds!" and then "The Game Hen has returned to the field. Resume play!" When this happens, the game is effectively over. Leave the field and wait for the game to reset. This will take 30 minutes, and so can be very awkward. The Ref is evil, just like they are in real life. Look at him! He REEKS of evil!


If a passer-by steps on to the field while a game is in progress, they will find themselves at the Bree graveyard. Doh! Not much different than what happens when a fan steps on the field during a Steelers game...

Although a proper game requires 12 people, you can actually manage to run it with 6 or less.
With 6 people, create 2 teams of 3 members each. Have them take the quest (3 to each side), pick up the sticks, then DELETE the quest and switch sides. As soon as all 12 sticks are gone, the game will begin.

You can make this even cheesier by getting rid of all but two sticks and going one on one... but I hope that is blocked soon, when they fix the Game Hen. They will fix the Game Hen, won't they? I have faith!

A hearty thanks to the InnMates guild for running this game with me -it was great fun till the Game Hen decided to flee the scene!
Cheers to Tyraenna, Rudorf, Elisenya, Ezri, Kwee, Jasia, Talgain, Anora, Aasya, Grif and Wren! Both of our teams are yet undefeated! Ok, so we can't finish a game yet... it still sounds good!

(For extra entertainment while you wait for your team to form up, say "Hobnanigan" five times, fast.)

Special thanks go out to Brasse for providing this quest writeup!
Brasse has entered 66 LOTRO quests.