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Fellowships: Leading a Group

Fellowships: Leading a Group

Often, the best way to find a group is to lead it yourself. As leader you’ll recruit a team and do a few housekeeping tasks, like setting the loot rules. If your group is going to run an instance, you’ll also be the one to start it up. Although this takes practice, once mastered, you'll never be stuck looking-for-fellowship again!

Recruiting Your Fellowship

Your first task is to recruit members for your fellowship. Check the Fellowing tab in the Social panel [O] for people looking to run the same content. You can also advertise in the LFF and GLFF chat channels - be sure to include the desired roles, group size and the name of the quest or instance you want to do.

For example: 3/6 GA Fortress - need tank

This tells the channel that your group is half full (3 of 6 spots taken) and you are trying to fill the tank spot. In general, tank and healer are the hardest roles to fill, so try to get them filled early.

Minimum level for instances

The Instance Join dialog [Ctrl-J] makes it very easy to travel to an instance, but there’s a hitch: group members must be the minimum level shown in the dialog. There is a workaround to include under-level folks: the group leader (that’s you) must travel to the instance and touch the door to start it.

If you don’t want the travel hassle, recruit members who are at least the minimum level.

Which Classes to Recruit: Some Tips

A balanced group is great...

Unless you are confident the content will be easy, try to avoid having more than one of any class in your group: it will give your fellowship more utility. For a full, 6-man fellowship you'll want:
  1. tank (Guardian or Warden)
  2. healer (Minstrel or Rune-keeper)
  3. melee damage dealer (Champion, Captain, Burglar, Warden or Guardian in Overpower stance)
  4. ranged damage dealer (Hunter, Rune-keeper or Lore-master)
  5. crowd control (Lore-master, Burglar or Hunter)
  6. secret sauce. For the final slot, choose a class you don’t have yet. Captain is great for buffs and back-up healing, Burglar is great for debuffs and back-up healing, or add a third DPS class to speed your killing up.
Be sure when inviting that the player is willing to fulfill the role you have in mind for them. Not all Wardens tank, not all Rune-keepers heal, etc.

...but not always necessary

For content that is easy, or you are very familiar with, unbalanced class combos can work fine, especially in the higher levels when players have a more complete set of class skills and traits.

No tank? Champions, Captains, and Hunters do fine tanking easier single-target encounters. Burglars can be great tanks, especially while Touch-and-Go is active. Even a Lore-master’s bear pet can tank for you.

Alternatively, you can spread the damage across the whole group with a Burglar’s Trick: Enrage.

Or, don’t tank at all. DPS heavy groups can try to win the DPS race: it kill before it kills you. A pair of Hunters or RKs can ping-pong a boss between them with careful timing of threat reduction skills. A Hunter’s Quick Shot or Burglar’s Dust in the Eyes can slow the runspeed of boss, allowing your group to kite it.
No healer? A Captain traited for Hands of Healing can main-heal most 6-man content. Burglars can contribute a huge amount of healing via Fellowship Maneuvers (FMs) if your group is able to execute them reliably. Wardens can provide quite a bit of group healing via Conviction.

And then there’s self-healing. In addition to food and potions, most classes get a couple self-heal or damage avoidance skills. The racial emergency skills are also quite handy when there’s no healer in the group.
No CC? For the easier content crowd control is rarely a necessity. Just AoE the mobs down, or dip into the “CC lite” skills of your fellowship: most classes can stun or fear a mob for a few seconds.
No DPS? Well, you’re not likely to die unless it’s from boredom. Fortunately, folks playing damage dealer classes are abundant.

Setting up the Fellowship UI

Now that your group is invited, as leader, you have three housekeeping tasks to attend to.

Loot Rule Right-click your own portrait to set Loot Rule and Loot Quality. "Round Robin with Roll/Pass", with a Loot Quality of "Rare" will be acceptable to most pickup groups. Most loot is vendor trash, and this setting gives everyone a fair share of it.

The “Round Robin with Need/Greed/Pass” loot rule is OK if you expect specialized loot to drop, but it’s not worth the bother in most cases. It can add a lot of distracting loot spam, and tends to shift your group’s focus to “loot first” so your group is taking time to make the sell/keep decisions they would normally save for bag-clearing time at a vendor during combat instead.

When you are doing a Need run for a really special item, say Helchgam’s Slime, consider using the Master Looter rule for the boss fight only. Select one of the “with Master Looter” loot rules. When the boss is looted, you - as group leader - will see a small box for each item in loot that lets you assign the item to a member of your group or raid (the coins splits automatically). How the winner of the item is picked is up to you and your group, although I’d suggest you decide this before the fight!
Target Assists
Choose a DPS class like Hunter or Champion as your target assist. Right-click the portrait of the group member and select Fellowship > Add as Fellowship Assist Target.

Avoid choosing the tank (he will be constantly changing targets to gather up threat) as the main DPS assist, but sometimes it’s handy to also add the tank to the target assist window to track the boss’ health while the group is clearing adds.
Fellowship Maneuver
As fellowship leader, you should decide which FM your group should do. If you aren’t sure which one to use, Pure of Heart (GGGBB) is a safe bet.

Set the FM pattern to help your group remember it. On your character sheet [C], select Skills > Fellowship, then find and check the FM pattern you want. Note: only FMs you have completed before will appear in your Fellowship Skills tab.

Next, assign group members to specific colors. Where possible, give melee classes responsibility for the first colors in the FM. Classes with long skill inductions (Hunter, LM, Minstrel) will generally prefer to be near the end of the FM.

Starting up the instance

If your group is running an instance, as leader you’ll need to start it up. Open the Instance Join dialog [Ctrl-J], select the instance, set the level, then click Travel Now.

When your fellowship includes a wide spread of levels, you'll want to pick a level for the instance somewhere in the middle. Remember that all classes (except perhaps healers) are ineffective in situations where the mobs are 6 or more levels higher than them.

Once everyone is inside, use the /readycheck command to make sure everyone is ready to start. Everyone “green flag”? Great, your group is ready to roll!

Related Articles

Choosing a Class, Part 2: Grouping
Fellowships: Grouping in LOTRO
Getting Started with Fellowship Maneuvers