Each vocation is a fixed set of three crafting professions. You are limited to just those three crafts as long as you remain in that vocation. In general, each vocation is structured around a primary production profession, where you make finished goods, plus a complementary gathering profession, where you collect and process the raw materials used in crafting.
|Vocation||Primary Profession||Gathering Profession||Bonus Profession|
Choosing a vocation is really about choosing a crafting profession first. Which profession is best for you depends on many factors, including whether this your first character, your class, your playstyle, your account type and what content you own. Let’s take these one at a time.
|I'd Rather Level than Craft||If you don’t want to worry about crafting yet, we recommend you choose Explorer for the Prospector and Forester professions. This will let you gather ore, make ingots and turn hides into leather for the cost of repairing your tools. You can sell or trade ingots and leather for finished goods. If you decide you want to craft yourself later, you can change vocations at any time. Be careful though, you’ll lose experience with any crafting profession not shared by your new vocation.|
|This is My First Character||Crafting is expensive, especially at low levels. If this is your first character, consider building your cash reserves before undertaking production crafting. Prospector can be a good money maker. If you really want to craft consider Jeweller/Prospector or Cook/Farmer, which are a little cheaper to start than other professions.|
|I Want to Make My Own Gear||If your class is particularly gear dependent it can we worthwhile to choose a profession that lets you make gear for yourself while leveling.|
|I Want to Make Consumables||Consumables, such as food, scrolls, potions, tokens and other supplies can make leveling go faster and challenging encounters easier. Making your own can ensure a good supply of affordable consumables, with some left over to sell to other players. See Crafting at Max Level for a chart of crafted consumables.|
|I Want to Make Money||The items that sell well are the very same crafted items you use: food, tokens, scrolls, jewelry and legendary items to name a few. Study the market on your server to see what the opportunities are for your crafting profession. Don't forget your gathering skills -- ore, hides, scholar materials and farmed goods can sell quite well to other crafters.|
Considerations for Free and Premium PlayersCrafting will further strain your precious inventory bags and bank space. While bank upgrades can be purchased with in-game cash, unlocking an additional bag costs 495 TP, per account. Some professions, like Farmer and Cook, are more storage intensive.
Premium accounts start with 5 Auction House post slots, free accounts have none. You can buy more from the LOTRO Store for 295 TP per 5 post slots (per account). If you are crafting cooperatively with others (like your kinship) you may not need these, but they are essential to making money on the AH.
Starting at the Expert tier, crafters can join the crafting guild for one of their production professions (Cook, Jeweller, Metalsmith, Scholar, Tailor, Weaponsmith or Woodworker). Using special recipes, you can earn reputation with the crafting guild, which gives you access to special recipes, especially in the Moria and Mirkwood expansions.
Free and Premium players need to purchase an unlock (295 TP per character) to raise crafting guild reputation above Acquaintance standing and gain access to the special recipes offered at each rep tier. Prior to the Supreme tier, the guild recipes mostly give you guaranteed critical results from one-shot and other recipes you already know. You can buy and make the guild reputation recipes for crafting tiers you have achieved, and stockpile the reputation items while you save up to buy the guild unlock.
One way to get these unlocks is to subscribe for a month. See Choosing the Best Account Type for You for a pros and cons of this tactic.