Power level refers to leveling as quickly as possible. Although I don’t recommend it for new players (do yourself a favor and take the time to stop and smell the virtual roses), I do it regularly. I am, and always will be an altoholic., therefore I have played though the first 20 levels or so of LOTRO many, many times. I don’t feel the need to stop and smell the roses in the early levels anymore, because quite frankly, I’m pretty sure they still smell the same as the last fifty times.
Since I recently started playing LOTRO again, I have power leveled 3 characters to level 20 or higher (for various reasons). It generally takes me about six hours of continuous play to get there using this method. It could probably be shortened to five hours if I didn’t take the time to craft or gather any crafting-related resources.
This guide should work for all races and classes, although there may be a little variance in the amount of time it takes based on that factor.
Playing through the intro should get you to level 6 or so. As you’re playing through, don’t take too much time to explore, do deeds, or kill extra enemies other than what’s required by your current quests (quest EXP is where it’s at).
After the intro, start on the Epic Prologue, and do some of the quests around those areas. At level 8, you will unlock the capability to unlock the riding skill (if you want to purchase it from the LOTRO store). At that point, you will have a red gift-box in your inventory (make sure you check your mail) that will turn into a 24-hour horse-whistle. Make sure you use this, it’s much faster than running around everywhere on foot.
Try to avoid working on any less than 2 quests at a time in any given area. Once you hit level 10 or so, speak to a stable-master and fast travel to the West Bree Gate. From Bree, head to Combe and do all the Chetwood quests. That should get you to at least level 12. After Combe, it’s on to Staddle to do the quests there. Make sure you accept the Midgewater Marsh quests and the Widow Foghorn quests. After completing the quests in the Midgewater Marsh, head back to Staddle and turn everything in.
Now, head to the Prancing Pony in Bree, and talk to Strider to get Epic Volume I, Book 1. Do a couple instances in the Epic Quest line, and eventually Strider will give you a quest to go all the way to the western edge of the Bree-Lands and talk to Lenglinn (30.1S, 61.3W). Once you’re over there, head into Buckland and accept the quests from the trio at the north gate and from the group at the entrance to the Old Forest. Once those are completed, you should be around level 16. After talking with Lenglinn again, he’ll send you back to Strider. Mount up and head back towards Bree, but make sure you make a pit-stop at Adso’s Camp to pick up a few more easy quests. After doing these, continue back to Strider to pick up Epic Volume I, Book 1, Chapter 8, which will send you to Tom Bombadil.
Go west out of Bree and take a left on the road that goes south into the Barrow-Downs. There will be a corpse at the entrance that you can pick up a quest from. Follow the quest to a quest hub in the Northern Barrow-Downs. Before doing any of these quests, head past them and back into the Old Forest to knock out a couple more Epic quests. Once you are on Volume I, Book 1, Chapter 10, head back and start working on all the Barrow-Downs quests. Don’t forget the quest from the Wandering Shade near the Dead Spire (32.1S, 55.1W)!
After doing these, you will be sent into the Southern Barrow-Downs by a group of quests from the guides at Dead Man’s Perch. I always do the bounty quests and the quests from the “Find Malin” questline, but I skip the others because they’re a pain and they take too long. After doing the bounty quests three times, you should be level 20. If not, head back to Adso’s camp and do a couple more miscellaneous quests to finish up the remainder.
If you follow this guide, the whole process should take around 6 hours. Keep in mind that the horse-whistle is only good for 24 hours of real-life time, so if you split this up over multiple days it’s going to take longer unless you spend the TP for the riding skill and get a horse for 500 silver. And then it will still take you longer because you have to detour to Hengstacer Farm. Best of luck always!