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Share a Character Build for Skyrim


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I'm starting this topic so people can share their own character builds.  Anyone can post, participate or comment as they see fit.  There isn't a standard format for posting your build, but just make it easy to understand.  Some role play info or character motive would also be nice.  My one 'request' is including links to things discussed so people don't have to waste time searching if they need clarification.

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Knight of Arkay
BACKSTORY
You are one of the ‘good guys’ (or girls) and it is your sworn duty to hunt down and eradicate all forms of undead.  Your reasons are your own, but you hold the virtues of piety, honesty, justice and righteous judgement as your core beliefs.  You see yourself as protector of the people, even though some might not be deserving of your efforts.  There are exceptions; necromancers and to some extent conjurers are your nemesis.  Summoning or animating the undead is the greatest of all transgressions against the Divines and it demands punishment.  The dead deserve eternal rest, free from those who would manipulate their remains or their souls in their lust for power.
A more dubious version of this build could be a witch hunter or an ‘inquisitor’.  Not only are the undead, necromancers and conjurers sworn enemies, but witches, hagravens, the Forsworn and all daedra worshipers as well.

RELIGION AND WORSHIP
As a devotee of Arkay, you carry an Amulet of Arkay at all times and your preferred Shrine Blessing is also Arkay’s.  Even though you’ve devoted yourself to Arkay that wouldn’t exclude you from doing the quests for Dibella (The Heart of Dibella) or Mara (The Book of Love).  The rewards for both of these quests will be handy for this character build.  Good choices for Standing Stones are The Lady or The Lord.

ROLE PLAY RESTRICTIONS
Because of your chivalric nature there are some things you simply won’t be willing to do.  These include but aren’t limited to:

  • Being a werewolf or vampire.  You consider these things as evil monsters that prey on the innocent.  You would never willingly become a vampire or werewolf and would seek a cure if infected or cursed with those diseases.
  • No criminal activities (stealing, picking pockets, murder, etc.)  That means no Thieves’ Guild or Dark Brotherhood faction quests.
  • No reanimating the dead, summoning daedra, or trapping the souls of living things.  Trapping the souls of skeletons, draugrs, vampires and hostile ghosts is permissible, as is using bound weapons.
  • No Daedric quests.  Due to the malignant and evil natures of most Daedric Princes you should avoid them.  But you could justify doing Meridia’s quest (The Break of Dawn) to get Dawnbreaker as a weapon to fight undead since Meridia isn’t considered to be wholey ‘evil’.

OPTIMAL RACES
The obvious choice for this build are Imperials.  Their skill bonuses for Heavy Armor, Block and One-Handed make them good ‘Tanks’ but their major skill is Restoration, which is key to this build since that school governs turning undead and the spells added by the Dawnguard DLC.
A less obvious choice are Bretons.  Their inherent 25% magic resistance when combined with the Lord Stone (25% magic resistance) and The Book of Love quest reward (15% magic resistance) almost makes them mage-proof.  Couple that with the Magic Resistance Alteration Perks and your Knight of Arkay will be a necromancer’s worst nightmare.

SKILLS AND POINT ALLOCATION
Playing as an Imperial; go for skills like Heavy Armor, Block, One-Handed, Restoration and Alteration.  For a Breton, you could change things up a bit and go with Light Armor and One-Handed and pick the Dual Wielding perks.  For ranged attacks either go with Destruction magic for Imperials or Archery for Bretons.  The reason I say Bretons should be archers is their skill bonus for Conjuration magic.  You start the game at apprentice level so the Bound Bow spell is within your reach by 10th level.  For point allocation for both races I suggest a 1/4/1 split; Magicka 10, Health 40, Stamina 10.

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  • 1 year later...

All I've been doing for the last couple of years is to create a female Breton and then pretend that she's a Forsworn lass. I use Alternate Start's Forsworn start and I also add her to the actual Forsworn faction so that I won't have to kill them, and I don't, even if that means one less enemy faction. Even when a quest seemingly requires killing one, I try to find a way to avoid it.

By the way, strangely, adding her to the Forsworn faction also makes my character say things like "Forsworn forever!", "For the Reach!" etc. while in combat, which is pretty immersive. 😄 I really wish there was actual content in the game to support this type of game play, or at least a mod. It would be quite an experience living with the Forsworn, hunting in the wild, learning spells from auntie Hagravens and so on... 😅 I wish Skyrim was a more complex game for more intelligent people, sadly, it's just a glorified fetch-fest and full of missed opportunities...

Anyway, being a Forsworn also makes you feel less lonely in Skyrim, you can pretend that you have friends and family living somewhere in the Reach, which I definitely prefer to being a nobody in Skyrim.

I don't do pure evil or pure good characters, or very specific characters like yours. Other than being a Forsworn, my characters are pretty much self serving types, neither good or evil, and I try to do every single quest in the game. If, say a Daedric quest, forces me to do things that I despise, I somehow find a way to take revenge or at least use it to my advantage, such as sacrificing the follower in the Namira quest to Boethiah...🤣

In terms of skills and stats, I usually reduce her starting stats down to 50 instead of the default 100 and I also use the Uncapper mod to reduce her XP gains from tasks like alchemy, smithing, enchanting etc. and only allow her to gain XP from actual combat, but I also reward her with more perk points and more stat gains for each level, so that she can surpass everyone else on higher levels.

Unfortunately, there's level scaling in Skyrim which is to me very infuriating as I can't find any decent equipment if I start the game as a level 1 char so I sometimes use "setlevel" right after character creation and raise her level up to 50, but keep her stats and skills at level 1. In other words, she becomes the level 1 character who pretends to be level 50. 😅

I also like to become both a werewolf and a vampire. Yeah, I have a mod for that too. 😅 With Better Vampires mod becoming a vampire surely has many advantages...

 

TL;DR Come, come and face the Forsworn! 😛

 

Edited by bjornk
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I have a very hard time roleplaying with Bethesda games because of the mere fact in their games, you can be anything and everything.

My biggest pet peeve is the fact that you can join all these factions without repercussion. Without consequences. And when you have no conequences, there is little choice to be made because it has no impact on the way you play. There are mods out there that can help alleviate that to an extent, but the issue pretty much remains. I've had this argument on LL in the past and it's one of the reasons why I fail to see Skyrim as an RPG, because consequences and choices don't really factor. Only when you have to choose between the Stormcloaks or the Imperial Legion. And even then, that's just a side quest. I guess you can also include the point where Delphine tells you to kill Paarthurnax, but even though it's a choice, there isn't really any consequences behind it. What do you gain if you spair Paarthurnax's life, morality? What do you gain if you fullfil Delphine's wish by killing Paarthurnax? I always let Paarthurnax live because I have never been convinced ever to give a crap about the Blades. Delphine isn't a character that grows on me. She seems pretty useless to me throughout the whole entire game and so does the Blades as a whole. I'm the fucking Dragonborn, you bow to me. At least the Greybeards grant me shouts and all they do is sit on a mountain all their lives. So the only thing I really do is create a backstory for my characters and just play as them. I don't stick with just playing as a thief, or just a warrior. I used to play as a mage but I got bored with it. But if I did, I would be all because in Skyrim there isn't really classes to pick. There isn't a path to choose that locks the others forcing you to play as a mage, a warrior, or a thief. You can be anything and everything and that is mediocre to me.

They treat their games like MMO, which makes sense to allow the player to be everything because they want people playing MMOs for a very very long time. But it stinks for single player games.

Edited by endgameaddiction
typo negative :D
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First of all, like I always say, Skyrim, like all other Bethesda games that I know of, except maybe the earliest TES games, is an infuriatingly stupid game. Although, if you're an 12 old kid, who still does what his parents tell him to without questioning, you may not notice this.

Yes, you can join almost every guild or faction with no consequences. You can even sell your soul to multiple Daedric beings (Hircine, Nocturnal etc.) and if you're a Nord, you are also supposed to go to Sovngard when you die, so I have no idea how that works. This is all because Bethesda treats open-worlds pretty much like a "theme park". You are actively encouraged to have fun with everything available in this "theme park". Hence there are no restrictions on what you can do in there.

All guild quest lines are extremely linear and stupid anyway. You do whole work, while the rest of the guild sit on their asses and wait, claiming that they are somehow "busy"... You still do all these stupid things because there's nothing else to do in the game. Once you've finished every available quest, except the stupid radiant ones, all you can do is to go and fetch/kill things again and again and I can't imagine why anyone would do that.

The whole game is basically a fetch-fest, fetch that, kill that... Yes, there are no consequences, but more importantly, you have NO CHOICE! You can never refuse to do things, simply because Bethesda didn't make the parts of the game where the player had refused to do something. You either do what Bethesda wants you to do or let the quest stuck in the journal forever... It's difficult to role-play in a Bethesda game because they assume too much, they never imagine that some people may want to do things differently.

Role-playing is in a way adapting to changing conditions, therefore, as I always say, what a good computer role-play game needs is a living, dynamic world, that would replace the DM in a tabletop RPG. This is especially true for the types of open-world, sandbox or semi-sendbox games, such as TES or the Fallout games that Bethesda makes. Unfortunately, I have not seen a single RPG developer yet who understands this fact.

By the way, playing as a mage or in general, magic in combat sucks big time in Skyrim. Most of the spells, including the shouts are extremely weak and useless after a certain level. You have to mod them and give them a boost if you want to continue playing as a mage. This gets especially annoying when you are to defeat enemies whose levels are tied to the player's. For instance, I somewhat recently finished the College quest line as a level 100+ mage and I had to defeat level 240 (PCx1.75) magic anomalies... As you can imagine, most destruction spells were useless, just like the two other mages (Faralda, whose max level is 50, and Arniel, who has a fixed level of 30) who were supposed to help me fight them. You see, Skyrim is so fucking stupid, it has enemies whose levels are either equal or higher than the PC and they scale up every time the PC levels up, but most other NPCs in the game have either a fixed level or a fixed "max level"... Ugh!

I hate level scaling! If an RPG has level scaling, you can safely assume that the developers aren't very smart or creative in terms of designing game play mechanics, and they'd rather stick to known formulas of, well, ancient times... Level scaling is NOT the real problem with RPG game play mechanics though, it's a side effect of having character levels. Unlike skills, characters shouldn't have levels, it's a very stupid and unrealistic concept. I hope one day it gets completely eradicated...

Edited by bjornk
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Bethesda makes bad games for role players; class system removed, 'all roads lead to Rome' quest design, MMO-style grinding, scaled level encounter spawns, etc.  And without mods their games limited replay value.  When Skyrim was first released my neighbor's kid bought it for XBox.  He played it for a week and then ditched it.

I've tried various ways to make Skyrim's base game play more interesting.  Scaling difficulty makes the enemies bullet sponges, not smarter.  'Monster Overhaul' mods add multiple spawns so instead of 8-12 dumb bandits you get 24 suicidal bandit morons.  Bethesda game design is insulting, with FO4 being the worst offender so far.

I've tried to make Skyrim more interesting to play and THE ONLY way I've found to do that is to self-impose restrictions the game should have as built in features.  But for me, the Todd Howard game formula has ran its course.  I simply no longer care. ^_^

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The only good thing about Bethesda games is the fact that you can mod it. One of the greatest aspects of being able to mod their games is to be able to create scenes and define a story through screenshots and your own written stories, which allows you to roleplay by the characters you create. Which is something you, Vancleef and others do around other sites. But when it comes to the game itself, it's very difficult for me because no matter how much I try to use my imagination, my demon girls will always be the dragonborn and perhaps side with the stormcloaks or imperials if I give a damn.

To me, the solution for this is to ditch the whole fixed protagonist and give us the option to start the game through various different factions or non faction choices such as a farmer who was harvesting his wheat and a dragon decided it would be funny to fire breathe it all to ashes and you decide to go on a vendetta because now you can't make bread. XD

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30 minutes ago, endgameaddiction said:

The only good thing about Bethesda games is the fact that you can mod it. One of the greatest aspects of being able to mod their games is to be able to create scenes and define a story through screenshots and your own written stories, which allows you to roleplay by the characters you create. Which is something you, Vancleef and others do around other sites. But when it comes to the game itself, it's very difficult for me because no matter how much I try to use my imagination, my demon girls will always be the dragonborn and perhaps side with the stormcloaks or imperials if I give a damn.

To me, the solution for this is to ditch the whole fixed protagonist and give us the option to start the game through various different factions or non faction choices such as a farmer who was harvesting his wheat and a dragon decided it would be funny to fire breathe it all to ashes and you decide to go on a vendetta because now you can't make bread. XD

The problem is Bethesda is both lazy and money grabbing.  Not lacking creativity.. if they wanted to do such a thing they can get the talent to do so. I believe they are limiting and forcing much of what we see has changed in the older games to the final one we have Fallout 4. Testing the waters and making it more and more simple so they can get the job done faster and faster and in the end cheaper. No need for talented writers to write various stories.. just have some interns or new hire to create the radiant quest and some random person to follow the guides given to him to make the main quest.

I'd be happy if they just created a RPG world with all the settings and some radiant quest (which could be updated through their damn CC crap or authors etc) and allow an more open world environment. Less main quest and more general play and exploration. One hand it would be more boring but on the other hand, it would be more interesting in many ways and different from what we have currently.  They already have all the assets for Skyrim or Fallout 4 to do this. just need some location and such.

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IMO, role-playing games should stop trying to tell stories, and instead they should give the player tools to create their own stories, which would require a much better AI at both micro and macro levels. I know they won't be willing to take risks by trying new ideas, so instead they should adopt features from other genres, such as simulation and strategy games. In order to give the player more role-playing freedom, RPGs need to become more like toys, and less like games.

By the way, there's one thing I definitely like and appreciate in Skyrim in terms of both role-playing and immersion which is books and bookshelves. Yeah, they're a bit buggy, but whoever came up with that idea did a good job.😀

 

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1 minute ago, bjornk said:

IMO, role-playing games should stop trying to tell stories, and instead they should give the player tools to create their own stories, which would require a much better AI at both micro and macro levels. I know they won't be willing to take risks by trying new ideas, so instead they should adopt features from other genres, such as simulation and strategy games. In order to give the player more role-playing freedom, RPGs need to become more like toys, and less like games.

Modders as table top style Dungeon Masters is a cool concept.  Give people the world and let them fill it.  There could also be official dlc 'modules' that the devs could use to introduce towns and cities, dungeons, etc.  Players could use them or not.

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I mentioned a RPG world... 🤔

Which would need lots of radiant quest and such and such for it to work.  Much like what happens when you start using an alt mod in a Bethesda game.  (but better :D) 

DLC modules, CC content (actual REAL CONTENT!!!!!) which could be added to expand it. Add a faction, add quest-lines etc etc.  Bethesda wants a money train and they aren't doing this is baffling.  No instead they will re release Skyrim yet again just a short time after it was released. :( Next thing you know they will be releasing Morrow wind and other games. .. again.  no updates or such just some "god rays" or something added to the engine ... at least they gave it to us for free if we owned the previous version.  Gotta complement them on that.

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@Kendo 2 By "tools", I didn't mean modding tools, perhaps I should have used "ways" instead. What I was thinking of was a game world that runs multiple AI layers, from the layer of AI that manages critter/NPC behavior to the layer which manages macro level strategies for, say factions. It would be a world in which things happen without player intervention. In fact, you can simply be a spectator in it and just watch how things change.

In that world, a blacksmith would actually produce stuff and without tools and supplies he would go out of business, and a thief could actually go an steal the blacksmith's hammer to force him out of business and so on. Now, imagine you're a character in this world, not a Dragonborn, The Vault Dweller, The Chosen One or anyone special, just a random guy who wants to survive and possibly become successful in whatever he's doing. Now, in such a world, a player could easily create his own stories.

As I said, in order to build a game world like that RPGs need to look at other genres, specifically strategy games, simulations and survival games, and adopt things from them.

As for people building the game world themselves, yes, it's a cool concept, which may particularly work well in an MMO. An even better idea could be giving people an empty world and let them populate it from the ancient times to the modern times, create civilizations, rediscover things,...or simply fight each other and perish... Something like a planet size Rise of Nations, played in 1st/3rd person.

Edited by bjornk
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@ritualclarity

I know they won't do it. That much is obvious. The possibilities are right there, but whether it's a risk they don't want to take. or because they just don't have the talent, their games have been spiraling downward for a long time because it's the same repetitive way of developing their games. Some formulas work and others don't. This isn't a case of "if it's not broken don't fix it". It's entirely the opposite for that matter.

I doubt they are going to switch up their formula. As long as they can get away with it and their core fans will constantly eat it up like they always do, they'll continue to use that same formula that works for them. Even if it's outdated, broken and sloppy.

For a long time the community has depend upon modders to polish Bethesda games and so long as the mod community of loyalties are there, it gives the community an excuse to buy these outdated development style games, and it gives Bethesda the excuse to slack off and continue to do what they do that lets them get away with it.

Edited by endgameaddiction
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The next game will likely be or at least try to be, completely behind the CC paywall.  Bethesda only mod manager and tied directly to Bethesda. (as much as they can however, I am confident that  someone will hack that quick enough)  Not sure if they will MAKE IT A REQUIREMENT or not.. (EULA etc)  I believe legally they can. They seem to be moving in that direction.

As for fans, they are using the broadest formula possible. Fallout 4 was met with lots of praises from customers... many loved it... the issue was the "fans' didn't Bethesda doesn't seem to care about the "Fans" but more about the customers and their praises. If there are a bunch of MMO loving simpletons that want a simple point and shoot and something more "casual" in a RPG and watered down until it isn't an RPG anymore and it cost them less to produce.. they will build it each time.

They have the assets (what they used in the game) they have the talent.. (won't take much to build a basic empty or near empty world with some key players in it. Should be less than what it cost to create a new game... even more so if they recycle what they used already from previous games.  They are mostly afraid or don't fully realize this can satisfy their fans.. providing a world (provided with tools ... good tools to build and do our thing) and make them money. I doubt anybody that liked the old Fallout games wouldn't spend money on the next release the day of or at least the week of if the game was excellent and fulfilled the fans requirements. o'l reliable should be a no contest sell .. cash machine and they aren't using it as that. As Trump would say.. "So Sad" :( lol.

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Character level is a concept which is, first of all, unrealistic, as it doesn't exist in the real world, it's also "unimmersive" for the same reason. It really doesn't matter whether a game has level scaling or fixed levels, it's a design choice for the lazy and unimaginative developer. Due to its nature, it's almost always poorly implemented, which isn't surprising.

To most developers, higher level usually means more health points (HP), which is another unrealistic and ridiculous concept that lazy devs keep using. Bullet sponge enemies, enemies that can fight just as efficiently even with only 1 HP, balancing issues, or endless grinding to level up in order to achieve/access something or someplace etc. are just some of the bullshit caused by the idiotic "character level" and ""health point" combination.

It's perfectly possible to create a game that gives the player a sense of progression without resorting to character levels or HP. There are already a few games that try to do something different (e.g. Scum).

The real world is the best guide and reference for the ones who want to create better games.

@Kendo 2Sorry for ruining your character build thread. 😅

Edited by bjornk
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9 hours ago, Kendo 2 said:

There's no way to 'ruin the thread' since we're not that kind of site.  We'll let Nexus and LL corner the market on pointless censorship.  That's the ONE thing their staffs are good at.

We can always go back to character builds anyway, and even though seems off topic, it may still be a good idea to occasionally discuss the things affecting character builds. 😀

By the way, the whole concept of "character builds" with self-imposed restrictions and all, is great for role-playing but only to begin the game with. In other words, the character needs to change a bit throughout the game, which makes the playthrough more realistic and organic, otherwise he/she would be pretty much like a machine, like a Terminator built to kill humans or something.😁

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When I was playing Skyrim I always devolved into either a stealth-archer or a battle-mage.  Those are pretty much what the game requires to be successful at later levels.  I had to FORCE myself not to fall into that rut.  The last time I actually played a character I stopped at about 25th level.  The game is fucking dull.

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One other thing that bothers me about role-playing games is the directıon of interaction with the game world. It's almost always unidirectional, in other words, it's the player who interacts with the world and not the other way around. For instance, you recruit followers or party members, but you never get recruited by an NPC or an already existing team/party of other NPCs. You control their actions, order them to do things, even choose their "careers" and skills, yet you never even have to follow their orders.

In Skyrim, you help an NPC in order to make him/her follow you in your adventures. Wouldn't it be nice to have it the other way around as well? Such as an NPC helping you and in return, wants you to help him/her in their adventures.

In Mount and Blade, you lead your own party, but me and many other people thought that it would also be fun if you could join an existing party and follow their commands and eventually we got it as a mod called Freelancer.

I can think of more examples for that I'm sure, for instance, NPCs actively pursue you in other to join you or your party, simply because of your reputation (either good or bad) and so on.

I think RPGs really need to evolve in this direction as well.

 

Edited by bjornk
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29 minutes ago, Kendo 2 said:

When I was playing Skyrim I always devolved into either a stealth-archer or a battle-mage.  Those are pretty much what the game requires to be successful at later levels.  I had to FORCE myself not to fall into that rut.  The last time I actually played a character I stopped at about 25th level.  The game is fucking dull.

I totally agree about the "stealthy archer" build, but as I said in my other post, magic in Skyrim gets pretty pathetic at higher levels so in vanilla or lightly modded Skyrim, becoming a battle-mage would eventually suck. And yes, the game is very boring, but I still play it, even though I did finish everything the game had to offer about two years ago in another play-through, and told people that I wasn't going to touch it again... Although, I have to admit, I mostly use it as a "porn simulator" anyway...🤣

By the way, one of the most effective uses of a stealthy-archer and mage combination in the game, is using Bound Bow. You don't have to carry a bow or need arrows, therefore my favorite weapon. I also use Bound Battleaxe when I feel like I need to chop me off some heads...😁

Although, I wish combat wasn't the main focus of RPGs. I wish they were designed more intelligently and allowed the player solve problems without combat. Such as double-crossing two factions let them kill each other, or somehow harm them financially or something like that...

Edited by bjornk
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