- 1 Skyrim
- 2 Oblivion
As with Oblivion, there have been a number of "get to know the game" characters. I've tried one of each main play style (Rogue, Mage, Warrior), though there will likely be a few more concept characters, just to see how different skill trees play out. All in all, though, Skyrim isn't holding my interest the way Oblivion did, so I've decided to play a couple of long-term characters while I'm still enjoying the game.
After a break, and with the advent of 1.9, I came to start enjoying Skyrim again, though there's one definite drawback to the new Legendary Skills system: character concepts, at least in my play style, have become pretty much irrelevant. I tend to take points in all skills now and just loop them around based on whatever my current favourite skills are. I usually try to get each skill Legendary at least once, though, but it really boils down to "How do I want to start this character?" and "How do I want to play him/her in the long run?" The answer to the latter is almost invariably single-handed thief type, but apart from that focus, most characters are now very fluid. While I've missed a few character descriptions in here over time, I don't see much point to them, so future characters will probably have only minimal current-stats updates, and that's about it. My only goals at this point are to have significantly played one of each race in my Skyrim career (only Imperial left), and to complete all unique quests at least once (and, where appropriate, significant variants of the same quest, such as the CW quests, Delivery, etc.)
Lots of characters that haven't been documented since Ernand, since I keep putting the game down for a bit, then starting a new character when I return to it. This one's actually getting somewhere, though, so time to give my usual outline.
Female, Khajiit. Started as a member of the TG. A "bad" person by some definitions, joins the vampires, the Stormcloaks, and focusses on TG/DB quests where possible once done with the vamps.
Finally at the point of making uber-armour, so here's what we have for this character (all in English this time for anyone who's still actually following along, since I now most of the basic German game terms well enough to find them without giving myself a headache). Armor is twinned between Dragon Scale and Dwarven.
|Item||Round 1 (Heavy, Two-Handed)|
|Enchantment 1||Enchantment 2|
|Dragonbone Bow||Fiery Soul Trap 1 sec||Chaos Magic +81|
(unfortified for levelling 1H)
|Fiery Soul Trap 1 sec||Shock Damage +51|
|Dragonbone Dagger||Fiery Soul Trap 1 sec||Chaos Magic +81|
|Helmet||Fortify Archery +67%||Magicka Regeneration +103%|
|Gauntlets||Fortify One-Handed +67%||Fortify Pickpocket +67%|
|Armor||Fortify Health +103||Heal Rate +51%|
|Boots||Muffle||Resist Frost +77%|
|Necklace||Resist Magic +33%||Resist Fire +77%|
|Ring||Resist Magic +33%||Waterbreathing|
|Shield||Fortify Block +67%||Resist Shock +77%|
Wächter (Vigilant) Ernand
There are two languages that I've long wanted to learn: German, because it's so close to English (particularly in language structure), and Japanese because it's so far. Being more or less housebound, going out and taking German lessons is out of the question, and I find web-based lessons and instruction books will only get you so far. So, I'm going to give a shot to the method that so many international gamers have said worked for them: play a game in the language you're learning. I don't know if this will work, particularly given how little German I actually know, but it'll definitely be a break from the Skyrim routine, so I'll give it a shot. As much as I'd like to do this in old Skyrim, since it has so many mods available, the fact is that I'll almost certainly be needing translation help, and old Skyrim is simply too crash-prone when alt-tabbing out, where SSE isn't at all, so SSE it is. Since I've already gotten all the achievements for SSE, this will still be a modded game, just not as heavily modded as my original Skyrim games are. I have no idea how that works when you've got English mods in a German game, but I assume it'll just fall back to English. Anyway, enough babbling, onto the actual character...
Male, Breton. Using the Live Another Life, by Arthmoor, I'll be starting as a Vigilant of Stendarr. Like any good Vigilant, this character will have no part of vampires, so will side with the Dawnguard. Naturally, he'll have nothing to do with werewolves either, so although he will join the Companions, he will not accept transformation which, I'm 99.99% sure, means he'll only be able to go so far with them. Such is life. I see no particular in-character reason to pick one side or the other in the CW, but since I've just sided with The Legion with my current character, I'll go with the Stormcloaks for this one and hopefully answer the question below.
Although most of these tables are similar in concept, I've tweaked this one a bit from previous builds to focus more on the fire/frost resistance, which comprise the bulk of attacks. The Resist Magic and Breton bonus will still block most other magic, and the rest can be made up from Resist Magic perks.
|Item||Round 1 (Heavy, Two-Handed)|
|Enchantment 1||Enchantment 2|
Male Khajiit. Current level: 2. Total Magicka: 160, Health: 160, Base Stamina: 130.
Having learned a bit about slow levelling from my recent characters, I want to try one with absolutely no levelling, and see how long I can make it last. Even with the previous characters, I found that levelling really progresses quickly if you're not careful, and it would be nice to experience some elements of the game at super low levels. So, to avoid levelling much, if at all, we have:
- Armor skills: no armor, though buying/finding enchanted clothing is fine.
- Weapons skills: use only fists as weapons (and get the Gloves of the Pugilist ASAP).
- Magic: usually not hard to keep this low, but avoid using it as much as possible with the exception of spells like Clairvoyance and Candlelight that give minimal XP. If desired, use the Soul Cairn to get some of the more advanced low-XP spells, like Equilibrium and the various Cloak spells.
- Stealth: Avoid as much as possible. Do not open locks unless absolutely necessary—most locked doors and locked chests are optional anyway. If doing TG side quests for money, use Numbers only.
- Healing: Potions and eating ingredients (which is negligible for Alchemy XP)
- Money: Companions quests should probably be good, or the occasional TG Numbers side-quest. Avoid treasure gathering, so Speech doesn't go up.
Having now played this character for a little over a day, I have to say, it's been a lot of fun. The build works very well, and many dungeons that are hard if you don't advance your skills well become simplistic with this build, because skills are irrelevant. By the time I hit level 2, I'd already joined all the various factions, done four or five other quests, and had the Gauldur Amulet as well as 10 Stones of Barenziah. I'll continue with the minimal-levelling concept for a while yet, abandoning it and switching to regular skill use only when combat becomes too difficult, which doesn't look like it'll be anytime soon.
Easily, the biggest skill advancements are coming from the fact that I'm using the Gloves of the Pugilist, which are slowly but surely levelling my Light Armor during combat. If I were better at combat, or if I wanted to play at below-normal difficulty, I could probably do without them and really lower the skill gains. Apart from the gloves, my biggest (but much smaller) skill gains are from required lockpicking and required Speech bonuses (e.g., where Persuade, Intimidate, and paying off are the only viable options if you want to advance the quest). One skill level also came from the alternate start mod, which was annoying, but was worth it to have the Stone from Proudspire first thing. While this can reasonably be considered a cheat, it's not as big as it might seem, since it really only saves me having to do a bunch of Companions or TG Numbers side quests to get the money, which I probably wouldn't have levelled from much anyway (or not at all if I decided to go without the Gloves for those quests).
Clothing is mage stuff for body and head, with the Shrouded Shoes for want of anything better, the Gloves of the Pugilist and Gauldur Amulet as already mentioned, and one of the enchanted rings from Saarthal. The bonuses, of course, make a much larger difference at this level. I also had the Lord Stone active to provide some semblance of armour and magic resistance.
While very fun for a while, I ultimately reverted to a more traditional play style just shy of level 4, having gotten the Crown of Barenziah, doing the main quest up to the point where you confront Alduin, and having done countless other quests. Some of my decision to abort was out of boredom with the new style, but there were a few issues with the build as well. The main issue is that it becomes harder and harder to play organically the longer you stick with this build. Alftand, for example, is 16th-level dungeon, which meant a lot of very careful separating of enemies and reloading when I wasn't careful enough. Similarly, Tolvald's cave is an 18th-level dungeon, though one or two Falmer on their own were actually manageable with Khajiit claws and the Gloves of the Pugilist. Alduin also posed a possible problem, in that he doesn't seem to be hittable with fists...or if he was, I wasn't getting the sound-effects. I'm pretty sure Paarthurnax was doing most of the damage either way, though. Again, letting him do everything just isn't organic or particularly fun, since you end up mostly just sitting there casting Dragon Rend and healing yourself. Ultimately, I gave up on that and reloaded. With this build, there's also the problem that you will eventually be left with nothing but higher level stuff to do at some point, with a very odd skill progression that doesn't suit your actual play style. You would then have to figure out how to work with it and level up in order to progress. Add to that that you have to leave some treasure behind if you don't want to level your lockpick skill, and I really started to have mixed feelings about this build.
- (After abandoning no-levelling style)
Ultimate armour enchantment follows Joram's build, but swapping Resist Frost to the shield and putting Resist Magic on the necklace, so it's active even when I'm using the bow.
[Character retired for now, may return to it later. Felt like playing today, but wanted to try an alternate start mod, so I've ditched this one for the time being. Next character is only to try out the mod and not likely to amount to anything, so not documenting that one.]
Female Breton. Current level: 94. Skills that have gone Legendary the most: Alchemy × 3, Enchanting × 2, Smithing × 2, Sneak × 2, Speech × 2. Base Magicka: 380, Base Health: 600, Base Stamina: 250.
Okay, so imagination isn't always my strong suit. It was either Buffy or Fussy Rhoda, and I've never really cared for the name Rhoda (blame Mary Tyler Moore for being a more interesting show), so Buffy it is. This is likely to be my last character for the foreseeable future, as I'm getting a bit tired of the game after 4.5 years of playing it with only a few months off here and there. I won't say it's the last character, though—I may feel like coming back to the game later, or I may do an Arena→Latest Game run at some point. The goal for this character will be as close to 100% quest completion as possible with the same character. Having already done that with Llirala, this will mean that I've done every quest in the game at least once over my various characters, nearly all of them twice or more. In order to ensure the last ones are all done, I'll be siding with the Imperials then betraying them and switching to Stormcloaks. With the USLEEP fix to Bandit Attack, I'm hoping to get the kidnapping quest to finally happen, which otherwise needs some very(!) careful planning in order to work (and will still need at least some planning, even with the fix).
I'll probably go with similar quest progression and slow levelling as Prisoner, using what I learned with him and tweaking it to work even better. DG early to mid-game works very well, so I'd like to stick with that, but it's been a while since I actually sided with the DG, so I'll do that this time around...probably staying fully human this time and taking the hit in the Soul Cairn, though if I do it early, that could be too much of a hit...I'll decide when I get to that point. Having just done Dragonborn more or less twice in a row, I'll probably save most of that for later. I'd like to play this one a bit closer to my typical stealth character, probably doing TG very early, but I also want to investigate using the various magic schools early on, focussing on how the heck you're supposed to level some of them, like Illusion, in the early game without training and without using mod spells. (Sorry, Dwarfmp, at least in the early game, I'll be disabling your otherwise excellent spell mod.) Finally, I want to explore some of the insulting/smart-ass comments with this character and see the results. That'll probably mean saving and reloading a fair bit in order to actually get the relevant quests, but using the inappropriate responses is something I just haven't done enough of.
A few tweaks to the enchantment table, but very similar to previous ones.
|Item||Enchantment 1||Enchantment 2|
|Helmet||Archery +67%||Destruction +41%|
|Armour||Health +103||Magicka Regen +103%|
|Gauntlets||One-Handed +67%||Pickpocket +67%|
|Boots||Carry Weight +62||Muffle|
|Shield||Block +67%||Resist Frost +77%|
|Necklace||Heal Rate +51%||Resist Magic +33%|
|Ring||Resist Magic +33%||Waterbreathing|
|Dragonbone Bow||Fiery Soul Trap 1s/10 pts||Chaos Magic +81|
|Dragonbone Dagger||Fiery Soul Trap 1s/10 pts||Chaos Magic +81|
|Dragonbone Dagger||Fiery Soul Trap 1s/5 pts||Magicka Damage +93|
Male Breton. Current level: 57. Skills that have gone Legendary: Destruction, Light Armor. Base Magicka: 250, Base Health: 490, Base Stamina: 120.
"Prisoner" has had a wild life. He's always been one to try new things or do things just because he's told he shouldn't, which has been both a blessing and a curse for him. He discovered a strong preference for men at a very early age, which in a world of bisexuals makes him a bit unusual, but he's always thought of it as a good thing—something that set him apart without making him a total freak. On the other hand, his penchant for trying things has also landed him in hot water with the law on any number of occasions. At first, referring to himself as "Prisoner" was sort of a gag, but eventually the name seemed somehow appropriate given that he's spent more time in jail than out in his adult life. As he's matured, however, he's come to realize that this is not the life he wants. He's heard rumours of the Dawnguard and is hoping that perhaps he can find himself with them, but his knack for getting in trouble will actually lead him to find himself with...a different group.
In keeping with his chaotic nature, he has a preference for the unusual when it comes to clothing, armour, and weapons. He has little patience for crafting of any kind, however, unless it's guaranteed to get him some new thing, be it new armour, new weapons, or a new potion he's never tried before. This will very likely recede over time as he begins to find his place in life and settle down, however.
Okay, enough of making a backstory out of random meta-gaming goals. :) I'd been thinking of female to be the opposite of Jocien, but ultimately this character just "felt" male. Plus, I'm trying out the Gay Allure and Lover's Insight Perks mod, and felt more comfortable with a gay male character, perhaps not surprisingly. I've decided to initially go with a more battle-magey type of build for this one, partly to break some old habits and partly for a change of pace. Specifically, I intend to avoid the various crafting skills during early game to prevent levelling too fast and spending probably more time doing that shi– errr...stuff...than I do actually doing the various quests and such. Similarly, there will be no sneaking or anything like that at first, again to combat my tendency to over-level that without having anything else to back it up. Stealing will also be minimal or non-existent. I don't have the tendency to over-level that quite so much, but it does tend to advance your level pretty quickly if you're not careful.
Things to explore with this character: no crafting for profit but okay to create useful weapons/armour, no thieving at first, no trainers. Do DG first, siding with vampires, then if sufficient level, DB right after. Try using archer companion this time, maybe on higher difficulty. Eclectic armour choices—favours chitin, bonemold, stalhrim, etc.
Update: Slow levelling worked out very well, though even just disenchanting items levelled my Enchanting far too quickly, so should be avoided for any similar slow-levelling characters. While there's been some sneaking and use of crafting skills, leaving these till about level 25-30 worked out well—it could even go later than that. Only tasting ingredients didn't cause too much levelling, but the resulting low Alchemy didn't help much apart from creating Cure Disease potions, so even tasting could probably be ignored until later. The only two real problems were that Skill Books usually had me levelling stupidly low skills, and leaving Smithing till later left me unable to smith magical weapons and armour. I opted to train/level that to 60 early, which bumped me up several levels. It was debatable whether that was a good or bad thing, but perhaps, like the other skills, leaving it until a bit later would work out well.
Forcing myself to use alternative armours has also worked out well, reminding me of some of the benefits of not crafting my own armour and weapons. In particular, I used The Atronach Stone in combination with magicka-enhancing and -regenerating items (Gauldur Amulet, various Vampire Armors, Morokei), and found it far more effective than my usual Lord Stone preference, particularly with some magic resistance from other sources.
Having a companion is also working out better than expected but I'm finding that destruction mages just don't stack up compared to my usual play style, so even with the extra fire support, I'm only able to play comfortably on normal difficulty. Maybe I'm just not good at playing battle-mages? I gave up on warding, as I've never found that playable, but maybe someone better at that could make a destruction battle-mage work better. Back to the topic at hand, though: companions still have the problem of getting in your way a lot, but especially with Companion's Insight, it was manageable and it was absolutely wonderful to have a mule along. While I gained some insight into their benefits, after having one around for a long time, I found that they detracted from the feeling of solitude I like in a game, which made the game noticeably less relaxing. There may be times I'll use them in the future, but I don't think they'll be a regular thing.
Ultimately, while educational, this character wasn't close enough to my regular play style to be enjoyable, and was abandoned after wrapping up various quests I had on my "do every quest" list.
Female Argonian. Current level: 117. Currently, all but the magic skills have gone Legendary at least once. Where I don't intend to use them again, skills will be re-levelled to 100 and then left there. Skills I focus on that have gone Legendary at least three times: Sneak × 6, Enchanting × 4, Speech × 3, Alchemy × 3. Base Magicka: 610, Base Health: 600, Base Stamina: 250.
My very first character was an Argonian, and I haven't played one in the four years since. Given that I've played at least one of every race now (not all documented here), I figure it's time to go back to the beginning.
Basic concept for this character is that she's an assassin with an initial contempt for the Thieves Guild. She will join both the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild very early on, intending to do recon on the Thieves Guild before killing them all. But in joining the them, she'll find out how badly off they currently are and realize that there's already a traitor among them. Not wanting the competition, she'll follow that storyline through, killing Mercer, and in the process, coming to feel like she's now responsible for their well-being overall. <Sigh>...the burdens of leadership.
Continuing with the perpetual theme of grinding those GD'd TG side quests to get the safe. Might hurry these ones along via the console, since I essentially wasted nine months playing Joram only to have to abandon the character. Haven't decided yet. Yes, I could've kept playing it out with Joram, since I had 34 to go to get the safe, but if I wanted the Litany trophies as well, which I did, then I would also have ended up having to do a number of other TG things. Given that I intend to do DB and TG early with this character, I figured I'd rather not waste that much more time with Joram.
The timing of my first round of enchanting really didn't work out as well this time around, and I didn't have enough items all around to make all the gear I wanted, plus I was missing a couple of enchantments still. Since my last play-through, info has been added to the Enchanting page about becoming a Vampire and using that to your advantage, another thing I really wasn't set up to do yet, not least because my Restoration is a fair bit too low to take Necromage just yet. The table below, therefore, will be Round 1, which includes a couple of things that are strictly about making the relevant skill legendary. Round 2 will slightly alter the choices, and I'll find out if the Vampire/Necromage bonus actually works with USLEEP. Update: it turns out USLEEP deems this to be a bug and has disabled it, so Round 2 choices on my light armour look much like Round 1/Jocien, with a few changes for the fact that I won't be focussing on certain skills any more. The Stamina Regen bonus is to compensate for being a vampire. Note that Chaos Magic now does 101 points of damage because of my current Destruction perks, but is really a base of 81 still.
I may do a Round 3 to have Stalhrim weapons, but will more likely save this for the next character, as it fits in better with the developing concept I have for him/her.
|Item||Round 1 (Dragonplate)||Round 2 (Dragonscale)|
|Enchantment 1||Enchantment 2||Enchantment 1||Enchantment 2|
|Helmet||Archery +67%||Destruction +41%||Archery +67%||Lockpicking +67%|
|Armour||Health +103||Magicka Regen +103%||Health +103||Stamina Regen +51%|
|Gauntlets||One-Handed +67%||Pickpocket +67%||One-Handed +67%||Pickpocket +67%|
|Boots||Carry Weight +62||Muffle||Carry Weight +62||Muffle|
|Shield||Block +67%||Resist Magic +33%||Block +67%||Resist Magic +33%|
|Necklace||Heal Rate +51%||Resist Frost +77%||Same one|
|Ring||Resist Magic +33%||Magicka Regen +103%||Same one|
|Dragonbone Bow||Soul Trap 1s||Chaos Magic +81||Fiery Soul Trap 1s||Chaos Magic +81|
|Dragonbone Dagger||Soul Trap 1s||Chaos Magic +81||Fiery Soul Trap 1s||Chaos Magic +81|
|Dragonbone Warhammer||Soul Trap 1s||Chaos Magic +81||N/A (no longer levelling Two-Handed)|
I experimented with changing difficulty as I levelled a lot more with this character, and found it really worked for me. With the massively enchanted equipment, I'm now on Master difficulty and may consider Legendary later on. I certainly didn't (and wouldn't) have started at that difficulty, though. I have no interest in the "challenge" of playing higher difficulties early on—given my health, it's actually seriously draining on me to be "always on" like that—but adjusting difficulty to match my character kept combat-oriented skills like One/Two-Handed and Restoration from stagnating. It also kept the game interesting, since I still had to pay attention to what I was doing when in combat rather than just traipsing in and killing everything in a few blows.
Character was abandoned after having completed all major questlines and finally having ground (grinded?) the 125 TG quests to get the freakin' safe that I've been trying to get for the last several characters. Woohoo!
Joram Jeranus (the Sickly)
Male Imperial. Current level: 100. Skills that have gone Legendary the most times: Sneak × 4, Enchanting × 3, Alchemy × 2, Block × 2, Smithing × 2, Speech × 2. Current gold: 1.6M. Base Magicka: 500, Base Health: 540, Base Stamina: 250.
So named due to the fact that for most of the early to middle levels, it seemed he couldn't go five freakin' minutes without picking up some disease or another. Every time I cured one, he'd get another one. It got so bad that I started randomly activating shrines whenever I walked by them, just to be sure I'd cured the latest disease I'd no doubt developed. Gah!
It's been a long time since I played Nalian, I'm on a new computer, Skyrim is newly installed with pretty much all the same mods plus a couple of new ones, so I figured a new character just made sense at this point. Yet again, we're gonna aim for the freakin' side-job trophies, so TG will be joined early, but I'm going to focus on doing DG early this time as well and see how that goes (siding with the DG again). I was part-way through it while playing Nalian, so I'll try to get back to where I left off there. Might make some of the weaponry like crossbows and the special bolts a bit more worth it. We'll see. (Update: DG was actually very comfortable at lower levels and I found it a good quest line to do early. The crossbow was quite a handy weapon, though the reduced firing speed was a bit annoying. Ultimately, I'm going back to a Daedric bow, but the crossbow is definitely a decent choice of weapon, especially when upgraded to the better models.)
This time around, I maxed out Alchemy, Enchanting and Smithing simultaneously and created maxed out Fortify enchantments/potions to go with them. Armour fortified at these levels easily reaches the armour cap, regardless of type or skill, which removes the need to fortify them. As a result, my choices of enchantments are fairly different with this set of armour than previously. The double magic resistance is probably slight overkill, but with the Agent of Mara, it leaves my total MR at an absolute minimum of 81%, which is quite respectable. I added Resist Frost onto that because the game's implementation of frost magic has always seemed unbalanced to me. Even low-level mages can be a significant threat, since the slowing effects of their spells stack, meaning that your character pretty much can't move. (And as documented in one of the mods I have, these same effects don't normally apply to NPCs!) So this is what I ended up with this time (with a set of Dragonplate and Dragonscale armor enchanted identically so I can get both skills legendary):
|Item||Enchantment 1||Enchantment 2|
|Helmet||Archery +67%||Lockpicking +67%|
|Armour||Health +103||Magicka Regen +103%|
|Gauntlets||One-Handed +67%||Pickpocket +67%|
|Boots||Carry Weight +62||Muffle|
|Shield||Block +67%||Resist Magic +33%|
|Necklace||Heal Rate +51%||Resist Frost +77%|
|Ring||Resist Magic +33%||Waterbreathing|
|Dragonbone Bow||Fiery Soul Trap 1s||Chaos Magic +81|
|Dragonbone Dagger||Fiery Soul Trap 1s||Chaos Magic +81|
|Dragonbone Dagger||Fiery Soul Trap 1s||Magicka Damage +62|
The second dagger is mostly for levelling One-Handed, since Chaos Magic tends to give you a lot of 1- and 2-hit kills...although given that the damage on these things is 86 points (143 with the gauntlets equipped) at a skill level of 15 with no perks, I'm not sure how much difference that'll make. I might actually have to use newly forged, less powerful weapons (i.e., after Smithing goes legendary) for levelling. <LOL> If I recall correctly, enchanting fire/frost/shock can also add bonuses to Chaos Magic, but I didn't bother with that above. My poor, tired little brain just wasn't up to coordinating all that and that would only add still more power, making it even harder to level skills.
Note to self: Next time, consider a Stalhrim shield as the light shield just for a change of pace. Stalhrim is marginally better than Dragonscale, but heavier. Also, weapons take Chaos Damage enchantments better than Dragonscale versions, but are not quite as damaging otherwise. See Dragonborn:Stalhrim.
This character was ultimately abandoned due to several colossal screw-ups on my part with several items disappearing, I think as a result of uninstalling USKP and installing USLEEP, and clearly losing a few items all on my own as well, not to mention the questionable status of quests and such with the mid-game switch. D'oh!
Female Bosmer. Current level: 57. Skills that have gone Legendary the most times: Sneak × 2. Current gold: 68k. Base Magicka: 230, Base Health: 530, Base Stamina: 100.
Big-time thief. I'd like to collect the full set of side-job trophies, which I've never done before. For a change, I thought I'd do a no-transformations run. I've never had a character who didn't become either a vampire or werewolf at some point, so I thought it was time. Obviously, she therefore sides with the Dawnguard. Also, having never played a lesbian before, I've gone for that this time around as well; she currently has Aeri as her wife (which is seriously handy for lumber), and Sofie and Blaise for her daughter and son. Oh yeah, she's Stormcloak affiliated, both because she's an anarchist and because I need to cross some Stormcloak quest variants off my list. Hrob was supposed to do them, but that didn't happen.
Hrob the Lecher
Male Nord. The character in this section is purely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to a certain living person is entirely coincidental.
Okay, so apart from my penchant for whimsical names (which has no end), the concept for this one is to be the basic Windhelm Nord. Skyrim belongs to the Nords! As of this writing, he has no stats, no nothing, cuz I first want to rip out Steam in its entirety and reinstall everything to a different location. Oh...fun.
Well, this character turned out to be a bit of a bust. One of the things I'd wanted to try was doing the Dragonborn quests ASAP. I quickly discovered that there was a misleading statement on one of the DB quest pages and that I actually couldn't start the main storyline until I was level 10, and that most other storylines were in some way dependent on that, so there were only a few quests available. (If anyone's thinking of this themselves, Tel Mithryn was pretty good for quests, as I recall.) What's more, the minimum levels of many of the monsters in Solstheim is fairly high, so I think I was about level 20 or 25 before I really could enjoy myself there, which took away from the idea of doing DB early.
Couple all that with a 2.5 month break, leaving me a little bewildered as to what I'd been doing, and I decided to abandon this character and move on to the next.
Male Breton. Final level: 252. All skills at 100, with all 251 perks active (thanks to an absolutely obscene amount of Harmony castings). Skills that went Legendary the most times: Illusion (108×), Speech (5×), Alchemy (4×), Enchanting (4×), Smithing (4×), Sneak (4×). Final gold: 2.2M. Base Magicka: 1860, Base Health: 700, Base Stamina: 250.
Permanent Gear (no, it's not as high as it could possibly be, but seriously, at these levels and with 700 base health plus 68 bonus, who cares?):
- Dragonbone Bow — Chaos Damage: 53 points; Fiery Soul Trap
- Dragonbone Dagger — As above
- Dragonscale Armor — Health: +68; Health Regen: +34%
- Dragonscale Boots — One-handed: +44%; Stamina Regen: +34%
- Dragonscale Gauntlets — Magicka: +68; Smithing: +27%
- Dragonscale Helmet — Alchemy: +27%; Archery: +44%
- Dragonscale Shield — Block: +44%; Poison Resist: +40%
- Necklace — Magic Resist: +21%; Light Armor: +27
- Ring — Magicka Regen: +68%; Magic Resist: +21%
- Ring (worn only when needed) — Permanent water breathing
In almost every game I play, I have one character whose purpose is to do all that is doable and know all that is knowable. To the extent practical, this character has done that. By the end of the game, there were no non-repeatable quests left available. (Don't believe me? I kept a checklist. Yes, I'm anal.) Apart from mutually exclusive quests, and a few that couldn't be done because relevant NPCs died, all quests documented on this wiki were completed. About the only thing I could've done that I didn't, cuz I'm saving it for the next character (just to give him something to do), is to get all the side-job trophies.
Salia is my experiment with dual wielding, the last major fighting style I haven't explored. Not surprisingly, she'll be a Redguard. As usual, Sneak is the key...I've really come to like stealthy characters. There are a lot of similar elements to my previous characters, since there were elements of both that I really liked. While I'm nominally planning out 80 perks, if I like this character as much as I liked Llirala, I'll plan to use the new Legendary system and go beyond level 81. Given that, some of these perks will almost certainly only be "initial" perks which I may switch out for perks in other trees later on (I'm thinking I may go magic-heavy at higher levels...we'll see). Some will likely also be brought to 100 more than once, since I tend to max them out easily. (Alchemy, Sneak, Smithing, and Enchanting are all skills I tend to max out quickly.) I may also switch to an Archery primary or a more standard sword-and-shield style at some point if I don't care much for dual wielding.
- One-handed (13 perks): Armsman (5), Bonebreaker (3), Dual Flurry, Dual Savagery, Fighting Stance, Savage Strike, Paralyzing Strike.
- Sneak (13 perks): All.
- Enchanting (11 perks): Enchanter (5), Fire Enchanter, Frost Enchanter, Storm Enchanter, Insightful Enchanter, Corpus Enchanter, Extra Effect.
- Illusion (10 perks): Novice → Master Illusion (5), Illusion Dual Casting, Animage, Kindred Mage, Quiet Casting, Master of the Mind.
- Alteration (9 perks): Novice → Master Alteration (5), Alteration Dual Casting, Magic Resistance (3).
- Heavy Armor (8 perks): Juggernaut (5), Fists of Steel, Cushioned, Conditioning.
- Smithing (7 perks): All Heavy Armors, Arcane Blacksmith.
- Archery (6 perks): Overdraw (5), Eagle Eye.
- Restoration (3 perks): Novice Restoration, Recovery (2).
Charlie's a concept character, though he may turn into a long-term character if I like him well enough. The name, appearance, race, and one or two behavioural traits are based on my cat.
The main plan for this character is to explore unarmed combat. Having played Llirala basically to "completion", I'm no longer worried about experiencing the game as designed, so this time around, I'm letting myself use more by way of mods. I also intend to use the Fortify Alchemy/Enchanting loop exploit to raise unarmed damage to ungodly levels. As with all my characters, getting the character established seems to be a bit of a challenge, as the skills I want to invest in aren't advancing fast enough naturally, and I really dislike deliberately leveling skills. Apart from the unarmed damage and related skills, I'm planning on investing in Archery, some of the treasure-hunting skills in the Lockpick tree, and Speech. (In feline terms, acquiring anything he can chase, paw at, eat, or otherwise entertain himself with.)
Update: The "Fortify Alchemy/Enchanting loop exploit" that I've seen references to here and there turned out not to exist. Even using each to fortify the other, it appears that you max out at +32% Fortify Enchanting, and +29% Fortify Alchemy (×4 items), which cannot be looped any higher, even at 100 Alchemy and Enchanting. This gives you the same +14 Unarmed Damage (×2 items) already noted on the Combat page. It might be possible with the base game to take advantage of an additional exploit to add a Falmer Helm in there and actually get a loop effect started with the fifth Fortify Alchemy item, but I rather doubt it. (Update to update: a vampire with the Necromage perk would get a 25% bonus to a potion's effects...between that and the Falmer Helm bug, this might make the exploit viable. Will re-test once I have a legendary character with the perks to spare.)
Unarmed damage was certainly viable from a gaming standpoint, but for my combat style, I found it...irritating. Anything that moves quickly is hard to hit, as are things like dragons where reach becomes a consideration. As a result, I will be abandoning this character later tonight when I finish the Dawnguard quest line. Yes, with the new 1.9, I suppose I could conceivably remodel the character to whatever I wanted with time, but given that I'm already level 62, that's not gonna come quickly. Best just to start fresh.
- Heavy Armor (12 perks): All.
- Sneak (12 perks): All except Assassin's Blade (since melee combat will be unarmed).
- Speech (10 perks): Haggling (5), Allure, Merchant, Investor, Fence, Master Trader.
- Enchanting (8 perks): Enchanter (5), Insightful Enchanter, Corpus Enchanter, Extra Effect.
- Archery (8 perks): Overdraw (5), Critical Shot (3).
- Alchemy (7 perks): Alchemist (5), Physician, Benefactor.
- Smithing (7 perks): All Heavy Armors, Arcane Blacksmith.
- Pickpocket (6 perks): Light Fingers (1), Night Thief, Extra Pockets, Cutpurse, Misdirection, Perfect Touch.
- Lockpicking (5 perks): Novice → Adept Locks (3), Golden Touch, Treasure Hunter.
- Alteration (5 perks): Novice Alteration, Apprentice Alteration, Magic Resistance (3).
Llirala will likely be my only long-term character for Skyrim. As you might guess from the name, she's a female Dark Elf.
The plan for this character will be to do every non-random, non-mutually-exclusive quest in the game (siding with the Empire), as I did with Hayu for Oblivion. I also intend to max out all skills with this character and hit level 81. Since this character will likely last me for close to a year's worth of play, I wanted to make sure it was a character I'd really enjoy playing, and that I didn't make any screw-ups in terms of perk choices along the way. To that end, I've already mapped out all 80 perks, even though the character is still very low level. My play-style since getting CFS seems to have slowly evolved away from a mage preference, which can be complex to play with all the spell choices, to more of a "one-hit-kill" preference. As a result, my perk choices, while still mage-influenced, are geared more towards an assassin concept.
- Alchemy (14 perks): All except Green Thumb (which seems dumb for such a high perk).
- Sneak (13 perks): All.
- Block (8 perks): Shield Wall (5), Deflect Arrows, Elemental Protection, Block Runner.
- Light Armor (8 perks): Agile Defender (5), Custom Fit, Matching Set, Deft Movement.
- One-handed (8 perks): Armsman (5), Bladesman (3).
- Conjuration (7 perks): Novice → Master Conjuration (5), Mystic Binding, Soul Stealer.
- Alteration (6 perks): Novice Alteration, Alteration Dual Casting, Apprentice Alteration, Magic Resistance (3).
- Lockpicking (6 perks): Novice → Master Locks (5), Locksmith.
- Smithing (6 perks): All Light Armors, Arcane Blacksmith. (May be redundant, but I liked being able to do something with all those dragon bits instead of just selling them...other perks will will probably take priority, though)
- Pickpocket (4 perks): Light Fingers (1), Night Thief, Poisoned, Extra Pockets.
In the ancient tongue, his name meant Grizzled...or perhaps Sad Warrior. The translation is a little ambiguous, perhaps implying a war-weary veteran, which indeed ended up describing him quite well as he grew. Unfortunately, his parents were a little too steeped in tradition and weren't thinking of how his name would sound in the modern tongue. Few people know his true name, but even those who do usually just call him "DH".
He is afraid of the dark, perhaps because he was frequently snuck up on by his two older brothers when he was a kid...at least until he pounded one of their skulls in. As a result, however, he also has vehement prejudices against anything resembling stealth, subterfuge, or collusion. He has no problems killing, using poisons, or anything else of that nature, however, so perhaps in time, he will overcome his prejudices.
In game terms, that means always trying to reach a city, inn, or other "safe" place by nightfall and staying there until morning (failing that, as full-dark sets in, he'll walk—simulating fear by not running—to the nearest safe place); using a torch or other light source in dungeons, and at night if he's forced to; no use of Stealth, Invisibility, or Chameleon; and limited use of Security (only on dungeon chests and so forth—no stealing) and Night-Eye (to enhance vision underwater, for instance). Towards the end, I may have him join the Thieves Guild, but probably only once all other major questlines and minor quests are complete and we can say he's gotten over his foibles. For probably the first time ever, I will actually be looking for, and using, magic items with constant Light effects. He's also a magic-lite character...not entirely avoiding it, but using it mostly for healing, utilitarian purposes and only occasionally for offence or defence.
I'm currently playing Baldur's Gate I & II, however, so for now, this character will only be played occasionally to provide variety. The key point will be to finish the main questline first, with absolutely no other quests completed in the interim. I may also go for 100% quest completion (i.e., not necessarily 100% Completion).
The main reasons for playing Dhalia were to explore questlines in a substantially different order than previous characters, concentrating on major questlines first, then side quests at higher levels; and to get high skill levels in all magic-oriented skills and be able to buy and cast all those "Not enough Magicka" spells. In the end, she achieved Mastery in Alchemy and Destruction, and Expert level in all other magic skills, which I decided was good enough.
I had actually made a character between Sheara and Dhalia, but found that she was levelling much too fast for my liking. Using that character as a template, however, I created Dhalia, making a point of choosing skills as majors that generally went unused for this particular character and would therefore slow her levelling. If anything, she levelled a bit too slowly, finishing about 2/3 of the quests in the game by 15th level - and that only because I levelled her up from 12th to 15th in about 20 minutes as I raised the two magic skills that were part of her major attributes. It probably says something, both about my slow levelling with this character and my penchant for Alchemy, that by level 10, she had the entire set of Direnni's Alchemy Apparatus, and by level 12, she had all of the houses as well, with more than enough money to satisfy Palonirya for the Mercantile training quest. ;)
Female High Elf born under the sign of The Apprentice, custom class "Occultist" - Magic specialty - Majors: Acrobatics & Athletics (cuz sometimes, you just gotta run away), Block (for casting while defending), Alteration, Conjuration, Illusion, Mysticism.
Sheara was created more for fun, without worrying about doing all the quests or advancing stats & skills fairly evenly like Hayu. The basic concept was a Magicka-heavy character who progressed nearly inversely to how Hayu did. The challenge with a High Elf Apprentice, of course, was to face any spell-casting character without dying just because they sneezed at her. The backstory that I played by was that Sheara was once a powerful spellcaster, focussing largely on the arts of Mysticism and Conjuration. Unfortunately, however, she played with forces beyond her capabilities and while she managed to avoid death, the repercussions of the event cost her her sanity. Her dementia was, of course, noticed by the Imperial City guard, seeing as she was a mass-murderer and all. This landed her in jail, scheduled for execution, which is where we begin. Being nuts, once she escaped, she was naturally drawn to Shivering Isles. The intent was that upon finishing Shivering Isles, she would slowly begin to recover from her temporary insanity, but not before killing a few more random citizens, doing the Black Hand quests followed by the Thieves Guild quests (mostly to explore what it was like to have high Infamy early on) then progressing through the less-evil quests to ultimately finish with Knights of the Nine. Unfortunately, I got tired of the game/character and abandoned it for a similar, but different character.
(as in "Hey, you!")
After a couple of "get to know the game" characters, a couple of characters that didn't work well and one incident with a mod that caused saved games without it to no longer load (for reasons I never understood, nor did I ever figure out which mod caused the problem), I finally created a character with which I intended to do every quest in the game. After 261 real-life days (not all of them actually playing), Hayu completed every "significant" quest in the game, including unlisted quests, all the add-on quests, and so forth...missing only a few of the advanced training quests, which I don't consider as quests per se.
Hayu's basic character concept was the honorable knight with lofty ideals who slowly but surely was corrupted by the grim realities of...well...reality. He progressed from Knight of the Nine to the head of the Dark Brotherhood, ultimately admitting the joy he'd always gotten out of killing things.