Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Treasure Hunter

Tags: #Character Build Warrior  #Character Build Thief  #Character Build Pilgrim  #Race:Imperial  #Rank:Legendary 
  • Member
    October 5, 2012


    Rumors of long lost treasure buried inside a mine shaft.

    Whispers of a huge Dwarven cavern called Blackreach filled with Gems, Gold and Dwemer Artificats.

    Tales of mighty Dragons guarding riches beyond your wildest dreams.

    Old Maps that hint at location of lost loot.

    These are the things that inspired this build.


    Part Thief and part warrior the treasure hunter seeks his fortune adventuring.  Whether searching for buried treasure in an undead infested crypt or hunting down a rare magical artifact the Treasure Hunter will always find an incredible amount of loot.

    For the Treasure Hunter, nothing is more exciting than finding the motherload!    Some characters seek power.  Some seek fame.  But the treasure hunter seeks gold, gems, jewels and magical items!

    We all know the most powerful items in Skyrim are crafted.  And we all know the easiest way to get rich is to craft.  Grind out tons of potions or enchanted magic daggers.  However, that is not very rewarding, exciting or fun.  This Treasure Hunter has no crafting skills to grind.

    This character is built around finding the most loot possible.  He should be out and about exploring, questing and looting!   


    Race: Imperial. 

    For Imperial’s Luck(extra gold!) and the once day power of calm. Voice of the Emperor is great when you get into a tight spot.  However, any other race will work.

    Stone:  Steed – for the extra carrying capacity!  Do you really want to leave loot behind?  Alternatively you could use the Lord for extra defense or one of the skill boosting stones.


    Stats: 2 Health/1 Stamina/0 Magic. 

    You need a large stamina pool for blocking and it also raises your carrying capacity.


    Must do Quests: Leave No Stone Unturned.  This quest will give you the free perk Prowlers Profit which will give you tons of gems and jewels.  Also, the Treasure Maps are a lot of fun to search for.

    Recommend Quests: The Thieves Guild and Companions.

    Roleplay Elements:  Make point to talk to all the local Barkeeps for the latest rumors.  They may point you in the direction of hidden treasure.  Also, try to build up a Treasury in your house.  Scatter gems and gold about.  Your character should live lavishly once he starts to get rich.

    A Treasure Hunter exploring a long lost crypt.  Who knows what awaits?  Riches and wealth or a quick death!


    Major Skills


    One Handed: Armsman 5/5, Fighting Stance, Critical Charge and Savage Strike

    There is a huge variety of Unique One Handed weapons in Skyrim.  Dawnbreaker, Dragons Bane, Dawnguard Rune Axe, Chillrend, Mehrunes Razor, Nightingale Blade and Gauldurs Blackblade are just a few examples.  The Treasure Hunter will probably carry a couple of enchanted weapons so he can be prepared for any encounter. 


    Block: Shield Wall 1, Quick Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Elemental Protection, Block Runner, Power Bash, Deadly Bash, Disarming Bash and Shield Charge

    What can I say, I love the block tree!  Most sneak builds like to go Dual Welding, but I picked a shield to give him some extra durability.  Elemental Protection will give you some much need protection against Mages/Dragons and Disarming Bash will make melee fights much easier.  Most of the really good shields are Heavy Armor, but that really does not matter.  Use them anyways!  It will not interfere with your light armor skill.  I would recommend Spellbreaker, Auriels Shield, Shield of Ysgammor or Shield of Solutide.  If you are worried about sneaking then just unequip the shield and then equip it when it is time to rumble.


    Light Armor: Agile Defender 5/5, Custom Fit, Unhindered, Wind Walker, Matching Set and Deft Movement

    This character is not a full blown warrior.  He relies on speed to evade attacks and his block skills.  Besides, using Light Armor will free up more space to carry extra loot.  I went with Glass Armor because it is the best light armor that can be randomly found on a fairly frequent basis.   Dragonscale is extremely rare to find and it is next to impossible to find Dragonscale with the right enchantments.  You can also use the Nightingale Armor or Thieves Guild Armor.  But the stats are lower and the enchantments are not the best. Even without tempering Glass armor with a shield can hit close to a 400 armor rating.


    Lockpicking: Novice Locks, Apprentice Locks, Adept Locks, Expert Locks, Golden Touch, Treasure Hunter, Master Locks

    Most people think this is a weak perk tree, but it is critical for a Treasure Hunter.  The perks Golden Touch and Treasure Hunter will provide you with a steady stream of loot!


    Sneak: Stealth 1, Backstab, Muffled Movement, Light Foot, Silent Roll and Silence

    Melee Stealth is a ton of fun!  Sneak up on your target and stab them in back.  Since we are not in Assassin I only took one perk on the right hand side of the tree.  The perk Light Foot is a must have for any Treasure Hunter!  Who wants to be impaled on some horrific trap in the bottom of a crypt?!  Silence is a must have so you can move rapidly while sneaking/


    Minor Skills

    Pickpocket: Light Fingers 1, Night Thief, Cutpurse and Extra Pockets

    Not all treasure is buried in some lost cave.  Sometimes it can be found right in town… 

    Plus the perk Extra Pockets will allow you to carry even more loot.


    Speech: Haggling, Allure and Merchant

    You did not risk your life battling Undead, Dragons and Bandits to recover lost loot only to be ripped off by a merchant!  The Merchant perk will make it much easier to unload your spoils.



    Special Moves:                            


    Hitting the Motherload!: Imperial Luck + Golden Touch + Treasure Hunter + Prowlers Profit. 

    What can I say, tons of loot!

     Stealth Blitzkrieg:  Backstab + Shield Charge. 

    This combo is a lot of fun.  Sneak up on a boss and backstab.  Then raise your shield and shield charge everyone else.

     Use Magical Device: Magic Scrolls, Staves, potions and poisons

     The Treasure Hunter should utilize magical items to cheat death.


    Gameplay notes:

    I would recommend heading straight for the Merchant perk.  It will let you trade your hard earned loot for training, potions and enchanted items.  I would focus on training Block, Light Armor and Lockpicking.  Lockpicking takes a long time to level and the Treasure Hunter perk has some high requirements.

    You may have noticed that this build has no way to heal.  Healing potions should always be priority.  Everytime you go into town buy all the healing potions you can find until you have a nice reserve.  Also, buy potions that boost One Hand and Block.  Those potions can really make a difference in a battle.  Don't forget poisons as well.  A quick strike with a sword coated with a Paralysis poison can turn the tide of a battle!  The Merchant perk will allow you to trade  weapons, gems and jewelry for potions at the local Alchemist. 

    In addition, your character should always check the local shops for better gear.  Make getting the Amulet/Blessing of Zenithar a priority.  Also, try to get the Thieves Guild armor early because the Hood will fortify your barter by 10 points.  Taken together, the items above will fortify your barter by 30 points.  Which will really help with buying/selling loot.

    You should try to open each battle with a sneak attack.  After that he should play out like a sword and board character.  Just be careful in the lower levels since Light Armor is a lot weaker then Heavy Armor.  Make sure you block and shield bash!

    Don't under estimate the power of block with this build.  It is critical to max this skill out.  You either want to boost your block through enchanted items, potions or take the other Shield Wall perks.  There are perks to spare in this build.  Block caps out at 85% damage reduction and stacks on top of your armor rating.  You can easily stand up too a Drauger Deathlord in melee combat.

    Do not forget about magic gear that allows you to cast spells such as scrolls and staves.  The scroll Bane of Undead can  be a lifesaver in a Drauger infested crypt.  Almost any kind of scroll can be found or purchased.  Merchants stock high level scrolls even in the low levels.  Likewise, certain magic staves are very useful.  The Sangine Rose or a staff of summoning is extremely strong.  So, just don’t sell those items.  Save em for emergenices!

    I would recommend that you complete both the Thieves Guild and Companions.  The rewards from the Thieves Guild are extremely nice, plus it gives you access to some rich merchants.  And the radiant quests will provide a steady stream of easy money.  The Dark Brotherhood may be a little on the dark side for this character. 


  • Member
    October 5, 2012

    I did dip into a wide range of skills, but the perk total is under 50.  The lockpicking perks are critical, especially Golden Touch and Treasure Hunter.  They really make a big difference in the amount of loot you can get.  Easily double the amount of straight up gold.

    Smithing is  tough one.  You can get by with buying magic items and potions very easily.  However, there is no way to temper except with smithing.  That is why I recommend that you train the skill, rather then trying to raise it manually.  I really hate crafting grinding.  (Wish we could PAY a blacksmith to temper.  Really makes no sense that the player is the ONLY person in Skyrim that can temper weapons!)

    I was trying to balance the build between roleplay and power.  Tempering is just soo strong.

  • October 5, 2012

    Yeah, I like this Mr Bean!

    I'd like to see this build 'cut' and refined more, perhaps with some nice illustrations (that 1st pic is stone age)!

    The strongest thing a build can have is a unique concept, you definitely have that! It would be a shame not to work at this a little more, making it a no crafting build would definitely earn it some street cred if you can drop smithing!


    Oh, and I do so love that merchant perk!

  • Member
    October 5, 2012
    Thanks for the comments. That first picture is right out of the AD&D Players Handbook. I had to have it when I saw it. Definitely the Stone Ages! Hehe, guess I am showing my age. I will see about 'tempering' the build. However, without smithing, light armor is only slightly better then Mage armor. I thought it would distract from the build.
  • October 6, 2012

    Couple of really nice shots you could use...

  • October 6, 2012
    Love it! +1
  • Member
    October 6, 2012

    Love thos shots!  Thanks a lot!

  • Member
    October 6, 2012

    Made a few changes to the build.  I dropped smithing - so this build is crafting free.  No grinding here, just get out there quest, explore and loot!

  • October 7, 2012

    Love it. just started a build based of of this one. thank you freind of freinds

  • Member
    November 2, 2012

    A couple points.

    #1 Love the idea.  I actually have something very similar to this in my latest big playthrough.  And getting those lockpick perks plus being an Imperial definitely makes it rain. 

    #2 A helpful hint.  Those that play this kind of build may like the option to sprinkle gold coins everywhere.  At least I can't get enough of it.  I found a mini guide that detailed how to do this on the PC:

    Open note pad and type in:

    player.drop f 1
    player.drop f 1
    player.drop f 1
    player.drop f 1
    player.drop f 1

    Then save it as gold.txt
    Put that txt file in the skyrim folder - the same spot as TESV.exe and SkyrimLauncher.exe is at.  This does NOT go in the Data folder.
    Then, while in the game, bring up your console (normally the ~ button) and type:

    bat gold

    I for one plan on piling a whole chest in the back of the Thieves guild (spoiler, the chests that the old guild leader stole from) with just gold coins, one with purely gems, and another with just gold bars.  I don't just make it rain for me, but I make it rain for the Thieves guild baby.  Donald Duck, eat your heart out.

    #3 Some thoughts/comments about the perk choices. 


    First off, I'd say with the speech perks, in my experience you really need to go all in or nothing at all.  IE You might want to add: Investor, Fence, Master Trader.  If you're a treasure hunter ala Laura Croft you probably know more about the value of items than folks you're selling to, so it's not much of an RP stretch to think you could be a master trader.  Or you could just be a lowly pirate that doesn't have a clue and so have no speechcraft skills.

    The reason I bring this up is more from a gameplay standpoint.  I've recently tried boosting my barter/speechcraft to high levels after multiple dungeon runs and what do I find happening? I can't sell all this stuff I get from a single dungeon run; I start having to go to multiple towns to unload my newly found goods.  It's either worth too much or the npc doens't have enough cash to pay me for it.  Hence why I think if you're going to boost your speech with perks, go all the way since it can be a hinderance to sell things for a high price but not have the npcs with larger bank accounts. 

    One handed/Block/Light Armor

    Now this comment is definitely more personal and depends greatly on what you consider a Treasure Hunter to be.  For me, it's really someone that almost never gets into melee.  In my mind, my treasure hunter isn't built for it.  That and I can cut down a lot on the perks required if I just do rightside sneak perks and archery (ie trade 1H/block/lightarmor for just part of sneak and most of archery).


    Just some thoughts.  Great build idea though.  It's really fun reading these and creating your own. And apologies for the slight wall of text.