Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Lore-Keeper

Tags: #Character Build Healer  #Character Build Alchemist  #Race:Imperial  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build 
  • CBR
    October 8, 2012

    I was trying to find something like my Aldmeri Assassin in terms of creative play and a mixture of fragility with some serious power (and without smithing/enchanting).  I wanted something less specific though, less "boxed in" by their perks in terms of what sort of missions they could do.  In an attempt to get a jack-of-all trades, I instead landed myself a master of all trades.  With a little aesthetic inspiration from Arian's time-mage build, and a play-style reminiscent of but distinctly different from Otter's Otar build, this is what I ended up with:

    The Lore-Keeper

    I first experienced the power of the speech tree playing as an illusion-based assassin, and I wanted to try a build based more solidly around it.  What I ended up with is the second most fun hero I've played on Skyrim ever (only behind Mason's Volkihar), a character that fights heavily with staves and scrolls, and has something of a book-collecting obsession to complement his hundreds of scrolls...

    Story-wise, he's a bit like Indiana Jones, but more well-spoken, ruthless, and frankly a little insane.  A historian, archaeologist, and scholar of ancient texts, the Lore-Keeper is fighting tooth and nail to preserve the history and culture of Skyrim from the ravages of the Civil War and dragon attacks.  In a final effort to preserve history, he decides to join in the fight to end the dragon-wars once and for all.

    The Build

    Imperial - Extra gold, and Emperor's voice is a life-saver, particularly early on

    Stone: Thief, Lord

    Power/Shout: Whirlwind sprint for mobility in large groups of enemies, Marked for death against smaller groups and individuals.  These are my go-to shouts, but this guy is a Lore-Keeper... he collects shouts the way he collects books.

    Major Skills: Speech, Restoration, Alchemy

    Minor Skills: 1-Handed, Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocket

    Weapon: Depending on circumstances.  Your home-collection should eventually include:

    • Dawnbreaker
    • Dragonbane
    • Ebony Blade
    • Chillrend
    • Mehrune's Razor
    • Windshear
    • Bolar's Oathblade
    • Sanguine Rose
    • Staff of Storm Atronachs
    • Staff of Chain Lightning
    • Halldir's Staff

    A huge source of your main offensive power against tougher enemies will be scrolls however.  Scrolls of mayhem, firestorm, atronachs, fireballs, etc are what make this build so versatile.  Even scrolls of invisibility and paralysis are out there, but you'll have potions for these.  Your main weapons will be scrolls of storm atronachs, which you will have around 30 of most of the time since you can make them yourself at the Atronach Forge using void salts, a role of paper, and charcoal.

    Apparel: I was originally going to have a trading set and a combat set, but I found that the trading set was a perfectly capable outfit for fighting, and swapping constantly was a hassle anyways.

    Head - Volsung, Guildmaster's Hood, or Masque of Clavicus Vile, depending on aesthetic preference

    Body - Cicero's Clothes

    Hands - Nightingale Gloves or Misc Enchanted (Wielding)

    Boots - Ancient Shrouded Boots or Misc Enchanted

    Neck - Amulet of Articulation

    Ring - Ring of Wielding

    Stats: 0:3:1 (M/H/S)

    Quests: College of Winterhold (Radiant Library Quests for fun, but mainly for access to the Atronach Forge), Bard's College

    Less important quests: Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild, Main Questline, Civil War

    For story, "item-collecting" quests like Moss Mother Cavern, Blood on Ice and the Deadric quests

    The richest man in Skyrim (Masque of Clavicus Vile, Cicero's Clothes, Hide Bracers of Minor Wielding, Leather Boots of Major Sneaking, Necklace of Haggling, Ring of Minor Striking, Ebony Dagger, Staff of Lightning Bolts)


    On my first playthrough with this guy, I had $13,000 at level 15... after purchasing Breezehome and all of it's upgrades, after making some merchant blunders (oops, didn't mean to sell that shrouded hood, better buy it back), and after dropping several thousand on alchemy lessons.  Speech is incredibly powerful, and with it we can buy scrolls that will give us the abilities of a master wizard from the school of our choice in any given situation.  Scroll of mass paralysis? Check. Scroll of Firestorm? Check. Scroll of Mayhem? Check. You get the idea.

    At the Atronach Forge, you can make scrolls of Flame/Frost/Storm Atronachs by putting charcoal, a roll of paper, and fire salts, frost salts, or void salts into the box and pulling the lever.  Staves of Atronachs can be made the same way.

    • Scroll of Flame Atronach = charcoal + roll of paper + fire salts
    • Scroll of Frost Atronach = charcoal + roll of paper + frost salts
    • Scroll of Storm Atronach = charcoal + roll of paper + void salts
    • Staff of Flame Atronach = broom + greater (or higher) soul gem + corundum ore or ingot + fire salts
    • Staff of Frost Atronach = broom + greater (or higher) soul gem + moonstone ore or refined moonstone + frost salts
    • Staff of Storm Atronach = broom + greater (or higher) soul gem + orichalum ore/ingot + void salts

    I toyed with the idea of not using alchemy at all, since I could simply buy potions.  For those of you who don't feel like crafting (it took some willpower to force myself to grind out some levels at the alchemy table), this is an option.  I just like the customizability of made potions instead of purchased ones.  My current favorite is Luna Moth Wings + Vampire Dust for invisibility and health regeneration, and I pulled off a lovely bow-shot assassination with the aid of a Jazaby grapes + Skeever tail + Deathbell poison. Can't exactly buy either of those from the store.

    With scrolls, potions, poisons, and staves, the combat tactics are literally boundless.  Literally boundless.  Destruction and conjuration scrolls are your main damage output, so your standard attack against a rather large group of bandits might involve an invisibility potion, a storm atronach scroll, an assassination, a whirlwind sprint, and a destruction (e.g. Fireball) scroll, the order changing based on context and on personal mood.

    Perks (50)


    I can't, in good conscious, give out too many "battle-plans" or special moves because half the fun of the build is inventing them in advance or on the fly.  I will say this though - drinking a potion of health regeneration and a draught of health before running at an army of draugr with a staff of wall of flame and dawnbreaker is amazing.  As is sicking your Frost Atronach on a Dragonrend-ed dragon while blasting it with lightning bolt staff (before landing a lucky blow with the good old Razor while the big lizard was distracted).

    That is all.



    **UPDATE** Perk changes in block + restoration credit to Alvore, thanks for the suggestions!

  • Member
    October 8, 2012
    Love the idea of using scrolls and staffs. Different. +1
  • Leader
    October 8, 2012

    Excellent. I was toying with starting up my Librarian character again, but this sounds a much better option - I can still collect all the books, but there's a whole different and interesting playstyle to complement it.

    I'm going to start this character tonight 

  • CBR
    October 8, 2012

    Happy to hear!  He's been a blast to play.  Learned a lot about Skyrim lore in the process too, haha

  • October 8, 2012

    Speech and Lockpick perks - beautiful (from a rp perspective).  This looks like a fun build.  I'll think I'll try this, but without the Restoration, since alchemy is available for healing. (I'll put it in my cue - there are so many nice builds on this site).

  • October 8, 2012

    I'll definitely play this if we get Lilmothiits in a future DLC ;) Either way +1 like from me.

  • CBR
    October 8, 2012

    Go for it.  I found restoration to be incredibly useful, since I am playing on Master with this guy and was trying to follow the 'Hardcore' rules for a while (which included, among other things, only 1 potion per hour.  I stopped playing 'hardcore' after I got cocky, misplayed in not using the invisibility potion I had and died to a couple of Ice-Wolves  ).  If you can pull it off, that would probably be better - maybe perks into pickpocket or destruction (augmented flames/frost) could replace restoration?

  • October 8, 2012

    One word... BOOM!!! +1

  • Member
    October 8, 2012
    Cool build. +1 from me.

    Scrolls are extremely powerful. Especially in the low levels. I used to sell, but I definitely horde them. I forgot crafting scrolls at the Atronarch Forge.

    For shouts I think your go to shout would be ethereal. Either to set up a master level scroll, or make a quick escape. I would probably pass on alchemy. Out of all the crafting skills it is the easiest to replicate from merchants.
  • CBR
    October 8, 2012

    Your points are good, but honestly I couldn't think of a better place to put the points.  In hindsight, I wish I had put them into illusion instead of alchemy.  I'll toy around with him and modify the build in a bit.