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Character Build: The Planar Ranger

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Bound Weapons  #Character Build Mage Armor  #Rank:Recognized 
  • Member
    November 27, 2012

    Planar Ranger

    Mysterious, all-knowing, deadly. The planar ranger chooses to explore not the mundane wilderness or even civilization but rather the various planes of existence available to him; daedric, aedric or otherwise. With this, the Planar Ranger gains immense knowledge, not of the world surrounding him but of the very multiverse itself, powerful knowledge indeed.

    The planar ranger is a ranger through and through, using one handed and archery in combat. However, also used is the power of conjuration and alteration instead of the worldly armor skills and smithing, allowing the ranger to summon otherworldly beings, powerful weapons and magical armor from the very realms of Oblivion itself.

    The planar ranger plays many roles, as is the norm for rangers overall. However, the planar ranger also uses the planes to his or her advantage, summoning atronarchs and daedra, along with powerful magical weapons or armor. Along with this, the ranger posesses a variety of abilities to shift out of or otherwise manipulate the realm in which he exists, turning the tide of battle in his favor.


    The race I have chosen for the Planar Ranger is Breton, due to the given bonuses and starting spells.

    However, other races considered include:

    Altmer - High mana stats

    Bosmer - The quintessential "ranger" race

    Major Skills

    Conjuration: The lynchpin of this build, turning a regular ranger into a mysterious being of the numerous planes

    One-handed: Mystical bound swords for close range fighting

    Archery: Powerful bound bows for battling at range

    Alteration: Eschewing traditional "Physical" armor, the Planar Ranger prefers to summon his own set of powerful magical armor

    Minor Skills

    Sneak: The Planar ranger doesn't simply hides in the shadows, he warps out of the very plane itself to reappear where he wishes

    Enchanting: Using the souls banished to the soul cairn, the planar ranger weaves powerful enchantments over his garments.


    Considerations for stones include:

    The Lady stone: Offsetting to a degree the lack of restoration/alchemy, along with increasing your overall stamina useability

    The Lord stone: Gives a form of backup armor in case protection is needed without magical armor up (Personal Favorite)

    The Lover Stone: With so many abilities with such a high skill ceiling, this is a good way of boosting experience gained in them

    The Shadow Stone: Gives a free long phase shift without using a shout or large amount of mana

    Level 20 Build




    One Handed

    Novice Conjuration

    Apprentice Conjuration



    Mystic Binding



    Novice Alteration

    Apprentice Alteration

    Adept Alteration

    Mage Armor (2)

    Overdraw (1)

    Critical Shot (2)



    Fighting Stance

    Critical Charge


    Enchanting Sneak  
    Enchanter (1) Stealth (1)  

    At level 20, the primary focus is to get the magic skills up, giving you utility and survivability whilst still allowing for efficient combat via points in the combat skills.


    Level 40 Build

    Conjuration (100)

    Alteration (100)     

    Illusion (50)

    Enchanting (100)

    Novice Conjuration

    Apprentice Conjuration

    Adept Conjuration

    Expert Conjuration

    Master Conjuration



    Elemental Potency

    Mystic Binding

    Soul Stealer

    Oblivion Binding


    Novice Alteration

    Apprentice Alteration

    Adept Alteration

    Expert Alteration

    Master Alteration

    Mage Armor (2)

    Novice Illusion


    Kindred Mage

    Silent Casting


    Insightful Enchanter

    Corpus Enchanter

    Extra Effect


    Archery One-Handed Sneak  

    Overdraw (1)

    Critical Shot (2)

    Armsman (2)

    Fighting Stance

    Critical Charge

    Stealth (1)

    Muffled Movement

    Light Foot

    Silent Roll


    Shadow Warrior


    At Level 40, the Planar Ranger is more or less at full capacity, with very few additional perks issues to iron out, such as additional points in archery, one handed and potentially sneak. Although there are a number of skills that will require grinding to achieve the levels for, the requirements are by no means impossible.

    Past Level 40, the main goal is to flesh out the combat skill trees further, granting more damage or utility. Along with this, the stealth and enchanting trees may also be further used, depending on your favored play-style. A recommended perk to get is "Twin Souls" however, simply due to the force multiplication it provides


    Plane Shift

    Phase in and out of existence at will, controlling the fight. Using any combination of Become Ethereal, Invisibility, Shadow stone and crouching (With Shadow Warrior) to disappear, reappearing moments later where you wish. The more abilities that are used in each respective shift, the longer it becomes.

    *Although there is only one skill listed, there are many more combinations of abilities, spells and shouts that can be used to gain the situational upper hand. The main reason I haven't listed these is because the combat style of a ranger is based in responding to changes in combat dynamic along with personal weapon preferences. As a general rule, it is beneficial to summon any familiars/thralls, followed by archery and then close combat, however, fight responsively and use whatever you need to to gain the advantage. By adding further skills, I find that the flowing, responsive combat style of a ranger would be hindered by preset combos, instead of abilities being used where appropriate. However, feel free to use familiar tried-and-tested combinations in combat.

    Now, go out and find your place in the planes!


    If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to post below! 

    While you're at it, why not take a look at my other quality builds?

    Blackguard   Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse


  • Member
    November 27, 2012

    First off, thank you for the feedback!

    Now ordinarily I would, as I have done similar with my Blackguard and Horsemen builds. However, I was foolishly working on a very old machine on which I did not install word, so if I had have copy-pasted I would have lost all formatting, especially the finicky tables. Due to this, I was forced (begrudgingly) to post an unfinished build as a way of saving it so that I may work on it later.

    Rest assured, the build IS done, at least to a basic playable level. I mainly put the disclaimer at the bottom to show that i still had some minor playtesting and community consideration to do before declaring it finished. It isn't easy to pump out a top-quality build with one try! It just needs a little spit and polish to make it more complete.

    I need to wait until next week to post screenshots anyway, as my machines locally don't have skyrim installed on them.

  • November 27, 2012

    I like the role-play elements, plus I love conjured weapons (+1).  You may want to remove the comments about the build not being finished.  If you add major things later, you can always mention your improvements then.

    There is a way to get the conjure bow spell very early in the game (as soon as you want, after Riften).   I thought people interested in this build may want it.

    Early Conjure Bow

  • Member
    November 27, 2012

    Right now it's just screenshots, cleaning of the templates and a little fluff that I plan to add but I want people to know that I usually try to hold myself to a higher standard for final builds, that's all.

    That is a very useful tutorial, thank you. this should let players get started as early as possible!

  • Member
    November 27, 2012
    Awesome character concept. I like it a lot! +1 from me!
  • Member
    December 3, 2012

    Cool idea, reminds me of the Horizon Walker prestige class from D&D. 

    I also really like very focused builds like this, with only 4 or so skills.  Plus the first 20 levels or so are my favorite, so low-level builds are always appreciated.  +1 for all of that! 

    Oh, and no crafting - nice!

    I guess Soul Stealer is required to get Oblivion Binding, but it seems like there's some wasted potential there.  I guess taking up Enchanting would damage some of the 'purity' of the build that I really like (and of course it's a crafting skill), but what do you do with all those souls?  You don't want to use them to enchant physical bows (or swords), since that's against the spirit of the build.  I guess  you could use them to enchant clothes for an even stronger defense, but that doesn't feel right to me either.  Just ignore the souls you're collecting?  I'm honestly trying to figure out how to best approach that part of the playstyle. 

    My one caution is that Sneak could become OP.  I *do* like that you're only going up the left side of the tree, to avoid the inevitable 'sniper boredom' that sets in.  Well, not boredom, but just the problem that every battle utilizes only 2 of your skills, leaving you wondering why you took one-handed and alteration in the first place.  Do you find yourself sneak-shooting a lot, or can you discipline yourself to *only* do it to open fights?  (Cuz I am *not* that disciplined... constantly fishing for sneak-shots, I am, which is why I so rarely use it these days!)

    Other skills... well, Destruction for runes is always fun, but maybe not the concept you want.  I'd say this is a really good setup as is. 

    What about questlines?  A true planeswalker would want to get out of Mundus every now and then... a trip to the Soul Cairn would be a fun exploration for this character.  Some Daedric quests would also get you visiting other... places.  The problem is, though, that many of the rewards would be useless for this character, since he only uses conjured stuff!  Do you let that bother you, or just do it for the sense of exploration rather than the rewards? 

  • Member
    December 4, 2012

    Well, let's address this comment!

    Yeah, I would say it may resemble the Horizon walker prestige class as the original Planar ranger was taken from the Unearthed Arcana sourcebook! Mind you, in Skyrim I find that I am allowed more roleplay than even the D&D's class of "Ranger but of celestial/abyssal/more things"

    Along with that, if you like low level stuff along with D&D, you'll love what I have up my sleeve for my next set after I'm done fixing this build up, I think it's pretty interesting if I may say so myself.

    Yep! No crafting! I wanted this build to feel like he places no real value in the physical because living between planes, there is little use for them.

    In regards to soul stealer, you could definitely take up enchanting, being a low-ish build cap there is room for movement. You could also treat the soul gems as a form of "bounty" if you like, fill the soul gem with evil souls (Imprisoning them to the plane of the soul cairn, hint hint), resell for higher value. You could collect souls using this too for maximum roleplaying. I could agree with clothing enchantments, seems fitting for him to have mystical clothing that makes him better at what he does, especially if you're getting souls freely. Each to their own I suppose.

    Now sneak. I primarily chose this tree because of the shadow warrior perk, allowing you to stop combat temporarily, which sounded very fitting as a form of plane shift. However, with that considered, this is not intended to be a full stealth build, combat is dictated by what you fight and how you feel like fighting, very fluid, very versatile. If sneak shotting and using detect life with alteration for tactical advantage is your battle plan, go for it! if charging in with dual swords swinging is how you fight, go right ahead! Hang back and let elemental thralls fight the battles? sure thing! I see rangers as being masters of doing whatever they need to in fights and this build is no exception.

    Other skill considerations... Well, I could recommend using alchemy potentially, even though a planar variety, he IS still a ranger at heart, especially as there is little ability to restore health in this build. Otherwise, speech is an alright dump skill, block will help you in one sword combat but otherwise, just spending points in the four main skills will take you to a reasonable level as-is.

    questlines are definently a consideration, as part of my inspiration for this build was reading through about the planes. This build is surprisingly friendly to the lore, as there are many planes to explore, with weird and wonderful properties. In relation to the rewards, they may be useless in theory but remember that you don't just have to use bound weapons, the skills are set up to use regular weaponry with decent efficiency. Otherwise, someone needs to guard these inter-planar artifacts no? I'm primarily in it for the roleplay myself and the frugal living that is done in this build is a refreshing change from heavy armored warlords weighed down to the teeth with weapons and armor.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Member
    December 4, 2012

    Not particularly, it's just the only one I've put in a combo so far, I need to do more play-testing to figure out other combinations. Most shouts should be fine, so long as they don't really branch off the other schools of magic too much. Some of the cooler ones to use are slow time, disarm, aura whisper and elemental fury, representing the ranger bending the rules of the current plane's space and time.

  • Member
    December 5, 2012

    Edit: Screenshots added, build looked at further, no adjustment necessary until further playtesting potentially. For now, it's done!

  • Kaz
    March 15, 2013

    Man I thought of this idea and thought it was original boo you beat me