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Character Build: The Aether Engineer - Dragonborn Edition

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Agent  #Rank:Legendary 
  • TZ
    December 12, 2012

    The Aether Engineer utilises a strange liquid named Aether in order to fuel weapons for the sole purpose of gaining even more profits.

    It was discovered that all living creatures possess this weird chemical and it is able to be manipulated into either a chemical fuel or an enhancer of weaponry and armor.

    Though if used on weaponry or armor, it claims the very living essence of the creature and thus The Aether Engineer dares not use their own aether for anything other than to fuel their inventions used for combat.

    By using aether cells, miniature storage containers with small amounts of aether that self replicate, the aether engineer is able to enhance their storage amount of aether and to enhance it's regenerative rate through inventions such as batteries and generator cells. Aether can be converted into either a life force generator or an energy generator allowing the engineer greater amounts of stamina. 


    One of the inventions of The Aether Engineer is the Flame thrower, a prototype model is shown above though the more modern versions are discreetly hidden within the gauntlets.



    This build is based on a Steampunk aesthetic for an Engineer but brought into the world of Skyrim.

    The Aether Engineer uses a Flame Thrower for melee (Flames) or sometimes for medium range. Ranged attacks are made via a bow then later crossbow and for non Dawnguard players bows will do fine.The Flame thrower also allows an air blast (Unrelenting Force) to knock back foes. On occasion a Mega Burst (Fire Breath) is able to be released from the bracer on the chest piece of the Aether Engineer.

    Using inventions such as land mines (Fire Rune) and exploding dwarven fire bolts with an xbow enchanted with fiery soul trap + fire damage makes for a lot of fire damage synergy.

    Inventions such as rocket boots (Whirlwind Sprint) allows for either a quick escape or a fast way to travel to the corpse of a fallen victim.

    Inventions such as Chrono-Manipulator (Slow Time) allows the Engineer to manipulate time creating a slip space. The Breaker (Marked for death) is an electromagnetic pulse that breaks apart metals.

    Most of these inventions are voice activated and with certain words The Aether Engineer is able to utilise them as they see fit. 


    The Aether Engineer is a build designed to use crossbows but for those without Dawnguard it can work with bows with the ultimate bow being glass bow. It won't be able to benefit from all the synergy bonuses but it is still viable.


    Going Imperial for the racial Imperial Luck (Find more gold) + The lock picking talent  golden touch and treasure hunter will allow The Aether Engineer to make a lot of money which can be invested into blacksmithing and enchanting.

    Fire Rune traps + Fiery Soul Trap with Fire Damage + Fire Bolts will keep a target lit on fire for longer doing more damage and keeping it sustained.

    Slow time + flames + xbow fire bolt shots + fire rune will also do a lot of sustained damage.

    Points And Perks(Level 50):

    Magicka/Health/Stamina: 1/3/1  For every 3 points spent into HP, place 1 into Magicka then one into Stamina.

    Archery: Overdraw 5/5, Eagle Eye, Power Shot, Critical Shot 3/3, Hunter's Disciplines, Ranger.

    Smithing: Steel, Elven, Arcane, Advanced Armors, Glass.

    Either: Dwarven for crossbows or Dragon for Bows.

    Light Armor: Agile Defender 1/5, Custom Fit, Unhindered, Wind Walker.

    Lockpicking: Novice, Apprentice, Adept, Golden Touch, Treasure Hunter.

    Destruction: Novice, Apprentice, Adept, Rune Master, Aug Flames 2/2, Dual Casting.

    Restoration: Novice, Apprentice, Regeneration, Respite, Recovery 2/2.

    Enchanting: Enchanter 5/5, Insightful Enchanter, Fire Enchanter, Corpus Enchanter, Extra Effect. 

    Spells, Shouts and Special Moves/Tactics:

    Armory and Kits(Spells): Landmine(Fire Rune), Flamethrower(Flames), Medical Laser Circus(Fast Healing which Regenerates Stamina)

    Voice Commands(Shouts): Air Blast(Unrelenting Force), Mega Burst(Fire Breath),Chrono-Manipulator(Slow Time), Rocket Boots(Whirlwind Sprint), Breaker(Marked for Death).


    Special Moves or Tactics:

    Scorching Shrapnel

    Set fire to the scolded flesh of your foes by heating up the shrapnel that hits their skin, causing increased pain thus ceasing their attacks.

    Place a Fire Rune on the ground then pull the enemy towards it while maintaining Flames on them.

    Requirements: Fire Rune, Flames, Ranged Weapon(Bow or Crossbow).

    Searing Shrapnel

    Using the force of your weapon pushes a piece of shrapnel deep within the wound, searing it like meat on a pan.

    Place a Fire Rune on the ground then pull the enemy with your ranged weapon and hit them exactly with your ranged weapon as they hit the Fire Rune.

    Requirements: Fire Rune, Ranged Weapon(Bow or Crossbow).

    Chrono Immolation

    The Chrono-Manipulator makes enemies caught in the fire feel pain of a decade of flames, in a few seconds.

    First hit your opponent with a bolt, swap to Flames, then cast Slow time (your max rank), charge them down with a few seconds of Flames then finish with Fire Bolts and  Fire rune for insurance.

    Requirements: Flames, Slow Time, Ranged Weapon(Bow or Crossbow), Fire Rune(Optional).

    Magnetic Reload

    Magnetically a bolt is able to be attracted into the firing slot of the crossbow, without the need to manually reload.

    After firing a bolt round, quickly swapping by a key binding to another move then back allows a quick reload. (Note: May be considered exploit, If so use for role-play rather than game-play.)

    Requirements: Crossbow, Any Other Skill bound.


    By using cunning and guile, The Aether Engineer strikes from areas where only he can see the opponent and also striking at the toes.

    Use line of site where you can just barely see the opponents feet or where you are far away, misdirect the opponent so their back is turned or use your bolts to hit a surface near them, the a.o.e damage will hurt them.

    Requirements: Crossbow, Exploding Fire Bolts(Either Steel or Dwemer).

    Trap Door

    By luring an enemy into the unknown, you are able to hide from them the Aether mine you lay down before them.

    Using an open doorway with an open door will allow you some time to relay a new Fire Rune while also being able to swap to your desired weapon. Works best when you lay a Fire Rune, Whirlwind Sprint into or near the door, close it behind you and place the second Fire Rune post the first one exploding. 

    Requirements: Ranged Weapon(Bow or Crossbow), Whirlwind Sprint, Fire Rune. 

    Gear, Enchants, Standing Stone, Race and Blessing:


    Tier One: Whiterun Guard's Helmet(+Magicka), Silver Necklace(+Stamina), Gold Ring(+Archery DPS), Leather Armor(+Stamina), Leather Gloves(+Archery), Leather Boots(+Stamina), Crossbow (+Fiery Soul Trap), Exploding Fire Steel Bolts.

    Tier Two: Diadem of The Savant, Silver Emerald Necklace(+Stamina,+StamRegen), Gold Emerald Ring(+Archery DPS,+Stam),Glass Armor(+Stamina,+StamRegen), Stormcloak Officer's Gloves(+Archery,+Magicka), Elven Boots(+Stamina,+StamRegen), Dwarven Crossbow(+Fiery Soul Trap, +Fire Damage), Exploding Dwarven Fire Bolts.

    Standing Stone(s): The Lady Stone, The Steed, (Guardian Stones for Crafting).

    Race: Imperials are the best first choice but: Woodelves, Argonians, Highelves and Redguards in that order cover certain aspects of the perk trees.

    Blessing: Based on Personal Preference, any will do really.

    Early Playstyle and Quests:

    Right from the start you can use flames and bows to level both these schools, you can easily obtain a full set of leather armor once you enter Riverwood and a Whiterun Guard's helmet from your first dragon fight. You will earn lots of cash, use this to buy what you need for your crafting skills, the whole power of this build comes from being Imperial and getting the lockpicking talents as soon as you can without gimping yourself. Sometimes followers work well sometimes they can suck, get a tank style early on like Lydia, later on use a ranged to help you smack down foes, I find being solo is a lot more fun.

    Overall remember to use flamethrower in melee and ranged as your opener and never hide, this build does not use stealth so dont crouch just shoot and run, run around and don't let them hit you.

    With a new found land, The Aether Engineer has discovered a long lost metal that contains the very essence of aether itself, this new precious metal has the aether of generations as well as chambers that are harder than anything the Aether Engineer has ever forged.

    Gear (Tier Three):

    Tier Three: 

    Visage of Mzund, Any Necklace(+Stamina,+StamRegen), Ahzidal's Ring of Arcana,

    Stalhrim Light Armor(+Stamina,+StamRegen)

    Stalhrim Light Bracers(+Archery,+Magicka)

    Stalhrim Gauntlets(+Stamina,+StamRegen)

    Stalhrim Bow(+Chaos Enchant, +Fiery Soul Trap)

    Stalhrim Arrow (Extra RP - Optional)

    Perks, Points and Spells/Shouts(Level 70):

    Archery: Steady hands 2/2, Quick shot, Bull's Eye.

    Destruction: Augmented Frost 2/2, Augmented Shock 2/2, Deep Freeze, Disintegrate, Rune master,Impact.

    Alteration: Novice To Expert, Magic resistance 3/3, Atronach.

    +10 Into Magicka, +10 Into Stamina.

    New Spells/Shouts:

    Flesh Spells (Oakflesh etc), Ash Rune, Whirlwind Cloak, Ignite & Freeze (from Ahzidal's Ring of Arcana), Cyclone(Shout), Breath of Nchuak (from Visage of Mzund).

    Special Moves:

    Fan The Flames

    Using an enhanced flamethrower that releases liquid aether simultaneously as well as igniting the flames further with a windy steam blast.

    Requirements: Ignite, Breath of Nchuak.

    Aether Burn

    Liquid aether can either be frozen or heated up and in either case the consequences for this can and will be deadly, slow or burn your enemies well.

    Requirements: Ignite and Freeze.

    Anti-Gravity Forcefield

    Combining the powers of the anti-gravity enhancer as well as Aether vapour that hardens around the armor allows for a stronger Engineer.

    Requirements: Whirlwind Cloak and Flesh Spell (Oakflesh etc).

    Anti-Gravity Nova

    Using the power of steam to over-blast an opponent creates a gust that is completely void of gravity and un-dodgeable by opponents.

    Requirements: Breath of Nchuak and Cyclone (Any Rank)

    New Gameplay:

    As the video demonstrates this build works well by using the special and new spells well together as well as using the old ones like Medical Laser Circus(Scroll up) to continue playing on. Some aspects are flexible i.e changing a piece of gear here and there if your not happy with the rings or helm but overall this build has it's own flavour and playstyle and I hope you enjoy it.

    My Other Builds:

  • December 12, 2012
    It's in this cases, you wish that you could like a build more then one time! ;) Very good! +1
  • Member
    December 12, 2012

    makes me want bethesda to  make a steampunk game

  • December 12, 2012


  • TZ
    December 12, 2012

    That is true but I think it's quite minimal compared to say Skyrim in options and as a Steampunk aesthetic it kinda lacks all the tropes people are use to or would like. 

  • TZ
    December 12, 2012

    Thanks mate, I really felt I wanted to make a build around something I like outside of the mainstream fantasy, though Steampunk is growing in popularity. :)

  • TZ
    December 12, 2012

    What's funniest about that comment is that I made this guy the largest on weight scale! Thanks for the props, but yeah read over in your own time since I am using a lot of RP names for in game names, can get confusing but also the video will help a lot.

  • Member
    December 12, 2012
    Nice build, very creative.
  • Member
    December 12, 2012
    Bethesda was just the publisher not the developer of dishonored.
  • December 12, 2012
    I look forward to your builds more and more this one is my favorite good job +1