Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Progenitor

  • Member
    June 13, 2013

    MARCH 2016

    So, this is my latest, and quite possibly last "big" overhaul for the foreseeable future. It's not quite so large a change as for the Undying or Montalion, but it's still big enough that I feel comfortable putting it in the same ballpark. This update would not be possible without a lot of help from Albino, who was right there with me for the conceptualizing, planning, and more. He even playtested the new version and basically put together the writeup as well. So this is effectively my third collaboration build now. A huge thanks to Albino for working with me on this one — it turned out pretty well, I think.

    The word progenitor refers to an ancient ancestor, an archetypal origin figure. It is roughly synonymous with forebear, a word with some notable ties to the Elder Scrolls world, the most relevant of which for this build's purposes is that it’s used by the Companions to describe a werewolf who grants his or her blood to someone to bring them into the pack. Accordingly, this build is more of an ancient Nord than a modern one, having more in common with the Atmorans of long ago, but feels a sense of kinship with the Companions as we know them today through shared beast blood.

    The Build

    Race » Nord Werewolf

    Stone » The Lord

    Attributes » 1 Magicka / 2 Health / 1 Stamina

    Key Shouts » Become Ethereal, Clear Skies, Unrelenting Force, Cyclone, (Extended) Slow Time, Ice Form (until Dragonborn Frost is obtained), Frost Breath, Dragon Aspect

    Active Effects » Dragonborn Frost, Agent of Mara, Ancient Knowledge, Force Without Effort

    Essential Quests » Main Quest, Dragonborn, Companions, Civil War - Imperial, Ill Met By Moonlight, The Book of Love, Unfathomable Depths, The Black Star, Wind and Sand, The Man Who Cried Wolf / The Wolf Queen Awakened

    Major Skills

    Two-Handed » The preferred style of melee combat for the Progenitor. As a rather aggressive style, it complements the beastly vibe of the build quite nicely. Greatswords are the weapon of choice here as they have a relatively fast swing speed compared to other two-handed weapons.

    Enchanting » This skill is essential for maximizing the Progenitor’s command over frost magic and is also useful in overcoming the build’s defensive weaknesses. Be sure to pick up the Black Star to make recharging your weaponry easier, and keep your enchantments fresh as you develop.

    Destruction » The Progenitor makes use of most frost spells, especially Ice Storm, Frost Cloak, and Icy Spear. It's also his only means of ranged combat. While it’s not a frost spell, Whirlwind Cloak is quite useful for this build as well and helps to mitigate the low defense issue.

    Minor Skills

    Heavy Armor » The Progenitor uses a few specific pieces of heavy armor for both aesthetics and protection. Be sure to get the Ancient Knowledge effect from completing Unfathomable Depths; it provides a 25% increase in AR to all non-Dwarven heavy armor, contrary to what the description says.

    Block » This build was designed with a high offense, low defense style in mind. Rather than constantly replenishing health via potions or spells, Block, in conjunction with absorb health and health regen enchantments, helps avoid the need to replenish health in the first place.



    Nord Hero Greatsword

    Frost Damage & Soul Trap


    Nordic Greatsword

    Frost Damage & Absorb Health


    Stalhrim Greatsword

    Frost Damage & Absorb Stamina

    Some notes regarding equipment. The Wolf Boots/Gauntlets are both aesthetically and thematically an acceptable substitute for their Nordic Carved counterparts; however the latter provides more AR. Also, you’ll want either one or both of your magic resistance enchantments to be the Shield of Solitude version; combined with Agent of Mara and the Lord Stone, this will let you hit the magic resistance cap.

    Aside from the equipment listed above, the Progenitor also makes use of the Ring of Bloodlust. Equip it immediately after being given the Cursed Ring of Hircine (during Ill Met by Moonlight) and its effects will be added without the Ring of Bloodlust actually being equipped. Once the Cursed Ring has been removed, you can equip another ring without losing the Ring of Bloodlust’s effects! Of course, once the curse is removed, the Ring of Hircine itself is also quite useful should you ever need to transform multiple times in one day.


    One of the Progenitor’s greatest assets is his mastery over frost magic. While there have been plenty of other builds that make extensive use of the Blizzard spell and its unique mechanics, the Progenitor instead relies on the mid-tier frost spells, buffed through a combination of Augmented Frost, Deep Freeze, Dual Casting, Impact, and Dukaan:

    • Ice Storm inflicts 165 damage per dual cast and can easily hit multiple targets.
    • Icy Spear inflicts 247 damage per dual cast, the most powerful option available for attacking single targets from a distance.
    • Frost Cloak inflicts 15 damage per second, making for 900 total damage over the course of a minute.
    • Frost Breath is good for 168 total damage over five seconds, while encasing enemies in unbreakable ice for an additional ten seconds with Dragonborn Frost.

    The build is designed to allow for dynamic shifting between equipped weapons and spells. Two-Handed weapons and dual cast spells make hotkey swapping very natural. While dual casted spells use up a lot of magicka, the Progenitor’s several fortify destruction enchantments mitigate that issue, and increase the number of charges on his weaponry as well.

    Clear Skies, Cyclone, Ice Form (Frost Breath once Dragonborn Frost is obtained), and Unrelenting Force are used for crowd control. Clear Skies staggers all enemies in its path, even with just the first word (which recharges in five seconds), making it a good choice for a quick stagger, while the other shouts are useful for incapacitating enemies for several seconds. Become Ethereal has a wonderful variety of defensive applications, while Dragon Aspect is great for offense. Don’t forget about your racial power either; Battlecry works great in a pinch!

    Quick Reflexes is an invaluable perk to the Progenitor. If you have the perk and some good timing, you can disengage your block right after it activates and use the lingering slowdown effect to dodge the power attack instead by sidestepping it, or better yet, circling around to your enemy’s back. Furthermore, by using just one word of Slow Time (you'll pick one up in Korvanjund during the Civil War questline) immediately after Quick Reflexes slowdown effect ends, Slow Time’s duration will be vastly increased, oftentimes allowing you to defeat your opponents before it even finishes!

    The crown jewel in the Progenitor’s offensive array is, of course, Beast Form. Having the Ring of Bloodlust permanently enabled sends your already strong offense through the roof, but at the cost of having even less defense than ever, making this form ideal for burst damage. Fortunately, you can cast a cloak spell before transforming and it’ll carry over into Beast Form. While Frost Cloak is certainly nice, you’ll almost always want to go with Whirlwind Cloak for its defensive applications.

    Recommended Mods

    • Werewolf Mastery - Massive overhaul with tons of customizable new features and mechanics for werewolves.
    • HD Werewolves - My favorite retexture for werewolves (used in the screenshots in this thread).
    • Bloodmoon Rising - Adds new perks for werewolves to make Beast Form more exciting.
    • Werewolf Perks Expanded- Alternative to Bloodmoon Rising. Check them both and decide if one suits your interests.
    • Real Feeding - Makes feeding much more visceral and gory.
    • Moonlight Tales Essentials - Massive overhaul for werewolves, including visual changes, new features, new abilities, mechanics, and more.
    • Heart of the Beast - Amazing howl sound effects (don't use the textures though; use HD Werewolves and/or Moonlight Tales).
    • Predator Vision - Grants Night Vision in Beast Form as well as infrared vision and some nice customization options.

    Thanks again to Albino for working with me on this one! Wouldn't have been possible without your work, my friend.

    And thanks to Brew too, I guess.

  • June 13, 2013
    white font! aaaagh!
  • Member
    June 13, 2013

    Are you seeing the text shadow/line effects?  Can you take a screenshot of what you see so I know it's displaying properly?

  • June 13, 2013
    i cant take a screenshot... but its pure white text for the perk spread and "gameplay mechanics"... i could barely read them... no shadow
  • Member
    June 13, 2013

    Hm, darn.  You're on a tablet, right?  Maybe that's why?  Can someone on a desktop let me know what you see?  And what OS you're running?  I may need to change the display.  That would be a shame, it looks sexy on my end. :(

    For reference, this is how it's meant to display:

  • June 13, 2013
    and "weapons"/"jewelry"... didnt even know there was writing there...
  • June 13, 2013
    im on xbox... ipad is gone
  • June 13, 2013
    and my xbox works better than my ipad...
  • Member
    June 13, 2013

    I'm gonna wait to see what other people are looking at, because 99% of the people who read this will be looking at it from a desktop or laptop running a conventional OS, rather than from a video game console's browser.

    I know Ben was able to see it properly when I tested it on the Undying last week, so I have a feeling it will work for most other viewers.  If not, I'll make changes as needed.

  • June 13, 2013
    i saw it fine on the last build... this one i cant