Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Obsessed

Tags: #Character Build Knight  #Character Build Warrior  #Character Build Elementalist  #Race:Imperial  #Rank:Mythic 
  • Member
    June 26, 2013

    Impetus: In ancient cosmology, Empyrean was the name for the highest level of the heavens.  Empyrean was the realm that contained divine fire as well as gods and the angels.  It is this idea, combined with some aesthetically pleasing armor that helped to forge the basis for this build in my mind.  And once I had spent the first few hours of game-play getting his look cemented... well, I was sold!

    As I played this character, and attempted to develop a back story, my idea shifted a bit from an angelic origin to the madman presented below.

    The Vision: A pillar of flame carries me into the heavens, high above the White-Gold Tower.  Eventually, I come to rest on a passing cloud and look around me.  As far as the eye can see are more clouds, and a deep blue sky.  Suddenly, the sky turns redder than the deepest sunset hues and an enormous red dragon wreathed in flames appears.

    This dragon speaks not a word, but instead shows me images of what is yet to be...  In those images, I fly down from the heavens carried on crimson wings holding a blade of Akaviri design that is covered in flames.  I land in Skyrim and remove my helmet, surveying the lands before me as I do.

    Suddenly, I am outside my body watching my own actions.  I am leading a fierce battle in the armor of one of the Emperor's guards... sword raised, and shield ready to fend off the attacks of my enemies.  Behind me is a field of red and before me a sea of blue that marches upon the land.  As I crash into those leading the soldiers bedecked in blue... an intense aura of flames erupts from me!

    I appear on a lush field surrounded by mist, and to my left and right are my brothers in arms.  A dragon of deepest onyx lands before me and stares, seemingly, straight through me to my very soul.  Though I should be terrified, I am instead without fear and I unsheathe my blade, again erupting in flames.

    Moments later, shaking the heavens and Nirn, a fierce cry rings out... and I begin falling, for what seems like forever, toward Nirn.  As I fall, a flood of images assaults my mind, dissolving into a blur.

    “You’re awake,” states the Nord across from you, a bit surprised.

    Slowly I awaken, realizing that I am bound and unarmed on my way through the fortified walls of a small village.  It is there that I almost meet my end at the headsman's block... but the black dragon from my vision appears, saving me from my fate and setting me on my inexorable path...

    The Obsessed is a man on a mission, albeit a deluded mission.  You have convinced yourself that you have been chosen by Akatosh to save the world from Alduin and to ensure the victory of the Imperials in Skyrim.  From the moment you wake up across from Ralof, you are on a quest to see all of your visions made real.

    Now, are you really a god-chosen warrior or, are you an insane wander far from Cyrodiil who has merely convinced yourself of that?  I will let you be the judge, but I like to think Akatosh has little to do with this man.


    The Build:

    Race: Imperial

    Stone: Warrior / Lord / Steed (Fresh out of Helgen pick the Warrior stone for an early boost in some of your most essential skills.  Switch to Lord for an added bonus of defense both physically and magically since you won’t be benefitting from many armor perks or using Alteration.  Steed Stone may be a good choice if you transition to Ebony Armor late game.)

    Stat Distribution: M 1 | H 2 | S 2  (Every 5 levels until you feel you have an adequate pool of Stamina and Magicka, then focus on Health.  I stopped adding Magicka at 150, and Stamina around 300.)

    Perk Spreads: Level 25Level 55

    Major Skills:

    One Handed: This is your main method of offense.  The Obsessed lives and dies by his sword and wouldn't have it any other way. In terms of perk selection, virtually the entire tree will be taken (minus skills focusing on maces, axes and dual wielding).

    Block: You consider your shield to be merely an extension of your own arm and will never relinquish it.  To this end, your  blade will be traded out for flame magic when range is needed.  Again, the whole tree will be taken, but the first focus should be on the right hand branch to enable effective bashing.  Quick Reflexes is also a priority here.

     – Smithing: Owing to the use of mixed armor types, boosting your armor rating is important to your longevity, as such, you have sought after skills to keep your armor in top notch shape.  Perk along the right hand branch up to Ebony to help create his end-game gear (Ebony looks pretty sweet with the Penitus Oculatus armor).

    It is very easy for me to imagine the Obsessed standing over a forge bashing out weapons and armor, all the while brooding about the stream of images at the end of his vision using the smithing as a way to focus himself when really he is putting his effort into remembering that vision.

    Enchanting: Personally, I can never resist at least dabbling in Enchanting, and so I did on this character as well.  Actually, I more than dabbled for this build, head for Extra Effect (grab Fire Enchanter as well).  Fortunately, your vision included a flaming sword... as such, it makes sense that you should be able to enchant it thusly.

    Minor Skills:

    Destruction: Your visions have sponsored nearly every choice you have made since that time.  In this case, you have gone out of your way to learn the use of Destruction.  Focus only on Flame-related perks and spells stopping at Adept Destruction.  In my play-through, I used Destruction sparingly.  In fact, it was used almost exclusively for casting Flame Cloak before each combat situation.  I think some might consider perks here a bit wasted, but for me, it was essential for the RP element of helping to make the visions real.

    Heavy Armor and Light Armor: Since you will never be wearing a full set of either, only perk the first skill (Juggernaut and Agile Defender respectively) to help improve your survivability. 

    Speech: Due perhaps to my image of an Imperial from Oblivion, being silver-tongued is part and parcel to being an Imperial.  Also, I had never really used Speech much before, almost never putting perks into it.  I found that it can be a pretty impressive engine for generating cash, and can also help to get you out of altercations with guards... a handy skill when you are morally blind and tend to steal and kill regularly.

    Equipment & Enchantments:

    The Obsessed is defined in appearance by the helm and chest armor that he uses.  As you level up in Smithing, you can replace the heavy armor with Ebony.  I really had to fight myself on which to use: keep the look of the Closed Helm, or get the better stats.  In the end, I kept both.  (The second Enchantment listed is after Extra Effect is earned.)

    [1] Penitus Oculatus Armor (Fortify Health /Fortify Stamina)  |  [2] Imperial Closed Helm (Fortify Destruction/Waterbreathing)  |  [3] Steel Imperial Gauntlets (Fortify One Handed/ Fortify Block)  |  [4] Steel Shin Boots (Fortify Stamina/ Fortify Carry Weight)

    [5] Solitude Guard's Shield (Fortify Block/Resist Magic)*  |  [6] Blades Sword (Fire Damage OR Fiery Soul Trap/Absorb Health)

    [7] Silver Necklace (Fortify Health/Resist Magic)  |  [8] Silver Ruby Ring (Fortify Heavy Armor/Fortify Light Armor)

    * To be replaced by the Shield of Solitude.  Pick it up after Level 40 to maximize the enchants!

    Shouts & Powers:

    Shouts don’t play a huge role in this build, with Fire Breath being the most used Shout by far (owing to his fiery vision).  This shout is of particular use when you are low on Stamina or Health and need a finisher.  Slow Time is also of good use, allowing you to retreat if outgunned, outmanned or unprepared, or as a quick means to reposition yourself for un-retaliated attacks.  Likewise, Whirlwind Sprint has dual functions, for running or for charging in for the attack allowing you to quickly close the distance to mages or archers.

    When really in a tight spot though, Become Ethereal gives you a breather to relax a moment to quaff potions and reposition yourself.

    Voice of the Emperor, though, both solidifies the idea of your silver tongue and gives you a powerful option against the many many bandits throughout Skyrim (not to mention unhappy guards when you steal your sword and armor from the corpses you just finished creating).  The 24 hour cooldown is unfortunate, but can be compensated for by a prolonged resting period if you know you will need it again soon.


    After experiencing your vision while unconscious on the way to Helgen, you have been infused with an incredible drive to see every aspect of that vision become reality.  You are so driven, in fact, that there is almost nothing that can, or will, stand in your way.  Even when it comes to killing those who might otherwise have been allies.

    Your signature armor, for instance, was acquired when you journeyed to Dragon Bridge and found that the Penitus Oculatus agents there had no intention of letting you join their ranks.  So, slaughtering them became the only way to get their armor.  A similar situation occurred upon seeing an Akiviri sword on the hip of Fultheim at the Nightgate Inn.  Let's just say that the man wasn't very keen on just handing it over (nor was the bartender very keen on the commotion that was caused in his pub).

    However crazed you might be to truly live the part as a warrior of Akatosh (though seemingly devoid of morals), it really is unclear if the "vision" was genuine or not.  Personally, I like to imagine The Obsessed as completely and totally obsessed with his vision to the point where he would seem insane to most if you actually described your "vision."  For this reason, he isn't prone to have followers tag along since they don't fit into the vision of your destiny.


    The Obsessed is an in-your-face melee fighter.  When entering combat, cast Flame Cloak and immediately switch back to your sword, closing the distance to your target as quickly as possible.  Once more perks in Block are acquired you can use Shield Charge to lay the opponent out and take advantage of their vulnerable state, slashing away with your sword.  When range is required, some Destruction magic, or a shout can be used to eliminate your enemy.  Shield bashing is an indispensible skill during combat since your armor won't be gaining from many skill perks and Alteration isn't used.  This makes Quick Reflexes all the more important to your survival!

    As mentioned above, some shouts can help to save your bacon as well.  But, the power I found myself using the most was actually Voice of the Emperor since so many of your foes will be humans and thus susceptible to your voice's amazing calming effect.  In cases where I would reach for VotE but my opponent isn't human I would opt for Become Ethereal instead, allowing me time to avoid some power attacks and/or reposition.

    You may also notice that no Restoration or Alchemy is included in this build.  This is for two reasons: one, it forces you to make use of your "honeyed words" to ply shopkeepers into selling you potions (and you'll need them); but it also plays into the fact that the Obsessed won't exactly care to spend the time gathering ingredients or casting more spells than absolutely necessary.  Running out of healing potions in mid-combat is certainly a drag and is perhaps one of the vulnerabilities of the build, be mindful of this fact and come to a fight prepared.

    Essential Quests / Factions / Activities:

    – Main Quest through the defeat of Alduin.  This is your ultimate goal, and something you often think about.

    – The Civil War Questline, siding with the Imperials again serves to help you live out your vision.

    – The Man Who Cried Wolf & The Wolf Queen Awakened: These are the prerequisite quests for obtaining your signature shield and are heavily involved with safeguarding your surrogate home: Solitude.

    – Avoid joining the Thieves Guild:  Their self-serving drives are substantially different from The Obsessed's mission as an instrument of a divine.  (Besides, your Speech abilities render many of their services redundant.)

    – Restoring the Blades: Though The Obsessed isn't really a social person, you feel that it is an aspect of your god-given quest to bring glory back to the Blades.  Seek out Imperials and other warriors to fill the ranks.

    – Purchase a home in Solitude: This is as close as you can get to a piece of Cyrodiil.  If you'd like a Hearthfire home, I suggest Morthal as it has a great view of Solitude!

    – Avoid joining the College of Winterhold:  The college’s searching for knowledge and magic is well and good, but you have higher aspirations and can’t be diverted to muddle about in school.  (Besides, you can get all the spells and training you need from Sybille Stentor in Solitude.)

    – Slay Miraak: One of the few images you gleaned from the flood of them at the end of your vision was the destruction of a tentacled monster and the man who controls them: Miraak.

    Thanks for reading, folks!  This is my first build posted on this site, and I would love to hear any constructive criticisms you might have in the comments.

    A special thanks goes to Lanius who grabbed the screenshot... thanks so much for that!  All other art is the property of its respective creator(s)/owner(s).




  • Member
    June 26, 2013

    Very nice build, especially for the first one! +1

    I especially like the dream integration. "You're finally awake" line fits absolutely seamlessly and provides a nice transition! 

  • Member
    June 26, 2013


    I wasn't sure about the race thing, so I didn't want to overstep my tag limit right away!

  • Member
    June 26, 2013

    Thanks so much!  That was exactly what I was aiming for.

  • Member
    June 26, 2013
    Oh mah gawd.

    Good spelling and grammar. Haven't seen that in AGES.

    Ignoring that, I love the backstory and flexibility. The only possible flaw might be facing Ahzidal (with his fire resist and stuff). Also, you could add "special attacks", or basically combos. +1
  • Member
    June 26, 2013

    Can I +1 this comment?  Thanks for noticing the spelling and such, it is one of the things I pride myself on, and one of the first things that can turn me off of a build.

    As for Ahzidal?  Yeah, he could be a bit of an issue... Hopefully, with the Lord Stone, and some Resist Magic enchants, you can simply go toe-to-toe and slash 'n' bash him to death.  I haven't faced him yet with this build, but that seems to work well for other casters.

  • Member
    June 27, 2013

    I realized that I forgot to comment about "Special Moves."  I skipped them for two reasons: I didn't find that this build goes with them too well because combat is fairly straightforward and I didn't think that a combo list would really add much (not to mention that the build is pretty long as it is), secondly, I find them to be... well... a bit contrived on occasion and didn't want to just jam something in here for the sake of it.

    One thing I do mean to add is a link to both a Lvl 26 and 55 perk spread (something I had intended to do earlier but I couldn't find where the heck I had saved the links and didn't want to re-do them).

  • Member
    June 27, 2013
    Any identifiable issues with them... or is it purely an issue of taste? Thanks for the "Like" and compliment. Means a lot coming from you.
  • Member
    June 28, 2013

    Recently added Perk Spreads, and adjusted the required quests to make obtaining the Shield of Solitude a bit more obvious.

    (In the case of the Lvl 26 one, it was where my actual character had his perks at that level, so it may be less than ideal.)

  • July 2, 2013

    This is really well presented. You've definitely sold me on the idea of a flame spitting gladiator. Some builds deserve better than the rank category they're in. This is definitely one of them.