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Character Build: The True Gourmet

Tags: #Character Build Enchanter  #Character Build Alchemist  #Character Build Werewolf  #Rank:Legendary  #Race:Orc 
  • Member
    July 5, 2013

    The True Gourmet

    Arrested crossing the Skyrim border.  “The Gourmet?  Sure.  And I’m the Emperor,” says the Imperial guard, “Besides, our records show that The REAL Gourmet already came through here last week.”  How dare that imposter steal my horse, my clothes, and my identity?  Now he’s in Skyrim earning a ton of gold from that catering job that was rightfully mine while I’m rotting in this cell with some horse thief waiting to be transferred to Helgen for execution! And if that’s not bad enough, this slop that the guards call “food” is destroying my highly refined palate.

    Alas, I fear the trail will have gone cold by the time I find a way out of this cell.  Once I get out of here I’ll join up with some of the local mercenary groups.  With any luck, someone will have a lead on where “The Gourmet” is. 

    The guards are coming.  This may be my only chance to escape…I swear, when I catch up to that imposter, I’m going to roast him on a spit and eat his heart!

    - Excerpt from the diary of “The Gourmet”, found in the remains of Helgen, 4E 202


    The idea for this build came out of my desire to see if I could make a viable build that actually uses the Fork and Knife weapons in Skyrim.  The roleplay concept is simple.  “The Gourmet” that is part of the Dark Brotherhood quest line?  He’s not the REAL Gourmet.  The Dragonborn is.  And he’s angry.  And hungry for revenge.  And even hungrier for a decent meal.

    I picture The True Gourmet as an angry Orc, relentlessly hunting down the imposter who betrayed him.  In his rage, he turns his cooking skill against his enemies, leaving behind a trail of charred, half-eaten corpses.

    However, a True Gourmet never stops practicing his craft.  He is always looking for new ingredients, new flavors, new ways to improve on past recipes, and will rarely pass up an opportunity to make his favorite dishes.  As such, he is completely obsessed with food and eating, and he will collect and eat anything that’s edible, from the mushrooms growing along the trail to the heart of his most recent victim.  After all, how can you find that next secret ingredient to add to your world-famous potage unless you’re willing to find out exactly what a giant’s toe tastes like?


    Gameplay is pretty straightforward.  Cast a flesh spell for protection, then roast your enemies with fire or preserve them in ice until you’re close enough to gut them like a fish with your enchanted knives and forks.  Eat their flesh using the Ring of Namira, loot their corpse (eating any food and drinking any mead they may be carrying), and start roasting the next poor fool who stands in your way.

    When facing a formidable foe, The True Gourmet calls upon his inner Berserker Rage to bolster his defenses while he flambés his enemies and slices and dices.

    When severely outnumbered, he goes on a feeding frenzy, transforming into a vicious werewolf and tearing and gnawing on the raw flesh of his enemies.  For an even bigger boost to your melee capabilities, activate Berserker Rage just before you take on your wolf form.

    Build Summary

    Race: Orc

    Stone: Lord

    Major Skills: Destruction, Enchanting, Alteration

    Minor Skills: Alchemy (no crafting loops!), One-Handed

    Weapons: Fork and Knife, Iron Daggers, Steel Daggers

    Armor: Chef’s Hat, Chef’s Clothes, Ring of Namira/Ring of Hircine

    Essential Quests: The Black Star, Dark Brotherhood, Companions, Ill Met by Moonlight, The Taste of Death

    Stat Distribution: 1 Magicka / 1 Health / 0 Stamina

    Build Details

    Race: Orcs not only fit the build from a roleplay perspective given the events of the Dark Brotherhood questline, but the Orc’s racial power is a powerful buff in the hands of a mage.  A mage’s primary weakness is that he is lightly armored and can’t withstand heavy punishment.  The Orc’s Berserker Rage can be used in emergencies to boost the mage’s defense by reducing all incoming physical damage by 50%.  The Orc’s skill bonuses don’t really help us, other than the boost to Enchanting and One-Handed.

    Stone: Mage Stone to start for the experience boost, then switch to The Lord Stone for the defensive boosts.  I found I needed the added defense around Level 10. Atronach is also a good choice when going up against enemy mages.

    Stats: 1 Magicka 1 Health 0 Stamina – Magicka and Health are both extremely important to the build.  Magicka is used for both high-cost Destruction spells and Alteration’s defensive buffs and utility spells.  Being a melee fighter, health is also extremely important.  Stamina is not needed, as this build wears no armor, and does not use any power attacks.  In later levels, start putting more into health (1/2/0), as cost reduction enchantments and increased damage from enchanted weaponry means less magicka needs to be spent on spells during battles.  Whenever you find you can finish most battles with magicka to spare, start putting all your level ups in health.

    Major Skills

    Destruction – In the early levels, this is our primary form of offense, blasting enemies at range with fire and ice spells.  In later levels, the Augmented Flames and Frost perks are combined with Enchanting’s Extra Effect to greatly increase the damage on our enchanted weaponry.  Flame Cloak and Frost Cloak are used to add some extra damage when surrounded by weak enemies.

    Lightning spells are not used, and are not perked.  Cooks in Skyrim use Fire to prepare and Ice to preserve food.  Lightning has no place in a kitchen.  This also saves us a few perks in the Destruction and Enchanting trees.

    The True Gourmet roasts an enemy draugr.

    Enchanting – Starting in the mid-levels (teens to twenties), this will become our primary form of offense.  We will rely on the synergy between the Augmented Flames and Augmented Frost perks from Destruction and the Extra Effect perk in Enchanting in higher levels to provide the necessary damage output on our weaponry.  This will allow us to put more levels into Health rather than focusing on Magicka, which is important being an unarmored melee fighter.  It’s also used to help reduce casting cost, boost magical defenses, and aid in health regeneration.

    Alteration – Being an unarmored build, Mage Armor and Magic Resistance will be our primary forms of defense.  Since we aren’t using Conjuration or Restoration, the Atronach perk will also help when fighting mages.

    Minor Skills

    Alchemy – This will be our primary form of healing, along with regeneration from Namira’s ring.  Alchemy is the closest thing to a proper ‘cooking’ skill tree that Skyrim has to offer, and I view it as a complement to the real cooking that exists in the game.  I picture The True Gourmet as a master chef and vintner.  In trying to discover the best recipes for mead, wine and brandy, it only stands to reason that he may stumble upon some drinks that restore health or magicka.

    Our ultimate goal is the Experimenter perk for purely roleplay purposes.  This allows The True Gourmet to eat virtually any ingredient and discover its complete taste with his highly refined palate (all of its alchemical properties).

    NOTE: This skill is not to be used to create any crafting loops. The purpose of taking Alchemy is meant purely for roleplaying purposes with the Experimenter perk. To make this skill useful to the build, I purposely did not take Restoration, and chose to rely instead on home-brewed Restore Health potions for healing. This allows us to expend all of our magicka on offensive and defensive spells, rather than healing. If you can’t resist the temptation to use a crafting loop, then drop Alchemy and take Restoration instead.

    Cooking – Not really a skill, but essential to the roleplay of this build.  There aren’t very many useful cooking recipes, but the few that are actually useful are:

    • Elsweyr Fondue (Ale, Eidar Cheese Wheel, and Moon Sugar) Provides a huge boost to Magicka and Magicka Regeneration for 12 Minutes
    • Vegetable Soup (Cabbage, Potato, Leek, Tomato) Provides a small boost to Health and Stamina Regen for 12 Minutes
    • Venison Stew (Venison, Salt Pile, Potato, Leek) Same as Vegetable Soup, but also restores a small amount of stamina
    • Garlic Bread (Garlic, Butter, Bread - Requires Hearthfire Oven) – Cures all diseases.  (Useful until you become a werewolf)

    One-Handed – The True Gourmet’s ultimate weapons, the Fork and Knife, do not benefit from Armsman perks.  However when dual wielded they do benefit from ranks in Dual Flurry.  In the early levels, we will be using Iron or Steel daggers as a substitute for the relatively rare Fork and Knife, and also to help raise our One Handed skill to 50, which is needed for Dual Flurry.

    Lycanthropy – The final skill tree that involves eating.  Werewolf transformations are used in situations where a huge boost to your melee capabilities are needed, and lets you go on a feeding frenzy.


    The Chef's Hat and Chef's Clothes can usually be purchased at Radiant Raiment in Solitude for a few gold.  You can also obtain a set of Chef's Clothing during the Dark Brotherhood quest Recipe for Disaster.

    The weaponized Fork and Knife items can be found in a few locations:

    • Dragonborn: By far the easiest location to get the weapons. Travel to Raven Rock, head west out of town and follow the coast around to the north until you reach Bloodskal Barrow.  There are three forks and a knife on the various tables inside the towers.
    • Dawnguard: Easiest spot is to go to Redwater Den, half way between Riften and Ivarstead. Both weapons are sitting on a table near the forge in the back rooms.  You will have to fight a vampire and his thralls to get to them.
    • Skyrim (No DLC): Easiest way is to purchase Honeyside in Riften along with the porch upgrade.  The weapons can be found outside on a table.

    In the early levels, stick with Iron and Steel Daggers which can be easily obtained in practically every dungeon and on most enemies, or can be easily crafted.  Don't waste the rare Fork and Knife weapons until your enchanting level is high enough to put on the necessary enchantments.

    You may also want to use standard mage robes and cowls or circlets until your enchanting is at a high enough level to put useful enchantments on the Chef's Hat and Clothes.

    "It gets a bit bloody in my kitchen."


    Suggested weapon enchantments are:

    Fire Damage + Frost Damage – When boosted with all of the destruction augmentations, this gives an impressive 69 Fire and 69 Frost damage on your fork and knife.  Dual wielding two weapons enchanted this way gives a massive 276 damage per dual-wield strike that bypasses armor.  Oh, and the fork and knife do another 5 damage.

    Fire or Frost Damage + Absorb Health or Magicka – Any combination of one element and one absorb will give 46 damage and 30 absorption. 

    Fiery Soul Trap (or Soul Trap) – Needed to capture souls since we aren’t taking conjuration.  There’s no point in making the duration on the Soul Trap any longer than 1 or 2 seconds.

    For clothing, focus on Destruction and Alteration cost reduction, then fill in the gaps with Fortify Magicka, Magic Resistance, Fortify Health, and Fortify Health Regen.

    "Is it too much to ask for a decent meal? Do I have to do everything myself?"

  • Member
    July 5, 2013

    Nice build! I like the flavor of it. Pun intended.

  • AJ
    July 5, 2013

    +1, nice build. Looks like fun!

  • July 5, 2013
    now i can make a cook character create the food for the emperor but not poison it so he could here the compliments
  • Member
    July 5, 2013

    The pictures are funny enough to earn my like...hahaha +1

  • Member
    July 5, 2013

    This is what I exactly had in idea before I got busy. Now I had to throw away my ideas and concepts. How sad 

  • Member
    July 5, 2013

    Love it. I am a sucker for both Orcs and hard RP builds. +1 from me.

  • Member
    July 5, 2013

    That's awesome! +1

    Killing enemies with fork and knife  Roasting your enemies alive and eating them with Ring of Namira is a nice touch as well. Can make it so you eat only the enemies killed by the fire - nobody likes raw meat 

  • Member
    July 5, 2013

    Absorb Health on the Fork would be fantastic, Make like you are eating them, regaining health from it...have to give this a +1

  • July 5, 2013
    Nuh-uh, a true gourmet would be all over that Bandit Tartare! Lol how can anyone not love this build? +1!