Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Master and Servant

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Necromancer  #Character Build Vampire  #Rank:Recognized 
  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Note: This build requires the Dawnguard downloadable content and contains minor spoilers.

    "How they came to be is unknown, but their bite is as cold as the grave..."

       The Dawnguard questline is among one of my favorites in the game and this build takes full advantage of the vampire side of the coin. Originally designed as a hunter type build, I decided to make things more interesting by adding a dark twist to it. Using strictly a bow and utility spells, this build relies on an evil servant and the animated corpses of your victims to take the brunt of the damage. You will be using a combination of necromancy and illusion to keep your victims away from you while you pelt them with volley after volley of arrows. An avid enchanter and scholar in life, your knowledge now serves a more sinister purpose. You will be using your dark powers to dominate all those who stand before you, human or otherwise.

        Your insatiable hunger for human flesh drives your bloodlust; a trait that you share with your loyal companion. When your victim lies dead before you, take to the ground as the beasts do and sate your appetite...

    Race:  Choose your favorite. Race doesn't play a huge part in this build, although, here are some recommendations;

    - Dark Elves have a natural resistance to fire which will aid you in overcoming your inborn weakness to the flame. 

    - Nords have a  natural resistance to frost. Combine this with your vampire blood to reach 85% frost resistance without one enchantment.

    - Orcs can make use of Berserker Rage when you're facing against a tough group of enemies. Berserker rage actually doubles your damage output with a bow.

    Major Skills

     - Archery: Your primary deathdealer. Distance is your ally. Let your servants take the hits while you stand safely from a distance and pick them off one by one. Take as many perks from this tree as you see fit. Eagle Eye and Steady Hand are amazing.

    - Conjuration: The bread and butter of this build. You will be making use of any corpses that come your way. The Summoner perk is especially useful here as it allows your to raise the dead from a safe distance. There is nothing more pleasing than watching your victims get torn apart by their own allies! Take all the perks on the necromancy side of the tree and all of the perks up to Master Conjuration. Dead Thrall, Dread Zombie and Soul Trap are examples of good conjuration spells for this build. Once you reach a certain point in the Dawnguard quest line  you will gain access to undead summons, which are fantastic for this character.

    - Illusion: In the rare occasion that there are no corpses to raise and your  meat shields are preoccupied, send your enemies running in terror with a fear spell. Your vampire blood will give you a significant boost in this skill and it only makes sense to take advantage if it! Frenzy spells can also add some entertaining chaos to any battle. Every perk on this tree should be taken other than Quiet Casting.

    - Enchanting: Any build can afford to be supplemented with Enchanting. Your arrows will be unmatched in killing power when they meet their mark. Take every perk except for Soul Squeezer and Soul Siphon.

    Minor Skills

    - Light Armor: For that extra survivability and aesthetics of this build. 5 points in Agile Defender should suffice.

    - Restoration: There is one perk here specifically that we will be taking. Necromage is very important for keeping your Death Hound pet alive. Also, it doesn't hurt to have a few healing spells in your arsenal. Feel free to throw any extra perks in this tree.


       This playstyle focuses on making full use of one of the two Death Hound servants that reside in Volkihar Castle. Garmr, who is named after the Norse guardian of hell, and CuSith, named after the Scottish harbinger of death. Both are very fitting names for this build. Your character should join the ranks of the Volkihar vampire clan as soon as possible and become a vampire lord. There are many advantages to this. The castle is home to several merchants, free coffin beds, and human cattle to help sate your hunger. This will be a fitting home for your new character. Daywalking is acceptable, but try and stay away from combat. Your true powers are shown in the darkness. In combat, let your guardian attack first and then proceed to picking off your enemies one by one. When someone dies, raise his body from a safe distance to add to the chaos. If someone gets close to you, throw a fear spell their way and finish them off. The Ring of Namira adds to the roleplaying aspect of this build and also serves as a decent utility. After an intense battle, reward yourself with the flesh of one or several of your dominated victims. Humans, Mer, and lesser vampires are all potential food. Be aware, eating a corpse doesn't count as feeding and you will still be required to drink blood. Vampire Lord Form provides an alternate method of taking out groups of enemies if you want to change things up.


       Unfortunately, CuSith and Garmr may have survivability issues in the mid-late game, but you are certainly not limited on Death Hounds as followers. Indeed, there are many evil servants that you use as cannon fodder. Here are a few notable examples;

    Eola; A skilled Nightblade and ravenous cannibal, Eola makes a very fitting servant for your character. She will reveal herself to you during A Taste of Death.

    - Lucien Lachance; An ancient member of the Dark Brotherhood who now serves the Night Mother in death. Proceed far enough into the Dark Brotherhood quest line and he may just provide his service to you...

    - Dark Brotherhood Initiates; These fledgling murderers are willing to fight and die for their Listener and the Dread Father. Though mere initiates, these servants have proven their prowess in battle and will stay loyal servants until the end. They may also provide easy food for the blood famished vampire.

    - Cicero; One of my personal favorites. Cicero is a murderous psychopath who owes his eternal allegiance to the Night Mother. He is unmatched with a dagger and has some of the most unique and morbid combat dialogue in Skyrim. Cicero may be acquired as a loyal servant late in the Dark Brotherhood questline based on your choices. I highly recommend this follower. 

    - Jenassa; A bloodthirsty bounty hunter with a dark past, Jenassa is willing to offer her service for a small price. She is skilled with a bow and blade and will serve you to her dying breath. She can be found in the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun.

    Serana; Serana is one of the last remaining vampire lords in Skyrim. She received her vampiric blood directly from Molag Bal himself, making her a formidable opponent. Like you, Serana makes use of necromancy and her undead prowess in battle making her an excellent choice.

    Equipment; Equipment is more or less up to the player. I find that the Vampire Royal Armor looks very good with this build. The enchantments can be tailored to fit your specific needs and playstyle. Here is my setup;

    Pureblood Crown/Hood of Vampiric Seduction; Gold and Ruby Circlet/Vampire Hood enchanted with with Fortify Archery and Fortify Conjuration.

    Vampire Royal Armor; 125% Magicka Regen.

    Witch Hunter Gauntlets Vampire gauntlets enchanted with Fortify Archery and Fortify Light Armor.

    Daywalker Boots;  Vampire Boots enchanted with Resist Fire and Resist Shock.

    Pureblood Amulet; Gold Amulet enchanted with Fortify Magicka and Fortify Health.

    Ring of Namira; Reward from The Taste of Death quest found in Markarth. This is the only required piece of equipment for this build.

    Maar; Simply means 'terror' in the dragon tongue. This is a Daedric Bow enchanted with Fear and Frost damage and serves as my primary weapon.

    Auriel's Bow; The reward from the end of the Dawnguard questline with an incredible effect. I won't spoil it here.

    Recommended Quests Lines;

    - The College of Winterhold for easy access to high level spells and trainers. Once you reach a certain level in a specific magic school, you have the opportunity to unlock some truly devastating master level spells.

    - The Dark Brotherhood to add to the evil aspect of this character. Surprisingly, most of the Dark Brotherhood quests don't require you to sneak. The rewards you will receive from The Dark Brotherhood are unmatched and is home to some of the best servants that Skyrim has to offer.

    - The Volkihar Vampire Clan is an absolute requirement for this build to work. The story is fantastic and the rewards are very appealing to evil characters. There are plenty of side quests that will keep you entertained, such as turning your spouse into a vampire.

    - Daedric Quests are very fun on this character because most of them are pretty evil and the rewards are all excellent. The Taste of Death is required for The Ring of Namira. I also recommend Molag Bal's quest. 


    - Archery: Overdraw (5/5), Critical Shot (3/3), Eagle Eye, Steady Hand (2/2), Power Shot, Quick    Shot, and Bullseye.

    - Conjuration: Novice-Master, Conjuration Dual Casting, Summoner (2/2), Necromancy, Dark        Souls, and Twin Souls.

    - Enchanting: Enchanter (5/5), Fire Enchanter, Frost Enchanter, Storm Enchanter, Insightful  Enchanter, Corpus Enchanter and Extra Effect.

    Illusion: Novice-Expert, Illusion Dual Casting, Hypnotic Gaze, Aspect of Terror, Rage, Master of  the Mind, Animage and Kindred Mage.

    Light Armor: Agile Defender (5/5)

    Restoration: Novice Restoration, Regeneration, and Necromage are the only requirements in this  tree, but feel free to take any extras.

       These perks put the final character around level 50 depending on how must you invest in restoration.    It may also be wise to invest more into Light Armor if you plan on wearing a full set.

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Nice build, I can't think of any constructive criticism right now but, I think you should put the title in the build at the top;D


  • July 22, 2013
    Major +1. One problem. What's the level cap?
  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Very well presented with solid gameplay! +1

    One thing that you need to consider, however, is that the Death Hounds are capped at level 5 with 121 health and 114 stamina. You'll need to heal them through the entire fight so they don't die. On higher difficulties and levels even that won't save them. Everything else should work perfectly 

    Edit: you should show us what perks did you use. I think that's what Morbid referred to.

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Good call. I will add my recommended perk spread right now

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Thanks for any and replies for this build. Please let me know how I can edit/improve it. This is my first build.

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    At first I thought the name of the build meant that it would have something to do with Clavicus Vile, because he is referred to as master and Barbos is referred to as servant. I am surprised at how good this build is! It is original, and it combines my beloved hunter theme with a vampire. Well done +1!

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Hey you get a 1+ from me. I dont like Vampires but I play the Game of Thrones card game and this really reminds me of the Kennel Master the card that saves me every time XD.

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Thank you! I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

  • Member
    July 22, 2013

    Thanks alot! Perhaps i'll make a good side to this build that utilizes the Dawnguard huskies or armored trolls