Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Larcenous Knight

Tags: #Character Build Knight  #Character Build Thief  #Character Build No Crafting  #Race:Imperial  #Rank:Exemplar  #Albino Skyrim Build  #Ebony Mail  #Masque of Clavicus Vile 
  • Member
    July 28, 2013

    You were once a great knight of some renown. Your status brought you great wealth, which only whetted your appetite for more. You turned to some…less savory means of obtaining riches. Things such as breaking into the castle treasury and pickpocketing visiting dignitaries were not beneath you, nor were using your skill with Illusion magic or your silver tongue to keep others quiet about your activities. Eventually your ways caught up with you and you were exiled from the land. Stripped of your peerage, you decided to travel to Skyrim, where you would start your larcenous ways anew…

    The Larcenous Knight

    Before I begin, I'd like to note that Phil wrote a better backstory for this guy than I ever could, so check it out here. Now then, some of the best builds are made by simply mashing two existing archetypes together. Give a Warrior some magic to work with and he becomes a Spellsword. Put a Witchhunter in heavy armor and you get the mildly popular Demonhunter. Throw a Knight and a Thief into a blender and out comes the Larcenous Knight, one of the first builds I ever posted on the blog. Though it was deleted, I took the opportunity to rework it into something better, what you see here today. To date, this is one of my favorite characters to run in Skyrim.

    Race: Imperial, for their nice skill boosts (+10 Restoration, +5 One-Handed and Heavy Armor) as well as Voice of the Emperor, which provides a nice Calm ability for tight situations.

    Stone: You'll want to use the Steed Stone, since this build doesn't have the Conditioning perk and needs the extra carrying capacity for all of the stolen loot.

    Stats: 2/3/1. All three stat areas are important to this build, but Stamina slightly less so due to having 500 base carrying capacity (from the Steed Stone and Extra Pockets perk) as well as the Respite perk.

    Equipment: For headgear, go with the Masque of Clavicus Vile. It’s heavy armor, has a high armor rating, and has appropriate enchantments. The Ebony Mail is great for this build too, so pick it up as soon as you can. Aside from that, go with either Blades, Ebony, or Nordic Carved boots and gauntlets with whatever enchantments you can find, as well as an unenchanted Ebony Sword for use with Elemental Fury, the Gauldur Amulet for a nice stat boost, and a generic Ring of Wielding. Check out the screenshot below to see how it looks in-game.

    Shouts: Aura Whisper and Throw Voice are always nice for stealth builds. Become Ethereal is also a good one for safely closing the distance on archers and mages since this build has no ranged offense of its own. Finally, Elemental Fury is just a nice general purpose shout for fighting enemies of any sort.

    Quests: Thieves Guild. Need I say more? Aside from that, the Dark Brotherhood could also work, for those wish to get their hands even dirtier. In order to get your shouts, you'll need to do the Main Quest up to the completion of The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. Finally, in order to get your equipment, you’ll need to do Forbidden Legend, Boethiah’s Calling, and A Daedra’s Best Friend.


    One-Handed: Your experience as a knight has given you great skill with a blade. Get all the perks in the center tree, though you don't need to rush for Critical Charge and Paralyzing Strike.

    Heavy Armor: You are very well protected in your suit of heavy mail. Get all the ranks of Juggernaut as well as Well Fitted.

    Illusion: Once, you used these spells to rally your allies and strike fear into your enemies on the battlefield. Now, you use them to avoid detection and create chaos in battle. Perk your way up to both Expert Illusion and Quiet Casting, as well as getting Illusion Dual Casting.

    Restoration: As a knight, you know how to heal and protect both yourself and others. Perk up to Adept Restoration and grab Respite, Regeneration and Ward Absorb.

    Sneak: In order to conduct your larcenous work, you must remain hidden. Max out Stealth and grab Backstab and Silent Roll as well.

    Lockpicking: Over time, you've learned to how disable even the toughest of locks. Personally, I don't like Locksmith/Unbreakable (they take the challenge out of lockpicking) and Wax Key (prevents you from gaining lockpicking experience), but I got all the other perks.

    Pickpocket: You've learned that some of the best treasures are found right in the pockets of the townspeople. You only need one rank in Light Fingers (the sneaking bonus, enchantments, and Night Thief if necessary will cover the rest), so just work your way up the tree to Extra Pockets.

    Speech: As a knight, you developed a silver tongue in court that nowadays helps you get better prices for your goods and get out of trouble with the guards. You’ll want to grab every perk in this tree save Persuasion and Intimidation.

    In total, you should have 60 perks once the build is completed.


    Sneaking in Heavy Armor is hard in the early going, so grind Illusion to 25 and Sneak to 30 and pick up the Apprentice Illusion (for casting Muffle) and Muffled Movement perks as soon as you can. Once you get the Ebony Mail, its Muffle effect allows for completely silent movement while sneaking. In combat, start out by casting Muffle or Invisibility if need be, and sneak towards your foes. Cast Frenzy spells to get the enemies to start fighting amongst themselves, then when you get a chance, move in and Sneak Attack one of them. The Silent Roll + Critical Charge combo, used to great effect in other builds, also works well here. Once out in the open, start going after enemies with power attacks while periodically casting Fast Healing in your off hand when your health (and stamina, when you get the Respite perk) gets low. Since you have no magic resistance, use wards to defend against magical attacks. Keep Elemental Fury running as needed, and use Become Ethereal to close the distance between enemies. Against groups of enemies that are too tough for you, try calming them with Voice of the Emperor.

    As a thief, there is as much adventuring to be had stealing goods in town as there is in a dungeon. When going around town, put on the Thieves Guild/Guild Master’s/Blackguard Armor, depending on what you have available. Most people in towns have a ring or something else of value on them; some even carry enchanted items. Here is a list of what to expect in people’s pockets. Consider breaking into people's homes at night and pickpocketing them in their sleep to take advantage of the Night Thief perk. Remember, it’s not a crime to simply look in someone’s pockets. Likewise, you can look through unlocked chests and it’s not a crime if you don’t take anything, and once you get Quick Hands you can do the same thing with locked ones. You should be able to get a lot of riches from chests between Imperial Luck, Golden Touch, and Treasure Hunter. Also, if you can, take the opportunity to enter and survey places to determine what valuables are in there before you break into them. When it comes time to sell your goods, the enchantment bonus from your armor, combined with the perks invested in Speech, will ensure that you get a good price. Also remember to keep the Amulet of Articulation around for persuasion checks. You should be bringing plenty of gold in, so invest it into some extra training, taking your gold back if you so choose.

    Some alternative playstyle choices are available here. If you feel it appropriate, vampirism complements this build quite nicely from a gameplay perspective. Vampire’s Sight and Embrace of Shadows are both useful, as are the boosts to Sneak and Illusion, and Necromage is just one perk away. If you have Dawnguard, you can also join the Volkihar clan and obtain the Ring of the Erudite; the increased Magicka Regeneration is great and the +100 Magicka means you can invest more into Health and Stamina on levelups. You can even take the vampirism a step further by swapping the Ebony Sword for the Mace of Molag Bal and picking up the Black Star.

    Overall, this was a pretty fun build. It has a unique combination of thieving action, backstabbing assassinations, heavily armored combat with nonetheless great mobility and even a little spell slinging that allows for a wide variety of gameplay and an enjoyable playthrough. If you liked this, then be sure to check check out my other builds to see more!

  • July 29, 2013

    Seems fun.

  • Member
    November 6, 2013

    This is a nice idea and does indeed look good fun to play. In all great tales there is always that one knight with no honour. This build brings him to life.

  • November 6, 2013
    Love it! +1 spot on!
  • Member
    November 6, 2013

    I've never seen a Knight and Thief mix, but this build shows this idea excellently. Maybe add some in-game screenshots if you have the possibility, but other than that, it's a deserved +1 from me

  • Member
    November 6, 2013

    Glad you liked it! I don't have the ability to take in-game screenshots, but for reference, he looks like the Daedric Shadow from the NOACC but with Ebony Boots/Gauntlets. Actually, come to think of it, this guy does look pretty good with the Nordic Carved pieces; maybe I should use them.

  • Member
    November 6, 2013

    Really cool concpet, Albino. I prefer the nordic carved armor over ebony...but that is just me. Anyway, good work and +1 from me

  • Member
    November 7, 2013

    If I was to play this build I don't think I could help but call the character Mordred!

  • Member
    December 15, 2013
    This build needs way more attention! My only advice would be to have a look for some better pictures. The top one is awesome, but some of the bottom ones are pretty generic. I'd recommend Thraen ( or DeviantArt (
  • Member
    December 15, 2013

    Yeah, finding good pictures has always been an issue of mine. I want to keep the second picture at least because that gives an idea of how the build looks, but I'll work on finding some better ones.