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Character Build: The Third Mallory

Tags: #Character Build Thief  #Character Build Acrobat  #Character Build Alchemist  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Mythic  #Hall of Fame Build 
  • Member
    June 5, 2014

    This build was inspired by the general lack of Thief builds, especially quirky, cocky, upbeat, non-assasin, somewhat-justice-upholding thief builds.  This build has been play tested on Master difficulty and lightly abuses the restoration glitch to help undergo a transformation from thief to duelist in mid to late game.  Efforts have been made to keep things fairly balanced in the process.  This is also my first build, though I have read through a ton of others.

    Character Build: The Any-Thief, The Third Mallory, The Duelist

    Race: Any.  I chose Breton for Roleplay and because they don't suffer from overly defined cheekbone disease.  Recommend to spend a good amount of time on the face of this character for that dashing rogue aesthetic.

    Stone: Thief --> Lady

    Stat Distribution: I chose to allocate my points 0/1/2 for M/H/S until duelist mode is reached, then go 0/1/1 until you reach 260 Health.  I chose to cap my health here and put the rest into stamina.  Magicka will not be used at all once you have reduced the cost of illusion, but feel free to put some points there for muffle if you don't want to equip a Novice Hood every time you want to cast it. 

    Equipment: For the first 30 quick levels I chose to wear regular gloves, regular shoes(subject to change with your choice of armor, more on that further down), red hat with fur trim (not the fancy hat, the one without the "tail"), and thieves guild armor (at first).  If you haven't tried this asthetic, it's a good one.  After you decide to become a duelist I recommend the grey Dawnguard Light Armor with Vampire Gauntlets and the same shoes you were previously wearing.  Ditch the hat for a boosted diadem of the savant (to keep your enchanted gear fully charged at all times and the Light Armor rating will be boosted through the roof by your Duelist's Necklace).

    Weapons:  Elven Sword (level 1 in Solstheim by the farm outside raven rock [the sheath looks really good with thieves guild armor]) / Nightingale Blade or Chillrend later on

    Quests: Thieve's Guild, Paid in Full, any easy/quick/convenient side quests.  I chose to avoid all Daedric Encounters and not to become Dragonborn, though that choice is up to you as the player. After duelist mode is activated, Dawnguard and Dragonborn are fair game, just make sure to take every quest slowly and not to get ahead of yourself.  Enjoy the journey, not the destination.


    For the first 20 or so levels you will be playing the standard thief, avoiding combat where possible.  Calm and Fury can help you through some of the denser waves of HUMAN enemies.  Draugr are surprisingly easy to sneak by, and you WILL need to sneak as they are meat shields on master difficulty with little to no combat skills.  This is part of the fun though, and a way to balance out your duelist transformation later, make you feel like you earned it. 

    When forced into open combat, as a Breton I relied pretty heavily on my familiar in the early levels.  Using it as a great distraction and a not-so-great tank, you will be able to either flee or land a few attacks safely on your enemy.  Bows were used as distractions before quiet casting was obtained (I did not grind illusion, only using muffle when appropriate so Quiet Casting wasn't grabbed until level 20 or so), just fire an arrow into the direction you want to pile enemies.  This also works as a shitty version of detect life if you play with your HUD on.  By firing an arrow and counting the red dots, you get a decent idea of enemy location and numbers.  After Quiet Casting is perked, get rid of that bow and favorite Magelight.  This is a great distraction and also looks flashy.




    You have several choices of gear but I went with a sort of progression.  Thieves guild armor will be one of the first things you acquire in the game.  Wear normal shoes and gloves with red hat or no head gear.

    You may decide to become a nightingale AFTER you restore the guild to its former glory.  The guildmaster armor will require a change of shoes to look decent.  You will need to pick up a pair of black boots of the ankle high variety for this armor, but I wouldn't recommend going the extra mile for it.

    After you begin your pilgrimage to find honor as a duelist, the grey variant DG light armor is top-tier duelist gear.  At this point the hat is necessary for illusion magic and it actually goes quite well with this outfit.  Regular gloves tend to clip a bit with the sleeves of the outfit but vampire gauntlets mesh perfectly.  As for shoes, if you have 100 pickpocket you may choose to pick Dexions pocket for his sandals, but other than that, your best bet is normal brown shoes.


    >I chose to roleplay as Delvin and Glover's younger brother.  Growing up around the (minor spoilers) time when Glover fled to Solstheim to "ply his trade," Oliver Mallory (that's you) was the only person who knew the truth behind Glover's secret daughter and lover.  You decided to keep this information from Delvin as he already has enough to worry about, being the newest apprentice Guildmaster under Gallus.  Rewind a bit to Oliver's adolescence, he was raised by both older brothers but had to learn a lot of things the hard way as his siblings were constantly busy with their own lives.  Both parents were killed in the Great War when Oliver was too young to recall.  His parents' honor mattered little to Oliver in his younger years as he was infatuated by Delvin and Glover's skill in the art of a thievery. 

    Young Oliver honed his own skills throughout adolescence, being a natural at sneaking and lockpicking, it was no wonder that the curious young man stumbled across his oldest brothers dark secret.  Upon finding out that Glover would prefer continuing to live on as a thief rather than taking responsibility for his actions and helping to raise his daughter, and that that was the real reason for his sudden departure to Solstheim, young Oliver discovered that the life of a thief was not as glamorous as he had envisioned.  Suddenly taking a much greater interest in his parents and ancestors, Oliver also felt a sense of liability for his brothers widow. He made it a point kept an eye on his young niece and Sister-in-law from the shadows until Oliver's luck ran out. 

    Eventually slipping up, Oliver was caught attempting to pick the pocket of a renowned Nobleman.  Needless to say, he was quickly thrown in jail and completely separated from his family.  Quick at making friends and skillful at picking locks, Oliver devised an escape plan for himself and several others, Lokir the horse thief among them.  Success can be a cruel mistress in the eyes of a thief, breaking out of jail and heading for the border, Oliver would actually have been better off just serving his time (only a few days for being caught pickpocketing), instead he ran into an Imperial ambush...

    Keeping all this in mind, your general disposition is light hearted and silly on the surface, but you know much more than you let on.  You are an expert thief and should act like one, cocky and leisurely, but you also have a driven side.  You are quick to accept a job in Solstheim from Delvin, looking forward to confronting Glover.  To expose your oldest brother for his past mistakes and ultimately finding a way to forgive him is your main goal for the thief aspect of this build.  When in Riften in between jobs, spend time with Delvin in the Ragged Flaggon drinking ridiculous amounts of ale and gorging yourself on sweet rolls.  Offer to help anyone related to the guild but hesitate to trust outsiders.  Sleep upwards of 10-12 hours a day.  Generally disrespect authority.

    Tips on making playing a normal thief feel fresh:

    Sneak in 3rd person, pay attention to where you're stepping!  Switch between views a lot!  Don't stay stuck in 1st person when traveling! Don't be afraid to live with a small bounty (less than 100).  If you hate having a bounty, only pay it off if you have no stolen items on your person, otherwise avoid paying your bounty/ going to jail at all costs!  If you have to flee from a hostile enemy (or the town guard) drop some heavy items (or cheese wheels) that you have looted before turning and running (think Sonic running into spikes and all of his coins going everywhere).  It's hard to flee with 12 suits of armor in your loot bag!  Anything you steal, stop and examine it before you actually pocket it.  Do this by using the "hold" button and then to add a bit of a personal touch, toss the item up and catch it out of thin air.  Always try to be a showoff in front of a lady.

    Before sneaking through an area, attempt to determine all enemy locations so that you aren't caught out in the open!  Don't forget to carry appropriate potions and poisons (namely Invisibility, Slow and Paralyze)! Remember to avoid combat when at all possible, but if you do get caught out in the open don't hesitate to use any scrolls, staves, poisons, etc...  Most dungeons can be completed without engaging in open combat, but you may need to sneak slowly and I can't stress enough how much 3rd person view adds to sneaking and traveling.  Also, if you take sneaking and traveling in 3rd person view in stride, you may try combat in the same view.  It can feel a bit floaty at first, but after some time spent learning the nuances and perfecting the touch on the sticks, 3rd person has become my preferred view for outdoor combat.  Having good footwork is the foundation of fencing, how can you improve your footwork if you can't see your feet?

    TRAVELERS TIP:  Auto-walk is possible on a console.  I can't speak for Xbox users, but on the PS3 controller you can pull up on the Left Stick (it should be noticeably higher than your right stick if done successfully).  Don't worry, you can pop it right back into and back out of  place over and over at will with no long term consequences.  If you need to sneak or maneuver in combat I recommend pausing the game to pop it back into place beforehand.  Now that your Walk Stick is popped out it should stay in position wherever you stop it at, making it possible to auto-walk or auto-jog, whatever suits your fancy.  This is absolutely amazing for 3rd person strolls through Skyrim, try it out.

    High Priority

    Pickpocket: You're a thief, so it's either this or lockpicking.  Seeing as how Lockpicking is completely useless to perk into, I went with pickpocket.  As for perks, whatever strikes your fancy, pickpocket tends to level organically as you take jobs for Delvin (and pick Grelka's and Sadri's pocket).  Poisoner is good fun and helps for pick pocketing equipped armor much, much later.

    Speech: Bribery is a must, anything else is personal preference.  Bribing guards to look the other way when caught pick-pocketing will prove to be the second best way to level speech, behind training.

    Sneak: 2 Perks.  Your goal here is backstab.  Silent roll can be utilized reliably from level 1.  (Sneak+Block+Sprint+Moving Forward --> release Block+Sprint simultaneously = guaranteed silent roll every time)

    One Handed: Set your sights on critical charge (can be combined with unperked silent roll for 6x double critical damage for successful sneak attacks).  Dungeons become much less troublesome once you reach this milestone.  

    Lower Priority

    Illusion: Very situational, but muffle is a must for any ambitious thief.  Pacify and Frenzy will be used much later.

    Light Armor: Best trained whenever you find yourself in Riften or the Windhelm docks.  Pickpocket is very helpful for this.

    Block: You probably won't be joining the companions until very late game, if at all, so you will need to train block on your own to reach Quick Reflexes unless you fancy finding the only other block trainer in the game (orc stronghold somewhere).

    Enchanting + Alchemy (very light) - this is where the build is able to seperate itself from the pack, in an admittedly less than creative way.  I chose to graduate my Any-Thief to Dashing Rogue around level 25.  This entailed taking my characters limited experience with both Alchemy (salmon roe + histcarp levels you insanely fast) and enchanting (leveled up purely by unenchanting items / charging found loot with soul gems), and combining them to make a viable duelist play style.

    Becoming a Duelist

    Your first goal is to perk Alchemy up to Benefactor as well as taking 3/5 in both Enchanter and Alchemist.  With Pick-Pocket and decent planning, you should be able to set aside 8 perk points for this. I had both around 40ish skill level when I  decided to get started on my transformation.

    First order of business, as a highish level thief, you should have piles of gold, use this to buy 9 filled Grand Souls Gems.  Enchant yourself a set of Alchemy gear (renaming it for easy organization).   You should have Gloves/Hat/Necklace/Ring enchanted to ~11% Fortify Alchemy each.

    Gathering Ingredients

    Chances are, you have accrued a nice little stash of alchemy reagents over the course of you characters career as a thief, but it's still likely that you will need to spend about 10 minutes outside Riften gathering weird little fish.  You are looking to get at least 15 of each Cyrodiilic Spadetail and Abacean Longfin as well as half as many Whitecaps (I gathered mine from White River Watch but any cave with fungus is bound to have plenty of these shrooms).  Gather these by swimming around the Riften Docks and Honningbrew Estate, a waterbreathing enchant makes this a lot less of a hassle.  Small Antlers/Yellow Mountain Flower can serve as a replacement for either fish but are much harder to come by.  Got all your ingredients ready?


    Make ONE potion of Fortify Restoration (C Spadetail + A Longfin) and ONE Fortify Resto + Weakness to Frost potion (C Spadetail + A Longfin + White Cap).

    Drink both potions, UNEQUIP and REEQUIP your alchemy gear.  You should notice the magnitude on your fortify alchemy enchants has increased for each piece of gear.  Repeat the above process making only one round of potions, drinking them, unequipping and reequipping your gear.

    Repeat this process until you have made 4 Fortify Resto Potions (2 normal, 2 with frost weakness) with a magnitude of about 300% Fortify Restoration (the potion description will track this for you, no math required).

    Now, the hard part is over, you are well on your way to becoming a Dashing Rogue.

    Next, with your 5 remaining Grand Souls you will want to set your gear up something like this as to not be too  overpowered, but still viable in open combat.

    My chosen gear was

    >Duelist's Necklace - Fortify Light Armor

    >Duelist's Ring - Fortify One-Handed

    >Duelist's Gloves - Fortify Block (confirmed to work for blocking with a one-handed weapon + free off-hand AND torch blocking)

    >Duelist's Boots - I went with Fortify Sneak here, to keep from further perking that specific skill tree, but fortify stamina or any chest enchant if you have the Dunmer shoes will also suffice.

    >Duelists's Hat - Fortify Illusion.  To balance this out, I restricted myself to Fury, Calm, and Muffle Spells.

    Take all your new gear to the LADY stone, don't forget those extra powerful potions.

    I found a really nice balance by drinking 1 of each potion before selecting the Lady Stone, any more would be over powered due to the nature of potion stacking.  

    Go ahead and equip your FORTIFY ONE-HANDED and SNEAK enchanted gear.  This should put your 1-handed weapon up to ~ 60-70 damage if you've only perked 1/5 Armsman.  This gives you a lot of room to grow but keeps you from one-shotting everything in open combat.  Your sneak should be ridiculously good with this new enchant, recommended to only use sneak for actual thievery from this point forward (or planting poisons) as it becomes pretty powerful when combined with critical charge (and not very duelist-y). 

    Now, go ahead and chug those last 2 pots and equip your Fortify Light Armor and Fortify Block gear.  You should see ~ 3700% increase in the magnitude of your enchantments.  Fight the urge to unequip and reequip your other pieces of gear.  As far as your gloves, shoes, ring and necklace go, YOU MUST NEVER REMOVE THEM OR YOUR ENCHANTS WILL RESET TO THEIR ORIGINAL MAGNITUDE, so get used to your new gear.

    So, all said and done, my AR was over 350 with just the thieves guild armor and only 1 perk in Light Armor.  Combine this with the ability to block damn near 100% of incoming damage (if timed properly of course) and a strong sword arm, and you have yourself a proper duelist.

    "Brynjolf and Karliah will eventually give up on waiting for me at the standing stone south of town, I assume they became Nightingales without me.  Delvin warned of forming an alliance with any creature of Oblivion, I must find my own path.  The guild is more successful now than it has been in years and I have many unanswered questions about my parents.  With this newfound power and confidence in my abilities I feel a strange motivation to travel the land and learn more of the Mallory family name.  Somehow, I will find a way to take back the honor that once was associated with my family."

    After graduating to Duelist:

    >As a Duelist, you will still be weak to magic and somewhat squishy to physical attacks, making pre-fight planning a necessity.  In combat, if you mistime a block or bash and get whacked upside the head, it's still going to hurt even with a high AR, making block your new favorite tactic.  If you find yourself behind in a duel, don't be afraid to turtle up behind that sword and let the Advanced Lady Stone get you back in the fight.  Great critical charge should be reserved for larger groups to thin the herd and sneak in general should be used sparingly now that you can actually handle yourself in a real fight.  Enjoy Dual-Casting Pacify at a large group of Bandits and leisurely dueling them one at a time while the others watch.  Frenzy is fun for when things are getting a bit boring.  I roleplayed as though my thief would throw his voice from the shadows, hurling some devastating insult at the group of enemies, setting them against each other.  Your most important tactic however, is to plan around mages. 

    Whether you pacify them or slit their throats from the shadows, YOU MUST PRIORITIZE MAGIC FLINGERS AS THEY WILL WRECK YOUR SHIT.  Perhaps this is the biggest factor in keeping the Dashing Rogue fairly balanced.  I also recommend taking the time to go ahead and level block up to 30 now that you are actually viable while blocking with a sword, and taking Quick Reflexes.  Set your sights on the decapitation perk in the one handed tree and maybe go up to disarming bash and shield runner in the block tree (eventually) as this will improve your defensive stance in combat.  Light Armor can be ignored as well as sneak, try perking out some things you've never tried before because you were afraid they wouldn't be worth it.  If you've kept your health relatively low, you should find that the regeneration from the lady stone isn't too overwhelmingly fast while in combat.  It is strong enough to negate the necessity of carrying healing potions though, if you like to live on the edge a bit.  It also goes with the roleplay of taking responsibility for your actions.  If you get hurt in a fight, there won't be 15 potions of healing to help you out, which I find helps immersion.

    Duelist Roleplay

    By the time I became a duelist with this character, the thieves guild was completely back up on its feet.   Roleplay as a sword-singer from this point, traveling the land as a confident, ambitious swordsman, eager to help those in need.  Make sure to take it upon yourself to join up with the Dawnguard as soon as you can.  By level 30 vampire attacks had started making a dent in the population of Skyrim, but they took it too far when they killed my favorite pan-handler Edda.  I took it upon myself as Thane of Riften and local Guildmaster to oust the vampires from Skyrim. 

    The major difference between the duelist and the red-guard sword-singer is your background experience in speech.  My speech was around 50 by the time I started my "walkabout" and I made sure to take the persuasion perk as soon as I could since I don't plan on getting the amulet of articulation.  You might be surprised at how useful a silver tongue is in Skyrim if you aren't used to having a high Speech skill, especially for roleplaying a dashing duelist. 

    From this point on, when traveling the roads, frequently stop to practice your footwork and swordsmanship.   If you have been doing this as a petty thief the transition might make a bit more sense into duelist, but you could also roleplay that receiving the Exquisite Sapphire imbues you with the power to change the world in more honorable ways than thievery.  It's a stretch to roleplay the transition from non-combat oriented thief to master duelist as it happens in an instant, but this build is more about having fun as two very different play-styles without having to perk the same old combat skills to be viable in combat rather than worrying about the reasoning behind the transition.  Though, I realize this might put others off.

    When it comes to Vampire Hunting (or any other undead, Daedra or Machine; basically anything affected by Master of the Mind perk) don't be afraid to abuse that overpowered Sneak skill.  You have no Mercy for the unliving and see no reason to get your perfect hair out of place by fighting honorably for no reason.  If you can't pacify it, sneak up and slit it's throat! 

    I am still working my way through DG currently, but do plan to start the main quest with this character when I'm finished.  I should be around level 50 by the time I become Dragonborn and will post with an updated recommended perk spread.   I will probably plan to take care of Miraak before getting involved with the Blades, which will probably be how this character is retired.

    Various Stances and Using Footwork

    Bread and Butter

    The most common technique I use is very simple and looks really good if done properly.  Start off by blocking and waiting for an opening, either by quick reflexes activating or by your block initiating a stagger, then start circling your opponent with quick strikes as fast as you can.  Don't get ahead of yourself though, as the main reason you aren't power attacking while circling is to not leave yourself open.  Try and stick to the enemies left shoulder as you continue to circle him while he struggles to face you, only stopping to block when he begins his swing.  The enemy may or may not recover before you finish him, if he does assume your block stance again.


    It should be noted that the left handed power attack is very quick and can be activated almost instantaneously if you have your sword equipped in your left hand but sheathed, as their is no draw animation.  Quickly tap block and then hold for a lightning fast power attack with a high stagger chance.  Now that your enemy is staggered you can switch your sword back to your main hand or just continue to beat the tar out of your opponent left handed.

    Basic Footwork (waiting on a video from Tae)

    See the comments section for specifics about what to expect from the video.

    Drunken Stance

    Try blocking with your sword and then pulling up the favorites menu, release block and equip your sword in your left hand and do not let go of block.  Close your favorites menu while continuing to hold block.  You should now be in a funky looking stance, similar to duel wielding but you will actually be blocking.  You can use this for fun, but wielding your sword in your left hand actually yields some pretty fancy looking strafing power attacks.  Unfortunately critical charge triggered from silent rolling in this animation doesn't seem to work.  I recommend waiting for quick reflexes to activate and countering by circling your opponent with fancy power attacks.  I believe a potion of Alteration can be used to increase Quick Reflexes duration so you can do circles around slower enemies.




    This one may take a bit of practice, but I'm sure I haven't seen it used in any other builds until now.  Before you slow time with quick reflexes, use your instincts to determine when an enemy is about to power attack.  You should already be in block pose, go ahead and crouch as you see the enemy enter his power attack animation.  Don't hesitate for a second, start moving towards your enemy while crouching and blocking still.  Quick Reflexes will activate.  Execute the unperked silent roll now to rocket you forward in slow motion.  You should be behind the enemy and ready to take control of the fight.  It's possible, once you have the basic motion of this move down, to chain your silent roll into a critical charge, but can be quite difficult.  Practice makes perfect as they say!

    The Advanced Melee Corner deserves all credit for the unperked silent roll as well as the knowledge or Dual-Wield blocking that led to the Drunken Stance.  I read about the quick draw on the Swordmaster build I think?  Pretty sure that's also in the Advanced Melee Corner though.

    I had a lot of fun making my first build on here and look forward to any feedback.




  • Member
    June 5, 2014

    Nice work, here. I'll have to get back to you with in depth reactions after work XD

  • Member
    June 5, 2014

    Ah, I just love the thief build. There's something about using violence in a different, sneaky way that always makes me entertained.

    Maybe a few tips to help make your build look prettier:

    - Put your titles in bold. That'll give us a better view of what sections we're looking at. At the moment it looks like one big collection of text.

    - This would probably be the best form of organisation:
       1) Prelude: short description of what the build is about
       2) Build: this is the part where you give race, stat distribution, perks,... Just tell us why we have to choose for certain options with one or two sentences of explanations.
    Ex: Khajiit: They get bonuses to Sneak, One-handed, Pickpocket, Light armor and Alchemy.
       3) How your build works in terms of gameplay and roleplay: what quests should we do, how does the thief act? These are the questions you'll be answering in this section.
       4) Trivia. This would be the place to talk about your restoration glitch. 

    - To be honest it doesn't really matter what you did in the game. I made the same mistake, but no-one will really follow your precise steps. Just give us a small overview of what kind of person your character is and the people here will roleplay them in their own ways. So it's not necessary to give the long explantion about clothes and light armor, for example.

    - It'd be nice if you gave us a link to Skyrimcalculator so that we get a better overview to what kind of perks you used. You should put this in the build section. And I've also been advised to take a little picture, use paint and then write down the perks on that picture. Here's an example:
    Scroll down to the perk section and you'll see what I mean.

    That's what I can think of for now. I hope it helps.

  • Member
    June 5, 2014

    Thanks for the feedback!  I will definitely get right on bolding my headers and making a decent perk spread.  I wonder if it would be okay to skip the perk calculator if I can incorporate my perks into a decent image?

  • June 5, 2014

    Yep. If you can lay out your perks like this or this, then you don't need the perk calculator. If you're confident with Paint-like programs, I suggest downloading GIMP, but if not Paint.NET or MS Paint work just fine and are instinctive to use. Find a pic, then add text boxes over it. Play around with boarders, fonts and styles to your heart's content.

  • Member
    June 5, 2014

    I just edited my terrible attempt at a perk spread into the build as well as some other minor touch ups.  Please, anyone feel free to contribute screen shots, appropriate artwork and especially clean perk spread images to my build!  Thanks!

  • Member
    June 5, 2014

    I have a question, why resort to this Alchemy/Enchanting loop to make your weapons and armor stronger when you can just more heavily perk the skills instead? I think a few more points in Agile Defender and Armsman combined with a little more heavily perked Enchanting and Alchemy will yield the same results.

    You also mention how enhancing low-perked Enchanting though Fortify Restoration glitch sets this build apart from the others in "an admittedly less than creative way". I think that you overly complicated something that can be achieved much easier without using any glitches.

    I also don't think you need that much protection, especially with high health regeneration and other healing options like potions. You can see how I went through all the Mzinchaleft ruin without ever healing and with only 300 AR from Ebonyflesh (video is in my build). Speaking of which, you can get 350AR, and 50% resist magic if you use clothing for the chest piece (or something that doesn't conflict with Mage Armor) and perk Alteration, combining it with the Lord Stone. You can go even further and perk Magic Resistance for another 30% Resist Magic, Telekinesis, combined with Quiet Casting will allow you to steal items from afar...

    I know that this build will not end up in a constant grinding, Enchanting will level itself (especially if you combine disenchanting items with recharging), Salmon Roe will skyrocket your Alchemy skill and Grelka+Pickpocket will advance your Light Armor very fast - the only three slow-leveling skills in your skillset. I think you have a good concept but it still has a lot of place for refinement and optimization. 

    P.S. I always play on Master 

  • Member
    June 5, 2014

    To make one piece of light armor a viable option for defense is the main reason.  I also wanted to find a way to make a balanced build out of the exploit and it came together so nicely that I decided to make my first actual build from it.  It felt like no one had done it exactly the same. 

    If you want to wear light armor with shoes, gloves and hat (my favorite aesthetic) then you will need to boost your light armor skill by an ungodly amount.  Overall, 8 perks in Alchemy and Enchanting will save you up to 20 (more or less) perk points put into Light Armor, One Handed, Blocking, and Illusion. 

    The health regeneration isn't actually that high, if you mistime a block or bash you will still need to use footwork to avoid damage rather than turtling behind your sword, though the turtle option is still somewhat viable if you are doing 1v1.

    It also allows you to quickly reach the stage of your transition as training and pickpocketing rocket your levels.  You can still take your time with the thieves guild quest line and by the time you get the guild back on its feet you are more or less ready to become the duelist.

    I didn't want Alteration and Illusion, but for a duelist, Illusion is an absolute must if you want to 1v1 enemies while their friends watch.  I did consider Alteration at first for TK and Detect Life, but ultimately decided illusion was the best fit.  2 schools of magic is too many for a thief, imo.

    Magic resistance can be replicated through alchemy, and with a high resistance to magic I feel the build would lack balance.  You need that weakness to keep yourself on high alert for offensive magic users.

    I also feel like alot of what you have suggested has just been done before and duelist mode would take so much longer to achieve than it would my way.  I hope I answered some of your questions and thank you for the in-depth feedback.

  • Member
    June 6, 2014
    Ooh I like it! I love thief builds that focus on being a quirky, charismatic gentleman thief instead of a cold blooded assassin.
  • Member
    June 6, 2014

    Thanks!  I think a lot of people lose sight of what being thief can be all about.  I chose a relatively natural progression from thief to somewhat-noble duelist straight from the prestige class from advanced D&D and think it fits rather well into Skyrim.  Also, it pains me to see a thief build include the Dark Brotherhood into the recommended quests, so I wanted to make one that didn't involve assassins.  That isn't to say that I didn't death-suplex Grelod the Kind anyway.