Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: Orcish Impaler/Argonian Ebonscale

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Blacksmith  #Race:Orsimer  #Rank:Exemplar 
  • April 3, 2012

    This being my first build, I'm pretty much going to keep this as simple as possible. No fancy pictures or multicolored font. Just a simple straight forward build layout without all the eye candy.

    What is an Orcish Impaler?

    Orcish Impalers are basically front line archers. Like any orc with pride in their heritage, no matter what weapon they carry they all prefer to be in the thick of battle. As deadly from a range as they are in close quarter combat with a bow, utilizing heavy armor and a fierce constitution. An Impaler's mantra is a simple one. "My bow is my sword, my body is my shield, and it is in the arrow where I live or die." The greatest shame for an Impaler in battle is to dishonor their arrow by allowing it to fall before it is fired. So much so that the price of doing is amended by self-mutilation. The degree of mutilation varying with each orc but the severity of the mutilation often is set to match the skill and experience of the impaler themselves. It is not uncommon for Master Impalers to sever a finger for each dishonored arrow. Once a rare but feared discipline within the orcish ranks, the combat role of the Impaler has become a lost art.

    Major Skills

    Archery: An Impaler's life is dedicated to their bow and will often choose to die with it rather than default to another weapon. They carry three three quivers, one upon their back in the traditional manner, one side mounted at the small of their back, and one on their hip opposite of their drawing handing. This allows an Impaler to draw from a variety of locations making them able to adjust the manner in which they draw on the fly. Also among they carry arrows crafted of a single metal piece resembling a spike more than it does an arrow. It is these spikes in which the Impalers have earned their name but the purpose of their design is to make them easier to retrieve from a body and prevent the arrow from breaking if struck.

    Heavy Armor: When most orcs are just learning to swing a weapon, young Impalers are learning how to get hit by them. It is not uncommon practice for an Impaler in training to serve as a sparring dummy for their more melee-oriented peers. Their way art of close quarter's combat does not rely on nimble feet and incredible feats of agility and evasion. It is an art of efficiency and focus. The use as little movement as possible putting their faith in their armor instead of their agility. Moving just enough for the armor to take the hit at just enough of an angle to disrupt the weapons path. Borrowing elements of hand to hand combat, they'll use their bodies to create space, pushing with an arm or a shoulder.

    Smithing: Because of their heavy reliance on their armor, an Impaler must be familiar with every dent, divot, and bend in every piece of armor. They have to know what kind of effects varying conditions have on its metal and how it reacts to each blow. Because of this Impalers are master blacksmiths. Dedicated to the hammer and anvil as much as they are the arrow and the bow, they seek to know all they can about armor. Not for purely defensive reasons but they utilize such knowledge to find weak points in armored foes on the battlefield. If the enemy has a visored mask, they can estimate their range or sight and abuse it.. the know how plated armor moves to calculate where and when to land the most effective blow.

    Minor Skills

    Alchemy: Many Impalers are excellent alchemist. Most choose to veer away from the path of traditional blacksmithing, the main use of which is to mix potions and salves to augment their smithing. Everything from using mixtures of herbs and clays to cooling the metal in alchemical brews. But the Impalers have one more claim to fame in their scientific pursuits. Their fabled constitution is not entirely attributed to their rigorous training. Though the exact ingredients and effects of the potion differs from Impaler to Impaler, the core recipe is something that is handed down and kept a trade secret that allows for them to recover at an alarming rate. Injuries that would put lesser orcs down for several minutes to hours an Impaler recovers from in mere seconds/minutes. The use of this secret potion with their native berserker abilities having earned Impalers the moniker, "Bowserkers"

    Enchanting/Alteration: Though it is not as common, it is not rare for Impalers to pursue the shamanistic arts to strengthen their defenses. Learning ancient orcish prayers to inscribe into the metal to bestow blessings upon their armor or even inscribing them on themselves to ward against harm from non-physical threats.

    Sneak: While the foundation behind an Impaler's art of combat is direct combat that does not mean Impalers are not above making use of the advantage of surprise. Surprisingly good hunters, they excel at ambushing prey. Rather than stalk or hunt their preferred method is to lurk and wait. Aside from the bow, an Impaler's greatest weapon is their patience.

    The Build Core

    5/5 Over Draw
    3/3 Critical Shot
    Eagle Eye
    Power Shot
    I don't care for the slow time personally, and Quick draw seems to mess up my timing for my power shots, so I opt out of it. You could go up the right side of the treat to get the paralyzing shot but if I want something paralyzed I just use potions.

    Though master smiths it is not uncommon for Impalers to only specialize in the crafting of a preferred material. So in this one you can grab whatever you want. If you want to play it pure, grab everything. If you not you can specialize in your preferred armor set. For me this would be Ebony Armor. You can stop at steal if you like. Or Go for Advanced Armor and make Steel-Plated Armor.

    Heavy Armor
    1/5 Juggernaut
    Fist of Steel
    Really all you want from this tree is Conditioning and enough perks to hit the armor cap with your preferred armor set. If you are using a stronger armor set and can hit the cap perks, you might want to save points and just use the Steed Stone.

    5/5 Alchemist
    Concentrated Poison
    No real explanation here. The last two are optional but you want your potions to be as strong as possible.

    1/5 Enchanter
    Insightful Enchanter
    Corpus Enchanter
    Extra Effect
    This is the only real one I would put limitations on. Impalers aren't meant to be master enchanters. Just enough to add a little flavor to their armor. Usually I'd just take it to 100 and leave it at that without any perks. But I like being able to customize my armor more to my liking so I decided to go for Extra Effect.

    This one is completely optional. Depending on your like or dislike for magic you might want to pick this up to get either the magic resistance perks or the Atronach perk. Or you can just pick up the Atronach Standing Stone and save yourself the points.

    I wouldn't go too much into this one. I actually put points in this one after all the rest. Dead Aim is nice but not necessary. I found myself just at home shooting stuff in the face during the heat of battle just as I was doing it from a dark corner.

    Attributes and Build Concept

    This is what makes this build so fun. Its simple and easy. Put EVERYTHING in health. You want as much health as possible for your secret weapon. Health Regeneration. Going by store bought goods for a base, you can get 150% regen on your gear, and 100% from a potion, and 25% the Lady stone. At level 81 with 970 health (with a fortify health potion) So doing some very lazy math and rounding up to 1000 health. In combat you'll naturally be regenerating about 5hp a second. With the regen buffs, that 5hp a second becomes 18~19hp a second for 5 minutes per potion. Not game breaking but not too shabby. Manage to dance around a bit an not get hit for 5 seconds... you recover about 100 health for your efforts. Though the regen really gets put to work when you pop Berserk and start taking half damage.

    So needless to say your enchanting priorities goes as such: HP Regen > HP = Fort. Archery.

    Non-Orcish Impalers

    Though its considered a lost are and is rarely practiced even among the orcs, it is possible though unlikely for other races to learn the art. Mostly this is because of the story of Coldbear's Cave. Coldbear was once of the the great Impalers of his day, so great in fact that when he was fatally wounded on the battlefield his enemies, instead of killing him, chose to keep him prisoner so he could be properly challenged by his rival. While he was being nursed back to health he was kept in a cave and fearing he would not survive the battle that was to come, he started to inscribe and etch drawings and symbols on the cave wall. Not wanting his knowledge to go to waste upon his defeat he only asked that his son was brought to the cave so he might learn the ways of his father. It was a request that was ultimately denied and Coldbear's son was killed. Generations would pass and it would be a redguard scholar that would happen upon the cave. He spent years studying the drawings and decoding the symbols and ultimately published a series of books that held the entirety of the teachings left behind by the once great and fallen orc. But sadly these volumes never found any fame or popularity and faded into the large sea of forgotten texts. Of the many prints made, no one knows how many books are still intact and even rarer still how many people own the series in its entirety.

    Argonian Ebonscales

    I liked this build so much I'm actually doing it twice. With the Orc I found myself in want of more health more times than I found myself in want of more damage. Double damage is nice but a lot of the time it was just over kill and the times I did need it I'd usually wait until the last possible minute to use it and my health was too low to make full use of the damage. So I've opted to make an Argonian adaptation of the build.

    RP wise Ebonscales come from a hidden swamp that is rich in Ebony Ore. Though uncaring for the ore, it was actually a group of orcs that migrated into the area looking to find a new home. It didn't take them long to realize how rich the area was in ebony ore but the Orcs themselves were not as well versed in swamp life and much of the ore was at the murky bottoms of the swamps. Unfortunately the swamp was just as rich in dangerous creatures and monsters as it was ore. The likes of which the ores knew how to deal with. It was from this an uneasy peace was made. The orcs protected and made goods for the argonians and the argonians fed and helped the orcs collect ore. They coexisted for generations and the uneasy peace became a natural cohabitation. It just so happened these orcs were a part of the few that upheld the ways of an Impaler. Ebonscales are argonions that have adopted orchish ways and pursue their forms of combat. The most popular among them being that of the Impaler.

    The inhabitants of the unmarked, unnamed swamp are fiercely isolated from the world and keep their location secret at all times. Members of their community rarely ever leave their home and those that do choose to leave do so at a steep price. As a gesture that they will never speak about the location of the ebony rich swamp those who choose to seek life outside of the swamp must sacrifice their tongues.

  • April 3, 2012

    Cool.  A heavy armored non-stealthly (mostly) archer build, that's different.  Just stand and shoot.  Ok, it goes on my list.  I won't decide until play day my actual race, but I'll probably use one of the two here.

  • Member
    June 19, 2012

    Nice.  Simple and focused - and it makes archery seem properly the province of *tough* guys.  Liked.

  • June 19, 2012
    *Highfive for CQC Archery builds.