Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Event Build: The Boatman

Tags: #Character Build Spellsword  #Character Build Crusader  #Motty Build  #SE Rank:Apprentice  #Event: Songs of the North 
  • Member
    April 6, 2018

    The Songs of the North event caught me at a pretty interesting time in gaming. I had put the Bethesda catalog of hold for the most part, save posting a mini-build for our Fallout 4 Arms & Artifacts Event that truthfully was started years ago. In my time aways from Tamriel and the Commonwealth I found love, adventure and admiration in the Witcher 3. Yes, the storied and award sweeping epic captured me fully. 

    But after 2 playthroughs and nearly finishing the DLC, I saw this event posted and immediately knew I had to try to make a Skyrim build based on my favorite song from the game - The Fields of Ard Skellig. Besides, Skyrim was a great love that got away, she always calls me back, especially in my dreams.  

    This soundtrack version is by composer Marcin Pryzbylowicz and is a rendition on the Scots Gaelic song entitled "Fear a Bhota", translated "The Boatman." According to Wikipedia, the song is credited to "Sìne NicFhionnlaigh (Jean Finlayson) of Tong who was courting a young fisherman from Uig, Dòmhnall MacRath. The song captures the emotions that she endured during their courtship." 

    During your adventures in the Witcher 3, you don't hear this music until you make your way (midway into the game) to Ard Skellig, an isolated group of northern islands, meant to sound, look and feel a lot like and Scottish countryside, complete with ruling Clans and the like. 

    The song completely ovewhelmed me on first exposure. Riding my horse across the island, I was utterly consumed by the vocal performance and simple but striking Gaelic melody. I wept. I am not exaggerating. 

    It's no wonder - look at the translation of the chorus and first two verses:


    Class: Nord Monster Hunter
    Stats: H 1  S  .5  M 1 *Add some stamina via blessing of Kynareth and/or enchantment on boots to get to 150 Stamina
    Weapons: Silver Sword, Steel Sword, Enhanced Crossbow with exploding fire bolts (mimic bombs - only craftable at the DG forge)
    Armor: Dawnguard (light, crimson, no helm) 
    Faction: Dawnguard
    Followers: Once you finish Prophet, CelannIngjard are non-level capped followers that well mimic Hjalmar and Cerys An Craite, Geralt's closest allies in Ard Skellig. They make fine companions for tougher fights, and help round out the feel that you've got some friends in this land. Truthfully, I quite enjoyed wandering Skyrim with just Roach (my horse). 
    Home: Not really one to settle down, but Fort Dawngaurd will get plenty of run. Eventually, I settled in amongst the most Northern Hearthfire plot, Windstad Manor in the Hjaalmarch which requires the RP friendly "Laid to Rest" quest. Building an greenhouse helps make alchemy seemless. 
    Spells: Flames/Firebolt (Alternate Igni - Melt Armor), Frost Rune (Yrden), Sun Fire (Igni), Stendarr's Aura (Quen), Calm (Axii)
    Shouts: You are not the Dragonborn...but Unrelenting Force is just too great of a comparison to the Aard Sign in Witcher 3 to ignore. You can choose to add it and abondon the MQ or just go without. I chose the latter and didn't feel like I was missing anything. Actually, not having to make a decision on Dragons was quite nice.

    Silver Weapons & Crossbow Support:
    PS4 - Monster Hunter by Oopsmybadsorry 
    The Silver Swords in Witcher are for serious monster hunting. As we all know, silver weapons in Vanilla Skyrim are not fully realized. Since I'm on PS4 I found a MOD that both beefs up Silver swords, makes them scraftable/upgradeable and adds some support to Crossbows. You can find similar MODs on all platforms.

    Monster Hunting Contracts
    Depending on platform, there are MODS that add Witcher style monster hunting contracts to the game, such as this one for PC.  

    If you really want functional boats to round out the theme, there are some PC versions.

    (Skyrim Calculator)
    One Handed - Armsman-->Fighting Stance-->Savage Stirke-->Bladesman
    Archery - Overdraw-->Eagle Eye-->Power Shot-->Quick Draw
    Destruction - Novice-->Apprentice-->Rune Master
    Restoration - Novice-->Apprentice (can add adept if you like to use Stendarr's Aura a lot)
    Illusion - Novice-->Apprentice-->Hypnotic Gaze
    Light Armor - Agile Defender-->Custom Fit*-->Unhindered (Not using custom fit, as Geralt does not wear a helm).
    Alchemy - Alchemist 4/5
    Smithing* - depending on your silver weapon MOD requirements, I needed Steel to craft and improve.

    The Witcher 3 allows you to essentially build a character in a few ways: focusing on being light and fast, a heavily armored tank, or somehwere in between. Then also mixing Sword Play, Alchemy, & Signs (magic). For my Geralt, I'm stayling agile in light armor, and focusing mostly on sword play and crossbows with only a small investment in magic and alchemy. I really like the idea of being well versed in many support skills versus going all-in on 4-5 skills. A jack of all trades, yes but a master of combat skills to be sure. 

    Helpful Potions

    "Monster's Decoction"

    Description - In Witcher 3, there is a potion that improves your effectiveness against each type of beast. Here, we've simplified things and brewed a potion to boost our damage output whether by silver sword or crossbow. 

    Ingredients - Bear Claws, Canis Root, Elves Ear

    Effect - Fortify One-Handed & Marksman

    "Sacremental Signs"

    Description - a boost to your sign (magic) ability and efficacy of destruction spells.

    Ingredients - Ectoplasm, Glow Dust or Glowing Mushroom, Jazbay Grapes or Hitscarp

    Effect - Fortify Destruction & Magicka

    This is not a Main Quest build. However, the Civil War quest line is a very nice parallel for Geralt. You can choose whichever side you like, keeping in mind Witchers try their best to stay neutral in most matters of politics. I went with Ralof early, so Stormcloaks it was. It's a good one to start early on too while leveling up to 10 in order to meetup with the Dawnguard and running that line, siding with the DG, of course. Besides those, a lot of mercenary monster hunting shall round out our adventure, beginning with the aforementioned "Laid to Rest" in Morthal.

    Laid To Rest
    Ill Met By Moonlight
    The Entire Dawnguard Questline
    Hunting the Monster (Gunmar)
    The Break of Dawn
    The Wolf Queen Awakened
    Kill Nihme
    The Pale Lady - a nice Wraith style target (Hat tip, Furrion 17)

    From Dandelion's memoir:
    "Few know of Geralt's adventures in other worlds. True, his one-time ward Ciri was the better known traveler of worlds. But he's not one to settle down, you know. This tale is about love, as all great tales are. Love and longing in the cold and dangerous Northern waters of Tamriel..."

    "Have you not heard the forlorn story of Sine (pronounced 'Sean') & Dom? Dom was a boatman in the northern realm. Each evening his lover Sine would venture out and call to the sea with a majestic, heartaching song waiting hor his return. How does Geralt play a part in this story of lover's lament? He was hired to learn the fate of Dom, who's ship had not been heard of well past its expected return."

    Using the known list of Skyrim Shipwrecks, start hunting for signs of life (or death), while taking on monster hunting contracts along the way.

    "As Geralt explored the Northern coast and it's many storied shipwrecks, the Brinehammer became a leader contender for poor Dom's fate. The interior, littered with skeletons crushed by falling furniture told the story. The ship run upon the reef with such violence, none were spared. Was this the Boatman's Fate? Was Sine's love never to return from the Sea?"  

    Roleplaying your search for Dom, explore as many shipwrecks, coastal venues and leads you can. This may include a lengthy tour of Solstheim, which, regardless of character is one of my favorite places to get lost. I personally used Sorine (Dawnguard) for my Sine. I would check back with her occasionally, and "report" my findings. This helped seal the experience for me. If you're looking for a more similar type of "Find my husband" quest, "Fight or Flight" given by sour-puss Grosta is a closer approximation.

    A few other notes on RP: Always carry a steel sword for non-monsters, and reserve the silver sword for truly foul beasts. 

    Of course, with a series as popular as the Witcher, I'm hardly the first to try a crosswolrds Skyrim Build. In fact, our very own host DB is working on a Ciri build from The Wild Hunt. Here are some others I found on the site in researching this build.
    The Ghostwalker - Allspark (a Heavy Armored take with a hell of a Monster Hunting quest list).
    The Witcher - Matt Vieira (An alchemist take on the character with clever replacements for each of the most commonly used potions)

    For all of my Skyrim Builds, check out the tag "Motty Build". Thanks!

  • April 7, 2018

    Hey Motty, aren't I glad to see this :D I have to admit, I think that this is one of your better looking builds, it just looks really, really awesome and that perk spread is really great. Are they your screenshots mate? Anyway, I'm not sure if I've got much else to say that I didn't say over in the Workshop, but I do really love this build, it was a really interesting take on The Witcher in a new direction I think. 

  • Member
    April 7, 2018
    Thanks DB! Yeah all of the shots and art are mine. I spent more time for sure on the aesthetics of this one. It was really fun to play and I loved searching the shipwrecks blasting the Fields of Ard Skellig along the way.
  • Member
    April 9, 2018

    Love the concept + 1 here man. The Wild Hunt is such a great game my favorite part was the Skillege Isles as well. The Isles have the most beautiful soundtrack, part of what makes you fall in love with the place. I explored till there was nothing left to explore. Did you ever find the GOT Tyrrion reference? About " Dwarfs can't fly". made me crack up :P

  • Member
    April 9, 2018

    Oooh I just thought of a monster you could use for your hunt section. The Pale Lady would go well with this since she is akin to the wraiths from the Witcher series, albeit an Icy version.

  • Member
    April 11, 2018

    Furrion 17 said:

    Oooh I just thought of a monster you could use for your hunt section. The Pale Lady would go well with this since she is akin to the wraiths from the Witcher series, albeit an Icy version.

      ah yes that's a good one. I'll keep updating the list...I keep killing more as I play..hahaha

  • Member
    April 12, 2018

    So many quests in this game, hard to imagine how they pack them all in it haha. Just a few more that came too mind. "Waking Nightmare" cause Witchers lift curses. "Blood on the Ice" I can actually remember a quest quite similar to this in TW3 where you go around Novigrad investigating several ritualistic murders. And "The Taste of Death" might be a good as well, maybe initially siding with Eola to find where the rest of the cannibals reside and then killing them and turning in a bounty for em, so to speak. Anyway just ideas :) Keep up the work man I love the idea of RPing as a Witcher!

  • Member
    April 12, 2018

    I'm glad you finished this, Motty. The inspiration for it is splendid, as is the new knowledge I have that The Fields of Ard Skellig was based on an actual song. Double the cool right there! It's presented beautifully, and the skills match Geralt's quite nicely, I think.