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Sheath those claws, Khajiit(s) - an unarmed Khajiit gang guide

Tags: #Unarmed  #Guides 
  • November 30, 2020

    Hi all, it's been a long time since I last posted here - changed my username from what it was previously as well to align with my username on other sites. I thought I'd show off a guide on how to have unarmed Dead Thralls in vanilla Skyrim - which as far as I'm aware hasn't been done before. I was looking for a way to tackle to age-old problem of unarmed not being garbage in vanilla, my solution was to have more people than the PC dishing out the hurt! Overall it works well on Legendary, I use one blast of Marked for Death to soften up tougher enemies but otherwise that's the limit of it to avoid cheapness.

    I did try to post this on /r/Skyrim, but it got taken down as spam. Apparently with my one-video YouTube channel I'm clearly a prolific spammer in it for self-promotion! Thought I'd share it instead with a community that gives a damn and has been interested in my posts before.

    What you need for your own unarmed gang of Khajiit is some Khajiit Bandit Outlaws (with bracers), the Dead Thrall spell and maxed crafting (using Ahzidal’s Genius, alternating through Seeker of Sorcery and Seeker of Shadows for better potions - the usual). The beauty of One-Handed type Bandits is they never typically use bows, so these guys will charge in and throw haymakers all day long! Kharjo uses a bow and unarmed, which is still rather sweet!

    For where to find these One-Handed Khajiit Bandit Outlaws, I used Uttering Hills Cave (non-Thieves Guild version) and Broken Helm Hollow – plus a lot of saving and reloading. Bandit types don’t change, only their race/gear/level, so a Light Armor One-Handed Bandit will always be a Light Armor One-Handed Bandit in a particular spot in a dungeon. The only issue here is that there are a lot of non-Khajiit races that are randomly generated, and even when you get a Khajiit they only wear bracers 50% of the time, so it does take a while if you’re on a console. I found the guys in the video at level 56, and gave them both Ralis’s journal volumes to create permanency (I’ve heard there’s despawning issues with duplicate Thralls otherwise).

    More detail follows, but the TL:DR version of all this is Khajiit Bandit Outlaws are a must to make this work. I tried this with Khajiit Bandit Marauders at first, but they pick up weapons constantly. The reason for this is their One-Handed and Two-Handed skill coupled with the NPC Extra Damage 2.5 perk (which unfortunately doesn’t apply to unarmed attacks) means most weapons will routinely do better damage than fists (which do 39 damage – 10 for beast race, 12 for Khajiit claws, and +17 for a maxed out Unarmed enchantment on the bracers).

    To run some numbers total skills points for a class are (NPC-1)*8, so for a level 25 Marauder this is 192. The allocation of these skill points is based on skill weightings from their class, with One-Handed and Two-Handed getting a weighting of 3 each out of 11. So 192*(3/11) = 52 rounding down. You then add in the base skill points for the race (Khajiit start with One-Handed 20 and Two-Handed 15, giving a Marauder 72 and 67 respectively).

    For the damage, NPCs get a 2% bonus per skill point – so the multiplier for One-Handed for this is 1 + (72/50) = 1.44. For Two-Handed this is 1.34. This is multiplicative with Extra Damage 2.5, which provides a 2.5 multiplier for One-Handed and a 1.75 multiplier for Two-Handed.

    From this, a Khajiit Bandit Marauder will pick up anything better than an Orcish Mace for One-Handed (Orcish Mace base damage is 11, so 11*1.44*2.5 = 39.6, greater than the possible 39 unarmed damage) and a lot of stuff Two-Handed (Iron Warhammer base is 18, so 18*1.34*1.75 = 42.2).

    Khajiit Thugs work okay, but they’re a bit more on the boundary. One handed is mostly weaker than 39 damage for common weapons, but their Two-Handed damage is more of an issue. They have a Two-Handed Skill of 32 and Extra Damage 1.5 (a 1.25 boost for Two-Handed). Tracking this back through, and looking at a Steel Warhammer, you get 20*1.64*1.25 = 41. Given this, they’re still going to pick a lot of stuff up! If you're okay with vampire/Necromage, you can top out at 41 damage, so they may work better on that - but they're still going to be an issue in Draugr dungeons with common ebony two-handers.

    For consistent punching, Outlaws are where it’s at. They don’t have an extra damage perk, so it’s just skill damage times weapon base. For Two-Handed they have a skill of 23 (the formula rounds down), for a damage multiplier of 1.46. Even with an Ebony Warhammer, they won’t want to pick it up (1.46*25 = 36.5). As they're a bit weak, a +Health/+Light Armor enchantment is used on their chest armor for some sturdiness, with +Light Armor/+Unarmed on the bracers, and Resist Fire/Resist Frost on the boots.

    Kharjo works much the same way, but (a) you can enchant two pieces of equipment with +Unarmed, for an unarmed damage of 56, and (b) he doesn’t have a high Two-Handed skill, and (c) he doesn’t have an Extra Damage perk. This means that unarmed damage wins out against every time even against the strongest of One-Handed weapons (he has a skill of 83 One-Handed at level 30, so a 2.66 damage bonus – even with a Dragonbone Mace this is 17*2.66 = 45.2). With these numbers, he alternates between a bow at range and fists up close (I chose a steel crossbow for coolpoints). I’d image you can use J’zargo similarly - possibly J'zargo with Kharjo as a thrall would be a good combo, but I'm not sure on how equipment resets work on former followers (I know new armor does reset over time for follower Dead Thralls, though maybe Kharjo's base steel plate would stay fixed).

    As for other candidates for Dead Thrall, Ra’kheran in Ill Met by Moonlight might work – however his levelling scheme looks the same as Bandits so I suspect we will also have an Extra Damage perk which prevents him from defaulting to fists. I’m no Daedra lover on my current build, so I haven’t tested this.

    And there we have it - anyone feel free to spin a character build out of it if you want to. As I'm siding with DG, my build is Resto/Conjuration with no real ranged capability (waiting for Dragonrend). I've gone for Ancient Nord Armor as allegedly it deals the same Fists of Steel damage in vanilla as Daedric (due to improper categorisation) and it looks a lot nicer than Daedric IMHO. Kharjo is on Stalhrim for the improved Resist Frost enchant on the boots (as he lacks Fists of Steel anyway), and it's also a cool distinctive look. Armored Frost Troll is there for more unarmed goodness.