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Necronomicon Vol. 3: The NecroGrind

Tags: #Tips and Tricks Exploits  #Tips and Tricks Glitches  #Tips and Tricks Guides  #Tips and Tricks Leveling  #Tips and Tricks Magic  #Necronomicon 
  • May 13, 2016

    Hello and welcome back everyone.  For those new to the series you can find the intro and links to all of the discussions so far here.  Those of you who have been following along will remember that last time I said I would be sharing a grinding method suitable for sky-rocketing your necromantic powers.  I would like to note before we start that this method is by no means necessary and there is great fun to be had by slow growing your necromantic powers through normal gameplay.  So, with that out of the way; on to the grind, the NecroGrind. 

    This guide details how I use Conjuration to level Restoration (that’s right using one skill to level another) to create a powerful Necromancer very early in the game, though it can be applied to any of the magic skills.

    There are many guides to fast leveling of various skills on the vault, and all of them are great methods.  However, I have found a way that I feel is the fastest way to grind mage skills.  Since I started creating character builds I have found a need for fast ways of attaining key skill levels in order to test builds.  The last thing you want is to dedicate 20 hours of playtime to an awesome character build concept only to learn that what you envisioned doesn’t work like you thought.  Furthermore, some builds require a certain perk or spell item that is level locked to really come into its own, and until you acquire this thing you just aren’t playing the build.  In these cases grinding is necessary to get the most out of the character.  However grinding is also tedious and no one likes to do it.  Below I have outlined what I call the NecroGrind which is intended to level Conjuration to 90 and Restoration to 70 for the Dead Thrall spell and Necromage perk.  It is by far the fastest method I have tried and takes less than 30 minutes, most of which is spent obtaining the necessary items.  This method can also be used to level other magic skills.

    What you will need

    Staff of Paralysis:  A guaranteed staff can be found in Snapleg Cave.  This is the hardest item to obtain simply because of how far away the cave is from any major city.  I found the quickest approach is to start at Helgen heading toward Ivarstead and crossing the lake to Nilheim and heading north to the cave.  It’s about a ten minute walk.

    Staff of Revenants:  A guaranteed staff can be found in an unmarked ruin a short distance southeast of Morthal; however any level staff will work for our purposes.  There are also four Ruined Books in this ruin, useful for the Atronach Forge, be sure to grab them.

    Gold:  As much gold as you can scrounge together, don’t worry you will be able to keep it all but the more you have the faster this process will be.  Librari’s Gold Route is a great way to get some quick cash early in the game.

    Soul Gems:  As many filled soul gems as you can scrounge together.  These will be used to recharge our Staff of Paralysis.  Be sure to pick up all the soul gems that are lying around the college, many of them are already filled.  In practice I only ever needed the gems found at the college to pull this off.

    Going to School

    Once you have all of the above items make your way to Winterhold and join the college for access to all of the trainers.  Now that you are at the college you will need two more things the Soul Trap spell and a dead body to test it on.  Both can be found for free in the Midden.  Use the Atronach Forge to make yourself a Soul Trap spell tome, than use the Staff of Revenants on that pesky Draugr nearby.

    Spell Tome: Soul Trap Recipe:  (Salt Pile, Ruined Book, Torchbug Thorax, Soul Gem) All of the ingredients can be found at the college except the Ruined Book (Urag takes his job seriously).  However there are four Ruined Books in the ruin with the Staff of Revenants.

    Getting an Education:

     With your newly learned spell and a now friendly Draugr in tow, make your way to Colette Marence in the Hall of Countenance for five levels of Restoration training.  If you level up from this training go ahead and grab five more levels of Restoration training.  Keep doing this until you either don’t level up (and therefor don’t gain an extra five slots for training) or you run out of gold and can’t afford any more training.  At this point you will do one of the following.

    1. If you didn’t level up:  Soul trap the Draugr for Conjuration skill levels until you level up than go back to training with Colette.

    2. If you run out of gold:  Use the Staff of Paralysis on Colette (don’t worry she won’t become hostile) pickpocket her just as she starts to move again and you will be able to automatically take back all of your gold (the menu will say that there is a 0% chance for you to take back the gold, this is a lie, trust me just take it).  Now go back to training with Colette.

    Continue this cycle until you have 70 in Restoration (for Necromage) remember my purpose is a powerful necromancer.  Your Conjuration skill will also have leveled to some degree.  However our target is 90 Conjuration for the Dead Thrall spell tome.  No worries just do the same thing described above only switch out Colette for Phinis Gestor. 

    In a short time you will have raised both skills to the desired level!

    (Note:  Phinis can only train you to level 75; the final 15 levels are up to you and is the grindiest part of this method.  Alternatively you could get free training from Talvas Fathryon but defeating an Ash Guardian at low level can be challenging.  Or you could purchase training from Falion, however the Staff of Paralysis will make him hostile so money spent here is gone for good.)

    This method can also be tweaked for other playstyles.  

    Elemental Conjurer:  Same tactic just switch out Colette with Faralda.  This is a great way to level destruction for an elementalist that uses conjured atronachs.  This is how I use Conjuration to level Destruction.

    Commander/Supporter:  Same as above but instead of soul trapping a dead body you can just cast Muffle until you level up and gain access to more training.  This is a quick way to gain access to the best ally healing and ally buffing spells.  This is how I use Illusion to level Restoration.

    If you did the Gold Route and complete this leveling method at level 1 you will walk away from the college as a level 20 (level 19 if you’re an Imperial, Breton, or High Elf) necromancer ready to take on Skyrim.

    I hope some of you found this useful, and maybe a little less tedious than other grinding methods.  I’m sure some have already discovered how to do this but I couldn’t find a guide in the Tips & Tricks section, and I wanted to use this for my upcoming character build but didn’t want to bloat the build by describing efficient ways to grind skills.  Since I couldn’t find one to link to in my build I created this.  Thanks for reading.

    Well that’s the NecroGrind what I believe to be the fastest way to attain the Dead Thrall spell.  Since we now have quick access to this amazing and game changing spell I think the next discussion should focus on the applications of this spell, and how to make the most of your thralls.

    Join me next time.

    Chief Necrophage of Namira,



  • Member
    May 13, 2016

    The first thing I thought when seeing the title was "This has to be the name of a metal band." As it turns out, it's the name of two

  • June 1, 2016
    Thanks for linking the Gold Route! This is really useful, and I didn't know about the guaranteed staff of paralysis. I'll put a link to this in the Gold Route as an example of using the money for training, next revamp.
  • June 1, 2016

    Your very welcome. The Gold Route has become an indispensable tool and is something I now use all the time. 

  • October 5, 2017

    Unfortunately, it looks like the link to the Gold Route doesn't work anymore.

  • October 6, 2017

    Thanks for pointing that out Forsaken, it's fixed now.

  • October 6, 2017

    No problem, thanks for the great guide!  Having lots of fun with the Grave-Worm.

  • February 16, 2018

    Coming back to the Necronomicon for Dead Thrall info, I saw this and aw man, I wish I'd remembered NecroGrind for my stream of the Sorceress build. I could have gotten Necromage and Master of the Mind so early :P