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Character Build: The Marauder

Tags: #Character Build Thief  #Character Build Alchemist  #Character Build Villain  #Rank:Legendary  #Build of the Week  #Pirate  #Sanctus  #Buckler  #Marauder 
  • Member
    August 2, 2012

    The Marauder

        With this character I wanted to play a character who had very little menu shifting, and a character that used a shield without being a heavily-armored tank. After playing through this character I have a newfound appreciation for characters without magic that require very little menu shifting and have a very fast paced and exciting playthrough. This was my final result.


        "My crew and I had sailed the seas for twenty-odd strong years. We had heard of dragons appearing in Skyrim and decided we could make some good money there. We headed towards Dawnstar when during a brutal tide, we crashed. My ship, the Brinehammer, was destroyed and I was the only one who made it out of the wreck alive. While trying to cross the borders back into Cyrodil in search of a new ship and crew to reclaim the seas and renew my infamy with, I was captured by an Imperial ambush. After the events at Helgen, I joined the Stormcloaks in order to claim vengeance against the Imperials and meet a group of hardy Nords to make a new crew with."


    Racial Choice

    Any race can become a pirate as the only real requirements are enough money to get a boat. However, like any build, there are a few races more suited towards the job and races that are better for roleplay.


    The extra gold from Imperial Luck is always welcome on a pirate character. Voice of the Emperor gives you an AoE calm spell which can come in handy in more than one situation. Finally, you get +5 Block and +5 One-Handed to your skills.



    The resist frost effect can be helpful against all ice-type mages and creatures, including Ice Dragons. Battlecry is another AoE illusion spell but with the fear effect instead. With Nords, you get +5 Block, +5 Light Armor, +5 One-Handed, and + 5 Speech. Nords are also good roleplay characters since they are depicted as some of the best seafarers in Tamriel.



    A resist disease effect can't hurt any character and water breathing would be helpful for anyone looking to sail the seas. Their ability Hitskin is amongst one of the best allowing for insanely fast health recovery. Argonians get a +5 boost to Light Armor, and a +5 boost to Sneak.



    Redguards get a resist poison effect which isn't a huge plus but isn't terrible. The ability for Redguards is Adrenaline Rush which combos with Elemental Fury very nicely due to the mass stamina regen rate. The boosts Redguards recieve are +10 in One-Handed and +5 in Block.


    Major Skills

    A good Marauder is a versatile fighter. They have the ability to both deflect and parry attacks, while at the same time striking a powerful counter-attack. They are most comfortable in light armor and enjoy making potions and poisons to gain the upper-hand against stronger foes.

    One-Handed: This will be your source of damage. A Marauders primary choice of weaponry would be a cutlass but being unable to find any in Skyrim he settles for either a Blades Sword which is similar to his cutlass or a Scimitar which would be his second choice of weaponry.

    Block: Bucklers were a very common amongst the Marauders. Though not usually something you would expect to see on a Pirate, they can be a very quick and powerful tool to help you fend of enemies. Similarily to your weapon, you cannot seem to find any bucklers in Skyrim...though the steel shield both looks and plays the part well enough.

    Light Armor: Light Armor is sooo much nicer than that bulky heavy armor. It helps with quickly darting about the battlefield striking your enemy before avoiding the blow or parrying with your buckler. You were glad to find that at least your favored Leather Armor could be found in Skyrim, in fact, it is quite easily obtained.

    Alchemy: The ship could get boring at tiems, when that happened, you resorted to designing helpful potions, and deadly poisons to aid your battles. It seems that the ingredients are plentiful in Skyrim, but not many are familiar. You will have to figure out those recipes once again, what a pain...


    Minor Skills

    You don't have to master a skill to understand its worth. You like to...dabble, a bit. With quiet steps, a sneaky hand, and a silver tongue, there are very few jobs you can't get done.

    Sneak: Your quiet footsteps give you a surprise attack, killing an enemy without being noticed. Stealth is also important for taking things from peoples pockets. You need money somehow, and you gotta start somewhere, why not start with the civillians?

    Pickpocket: Those fingers of yours are meant for something, I believe they were meant to take things from anybody who has something of worth. When you find something you want, you take it.

    Speech: Your tongue is more silver than any coin, getting the best prices is important for any Marauder as greedy as you. Heck, your so good, you buy what you need for one price and sell it to the same merchant for a greater price!


    Standing Stones

    Like your race, your standing stone isn't too big of a decision. Use whichever you please, but for those of you who would like to know, this is what I used:

    The Thief:

    This should be the Guardian Stone you get since 5/7 of your skills are governed by The Thief.

    The Lady

    The boosted health and stamina regen is very helpful. Couple this with the Wind Walker perk from the Light Armor tree, and you have 75% faster stamina regen rate.

    The Lord

    Since I only wore leather armor on this character, I used the lord stone. The boosted defense and magic resistance is great!



    Historically, pirates wore cloth or leather armor. Many also used small shields known as bucklers. Weapons varied, though the cutlass, the rapier, and the scimitar seemed to be the most prominent. Relating this to Skyrim was actually pretty easy, leather armor translates to leather armor - duh! The cutlass, and rapier can be switched out for a blades sword and a bit of imagination, while the scimitar is actually in the game. The tough part however, is the shield, or in this case - buckler. Steel shields are both small and have that sort of rounded look of a buckler. Another shield that would be good is Targe of the Blooded - thank you Ponty for bringing this to my attention- it is a very small circle shield with spikes sticking out the front. When you bash with this shield you do an extra 3 damage per second for 5 seconds.

    The Build

    At first glance, this is a basic thief character. At a second look, it's a fast paced swashbuckler with little menu shifting and a lot of fun. A vast majority of the choices I made for this build were in fact backed up by history and lore. Pirates wore either cloth or leather, and since I wanted a magic-free playthrough, I wore leather. Some also used what is called a buckler. If you want more information on that you can look here. However, i'll be posting significant information just below.

    Bucklers are commonly mistaken for simple shields. However, bucklers were too small to be used effectively to block large weapons or arrows. This means for roleplay reasons we will not take certain perks within the block skill tree. It's small size, light weight, versatility and instinctive ease of use made it an extremely effective weapon capable of making a variety of both offensive and defensive moves.
    Bucklers had many uses, but traditional fighting styles focused on four things:

    1.) Deflection

    The buckler's light weight and curved center made it excellent for deflecting a blade's attack. The deflection would also leave the attacker vulnerable to a quick counter attack.

    2.) Blinding

    Weapons used with bucklers usually depend on rapid movements, every second is important. The one wielding the buckler could use it to conceal his sword hand making it near impossible for his enemy to read his movements. This made it much easier to hit a foe.

    3.) Metal Fist

    Bucklers were often used to simply punch their opponent like a Metal Fist. This can be simulated in Skyrim quite beautifully through bashing.

    4.) Binding

    A buckler can be used to bind an enemies sword hand making it harder for him to move and can also help with disarming your opponent. Fighters would use their buckler to grab the sword hand, fling the opponents weapon, and maintain the binding of their hand allowing for a free strike that would almost always end with victory.

    Alchemy was also used within this build and was used to prevent the use of magic once again. Both my hotkeys were used from alchemy, one health potion, one poison. It worked beautifully.


    Level 50 Perkspread

        So pretty easy perk choices here actually! We get all the damage perk we need in one-handed and everything from light armor to boost our defenses. Went pretty basic with alchemy since I didn't want to go to far into it fearing menu shifting. Just a tiny bit of sneak for the damage multiplier and some speech to get some better prices. Pickpocket is used to make some nice money and can also be used in battle to strip your enemy of their weaponry making the battle much, much easier. Finally we get to block, as you can see it's not used very defensively. Bucklers as stated before were mostly offensive or used for deflections so that's where the bashing and quick reflexes come in. 


        This became an enlightening playthrough without the use of magic. I encourage you very much to try it. As always criticism is accepted and appreciated. I'm excited to hear what you guys have to say!


  • August 2, 2012

    Well thought out - everything blends together.  I'm going to have to search for some 'buckler' mods now.

  • August 2, 2012

    This is really good mate! Love that 3rd picture, I think I know her.

    Some weapon/armor/shield choices would be good. Also some gameplay advice, nothing fancy just a little to get us into the mindset!

  • Member
    August 2, 2012

    Hey thanks guys, i'm really glad you like it! For the mods, I actually found one. I play on xbox so I don't know how it works or anything but you can try it out if you'd like! You can find it here. As for the ingredients, I never thought of that. Though i'd assume using only water specific ingredients would be very challenging. Maybe give it a go? Good Luck!

  • Member
    August 2, 2012

    Thanks, I wish I knew her. 

    The weapon/armor/shield choices are all under their respective skill section.

    weapon: one-handed

    armor: light armor

    shield: block

    If you read under those you should be able to find what you're looking for! Thanks again!

  • Member
    August 2, 2012

    Awesome build for a first-time man,very well thought-out and interesting gameplay! 

    This character is practically begging for the Targe of the Blooded, it's a small wooden round shield with some big spikes in it, would go excellently with Leather Armor!

    Only advice I might have for your future builds is to make your text a little smaller, it makes it a little annoying to read and makes your build look alot longer, which can discourage some people from reading it.

  • August 2, 2012

    yes, that pic had me too.. weakness for red-heads.  Sorry to get off-topic, I resisted mentioning her on my earlier post - but then you commented and I failed my saving throw.

  • August 2, 2012

    I think Mason was referring to specific in-game items, such as the Targe of the Blooded, as Ponty mentioned.

  • August 2, 2012

    Ponts was correct! As soon as I saw buckler I thought of the targe. Scimitar and targe sounds like a cool combo with all leather.

    This build has come round at a good time. It proves that you don't have to be a bumper or a member of the group for months to post a good build, you just have to post something that inspires people and present it nicely.

    I see legendary, watch this space...

  • Member
    August 2, 2012

    It's simply called "Bucklers" or "buckler", on Skyrim Nexus. It introduces Bucklers (Really small versions of current shields), light shields (Between a buckler and a normal shield), and makes Light armor versions of all Heavy armors. I think it does the reverse, too. have fun in light Steel Plate, or whatever you like!