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Character Build: The Dragon Monk

Tags: #dragonborn  #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Unarmed  #Race:Khajiit  #Rank:Bloodworks  #modded  #Monk  #Skyrim  #Unarmed  #roleplay  #Wanderer  #Heavy  #Juggernaut  #Shouts  #Adventurer  #Armor  #Claws  #Unique 
  • Member
    May 22, 2016

    Birth of the Dragon Monk

    Early Years

    Secluded deep within the quiet far away forests of Elyswere a very old clan of Talos Monks practiced the traditions and beliefs of their people in a hidden island temple called Mir'Sadon. These monks treated themselves to the very basic fundaments of survival and lived with no spoils nor money. Their food was scarce by intention. Their time was spent in meditation and almost complete silence. Their conversations were mental and spiritual. However, aside from their peaceful practices they did also dabbled in the arts of unarmed combat for meditative purposes, releasing their mortal selves to the spirit world and becoming one with the beastly creations of the Gods. Each member of the clan would grow to attain a spirit animal in which they would join their spirit to indefinitely gaining their natural abilities and survival instincts. This was known by the monks as Animism. One day a baby was born into the clan unlike any ever before and yet still one that was expected, with eyes bright enough to be fire and skin abnormally thick and coarse. Their have always been legends of a chosen one, and the high born of the clan thought this to be too soon, but only time would tell if this child was the true Dragonborn.

    Growing as a Monk

    The baby became a child who soonbecame a man and a prized possession of the monks. He was treated with great respect but was also strictly disciplined. His training was harsh and constant, more so than others, and as much as they explained his importance to him as he grew they never told him he was the suspected Dragonborn with fear that it could corrupt his innocence, regardless of secrecy the boy pushed on not questioning his obligations of extended training day after day. Time passed and as his training reached his ceremonial decision of a spirit animal he became discouraged. for all efforts to communicate with the beasts of the wild were in vein. They all seemed to fear him. This was something never before seen by a clan of animists who have always been respected and loved by natures creatures.Animals always willingly offer their spirits to them. Discouragement aside the clean leaders were delighted to see the fear their chose one inflicted as it would confirm his true nature. Alas, it was time for his final test. The boy would travel far far away with a few of his companions to the lands of Skyrim tin search of the great Graybeards in order to ask their assistance in connecting the boy with the spirits of the dragons. Still oblivious to his suspected nature the boy was nervous and intimidated by such a journey but it compelled him only further to make his teachers proud. So with only his robes and ambition he and the others joined a band of Kajit Merchants who would travel to Skyrim to sell goods and wears for a year before returning home. But little did any of them know, their would be no returning.

    The Journey

    Not long after crossing Skyrim's boarders the trading caravan and it's monk companions grew prey to the desolate weather of the mountains and the vicious presence of trolls. One evening the cold blizzards covered their shelters leaving the archers of the trade caravan blind to attackers and a band of corrupted cultists creeped out from the corners of the canyons and slaughtered the lot of them. Three were kept alive. The boy, an elder, and a tradesman. The three of them would be held prisoner for weeks before the elder and tradesman both die of sickness and cold. Their bodies were used for spiritual rituals and dark arts where corpses were reanimated, slaughtered, resurrected and then killed again. The cultists told the boy he had to die of natural causes for their rituals to work but they underestimated the monks ability to survive. After days of hard focused meditation which cured the mind of hunger, cold, pain, and weakness

    the boy was eventually traded to a band of thieves for a load of alchemy ingredients and supplies. Soon after the bandits then sold him to a shady group of imperials claiming he was a wanted heretic. Now framed and in the possession of royal guardsman, you were sentenced for execution by chopping block in the small city of Helgen. Remaining Humble all the while, you never feared death nor gave into the sadness. But there was something. You could feel something burning in your heart like fire. But it was not anger. It felt more like a connection to something that has not yet happened. A connection to a secret you've had since you were born. Visions you've had. Dreams of giant monsters burning cities to the ground. Dreams of Dragons. But as you grew older those dreams became nightmares. For in those nightmares it was you. You were the dragon. Than it occurred to you, for once in your life, in immense clarity your destiny revealed itself to you. These people in this carriage. You know them. This city, Helgen is also so familiar. You’ve been seeing this in your dreams since you were born. Now you knew. You knew exactly what would happen next.

    Becoming The Dragon Monk

    The Kajit



    Heavy Armor

    Early Game:Unrelenting Force, Fire Breath, Whirlwind Sprint
    Later Game: Call Dragon, Dragon Aspect, Dragonrend

    Early Game: The Lover Stone
    Later Game: The Lady Stone

    The Blessing of Talos

    Required Mods

    The Bad Ass Monk Mod
    Adds special monk gauntlets that can be bought or crafted for increased damage.

    One-Handed Fists
    Allows you to set your "Bare Hands" as a weapon under your favorites and hot key it, display your unarmed damage, and levels up your One-Handed skill while using your bare hands which is helpful for leveling as well as makes One-Handed perks affect your unarmed abilities.

    Thu'um Mastery
    Adds a destruction perk that doubles fire and ice breath damage and a speech perk that reduces shout cool downs by up to 50%. Also makes shouting increase your speech skill.

    Recommended Mods

    Magic Scaling
    Makes abilities increase in power as respective skills are gained. Examples: Increasing your destruction skill increases the damage of destruction spells and increasing your speech skill reduces shout cool downs.

    Magic Investment
    Allows you to "invest" the cost of a spell to increase it's duration by 28 hours. So spells like Oakshield do not need to be recast constantly.

    Moonpath to Elyswere
    Elyswere is your home and you have every intention of returning after your destiny is fulfilled.

    Camping Kit
    You'll read that the Kajit monk prefers to be at peace during the night and connect with zen. They a void inns if possible and camping kit gives a great adventure feel to this role play by allowing you to set up camp anywhere and eve

    The Dragon Monk Build
    Level 40

    Heavy Armor (12)
    Traditional monks normally wear cloth and robes keeping things simple and minimalistic yet appropriate and warm. The Talos Monks are no different in this case but their abilities meditative abilities convince their minds to disregard things like exhaustion and burden technically allowing them to move freely and unhindered in the likes of heavy armor. Their training gives them the discipline to carry large loads and the natural agility of the Kajit allows them to perform swiftly despite their shoulder weight.

    One-Handed (11)
    The one handed fists mod allows your One-Handed skill to increase as you battle enemies with your bare hands as well grow in power through your one-handed perks. Monks do not use weapons, they rely strictly on their mind and will to defeat opponents. Increasing this skill will provide stronger and faster meditative attacks without consuming so much organic energy.

    Alteration (10)
    Monks are able to tap into a very powerful form of energy and manipulate it into endurance. This is how they cam move weightlessly under burden as well as disregard the concepts of fear and pain. These abilities allows them harden their flesh among other unusual talents. They can also call upon their deity to guide them through darkness creating balls of bright light that consume the surrounding blackness.

    Speech (6)
    You are vaguely charismatic from traveling to Skyrim with caravan merchants but more importantly the Thu'um Mastery mod will allow your speech skill to increase when dragon shouting as well as invest points into the Thu'um Mastery Perk decreasing cool downs of shouts by up to 50% in addition to the Blessing of Talos. Assuming you have Magic Scaling as well your shouts will have even smaller cool downs as your speech skill grows.

    Playing The Dragon Monk


    The Monk is a completely physical combatant who does uses unique bare hand fighting styles and concentrated will to battle enemies. All combat is engaged with bare fists while alteration spells are used in conjunction with heavy armor to make yourself abnormally durable. In more risky battles the monk relies heavily on their spirit animal and in this case you are dragon born so shouts will be a big part of your fighting routine and many skills and blessings are used to reduce the cool downs drastically. 

    • Tiger Strikes: Kajit can do severe physical damage with their natural tiger like claws at a very rapid rate.
    • Fists of Steel: The monk's naturally sharp claws can be coupled with the fortification of heady gauntlets giving the mon fists of steel can pummel even the heaviest armored enemies into the ground.
    • Dragon Punch: Monks can also mentally stock pile adrenaline and force behind their punches and with little to no affect to their stamina can throw extremely devastating blows.
    • Dragon Scales: The monks meditative abilities act as alteration magic improving physical defense to harm and magical endurance.
    • Dragon Tongue: The monk speaks fluent dragon allowing him to cast Fire Breath and Unrelenting Force as well as speak to dragons calling them to aid in combat via the Call Dragon Shout.
    • Dragon Form: The monk taps into his animism transforming him into a dragon completely for a short time via the Dragon Aspect shout.

    Other Abilities

    • Whirlwind Sprint: Hone into the dragons swift speeds when soaring the skies pushing you forward at an incredible pace quickly setting distance between you and enemies.
    • Clairvoyance: Where monks are not illusionists by any means, in meditation they can often sense things to come. The Dragon Monk in this case saw the future as a child in his dreams. 
    • Light of Talos: Monks can pray to their deity in dark times to summon a candlelight above them which helps to guide them.
    • Light as a Feather: Monks disregard weight and can travel fluently for vast distances without feeling encumbered by armor or gear.

    Role Play

    • Disciplined: The monk will spend essentially all money on training. This is because they do not desire material items that money is used for and because they are raised from a child in harsh training they are quick learners and can improve their skills at a rapid pace.
    • Humble: Though optimistic and self aware the monk is humble, does not boast nor threaten and certainly does not abuse power.
    • Spiritual: The monk grew up in a temple of Talos and thus holds a strong connection to his Deity. In addition his animistic nature makes him one with his spirit animal at all times.
    • Forgiving: True monks live in the present and do not hold grudges or case judgment.
    • Selfless: The monk will only possess what he needs for travel and will trade found items for coin that he uses for training. He will always help beggars or do quests because it's the right thing to do and not because he could benefit from it.
    • Clean: Monks cleanse themselves through diet and prayer. They remain sober and won't touch alcohol or eat meat.

    Monks can sleep in taverns after long journeys but prefer to avoid the loud drunken rattle generally associated with them. That being said they often find themselves sleeping outside because in meditation weather does not bother them and they are at peace and in comfort. Typically for role playing you would not use the fast travel feature.

    Making A Living
    Holding no actual career talent the Monk does not accrue gold through trade or craft. But since monks hold no value in material nor envy the luxurious comforts of royalty they hardly have need for coin. What money you do make is acquired from selling scavenged goods and looted treasure. Monks hold no value to items so they will just sell off any item for any price to anyone who will buy it without concern of what other uses or possibilities may come of those items. They are materialistic and the monk keeps his bags as empty as possible for simplicity and keeps only what is necessary.


    I think this class shines light on one of the less popular brands of characters. Being unarmed in Skyrim is kind of scary and certainly won't get you to end game without difficulty. So with a few friendly and balanced mods you take skills like Fists of Steel which is normally a perk simply convenient for brawling and you turn them into entire core mechanics for your character. The Kajit makes an awesome unarmed class because of their claws so the extra damage helps a lot, especially in early game but aside from that any race could play this class. Orc's would be a fun alternative. But I love Kajit and I feel they make an meaty background for this class.

  • Member
    May 22, 2016

    Hey Nick,

    This is good some things to point out just personal nitpicks on the presentation. Your backstory is really hard on the eyes. I would suggest dropping the constant bold text, and definitely break it up into paragraphs. Not trying to be mean but I literally could not physically finish reading it without my eyes hurting. Also what quests would the Monk do, I didn't see any listed?

  • Member
    May 22, 2016
    Good build! Really nice. Why does the roleplay souls like Aelberon from Straag Rod?
  • Member
    May 22, 2016

    lol sorry, I guess I am still trying to get the hang of a good layout and presentation. I will certainly work on recreating the background. Also as far as quests the monk's path is very similar to that of a paladin where he would do things that help and protect and of course the Dragonborn quest line is valuable to him but I could attempt to compile some specifics. 

    I do appreciate the feedback. I love this site in that it lets me share these characters i've had a lot of fun with and I look forward to getting better at it. 

  • Member
    June 5, 2016

    I am doing a modified playthrough of this now.  My character T'enzin is using SKYRE  as it has some unarmed perks in the 1 handed tree.  He's level 9, now in Steel Armor and having a blast.  I've decided not to do the Main quest line, so with Skyrim Unbound he is able to learn shouts at word walls even without dragons.   What did you do for ranged combat, if anything ?  I've debated about using a bow without perks or maybe a staff, but neither feels right.

  • Member
    June 5, 2016

    Really a treat for Talos lovers such as myself. Really good job and I'm glad you managed to include mods in the build, which is something I usually avoid when I make characters due to possible backlash, you took a chance and it came out nicely.

    I hope this gains more likes in the future and helps people embrace modded builds more wholeheartedly, well earned +1.

  • June 5, 2016

    Hey there Nick, sorry I haven't commented on one of your builds yet, but I'll try and make it up by leaving an extra long comment 

    First, let me say that I do enjoy your build, it's a fun take on one of the more common Unarmed Styles (without glitches) that is really improved by the interesting and detailed backstory, really making it seem like a unique build. So I'm definitely leaving a like here.

    Now although it is a good build, I do have a few quick recommendations to help improve it, mostly in little ways but I do hope they help.

    First of all, is the tagging situation. Generally it's better to just use the tags that the group runs by because it will allow your build to be seen easier down the track (people check out the tag, your build shows up, boom more interest) plus it makes it look a bit neater. They are a bit of a shit to get a hold on (trust me, I'm still screwing this up 3 years in), but I'll help run through them quickly for you (Or at least some tags that I think would work well with this build, check out the Archives if you'd like different tags.

    Now the easiest is the Race tag, simply write


    Obviously it would change depending on your race, but that is the most basic one (along with the Rank tag, which is done the same way.) 

    The other tags, require quotation marks around them, because they've been done as multi-word tags, so instead they'd need to be added in like this

    "Character Build Juggernaut", "Character Build Unarmed", "Character Build Shouts"

    You do need to remember to add the commas in between the tags otherwise it can get really messed up (and that is not fun to deal with). That might seem like a tiny thing now, but in the long run it can only help you share your build with others.

    I'd also recommend adding links to the mods (when your editing your build, simply click link on the far top left of the discussion editing window thingy.), which is just to help the people reading the build to find it a tiny bit easier.

    I think your presentation is generally pretty good, personally I tend to align everything to the left, but if the centered text is what you want to work with then that's fine as well. Although (and I'm honestly not sure if my eye's are playing tricks on me here), do you have multiple different font types throughout the build? If so, I recommend changing them all to be the same, preferably Book Antiqua (the current generic font for the site).

    Other then that, I'd go through and check your spelling a bit, the only one I really picked up on is the misspelling of Khajiit but I'd go through and check anyway.

    I'll leave some comments about the Gameplay itself later, I think you've got an interesting character but there might be a few Shouts/Combos that you could add that would spice the build up (Especially if we start thinking about the Dragonborn DLC, if you have it, if not then, well there isn't much point.). Anyway, great work on this build Nick (and the other two) and I hope to continue seeing you in the Character Building Group 

  • Member
    June 5, 2016

    Honestly I relied a lot on Draggonrend, a ranged follower, and just waiting for the Dragon to land sometimes. Tedious though. Your right as far as most weapons not feeling good for the roll. However, if your in to it there are a few good mods that add throwing weapons to the game that feel a little more appropriate. 

  • Member
    June 5, 2016

    I really appreciate the compliment. 

  • Member
    June 5, 2016

    A lot of excellent points here. I'm deff still getting used to tags and i'm not going to like there are multiple fonts but not intentional, the editor was giving me a lot of grief with font and font size no matter what I did it was strange. I still haven't figured out what exactly is going on with that. 

    I will start putting links in for mods. Good idea. 

    Any additional shout combos and things like that i'd love to incorporate just let me know what you think, maybe i'll try them in game and if they work well and feel relevant to the build i'll happily implement them and give you credit :D 

    Thanks again for the feedback. I do have some more builds coming and I feel with each one I post the presentation and detail gets a little better so hopefully my formatting will come together a little more clearly in the coming builds.