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Is it viable to make a character based around daggers?

    • 773 posts
    August 12, 2013 4:21 AM EDT

    Hello folks

    Well, after a bit of a break from playing Skyrim I thought I'd spin it up again and start over with a new character.

    And, as always looking for something I've not tried before, I wondered about whether to try a playthrough with a character based entirely around daggers. Partly because this is something I've never tried, and partly because a third person view of a character dual wielding daggers just looks so badass!

    So I guess what I'm asking for is advice, guidance and tips for building and developing a dagger-based character.

    • suggestions on race - I'm thinking beast race, but open to suggestions
    • ideas about particular daggers and gear - especially surviving early game
    • thoughts on perk strategies
    • whether to focus on slow-paced sneak-based gameplay, or a more aggressive, full-on 'flurry of knifes' type approach

    Don't bother coming up with what might be called 'glitches', I'm not interested in making use of exploits - this is going to be an RP based character. In fact, I'm thinking of building a house via Heathfire, and making a part of my character an obsessive desire to collect one example of every dagger in the game to display in my house.

    • 130 posts
    August 12, 2013 4:29 AM EDT

    Paul, you're back! I'm pretty sure there was a build on here I saw a bit ago based around this concept. I can't find it now though :(

    • 209 posts
    August 12, 2013 4:41 AM EDT

    It's difficult until you get higher sneak skill IMO, so using muffle along with a dagger is advised.

    • 708 posts
    August 12, 2013 4:48 AM EDT

    I personally find the all-out-attack style works really well with dual daggers. Enchant both of em up with plenty of elemental damage (Augment perks in Destruction and <Element> Enchanter perks are a good boost), grab Dual Flurry, and slash away. Works even better with the Dragonborn DLC's Stalhrim Daggers and Chaos enchantment.

    I did a build around this back last year if you want to check that out.

    • 29 posts
    August 12, 2013 6:26 AM EDT

    It's viable, you have plenty of ways to make it so and plenty of options in game to add extra damage or survivability when not sneaking.

    Things like absorb health/stamina, poisons, paralysis, reaching armour cap, shouts like elemental fury, marked for death, disarm, slow time, cloak spells, standing stones like serpent for instance, black books like secret of protection, and I'm sure there's more things in game to help.

    As for races, they can help with their racial powers also -

    Redguard, Adrenalin rush for stamina regen and more power attacks, could combine it with elemental fury and go all out power attacking group of enemies until durations are over.

    Argonian, Histskin to regen health faster while fighting enemies using daggers.

    Orc, Beserker rage to double your damage and reduce what your receiving at the same time.

    Nord, battlecry to make enemies flee if things are becoming to much to handle and you need that emergency power. 

    Imperial, voice of emperor to calm enemies in an emergency.

    Dunmer, ancestors wrath to cloak yourself in fire and add extra damage while up close.

    • 557 posts
    August 12, 2013 6:58 AM EDT
    • Argonian (did you really think I would suggest anything else?)
    • Here are a few weapon suggestions (both early and end game):
      • Alessandra's Dagger (Does the same amount of damage as a Steel Dagger. Really only useful for very low leveled characters)
      • Valdr's Lucky Dagger (25% chance of a critical hit)
      • Bloodthorn (This is almost like a low-level version of the Blade of Woe. It has an Absorb Health enchantment [though it is not shown] and will fill a soul gem if the target is killed within five seconds)
      • Keening (This would be much more useful if it was able to be recharged, but it is on par with a base Elven dagger)
      • Stalhrim Dagger (Arguably the most useful dagger type in-game. Throw some type of frost enchantment on here and enjoy the 25% enchantment boost)
      • The Blade of Woe (An obvious choice for obvious reasons)
    • A simple playstyle using One-Handed, Enchanting, and Destruction can make a very high damage dealing Frost Berserker (Dual Stalhrim daggers enchanted with Frost damage, and with the corresponding perks in Destruction will allow you to have a high damage output without using Sneak). 

      Alternatively, you can use Illusion, Sneak, and One-Handed (with Bloodthorn and the Blade of Woe) to create a very effective Shadowscale-type build. 
    • This is a question that depends entirely on the playthrough you're running. Generally I base this off of my own personal roleplay goals, but I'm not sure what your preference would be. 

      I would say that if you run anything other than an assassin (or if you use an assassin that doesn't need Sneak), rush right in. It can create some very interesting situations! 
    • 19 posts
    August 12, 2013 8:25 AM EDT

    I love using daggers as a sneak type character.  I use a bow to distract my target, or force him to turn, roll in behind him, and cut his throat.  Best way to do this is to go train sneak up to 50 as soon as possible to you can get assassin blade (x15 damage from sneak attack with daggers) and silent roll. I do this by joining the thieves guild straight out of Helgen, robbing Riften blind, and using what money I made to buy the training from Delvin.  My sneak usually ends up pretty decent after sneaking around Riften anyway, so I usually only buy between 5-15 levels of sneak, depending. 

    I actually make it my goal to kill everything with dagger, not with my bow, the exception being dragons.  Even then I try to take them out with daggers if they land close enough to me.

    As for race, they all are fantastic.  I like Khajit for their night eye and starting bonus to sneak. Argonians have a starting bonus to sneak as well.  But my #1 favorite race for my Assassin is Breton.  Even though he has no starting bonuses at all for what I want to do, it doesn't matter.  I get my sneak to 100 on him, just like on a Khajit or any other race.  I also usually go vampire, so Khajit night eye is rendered useless. That 25% magic resistance has saved me a few times though, in dragon fights.  Plus, with the lord stone and agent of Mara you get a 65% magic resist with no perks or enchants.  Very handy, if you ask me.

    • 13 posts
    August 12, 2013 9:10 AM EDT
    I am currently making my first build and I am using daggers, heavy armour and other things I think I have created one the best DPS builds I have ever played
    • 365 posts
    August 12, 2013 9:19 AM EDT

    Orc, frenzy based. Higher Damage, etc.

    Particular Daggers - Mehrune's etc. (Unique Daggers)

    Perks? Sneak, Alchemy (Poison etc. for better damage), One Handed, Block (You can block with one dagger, even if someone disarms one of the two you were using.)

    Try and do both when it suits you. For harder enemies, slow play around the dungeon and go for sneak kills. Amongst many weak enemies (summoned or otherwise), enter Orc Racial Ability and frenzy.

    Hope this helps Paul.

    • 773 posts
    August 12, 2013 2:15 PM EDT

    Thank you for the feedback guys, it really helpful

    It seems like, broadly speaking, there are two basic playing styles. The 'Sneaky' dude is the all too obvious way to go ,but I agree with Ben - as the games goes on it would probably become a bit boring. Frankly, one shotting enemies after sneaking behind them seems like a something that would get old.

    The 'front on' dual wielding style holds a lot of appeal - and some of the ideas for races and gear are very creative. In my minds eye I think I picture that sort of guy being a Redguard, but there is a case to be made for Argonian or Dunmer too for RP reasons.

    Ive checked out Ponty's build, and with a few tweaks here and there I think there is the basis for a really interesting character.

    Does anyone know if there is any specific lore surrounding daggers that might play into a backstory?

    • 189 posts
    August 12, 2013 2:48 PM EDT

    I suggest using Valdr's Lucky Dagger if you want to avoid the stealth path. It's actually possible to obtain two copies if you force Valdr to take damage before he initiates dialogue outside the cave. The easiest way to do this is to leave the cave before him, and strike him immediately as he exits the cave — as in this video. This weapon has several special qualities:

    • The fact that it benefits from Steel Smithing means you can improve it quite a bit without spending many perks in the Smithing tree.

    • Its "enchantment" is actually not an enchantment at all, but a static effect that is treated separately from other weapon enchantments.

    • This means that you do not need Arcane Blacksmith to temper the dagger.

    • It also means that the dagger benefits from Elemental Fury, which is simply awesome as I'll explain shortly.

    • Furthermore, I *believe* this means the Dagger can be enchanted at an enchanting altar, though I've never tried personally.

    You may be wondering, "What's so great about a steel dagger that has a slightly better chance to proc a critical hit?" Well, the thing that makes it so great is that every time it crits, it also staggers enemies. This affects literally everything in the game, including mammoths, dragons, dragon priests, etc. Throw 2/2 Dual Flurry, dual daggers, and Elemental Fury, and you can essentially stunlock any enemy if you desire.

    Or, if you're not looking to break the game as much, maybe invest in Enchanting. Even one dagger at normal speed will proc a stagger every 3-5 seconds, and your tempering and enchantment bonuses will be enough to make the dagger viable when it doesn't crit. Because it's a dagger, and one of the lightest daggers in the game to boot, it has a very fast swing speed, which puts you in an ideal position to benefit from enchantments (especially absorption enchantments).

    I ran the Stormchaser, a non-stealth build, as roughly a 75% dedicated dagger wielder based around Valdr's Lucky Dagger, with storm Destruction spells for variety and Windshear for emergency stunning. Not only was it viable, it was downright effective.

    I really wish there were a "Luck" skill/attribute in the game that could be influenced by player actions/choices. It'd be cool to try to max out Luck and run a pure Mehrunes Razor build.... 

    • 249 posts
    August 12, 2013 5:55 PM EDT
    Im a little late to the discussion but I think a Dunmer Scout type would be viable. Enchanted daggers for close range and Destruction magic for mid to long range damage. The Augmented elements would also boost close range damage. Light Armor for decent defense and maneuverability which could be boosted by enchanting. A Scout could withstand close combat but would still require strategy to survive.
    • 1483 posts
    August 12, 2013 6:21 PM EDT

    Paul, there is a lot of very interesting lore regarding different daggers and their role in history. One is Fang of Haynekhtnamet - which was a fang of a creature Wamasus (which populated Black Marsh once and described as intelligent dragons with lightning for blood) named Haynekhamet. 7 Northern men killed the creature with only one survivor who took a fang as a trophy and fashioned it into a small dagger. The dagger grants the user the ability to do shock damage on an opponent. 

    Another prominent dagger is the Kahvozein's Fang - named after a dragon worshiped by a particular sect of a dragon cult. The cult was known to be very fond of ritual sacrifices - the reason behind the blade's extreme sharpness.

    According to the History of Daggerfall there is a legend behind the name of the Daggerfall city that its first chieftain threw a dagger to form a border of its lands.

    The crest of Riften is crossed daggers, after its Jarl Hosgunn Crossed-Daggers who claimed the position after the assassination of the previous Jarl. More information on him you can find in the book Of Crossed Daggers.

    Last, but certainly not the least, is the Mehrune's Razor. Besides the in-game events listed here there is interesting information found in the book Realizations of Acrobacy where it is suggested that Master Neloth of House Telvanni once possessed the dagger and used it to boost courage of his troops.

    • 773 posts
    August 13, 2013 3:44 AM EDT

    Thanks Vazgen

    I really like the 'crossed dagger' as an emblem of Riften idea. I think can make an interesting story about restoring Riften to its historic former glories based around dagger combat.

    And it doesn't hurt that the Thieves Guild are in the city too, giving lots of access to quests and ongoing side quests to hone my dagger prowess

    Thanks again Vaz