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A Guild Well Done: The Dark Brotherhood

  • April 14, 2015 3:55 PM EDT

    The thing about the Thieves Guild questline is that it's very self-contained; it's basically an internal power struggle with almost no effect on things outside of the organization. The Dark Brotherhood, on the other hand, is all about reaching out and touching people...with your dagger, when you murder them in cold blood. Even the culmination of the story is about assassinating the most politically important person on the continent so that you can restore "faith" in the idea that all of existence is under threat from an all-consuming god of death.

    While being a thief is hardly an upstanding and moral profession, there's a comforting pragmatism in the exercise. They've got no delusions of grandeur or pretense to some high calling; they're a bunch of people who are out to make money, and that's the long and short of it. If they can do it without actually hurting anybody, they will- because it's better business that way. I think it's very easy to roleplay a Chaotic Good thief, but it takes some real mental gymnastics to pretend that the Dark Brotherhood are in any way a positive group.

    • 237 posts
    April 14, 2015 4:00 PM EDT

    ^ Nailed it.

    • 125 posts
    April 14, 2015 4:15 PM EDT

    That pretty much sums it up. I'm far more comfortable with the thought of being a free-spirited thief than I am with being the spokesman for a god of doom.

    • 13 posts
    April 14, 2015 5:00 PM EDT

    You know what really stood out to me about the Dark Brotherhood? The moment you step into the sanctuary for the first time you are welcomed. Not just a hello, but actually welcomed into the family. They rib you like any family will, but when you talk to the members they treat you well. Even the gruff werewolf comes around to like you. Every other faction I joined treated me ok, but they spoke down to me, even after I was their leader most times. I mean how often can I walk the hall of the Companions as their leader and somebody will remark on how I'm in their way as I pass by? Half the thieves guild members outright threatened me, while I was returning the guild to glory after they screwed it up mind you. Its just ironic that the most evil guild treated me the best. Well not counting that whole trying to kill me part, but really only one person was at fault there and they make up for it in the end you know.

    Are they a well made guild? Not really. Quests were too simple. Too rushed. Needed more character development. Should have had missions where you had to help one of the other members out. Maybe as look out for Festus as he broiled some target alive. What about playing the part of Babette's father or older brother to help her set up some old perv target? Quests like that would have not only lengthened the guild, but allowed for chances to get to know the other members.

    • 95 posts
    April 14, 2015 10:36 PM EDT

    The Night Mother was a great addition and "The Black Hand" was also great in Oblivion and should have been added to Skyrim. Never liked the Blade of Woe in Skyrim, as I got more fun out of the "Akaviri Katana" and the "Silent Roll+Critical Charge+Bladesman 3/3+Backstab" combo for most assassinations (Deals a crazy amount of damage, even without Enchanting, Alchemy, Powers, Passives and Blessings. Smthing did not work on it). I think they should have really expanded the storyline and added in "The Black Hand." Oblivion's Dark Brotherhood had a much greater storyline to it and I even managed to kill the previous "Listener."

    • 237 posts
    April 14, 2015 11:09 PM EDT

    Doesn't tempering still add to the base sneak damage?  Just not to the critical hit?

  • April 15, 2015 12:34 AM EDT

    I think making them so friendly and welcoming was probably a deliberate decision on the part of the developers. There's a great study in moral myopia here, where people can compartmentalize their ethics to the point where they can coldly kill an innocent person for money, then go home and laugh at standard family-at-the-dinner-table hijinks.

    Personally, I think it makes them more disturbing.

    • 95 posts
    April 15, 2015 2:44 PM EDT

    You are correct. But since I play usually without Smithing, "Critical Charge" doubles the damage of a critical hit and "Backstab" multiplies the damage done by "x6". Add in the Formula for Bladesman: {Bladesman 3 - (20% chance to do [BASE + 50%] critical damage)}

    I'll take a Steel Sword Here

    {Bladesman 3 - (20% chance to do [4 + 2] critical damage)}= 20% Chance to do 6 Critical Damage

    6*2 =12 Critical Damage on Charge

    12*6 = 72 Critical Damage with Charge+Backstab

    Someone may have to get the math re-calculated for me, as chances are I may very well be wrong. But if I am right, thats the damage I tend to deal constantly. This technique can also be used with a dagger and the Deadly Assassin perk, the only difference is that the Bladesman perk does not apply.

    The critical damage may be lower, but what I enjoy most is using it with Marked For Death+Quiet Casting. Once I fire that off, I can fire off this "Stealth Charge" for even greater damage.

    • 1483 posts
    April 15, 2015 3:17 PM EDT

    I'm not sure if it can be considered a "guild well done" but I always had that feeling of unease when being in the Sanctuary. The guild members came out as people who are as likely to stab you in the back as saving you from certain death. And their talk of family didn't ease that feeling at all. And then you learn about their inner problems... Nowadays I just kill them off. Safer that way 

    Oh, and being unfamiliar with TES before Skyrim I expected more professionalism from the most notorious assassins in Tamriel. They came out as bloodthirsty murderers instead, not professionals.

  • April 15, 2015 3:21 PM EDT

    It definitely has more of a social club feel than a professional organization of career killers, yeah. Part of that could be about showing how far they've fallen- the Falkreath sanctuary is supposed to be the dregs left over after most of the Dark Brotherhood has been wiped out.

    • 237 posts
    April 15, 2015 9:12 PM EDT
    Oh, I misread and thought you had said smithing *didn't* work on any of the damage.
    • 95 posts
    April 16, 2015 1:11 AM EDT

    Hey, crap happens, no need to apologize XD

    • 68 posts
    April 18, 2015 10:16 PM EDT
    I'm not a fan of the brotherhood in Skyrim. They completely turned their backs to what they're supposed to be. I only play the story when I feel like killing the emperor. Personally the blade of woe and brotherhood armor are two things I can do without. Honestly I like Dawnguard the most, but all the vampire attacks are really annoying. Although outside of the storyline Dawnguard is probably the most useless guild because all their equipment is for killing vampires and gives no real bonus in a normal fight.
    • 237 posts
    April 19, 2015 12:05 AM EDT
    You don't find crossbows handy for hunting bandits? ;P
    • 68 posts
    April 19, 2015 5:03 AM EDT
    I'm more of a standard bow type, but I do use the enhanced dwemer cross bow for dragons. It's a lot easier to get a couple shots in when they're flying.