Forums » Elder Scrolls

Traditional TES Classes: Pilgrim

    • 67 posts
    October 11, 2017 6:37 PM EDT

    I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'm something of a purist when it comes to making characters, and settling on their skillsets. While classes aren't a staple mechanic any longer, I still feel as though they exist by way of lore, and so pay attention to them when crafting my own characters. Obviously this something of a personal idiosynchronicity, but I imagine others may hold similar views. 

    This being said, it seems that classes in TES lore are susceptible to change every time a new game comes out (ultimately being removed in Skyrim, but they are still mentioned as sort of job titles, or descriptors from time to time). The pilgrim is a great example of this, with some major skills in Morrowind (marksman, restoration) not even making it into the build in Oblivion. There also seems to be a bit of a disagreement as to what the very term connotes in Tamriel; are pilgrims always religious, or just  simple travelers? There was a topic on the site a few years back about playing pilgrims in Skyrim, and I didn't feel like resurrecting it after all this time, and so will instead pose the question here: If you were to play a pilgrim in Skyrim, what skills would you choose? How would you roleplay?

    I generally see the pilgrim as traveler, not necessarily with any sort of religious connotation. One who is prepared to survive on the road, and seeks enlightenment not always by way of religion, but of simple experience or knowledge acquirement as well. I generally typify my conception of the TES pilgrim as a sort of road scholar, and one of my favourite characters utilizes such a playstyle; he's an argonian (obviosuly, ahah) hermit. Keeps to himself, has few close friends, and leads a largely nomadic life, scouring old ruins for tomes of knowledge, and artifacts. He wears light armor for protection and mobility, and makes use of a mace/shield combo when forced into combat. He generally avoids combat, though. Through using restoration/illusion he manages to bypass enemies both alive or undead, and tries to keep himself alive in dangerous situations in a passive way. Illusion also comes into play in persuading people; oftentimes he'll meet shifty people on the road, and when coupled with speech he always wants to descalate a situation before resorting to violence. Speech also serves to fetch a better price for his goods; selling old items found in tombs pays his way for another venture. He uses a bow to hunt, and initiate combat if necessary. It also makes for a great tool to distract enemies, as he isn't into wanton violence or stealth kills unless warranted. The only crafting skill I usually take is alchemy; it just seems to fit a traveler, who would no doubt be picking up ingredients as he moves about the world, making cure disease potions and the like. Smithing seems appropriate, but it's hard to not go all in and start crafting armors that don't necessarily fit with the vibe of this character, which is more humble in nature imo.

    Anyways, that's just how I see it. Maybe if I'm ambitious I'll try making it into an official build, but I can't imagine it's anything special; more a focus on roleplay than anything. What do you guys think? Is this how you generally play pilgrims, or do you have a different conception entirely?    

    • 444 posts
    October 11, 2017 7:31 PM EDT

    I think that's a prettyaccurate summation of the Pilgrim class. I tend to think of the Pilgrim as a traveller with a purpose; it could be religious in nature, or it could be a travelling merchant hoping to purchase or sell goods (and because there is no merchant class per se, the Pilgrim seems to be the class best suited to merchants (or maybe Rogue it the merchant is somewhat shady ;D)).

    And good call on Alchemy as well... elixirs, tonics, potions (poisons if you're a Pilgrim with a darker vibe, I suppose) for sale and for self seem to fit the class rather nicely I think.

    While there are several ways to take on a Pilgrim build, if I were to make one, I think I'd probably make him/her a rather worldly spiritualist (if that makes any sense). I'd make visits to standing stones, all maker stones, possibly wayshrines as well, stay nights in local ins, and also act as a kind of travelling salesman selling alchemical potions and maybe the gear of unfortunate folks who have attacked me on the road. I think I'd keep my adventures to the roads, holds and towns, which would be difficult for me because I love adventuring and dungeon delving--for me, a Pilgrim's love of the road, seeing new things, meeting new people, and reconnecting with old acquaintances from past travels would be where all the fun is.

    Major Skills: Speech, Archery, Alchemy, and  One-handed

    Minor Skills: Illusion (yes, Illusion! Ordinator has an Illusion perk that lets you trade with NPC's under the effect of a Calm spell... so sweet (on a Roleplay level, that is; your average npc doesn't have a whole lot of gold to buy things, so you aren't going to get rich crazy fast xD). Maybe Restoration as well... still not sure.

    One way or another, a Pilgrim sounds like it could be an awful lot of fun :D

    • 49 posts
    October 12, 2017 11:35 AM EDT
    ShinJin said:

    (poisons if you're a Pilgrim with a darker vibe, I suppose).

    A Dark Pilgrim, there's an interesting build idea.
    • 49 posts
    October 12, 2017 11:49 AM EDT
    Very intriguing discussion, will this be turning into a series by any chance?

    A pilgrim, by definition, is a traveller with religious motives. Translate that over to TES and I'm thinking a character with decent knowledge in the arcane and speech craft and being able to get around and defend themself.

    Skills: Alteration, Restoration, One-handed, Block, Speechcraft

    As for roleplay, that could go any number of ways. A pilgrim for the Aedra, or perhaps the Daedre. Perhpas one seeking redemption or peace while also helping others.
    • 67 posts
    October 12, 2017 12:34 PM EDT

    It's interesting that you mention a series; I hadn't thought of it, but now that I think of it I might just end going that route. I have pretty distinct ideas associated with the traditional TES classes, and find that they don't always match up with what other people think (probably thanks to TES itself changing definitions over time). I can only imagine the dicussion that would arise out of differentiating a spellsword, battlemage, etc...

    It's interesting that you both (in addition to me) list magic as being part and parcel with a pilgrim build/class. I see it as being useful via utility, of course, but whether you view it as an indication of divinity or not is beside the point. I mean, Oblivion's pilgrim had no magic skills to speak of, but so far (I know, sample size three), it looks like the enduring conception of the pilgrim is that of a magically-inclined (if only in a mundane sense) traveller. I find it a very engaging playstyle; it just seems to jive with what I generally do in a TES game; explore, barter away goods, and read up on lore. I do like the idea of the pilgrim as being opposite the rogue a a sort of merchant class, and I really do see that as fitting of the skillset/roleplay. The notion of purposeful travel is also intriguing; not as confining as religion, but it necessitates that the pilgrim's bartering/travelling are to some other end, which just lends itself to RP. 

    • 59 posts
    October 12, 2017 8:15 PM EDT

    An interesting topic Delidas!

    I think all the things Shinjin said are pretty much what I also think of a general Pilgrim character. He is a traveller with a purpose and that doesn't have to be limited only to religious motives. A pilgrim's journey is called Pilgrimage and If I were to make a pilgrim I would take his whole life as a Pilgrimage and set multiple goals like see the world, maybe help the good people I meet and make some friends along the way , try for constant self improvement be it knowledge, magic, martial arts, trading or some other characteristic (Inner Alter intensifies :D). That is the type of Pilgrim I 'd like to make.

    Thoughts on General Pilgrim Skills

    Major Skills: Archery, One-Handed, Alteration or Light Armor, Speech

    Minor Skills: Illusion, Alchemy and maybe Restoration

    Actually I started recently a Pilgrim-ish type of character simillar to what I described above (of course I threw all the other things I was planning to do and post in a dark corner of Oblivion :P)

    My Pilgrim-ish character's skills; he is kinda "mystical" so not sure if he counts as a pilgrim going by the skillset alone without the roleplay.

    Major Skills: Archery, Alteration, Speech (Ordinator's Speech tree is pretty good for shouts and some other fun things)

    Minor Skills: Conjuration (only for bound weapons), Restoration, Crafting skill undecided as of yet it will be Alchemy or Enchanting probably alchemy).

     

    • 49 posts
    October 12, 2017 9:05 PM EDT

    Delidas said:

    It's interesting that you mention a series; I hadn't thought of it, but now that I think of it I might just end going that route. I have pretty distinct ideas associated with the traditional TES classes, and find that they don't always match up with what other people think (probably thanks to TES itself changing definitions over time). I can only imagine the dicussion that would arise out of differentiating a spellsword, battlemage, etc...

    It's interesting that you both (in addition to me) list magic as being part and parcel with a pilgrim build/class. I see it as being useful via utility, of course, but whether you view it as an indication of divinity or not is beside the point. I mean, Oblivion's pilgrim had no magic skills to speak of, but so far (I know, sample size three), it looks like the enduring conception of the pilgrim is that of a magically-inclined (if only in a mundane sense) traveller. I find it a very engaging playstyle; it just seems to jive with what I generally do in a TES game; explore, barter away goods, and read up on lore. I do like the idea of the pilgrim as being opposite the rogue a a sort of merchant class, and I really do see that as fitting of the skillset/roleplay. The notion of purposeful travel is also intriguing; not as confining as religion, but it necessitates that the pilgrim's bartering/travelling are to some other end, which just lends itself to RP. 

    " I see it as being useful via utility," My thoughts exactly. I agree with all that you said, it would seem that the Pilgrim may just have the most RP oppurtunity out of all the classes.

    • 67 posts
    October 13, 2017 8:58 PM EDT

    I tend to agree. The prospect of travelling with a purpose of some sort forces you to think of motivation for your character, and this in turn influences gameplay by dictating where you travel, and to what end. The skills are also broad enough to facilitate numerous playstyles, and so can be utilized in so many different ways that a plethora of different characters can fall under this archetype. After playing TES for so many years, I'd have to say that this class - either this or the rogue, ironically the other 'merchant' class - remains my favourite to continuously reroll.  

    • 73 posts
    October 16, 2017 9:14 AM EDT

    To me the Pilgrim in Skyrim is kind of a "road-ranger" character, they are survivalists who travel from place to place, maybe they are religous pilgrims seeking enlightenment or maybe the travel for work like a Courier (shameless plug).  While the classic ranger is all about surviving in the wild and battling monsters and animals in those wild places the pilgrim is about surviving on the road and avoiding conflict if possible by either sneaking by or talking their way out of it.  So for me the two major skills of a Pilgrim are Sneak and Speech.  Thoug I think illusion makes a lot of roleplay sense not as magic but as a persuasive personality someone who can talk their way out of trouble.  Oblivion classifies this class as a Stealth class so i always find myself leaning toward a sneaky character but one who uses stealth to avoid trouble not cause it, meaning they aren't a thief or an assassin. 

    Pilgrims seem like the most "real world" class you could be.  I know if i was dropped tomorrow into Skyrim my instinct would be to avoid every conflict, sneak past the  bandits, try to talk my way out of trouble when caught, fighting would only happen when all other "safer" methods had been exhausted. 

     

    • 67 posts
    October 16, 2017 10:01 PM EDT

    I'm glad you brought up stealth, because pilgrims have been classified (as far as I'm aware) as a stealth class in both Morrowind and Oblivion. I, too, spend a good amount of time rocking a Bethesda squat when rolling a pilgrim, but generally don't list it as a skill because I leave it unperked; I usually let my skill in illusion aid my sneaking, and then rely on slow, deliberate movements and low visibility from that point. The thing with pilgrims is that sneak is utilized, but not as a means of setting up an attack (most of the time). Oftentimes, it serves as a way to avoid conflict, like you said. 

    I also like the comparison you've drawn with the ranger archetype - another favourite of mine. Pilgrims and rangers both have a weatherbeaten, nomadic flair to them, and I tend to agree with your assessment of the pilgrim being more pacifistic when juxtaposed to the ranger or scout. It's also funny, as Oblivion removed archery as a skill, but most people here seem to conceive of pilgrims as at least adept archers. If I had to make a statement on behalf of what we've compiled so far, it looks like the Morrowind conception proves the most enduring, with only some notable aspects of the Oblivion pilgrim (ie one handed/blunt as a major skill) being mentioned.