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Running around without Perks or Standing Stone

    • 168 posts
    January 19, 2018 11:53 PM EST

    So this is my latest playthrough of Skyrim (no mods), mainly to see what its like (or if its feasible). Made an Argonian Legionairre, female because that armor looks better on ladies (not that I'll be wearing it forever). No grinding/crafting, except upgrading unenchanted stuff to fine. Histskin is love, Histskin is life.

    Currently I've opted for a destruction/sword setup (can't wait for Ice Storm!), no backups because I'm stubborn. That was the setup of my initial Skyrim hero way back when I first played, so it's something I'm fairly accustomed to.

    Level 11 at the moment, currently best spell (Ice Spike) deals 25 damage and can cast 4-5 times before waiting for regen, most bandits die with two. Fine Imperial Sword is pathetic in comparison, 10 damage for regular attacks and can only use two power attacks before exhaustion. To be honest, it'd be better if I had a staff instead. Currently have a combined 29% cost reduction (17% helm 12% ring), 25% extra magicka regen (praise Akatosh!), and roughly 71 AR iirc. Also have shock resist boots and fortify one-handed gauntlets but haven't needed them. On Adept right now, would raise it but I'm taking too much physical damage, each level up past like 9 it feels like I'm getting noticeably weaker. Have yet to encounter packs of mages, but when there's only one I can handle it without too much trouble.

    Just finished meandering through the Civil War, Stormcloaks with all their two-handed weapons are incredibly dangerous to this character! Luckily giving Lydia a greatsword makes her really good at thinning enemy ranks and protecting me. Also, Master Vampires have been spawning randomly, they take forever to kill and are super dangerous if encountered on the roads where there are no guards (I had encountered one that wiped out a Thalmor patrol, that fight took up almost all my potions and I only barely won). The ordinary dragons at the beginning are hard to kill without help, haven't had many attacks though.

     

    So, yeah. Just a sort of weird change of pace for a playthrough. So far I've only died twice but both times it was because I let myself get low trying to be greedy with that level-up heal. I'll keep posting progress and such in case anyone's interested.

    • 585 posts
    January 20, 2018 4:38 AM EST

    Histskin really is life with this playthrough then! So you're going as bare bones as possible with this character? I like it, takes me back to the early days when I did this basically because I didn't understand how anything worked not intentionally. Are you using a shield? I know you said it's more spellswordy right now, but after you exhaust your magicka supply saving yourself from damage with a shield would solve most of your problems.

    • 271 posts
    January 20, 2018 1:42 PM EST

    I'd suggest using mace and shield with heavy armor. Heavy armor because you won't get any of the light armor buffs (due to no perks) and you don't need the speed of light armor since you have the shield, shields are good even without perks and still offer quite a bit of damage reduction, and the mace offers the most damage which you need a lot.

    • 168 posts
    January 20, 2018 2:57 PM EST

    Zonnonn said:

    Histskin really is life with this playthrough then! So you're going as bare bones as possible with this character? I like it, takes me back to the early days when I did this basically because I didn't understand how anything worked not intentionally. Are you using a shield? I know you said it's more spellswordy right now, but after you exhaust your magicka supply saving yourself from damage with a shield would solve most of your problems.

    Well, truth be told I've only relied on Histskin once so far, early level ups are frequent enough that I can rely on those to heal. That said, I anticipate it'll be more useful later, especially since it gets better the more health you have. I haven't picked up a shield yet because I haven't felt the need to, nor have I dropped the spell to block with the sword, even though it would've made some parts easier. I went with destruction/onehanded because I like it, not because it's particularly effective. I'm sticking with it until I absolutely must need to adapt to survive. 

    Haven't fought the Forsworn yet but I think a shield would be necessary for them. So far, Ice Spiking bandit chiefs is enough since it makes it easier for Lydia to chop them in two with her sword.

     

    Ebonslayer said:

    I'd suggest using mace and shield with heavy armor. Heavy armor because you won't get any of the light armor buffs (due to no perks) and you don't need the speed of light armor since you have the shield, shields are good even without perks and still offer quite a bit of damage reduction, and the mace offers the most damage which you need a lot.

    Because I'm a spell caster, I've been focusing more on the enchantment effects rather than armor rating. All my armor is heavy though, but I was briefly using a light helmet. I can't afford to be picky with my outfit's appearance either! It's a nice change of pace from the usual, I'm enjoying it so far.

    Shields, especially enchanted ones, seem like they're very powerful, but my main defense is dodging and damage right now. I think you're absolutely right about the mace, the sword's extra speed isn't that useful without smithing and enchanting. But maces are also slow and still not as strong or long as two-handed weapons. Maybe I'll switch to an axe, but it depends heavily on what I can find.

    Just from my observations so far, I'm sure the best setup for a playthrough like this would be stealth bow and two-hander, or alternatively a setup including a staff. Also, daggers are worthless without enchants or perks, likewise dual-wielding is pointless without perks, and Illusion spells (except courage/rally) probably suck even if you are a vampire.

    • 168 posts
    January 20, 2018 7:41 PM EST

    Here's an update, because I just got Ice Storm. Can only cast 3 Ice Storms but can cast 7 Ice Spikes with my 150 magicka. Some vampires had a Vampire armor of Minor Destruction, I also have Steel armor of major destruction but I think the regen is better than ~8 extra armor. Also found a Steel War Axe of Frost and Staff of Flame Atronach, for when things go wrong. Can't afford enough soul gems to use it as a main weapon just yet. Here's my stats as of now.

     

    Level 14

    150 magicka, 180 health, 100 stamina

    14 damage Dwarven War Axe / 11 + 10 damage Steel Frost Axe

    20 damage Ice Spike / 40 damage Ice Storm

    78 total armor rating

    44% total destruction cost reduction

    75% extra magicka regen

     

    Also replaced Lydia for Calder, + he's got an orcish greatsword now.

    • 69 posts
    January 20, 2018 8:40 PM EST

    I would do a flame atronarch/ice spike combo when facing mages instead of using Ice storm on them (idk if that's what you're doing or not) simply because they can block your heavy spells with a ward easier than multiple lighter spells. At least that's what I find. Sounds like a tough playthrough!

    • 488 posts
    January 20, 2018 8:41 PM EST

    Chris H!

    Love this idea. Looks like you are making your way! I enjoy the fact of you using an Argonian for this - such a powerful power to overcome tough situations with the restrictions you are putting on this playthrough.

    • 168 posts
    January 21, 2018 12:26 AM EST

    FlamezSword said:

    I would do a flame atronarch/ice spike combo when facing mages instead of using Ice storm on them (idk if that's what you're doing or not) simply because they can block your heavy spells with a ward easier than multiple lighter spells. At least that's what I find. Sounds like a tough playthrough!

    I haven't started using Ice Storm much yet but for the few lone mages I've fought thus far my best strategy is to run and get close as possible, power attack to stagger then fire Ice Spikes before they can reestablish a ward. The mages usually don't wear more than robes so even without one-handed perks they can't survive two strong swings. Plus the Ice spike itself is usually strong enough to finish them off.

    Sometimes my follower nails them with an arrow though.

    The difficulty of the playthrough... can vary a lot. I think the main thing making it difficult is lack of defense, because of no armor perks, but also spell cost and stamina cost is an issue because you can't buy those perks. Oh, and also the Dawnguard DLC has it out for me this playthrough, having the random vampire attacks be Master Vampires with Death Hounds basically every time for some reason.

    Henson said:

    Chris H!

    Love this idea. Looks like you are making your way! I enjoy the fact of you using an Argonian for this - such a powerful power to overcome tough situations with the restrictions you are putting on this playthrough.

    Hi Henson! Yeah originally I thought I'd need to go Altmer for this, glad it turned out fine without. 

    I think if I wasn't as knowledgeable about this game, I would've chosen Breton (or Nord/Dunmer) just for the passive. Turns out, once you realize you don't need constant magic resistance all the time, and you could just carry magic/element resist potions and equipment and just swap them out as needed. In fact, the Redguard and Bosmer poison resistance might be more useful because that effect is rarer. Orc would've been the best race maybe, if I wasn't using magic damage, but Histskin is my favorite due to how broadly useful it is.

    Also I have actually died during Histskin - Noster's helmet quest took me to a den of two Frost trolls, and one troll could kill me faster than Histskin could heal. Luckily I had that staff, and a rock to perch on!


    This post was edited by Chris H. at January 21, 2018 12:36 AM EST
    • 550 posts
    January 21, 2018 7:29 PM EST

    This sounds like a lot of fun. 

    • 168 posts
    January 22, 2018 6:21 PM EST

    Found an Orcish War Axe of Ice, and I'm using it as a main weapon now, for some reason the Steel Axe of Frost has a really low number of charges (a single petty soul completely refills it). Is this a bug? because it seems like one. I also found that the Vampire armor from DG is going to continue to be the best stuff to get, as its got robe enchants and armor rating. Also found a Dwarven Helm of Major Destruction, of course as soon as I walk away from the blacksmith Calcemo sends me a courier.. But I also was fortunate enough to find a Necklace of Poison Immunity

    Playthrough's kinda been winding down... After the Civil War I've just been aimlessly doing bandit quests, fought some vampires but didn't get better armor from them. Not really sure what to do. I'm at that weird point in the game where I'm only fighting enemies who are too easy or too hard.

    Level 18

    180 Magicka, 190 health, 100 stamina

    12 + 15 damage Orcish axe of Ice

    25 damage Lightning Bolt / 40 damage Ice Storm

    86 total armor rating

    44% destruction cost reduction

    75% extra magic regen

    (30% fire or shock resist, 100% poison resist)

     

    Follower's got a Dwarven Warhammer now, damage per hit seems more useful for them given their AI. Vampire attacks aren't much of an issue lately.

    Also I look like a train wreck in terms of fashion, have to play in first person lol

    • 168 posts
    January 22, 2018 6:25 PM EST

    Gollum said:

    This sounds like a lot of fun. 

    TBH my favorite part is the hunt for gear. I've been ignoring what my character looks like this playthrough, just going for stats & enchant effects.

    I'm not sure how long it'll continue to be fun, not having perks means you're restricted with what you can do.