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Character Build: The Wabbajack

Tags: #Character Build Illusionist  #Character Build Summoner  #Character Build Bard  #Race:Altmer  #SE Rank:Novice  #benhargreaves 
  • March 25, 2020

    The Wabbajack

    "I am a part of you, little mortal. I am a shadow in your subconscious, a blemish on your fragile little psyche. You know me. You just don't know it."


    An Illusionist


    This is madness. Where to even begin. It's been an eventful last few days. For some reason I decided to make my way to Skyrim. Something about the turmoil of the place drew me. Maybe there just isn't enough upheaval in Cyrodiil. Not like the old days. Maybe I'm just a little unstable. If it was turmoil I sought, I certainly found it. Ulfric Stormcloak. Beheadings. A dragon. Undead. Undead that seem to enjoy yelling at me. I've found these dead fellows to be very uncooperative. Usually I’m quite masterful at getting people in my way to fight amongst themselves so I don’t have to. But these walking dead don’t seem to take the hint. I’ll need to look into that.

    Where was I? A heavy, strange, unintelligible stone tablet. Another dragon. “Dragonborn”. "Greybeards". And now I’m the one yelling. Though, the guards and townsfolk don’t seem to enjoy my yelling. They ask me to stop when I do. Not like with my neat little cantrips. They seem to appreciate those. Oh yes! They also seem to appreciate me, since I killed that dragon and all. I forgot to include that part! I killed a dragon! And apparently absorbed some sort of power from it. Hence all the yelling. 

    Knotwork I don’t care for rude people. That Redguard fellow in Whiterun was quite rude. So I decided to “borrow” some septims from him. Turns out I need to get better at borrowing coins. I should have swiped his cloak right off his back. That would have showed him! Thankfully the guards are still pretty keen on me...having slain a dragon and all. Did I mention that? I think I did. Maybe I didn't. I managed to talk my way out of that little septims pickle, but decided it best to leave town for a while. Folks kept mentioning the Bard’s College in Solitude. That sounds like as good a place as any in this disturbed little province.

    A LuteKnotwork

    Oh look! Another beheading. The people of Skyrim seem to have a penchant for losing their heads. I wonder if my sword could chop off someone’s head? I may have to try. That would be a neat little trick. Thwap! “You really shouldn’t be losing your head at a time like this! Not in the heat of battle. Focus you fool!” I could say that. Hehe. Also, people are singing songs about me! I killed a dragon you see. That’s quite a feat. Lightninged it to death. It was very cool.

    KnotworkSpiced wine. I managed to procure myself some free spiced wine. It was delicious. Though it may have been stronger than I thought. I recall going over to the Blue Palace. Some girl let me into part of the palace I wasn’t supposed to go, I am her “golden knight” afterall. Yes, I think all that happened. No, I’m certain that happened. I may have to go find that gal again. Regale her with my stories of dragonslaying. The rest of the night may have been the wine. Something about Pelagius the Mad. And dreams. Oh yes! And Sheorgorath and Wabbajack! Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. What a strange word. Maybe I just dreamt it all. Or maybe I'm going insane. Ha! Me. Insane. No way! Insanely handsome maybe.

    I do know this. I have a stylish set of new clothes, a fancy hat, and a strange staff. I don't know how I came about any of those. I think the staff is "Wabbajack". Not sure what it does though. May have to find some mudcrabs to test it out on the next time I’m experimenting with spells and filling soul gems. There’s also this...a hip bone. A human hip bone I think. Why in Mundus do I have a human hip bone? I need to lay off the spiced wine. Maybe skooma is a better idea.

    King OlafKnotworkI burned a king at the stake. Well, not a real king. A bundle of straw with a fake crown. And the people loved it! I think they love me more for burning a fake king than for killing a dragon. People are odd. I also got to meet the Queen. Elisif is her name, I think. She doesn't seem to be all there. Viarmo and I went to read her some part of an Edda. It's nice to work with a fellow Altmer. Turns out the verse I went through all the trouble to get was incomplete. We had to make some creative stylistic choices to "complete" it. Viarmo seemed to like some of my suggestions, but he thought some were a bit too over the top. Yes, Viarmo, my imagination is a bit too much. Too much considering I recently survived multiple attacks from fire-breathing flying lizards, just returned from slaying an enraged undead king lying is some forsaken crypt in the middle of nowhere with the aid of a ghost, and may or may have not also inhabited the mind of another long dead king at which point I received a staff that can apparently turn undead into mudcrabs and mudcrabs into giant piles of gold. Yes. Viarmo. We should make sure King Olaf's verse is grounded in reality.

    Wabbajack! I forgot to mention. I have been playing around with this staff. And it has had some curious effects, to say the least. First of all, the effect of the staff seems to be completely random. I have witnessed balls of fire emanating from the staff. Along with great bolts of lighting and explosions of frost. One particular mudcrab I aimed the staff at turned into a pile of goo. And a pile of gold coins. Wait. No. Yes. Both. I collected what coins I could without getting all gooey. Then I decided to test the staff out on King Olaf. My summon and that ghostly bard fellow seemed to have King Olaf occupied, so I figured, why not? In a flash, Old King Olaf the Shambling Undead turned into Old King Olaf the Shuffling Mudcrab. I'm not sure if that was useful or not. But it was interesting. And truly unexpected. Wabbajack indeed!

    A MubcrabKnotworkWhat a happy little accident. You see. I was intending to cast some of my usual spells as part of my recurring foray with Skyrim’s residents of a crustaceous variety. When something went horribly wonderfully wrong right. In a flash the mudcrab went from creepy crawly to a pile of ash. But get this, IT WASN'T DEAD! No, I am quite certain it wasn’t dead. My mind and my spells tell me it wasn’t dead. Or was it. Dead. Not dead. Either way. It was a pile of ash! I’ve been trying to recreate the effect. I think I initially muddled up some of my intended incantations and instead cast two reanimate spells. I shall have to experiment with this some more. Wabbajack!

    Knotwork“Poncy little milk drinker.” That Jon fellow in Whiterun said that about the bard at the tavern. Why am I recalling this now? Strange that I even remember this. But really, what's wrong with drinking milk? It’s delicious! Plus, it’s used to make cheese! Mmmmmm…cheese. I need me some cheese. And spiced wine. Though, the last time I had me some spiced wine things got weird. I don’t think I need things to get weird again. Maybe I do. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Such a strange word. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

    KnotworkSold off some newly enchanted jewelery today. It’s becoming a profitable little gig. Thank you mudcrabs of Skyrim! I’m getting quite good at bargaining with some of these shopkeepers. Particularly the women. They just cannot resist me. Especially those fiery little minxes at the Radiant Raiment. I should visit there more often. 

    That reminds me. Have I ever told you about my parents? My mother was a powerful mage. Quite gifted in the arcane arts. She was a high ranking member of the College of Whispers. She played a pivotal role in defending the Imperial City from Umbriel. Tall, golden, beautiful. Few men could resist her beauty, even fewer could gain her favor. She died, tragically. I do not remember her. But I dream of her.

    My father. A handsome, roguish figure. A wanderer of Cyrodiil. One of the lucky few who could gain my mother’s favor. Cunning, with a silver tongue and serenading voice. He likely never knew I existed. He is certainly long dead now. My father’s name was Wabbajack. Wait. No. That’s not right. My father’s name was not Wabbajack, it was Wabbajack. I have no idea who my father was. Yes, that’s right. I have no father.

    KnotworkI found a rock. I was wandering the sulfur pools of Eastmarch the other day and I found a big rock. Well, I found a stone. A stone with a carving of an atronach on it. I also found some people swimming naked. They were in quite high spirits. So I touched it. The stone. I don't feel any different. I do feel warm. I think that's from my dip in the pool with those revelers. Warm and refreshed. Or maybe it's the spiced wine.

    A ChickenKnotworkWhat to do with all these butterfly wings? Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew? How did I end up with literally hundreds of butterfly wings? I know. I took them. I had the irresistible urge to prance about the countryside tearing the wings off of cute little butterflies. That is a strange urge. I think. That reminds me. I have a butterfly in a jar! Though I don’t think I’ll tear the wings off of that cute little butterfly. No. Maybe I will. No. I definitely will not. We’ll see.

    KnotworkThe Chicken Incident.

    KnotworkI think I'm losing it. I've become quite adept at summoning creatures from the planes of Oblivion to do my bidding, you see. But lately. I feel as though I have lost a bit of my touch. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. Bolts of fire. Check. No problem. Enraging the denizens of Skyrim with the flick of a wrist. Check. Petrifying my foes into motionless planks upon the ground. Got it. Calling upon a Lord of Oblivion to chop adversaries into little pieces. Maybe. Maybe not. Even seemingly simple summons, like those flaming wolf beasts. One moment I can. One moment I completely fail. It's maddening. But it's not. Something about these failures. They are bad. But. Yet. They are good. Yes. No. Maybe. It's as if I feed off of the uncertainty. The chaos. It's maddening. It's refreshing. It's empowering. It's Wabbajack.


    BEARDS! Have ever told you I had a man beheaded for growing a beard? Can you imagine! A BEARD! The gaul. The audacity. THE MADNESS! A BEARD! I’m sensing a recurring theme here. BY SHEOGORATH! I hope this isn’t some sort of foreshadowing. I like my head just the way it is. Attached. So I don’t lose it. BUT A BEARD! How could anyone think that was a good idea? Though, come to think of it, I do quite like the idea of growing a beard. I should grow a beard. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. I’ll have to put my mind to that one. Hmmmm. What is this?!?! Whiskers!?!? A BEARD! I HAVE A BEARD! BY ME! The power I wield! I simply think about having a beard...and...POOF! A BEARD! Wait. Maybe that was there before. Maybe it wasn’t. Certainly it wasn’t. I would have noticed A BEARD! Yes. I think. Why are we talking about beards?


    Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. War. And orphans. We orphans need to stick together. Wabbajack. That's what we had to do at home. During the war. We have to look out for each other. We don't have anyone else. We don't have anything else. Wabbajack. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. Some of the orphans did have memories though. Memories of a family. Memories of a home. Memories of a mother and of a father. Not this orphan. No memories. No mother. No father. No home. Orphans and war. Orphans and war. We have to take care of each other. We are all we have. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Orphans and war.

    A Fireball


    Why do I have a hip bone? Where did this come from. Think. Think. Think. Was it the College in Winterhold? No. No. I don't think so. It's not my hip bone. It couldn't be my hip bone. It would be quite difficult to get around if it were my hip bone. Think. Was I experimenting with necromancy? No, I wouldn't do that. That's too ghoulish. Chopping up people and putting them back together. Ish! Once someone is broken, there is no putting them back together again. Think. Think. Does it belong to one of those drauger fellows? There are so many dead kings here in Skyrim. Skyrim, the land of long dead kings. No. Can't be. Maybe it's from that night I was in a drinking contest. So much from that night I don't remember. So much I don't remember. Think. I'm holding it in my hands. Right now. And yet. I can't find it. It's lost in my mind. Wabbajack. A hip bone. Think.


    Woe to those that should encounter me! Strun Bah Qo. Dare not offend your Mad God! Thunder and lighting shall descend upon your heads. You turn on me, but your psyches are fragile and weak. The Lord of the Never-There sees you, but you do not see Him. You are lost, but He shall find you. Turn your swords upon yourselves. Flail helplessly with your broken minds. A storm plunges from the skies. The Madness leaps forth from your souls. Fires of fury rage beneath your feet. Ice pierces your empty, foolish hearts. Nightmares engulf your subconscious. The Planes of Oblivion open before your eyes. Come to your Lord in your Hysteria. BOW BEFORE THE INSTRUMENT OF MADNESS TURNED LOOSE UPON NIRN! FEAR THE WABBAJACK!



    The Wabbajack

    Wabbajack, Wabbajack day of Wabbajack, Wabbajack

    Wabbajack. Wabbajack.


    Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

    Wabbajack. Wabbajack.


    Wabbajack. Wabbajack. I. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Am. Wabbajack.

    I. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. I.

    Wabbajack. Am. I. Wabbajack. Wabbajack. I. Wabbajack.

    Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

    Wabbajack. Wabbajack. I. Am.


    Closing Thoughts

    "Marvelous time! Butterflies, blood, a Fox, a severed head... Oh, and the cheese! To die for."

    The core concept of the Wabbajack build is to wield the Wabbajack staff, emulate as many of the effects of the staff as possible, and ultimately become the Wabbajack. This is a descent into madness where the line that separates the staff, the character, and Sheogorath will become imperceptible. The 3 will become one being. This plays off of the sentient nature of many of the Daedric artifacts. Sheogorath is often credited with tricking Clavicus Vile into making Umbra a sentient being, Umbra being one of Vile's Daedric artifacts. In this way, the character becomes the sentient component of the Wabbajack.

    As a build, the Wabbajack is a bard character with a heavy emphasis on magic. It is a pretty simple build designed to be playable at level 1. Without the need to focus on obtaining artifacts and powers, the focus of the build will be on exploration and character leveling. The use of the build skills will allow the character to emulate the staff, sow madness across Skyrim, and ultimately use the staff at will. Utilizing the vanilla Atronach stone will allow the character to be empowered by the madness of absorbing their own summons.


    Race is Altmer for the starting fury spell and racial bonus to magicka. Highborn can also be highly useful for combat. Any of the races can be suitable.

    Start with either the Mage orThief stone for leveling your skills. The Thief may be more useful to boost experience for your lesser used/non-combat skills, Speech and Pickpocket. Switch to the Atronach stone when you feel like it, though I found around level 20 was a good point to switch. The 50% chance to absorb your summons is a nice chaotic touch to add to this build. The Atronach stone, combined with perks in Conjuration and your enchanted gear will mean that when your summons are absorbed, you will actually gain magicka. This build will literally be fueled by madness. Note, if using the Unofficial Patches, you will not absorb your own summons and this gameplay mechanic will not work.

    Stats are heavy into magicka at first, then switch over to all health once your Enchanting skill has progressed.

    Gear will obviously be the Wabbajack staff along with custom enchanted gear or anything you find that you like. I found a split between Conjuration and Destruction cost reduction gear to be best until until Extra Effect is unlocked.

    The only necessary quest is The Mind of Madness to obtain the Wabbajack and this quest can be completed easily at level 1. The Bard's College is a fitting questline for this character along with the College of Winterhold. Feel free to pursue any questlines that interest you. Also, any chance to get one up on the other Daedra would be fitting as well. A Night to Remember is another fitting quest. For roleplay purposes, I don't see how that quest can be ignored. That being said, the combination of the Wabbajack staff and the Sanguine Rose may become a bit overpowered.


    The main build skills will be Illusion, Conjuration, and Enchanting. These will be supported by Destruction and Alteration, with One-Handed, Speech, and Pickpocket more for roleplay purposes. Many of the skills and perks are also being utilized to mimic the effects of the Wabbajack as using vanilla Skyrim.

    Illusion will be mainly used for Fury/Frenzy, but the other mind altering spells along with invisibly and muffle will be useful. Casting invisibility and muffle in crowded cities as a display is fitting to the character and will help with leveling. Conjuration will be used to summon daedra to your aid. Enchanting will allow you to use the Wabbajack staff for 0 charge and support the Antronach Stone mechanic.

    Destruction is used to mimic the prodominant effects of the staff and to provide direct damage dealing capabilities. A higher Destruction skill will also provide additional charges for the staff, until Enchanting reduces the cost to 0. Alteration will be mainly utilized for the mage armor spells, but Paralysis, Telekenisis, and Detect spells will be useful and thematically fitting. Feel free to utilize Detect Life as much as possible in crowded cities to level, this character is all about showing off.

    One-Handed is a vanity skill just to get the Savage Strike perk. The Wabbajack is losing his head, why shouldn't others? Speech is taken for roleplay purposes, the Wabbajack is a bit of a bard after all. Pickpocket is again for roleplay and a thematic choice. Someone suddenly losing their shirt for no apparent reason would be a bit maddening. Or, you can pickpocktet something to someones inventory to spice things up a little.

    The shouts utilized will focus on avoiding damage and emmulating the staff. Become Atherial and Whirlwind Sprint are useful to escape dangerous situations. Drain Vitality and Unrelenting Force will allow the character to emmulate some effects of the staff. Storm Call and Cyclone are great shouts to induce a large amount of madness into situations. Additionally, Sheogorath is associated with with thunderstorms, so Storm Call is extremely fitting for this build.

    Combat is about letting your enemies defeat themselves as much as possible. This style of combat is in keeping with the tendencies of Sheogorath. If you're bored or in a violent mood, feel free to inject as much destruction and additional chaos as fits your fancy at the moment. Generally, open combat with a Fury/Frenzy spell then summon something to fight for you. After that, sit back and do as you please. You can let loose with your destruction spells, fire away with the Wabbajack staff, use shouts to create more chaos, or get into the fray with your sword. Encounters with enemies that are immune to your Illusion spells (drauger, vampires, dragons) can become a bit of a grind until Master of the Mind is unlocked. Utilize Become Atherial and Whirlwind Sprint to reposition when necessary.

    This build is designed to be played vanilla with no mods. That being said, using the full suite of Enai Siaion mods could take this build to another level. The options available in Imperious, Andromeda, Wintersun, Ordinator, and Apocalypse have the potential to add a lot of depth to the build. I play on console, and my favorites menu was already massively bloated with just vanilla content. For that reason, I steered away from modding this build. The Apprentice or Tower Stone from Andromeda, divine powers from worshipping Sheogorath in Wintersun, the racial quest from Imperious, and many of the spells and perks from Ordinator and Apocolypse would have a great thematic fit to this build.

    Ultimately, this character is about slowly going mad and embracing it. Don't overuse the staff. It's fun to create your own chaos as much as possible without using the staff. Eventually the build will allow you to use the staff at 0 charge. That's a good point to really start to go overboard with the staff. Until then, explore and enjoy all Skyrim has to offer. Get yourself into trouble from time to time. Do things on a whim. Don't be afraid of random acts of violence or mischief. Make friends, get people to love you, but don't get too attached to anyone. Sheogorath is known to provide great power and rewards to people, then suddenly turn on them. Do the same. On my playthrough I had a tendancy to collect butterfly wings, drink heavily, always gave gold to orphan beggers, and always requested the song The Dragonborn Comes. Create and enjoy the madness. And above all else...Wabbajack!

    Closing Thoughts

  • March 26, 2020

    I really like this. I tried playing a Sheogorath devotee once but I didn't have a focus and it just ended up a randomising illusionist with no brief to follow, other than cheese wheels. The Wabbajack gives a good structure to fooling around. I know if I did play it, I would use the Ordinator perk speak with animals. I've been trying to think of a good character to use a goat (or a chicken) with. Small low HP unkillable minions create their own brand of chaos! And a flute. I love adding Storm Call to the mix. Could His staff really be the "Dragonborn". What else could give a god of Time a shove over the edge?

    I have just realised I have been wrongly calling the thing a wabbajabba, all these years : /

    Oh, a typo "This is a decent descent into madness where the line that separates the staff, the character, and Sheogorath will become imperceptible. "

  • March 27, 2020

    Mook said:

    Oh, a typo "This is a decent descent into madness where the line that separates the staff, the character, and Sheogorath will become imperceptible. "

    Thanks for catching the typo.

    Mook said:

    Could His staff really be the "Dragonborn".

    It's that interplay between the staff, the player, and the Mad God that made this a fun build. Both in its inception and in its execution.