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Character Build: The Old Orc

Tags: #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Warrior  #Character Build Blacksmith  #Rank:Legendary  #Race:Orc 
  • Member
    July 25, 2012

    Body is weary. The road has been long. But there is life in these old hands yet...

    Hammer is heavier than it used to be, not like the early years. Hammer remembers many faces, the bones broken, the skulls crushed, the blood sprayed. Pain radiates through my fingers, arms sore from battle, scars too many to count. But there is life in these old hands yet...

    Tribes will not accept me. Cities cast me out. No one wants an old, beat-down Orc. Wandering the lands to come closer to the Good Death, I seek a champion to release me of my sorrow and shame...

    But I cannot go quietly. My Violence and Rage still burn. Warriors, Wizards, Trolls, Abominations, Dragons: let them come! If I shall die, let it be for Honor. Let it be for Prince Malacath. I welcome death if it knocks at my door, but I will meet it with Violence and Rage, for there is life in these old hands yet...


    The Old Orc



    After running into The Old Orc in Skyrim, I wanted to explore the lore and history of the Orcs. Turns out, what they traditionally worship and believe in is pretty badass. Their Daedric Prince Malacath was once Trinimac, a strong god of the early Aldmer. Boethiah was said to have eaten (yes, eaten) Trinimac and then excreted the dung that is Malacath. I can't make this stuff up folks... Then again, there are apparently those who disagree with what had happened in the legends, and even Malacath says that certain tale is too "literal". 

    Orc culture is centered around the worship of Prince Malacath (who is actually not recognized as a Daedric Prince by other Daedric Princes, which fits his role as "Prince of the Outcasts"). Orcs follow the Code of Malacath, which in essence is a unwritten law that all Orcs follow by not stealing and no unwarranted violence while maintaining honor and strength. (All taken from the UESPWiki). If Orcs break this code, then a "blood price" is paid, in which blood is spilled until the one offended is satisfied. Hardcore, right?

    Orcish tribes follow a chief, who is the sole leader and only one allowed to have wives. This is where our Old Orc comes into play. For this build, I take on the role of an Orc passed his prime. Extremely strong, but unwilling to kill one of his own. The Old Orc then embarks on quests to seek adventure before his end, and eventually leading to a Good Death. Being a fierce warrior that has seen many battles, it's going to be awhile before anything can bring down the Old Orc...


    Race: Orc

    Guardian Stones: Warrior, Lady, Lord, Steed

    Dragon Shouts:

    Disarm - Shout and roar with such ferocity, your enemy drops his weapon in fear.

    Dismay - Your sheer immense size and appearance are enough to strike fear in enemies, but a shout will make sure they run for their lives.

    Marked for Death - Do exactly how the shout is named: mark the foes you will bring on the most pain.

    Unrelenting Force - Release a shout full of rage to decimate enemies and wipe them off their feet.

    Whirlwind Sprint - You may be old, but your strength is unmatched with your age. Bursts of speed can change the result on a battlefield.



    Two Handed: Your warhammer is an extension of your powerful arms, crushing bones and steel under immense, earth-shattering blows.

    Barbarian 5/5, Skull Crusher 3/3, Champion's Stance, Great Critical Charge, Devastating Blow, Sweep, Warmaster

    Heavy Armor: Protection from enemy attacks will be important here. As much as we are accepting death, an Old Orc cannot be seen on the battlefield unless they are sporting armor worthy of lots of violence and rage.

    Juggernaut 1/5, Fists of Steel, Well Fitted, Cushioned, Tower of Strength, Conditioning, Matching Set, Reflect Blows

    Smithing: Orcs can forge some of the strongest armors in the land. We are aiming for Orcish and Ebony armors to keep with the roleplay.

    Steel, Arcane, Dwarven, Orcish, Ebony, Daedric, Dragon


    Block: Bash, deadly bash, disarming bash ... all in a days work for an Orc warlord. Old Orcs know all battle tactics to defeat their foes.

    Shield Wall 5/5, Quick Reflexes, Power Bash, Deadly Bash, Disarming Bash

    Enchanting: Starting bonuses in enchanting prove for extremely powerful gear. Enchanting armors and warhammers offer the most powerful of gear.

    Enchanter 5/5, Insightful Enchanter, Corpus Enchanter, Extra Effect, Soul Squeezer, Soul Siphon


    Fully smithed and decked out Orcish armor. Badass.


    • No healing. I know, this is tough. That is the point. You are not trekking to seek riches or fame. You are seeking a good death and honor. The only way to recover after battles is to sleep off injuries if a bed is available. You'll have to have a place to take your back pills, too.
    • No magic spells. Honor is not won through trickery. Illusion, conjuration, restoration, alteration, and destruction are off the table. Your hands are bound to your hammer.
    • No stealing. You follow the Code of Malacath. You are no thief. There is no honor in that.
    • No murdering. You face your enemies head on. Honor must be maintained at all times 


    • No followers. You are on your own journey. You can accept temporary aid if on a quest that someone has asked of you, but no asking anyone to follow you.
    • No helmet unless absolutely needed. I went for full on gray hair, massive scars, grayed out right grizzly appearance. Let your enemies see it. Adding helm will activate needed perks (Cushioned, Well Fitted, Reflect Blows)


    Equipment (w/ enchants)

    Weapons: Volendrung, The Longhammer or Ebony/Daedric/Dragonbone Warhammer (Paralyze + Soul Trap)

    Head: Some good choices here. I swap between a Steel Horned Helmet, Helm of Yngol, Ebony Helmet, and an Orcish Helmet.

    Chest: Ebony Armor (Fortify Health + Healing Rate). I have also progressed to the Ebony Mail. It is a "tip of the hat" to Boethiah, the Daedric Prince who "created" Malacath. Plus it looks awesome and it fits with ebony.

    Hands: Ebony Gauntlets (Fortify Two Handed + Block)

    Feet: Ebony Boots (Fortify Stamina + Stamina Regen)

    Amulet and Ring: I went with both having Fortify Health + Healing Rate.

    ***This is of course "end game" equipment. Wearing Orcish armor to start is great for appearances and roleplay. Orcs are known for their superior smithing, and also for using Ebony armor. 

    ***I also enchant clothes with smithing enchants. I wear Blacksmith's robes, hat, gloves, boots, and a ring and ammy to help with crafting. You are not going to wear heavy armor while working ... bad for your arthritis.



    This character build follows a strict roleplay to follow the Code of Malacath and to seek out as much violence as you can. It isn't hard with a giant hammer. This build utilizes all heavy-side smithing perks for weapons in battle. I had some perks left over, so it was fun to try out the ridiculous power of a dragon bone warhammer. Volendrung is perfect for the roleplaying aspect of the build, but it is not boosted by smithing perks, so you may want to switch to something more hard hitting at times. 

    The idea about the no healing is to stop you from switching out your weapon constantly. You may say, what about alchemy, but I just came off from playing a Duelist character (will post some other time, needs tweaking) and I was sick of gathering ingredients. This REALLY makes you focus on battle and arrows flying at you. Sure, an old Orc wants death, but it is your goal to last as long as possible. If you die, make it your challenge to regain your honor and defeat all enemies.

    I included Great Critical Charge to close the gap on enemies. Whirlwind sprint also helps with this, as mages and archers are my only weakness (sometimes). Warmaster is also sometimes overlooked. Being able to paralyze enemies on a backwards power attack is fantastic when mobbed. Once you get sweep, you will be laughing maniacally at your power.

    TZ Old Orc Rap!


    I hope you will give this heavy roleplay character build a try. Being an old dude is awesome, and it is addicting to turn on berserker rage when in a tough situation and decimate everything in a room. I will add some battle strategies I used to stay alive soon, as I am trying to come up with more. I could also use some help with finding any cool pics (360 player here, all my photos turn out mega crappy).



  • July 25, 2012
    Seeking more and more powerful foes for more and more glorious death sounds great motivation for adventures! I like the age and the weaknesses of the character.
  • Member
    July 25, 2012

    Yes, old guys rule.  Even if you're not one now... you will be!*

    This is a very cool roleplay idea.  I had an Orc I played awhile back who was essentially this build in terms of mechanics, but I quit him after level 16 because I didn't have a good RP concept in mind (my concept was basically 'Be a Tough Orc!'). 

    I also like the no healing aspect.  Dead-is-Dead is pretty rough, but maybe with a character like this I would actually stick with it. 

    Nice work!

    *(unless you're a girl.)

  • July 25, 2012

    Nice build and good research into Orcish culture. You could add to the role play by suggesting to make this a "dead is dead" character as it would fit in well with "seeking a good death".

  • Member
    July 25, 2012

    Thank you, glad you liked it.

    Dead is Dead is useless to me. Not the concept, but just me. I tried doing a character with DiD and when I died, I paused and said .... "DO OVER!" So I never really stayed true to it. This character would definitely be a cool candidate for a play through with DiD.

  • Member
    July 25, 2012

    A bad ass build backed up by interesting lore and strong game mechanics. Not to mention the hardcore roleplaying rules. I don't think I've ever run a build that hasn't utilized some kind of healing. The restoration school more often than not. And I've never run an Orc. Ive always thought they were just brute warriors, and never really looked into their lore. Its going to be refreshing playing a pure warrior after all the hybrids I've been running. +1 from me, and I'm sure others in the near future

  • July 25, 2012

    I've actually done this - I only healed (via found potions) after a fight was over.  He never used magic (including enchanting), and of course he didn't steal/murder.   My highest armor set was orcish.  He finally met his death (c. 20th lv) at the hands of a dragon (elder or blood - forgot which).   (+1)  (but I do disagree with the enchanting - one artisan skill is enough)

  • Member
    July 25, 2012

    I agree with you on the crafting or artisan skills. I usually stray away from them altogether or at least try to. This is a pure roleplaying build, so enchanting made sense, since in Skyrim they get a natural bonus of +5. I also like to think of enchanting as my Orc is such a good smith, that the armor gives bonuses to combat, so the boosts to two handed or stamina are a result of the armor being perfect to fit their role. I know, a stretch, but it makes it a lot more fun for me.

  • July 25, 2012

    ah, I get it.. he's an old orc that has been smithing a loooong time - all his armor is a custom fit and perfectly balanced (for himself).  It was so fun to play, I'll probably give it a go again.  I may even use your 'enchanting excuse' for that little extra (but I'll limit the effects to ones such as stamina or two-handed boosts,  - I'll have to think on it a bit).

    (Technically I've done this twice, my first attempt died at a very low level,  c. 5th; I tend to forget about my characters that die so early.)

  • Member
    July 25, 2012

    Definitely revisit it! And yes, I try to use enchanting not for all powerful gear. I enchant boots with enchantments that would make sense, hence the stamina and stamina regen, gauntlets with two handed and block, etc. Things that would actually make sense on certain pieces of equipment. 

    I am currently not playing a Dead is Dead role with this build, but I have not died yet (lvl 28) and I am going strong. I think the enchanting definitely gives me the edge!