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Character Build: The Fearmonger

Tags: #Character Build Necromancer  #Character Build Illusionist  #Character Build Vampire  #Rank:Legendary  #Hall of Fame Build  #Build of the Week  #Henson 
  • Member
    August 4, 2012

    Having never really delved into a truly evil build (Mythic Dawn is pretty evil though) that incorporates raising the dead, I wanted to give it a go. I also wanted to give it a go at a "pure" mage build that only wielded distance spells and did 100% no melee and 100% no sneak. After some really fun experimentation and continuous changing of my build concept from Illusionist, to Magician, to Conjuration Mage, I fell into something really devious.

    The Fearmonger

    This build has been a work that has put a smile on my face every time I play it. It combines some of the most powerful schools of magic into a cohesive idea of being an evil, necromantic warlord that strikes fear into all his opponents through the use of illusion and raising the dead.

    The Fearmonger is a master illusionist and necromancer that allows for constantly fleeing enemies with undead minions in hot pursuit, a la "giving chase". The Fearmonger, especially in the lower levels, also makes heavy use of Restoration to heal himself as well as using "fear" (repel/turn) spells on undead foes. With the addition of Dawnguard, both Conjuration and Restoration get some additional spells that work nicely together. Necromantic Healing is a helpful tool in the field in case your undead minions are having a tough time fighting harder opponents. Conjure Boneman, Mistman, and Wrathman are invaluable if you do not have corpses to raise allies from. The final main component of the character build is Destruction fire magic. Using the Intense Flames perk and Aspect of Terror perk, you will be even stronger in your fire spells and enemies will flee when mortally wounded. So let's get to the details...


    Race: Dunmer

    Stones: Ritual and/or Lord

    Major Skills: Illusion, Conjuration, Destruction

    Minor Skills: Restoration, Speech

    Apparel: Necromancer's Robes, Ebony/Daedric Gaunlets and Boots, Masque of Clavicus Vile or Aetherial Crown


    This is my first ever vampire build and boy was I missing out on some cool features. I don't know quite as many details as some more seasoned players, but taking the Necromage perk greatly increases many spell durations, effects, and powers. I know someone out there could probably tell me what order to take perks to be most effective or how to fully take advantage of the boosts, but I took perks as they came and it is extremely, extremely powerful. Raising the dead is brought to a whole new level, literally, as the level cap of raising a fallen foe is higher, giving you the ability to Dead Thrall the most powerful of enemies. The other great addition is the ability to turn into a Vampire Lord. WOW. I feel dumb for always being the "good guy" and trying to defeat evil. SO much more fun being on the dark side. Vampire Lord is the epitome of striking fear into your enemy's hearts.

    -> I became a vampire at level 16ish. Earlier, the better. <-


    Skills and Perks lvl50

    Illusion: All perks. Most notable perk would be Aspect of Terror as it boosts both the fear spells and fire spells. Fear is the name of the game, and this skill is the heart of the build.

    Conjuration: Undead minions are your army of dread. After your enemies are running in fear, send the dead to hunt them down. Dread zombies, dead thralls, and the new Bone summon spells are the main focus.

    --> Flaming Familiars are also HILARIOUS as they chase down baddies and then explode. Too cool, but I have yet to notice any boost to damage from Destruction perks or taking Necromage.

    Destruction: The first layer of attack if you need to raise your army and to use from a distance. Firebolt and Fireball are most useful here, as they do not cost as much but still pack a punch. Incinerate is good for higher levels of play. Impact is not needed, as your enemies will be too busy running away, so why stun them when they run?

    Restoration: Extremely useful at lower levels. Turn undead spells are your fear spells to use on the undead. Draugr tombs would be very tough without this skill, as Master of the Mind is one of the last Illusion perks you will take. Necromage is the other very important perk. Being a vampire and raising the undead has never been more fun with this perk.

    Speech: Intimidation. Strictly for roleplaying, but I thought I am doing a lot of firsts here, so I tried the right side of the speech tree.

    -> I like displaying my perks with this calculator here. I also want to mention my stat distribution as I get that question a lot. I went for roughly 3:1:1, but only added stamina later on when my magicka pool was big enough for battles. <-


    A couple of points of roleplay that I tried to hone in on once the character concept came into view for me. No calm spells. This build is not a peacemaker. Frenzy spells are very useful to start chaos right off the bat, as it creates fear for the afflicted all around them, causing them to lash out at anyone. Also, the Aetherial Crown is not an important aspect of the build, but having two stones is just too cool. The Ritual stone is my favorite stone as of right now and I don't see my opinion changing. Having 20+ undead following you around for 3 minutes is almost too strong. Necromantic Healing is also a great new spell, as with Regeneration and Respite perks, you can heal your zombie fighters 15 pts per second. Necromantic Healing is useful early on, but at higher character levels, your minions will be extremely powerful they will seldom need it. As a Vampire Lord, new abilities are available to you and are great for this build. Vampiric Drain and Vampiric Grip make you an unstoppable abomination of pure fear. The last point to mention is do not sneak. Why should you? Hiding is for the scared, and you are the essence of fear. I have had the privilege to play many different characters, but this is my all time favorite.

    Intense Flames, Aspect of Terror, Hysteria/Rout/Fear, Turn Undead will all make your enemies run in absolute fear. Zombies both from spells and Ritual Stone (and the occasional Flaming Familiar) plus the new undead summons will hunt foes down. Flames, Firebolt, Fireball, Incinerate, and sometimes Fire Storm are another primary source of damage. Combine all three, and you have one formidable character build.

    I hope you give this character a shot. It has been a blast and has opened my eyes to being a vampire/evil character. I might include my run ins with the Daedra, as I did not intend on that being a part of the character. Both the intentions of the build and the Dunmer race would have big connections with them. I wish I wish I wish I had this game on PC so I could provide quality screenshots, as my camera against a TV looks absolutely horrible. Will try to produce in game photos soon. Have fun!


    TZ has done it again! A fantastic video representation of my Fearmonger. Big thanks to him for all that he does to give us a visual look at what these builds can do!

  • August 4, 2012

    Dude this is sick! Seriously I might just have to give this a shot! Easy +1 like from me! PS I actually posted some 'bonuses' of the aetherial crown on the help desk and glitch group, to summarize it, infinite ritual stone uses and possibly three stone effects at once if you get it right! Again love the build, keep it up!

  • August 4, 2012
    I honestly haven't read anything past the introductory paragraphs yet because I wanted to rush here to be the first to like and comment on this build. And because I didn't need to read the rest; everything you wrote about in the first paragraphs just absolutely screamed: SYNERGY.

    I cannot praise the overlap enough. Everything ties in with everything else so beautifully. Fear focus so you make undead flee too with Turn Undead, and you use Fire magic to make enemies flee along with the obvious Illusion choices. Then aside from just tying in thematically, you use Aspect of Terror to improve your Fire magic damage, tying Illusion and Destruction together from a gameplay perspective too. Then there's Restoration with the Necromantic Healing spells tying into Conjuration in a straightforward manner and finding synergy with everything else and the theme of the build through the aforementioned method of getting the undead to run scared with Turn Undead spells too. Etc etc etc etc.

    Brilliant stuff, and now if you'll excuse me I'm going to read the rest!
  • Member
    August 4, 2012

    I don't know what to say except...Brilliant. This is absolutely brilliant, you have my like good man.

  • August 4, 2012
    Just as I suspected, the rest of the read ties the build together perfectly. And the great thing is, I've been playing through as a bunch of Mortal Kombat characters (may seem weird, I know - and the lore-enthusiasts may cry foul but to that I say "whatever, Mason!" - but Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, and co. honestly couldn't fit more perfectly) and I've been saving the best (Quan-Chi) for last and you seriously basically just built him for me lol. Aside from the fact that I've already messed around in the character creation screen enough to know that I can get a Dunmer to look the part perfectly, his focus is mind control and undead minions so here we are lol. All I need to add that this is missing would be some One Handed with a Conjured Sword and I'm golden, so thanks for making my life easier! Anyway, long story short this already gets my vote for best Necromancer build so far and probably the best one anyone's ever going to make.
  • Member
    August 4, 2012

    Thank you. And a huge thank you for the heads-up on the Crown glitch. Too much awesome on that one!

  • Member
    August 4, 2012
    Hey thanks so much. It's funny how ya start thinking "all I will play as is a warrior for good!" and my all time favorite character is a mage for evil. Thank you for your kind words, I am glad you like it and will hopefully give it a shot!
  • August 5, 2012
    I most definitely will. I thoroughly enjoy well put-together builds where everything about the gameplay and theme fit together like pieces to a puzzle, and this appears to be one of the very most synergetic builds there is in that regard. Plus the idea of zombies chasing fleeing enemies just sounds so damn entertaining lol. Can't +1 it enough, and just when I thought we'd already seen the best this game has to offer. Major props.
  • Member
    August 5, 2012
    Haha thank you again. Didn't see this comment until I woke up. I have never thought of trying to make mortal kombat characters! I think I saw a sub zero build on here using chillrend and ice spells. Would be VERY interested in other ones you have tried! This would be a perfect Quan-Chi.
  • August 5, 2012
    I made a build ones, called "The Scarecrow". It was like this build, but i had two-handed too. It was based on the scarecrow from the batman series! ;-) +1