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Character Build: Hircine's Huntsman

Tags: #Character Build Shouts  #Race:Nord  #Character Build Scout  #Rank:Recognized  #LeBlanc Builds  #Character Build: Archer 
  • Member
    December 11, 2015

    You are a resident of The Pale, living in a small hut just west of the hold of Whiterun.  As a proud Nord and a loyal subject of Jarl Balgruuf the Greater, your family has lived and hunted The Pale for generations.  Recently that has come to a crashing halt as your home, and your family, were lost to dragonfire.  Dragon's have not been seen in ages in Skyrim, yet one has returned and turned your world upside down.  While attacking the Western Watchtown, the dragon also burned your ancestral home.  Killed in the attack were your wife and your daughter.

    You were out hunting at the time, having just killed the largest mudcrab in all of Tamriel.  Seeing the dragon in the distance, you abandoned your kill to the smaller, scavenger mudcrabs, as you expended all the stamina you had in an effort to get home and defend your family.  Instead, you came over the last rise to see your home engulfed in flames just as the dragon was turning it's attention to the Watchtower.  You collapse in tears and anguish in the ashes of your ruined life praying to the gods for justice and intervention.0

    As you gather your few remaining belongings your thoughts turn to your future and what may transpire; while in your mind you cannot help but dwell on those that you have lost.  Will you ever fill the hole in your heart?  Will you ever know happiness again?  What path does your future hold?  Only time will tell.

    "Well met, hunter.  I am the Spirit of the Hunt.  It is not vengeance I seek but the blood course of a living hunt."                                                    

    -Aspect of Hircine

    Build Basics

    Race: Nord Male (any other race is acceptable)Stone: Warrior (then Lady later in game)
    Major Skills:
    Archery, Light Armor, Smithing
    Minor Skills:
    Stealth, Speech, Pickpocket, Alchemy, One-Handed
    Animal Allegiance, Slow Time, Whirlwind Sprint, Bend Will, Drain Vitality, Unrelenting Force, Hircine's Hand*
    Mandatory Quests:
    Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild, Ill Met by Moonlight, Main Quest, Dawnguard
    Suggested Quests: See below in gameplay section
    Perk Spread: 1/1/0 (until 170 in Stamina)


    Skill Tree and Perk Breakdown

    Smithing: The only crafting done here will be the Dragonscale armor for end game and also armor improvements to boost your AR.
    One Handed: Taking dual wield perks for improved damage when you need it.  Look to your Companion friend, Athis, for training here.
    Stealth: Just enough to be viable but not enough to be a true assassin.
    Alchemy: Crafting our Ravage poisons as well as Restore Health potions.
    Speech: Hircine is speaking through you.  Points here show his influence.
    Pickpocket: You need Misdirection before going to Solsteim.
    Light Armor Utilize a fellow hunter, Grelka, in Riften for Light Armor training.


    Weapons: Any bow you feel is appropriate for your primary weapon.  For melee, we are using dual wield one-handed weapons.  Look for the Blade of Woe for an offhand weapon.  For the main hand you can use any functional weapon you prefer.  Keep in mind you are a hunter.  An axe would really fit into roleplay.  You will be seeking particular items for end game weaponry.

    Armor: We limit ourselves to Leather or Hide armors until we get our endgame armor which will be Dragonscale Armor.  Feel free to use your own opinions if armor fits a "hunter" motif.  Several quests will lend themselves to armor rewards.

    Stone/Amulet: Talos items for shout cooldown.

    Combat Basics

    As a hunter combat is fully centered around the bow.  No matter the situation, the goal is to get back to a position that entails having a bow in your hand.  This is where you are most comfortable...and the most dangerous.

    Enter any combat situation in stealth if you can.  Use your bow to quickly eliminate any enemies present.  Your secondary position is to use one of your varied shouts to improve your position when pressed in combat.  Drain Vitality will be heavily used in conjunction with Ravage Stamina or Ravage Magicka poisons, especially against Dragons.  Hircine's Hand (Clear Skies/Unrelenting Force) will be used to knock down or knock back encroaching enemies, allowing time to recover and reposition with your deadly bow.

    If pressed even further you will have a working knowledge of one-handed weaponry and use these to finish off opponents if the bow is unavailable or unviable at the time.  As noted, a health drain weapon such as Blade of Woe will be helpful to mitigate any damage you are taking.



    Remember that you are a hunter at heart.  You've made your living hunting deer and elk and even made a little extra coin by hunting down wolves and the occasional sabre cats for neighboring farmers.  Hunters are a close-knit group and hunters across Skyrim are all acquainted with one another, even if it is just a nodding acquaintance.

    Proving Your Worth

    At the start of the game your first step is to inform the Jarl of Whiterun about the dragon attack.  This will lead to a chance encounter with the court wizard who is seeking a strange stone in Bleak Fall Barrow.  This is near Riverwood so you seek out your fellow hunter, and friend, Faendal.  It will be good to have company while you are dealing with your recent losses.  There is nothing like a long-time friend to share your sorrows. 

    Strange events will occur that lead you to believe that the gods are hearing your prayers.  Faendal introduces you to Camilla Valerius which in turn leads you to Bleak Fall Barrows, where chance already has you heading for the Jarl and his wizard.  Finding the stone will extend the story line for your character and opportunities arise for you to replace your home, find a new wife and possibly adopt new children; should you desire to restart your life in that manner.  You also meet some interesting people that are part of a group named The Companions.  Another door opens.  What forces are transpiring to bring so many threads into one central knot that you are experiencing?  Only the hand of a god, maybe...

    Bringing Balance

    You will eventually receive a summons to report to the Jarl of Falkreath.  How has he even heard of you, a lowly hunter from Whiterun?  Could this be due to the influence of the gods?  I wonder...

    In Falkreath you are given the opportunity for land and a title.  You are also confronted by a couple who recently lost their daughter, murdered by a rogue werewolf.  Reminded of your own daughter, you face this demon killer in the town's prison, face to face, and hear of Lord Hircine for the first time.  Was it Talos guiding your steps to this point, or someone a bit more sinister?  You take a ring from Sinding and find yourself face to face with The Aspect of Hircine.  

    Hircine entreats you to join his Great Hunt.  He does so with an ulterior motive however, he wants you to bring balance to the Great Hunt.  He does not want the unworthy to possess his gifts, he does not want his gifts to go unused, he detests vampires who pose a threat to his lycanthope followers AND he wants you to assume the mantle of his Huntsman.  He promises you guidance and, more importantly the justice and revenge on dragons that you so covet.  Will you accept his offer?

    Just remember, Hircine is not one to brook misuse of his gifts.  Therefore, he wishes for you to kill Sinding, the rogue werewolf from Falkreath.    You will also find out (should you begin the Companions line) that the Harbinger wishes to cure himself of Lycanthropy.  As Hircine does not wish his gifts to be misused or left to rot on the vine by those unwilling to accept his gifts, it would seem Hircine would want you to take the gift away from the Harbinger.  As you are tasked to bring Balance, you do not want to become a werewolf yourself so you can stand above the Hunt so cure yourself during this phase of the Companions quest.

    You will hear rumors of a boy in Windhelm and you should also visit another hunter, Grelka in Riften, for Light Armor training.  While in Riften another door may open for you as you are approached by a rugged gentleman looking for someone with nimble fingers.  Every door that seems to magically open as your progress in the game is obviously Hircine guiding your affairs and offering you the opportunity to serve him and reap the rewards.

    Becoming the Huntsman

    Having bought a new home, and possibly started a new family, you are obviously receiving Hircine's favor.  As you continue to pursue the Balance in your actions, in Hircine's name, it's obvious that he has put you on the path to greatness.  He has revealed your Dragon Blood.  You've gained revenge on the dragon that killed your family.  You may have found new love and you definitely have a new, and higher purpose in life.  You've attained land and titles.  Continue to follow any doors you see fit and those that you feel will bring Balance; whatever your definition of that might be.  Nothing is off limits for a Daedric god and his right hand in Skyrim.  He will continue to light your path that will lead you to all corners of Skyrim and even across the sea to Solsteim. 

    Final Balance

    Hircine entreats you to venture to Solsteim.  He reveals to you a magical weapon, the Glass Bow of the Stag Prince,.  "The bow has been in the hands of a non-believer for too many years," Hircine tells you.  Obviously he wishes you to recover his personal bow.  Use this as a hunter to get stat bonuses from Hircine (up to 80 animals).  To obtain this item, Hircine reveals to you the method to steal this weapon from a "midnight merchant".  Use your Misdirection perk to steal the bow from the merchant.  This item has never been stolen but Hircine reveals the must fast travel to the merchant's location between midnight and 6:00 AM.  He also warns that guards will always consider this item stolen if you are ever stopped for a crime.*

    * You MUST have the misdirection perk in order to get this weapon.  The bow will show as stolen once you get it.  To fix this, get a follower (Faendal will work), put the bow in a chest and then have your follower take all the items from the chest.  Trade with him to get the bow back and the stolen mark will be gone.

    The bow will grant you a +25 bonus to health and stamina, once charged up, so keep that in mind for your stamina points as you apply leveling points.*

    Hircine will continue to reveal unusual items that you may, or may not, wish to pursue as rewards for your valiant efforts in his name and to recover from non-believers to further restore Balance.  


    For being his Huntsman, Hircine will offer to lead you to many relics and artifacts.  Here is a list of what you can choose to seek out as rewards from your god and to seize from the unworthy.

    Savior's Hide is a good hunter style armor, again you may or may not have something better by that time.

    Summon Werebear: The werebear is a gift from Hircine to help defend you on occasion, should the need arise. 

    Dragonscale smithing: At level 100 smithing, Hircine gifts you the knowledge to craft Dragonscale (light) armor.  It is Daedric in appearance and has a hunting motif.  This is the only armor you will use outside of basic leather/hide armors in the game.

    Hircine's Hands is a special move utilizing the Clear Skies shout for outdoor combat and Unrelenting Force for indoor combat.

    When you attain level 94 (and only 94) in Archery, stop IMMEDIATELY.  Begin the Speed & Precision Quest with Angi and get rewarded with Angi's Bow.  While the bow is relatively useless at this stage of the game, the quest (and hence Hircine's gift) grants you +6 skill points in Archery bringing you to 100 from this one quest.

    Full List of Items and Artifacts to Hunt For

    Shouts: Animal Allegiance, Slow Time, Whirlwind Sprint, Unrelenting Force, Bend Will, Summon Werebear, Clear Skies, Drain Vitality

    Bows: Bow of the Hunt, Angi's Bow (remember, at 94 Archery ONLY), Finriel's End (DB Questline), Glass Bow of the Stag Prince, Dragonbone Bow, Black Bow of Fate,

    Totems: Totems of Hircine (we will carry this with us but cannot use the blessing as we will not have a beast form).

    Black Books: For Mora's Boon, a huge self healing spell and also Bardic Knowledge, a stamina regeneration spell. 

    Skill Books: Archery, Light Armor


    Miscellaneous Items of Note

    Enchanting: We are NOT taking enchanting but do not be afraid to buy level V soul gems from vendors and put a basic enchant on your gear and weapons.  It will certainly help and won't break the character with overpowered enchantments. 

    Smithing: We aren't smithing any gear until the final set (Dragonscale) so ensure you gather up those needed materials during the playthrough. 

    AlchemyFortify Archery will help immensely.  Maybe carry a backup set of gear with Fortify One-Handed on it for melee combat.  Fortify Health helps survivability in combat. 
    *Keep any Fortify Pickpocket gear you find for the Glass Bow of the Stag Prince quest.  Also a good Fortify Pickpocket potion may come in handy.

    Armor: Keep away from Elven and Glass armor for roleplaying although you can use any bow you find.  These will typically be better than any you can self enchant with no enchanting skills. 

    I was hoping to use the Aetherial Crown for the Summon Werebear gift but it won't work.  So if you want this power, I suggest taking the summon to yourself and locking in the Lady Stone to the Crown.  Based on research you can wear the crown and a helmet (LINK).



    Thanks to Lee Fiskilis for the perk boards, I appreciate you taking the time to do those for me.  Also to Relycs for discussing the build overview with me and giving me invaluable advise and constructive criticism.  And many thanks to those that put information on this site that I used to ensure certain things worked (or didn't) as I fleshed the Huntsman out.  Also, another big thanks to Relycs for the tip on how to remove the stolen tag from the Bow of the Stag Prince.  Very helpful so you don't risk losing the weapon later in the game.

    Thanks for checking this build out and please take a look at my other builds at #LeBlanc Builds

    This build got it's start as I was just wandering around with one of my characters and stumbled across the biggest mudcrab I had ever seen.  It was west of the Western Watchtower.  So I started thinking of a storyline that would tie in with that, which led me back to one of my hunter/scout builds from some time back.  I started a new playthrough with that idea, went to Helgen, ventured to the mudcrab and then worked my way back towards Whiterun.  Then the lightbulb went off for this build.  Some of the diligent members in the Workshop really helped me fix this build up.

  • Member
    December 11, 2015
    The seventh picture looks like it's from the Official Skyrim Trailer.
  • Ed
    December 11, 2015
    I hope this gets more likes in the long run. The backstory, the rp, the way the story flows, the skillset, the basic and natural character aesthetic... Really clicked for me, good one.
  • Member
    December 11, 2015

    Thank you very much Ed.  The Workshop group helped me tie this together in a big way.  Much much better (in my opinion) than my original first draft of the character.  I certainly hope it gets some plays as I had great fun with this one.

  • Member
    December 11, 2015

    Hey bud. You obviously put a ton of work in here. A couple of formatting notes that may or may not be a personal opinion of mine: Be careful of having too many different fonts/colors/sizes/italics. For example the "skill and perk tree" section for me is distracting. You also have blue, red, purple and green color fonts in ways that I can't completely figure out if there's a purpose. If there is, please let me know. 

    I REALLY like your idea of the progression "proving worth" ->  "bringing balance" -> "becoming the huntsman" -> "final balance". My only critique would be to try to trim down the text in these sections if possible. I mean most people at this point in Skyrim don't need full quest descriptions, just a little direction. It just ends up making me want to skim instead of enjoy the build.

    As I said, great work. Just keep polishing. 

  • Member
    December 11, 2015

    Fair points.  Each color section is a separate section of the build, which I thought was tied in to the the blue is the "background story"; the orange is the "build basics", Gear is in purple.

    One of the complaints when I initially posted the build was it was "too hard to read" due to all the text running together so I thought the color would break it up and make each section a bit easier to read through.

    Then a second complaint was not enough detail on some things so when I took it back to the Workshop we worked on expanding it out for better flow and details.

  • Member
    December 11, 2015
    Ah yes I see. Like I said, could just be my personal preference. Thanks for the explanation of the colors. I really do like how you created your own huntsman "quest-line" so to speak.
  • December 11, 2015

    Oh no, not multi coloured text. That's probably one of the most off-putting things anyone can do, especially with Ning and it's really difficult to read colours (it hurts my eyes, and my soul to read coloured text here). Use it maybe for a bit of a highlight but don't just use it like you have, it's just really one of the most off-putting things possible. 

  • Member
    December 11, 2015

    OK, redid to all black but leaving the colored headers.  Let me know if that flows better for you.  I'm concerned the original concerns will be "too hard to read".

  • December 11, 2015

    Nah, it's perfectly fine at the moment. It's separated well and flows together excellently.