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Event Build: The Small One

Tags: #Character Build Mage Armor  #Character Build Supporter  #Character Build Hero  #Rank:Event Exemplar  #Event:Crossworlds2  #Kael  #ShinJin Build 
  • Member
    December 20, 2015

    Kael-gon Jinn made a promise to deliver to you a build, and deliver to you a build we shall! Look no further, for here it is; the supporter of your dreams, the deliverer of your hopes, and the Sage of our brain-child! We present to you...

    The Small One

    Shiny colours...pretty, they are!


    Contrary to popular belief, the prophecy of the Dragonborn did not originate with the Akaviri--they merely borrowed and adapted it. No, the true origins of the prophecy of the Dragonborn, or The One, came from The Sages, a faction created in Black Marsh around the dawn of the Argonians as a species. This faction was a group of wise Argonians who tapped into an ancient power of the hist known as “The being.” They regarded it as a living entity within all creatures, and revered it with almost a religious zeal. The Sages believed that only through a heightened inner peace could they unlock the true power of “The being”. However, some Sages disagreed with their pacifistic ways and their use of only one side of “the Being”. This splinter group became known as “The Ravagers”, and they fled… and waited.


    Race: Shin and I decided to keep options open for this build...we originally had in mind the following races:

    • Argonian, due to them being the best fit for the lore. Their boost to alteration and restoration is useful, and that glorious Histskin racial ability can be a lifesaver for tough boss-battles...and they’re green too!
    • Bosmer due to the fact that they are the shortest of all the races, and are very environmentally friendly.
    • Orc due to their insane racial power. Of course, their bonus to smithing and one-handed are very helpful, alongside the fact that they can be green. But the most important reason was that Karver would probably kill us if we didn’t include Orcs...

    Stone: The Atronach...there’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking into a mage fort and being unfazed (more or less) by their spells. We combine this with the Atronach perk to achieve 80% spell absorption. And the extra 50 magicka definitely helps seal the deal.

    Screwed you are, mages...

    Stat Ratio: 0:1:2 (Stamina:Health:Magicka). With our follower tanking for us and taking the brunt of our enemy’s attacks, we don’t need too much health. Similarly, if we put any points into stamina, the unlimited stamina glitch wouldn’t work.

    If, on the other hand, you are a scrub like Shin who enjoys rushing into places and getting in faces, you may try a more balanced approach (0:1:1). Either way, you’re going to want to leave stamina alone for that unlimited glitch!


    One-handed: What sort of warrior would this guy be without his weapon? Naturally, we’re going for one-handed here - we’ll be spellswording our way through the game with the sleekest sword possible - A blades sword. I stuck to being a spell-sword (blade in the right hand, spell in the left), but Shin took it on in two phases: first he went with the single sword and various heal or flesh spells in the off hand. When he finally got the Dragonhide flesh spell, he went with dual-wielding because:

    “(a) with unlimited stamina, dual wielders are absolutelydeadly, and (b) you don’t have to juggle the menu to get your two swords back if you hotkey your right-hand sword and the two handed Dragonhide master spell”

    Well, that’s Shin’s justification...I think it’s just because scrubs without DLCs need to compensate with more damage…

    Alteration: Damn right, this guy is an alteration mage...there’s nothing quite as refreshing as playing a mage playthrough without the most outright overpowered schools (Conjuration, Destruction and Illusion). We’ll be using pretty much every spell in this school, even the often-overlooked telekinesis (which, when paired with the right elements, is an insanely useful little spell) .

    Awesome, I am.

    Restoration: Now what kind of master can’t heal his apprentice? A useless one! Naturally, the undead repellants definitely sweeten the deal. The connection to the Hist would also likely translate into an ability to give life, given that the Hist is a living entity which essentially gives life itself. (Chances are  I may have my lore totally muddled up here)

    Speech: First and foremost, the Sages were Guardians of the Peace. To achieve this, they had to be diplomatic about certain situations and hone their persuasive techniques; they were highly respected by the majority of the population and thus would get the best prices and deals. Though when diplomacy didn’t work, it would devolve into...ahem...Aggressive Negotiations.

    Smithing: Ah, Smithing. The Sages were master Artificers, and even built their own, customized weapons - one for each qualified member of the order. The creation of such a weapon was a trial in itself. We won’t actually be creating our weapon, but we’ll be tempering it and then enchanting it (but bear in mind that we are notgoing to perk Enchanting).

    We both used steel swords, and would temper, then enchant new ones as our Smithing skills improved. We stuck to this method until we reached the Arcane Blacksmith Perk, when we swapped out our steel sword(s) for a Blades Sword.

    Some levelling advice: since we didn’t perk Dwarven Smithing, you can’t work that Dwarven bow angle for quick levelling. A great way to boost your Smithing skills is to simply collect daggers, then enchant them with petty soul gems and the Turn Undead enchantment (until we got the Banish Daedra enchant… that baby makes you some money!). Purchasing some training from Balimund or Eorlund Gray-mane, and then getting all your money back with those daggers is a great way to hit Arcane Blacksmith fairly quickly without grinding away at the forge.

    Not of killing, but a weapon of peace


    We both went with the same set of equipment (more or less), going for a very minimalistic look. Given that we were using the Mage Armor perk, we didn’t use any armor.

    Naturally, use whatever you find until you access this set of equipment. Shin also enchanted his boots with a One-handed enchant and a Grand soul gem for a little extra oomph. Keep in mind, you can further increase their effectiveness by unequipping and re equipping them when you take your resto potions for the unlimited stamina glitch.

    You should refrain from enchanting your blades sword until you have the Arcane Blacksmith perk so that you can occasionally increase its damage through Smithing. It’s also recommended that you don’t pick up the Mage’s Circlet until level 25.


    This is definitely not a crafting build. But neither is it a no-crafting build. This is a very organic playthrough, levelling as you go along. The use of smithing here definitely does not feel like a grind-fest. In fact, you'll find yourself stopping in town every so often anyway - so why not do a bit of smithing, enchanting and selling? The three synergise like a charm; it's truly wonderful!

    As we'll be spending our playthrough wearing only robes or clothes, we will be investing fully into the mage armor perks. As mentioned above, the Atronach Perk is used in combination with the Atronach Stone to make mages a much lesser threat (if any at all!); the Ward Absorb perk is also extremely helpful in this regard. The speech skill is very useful as you level your smithing skill - given that it's also ideal to be levelling our enchanting skill, one very lucrative way of increasing all three skills at once is by smithing something, improving it, enchanting it with the best possible enchantment (Turn undead until the Banish enchantment is available) and then selling it to whoever will take it. It really works, I tell you! 

    Of course, our wise and sagely Grandmaster won't be intimidating anyone - that's not the way of the Sages. In fact, it goes against one of their commandments (#6 in particular - see the roleplay section). 


    We’ll be utilising a few glitches here to make the playthrough more enjoyable; nothing game-breaking, mind you.

    • Restoration Potion Glitch (RPG - It’s almost like there are some hidden implications here!): An old classic, the Restoration potion glitch really allows us to bam our equipment up a bam, increasing our magicka by a great deal, as well as severely reducing alteration spell costs and buffing our prowess with one-handed weapons. Through this glitch, we also achieve both the Unlimited Stamina and Reduced Shout Cooldown Glitches.
    • Unlimited Stamina (US - The United States have come to Skyrim!): This glitch does exactly what it says on the tin; it gives us unlimited stamina. This means we can sprint infinitely, power attack infinitely and much more! We achieve this through drinking a potion of the healer followed by a philter of the healer and then re-equipping all our equipment (including the Gauldur Amulet).
    • Shout Cooldown (SC - ): By performing the Unlimited Stamina in front of a shrine of Talos and then accepting the blessing, shout cooldowns are reduced by 29.6% (up from 20%). Combine this with an Amulet of Talos, and we get a total cooldown reduction of 59.2%. Later on, we can combine this with the Dragon Aspect shout to reduce our cooldown by a staggering 79.2%!
    • Gauldur Amulet Glitch (GAG - Don’t worry, it’s not that bad): By equipping the Gauldur Amulet and then subsequently equipping a different amulet, both will remain equipped. Simple, yes?

    In addition to the listed shout cooldown reduction, we also gain an overwhelming 148 extra magicka, 44.4 extra stamina, a sizeable bonus to our one-handed damage (varying with enchantment strength) and an alteration spell cost reduction of between 50.32 and 69.56 percent, in addition to the cost reduction perks!

    *Attention, Maths incoming. Skip to combat if you don't want your mind blown (in a good way).*

    If we take the alteration spell dragonhide, using a ring of peerless alteration (25% cost reduction) and robes of master alteration (22% cost reduction) with an alteration skill level of 100 and the master Alteration perk, we can calculate the following:
    Base Cost: 837
    Skill Multiplier: 0.5938738018
    Perk Multiplier: 0.5
    Equipment Multiplier: 0.3044
    Cost = 837 x 0.5938738018 x 0.5 x 0.3044 = 75.65 (Round up)
    Dragonhide is reduced to a mere 76 magicka…  plenty left in the tank to take care of healing yourself and your follower!


    There are two mindsets for this build when approaching your combat options: the first is a (mostly) passive approach that has your fledgling follower rushing into the the fray, while you cast a flesh spell, mentor and heal your follower, and take the occasional shots at your enemies. This is also a good approach to take if you find yourself up against several combatants. Getting them to fixate on your follower allows you to heal him while wailing away on them.

    And then there’s mindset number two. If you want to protect your protégé from a dangerous situation (or just want to get in there to kick butt and take names), a more aggressive approach is in order. As you rush to the fray, cast your flesh spell and engage the enemy before your follower can. While your highly reduced shout cooldown doesn’t quite make a single shout of Unrelenting Force spammable, it’s still pretty freaking close. Popping an enemy with a single shout just before you engage gives you an open invitation to commence the beat-down uncontested.








    Peaceful Solution: The only way, death is not.

    Disarm + Telekinesis

    Usage: A Sage always strives to find a peaceful solution to end conflict. This can be easily achieved by removing your enemy’s arms so as to prevent them from retaliating against you. Best used after Alter Flesh.



    Alter Flesh: Harm me, you cannot.

    Shalidor’s Insights: Alteration + Dragonhide + Atronach Perk + Atronach Stone

    Usage: Through years of training, you’ve gained an innate resistance to magic. You’ve also mastered the art of resisting physical blows. Always use to initiate combat



    Acrobatics: Flee, I will.

    Unrelenting Force (3 words) + Whirlwind Sprint

    Blow your enemies with a fully charged Unrelenting Force shout, then escape from the front line; we can’t have ourselves dying, no no no. Best used when your enemies are focused on you rather than your follower.




    The Sages:

    The Sages are a group of humanoids (of any race) preceding the dawn of the empire that tap into the true energy of the Hist - they refer to said energy simply as “the Being”. They are characterized by their pacifistic nature and their seemingly oxymoronic status as Warrior-Monks; they often wear plain robes and carry a personalised weapon known as a “Saber”. They will often name their swords, to familiarise themselves with it.

    The Code: “Your creed, this code is. Live by it, you must.” - Grandmaster Joh-Da

    There is no emotion, there is peace
    There is no ignorance, there is knowledge
    There is no passion, there is serenity
    There is no chaos, there is harmony
    There is no death, there is the Hist

    The Commandments:

    1. No Sage shall kill without reason - Always try to avoid conflict.
    2. No Sage shall defile the dead - Never loot corpses, except for quest items.
    3. No Sage shall love -  Attachment to others clouds one’s judgement. So no spouses, no kids. Simple enough.
    4. No Sage shall fall to arrogance - Always choose the most humble option in a conversation.
    5. No Sage shall act with malicious intent - Never intentionally choose to harm someone. Essentially just another version of Commandment #1.
    6. No Sage shall view others as a means to an end - In other words, no working “for the Greater Good”; view each person as an end itself. This is best explained by the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
    7. All Sages shall uphold these values, else risk expulsion from the order - Break any of the commandments, and you can kiss the order goodbye. So...don’t break them!


    Every Elder Sage takes on an apprentice to pass on their wisdom to. From this experience, both the master and the apprentice will learn things from one another. As Grandmaster of the order, you are a shining example to all other elders.

    There is no one follower which you have no choice but to choose, but there are a few we would recommend:

    • Sven: Whiny, young and brash. Oh, and effeminate. Now who does that sound like? Oh yes, Dovahkiin Skyrimwalker. While he does, out of all the Sage skills, use only one - one/two-handed - he can be obtained rather easily and very early on in the game.
    • Belrand: If you can get past this guy’s age, he’s perfect! As a spellsword utilising restoration, he fits perfectly! He does, however, come at a price. Pretty sure no-one ever paid for someone to be their apprentice though...Usually it’s the other way around…
    • Teldryn Sero: Literally, this guy is perfect (unless you’re a scrub). When he speaks of his old master, his old master can easily be seen as one of the “Ravagers” - he turned to the bright side of the Being. Another spellsword, but he doesn’t utilise restoration; he does use conjuration and destruction, however, which is explained away by him having turned away from the evil side of the Being. Once again, unfortunately, he comes at a price…
    • Marcurio: A great mage and follower all-round, as master, you have the role to turn his arrogance into humbleness. Aside from that, he doesn’t really fit; he doesn’t use swords, and he comes at a price.

    Purpose in Skyrim:

    So, why did the Grandmaster of the Sages and his/her apprentice come to Skyrim?

    • Well, your apprentice is the Dragonborn, prophesied by the Sage’s Prophecy of the Dragonborn (I repeat, the Akaviri stole it from the Sages). As the Grandmaster of the order, well versed in the order’s scriptures, you realise this.
    • Furthermore, you are there to train your apprentice and show him how absolute power corrupts absolutely (As in the case of Alduin).
    • And, as always, you are there to eradicate evil.

    In terms of quests:

    • Main Quest - After all, your apprentice is the dragonborn!
    • Dawnguard - Dawnguard side, of course. Harkon could easily be a Ravager - he must be stopped!
    • Dragonborn - Miraak is another obvious Ravager. Destroy him!
    • College of Winterhold - “There is knowledge”, but only if you bother to go out and find it!
    • Companions - An honourable band of men, your apprentice could learn from them. Eventually it becomes a quest to redeem both yourself and them.
    • Shalidor’s Insights - The alteration scrolls from this quest are amazingly useful, especially in the Alter Flesh tactics.

    Then show you my arm I shall… milk-drinker

    Grandmaster of the Order:

    • As Grandmaster of the Order, your role is to be extremely wise and sagely. You act as an overseer with a great deal of gravitas; you’re a big deal!
    • Your DND alignment would be Lawful Good
    • You make all the decisions; not your apprentice!
    • As a side note, if you want to immerse yourself even more, use the PC console (sorry, console players) to execute the command “setscale to 0.66” then use “player.setav speedmult 128” to fix the movement speed problem.

    Closing Notes:

    As always, a massive thank you to the CB Hosts for hosting this event. Thanks also to both Vazgen and Teccam for their HTML tricks - check out the discussion here.

    But the biggest thanks goes to ShinJin. For a scrub, you're a great builder and a great guy, and its been amazing working with you again! How about we get you the DLCs for Christmas?

    But wait, there's more!

  • Member
    December 20, 2015
    Cool stuff^^.
    Just to say it, Master Robes of any kind can only be aquired if the player is at least lvl 32, so I recommend expert robes for the late game and the robes that looks the same from Radiant Raiment at low lvl.
  • December 20, 2015

     You just blew my mind off, guys. Amazing and insane! 

  • Member
    December 20, 2015

    Awesome sauce. +1

  • Member
    December 20, 2015
    Seeing this build brings warm feelings to my heart.
  • Member
    December 20, 2015
    Really glad you got this up. I think it's really great. You had me at Sven being effeminate.
  • Member
    December 20, 2015

    For everyone, CHEESE!

  • Member
    December 20, 2015

    Thanks for mentioning that, Relycs. Although, in the earlier levels, both Shin and I went with regular novice robes.

  • Member
    December 20, 2015

    And just when I taught I've seen enough Star Wars for today.

    Best Jedi-inspired build I've seen.The pacifist gameplay is very good and challenging especially when facing Harkon or Miraak.The use of glitches and the math...I just love having my mind blown because of math. 

  • Member
    December 20, 2015