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Character Build: The Daggerfall Archer

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Barbarian  #Character Build Thief  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Recognized  #David Okine 
  • Member
    January 31, 2016

    Hailing from High Rock, the Daggerfall Archer is sent to Skyrim to investigate the ongoing conflict between the rebel Stormcloaks and Imperials. To accomplish this mission an age old alliance needs to be resurrected. I proudly present you…

    ‘I was born a beggar, raised on the streets; I stole from the rich and cheered with the poor.  For far too long I carried the shame of my family on my shoulders. But I swear by my forefathers’ graves, I will restore my family's honor. My ancestor was Emeric of Wayrest, High King and leader of the Daggerfall Covenant and through my veins flows the same royal blood but I wear no crown as I pledge my loyalty to the people not vice-versa.  And though times of war are long gone, my blood is bound to the ancient treaties.

    I lay my bow in the service of the Kingdom of Daggerfall and all its people, may my arrows pierce the heart of its enemies the moment they lay eyes on its walls and if I die, may it not be in vain to protect Daggerfall and its people.’

    -Vow of Koraak of Wayrest to the Lion Guard as Protector of Daggerfall

    Race: Breton. As a descendant of High King Emeric, who married a princess of Hammerfell, Redguard would work too.

    Stone: Warrior -> Lord -> Steed

    Stat Spread: 0/2/3 (Level 50: 100/300/400)

    Major Skills: Archery, Two Handed, Light Armor, Speech,

    Minor Skills: Sneak, Pickpocket, Heavy Armor, Lockpicking

    Shouts: Unrelenting Force, Aura Whisper

    Essential Quests: Imperial Legion, Thieves Guild, City Influence Quests, The Kagrumez Trials, Boethia’s Calling, Main Quest (at least until ‘The Horn Of Jurgen Windcaller’), The Forgemaster's Fingers.

    Essential DLCs: Dragonborn 

    The Build

    My favorite archetype in any RPG is without doubt the arrow-shooting ‘Archer’. With the Daggerfall Archer I finally found my own playstyle combination, a mix of light and heavy armor, the use of archery to snipe even the toughest foe from afar and wielding a mighty two-handed sword to deal close-ranged damage. I can’t deny my inspirations for this build: the awesome Breton archer from the first TESO trailer and Aragorn from the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies.

    The main idea I had with this build is to infiltrate Skyrim and to have an impact on the ongoing civil war, to influence a positive outcome not only for High Rock but also for the Daggerfall Archer himself. This idea opens up a huge roleplay potential which I will describe in detail in the ‘Roleplay’ section.

    The build itself is quite straightforward as there are no spells or crafting skills used. Most archers prefer to take one-handed swords besides their bow or even a pair of daggers but the Daggerfall Archers is different. Back in High Rock he was trained to use greatswords. I must say these heavy weapons are a bit harder to use as they aren’t as fast as lightweight daggers but if you do land a hit, the enemy’s life will diminish quickly.

    Another particularity of the Daggerfall Archer is the heavy chest armor. Again most archers rely on light armor or even robes to be as quick on their feet as possible, though this swiftness is not very useful against mightier enemies such as Draugr Deathlords or even dragons. The Daggerfall Archer can take quite some physical damage and being a Breton, his ‘Dragonskin’ ability protects him even against strong mages and dragon priests. What the Daggerfall Archer lacks in agility he makes up in sustainability with armor, high stamina and buffs from Standing Stones and amulets.

    The only skill that is boosted by the race is the Speech skill. This skill is not only quite useful but also important for the roleplay aspect. The Daggerfall Archer has a very swift tongue and is able to use words to get what he wants. He can easily talk himself out of any situation if he ever gets caught by a guard or sell stolen goods to merchants. As this skill tree is progressed, the Daggerfall Archer will be able to invest in any merchant and sell him even more goods.

    The Sneak, Lockpicking and Pickpocket skills are useful for the Thieves’ Guild quest line even though Lockpicking isn’t progressed in-depth. The Pickpocket skill is progressed until ‘Extra Pockets’ to get that +100 carrying capacity, which is again useful on dungeon explorations.

    For the stone I chose to set off with the Warrior Stone and as soon as I had the armor pieces gathered I changed to the Lord Stone, because the +50 armor rating really makes a difference. When mixing heavy and light armor, any bonuses of wearing the same kind of armor are removed, thus reducing the armor rating. Adding the 25% Magic resistance to the Breton racial bonus give the Daggerfall Archer a total of 50% Magic resistance.

    While doing the Thieves Guild questline I changed to the Steed Stone, as I knew that I wouldn't fight much but need the extra +100 carrying capacity and the armor weight reduction.

    Level 50 Perk Spread


    As said earlier the Daggerfall Archer wears a mix of light and heavy armor pieces. On archers I always take Linwe’s Hood for that damage boost on bows. As the Daggerfall Archer doesn’t upgrade his weapons, the sidequest ‘Summerset Isles’ in the Thieves’ Guild is essential. The gloves and boots are from the Guild Master’s Armor set. For the chest slot I often switched between Ebony Armor, Ebony Mail and Guild Master’s Armor as I found the Ebony Mail smoke effect blocking the view while crouching. The GM Armor can be worn to get the ‘Custom Fit’ bonus from the Light Armor tree or to augment the carrying capacity when in need. In the late game I wore an armor mod called Robed Ebony Armor (link is at the end) which looks aesthetically better than both the standard Ebony and Mail versions and looks closer to what I had in my mind. To profit from the enchantments on the GM armor parts before actually getting that armor, I recommend to retrieve the Blackguard armor set, which is found on Solstheim. The enchantments are stronger than GM's though the armor rating as lower. 


    • Linwe’s Hood (Bows do 15% more damage)/ Guild Master’s Hood (Prices are 20% better
    • start with Steel Armor --> Ebony Armor (Ebony Mail)/Guild Master’s Armor
    • Guild Master’s Gloves (Lockpicking is 35% easier)
    • Guild Master’s Boots (Pickpocket success is 35% better)

    The Daggerfall Archer carries a collection of different rings and necklaces to adjust to the situation. The Amulet of Articulation is the final reward from the Thieves’ Guild questline and the enchantment boosts persuasion checks and speechcraft but as the level of enchantment is random I recommend saving before handing in the quest to be able to get the strongest enchantment. It is especially useful if the Speech skill level is low. In addition this necklace registers as Light armor and as such it benefits from the all associated perks such as ‘Agile Defender’ and ‘Custom Fit’.

    The other necklaces boost Stamina or Health regeneration and help to augment the Daggerfall Archer’s sustainability in tough fights. The rings boost the weapon that is equipped and are essential to augment the damage. These can all be looted or bought at any store. To increase odds I recommend the following trick: save before you speak to the merchant, then you take a look at their inventory, if the wanted item is not available, kill the merchant and reload the save you created before. The merchant’s inventory is now reset. This can be done as many times as you wish.


    • Necklace of Peerless Haggling (Prices are 25% better)
    • Amulet of Articulation (Persuade checks in dialogue will almost always succeed and Speechcraft is 5-35% better)
    • Necklace of Peerless Stamina (+70 Stamina)/ Necklace of Revival (Health regenerates 50% faster)
    • Ring of Peerless Archery(40% more damage)/Ring of Peerless Sure Grip (40% more damage)

    A bow which I personally really like is the Dwarven Black Bow Of Fate.The base damage is equivalent to an Elven bow but the enchantment is quite useful and strong. It has a chance to absorb 25 points of each attribute which is really nice to weaken the enemy and refill your own attributes. The bow often doesn’t instantly kill enemies, but if combined with Linwe’s Hood, a ring of peerless archery and a potion of True Shot then the enchantment will absorb even the last drop of life the wounded enemy clings to. Besides the pretty good enchantment, the orange glowing runes on the black dwemer metal/wood look pretty awesome, too. 

    This bow is a real treasure for the Daggerfall Archer.


    • Dwarven Black Bow Of Fate (50% Chance for each attribute to absorb 25 points of Health, Stamina and/or Magicka)
    • Honed Ancient Nord Greatsword (or any other sword with a cross guard)


    What I think really sets the Daggerfall Archer apart from other archers is the roleplay. As said earlier, the Daggerfall Archer is sent to Skyrim to investigate the conflict between Stormcloaks and Imperials but at the same time to influent a positive outcome for High Rock. In order to gain this influence the Daggerfall Archer will need to take control over main powers in Skyrim, the underworld and the political world.

    Control over the underworld:

    The Thieves' Guild, once a feared organization is now just a shadow of its former self. The Daggerfall Archer

    will lead them back to glory.

    Firstly, the Daggerfall Archer joins the Thieves’ Guild as he has been a thief all his life and is therefore skilled in pickpocketing and lockpicking.The Thieves’ Guild not only offers a lot of quests to make a huge amount of gold but also has essential rewards and a very nice quest line which is perfect for the roleplay. The ‘City Influence Quests’ are offered by Delvin Mallory as side quests and are needed to gain influence in Skyrim’s cities. For each city there are 5 quests and if these are completed a new merchant will set up a shop at the Ragged Flagon. In addition there will be gradually more gold available to merchants who buy stolen goods from the Daggerfall Archer. This means that heists or dungeon explorations will be even more rewarding after these quests. These ‘City Influence Quests’ are also needed in order to become the new Guild Master and of course to receive the armor parts.

    With the stronger presence of the Thieves’ Guild throughout Skyrim and the Daggerfall Archer as their new leader, no guard will dare to touch or question his authority.

    Control over the political world:

    War is business, and business is...Good.

    Friend of the Jarls

    To gain influence in the political world the Daggerfall Archer first needs to gain the trust of the Jarls and become Thane of the holds.

    There are a few steps required first:

    • Talking to the Jarl to get a quest
    • The future Thane is assigned to help the citizens, usually about 5 citizens

    After these quests are completed the final assignment is to buy a house in the city.

    Being named a Thane has many advantages such as getting a housecarl assigned and law immunity throughout the hold and of course you get a random enchanted weapon for your own collection. As his influence grows, the Daggerfall Archer will be treated with the respect he deserves.

    The best offer wins

    The next step in gaining political influence is joining the Imperial Legion. The Daggerfall Archer is interested in what the Empire or the Stormcloaks can do for his homeland, High Rock. Here, the Empire has the best offer: Trade. By helping the Imperial Legion to destroy the Stormcloaks, the trade between High Rock and Skyrim will keep flowing, which is exactly what the Daggerfall Archer wants. He believes strictly in loyalty and organization and this is exactly what the Legion can offer and the insignificant rebellion of the Stormcloaks lacks. In addition, this questline also offers a quest where the Daggerfall Archer gets to use his already established political influence if he is a Thane of Riften (Compelling Tribute).

    As these quests revolve around the civil war, there will be plenty of action for the Daggerfall Archer to prove his class as ace marksman and swordfighter but also as a strategic genius, when it comes to conquer enemy forts or defend ally cities. This brings us to the next section…


    Borgakh (Ork), Koraak (Breton) and Ahtar (Redguard) fight together, just as their old alliance did. 

    With the Daggerfall Archer I had in mind to be somehow a Fourth Era Daggerfall Covenant, resurrecting the old alliances between Breton, Redguard and Ork. What could be any closer to this alliance than taking followers into battle? Of course console players don’t benefit from follower mods and must decide who to take with them but PC players can easily take the two followers. I found that these are the best followers to take with you:  

    • Borgakh, the Steel Heart, is a female Orc and can be found in the Stronghold of Mor Khazgur, West of Solitude. To gain entrance to this or any Orc stronghold, the Daggerfall Archer will need to complete an orc-related quest, the easiest being ‘The Forgemaster's Fingers’. Borgakh is especially useful as she is skilled in Heavy Armor, One-Handed, Archery, Sneak and Block.
    • Ahtar, a male Redguard and the only Redguard follower in the game (without the DLC ‘Hearthfire’) He is the executioner of Solitude and he can be found at Castle Dour, the 'Winking Skeever' or Jala’s House. Ahtar offers a quest ‘Kill the Bandit Leader of Broken Oar Grotto’ and after this quest the dialog to gain him as a follower will be available. However there is a bug related to Ahtar: if a quest involving Broken Oar Grotto is completed before getting the quest from Ahtar he will no longer be available as follower. I recommend therefore, if you decide to take Ahtar as a follower, to complete his quest after entering Solitude, but you don’t need to take him with you if you haven’t completed the Thieves’ Guild (which is better done alone) Ahtar is skilled in Two-handed, Block and Heavy Armor.

    I suggest console players to take Borgakh as she is more versatile as single follower. I gave both Borgakh and Ahtar an Ebony armor set and an Ebony bow, mace and shield to the Ork and an Ebony battle axe to the Redguard. Both followers saved my life many times during the civil war quests and it was really fun taking them along and just watching Ahtar slay hordes of enemies be it Stormcloaks or Draugr Deathlords. Besides using followers as pack mules, you can also use them to get a supply of soul gems to refill your bow. Spend some gold on weapons with the 'soul trap' enchantment and empty black soul gems and your followers will do the rest.

      With his Greatsword, the Daggerfall Archer can easily handle Draugr Deathlords


    For quests I recommend to follow this order

    1. Main Quest (at least until ‘The Horn Of Jurgen Windcaller’)
    2. Become Thane of the holds
    3. Thieves Guild questline
    4. The Kagrumez Trials - Travel to Solstheim to retrieve this bow (Level 25+)
    5. Boethia’s Calling – Available at Level 30
    6. City Influence Quests - First highlight of this build
    7. The Forgemaster's Fingers – Gain entrance to Orc strongholds
    8. visit Orc Strongholds and complete their quests
    9. Imperial Legion – Second highlight of this build
    10. Complete the Main Quest – Alduin will either be very easy or a final challenge for the Daggerfall Archer

    These are the essential quests. Of course the Daggerfall Archer has still a lot to do in between and afterwards the quests, such as killing bandit leaders, giants, helping Orc and Redguard friends and of course filling the chests of the Thieves’ Guild (and the own pocket) with coin. Overall he is still a kindhearted character and will often help those in distress and share his gold with beggars. Doesn't it feel great to control the criminal and political side of a foreign country?  

    And again the Daggerfall Covenant is victorious over the arrogant Nord.

    Final Words

    The Daggerfall Archer... this has been, hands down, my favorite playthrough until now. This build has been quite a journey, the idea started roughly as early as 2014 as I scribbled down notes and fleshing out everything around little by little, but now I'm quite satisfied with the outcome. Writing the build was difficult this time, as I didn't quite know where exactly to start but finally it's finished and I enjoyed it. I hope you enjoyed the read aswell, and maybe give the Daggerfall Archer your own spin.

    Used Mods

    Robed Ebony Armor

    *DISCLAIMER: All screenshots are taken and edited by me except the first artwork, the second artwork, the screenshot of the bow, the Thieves' Guild group shot and the Daggerfall Covenant emblem were gathered through Google. All credits go to their respectful owners* 

    Thank you for reading my work and as always, every comment is appreciated.

  • Member
    January 31, 2016

    Awesome work Okine, glad to see that we were both inspired by the badass ESO trailer archer, and glad to see another build from you

  • Member
    January 31, 2016

    Thanks, man! Glad you like it :D Yeah that trailer was so inspiring and awesome, I'm also glad I finally put it out, it was on my HDD for ages haha  

  • Member
    January 31, 2016
    Awesome build! :D Archery/Two-handed is a pretty boss playstyle, and it surprises me somewhat that we don't see it featured in builds more often (pelt from afar, and pummel up close... what's not to like about that?) I REALLY like the roleplay you've got going on here, too; it's a cool way to approach the game :D Again, great job on this.
  • Member
    January 31, 2016

    You still make builds? Jesus.

    Glad to see something new from you. Honestly though, I would've liked it for the armor combo alone. :P

  • Member
    January 31, 2016

    Man, David, talk about a blast from the past. How long has it been since your last build?! Great to see you again. A solid build here for sure — doesn't break the mold or anything, but it's definitely a fun looking character with a nice roleplay angle. And I definitely agree with Albino about the armor combo.

    This should also go without saying, but the Breton Knight armor by NewerMind43 would be a great choice for anyone playing this on PC.

  • Member
    February 1, 2016

    Thank you for the kind words, glad you like it :D I've always liked RP where the character infiltrates another faction and in this case a whole country haha 

  • Member
    February 1, 2016

    Thank you very much, Teccam, glad you like the build and the armor :D

    Ah yes, I know and love that armor and of course I have played it but I thought it would be too easy to just add it to the build ;) My first inspiration for the look definitely came from the artwork under 'The Build' section , so I really wanted to keep that black & blue theme going on 

  • Member
    February 1, 2016

    Thanks a lot :D I haven't had much time the last couple of months but now I have some more ideas that may be transformed into character builds.

    Glad you like the armor combination. I'm lucky nobody else used this combination before me. The blue parts from the Ebony Mail and the black/grey parts from the GM armor are just a perfect match and exactly what I had in mind :)

  • Member
    February 1, 2016

    I love the look of that combo, I've also used  Ebony with Linewe/Blackguard