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Character Build: The Greenskin

Tags: #Character Build Thief  #Character Build Rogue  #Character Build Alchemist  #Race:Orsimer  #Hall of Fame Build  #Karver Builds  #Greenskin 
  • September 11, 2016

    What really jumpstarted this build was while I was playing Baldur's Gate and I remembered all those classic DaD tales of thieves and warriors. You see, those thieves weren't really effective in face to face combat, so they had to rely on the warrior. They both had to rely on each other. So I wanted to recreate that in the Skyrim. Yes, there are some supportive builds on this blog, but they mostly use Restoration or Illusion to support their follower. I've decided that I want to be supportive in completely different way.

    Also, you can find a backstory for this character in story of mine The Cursed Tribe

    Ya want to be a hero, lad? Ha. Such a noble dream. Let me tell ya something. This world doesn't need another hero. Graveyards are full of them, trust me. Don't give me this look, kid, I know what I'm talking about. I lived in a stronghold, ya know. With other Orcs. The toughest of the toughest. But I wasn't tough enough, so they sent me away. I ain't mad at them, it wasn't the life for me. So I learned that honor isn’t worth a shit. Nobody gives a fuck about honor, even if they are boasting about it. If ya slip in battle, they'll cut ya down. That's why I don't give a damn about it. The world is full of mean people, so ya have to be meaner. Ya heard that I'm the Dragonborn? Did I tell ya I don't give a shit about destiny either? Piss in it’s eye if it has one. Anyway, good with a sword are ya? If we beat that noble crap out of your head, ya might be something in the end, mister Erik the Slayer.


    Race: Orsimer
    Stone: Thief until you get 100 sneak than you can switch to Lady or Lord (both suit this build pretty well)
    Stats: 0/1/1 Until you have 250 stamina, then go full Health.
    Major Skills: Sneak, Alchemy, Pickpocket, Light Armor
    Minor Skills: Block, Archery, Speech, Lockpicking
    Shouts: Aura Whisper, Throw Voice, Unrelenting Force, Whirlwind Sprint, Dragon Aspect
    Powers: Mora's Boon, Secret of Protection, Black Market, Companion's Insight, Seeker of Shadows, Sinderion's Serendipity


    Sneak - The first most important skill. Shadow warrior becomes your bread and butter, so get it as soon as possible, because everytime you use Sneak in the middle of combat, enemies will shift their attention to Erik.

    Pickpocket - If you feel like going solo in dungeon, stealing weapons from your enemies (thanks to the Misdirection perk) will certainly help if things go wrong. And if things go really wrong, running back to Erik will solve pretty much everything.

    Lockpicking - Golden Touch and Treasure Hunter were more or less my choice for roleplaying purposes. This orc isn't just a thief, he is an adventurer too, so finding some legendary stuff in chests is what makes him undergo all the dangers of adventuring.

    Alchemy - Paralyze, Invisibility, Poison Damage, Frenzy and other effects are just trademarks of the thief who doesn't want to end up like another body in the sewer. It actually makes this character more suited to the wilds and I just love catching butterflies. I'm just that kind of person.

    Light Armor - Going for Agile Defender boosts your AR nicely and Wind Walker was something I couldn't pass on with my heavy of use of stamina.

    Speech - Not neccesarily important perks, but Merchant comes in really handy. Going up to the Fence perk is redundant if you have access to the Thieves Guild – which you have. Bribe is also really great for leveling your Speech and for keeping your stolen stuff if you get caught. It pretty much removes the need to use Save/Load every time you pickpocket someone.

    Archery - Steady Hand. The only important perk from this tree to this character. Dwemer Crossbow has some serious punch, but usually you have to aim over Erik's shoulder when he is swinging his sword ten feet away from you. So you have to hit the right guy, right?

    Block - Again, Quick Reflexes. The block skill itself isn't important here as you will be bashing more than blocking, but taking perks on the bashing side of the tree isn't neccesary. You are not bashing for damage, but for crowd control.



    Vampire Gauntlets - Pretty much all the equipment is pre-enchanted, except for gloves. I chose Vampire Gauntlets cause they are some of the best looking gloves and they are Light Armor, so Custom Fit, ok? Enchanting them with Fortify Archery removes the need for more perks in the Archery tree. Of course, if you manage to find some Hide, Leather or Scaled Bracers with Fortify Archery, they are also a good option for increasing your Archery damage.

    Shroded Gloves - Another option is the Shrouded Gloves for double backstab damage, again, to avoid getting more perks. Switching between these two depends on a situation. You want to be sniping or you want to sneak? That is the question.

    Blackguard Armor's enchantments more useful than Linwe's set, except for Linwe's Hood, which boosts Archery. Quite a good looking set if you ask me.

    Enhanced Dwemer Crossbow with 50% ignore armor is one of the most powerful ranged weapons in the game, plus it comes with Elemental Bolts that increases its damage output and adds some "gadgets" feel to this character.

    Mehrunes Razor is one of the rare artifacts, it has a 1.98% chance to instantly kill your enemy. It is useful while the enemies are focused on Erik instead of you, so you can stab them as many times as you want. Frankly, 2% isn’t much, but instantly killing a Draugr Deathlord is something. Until you obtain it, Tonilia has some good daggers from time to time. I was actually using Elven Daggers of Paralyze, Turn Undead, Shock Damage until I got my hands on the Razor.

    Volendrung is pretty much the signature weapon of Orcs, but for this one Orc's style it's too big, but nevertheless it is essential for the only special move this character uses.

    Aetherial Shield. What an incredible item. It makes an enemy enter ethereal form for 15 seconds, making them harmless, and making it an awesome crowd control ability. When you bash them, they can't harm you and you can't harm them. Most of the time they are running away as if they were under the Fear effect, so they reveal your position to other enemies. Very useful against undead and automatons against whom the poisons don't work. Its other use is that you can bash your follower too, making him invulnerable, if you see that his health is going down rapidly. (But Erik is a tough guy, it doesn't happen very often.)

    Also, if you manage to get your hands on a Staff of Frost Atronach or Staff of Storm Atronach, don't sell them. These things are quite powerful and can come in handy in hard situations. Frost Atronach for tanking some hard hitting enemies and Storm Atronach for dealing with mages or dragons.

    Paralyzing Dust

    Paralyze (Canis Root + Swamp Fungal Pod)

    Touch of Agony

    Lingering Damage Health + Ravage Health (Scathecraw + Jazbay Grapes + Mora Tapinella)

    Weak Immunity

    Weakness to Poison + Damage Health (Red Mountain Flower + Deathbell + Chaurus Egg

    Cat's Senses

    Fortify Archery (Elves Ear or Spider Egg + Juniper Berries)

    Soothing Balm

    Fortify Health + Restore Health (Blue Mountain Flower + Wheat)

    Skin Cleaner

    Invisibility + Health Regeneration (Luna Moth Wing + Vampire Dust)

    Rage Poison

    Frenzy (Blisterwort + Fly Amanita)


    While I listed Silver Greatsword, you should switch for some Greatsword with Absorb Health if you have a chance.

    Healing Potions – While the followers tend to not use potions,they do use healing potions. But only Healing Potions bought or looted, not made by you. So pretty much every healing potion you find or buy, give it to Erik. Trust me, he will be thankful and you too as a result.


    Weakness to Magic (Dragon's Tongue + Creep Cluster)

    While this poison will be used by you on your enemies, I felt it should be mentioned here. This will be pretty much your direct way of healing Erik. This poison will increase the amount of health he will Absorb with his weapon.


    Combat and Tactics


    The Thief

    What is awesome about this character is that it is pretty much pure thief. This section will focus on that aspect of this character. What is rule number one of all thieves? Don't get caught. That's what you'll be trying to uphold while using this approach: Try to be undetected all the time, that is the goal. Going like a thief usually means you will have to leave Erik at the entrance of dungeon or somewhere in the forest near some fort. So don't forget about him.


    There is something thrilling about slowing gameplay down and Sneaking past all your enemies, completing your objective undetected. Almost every quest can be turned into Heist. It is definitely challenging to complete a dungeon without actually entering combat. Throw Voice and Invisibility should help you sneak past your enemies with ease. Oh, and don't forget to steal their valuables while you're at it.



    Also, even the best thieves can sometimes slip and things suddenly go sour. You can't prevent it usually, but you can ease the consequences. If you rob your enemies of their weapons, they'll hardly put any fight when you'll bring Erik into the fight. Of course, this doesn't work against every enemy, especially Draugr or Spellcasters. One you can't pickpocket and stealing weapons from Mages is just pointless. In this case, Shadow Warrior and Invisibility are your best friends. Get away from their line of sight, hide in the shadows and try again, better now. Another great addition is Aetherial Shield. You get caught? Bash them and send them running away. That means you can hide behind a corner, crouch and use Invisibility potion tobecome undetected again. Funny thing is, that with Aetherial Shield you can pretty much run through the dungeon bashing everyone you meet and never get hit.


    The Rogue

    This is where you will be actively participating in open combat. But be warned, without poisons you won't be able to do much damage. That is why you will by relying on dirty tricks, to help Erik as much as possible. He can take a lot of damage, but he isn't invincible and you aren’t a supportive healer. You have to be smart to take enemies down.


    One of the first options is taking down the weaker enemies via Backstab. If you'll use Shrouded Gloves, you will be able to get 6x Sneak Damage with dagger. Thing is that even if you use Fortify Archery potion, your Backstab won't be as strong as the Crossbow combined with Fortify Archery. The Crossbow will be slightly stronger, plus I noticed once that if you use exploding bolt, the AoE effect of it counts as a Sneak Attack too. So if you shoot into a cluster of enemies lured together by Throw Voice, you will deal twice the damage of the AoE on bolts. 




    Also, it is very important to note, that you will get into open combat. Count on that. And remember and you aren’t there to take hits. Erik is. So Shadow Warrior might help you with this. Everytime an enemy attacks you and you crouch, you pretty much redirects his attention on Erik. If there is still somebody who wants to chop your head off, crouch a few times and they should stop bothering you.



    Then there is tactic I like to call "flanking". It works best against one or two melee enemies attacking Erik. Getting behind them in Sneak and backstabbing them is a good opener, but you won't be focusing on damage here. What you'll be focusing on is enemy attacks. Or preventing them from attacking. Everytime you see an enemy preparing to strike you bash him with your dagger. It staggers them and leaves them open for Erik's mighty slash. This way you'll also prevent Erik from being hurt at all. Using Regenerate Stamina and Restore Stamina potions is advised here.



    And lastly, focus on the poisons. Combining Weaken Immunity and Touch of Agony poisons on your dagger can make even a dragon regret that he landed near you. This combination can really destroy anything that is susceptible to poisons. If you’re delivering poisons by Crossbow, using only Touch of Agony's Lingering Damage is better option, because of the Crossbow's slow reloading time.



    The Manipulator

    Sometimes there will be far too many enemies or too powerful enemies for you and Erik to handle. That is why you are playing dirty, right? While this tactic is meant to be combined with the first two, I think it deserves it's own paragraph, which will serve as a priority list too.


    So, let's start with Paralyze. This should always be your first option to control the ground on which the combat is taking place. Erik can withstand a lot from melee enemies, but archers and mages can really ruin his hair. Best option is to apply these poisons from range with crossbow while sneaking, but if you need to apply this poison as quickly as possible, dagger is your best bet.



    Then there is the Frenzy poison. It doesn't work on high level enemies, but that isn't really a big problem. It is hard at the beginning, but if you manage to know your enemies levels, it gets much easier. Picking the weakest enemies and applying this poison on them can wreak some serious havoc, when you are swarmed by a raiding party of bandits. I mean, you use Shadow Warrior, they'll focus on Erik and you use this poison on as many of them as possible and suddenly the bandits doesn't care who is ally and enemy.


    Aetherial shield is another great crowd controlling tool. The shield can make people harmless, but invincible too. And makes them run away in fear. But it works on every single enemy in the game! (except dragons) If you can't rely on poisons, this is your best bet. Pay attention to what enemy has chosen Erik as his enemy and let that one trade blows with Erik. Also if you ever encounter some conjurer type of enemy, banish his summons and kill the conjurer.



    Special Ability

    Malacath's Champion – Berserker Rage, Secret of Protection, Dragon Aspect, Potion of Fortify Archery, Potion of Fortify Two-Handed (Dragon's Tongue + Fly Amanita), Volendrung

    Outcast of the outcast, you're a Malakath's favourite. If you'll be in dire need, he will fill you with his rage to overcome any foe.

    My only special move which serves as a "Oh Shit" strategy. If enemies manage to get Erik on his knees, you're in trouble. And this one will get you out of it. Fortify Archery potions fortifies all psysical damage. That means, if you drink 100% Fortify Archery potion, the Volendrung's base damage of 25 will be multiplied by 2. That is 50 damage. If you drink 100% Fortify Two-Handed it will be multiplied again by 2. That is 100 base damage. Add Berserker Rage which multiply your damage by 2 again. 200 damage in one swing without a single point in two handed! Dragon Aspect is used for more defense and it's 25% damage bonus with power attacks comes in really handy.


    Roleplay and Quests

    Companions - The reason why I went through this questline is because that is what Erik would want to do. I cured myself of the lycanthropy in the end, but nevertheless, this questline is pretty much Erik's.

    Thieves’ Guild is the Greenskin's questline and during these quests, leave Erik at the Bee and Barb in Riften. Pretty much all of the quests fit the thief character and can be done without a companion. Completing the whole questline is optional, because I mostly roleplayed that the Greenskin is just using this factions for his own profit. I did that quest with Gulum-Ei and from there I was doing only Fishing Jobs from Delvin to restore the Guild to it's former glory, but my real reason was to get access to more Fences.

    Dawnguard - I chose this mainly for getting his hands on the Crossbow. Ancient Technology is a radiant quest and I played it most of the time as "Heists". Get in, steal the stuff, get out, without being noticed. As for the Dawnguard, I imagine, that Erik would like to stop the vampires from blocking the sun or whatever they are trying to do.

    Getting Mehrunes Razor was justified as curiosity. I did kill Silas in the end, but that guy should have seen it coming. Erik certainly agreed even if he was scowling at my new weapon.

    Cursed Tribe. I decided to help lift the curse and watched Yamarz die with some satisfaction. Then I was listening to Malacath talking bullshit about me being his Champion, the outcast of the outcasts. Well, that was something, but guys...Volendrung!

    Then there is the Main Quest and Dragonborn of course. While the Greenskin was trying to stay out of it, Erik wasn't, so they both ended up right in the middle of the shit storm. I was pretty much reluctant to become Dragonborn at first, but some shouts proved to be very useful, so what the heck. Why not? If dragons won't burn your beautiful green skin, you can say that Erik was the Dragonborn all along, so no-one will think of you as a hero. Just imagine that. An Orc thief, a hero! Preposterous!

    Also Black Books are highly advised and these are really good quests for thief. That feeling that I was stealing from Daedric Prince's house was awesome. The fact that you go in without a companion means that you have to take a lot of poisons in there, or you have to turn that into a Heist. And those are some really challenging Heists.


    Closing Notes

    I would like to thank Kael for his help with my grammar and the fun we had while he was correcting that. I promise to you, that you will shot yourself next time I ask if you correct my grammar.

    My second thank you belongs to Elysium for the awesome screenshots. She really has a knack for taking awesome pictures. I advise you to take a look at the whole album here.

    And of course I have to say "thank you" to Golden Fool for his awesome perk and equipment Spreads.

    Lastly, thank you, Raidriar, because I kinda mugged you for your potions pictures. They look really awesome.

    Also, those interested in reading story featuring Greenskin and Erik the Slayer, I recommend you to check Chasing Aetherius, which is part of Straag Rod Expanded Universe



  • Member
    September 11, 2016
    Glad to see this build again.
  • Member
    September 11, 2016

    This looks good Karves, nice to see it :)

  • September 11, 2016

    YAY! So nice to see Grulmar and Erik, the team of AWESOME. One day I will make this a Requiem build. 

  • Member
    September 12, 2016

    Been playing a variant of this using a female Imperial. The roleplay dynamic is a lot of fun, as it dictates a lot of what you choose to do (or not do) and I can envision the character arguing with Erik about their next course of action. In my case, it's less a bromance and more a platonic partnership between a naive Nord and an extremely jaded Imperial. 

  • September 12, 2016

    dallan007 said:

    Been playing a variant of this using a female Imperial. The roleplay dynamic is a lot of fun, as it dictates a lot of what you choose to do (or not do) and I can envision the character arguing with Erik about their next course of action. In my case, it's less a bromance and more a platonic partnership between a naive Nord and an extremely jaded Imperial. 

    Hey, Dallan. Spot on, Grulmar and Erik are arguing quite a lot. I actually based a story on those two (and few other my builds that I made but aren´t on the new site yet). The roleplay dynamic of honorable Nord mercenary and rogueish scoundrel is a blast. And platonic partnership of your combo certainly sounds really interesting. Maybe you could write a story about those maybe. :)

    You could give a read to the story about Erik and Grulmar too, if you´d like. Chasing Aetherius

  • Member
    September 13, 2016

    The thought of writing a story around Anyse Coril and Erik the Slayer has crossed my mind. Your work is definitely giving me a bit more motivation. :)

  • September 15, 2016

    You did a really good job on selling the build, it's definitely an interesting take on the thief archetype, making a build that actually consists of 2 people.


    Something in specific that I liked was the use Oblivion's skill icons. I always liked the way they looked, especially lockpicking looks so fancy.


  • September 16, 2016
    Thanks, MfD. Yeah, it was this build that taught me buddy builds can be plenty of fun, especially without Restoration and Illusion. There are many ways how you can help your companion be as effective as possible. And I dig those skill icons. I originally used them on Goldpact Knight and then I updated this build with those too.