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Event Build: Karliah, Barenziah's Legacy

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Thief  #Character Build Rogue  #Race:Dunmer  #Dragonborn1721  #Ordinator  #Event:FollowMeFollowYou  #SE Rank:Expert 
  • June 14, 2017

    This is not a tale that should be taken lightly. Karliah, Grand-Daughter of Barenziah and an Indoril Nightingale is not the sort of person who's life was ever going to be easy, nor is it one that should be shared with those that are yet to be mature enough to understand the complexities of her character. This is not designed to be a scandelous, or insulting examintation into her life, just an honest one. Now, at this point I'm hoping that all of the younger people who may have picked this book up have left, it's rather boring so far, if not...Well, I'll be honest, that's not my issue, I'm a writer not a controller of the peace across Tamriel. 

    Karliah of Riften, descendent or Barenziah and Drayven Indoril, mostly trained Nightingale and, if circumstances were better, potential noblewoman. Most publications will take this time to briefly inform you that she was born a gutter-child, destined to be a thief for her entire life. But I shall inform you that this is a bold-faced lie. Karliah's parents, while hardly nobles were still respected, they weren't poor enough that they couldn't own housing and buy food, and for her daughter that was enough from a young age. However, like all young girls, Karliah once dreamed of being a princess, of living in a manor and having servents (well, at her age, owning Khajiit and Argonians was still a common practise in Morrowind, so it's more likely that they would have been slaves) and being free to spend money on whatever she wanted. The freedom of riches, manors and pretty dresses was one that a young, very young Dunmer would dream about, and for her...well Karliah was closer to that life than many, and she knew it well.

    As she grew older, she grew bitter. Her grandmother, the Queen of an entire Province had let her own family rot (in comparison to the palace she imagined Barenziah once lived in). In Riften, the City of Thieves, this bitterness eventually grew into a rebelious streak. And what else was there to do for a young rebellious person in Riften except steal, at least if they were more moderate in their rebellion and stayed away from drugs and drink? Karliah was one such moderate young woman, and stealing was something of a second nature to her by the time she'd hit the age of 25 (as was every nook and cranny of Riften's Jail).

    That life of crime and theft was a life that suited Karliah particularly well, she was rather excellent at breaking into the nearby manors, houses and shops to small baubles (usually rings and coin purses) that were rather easy to sell or make money off of. It was then, that a young Karliah was approached by a particularly handsome young Imperial, one named Gallus. 

    After that her tale is more or less known and rather boring for most people. She joined the Thieves Guild officialy, fell in love with Gallus and then was presumed guilty of killing the former Leader and was sent running from the Guild for over 20 years... This tale, is perhaps more importantly than anything else, a tale about those 20 years. 

    Welcome all to my first/second build for the Follow Me, Follow You Event. To be honest, Karliah already has me wrapped around her little finger enough that I'm having more fun writing and playing her than I've had so far with Brelyna and Vilkas combined, but the point I really wanted to start with is that Karliah is so bloody interesting as a character. It's not her skill set or anything, that's fairly normal, but when you delve into her character a little more (or read all the books around Nightingale Hall), then you realize that she's actually got a fairly amazing backstory. Her grandmother is Queen Barenziah, her Grandfather was a member of House Indoril and her mother was a Nightingale (supposedly). That's just an awesome combination for a character, and instantly got me hooked on the character.

    Race: Dunmer

    Skills: Archery, Light Armour, Lockpicking, Sneak and One-Handed

    Stats: 3 Health, 2 Stamina

    Standing Stone: None (though both the Thief and Shadow Stone are acceptable choices)

    Wildcat - Combat of SkyrimWildcat is the first mod that hit my mod list, and to be fair I think that was simply because I stumbled across it before anything else that I'd really wanted at that point. I'm the sort of person who is very easily bored by Vanilla Combat, and Wildcat adds some new stuff without totally overloading the game with numbers and effectst that I have to remember at every moment. I just have to remember, hitting drains Stamina now and getting hit is always bad. Luckily, with my stealth-oriented gameplay strategy, I shouldn't have too much difficult fighting without getting hit (early on at least).

    Ordinator - Perks of SkyrimWhat can I say, I've been wanting to try Ordinator for years and this has given me the perfect chance to go all fanboy on it. Sadly I am playing with Sneak and Archery as my main skills so I won't get to try out some of the really cool perks that Ordinator gives you, but Tripwire is awesome enough seeming that it's all good. Oh, and the reason I decided to briefly use the 50% extra Perk Points mod is that it sped up my progression enough to make it relatively easy for Karliah to start off as something other than a weak (but very pretty) Dunmer. She's getting skills fast enough that I think by Level 10 I should be of decent skill for where she starts out from an RP perspective (just after getting kicked out of the Guild). 

    Imperious - Races of SkyrimThe third major mod for this character is definitely Imperious. It's something I've never really played around with so the idea of using it for Karliah just really stuck with me. It doesn't hurt that it seems to be the only big Race Overhaul mod for Xbox One, or at least the highest quality one that I saw quickly. Of course, Dunmer are rather interesting in Imperious, their whole Spirit Favor thing is just really cool and I love Whispers (even though it hasn't activated for me yet.)

    FalskaarI'm fairly certain that Falskaar is the largest quest mod available on Xbox One, and possibly just in general. It's a massive, DLC sized mod that has a tonne of content that I'm hoping to explore with this build. Falskaar works in multiple ways as a quest for Karliah but the main way is that it allows her to get out of Skyrim without having to leave via a more conventional means of travel, and without any chance of Mercer Frey finding out about her (though really she has no trouble with that after the next mod)

    The Grey Cowl of NocturnalI kind of felt like this was the perfect quest for Karliah. First of all, as a thief the Grey Fox is still a legend, and his Cowl even more so. The chance to find this is perhaps a treasure greater than any other that exists within the game, and the quest to go along with it is perfect for a Thief. The added benefit for Karliah is that it allows her perfect anominity while within the Thieves Guild. The Grey Cowl completely shrouds who the current owner is even without the cowl actually being on (it basically removes the chance of anyone figuring out who Karliah is).


    Many people know at least some of the recorded history around what happened to the Thieves Guild of Skyrim in the 4th Era, and how around the same time that Karliah left (or more accurately was forced out of the Guild), it started to collapse. Some people suggested there was a curse on the Guild after the old Guildmaster was killed, others say that it was merely a string of bad decisions and stupid hiring by the new Guildmaster Mercer Frey. Whatever happened, the guild wasn't in it's peak form for at least a good two decades. 

    What isn't well known is the fact that during this time period, Karliah was off in Markarth. It made a certain amount of sense after all, she didn't want to be anywhere near Riften (because, well the guild was attempting to kill her if they saw her) and so she went as far away as possible without actually leaving Skyrim. Her work there wasn't pretty, at times she was basically a mercenary for the Silver-Bloods, shaking people down and brawling anyone that wasn't willing to pay the family that more or less ruled Markarth. Her best work was obviously still the small amount of petty thievery that she was involved in, but that wasn't something she could afford to do. 

    Note - I used a mod called 50% more perk points for this character because I wanted to experience Ordinator more. I didn't use it for the entire build but I did use it for the first 15 Levels of the Build. You should recieve a perk every 2 level ups (so 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15) giving you an extra 7 perk points all together. That's why the build has more perks than levels both now and in the final perk spread. 

    Please be aware of this, I won't say it's a requirement but I also won't be selecting perks and calling them 'additional' because every perk combines to make Karliah (the Build) what it is. If you want to skip the mod, then please make your own decisions regarding perks, though of course I can talk the choices over with you, always down for that.

    Archery - 

    Archery Mastery (2/2) is the base perk for Archery in Ordinator. The first rank is really simple, just adding a 25% boost to all damage inflicted with bows and crossbows while the second rank boosts it to 50% and adds in 2% of critical damage per level of Archery (meaning at 100 Archery you can do 200% critical damage whenever you score a critical hit). It's a fairly neat idea behind the basic perks, and one that seems to work perfectly with Sneak Attacks (which are also going to be increasing critical damage from what I can tell). 

    Steady Hand (1/3), there's nothing unique about this perk, it lets you zoom in and that's all. Later perks simply add the normal slow time effect.

    Wingstrike (1/2) is a pretty cool perk. Basically after you bash an enemy (something that comes in rather useful a lot of the time), you deal 20% extra damage to that enemy with any Bow/Crossbow attack (I believe it's both arrows and bashing but I'm not sure about the latter). 

    Crippling Shot is mainly going to be used for when enemies get to close to Karliah. She's not exactly the most bulky character, but a quick arrow or two from close range will allow her to slow enemies down enough that she can rather easily escape melee range (or at least change to her daggers to fight). Later on it's going to become a key part of our combat style, and by Level 15 you should be starting to come in a little bit closer to fight even with a Bow. 

    Light Armour -

    Light Armour Master (2/2) is the base perk for Light Armour in Ordinator.Basically you get a 20/40% boost and recieve experience for wearing at least 2 parts of Light Armour as long as your in combat (meaning you no longer have to get hit in order to level up), to be fair it is rather minor, but still something that helps a character that isn't trying to tank anything.

    Light Armour Fit is literally the same as Custom Fit (increasess your AR by 25% if your wearing a full set of Light Armour).

    Initiative (1/2) is an awesome feat, basically what it does is regenerate 10/20% of your Stamina every second whenever you enter combat. Apparently it does slow down, so that your not going to get 100 or 200% after 10 seconds with the perk, but it's still really great considering, well I'm going to be rolling around a lot and Stamina costs are fairly high in Wildcat so the perk is just really useful.

    Keen Senses, okay so you know how all helmets in the game are terrible looking 85% of the time. Well Keen Senses is the fix to this, from now on I get to ignore helmets whenever a perk says you need a full set of armour. So back with Light Armour Fit, I just need the Armour, Gauntlets and Boots to get a boost from the perk, which is totally great. I love being able to see my character's face and this is the best way to get the benefit from perks and still get to see them. What, I spent like 50 minutes trying to design this character so bite me :P

    Sneak -

    Sneak Mastery (2/2) is the base perk for Sneak, there's nothing really unique about it like the Light Armour or Archery perks, it just increases your ability to sneak by 15/30% which isn't all that exciting. 

    Tripwire is by far the most interesitng perk I've chosen so far (in fact, it's the only interesting perk that I've chosen). Basically waht it does is let you throw down a tripwire at your feet which will knock down anyone in front of it. For me sso far it's very much been an escape tool, if I'm going to be fighting foes inside and I might need to run away (most of the time), I set one of these up so that in my escape I'll slow anyone chasing me down a fair bit. Later on I might use it offensively if I can get closer, but I'll need a higher sneak before that is possible.

    Silent Roll is the same as it is in Vanilla Skyrim. 

    One-Handed -

    One-Handed Mastery (2/2)is the base perk for One-Handed and is basically the same as the Archery Mastery perk. It gives you a 25/50% bonus to One-Handed damage and to 2% more damage for each level in One-Handed.

    Disciplined Fighter is a rather basic perk that reduces the cost of Power Attacks by 15 stamina.

    Bite Marks (1/3) is an awesome perk, what it does is deliver 1 point of bleed damage a second for 30 seconds to living targets for each attack. In other words, it adds 30 damage to all dagger attacks, with the higher ranked perks doing 2/second and 3/second for 45/60 seconds respectively. It made me seriously drop Swords  in favour of daggers because your just getting a serious boost for each hit.

    Lockpicking -

    Lockpicking Mastery (2/2) The first perk simply makes it easier to pick easy locks (which I think means Novice, Apprentice) while the second perk allows you to pick all locks easier.

    Bear Traps is a pretty fun little perk that I haven't had the chance to use yet, basically what it does is allow you to pick up and set Bear Traps so that they do damage per level of Lockpicking that you have (2 per level). As I said, I haven't used it yet, just haven't had the chance but it was fun and I wanted to try and create a bit of a Hunter/Trapper kind of start, with a benefit as a Thief as well.

    During most of the early game, Karliah is primarily going to fight with her Bow and from as far away as possible. She simply doesn't have a bucket of tricks or the bulk to really get in any closer most of the time and the Arrows are just going to be doing more damage. All of the issues that she faces early on are luckily slightly alleviated by the fact that we're mostly going to be in and around Markarth early on, which means that Forsworn are going to be the main enemies. Now usually that's bad, they're sttronger than normal bandits, but generally speaking, lack any heavy hitters like a Bandit Chief armed with a Warhammer. Fighting enemies with bows and One-Handed weapons just isn't as much of a problem as those Two-Handed Warriors are. 

    Warriors are so, so much stronger than Karliah in terms of armour, weapons and pure physical strength. If she has to fight them one-on-one in direct combat, she's most likely going to be completely destroyed. However, her approach to fighting them was always more...subtle then that (obviously). Poisons, traps, sneak attacks, whatever it takes to deal with those more powerful warriors.

    Mages were never really an issue for Karliah to defeat, their general softness, lack of armour and the fact that she can sneak up on them better than just about anyone means that even a more powerful Mage will just struggle to use their more powerful spells. Of course, once combat started (assuming an arrow didn't suddenly appear in the skull of an enemy mage), the Mage would just fall to a barrage of dagger strikes from the young (ish) Thief.

    Archers are both easier and harder for Karliah to deal with than other types of enemies. On one hand, they don't have a clear weakness like both Warriors and Mage, in fact they fight in pretty much the same manner as Karliah does. Most of the time, she preferred to simply fire of arrows at enemy Archers in a kind of, shooting match. If she needs to, getting in closer is hardly a difficult feat, and finishing her foes off with a dagger is always a decent option. 


    Karliah's life in Markarth had come to an end, her contract with the Silver Blood family officialy complete and her desire to tangle with the Forsworn almost completely halted after meeting the King in Rags. And so as a final hurrah, Karliah did the only thing that made any real sense to her. Went on a massive stealing spree, literally looting the city of everything she thought would be valuable before making a daring escape. It was on this stealing spree that she was sudddenly struck, almost as if paralyzed, by an unearthly feeling that rooted her to the spot. A vision danced in front of her, a map of Skyrim, glowing in a blue as vibrant as the sky. And this map led to a place she knew not, but the drive to follow the map there was immense. 

    I don't know what took place as she ventured to retrieve the Grey Cowl. Ah yes, that is the quest she was given upon arriving at the destination, a map leading to the Grey Cowl, or at least that's how the tale goes. There are rumors that it was held somewhere in Hammerfell but others say Cyrodiil and one mad Dunmer I met even told me that it was in Sheogorath's realm of Oblivion but a part that was only accesible if you had 16 wheels of cheese, and had the taint of Coldharbour upon you. That was of course ridiculous so I prefer to assume that it was somewhere hidden withint the Alik'r Desert, in a location that required expert thievery, trap avoidence and a plethora of other skills in order to get through a gauntlet of puzzles and traps. It may not be the truth, but it's more likely than other stories.

    Now at this point for rather obvious reasons, it's quite difficult to track Karliah. You see the Grey Cowl has a unique property that essentially gives the person wearing the mask two different personas. You have The Grey Fox, a master thief who pops up from time to time in history, stealing from the rich and either giving to the poor or just becoming rich themselves. But the person beneath the mask, in this case Karliah herself more or less dissapears from existence. Nobody who once knew her would recognise her (with or without the Cowl on), and even now I struggle to write her name down. It's a mysterious item that was apparently created by Nocturnal herself.


    And if you thought details on her journey to recover The Cowl was barely documented then prepare for a journey that is only sung about to this day. Around the time that Karliah (and the Grey Fox) both dissapeared completely from Skyrim a Dunmer matching her apperence suddenly appeared in Falskaar, an island that is both far away and within a day's sail of Skyrim. They called her the traveller and sung stories of her on a daily basis, but I have to assume most of these stories are false, or highly exaggerated. The song "Slayer of Armies" suggests the Traveler somehow defeated an army of bandits by herself, which is obviously ridiculous. A talented Thief and Hunter, perhaps even a skilled enough fighter and Archer, but the strength required to defeat an entire army is just ridiculous. 

    However, she did appear on this island, and for whatever reason saved it's inhabitants from a power hungry Warlord that lived there. 

    Head: Grey Cowl of Nocturnal (+200 Carry Weight and Detect All but constant bounty of 1100 gold)

    Body: Fitted Guard's Armour

    Hands: Fitted Guard's Gauntlets

    Feet: Boots of Springheel Jak (run very fast)

    Weapons: Glass Bow and a Daedric Dagger

    All Items should be located in either the Falskaar or Grey Cowl questlines. If you can't find the Dagger then just use whatever you can find

    Archery - 

    Clean Kill is a required perk for anyone doing any stealth work with a bow. It allows you to deal 20% more damage when an enemy has full health know lets you deal more powerful Sneak Attacks (which are always good), at least for your first hit. I wouldn't say that it's a required perk at this stage since we're using our dagger more often, but it's still very useful.

    Pinning Shot pairs with Crippling Shot by allowing us to stagger enemies that are within 50 feet. It's really, really (really) useful whenever you have to fight an enemy that's more heavily armoured than most and can shrug off any melee attacks from your dagger (and it's open combat). 

    Wingstrike (2/2)

    Light Armour - 

    Windrunner isn't really that great of a perk for this character, it isn't bad by any stretch, just not crucial. It's mainly just there to give us access to Wardancer and Glancing Blows. The speed boost does really work quite well with the Boots of Springheel Jak which can be found during the Grey Cowl of Nocturnal questline (and they kind of become a part of my combat style...kinda) but is otherwise rather minor.

    Wardancer is a cool little perk that basically rewards you with 20% boosts to weapon damage if you don't get hit. Or, whenever your wearing full Light Armour you get a 20% boost to weapon damage and it stops if you get hit by any weapon or spell for about 6 seconds. 

    Sneak -

    Dynamic Entry is a really fun perk, and insanely useful to. What it does is give you a temporary (3 second) boost to all your weapon and Unarmed damage after you finish a Silent Roll. The bonus is 40%, which when combined with a sneak attack via dagger, well let's just say that not many enemies can survive it.

    Dodge Roll should be a really cool perk, but I'm not really sure if it actually works. I've tried it out to no success but I'll keep trying. If it does work the idea is that by rolling you should temporarily activate a Become Ethereal form that lets you dodge any attack or spell used against you (which is awesome).

    Infiltrator is both a rather basic perk, but also one of the few crucial ones. It reduces the noise armour makes by 75%, essentially giving you a super muffle effect.

    Spot Detection is a perk that I've been meaning to try out but haven't gotten around to it. At the very least it's needed for Light Foot (or Light Step or whatever) which lets us avoid traps and is kind of really useful, but if I do find the perk useful, well Spot Detection activates like a Detect Life on any enemy that can currently see you (something that's more useful for a Thief than an Assassin). 

    Light Foot is the same as Vanilla Skyrim's perk. 

    One-Handed -

    Savage (2/2) causes attacks with daggers to do 25/50% more damage after you've hit an enemy three times with them (not sure if it's the third hit or the fourth). It isn't that useful for sneak attacks but when you are forced into open combat and you combine this with perks like Bite Marks, Wardancer and One-Handed Mastery and suddenly your dealing out some pretty damaging attacks

    Twin Fang is a pretty cool perk. What it does it allow you to use a forward power attack that does twice as much damage as Bite Marks (so 2/4/6 bleed damage per second for 30 seconds) even if your opponent is attempting to block the attack. It's a fairly powerful little attack that just adds more damage to the character's arsenal and just work well with both bleeding damage.

    Swaying Cobra is another perk that works in a similar manner to Twin Fang, at least in that it makes the Power Attacks a lot more interesting. Swaying Cobra adds a Drain Stamina/Magicka effect of 150 points to your sideways power attacks. Now the Magicka obviously isn't all that useful to this character, but the Stamina Drain is great because Wildcat makes everything combat related cost Stamina. 

    Bite Marks (2/3)

    Lockpicking -

    Game of Fate is perhaps one of the must fun seeming perks in Ordinator. What it does is add 5 Dragons of Fate to random containers in Skyrim (I don't know if it's just chests or if could theoretically be an urn or satchel) that give you 15,000 gold and a free perk point if you find them. I personally didn't find any but I also didn't look, it was honestly just a fun little idea that I used a perk point for because it was cheap (only needed 30 I think) and it seemed like a fun idea. 

    Lockjaw is a rather interesting little addition to the Bear Traps, what it does is stagger any enemy that runs into the trap and temporarily reduces their AR by 5 points for each level of Lockpicking that you have (for 4 seconds). Alone it's cool enough but when you pair it with the dagger attacks means you can really start to unleash some damage against enemies 

    Wax Key is exactly the same as the Vanilla Perk. 

    Locksmith is the same as the Vanilla Perk.

    Between Levels 15 and 35 I fought more like an Assassin than I did a Thief. Constant sneak attacks were a staple of the character, with the dagger being the weapon of choice and the Bow taking the back seat a little bit. Part of that is the fact that the two main questlines that define the character (Grey Cowl and Falskaar) require stealth and have higher level enemies than the rest of Skyrim. It's kind of difficult to do with a bow and a dagger makes the whole thing a lot easier. 

    One thing I did try and do is work in the Bear Traps and Lockpicking into the build a fair amount, because they can really do a lot of damage against weaker enemies or weaken stronger ones significantly enough to make taking them out really easy. Combine that with the Tripwire Perk from Sneak and you've got a very effective character

    At this point other than the quests there are two major Roleplaying parts to the build that focus on two of the items that are picked up. The Boots of Spingheel Jak and The Grey Cowl of Nocturnal. Now I'll be the first to admit that both of these items are rather powerful, in fact they're a little overpowered even at Level 50. The former enhances your speed to at least twice that of the base speed at no real cost and the latter gives you an insanely powerful boost as a Thief by allowing you to see anyone nearby and sneak more effectively (not to mention the extra loot). Because of that, and the fact that you get them on a quest that involves Sheogorath, Molag Bal and Nocturnal I decided that it's just too easy to have them be cursed.

    Karliah cannot wear them indefinitely, everytime she wants to (or once a day) equip either item she has to make a sacrifice to either Sheogorath or Nocturnal (guess which one I chose? It was Nocturnal) of 1000 gold for each item in order to equip them for that day. Stolen items are worth twice as much either way but there is no carry over between days and no exceptions for either item. They're too powerful for anyone to abuse and so we aren't going to abuse them (other than the, using them to steal from people thing). 

    Now a quick note on Karliah's character. At this point she isn't really a Thief anymore, I mean sure she steals things if they're worth enough money but she's been a Hunter, Mercenary and now a Hero ever since she was kicked out of the Guild and that has slightly influenced her thinking. Instead of earning money by stealing from people, she instead will thinnk about helping out (if it's profitible, she's no goody-two-shoes after all) with whatever they need doing in order to get money, and help people out. She has no issue killing scores of deer and then selling their pelts to merchants for gold and has absolutely no problems killing a dozen bandits to save a prized rug or whatever if that means getting a little bit of money. I'd put her alignment at closer to Neutral Good here (if you care about definitions like that).

    I honestly rather tire of writing this book, though this new spell that's being developed that copies your text seems rather excellent and is something that I'd love to have. However, this part of Karliah's life is perhaps the most well documented so I won't go into as much detail. She had just returned home from Falskaar having saved it from some terrible danger or another and decided that she would make Mercer pay for what he'd done. Everything was finally in place, Karliah had saved up an enourmous amount of gold over the last 20 years and she finally had everything she needed to make Mercer seem like a complete and utter fool and of course prove that it was Mercer that killed Gallus. 

    Her adventures in the Thieves Guild are as confusing as they are legendary... Techncially speaking there is no record of Karliah joining (which to be fair is an excellent sign for the Guild's security) and nobody can report there being a person that looked or sounded like Karliah actually being a member of the Guild for any stretch of time. However, there is the odd fact that someone named Karliah who looked exactly like the Dunmer happened to be making moves against the Guild all across Skyrim. That isn't really odd in itself I suppose, but add in the fact that many swear that Karliah was a member of the Guild at the same time, and you have a rather strange instance of one person being in two places. 

    Head: Nightingale Hood

    Body: Nightingale Armour

    Hands: Nightingale Gloves

    Feet: Boots of Springheel Jak/Nightingale Boots

    Weapons: Nightingale Bow and Daedric Dagger


    Quick Shot is the same as the Vanilla Perk

    Hailstorm is theoretically a cool little perk that increases your attack speed after shooting a fully drawn bow in combat. To be honest, I very rarely used it because I'm a fairly slow archer at the best of times, it just takes me a while to aim so I couldn't make full use of it because of the rather quick speed you need to attack, but it's definitely a useful perk if you can trigger it.

    Deadeye is another really cool perk that I sadly didn't get a lot of use for because I got it so late. The idea is that you can one-shot enemies if they have a certain amount of health (I think the max is 1,250) and the few times I used it the effect was pretty cool but I could probably kill things faster anyway. It's best used against heavily armoued foes but I guess it could be good against Dragons too. 

    Steady Hand 3/3

    Light Armour

    Glancing Blows is just insane. Insane enough that I was tempted to cheat to get it early. What it does is reduce all damage by 30% whenever Wardancer is active (so as long as it isn't during the brief period of time after you get hit) and then that first hit is also reduced by 30%. It actually makes Karliah rather bulky with her high (ish) AR and Health which is kind of strange but also really useful.

    Initiative 2/2


    No New Perks


    Death Adder is a potentially useful perk. What it does is make Standing Power Attacks completely ignore armour, which is rather useful. I don't know if Wildcat changes the system so enemies have higher AR and less Health but if not it's just not as useful as it looks on paper (because in Vanilla Skyrim, most enemies have pretty terrible AR and use a high Heealth system).

    Coiling Python is one I'm undecided on. I didn't technically use it because it's just not something this character woudl really be able to do (It requires a power attack of each type on a single enemy). If I did use it I think it'd be awesome.

    Rogue's Parry is really, really useful for this character. As long as you have a free hand, you deal 40% more damage to enemies trying to Power Attack, or draw a bow. It basically makes this character an awesome anti-Archer unit as logn as you can get close. 

    Wandering Warrior is a perk that would've been absolutely amazing if I had it during Falskaar (which involves a lot of large scale battles) but it's still a really excellent perk. Anytime you kill 4 humans in a single battle (which is easier than you'd think) you get a permanent +1% to your One-Handed damage, stackable upto 20%. It's just a great way to get a bit more power out of the character

    Bite Marks 3/3


    Bushwhack is perfect for a sneaky character, it massively increases the damage of your bear traps if your enemy can't detect you...What else can I say, it's perfect.

    Big Game Hunter is a fairly decent perk to boost Bear Traps (notice a theme here) that makes them sligtly larger and makes them re-set. I didn't find it the reset rate terribly useful but the size increase was useful in larger areas or outdoors when I wanted to use them

    Seen This Before is a perk that I think is far greater in theory than it is in practise. I don't think I picked many locks after choosing the perk (it was my final one afterall) so at best it's a demonstration of a character's skill but if you were to progress the build to Level 60 for some reason it'd be awesome to pick beause it gives you two perk points and basically makes it so you only have to manually unlock Master Locks.

    Honestly, the Level 35-50 gameplay is where we finally become a bit more of a Thief, the main questline here is going to be the Thieves Guild (in fact it's the only questline) so naturally there isn't going to be a lot of killing, or at least not as much as the other arcs. That's not to say that there isn't any, but we're just going to be trying to sneak around and steal stuff from heavily guarded locations. On top of that, we're going to have 100 Sneak at this point so pretty much all of the quests are going to be rather easy. When we do have to fight, the perks do really come together by Level 40-50. Daggers have become deadly weapoons both from stealth and in direct combat and Bows have now become a useful type of weapon that allows us to fight at a variety of ranges because of perks like Crippling Shot and Wingstrike. 

    The final arc is really more of a closer to the build, there isn't as much to do as the first two but what you do in this arc can take a rather long time. Completing the Thieves Guild (from the first quest all the way through to becoming Guild Master) can be a 10-20 hour journey, even longer if you haven't managed to leve up your Sneak Skill enough but it is a generally long and somewhat ardous task. Originally I was only going to get upto the end of the Nightingale Questline and then ending it there and either finding a mod to make Brynjolf Guildmaster, or just end it there. And that is a fine option, honestly both options are equally sensible in my opinion and it was only the fact that I haven't played the Guildmaster portion of the quest for a fair while that made me decide to complete it.

    If you choose not to become Guildmaster what I recommend instead is becoming Thane of Markarth (or another Hold of your choice other than Riften). What this does is allow you to 'retire' peacefully while also remaining a valuable asset across the province for the Guild if they need it. Markarth was my choice here because it's so far away from Riften and would eventually allow the Guild to strengthen themselves across Skyrim without Karliah needing to do all that much. 

    I'd like to go through my thanks first. Solyeuse created the amazing Level 50 Perk Spread that you can see here. Liss and Vargr have my thanks for co-hosting an Event with me here, it's been one of my favourite events to be a part of for a long time and possibly my favourite to Host as well. And finally thank you (that's right, you) for reading the build, and hopefully for leaving a comment or like. This build was just honestly one of the best I've played in awhile and sharing it with the site is a lot of fun. Feel free to leave comments about anything, including and not limited to. Compliments, critiscm, playthrough notes, grammar/spelling checks and any questions regarding...well anything.

    While I've got you here, check out the Dragonborn1721 tag for my other Skyrim Builds. At this point I've got a pretty decent little collection of builds so you'll probably find something to your liking either from a gameplay or roleplay perspective. 

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    Got the first like.

    Very impressive how quickly this turned out, and how well it came in that short span of time! I'll be honest - it's a lot of text; feels very strange and perhaps more RP and less build and gameplay than normal, but for an event like Follow Me Follow You, perhaps this is for the best...

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    Great build, Deebs! +1

  • June 14, 2017

    Very impressive how quickly this turned out, and how well it came in that short span of time! I'll be honest - it's a lot of text; feels very strange and perhaps more RP and less build and gameplay than normal, but for an event like Follow Me Follow You, perhaps this is for the best...

    Eh, my builds do tend to either be heavy on RP or heavy on Gameplay but there's very rarely a perfect balance. With this one I wanted to focus on the character and didn't really have anything that I judged as being...I guess unique or interesting about the gameplay other than the perks, and so I didn't focus on the gameplay here. Thanks for dropping in with the like and comment Solyeuse, they're both appreciated

  • June 14, 2017

    Great build, Deebs! +1

    Thanks Wulf

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    Dragonborn1921 said:

    Great build, Deebs! +1

    Thanks Wulf

    I've got no problem admitting when a build is truly, a great build. 

  • Member
    June 14, 2017

    Also, you might as well change your name to Deebs.

  • June 14, 2017

    You cranked this out fast, Deebs. Color me impressed.  It's good to see a rp heavy build for a thief and I can tell that you really enjoyed the creation of this build and that her gameplay was something that captured you. For me, when I build, the characters and the story behind the gameplay really have to capture me. It was also great working with you and Vargr in the planning of this event and I'm happy you had a good time. 

  • June 14, 2017

    Wow DB that was fast! I'm impressed by how much you were able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time.


  • June 14, 2017

    You cranked this out fast, Deebs. Color me impressed.  It's good to see a rp heavy build for a thief and I can tell that you really enjoyed the creation of this build and that her gameplay was something that captured you. For me, when I build, the characters and the story behind the gameplay really have to capture me. It was also great working with you and Vargr in the planning of this event and I'm happy you had a good time. 

    Heh, to be honest I think it was more the mods that captured me then the gameplay. Well that and finally playing through Falskaar and GCoN that just kept me interested enough for the first two arcs to really push through it. To be honest, I'm really lucky that I'm on break at the moment and that I really had nothing else to do because in the end I played for about 20 hours over two days (which is three, four or five times what I usually play at an absolute maximum.)