My breath quickened as I chased through the woods after a troll. Stupid creature.
"No use in running," I whispered to myself. "Slow down, idiot beast. I'll have your head either way." My fingers tightened around the end of my arrow as the troll stopped hobbling away. It seemed to think it had outran me. How wrong it was. I pulled back my arrow, crouching behind a tree. I raised my bow just a fraction so the arrow was exactly aiming for the creature's head. The wind, however, was blowing quite powerfully. That would effect my shot. I moved my bow just a little to the left of the troll, as to make the wind hopefully give my arrow a little nudge in the right direction. I released the arrow,and it hit its mark, and the troll let out a great roar and collapsed.
I advanced, and took out my knife. I set to work on cutting off as much fat as I could. When I had finished, I put the fat in my satchel and made my way back towards Cheydinhal. Perhaps I could sell my loot to the Fighter's Guild. I sighed. This was getting repetitive. I needed a break. Some new beasts to hunt. I'm sure hircine would appreciate some new offerings for once. Morrowind isn't too far from here - but no, the volcano thing - not a good idea. Hammerfell, perhaps? No - too hot.
How about skyrim, I thought. Nice and cool. A bit of a civil war going on, but I'm sure I can avoid it. Good variety of wildlife to kill. Yes, I thought - Perfect! I would inform my friends of my intentions and set off tomorrow.
However, once I got to the Northern border, I was attacked my Imperial soldiers - they were hauling leather-clad Nords into a carraige, and must have mistaken me for one. I was taken to Helgen - there, a dragon attacked. And I discovered my destiny as Dragonborn.
This build is the first installment in my new series, "Avatars of the Daedra". I had never played a pure archer, the only offensive skill used being archery. Usually, when I use Archery, I would pair it with One-Handed or Alteration, perhaps even Destruction or Illusion. However, I wanted to make a pure archer, and the idea for this build (and the entire series) was born. One of this builds core aspects is the "Animal Allegiance" shout, which allies all animals up to level 20 in 250ft for 60 seconds at its maximum power, which comes in useful many times. Also, the cooldown just over a minute.
The character is a loyal servant of Hircine, and will visit Bloated Man's Grotto regularly, and will leave offerings for Hircine at the table where Bolar's Oathblade is originally found. This is why you are required to kill various creatures - see the roleplay section for more information. He is armed with a bow and the Savior's Hide, and also occasionally will utilize lycanthropy to defeat tougher foes, however lycanthropy is a gift that I used sparingly, preferring to save it for boss fights or in paticularly large groups of opponents.
As I have already said, Archery is the main offensive skill for the build. I used a variety of bows, and as a kind of RP made sure I never ever wasted a single arrow if I could avoid it. I also used Light Armor to give my defense a boost, as my Health was not my main concern, preffering to put most points into Stamina so I could sprint for minutes at a time. Sneak is helpful for keeping hidden, however is not essential as the build is perfectly capable of using his bow in close-quarters. Alchemy is also taken to augment the damage of my bow and also fits in with the hunter RP, collecting ingredients from every hunt he goes upon, and if paticularly proficient in making skill-boosting potions to increase his proficiency in battle.
Basically, this character is pretty well-rounded, and is certainly a blast to play. It's just a shame spears were not implemented (not counting those cursed, disgusting, foul riekling abominations) because they certainly would have fitted the theme very well, not to mention the fact that Hircine is almost always depicted holding a spear. Cross your fingers for Elder Scrolls VI, everybody. Now, let's get into some essential information for the build, shall we?
I picked Nord, but Imperial could be taken as the character is originally from Cyrodil. Truth be told, almost every race could be picked, especially Wood Elf, as the Archery and Alchemy boost is really useful, but if you wanted you could just do the Faendal Training exploit to level up your Archery. But note all Battle Cry power was used when thinking up abilities, as that was the power I had access to.
The Thief > The Lady OR The Lord. You benefit greatly from either of these stones, the Lady in paticular with the 25% health regen is really useful, but then again the Lord Stone could eleminate the need for Health Regen at all, but the choice is really your preference.
0(M) 1(H) 2(S). Magicka is not needed at all, so that can be left out. Health is important, as we will be hunting down all the deadliest kinds of creatures Skyrim has to offer. Stamina was most important to me, as I imagined the Hunter as carrying hundreds of pelts at once and sprinting through the forests for long periods of time. Stamina helped my vision come to life.
Aura Whisper, Kyne's Peace, Animal Allegiance, Become Ethereal, Unrelenting Force, Frost Breath
Battle Cry (or whatever racial power you have) Beast Form
Weapon - Zephyr
Armor -Saviors Hide, Helm of Yngol, Gauntlets of the Old Gods, Boots of the Old Gods
Saviors Hide has a very useful 15% resist magic and 50% resist poison, which is helpful at all levels. The Helm of Yngol gives the Hunter a near immunity to frost if you are a Nord. The Gauntlets and Boots of the old Gods both give really helpful bonuses for the character, boosting both Sneak and Archery, which can really give you an edge in battles. All of the armor is available relatively early on, however the weapons may take more time to gain. Until then just use the best bow you can find, or for RP stick with the Hunting Bow, available from most places early game.
Perhaps the most important skill used by this character. Archery is used to damage both enemies and animals, though somethimes they can be the same thing. The eagle eye perk along with steady hand make the game much easier once you are talented enough to get the perks. Hunter's Dicipline is always a useful perk, as it means you have to buy less arrows. The ranger perk just makes getting around much easier, as well as making the 'In Your Face' tactic a bit more viable.
Another key skill for this character build. It really helped me out, especially in times of need. However, instead of creating crippling poisons, I focused on creating buffing potions for myself so I could always be at me best in combat. I certainly did make a few poisons though, but I just didn't find them as useful, especially as potions last quite a long time. The purity perk is taken to make the most negative poisons and the most positive potions I possibly could. Snake Blood along with the Saviors Hide means 100% immunity to all poisons.
Sneak was an invaluable skill in my playthrough. The stealth perks were extremely helpful to me, along with deadly aim to boost my sneak attack damage. The backstab perk was not needed, but I needed to take it to get to the next perk, unfortunately. Silent Roll was really helpful when traversing the landscape, and after I got the silence perk I basically stopped sneaking at all. Muffled Movement was another really handy perk that kept me from being detected as often once I got it.
I don't really have much to say this skill, except for the obvious fact that it helps to boost your armor rating. We do not wear paticularly powerful armor, so this skill can really help out with the whole 'I'm Gonna Die' situations. Unfortunatlely, the Helm of Yngol is Heavy Armor, so we cannot get the perk that boosts your armor rating if you are wearing full light armor. If you wanted, you could probably perk the 'Juggernaut'perk from the Heavy-Armor tree.
This skill is more for RP purposes than for actual usefulness. However, it is a helpful money-maker. The haggling perk allows you to get better prices when selling your loot or buying a new bow, and the allure perk does not really suit a worshipper of a Daedra Lord, but it was needed to get to the merchant perk, which allows you to sell your animal hides to any merchant in the game.
Mages are simple opponents. Simply fire an arrow at them and they seem to die. I never had much taste for magic. Seems like a waste of time. I always feel much safer with a bow in my hands instead of some tiny glowy orbs. Anyway, mages don't pose a threat to me. Any kind of 'em. Except the undead ones. I hate those things.
Archers, eh? I respect them. They understand that the most powerful weapon is the ancient bow. However, most of 'em are too stupid to hit a troll at three meters. Scum like bandits deserve to be wiped from the face of Tamriel. I'll take great pleasure in ripping my arrows out of their corpses after their dead. Luckily they die with one or two arrows.
Warriors. Big, armored, scary. Tough opponents, but sometimes even the strongest of us have to bow to Agility sometimes. They might take a few arrows to take 'em down, but when they finally die, most of 'em are carrying big, expensive swords or axes. Merchants pay well for weapons of expensive materials. I normally just keep backing up and firing until their down.
Dragons. Terrifying things! Big, scaly and winged. Bad for me, their scales are thicker than iron. More positively, they fetch a good price at any merchant. And they give me their souls - as Dragonborn, I do love Dragon Souls. They let me scream at people. And they die. Hide when they chase you. Then, when their still, shoot an arrow. Repeat. Eventually they should land down and become much easier opponents.
Dragon Priests! I hate them. Liches of considerable power, and their magic goes right through my armor. Except frost priests. Since ice dosen't affect me at all, they go down fast. Fire priests are scary. Usually I'll sneak attack 'em if possible, then sprint around, peppering their gross flesh with arrowheads. They should die eventually. But be careful. I almost lost my arm fighting one a few days back.
Animals!! The easiest, funnest things to kill. Nothing quite like chasing 'em though the woods, killing them with no effort, then taking whatever loot they may have and selling it for profit. Lord Hircine likes their pelts, too.
Role-play & Quests
The Aspect of Hircine is, first and formost, a cultist of Hircine. Hircine matters more to him than anything else, and at midnight every Fridas he must travel to Bloated Mans Grotto and leave an offering of a Wolf, Bear, or Sabre Cat pelt. Alternatively, he may also leave Troll Fat or Dragon Scales. This will appease the Hunting God, and make sure he will assist the Aspect of Hircine in combat. No matter the circumstances, the hunter MUST leave an offering every Fridas, so make sure to have your schedule clear for midnights on Fridas.
The Companions are made up of lycanthropes. As long as the members remain lycanthropes, you shall respect and befriend them. But, if they wish to have their gift cured, you will immediatley lose all respect for them. Farkas is a loyal lycanthrope, so try befriending him. Aela is not a good cadidate for friendship, as she soon gets cold feet with regards to werewolfanism, so don't get too cosy with her.
The Mages guild are a bunch of lunatics, as far as you are concerned. Ignore them. The Dark Brotherhood are a good choice if you want to level your Sneak. The Thieves Guild are also of interest to the Aspect of Hircine, it's entirely your choice whether you want to do their questline or not.
Your side in the civil war is entirely personal preferance. I went with stormcloaks, as I was a Nord. If you took Imperial of Bosmer, I would go with the Empire. You don't even have to join the war at all.