Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vigilant of Stendarr Character Build/Role Play Guide

The Vigil of Stendarr.  If you have played Skyrim for more then a couple of hours you have probably run into several Vigilants of Stendarr.  If you've talked to them then you probably already know what their purpose is and history is.  I'll take the time to go over it real quick though, for those that don't know.  The Vigil of Stendarr is a militant religious order that was founded shortly after the events of the previous Elder Scrolls game, which centered around the events of what was known as the Oblivion Crisis.  Their purpose is to hunt down and destroy primarily Daedra, although they also hunt down vampires  werewolves and witches.  They show disdain for these beings due to their disregard for mortal life.  Vigilants can be found patrolling the roads in Skyrim, hanging out at their base of operations, the Hall of the Vigilant(assuming you don't have Dawnguard installed), and at Stendarr's Beacon in The Rift.  There are also random world interactions that involve Vigilants fighting either an Atronach, Skeletons or a Vampire.  Overall the Vigil has a very small role in the game.  It's not possible to join their faction and once you install Dawnguard their main base of operations is destroyed.  They are ultimately replaced by the Dawnguard faction which you can join but primarily focuses on fighting vampires.  I always thought the Vigilants of Stendarr were pretty interesting NPCs so I thought it might be interesting to create a character based on them.  In my experience so far though this is a pretty tough build, if you like the build but think you might be frustrated by the difficulty, it maybe best to keep the difficult setting on Adept.


The Vigilants of Stendarr are pretty varied in terms of race.  Keeper Caracette, the leader of the Skyrim chapter of the Vigil, is a Breton.  Vigilant Tyranus, the only other named Vigilant pre-Dawngaurd, is an Imperial.  The rest of the generic Vigilants that you encounter are either Dark Elf, Nord or Redguard.  I'm sure that the nature of the Vigil of Stendarr means that they don't discriminate against race so I think it is OK to choose whatever race you prefer.  Although if you're trying to stick to  more purist build then maybe you might want to choose from the five aforementioned races.  Personally, I chose to be Breton.


Vigilants of Stendarr wear the following gear; an Amulet of Stendarr, steel cuffed boots or steel plate boots, steel Nordic gauntlets/steel Imperial gauntlets or steel plate gauntlets, a notice hood, novice robes of alteration or novice robes of restoration.  They also carry the following books; Physicalities of Werewolves, The Book of Daedra, Varieties of Daedra, and Immortal Blood.  They also carry a torch and any kind of mace.  Now, I took serious liberties with gear.  It seemed like it would be tough limiting myself to such weak gear.  I felt the most defining and important characteristics of the Vigilants were the fact that they always wear an Amulet of Stendarr, have heavy armored gauntlets and boots and mage clothes for the chest and head.  So, I did follow those guidelines.  Keeper Caracette and Vigilant Tyranus wear apprentice grade cloths so I thought that staying at novice level wasn't necessary.  However, the style of robes and hood worn by Vigilants ends at the Adept level.  Expert and Master robes don't have an accompanying hood and have an entirely different design.  In place of a hood I used the Mage's Circlet, a leveled mage's guild quest reward.  It grants 70 magicka when you recieve it as a reward at level 25.  I also gradually changed to higher grade armor as I changed robes.  My current and likely final gear setup is; a Amulet of Stendarr, Dragonplate boots, Dragonplate gauntlets, Mage's Circlet and Arcmage Robes.  It's up to you what gear you want to wear.  Purists should choose to only use up to Apprentice level cloths with steel plate armor.  If not though and you feel like taking liberties like I did, choose whatever look you like while adhering to the basic principles I mentioned earlier.

Combat and Perks

Vigilants of Stendarr have the spells Oakflesh, Healing and Lesser Ward.  Obviously as you become stronger you'll be using much more powerful versions of these spells and trust me you'll need to.  I took some liberties with spells as I felt the Vigil's arsenal could use some expanding.  It's not a bad idea to get Turn Undead, it seems like the kind of spell a Vigilant would have.  Although conjuration is mostly reanimating the dead and summoning daedra, which you want to avoid being a Vigilant, there are some useful spells.  Conjure Familiar and Conjure Flaming Familiar are really the only acceptable summons even though they are of limited use.  You'll also probably want the Banish and Expel Daedra spells to counter your enemies summoned daedra.  The destruction magic is also going to be useful.  Since you'll be fighting a lot of vampires, focus on the fire branch of the destruction tree.  The flesh spells in alteration are going to be important, since you don't get a lot of armor from the boots and gauntlets.  Also, you may find the Detect Life and Detect Undead spells to be useful.  The Paralyze spell is a useful tool in a jam as it can grant you a momentary reprieve from an enemy.  Since you'll be wearing the Amulet of Stendarr if you want to follow this build faithfully it's not a bad idea to work on your block skill.  Even just blocking with your mace or torch will help mitigate damage if you're in a pinch.  For what perks I chose please refer to this.  You don't have to follow that perk guide to the letter if you don't want to but those were the perks that I thought would be the most appropriate for this build.

Pertinent Quests

Any quests involving vampires namely; Laid to Rest, Kill the Vampire, Dark Ancestor, and The Wolf Queen Awakened.  Any Daedric Artifact quests that have an outcome that would be considered unfavorable to the Daedra Lord.  This Includes; The Black Star, Pieces of the Past, The Taste of Death, and Waking Nightmare.  If you have the Dawnguard expansion involved that entire questline is also pertinent as some of the remaining Vigilants join the Dawnguard as well.  In addition to these quests I also completed the Mage's Guild Questline and The House of Horrors(For role-playing reasons which I will explain in the next section).

Role Playing Advice

One of the first things you should do once you make it out of the tutorial is make your way to Mara's Eye Pond/Den.  Inside you will find some vampires and a dead Vigilant.  You can take his gear for yourself if you don't already have an outfit and his corpse also contains an Amulet of Stendarr.  Return there regularly to clean the place out of Vampires.  Also relatively close by is Cronvangr Cave.  There are Vampires hidden in a secret room that can be accessed by activating a button on the wall towards the middle of the first room.  Broken Fang Cave, Haemar's Shame and Shriekwind Bastion are also places where vampires reside that aren't associated with any of the quests I mentioned above.  Hunt down any vampires you can!  Fortunately quests will cover most of them.  There are a couple hiding in plain sight though.  Hert of the Half-Moon Mill feeds on passing travelers.  She won't put up much of a fight but put an end to her reign of terror.  Sybille Stentor is the quest giver for Kill the Vampire.  Odd considering she is one herself.  It's up to you if you want to kill this one but considering she never leaves the Blue Palace she might be more trouble then she's worth.

One of the most important aspects of role playing a character is to try and make some kind of story. When you do anything significant try to imagine some story around it.  You can rationalize any action your character does by just creating a story around it.  For example, I was very interested in the quest The House of Horrors for this build because a Vigilant is involved and the reward is a mace, the main weapon the Vigilants use.  Also the mace becomes slightly stronger when you get the destruction fire perks.  However, this quest doesn't have an alternate ending, meaning that you have to do the Daedra Lord's bidding.  I thought of a story that could justify my character completing the quest, which I will write to serve as an example.

So, after clearing out a den of Vampires, my character, Daemon heads to Markarth to stay at the inn for a couple of days and investigate the city.  Upon arriving he runs into a fellow Vigilant by the name of Tyranus.  Tyranus is on a case and currently investigating an abandoned house, Daemon agrees to help Tyranus investigate.  Once inside things go awry when they find out that they are out of their league.  The Daedric Lord Molag Bol speaks to each of them demanding that they kill one another.  Tyranus folds to the Daedric Lord's will and attacks, it is a close fight but Daemon reluctantly strikes him down.  Stricken with grief over the fact that he had to dispatch his fellow Vigilant, Daemon takes Tyranus' robes and amulet and wears them as a sign of mourning and as a memorial to his fallen comrade.  Daemon isn't out of the woods yet though, he heads towards the shrine of Molag Bol where he receives his instructions from the Daedra Lord.  Molag Bol wanted a man named Logrolf the Willful, a priest of Boethiah, brought before him.  Now permitted to leave the house Daemon left to find Logrolf while reflecting on the events that just transpired.  He didn't care what happened to Logrolf, any servant of any Daedra Lord meant nothing to him.  His primary concern was to be free of Molag Bol's grasp, he was unsure of what the Daedra Lord's plans for him were.

Getting to Logrolf was challenging.  He had been trained to fight Vampires but, most of them specialized in magic and were lacking for any kind of armor.  The Forsworn were another story, these reachmen were seasoned guerrilla warriors, they were hard men.  Daemon was not yet experienced enough to go toe to toe with the Forsworn with his skills as a warrior alone.  Luckily Daemon was an adept healer thanks to his training with Keeper Caracette and that ultimately proved to be the leg up he needed.  He found Logrolf bound and behind bars.  He managed to persuade the priest that he was a fellow follower of Boethiah.  Logrolf uttered some words of gratitude and mentioned that he needed to go to Markarth to the altar of Molag Bol.  Daemon let him go on ahead, carefully tailing him but staying out of sight.  No doubt he still had a part to play in whatever it was Molag Bol had planned so he followed Logrolf all the way to the altar.

He saw Logralf trapped and heard him exchange words with the Daedra Lord.  There was no mistaking the surprise in Logralf's voice when he saw Daemon enter the room.  Daemon took the mace that Molag Bol had given him, a rusty mace, and reflected on the words spoken by Molag Bol.  "Crush the spirit from Logrolf's bones.  Make him bend to me."  What was one less Daedric servant in the world?  Surely no one would miss Logrolf.  Again and again he bought the mace down on Logrolf's head, at least attempting to grant him a swift death.  Molag Bol was having none of that though, he wanted submission not vengeance.  The seemingly lifeless Logrolf once again sprang to life.  Knowing all too well what was in store for him Logrolf began to plead.  Logralf submitted to Molag Bol's will, pledging his soul and forsaking his lord Boethiah.  "You're mine now, Logrolf," said the Daedric Lord.  With one final swing Daemon put the old man out of his misery.  The rusty mace completely changed into a large, terrible, and powerful looking weapon.  The mace had a heft to it and merely holding the weapon gave him a strange sensation, a feeling of dominance.  "The Mace of Molag Bol!  I give you its true power, mortal."

He spent the night in the Silver-blood inn, staring at the prize he had been rewarded with for his service to Molag Bol.  He should turn this monstrosity in to the Vigil's main headquarters where they would lock it up for good and never speak to anyone about what he did.  It didn't matter if he was forced into serving Molag Bol or not, if the Vigil found out about him killing Tyranus and working for Molag Bol he would surely be cast out or worse, executed.  The way the mace made him feel though, he felt as if he could destroy anyone or anything in his path.  Surely there must be a way he could use the weapon as a tool of justice, as he was for the Vigil and Stendarr.  He thought about the words Molag Bol left him with, "When your enemies lie broken and bloody before you, know that I will be watching."  At that moment he realized what he had to do.  He remembered back to when he had been training and studying up on vampires.  It was said that Molag Bol was the origin of all vampires, that they were almost like his progeny.  Daemon would carry that mace as an act of penance for killing Tyranus and for serving Molag Bol; and he would use the mace to bring death to countless vampires in an act of defiance and revenge for the things Molag Bol made him do.  And Molag Bol would see every second of it.  Still though he had a nagging thought in the back of his head.  Daedric Lords were known to be all-powerful and all-knowing.  It was hard to believe that Molag Bol would choose him as his champion and not have the foresight to anticipate his actions.  Maybe this was Molag Bol's plan all along?  Maybe he needed someone to thin the herd as it were?  Daemon would never know but his resolve was strong, he headed out into the world with the mace strapped to his side.  The Vigil would not likely let his actions slide but he would deal with that when the time came.  For now the only thing he had on his mind was where he was going to hunt for vampires next.

Well, I got a bit carried away there but I did enjoy writing that.  As you can see, with a little creativity you can turn any action or any quest into a character driven story.  You don't have to write it all down though, I think it's enough to imagine the story as it's happening, to get inside your character's head.  All you need is enough imagination to keep it interesting.  So, I think I've covered all the bases for this character build.  Hopefully you have everything you need to get started on your own character if this sounds like something you would like to do.  Even if you're not planning on using this build I hope you enjoyed the read!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ranking the races of Skyrim

In this post I'm going to rank all of Skyrim's races from 1 to 10.  Now let me post this disclaimer before you go on to read the whole thing.  Disclaimer: This post judges races primarily on their statistical merit and abilities.  In the grand scheme of things your race doesn't matter that much so choose which ever one you you like the best, don't use this list as a guide for picking your characters race if you are primarily concerned with your character's appearance.  This is also my personal opinion, so don't bite my head off if you don't agree.  Now that said let's count this list off!

#1: Breton
This one shouldn't come as much of a surprise to most of you.  Breton's have long been hailed as the best race even before Skyrim.  What makes them such a favored race you ask?  Why, their magic resistance of course!  Bretons naturally have 25% Resist Magic which reduces any offensive spell damage by said amount.  Choosing a Breton character makes it very easy to max your Magic Resistance, which caps out at 85%.  By getting Agent of Mara, the Magic Resistance perks and The Lord Stone Bretons achieve maximum Magic Resistance without having to wear any enchanted gear!  Bretons also have the greater power Dragonskin which will grant you 50% Spell Absorb for 60 seconds.  Dragonskin is largely considered one of the best greater powers in the game.  I should also mention that when playing as a Breton who is also a Necromage Vampire as an added bonus Dragonskin is boosted to 62% Spell Absorb for 90 seconds.  Bretons also start with the spell Conjure Familiar.  With everything Bretons have going for them it's not hard to see why I gave them the #1 spot.

#2: Nord
Unlike Bretons who are practically uncontested in their rank, the #2 spot is a bit harder to decide.  Ultimately this one came down to which race had the better greater power.  So, I decided on Nords for the #2 spot.  Nords have a constant 50% resistance to Frost.  This is likely due to the fact that their native homeland is Skyrim, the coldest place in Tamriel.  This resistance is valuable in fights against Draugr, Frost Dragons, Ice Wraiths and any mages who use frost based magic.  This will also allow them to easily reach the Resist Frost cap unaided of enchantments if the player chooses to become a vampire.  They also have the Battle Cry greater power which causes its targets to flee for 30 seconds.  Battle Cry has a magnitude of 99 so it will affect virtually any enemy(with exceptions like Dragons and such) and it's area of effect is 60 feet.  On the downside Battle Cry doesn't distinguish between friend and foe and is considered a form of attack so, don't do something stupid like use it in the middle of a town.  That's just asking to get yourself a bounty.

 #3: Dark Elf(Dunmer)
Dunmer were the other contestants for the #2 spot.  Dunmer, like the Nords, have their own elemental resistance which is Fire.  I would say that they stand on equal ground in that regard, fire and frost are both prominent in Skyrim, so one is not necessarily more important then the other.  What held them back from the #2 spot was, I think, Ancestor's Wrath; the Dunmer's greater power.  Ancestor's Wrath is essentially a free, once a day version of Flame Cloak which does 8 points of fire damage per second to targets in melee range.  Not only is Ancestor's Wrath not unique but becomes fairly useless pretty quickly.  You'll probably forget that you even have it once you reach level 30.  Still though, Resist Fire is quite valuable.  It makes dealing with any fire breathing Dragons and fire mages less of a hassle.  Dunmer also make great Vampires because Resist Fire completely offsets the Weakness to Fire you get from being a Vampire.  Dunmer also start with the spell Sparks, which is nice if you're a mage planning on going up against other mages.  Also lightning magic is awesome.

#4: High Elf(Altmer)
Despite most Altmer in Skyrim being pretty douchey(The Thalmor case and point) they are a pretty good choice as a race.  Altmer are blessed with the Highborn ability, which grants them 50 additional magicka constantly.  This is a huge boon if you are a mage, 50 magicka is the equivalent of 5 levels of choosing to boost magicka.  Altmer have 150 magicka at level 1 so you can either choose to keep investing in magicka to get access to more powerful spells or invest the points in health to keep you alive instead.  Altmer also have the Highborn greater power.  Guess they kind of lost their creativity when naming Altmer abilities.  The Highborn greater power allows you to regenerate your magicka 25 times faster then normal for 60 seconds.  This ability is especially useful in a pinch, like when you've almost finished an enemy but don't quite have enough magicka to finish the job.  Along comes your friend Highborn and bam suddenly magicka isn't a problem anymore.  Now if you thought the Highborn abilities were already good, being a Necromage Vampire boosts both abilities.  Highborn now grants 62 magicka instead of 50.  The Highborn greater power now regenerates your magicka at 31(?) times your normal rate and now lasts for 90 seconds.  If that weren't impressive enough since Altmer are the tallest race in the game their run speed and jump height is better then every other race.  Altmer also come with the spell Fury.  Gee, with all the praise I've given Altmer maybe I should reconsider their spot on the list...nah forget about it.

#5: Argonian
Argonians are famous for being amphibious, they have a passive Waterbreathing ability then lets them do just that. This makes them ideal for fishing and deep sea diving and treasure hunting.  It's also an ability they can use to escape enemies being that only slaughterfish and mud crabs can attack you underwater.  If you play as an Argonian you'll probably find any excuse you can to utilize this ability, waterbreathing isn't exactly a common enchantment.  They also have 50% resist disease which doesn't impress me much.  Vampires and Werewolves have 100% resist disease, making it kind of a redundant passive ability.  Also, did you know that if you have 100% spell absorb you won't get a disease either?  Diseases are apparently considered spells but since they have no magicka cost you won't recover any magicka from absorbing them.  Still though, nice bonus.  The Argonian's greater power, Histskin, is what really makes them shine.  Histskin recovers your health 10 times faster for 60 seconds.  With Vampire Necromage this gets bumped up to 12(?) times faster health recovery for 90 seconds.  Histskin is great if you find yourself low on health, it will heal you to full health in a matter of seconds.  Where it really shines though is activating when you're already at full health.  Try as they might most enemies won't be able to kill you, even if you are being attacked my multiple enemies.  That is of course if they don't completely over power you.  An enemy that could kill you in one or two hits before probably can still kill you even with Histskin.  Take advantage of it in a pinch but don't expect it to get you out of a near hopeless situation.  In addition to the abilities mentioned above, Argonians do +6 damage in unarmed combat.  All in all, Argonians are pretty good.  Their abilities don't quite measure up to the races higher up on the list but they are far more blessed then the next 5 races, in my opinion.

#6: Imperial
#6 was a pretty hard choice.  You see when I started this list I was certain of the top 5 and bottom 2 but 3 races are pretty close to each other in mediocrity.  After giving it some thought though I was able to come to a conclusion so, let me explain my choice for #6.  Imperials have a passive ability called Imperial Luck.  The description states as follows; "Anywhere gold coins might be found, Imperials always seem to find a few more."  Now this description is rather vague but luckily some research has yielded a more exact description. Imperial Luck grants a 100% chance to find anywhere from 2 to 10 extra gold in all chests/containers that normally contain gold as well as corpses of any enemies that normally drop gold.  Honestly, this isn't such a great passive ability.  You wind up making more gold dealing with merchants then by finding gold during your quest.  Still though if you're one of those people who meticulously checks every container and corpse for gold(like me) then you will notice your pockets are heavier with gold.  The small increase in gold tends to add up when you multiply it by every enemy and container you've ever checked for gold.  Now, this was not the ability that was the deciding factor in giving Imperials the #6 position.  What I thought put the Imperials above the rest of the remaining races was their greater power, Voice of the Emperor.  Voice of the Empeor calms nearby people for 60 seconds once per day.  It has a magnitude of 99 and the area of effect is 75 feet.  Now except for the fact that it doesn't effect animals(don't worry you have two shouts for that, we'll discuss that in the part for #7 though) this is the most powerful calm spell in the game.  That's right all those Illusion perks and calm spells are rendered ineffectual against the power of Voice of the Emperor.  This ability has multiple practical uses in combat against humans.  If you are fighting a large group and are at risk of being overwhelmed you can use Voice of the Emperor to pacify a group of enemies and take them on one at a time.  You can use Voice of the Emperor when you are in danger and since you are now out of combat your magicka, health, and stamina will regenerate faster.  Using Voice of the Emperor also allows you to wait, restoring all three aforementioned states to recover instantly.  You can even wait for 24 hours and Voice of the Emperor will be ready to use again.  At a glance this greater power might have seemed to be one of the weaker powers, maybe even the weakest.  Don't underestimate it, you now know that it can be utilized with dangerous efficiency and it's effectiveness doesn't wear out as you level unlike some greater powers.  I hope I've made it clear now why I choose Imperials as #6.

#7 Wood Elf(Bosmer)
Ah, the Bosmer.  I really like the Bosmer as a race.  Something about the short, warrior elves that specialize in archery and thievery has an appeal to me.  I have my reasons for putting them this low on the list though despite how much I like them.  Now, Bosmer have a passive ability, Resist Disease and Poison with a magnitude of 50%.  While not a bad ability, as I've mentioned before, resist disease 100% is available as a passive ability to either a vampire or werewolf.  Resist poison 100% is also a passive ability of a vampire.  Now, if you're planning on becoming a vampire(which I recommend you do at least for a little while, but I'll talk about that more later) your Bosmer passive abilities are a complete waste.  Bosmer also have a greater power which is known as Command Animal.  It has a magnitude of 99 pts and an area of effect of 75 feet.  This can be useful at lower levels as some animals like bears or Sabre cats can be particularly lethal to low level characters.  Command Animal can be used to turn powerful animals against your enemies.  Mammoths are even susceptible to it which can make fights against giants much easier.  You can also use it to take control of an enemy and then sneak attack them to get the drop on them before the effect wears off and they attack you again.  Now, there are two problems with Command Animal.  One is that it's effectiveness wears off with level and becomes redundant and very situational.  The other is that there are not one but two animal related shouts that have similar functions.  Kyne's Peace calms animals up to level 20 within 225 feet for 180 seconds.  Also animals effected by this shout will be revealed similarly to how Detect Life and Aura Whisper reveal life forms.  Animal Allegiance causes a similar effect to Command Animal effecting animals up to level 20 for 60 seconds in 250 feet.  Despite not having as high of a magnitude as Command Animal, both shouts can have are effective against Mammoths.  So, unfortunately Bosmer are kind of useless when it comes to their powers and abilities.  Now, I bet your thinking if I think that Bosmer are pretty worthless why are they only #7?  Well, they might not be as useful as some of the aforementioned races but I don't think they are as worthless as the last 3 races.

#8: Redguard
Redguards might be considered to be the most naturally talented warriors by some, but they sure got the shaft when it comes to abilities.  Resist Poison grants 50% poison resistance.  As I've said before vampires have a constant 100% resist poison passive ability rendering this ability pointless.  Redguards also have the Adrenaline Rush greater power which regenerates stamina 10 times faster for 60 seconds.  Like other abilities of a similar nature this one is augmented by Necromage Vampire getting a boost to 12(?) times faster for 90 seconds.  This might sound like a good ability on paper but really all it's good for is to let you keep running for an extended period of time.  But isn't it useful in combat, you ask?  Well let me explain the problem with it.  Now although you are regenerating stamina 10x faster it is still possible for you to run out of stamina especially if you didn't put that many points into stamina(you should never put that many points into stamina if at all and I'll explain why, just keep reading).  When you run out of stamina there is a brief period of time in which you don't regenerate stamina, lets call it a cool down period.  During this period you can't do any thing that requires stamina.  Since Adrenaline Rush doesn't prevent this cool down period its use is limited.  Fortunately there is something that does and it lasts for a much longer time then Adrenaline Rush.  Any food that is cooked at a cooking spit that restores stamina on a per second basis(Beef Stew, Vegetable Soup, Venison Stew) prevents you from entering the cool down period because it is constantly restoring 1 stamina per second insuring that you never run out.  This allows you to endlessly preform power attacks and shield bashes since you only need 1 stamina to do any attack action that requires stamina.  Adrenaline Rush sounds like it would be a great ability but it will forever live in the shadow of culinary dishes.  So, ultimately Reguards have a greater power that is rendered inept by food which is why they are #8.

#9: Khajiit
I'll never understand peoples' love for Khajiit.  I don't hate cats or anything.  In fact I think you can make Khajiit look pretty cool in Skyrim, imposing even.  I've just never found them to be that impressive, but that's not why they are so low on the list.  Like Argonians, Khajiit have a boost to their unarmed attack.  Let me explain unarmed attack a bit.  All 8 other races have a base unarmed damage of 4.  Argonians have +6 unarmed damage which brings them to 10.  Khajiit also have +6 unarmed damage in addition to their passive ability Claws which grants an additional 12(the description of the ability in the game says 15 but it is wrong) bringing them to a total of 22.  It is possible to boost unarmed damage by 18 points with the Fists of Steel perk and 28 points with an enchanted ring and pair of gauntlets bringing your total up to 68.  Without exploits like the Restoration potion glitch this is the maximum amount of damage you can achieve with unarmed damage.  Honestly that's pretty low, and consider that attacking is incredibly slow, power attacks don't stagger opponents and there are currently no perks that improve unarmed in anyway.  Honestly, if you were thinking about using unarmed as an option I would reconsider.  Khajiit also have the Eye of Night which grants improved night vision for 60 seconds and can be used as much as you want.  Oh wait, you know how else you can have the Night Eye effect?  By being a vampire.  Being a vampire grants you Vampire's Sight which is exactly the same thing and is available at all stages of vampirism.  Yeah.  Why did you want to be a Khajiit again?

#10: Orc
So, Orcs.  They've got the Berserker Rage greater power which causes you to take half physical damage and do double physical damage for 60 seconds once a day.  Yay.  Hey, want to know a secret?  You can actually replicate this ability for all races by just turning the difficulty down two levels for 60 seconds  and then putting it back to the level it was at.   Or you just leave it like that why the hell not.  BERSERKER RAGE FEVER YEAH!  Also, Orc players are automatically Blood-Kin to the Orcs of Skyrim which means youll have access to the Orc Strongholds.

Honorable Mention: Vampire
Okay so in this article I've mentioned being a vampire a lot and I know they aren't technically a race which is why they aren't on the list.  If they were they would be #0 cause you know 0 is a higher rank than 1.  Vampires are awesome though and I'm going to tell you why.  First of all you get 100% Resist Disease and Poison.  Illusion spells are 25% more potent allowing you to use them more effectively against higher level enemies.  It is 25% harder for you to be detected while sneaking.  Also, and here's the big important one, a vampire is considered undead which means that if you have the Necromage perk all spells that are self targeting will get a 25% boost in strength and a 50% boos in duration.  Now, spells is a very general and broad term in this case.  Spells technically include; Standing Stones, any magic spells you cast that target the player, Armor Enchantments, Potions, Blessings, Passive abilities and even Perks.  Note that the effects are only boosted if applied after you 1) are a Vampire and 2) have the Necromage perk.  However, they last indefinitely so long as they are never removed.  So, even if  you don't want to be a Vampire for the whole game it is advisable to get the Necromage perk, become a Vampire and then get yourself any passive abilities, perks and standing stones that you would like to be affected.

Now there are some downsides, negative spell affects will also be affected by Necromage.  While out in the day light your stats will decrease and stop regenerating.  This will be more severe if you are at a higher stage of vampirism.  You will also be considerably weaker to fire.  If you do not have Dawnguard installed then at stage 4 you will be a blood starved vampire, hated and feared by everyone.  This will make almost everyone try and kill you which can make it very difficult to feed.  You can keep this under wraps though by feeding regularly, if you want you can bring a follower everywhere with you and tell them to sleep, then feed on them at your convenience.

Now I'm going to wrap this up by including a list of perks positively affected by Necromage Vampirism, you're welcome.

Steady Hand: get only Tier 1, Teir 2 is bugged and will make the perk unusable, take it either before you become a vampire or after you've cured vampirism if you want it
Power Shot: 25% more stagger
Quick Shot: 25% more overall speed increase, your bow will fire over twice as fast as it was
Fists of Steel: 25% more damage per armor rate
Quick Reflexes: 25% slower time
Dual Flurry: 25% attack speed increase, more then doubles as with Quick Shot
Wind Walker: 25% more stamina regeneration, a small boost but worth it for a vampire character
Muffle: 25% more noise reduction, kind of moot if you are getting silence
Extra pockets: 25% more carry weight increase, +100 becomes +125(uber secret hint: use a restoration to make it even higher)
Recover: 25% more magicka regeneration increase, again small boost but helpful for a vampire character
Avoid Death: 25% more healing, definitely worth while
Magic Resistance: 25% more magic resistance
Atronach: 25% more spell absorption, with this and the Atronach stone you can achieve 100% spell absorption 

Mission Statement

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  It's quite the epic game and I should know I've played it a ton.  You can actually measure how much I've played Skyrim in pounds.  Not really, that was a joke.  Anyways, The Elder Scrolls series has always had such a huge following.  Die hard fans and casual gamers alike go nuts for these games.  Why is that you ask?  Well it's probably because Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls games let you do pretty much whatever you want.  The world you play in, a massive world at that, is literally your playground. Want to play as the hero and fulfill your quest to save the world from certain destruction?  Do it.  Want to be a murderous psychopath who slaughters entire settlements?  Do it.  Want to live a boring life as a bum and beggar?  Do it.  The tools are all there for you to play as whoever you want.  Write your own story.  All it takes is a bit of creativity.  One of my favorite aspects of playing Skyrim is to come up with new characters to play.  I have so many different save files with so many different characters it's outrageous.

Now, having played Skyrim for as long as I have you tend to learn a thing or two about the game.  I've done a lot of research on the intricacies of this game so I could learn about the game and play it in a more efficient way.  I feel it's a waste to keep all the information I've gathered to myself so I decided to start this blog.  Not only because of my love for Skyrim but also because I wanted to entertain and inform as well.  I plan on covering a lot of different subjects pertaining to Skyrim, some of them deep and thought provoking and other very superfluous.  Nothing is off limits when it comes to this blog so expect to read about anything and everything related to Skyrim.  I do my best to write posts that are both fun to read and that will hopefully teach you something you didn't know.  I've already got several ideas in the works so now that I've written my so called mission statement I'm going to start drafting now.  Stay tuned for the next piece of content on this blog!