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"The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" (2011): Why Being a Mage Is the Best

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Lee has played "Skyrim" for several years now and enjoys writing about it and her various Dovahkiin.

As someone who loves playing mages in video games, I have played a lot of mages in Skyrim. They are my favorite class because who wouldn't want to be a powerful, magical being who can zap people to ash piles with a gesture???

Most people will use a Breton or a dark elf for the starting boost, and I admit, I played a couple dunmer mages for this reason. Not only that, but the dunmer have so much interesting lore that being a dunmer Dovah was kinda neat.

Then I tried being an Argonian mage and I never looked back.

I think Argonians make pretty decent mages. There's a reason why most Argonian bandits we see in the game wield magic.

Also, being an Argonian in Skyrim is sort of interesting—especially in places like Windhelm. I enjoy playing an Argonian mage who secretly resents the dunmer and just walks around laughing at them in the gray quarter. Muhahaha!


Anyway. This is why I love playing as a mage the best.

Fun Roleplay

Skyrim is full of a lot of fun dungeons. I love exploring them, solving the puzzles, and killing droves of draugr. It's especially fun if you use fire spells and necromancy, because then you can have powerful draugr fighting for you while you roast the others alive.

Playing an adventurer is seriously fun, though. Being a mage adventurer makes it even more fun. A mage adventurer is likely scholarly, clever, and after treasure. Makes sense that they would excel at opening the (quite easy) puzzles and traps.

It gets even better with mods. You can install a mod to make the dungeons darker, so that your magelight spells actually become useful (while making dungeons scary, more dangerous, and thus more fun). Take Inigo along and listen to his hilarious comments!

You can also use a mod that lets you unlock chests and doors with a spell—just like Elder Scrolls games of old!

It makes you feel so clever and powerful and magical to be able to survive on spells alone.

I also love the aesthetic of wearing a backpack and carrying a stave. It's just a shame there weren't underwater dungeons. With all the huge bodies of water in Skyrim, think of all that could have been done!

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Mo' Money

Being a warrior in Skyrim is actually pretty expensive. You have to keep paying to train your weapons and armor, on top of what other skills you may want to train. It can also be expensive buying materials to make and upgrade armor over and over. You have to mine ore, turn it to ingots, and spend your time slaving away at the anvil.

With a mage character, you don't have to do any of that. Sure, you can spend money training your magic skills, but at the end of the day, it isn't nearly as expensive as being a warrior.

That means you get to keep most of the money you make from your loot, instead spending it on nice houses and your skooma habit.

You can also get rich in an honest way, without joining the Thieves Guild. Most of my characters are mercenary assholes—even the mages—so I don't avoid the Thieves Guilds because my character is "good." I avoid the guild because most of the characters in it are annoying and I don't care for the quests.

I realize that mage characters are probably going to spend a lot of money on soul gems, but that pays for itself if you're any good at alchemy. Even without alchemy, it pays for itself. Also, you can just get Azura's star.

Problem solved.

Lighter Load

While a sword on the back will forever be the most awesome looking thing ever, it's nice to not have to carry a shitload of weapons. As a mage, you are a weapon. You can't be disarmed and you don't rely on anything external to fight. All you need is you.

Potions? Pft. You are potions! You can heal yourself very quickly with a spell, and—provided you have enough magicka—you can do this endlessly. Eventually, you'll get to a point where you only carry maybe a couple powerful potions (just in case) or none at all.

The only potions you may need are magicka potions, and again, after a while you won't even need those. Because you aren't supposed to spread your stats out. You're supposed to put all your points into magicka. Mages don't have to worry about health or stamina because mages are supposed to have a tank to take damage and carry their shit.

You don't need armor either. If your tank falls and you become a target, you can cast a spell to work as your armor! Then conjure a new tank with an atronach!

You can conjure everything you need—weapons, armor, shields, potions, followers—with a wave of your hand! And all without carrying a damn thing! This frees you up to carry more loot, tying into my point above: you will become rich much faster!

My favorite custom mage robes. Sadly, the hood hides Argonian horns but cutely shows khajiit ears.

My favorite custom mage robes. Sadly, the hood hides Argonian horns but cutely shows khajiit ears.

Mo' Content

Bethesda gives mages nice content!

The Gauldurson questline, for instance, is something only a mage character would initially care about, even though the end reward is pretty sweet regardless of your character's build.

Then there are the dragon priest masks, the necromancer quest in Windhelm, and at least two other quests for unique staffs—the Wabbajack and Vaermina's Skull. You don't have to be a mage to use them, but it makes sense for a mage to go after those staffs.

This is expanded even further in the DLC, with Dawnguard's rings of magic and the Aetherium Forge, and Dragonborn's Acrophya being a pretty great place—roleplay wise—for a mage character to explore. Personally, my mages love that place. I realize the seekers are hard to kill with magic, but that's what dremora are for.

And of course, lots of fans love playing mages, so there's a shit-ton of custom mage content on the Nexus, from robes to spells to staves.

There is just so much fun to be had as a mage in Skyrim.

Who wouldn't want to at least try it out?

It's Just Awesome

And being a mage is just freakin' cool.

This is something you can't do in real life. Why not experience it in a video game? Why do people go for warrior first rather than try something completely out there and awesome?

To me, it's the same as playing a human right out the gate (on your first playthrough), when you have some other cool options like being a mermaid-space-pirate. I mean . . . why go for the realistic in a fantasy setting?

Why be a mere mortal when you can be a goddess?

© 2019 Lee

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