Ten Tips for Better Role-Playing in Skyrim

What's the Best Way to Play Skyrim?

Note: This is not a strategy guide to make your character more powerful, but rather a list of suggestions for making your experience more immersive.

What is the best way to play Skyrim? This short guide will give you a few tips that will help you get the most out of your role-playing experience in Skyrim. Role-playing is a highly subjective experience, so most players are going to each have different ideas about what increases their enjoyment of the game.

Keep in mind when reading through these tips that they are merely meant to serve as suggestions. These are techniques that I or other role-players have employed to increase our sense of immersion. They are all fairly common role-playing tactics, so even if you don't agree with all of them, they should give you a solid foundation to build on.

As always, if you have any suggestions for additional techniques, don't hesitate to leave them in the comments section below!

Looking for a deeper Skyrim experience? Here are ten simple ways to improve your role-playing experience.
Looking for a deeper Skyrim experience? Here are ten simple ways to improve your role-playing experience.

1. Plan Your Character

Great role-playing begins with a great character. I always try to come up with a basic story for my character before starting a new game. It doesn't have to be anything complex, just three or four key points that help define how your character is going to relate to the world.

Most people have some idea of the race and class skills they want to explore, but this is really only half the battle, and one of the reasons why people so often find themselves restarting characters. You need to think beyond race, class, and gender. You need to go beyond what color your character's eyes are, how she wears her hair, and whether or not she has war paint. These are superficial details, and while they are important, and form a part of every great character, they are not the details that are going to make for a great role-playing experience. They can inspire a great character, but won't do all the work all on their own.

Something you'll hear actors asking themselves all the time is "What is my character's motivation?" To help flesh out your character, you need to understand what motivates him or her to act.

Think about how he or she feels about the main elements of the story:

  • Does he approve of the Imperial occupation of Skyrim?
  • Do the people of Skyrim need the protection and assistance of Imperial soldiers?
  • Or, do the people of Skyrim have the right to govern themselves?
  • Should they be working together or fighting furiously for dominance?
  • If your character hasn't chosen a side, how does she stand to profit from the conflict?
  • Will she earn her gold as a mercenary, or do her best to heal the wounds of civil war?
  • If your character is of a race other than Nord or Imperial, how does their race affect their opinion of the war?
  • Does your character accept or reject their destiny as the Dragonborn?

Other questions can help deepen your experience when you're not busy completing quests:

  • Is there a particular race or type of person that your character doesn't particularly like?
  • Does your character have any weird habits like only eating raw meat or traveling only at night?
  • Are they religious?
  • Do you place offerings at the shrines?
  • Do they have a tendency to overindulge in drink or sweetrolls?
  • Do they collect skulls or pottery?

There are literally hundreds of questions that you could ask yourself about your character that will help to define them and make them interesting to play. By choosing three or four interesting quirks you can breathe life into a character that will sustain you for hundreds of hours of immersive role-playing.

To give you some inspiration, here are a couple examples of characters that I came up with:

  1. The first is an Orc assassin whose been assigned the mission of stirring up unrest in Skyrim to improve her master's illegal arms trade.
  2. The second character is a Redguard witch who had a vision of her destiny as a Dragon-in-Human-Form during her initiation rites and has been sent by her mentor to Skyrim to seek her destiny.

These characters are dramatically different in temperament and have radically different motivations, but both of them are workable long-term characters.

(If you've already started playing but you decide that you don't like something about your character's appearance, you can change it by using the console. See my article about changing your character's appearance for details.

Or learn how to build interesting characters in Skyrim.)

Skyrim gives you plenty of options for creating unique, memorable characters.
Skyrim gives you plenty of options for creating unique, memorable characters.

2. Play in Character

Now that you've got a character you can get invested in, it's time to let that character shine! Designing a good character is half the battle. Of course you won't see the rewards of your role-playing until you get out there in the world and start making decisions about where to go, who to believe, and what to do about it.

In regards to your character, though, here are some general tips:

  • Don't feel obligated to take every quest, or join every faction. There is plenty of content in Skyrim, and there's no reason why you need to experience all of it with a single character. You might find that the game is more enjoyable if you play it through a few times and restrict each character to the main quest and one other major faction (plus random adventuring and quest-taking, of course!) You may not clock as many hours with each character, but your experience may be more enjoyable overall for having experienced each story more intensely.
  • Follow your intuitions. Don't worry too much, either. You will find that Skyrim's quests are very forgiving from a role-playing perspective so that no matter what choice you make you will be able to justify your actions in a sensible way. If your instinct is to help every person who asks for it and trust people unquestioningly, the next time you play Skyrim, try making the opposite choices. You might be surprised to discover how often an NPC you considered 'bad' the first time through turns out to be 'good' on a second run. Most of the quests are designed to support your intuitions, even if different people have different takes on things.
  • Try to stay in character. It's also a good idea to restrict the kinds of things you allow yourself to accumulate and the kinds of activities you allow yourself to engage in. If you're playing a warrior, is there really any reason to go around collecting flowers and butterflies? Would your warrior really do that? (Maybe yours would, but many people know exactly what I'm talking about here.) The same goes for skinning animals, mining ores, chopping wood, crafting weapons and armor, brewing potions, picking locks, and so forth. A general rule of thumb you should follow is that if it seems even a little out of character for your character to engage in that kind of activity, don't do it. This might seem like a harsh rule, but it can work wonders for making each play-through a unique and interesting experience.
  • Create several characters and be particular about them. That being said, instead of trying to do everything with one character, create several characters and make each character different. People complain about it being too easy to make money, but what if you played one character who made money by crafting and selling weapons and armor, another who did the same with potions, and a third who stole what they needed? No one character is likely to suffer from 'too much gold' syndrome if they're only pursuing a single occupation. What if you only let characters who should know lock-picking pick locks? Worried about what you might be missing? Don't be. Your warrior or mage can do something else to make money that your thief can't.

If you play it right, all of these different restrictions will balance out and lead to a variety of interesting play-styles and gameplay experiences.

Don't try to squeeze every last point out of your character. Doing so may squeeze the joy right out of playing.
Don't try to squeeze every last point out of your character. Doing so may squeeze the joy right out of playing.

3. Avoid the Min/Maxing Mindset

Character progression is crucial in the world of role-playing. That being said, I advise you to avoid min/maxing as much as possible.

Yes, not all skill trees and perks are evenly balanced. Yes, there are ways to get an unfair advantage over your enemies or artificially impose limits on yourself by creating a bad build. In all honesty though, your decisions, no matter what they are, are going to work out just fine. Avoid the temptation to 'peak under the hood' every time you have to make a decision about your character's progression and just enjoy the game.

For one of my characters, I have intentionally created the worst build I can and play the game on Master setting. You know what? Even though I purposely 'gimp' myself, I can still play the game and enjoy it immensely. Sure, combat is a little more challenging and requires a bit more strategy (and more reloads) but even with this build I don't consider the game broken. In fact, I find it's no more or less difficult than Demon's Souls.

So, don't worry about the game mechanics. They might not be perfect, but they work just fine, no matter what the perfectionists on the forums might say.

Dead is Dead (DID)

Some hardcore players like to challenge themselves by using a rule known as Dead is Dead (DID.) Essentially, if your character dies, that's it. No reloads. Some of them go so far as to delete their save file. I'd spend 99% of my time creating characters if I played like this!

If you think it sounds like fun, give it a whirl and let us know what you think!

4. Limit Fast Travel, Try to Walk Everywhere

Probably the single easiest way to make Skyrim more immersive is to stop using fast travel and walk everywhere, instead. You don't have to stop using it completely, but just make a point of limiting it:

  • Force yourself to use the carriages instead to travel large distances and walk everywhere else.
  • Or limit it to transporting loot back and forth from the dungeons.
  • Make a point of walking more, and I mean actually walking, not running everywhere. (You can set the "bAlwaysRunByDefault" setting to 0 in the SkyrimPrefs.ini file to tell the game to make walking your default action instead of running. Just remember to back up your file before changing it.)

Half the pleasure of playing the game is drinking in the landscape, watching the grass sway in the breeze, watching shadows creep across the rocky ground as the sun makes its way across the sky, staring into the setting sun as it descends on Skyrim's rugged landscape, admiring the silver shimmer of the stars and the majestic rise of Tamriel's twin moons. Take the time to listen to the sound of babbling brooks, bird calls, and the haunting melody of the soundtrack.

Believe it or not, an old platitude lifted from real life applies equally well to your sojourn in Tamriel: you might not be able to smell the flowers, but you can certainly take the time to stop and admire them. (And harvest them, too, of course!)

While you're out wandering around, don't forget to take some screenshots.

Don't miss out on the breathtaking sites that Skyrim has to offer. A walk in the woods can turn a routine quest into a memorable journey.
Don't miss out on the breathtaking sites that Skyrim has to offer. A walk in the woods can turn a routine quest into a memorable journey.

5. Change the Timescale

One of the things that I always hated about the default time in Skyrim was how quickly it seemed to pass while I was walking around shopping and talking to people in the towns. By default, Skyrim time moves at 20x the normal time. However you can change this to something closer to real time by using the console. (Instructions are here: How to Change the Timescale in Skyrim.)

I have personally set mine to 5x the real time, which works very well for me: I can go into a dungeon in the morning and be finished by late afternoon instead of stumbling out sometime a whole day later.

Of course you can adjust this to suit your personal preferences, but I don't recommend going below 2x to avoid having issues with quests and NPC AI packages which sometimes don't fire properly below this setting.

6. Eat, Sleep, and Get Married

Skyrim is overflowing with things for your character to do, especially in the realm of food and drink. You can even combine food items in cooking pots to create new dishes or hunt, skin, and roast your own meat. Skyrim also lets you rent rooms in inns, or buy a house and sleep in your own bed. It even lets you get married.

While engaging in these activities doesn't necessarily do you much good from a gameplay perspective, they can work wonders from a role-playing perspective. Making a point of eating a couple of times a day and getting a few hours of sleep every night can enhance the experience to a more realistic one and feel less like you're controlling some sort of fake hologram.

Change your outfit once in a while, find a nice girl or boy to settle down with and take the occasional day off just to wander around town or go fishing. These breaks in the normal flow of the game add depth and richness to the experience that can't be delivered by scripting cut scenes.

Skyrim gives you plenty of tools to spice up your role-playing experience.
Skyrim gives you plenty of tools to spice up your role-playing experience.

7. Use Reasonable Rules for Encumbrance and Gear

Skyrim won't prevent you from loading down your character with 800 pounds of gear or loot a suit of elven armor from a five foot-tall female wood elf and equip it on your six and a half-foot male orc, but you can.

When I'm playing, I use a couple of reasonable rules of thumb:

  • Never equip armor. I never equip armor unless I find it in a chest, buy it from a vendor, or see it lying around. For me, it isn't reasonable to equip armor made for someone else. Not only is it icky, since I likely just spilled their guts all over it, but most armor had to be custom fitted. I make an exception for certain items if it seems reasonable, but generally speaking, this is a no-no for me. In the case of found items, I just assume it's good fortune on my part that it fits so well!
  • Avoid carrying a lot to sell. I won't carry around multiple suits of armor, a dozen weapons, and 25 wolf pelts just to sell them later. I generally restrict myself to three weapons, plus maybe one or two additional weapons to sell, and, at most, one additional suit of armor (that's only if I'm selling it and it didn't come from a recently oozing body.) I find it harder to limit potions, but I try to keep it to twenty or thirty (they add up fast, especially if you brew your own!)

Other rules can be applied to other items to keep things to manageable proportions. It's okay to stretch reality a bit here, simply because too much micromanagement can turn the game into a chore, but many people find that being forced to pick and choose what kind and how much loot they carry can give their decisions some additional weight—pun intended.

8. Use the 'Wait' Function

A lot of immersionists are anti-'wait' function because it unnaturally interrupts the flow of the game. However waiting can often do wonders for immersion.

When I'm crafting an item, for example:

  • I typically wait afterwards for a period of time relative to the size and complexity of the item I'm crafting. If I'm making an iron dagger or brewing a potion, I might only wait an hour. If I'm making a cuirass, I'll wait half a day to simulate the time it would take me to craft it. (For all I know it takes weeks to make one in real life, but I'm not going to push my realism that far!)

Waiting during crafting not only gives these activities weight, it also helps to curb the temptation to spam them.

I have a similar tactic for reading books:

  • It takes my character four hours to read a book, so it's generally something I only do when I'm in the towns or camping at night. (If you're playing a thief, it's a good way to pass time while you're waiting for everybody to go to sleep. ;)) I also only allow myself to learn one new spell a day, and use the same four hour rule to learn it.

The wait function is surprisingly versatile. Not only do I use it while cooking and eating, I also wait an hour every time I collect a skin from an animal that I kill and four hours after mining ore. That keeps me from randomly hoarding materials that I otherwise just end up lugging around.

There's no way anybody is going to literally stand around waiting for this much time to pass in-game, but there's also no denying that forcing yourself to wait when you engage in time-consuming tasks is good for immersion. I recommend you try it yourself.

Waiting when crafting, skinning, eating, reading, chopping wood and a number of other activities can be a great way to boost immersion.
Waiting when crafting, skinning, eating, reading, chopping wood and a number of other activities can be a great way to boost immersion.

9. Choose a Difficulty Setting That Suits Your Character

The difficulty slider shouldn't be viewed as just a tool to make the game harder—it can also be used to help simulate different character types. You can help make your character seem more heroic or more realistic by adjusting the difficulty setting.

  • If you would like to role-play an epic hero, adjusting the difficulty slider down can give your character extra 'juice' in combat to help simulate his or her epic proportions.
  • If you're playing Tamriel's answer to Conan, why shouldn't common cannon fodder like bandits and wolves go down with a single well-placed blow?
  • If, on the other hand, you'd prefer to play someone who is just an average Joe, you can help simulate this by adjusting the difficulty slider up to make enemies harder to kill. Should your herbalist really be killing falmer with a couple of hits from an iron sword?

The difficulty slider can be looked at in two ways: as a way to make the game harder or easier, or as a way to make your character more or less epic. Pick a setting that works for you.
The difficulty slider can be looked at in two ways: as a way to make the game harder or easier, or as a way to make your character more or less epic. Pick a setting that works for you.

10. Reduce Screen Clutter

Another way to increase immersion is to remove distracting elements from the interface. All of the components are useful and serve a purpose, but if you are a serious role-player you may find that you function perfectly well without them and that your immersion may improve because of it.

All of the following can be removed through in-games settings or by making changes to the SkyrimPref.ini file. Just follow the links to the appropriate pages:

Remember: Always make a backup of the SkyrimPrefe.ini file before changing it!

Don't Forget: Have Fun!

The most important rule of all is to have fun. Remember, there is no right way or wrong way to play Skyrim. If somebody tells you you're 'doing it wrong,' you are . . . only if you listen to them. No one can decide what's best for your Skyrim experience but you.

I consider myself a serious role-player. I get very involved in my characters and follow most of the suggestions that I've listed in this page. However I won't do something just because someone else thinks it's better or more realistic. Food and sleep requirements? Sure. Dead is Dead? That just seems like overkill to me. Whatever you do, do what you love and Skyrim will reward you for it.

Now stop reading articles about playing the game and just play it already. Have fun!

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Comments 203 comments

JustAGamer 3 months ago

This will help me roleplay better on my own. Thanks!

dan 3 months ago

I did number 4 before reading this. Not only did it make the game more immersive, but it also helped when I had to go to (insert random dungeon) to complete a quest.

Edward Lynch 3 months ago

I agree with pretty much all of this, in fact, I can remember each of the characters of made in Skyrim. Leth, the dark elf thief. Slaine, the barbaric fighter. Uriel, the true Dragonborn.

Ethan Cardenas 6 months ago

When I play the first time I always say, "What would I do in this situation?" This helps me to actually be immersed in the character I'm playing. I feel more like it actually is me.

j-u-i-c-e profile image

j-u-i-c-e 11 months ago from Waterloo, On Author

Glad you liked it. Thanks for the comment.

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sparksfiend 11 months ago

Great article, I haven't played Skyrim in years, but this article made me want to jump back into the game.

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Indianstudent 17 months ago from Delhi

nice hub, Before, I didn't have information about skyrim. It's really interesting.

BrutalViking 21 months ago

I don't make rules to rp (aside from character build and lifestyle), where I play a character for a specific purpose... Like being a Holy Knight out to vanquish the undead, a mercenary who does nothing but look for contracts to make gold, and so on. The rest I leave up to mods, so many great mods, in fact here is a list of some of my favorites to give some ways to add value to rp.



Skyrim Unbound

Bounty Gold

Saber Backpacks

Bandolier - Bags and Pouches

Training Dummies and Targets

Convenient Horses

Heljarchen Farm

Winstad Mine

Take Notes - Journal of the Dragonborn

and a few just to make the experience more immersive

Extended Encounters

Immersive Patrols

Equipping Overhaul

Populated Cities

Warburgs 3D Paper World Map

Run For Your Lives

When Vampires Attack

Upgraded Weapons and Armors for Enemies

There are other mods which do the same thing as some of these, some of those mods are even more popular, but these ones work really well for me.

Raceme profile image

Raceme 22 months ago

I love making profiles for my Skyrim characters, but I'd never heard of immersing yourself to this level! I must admit, it's an intriguing idea that I may have to try sometime.

Romekio profile image

Romekio 22 months ago from Egypt

Great tips, thank you.

vote up, Awesome.


gameslike profile image

gameslike 2 years ago from India

Whoops! you got a lot of comments. So, there are many Skyrim players here.

wildfootrob 2 years ago

This was an awesome read. Thanks for the tips.

I love roleplaying in skyrim. But what really annoys me the most, is when I've made a character which doesn't enchant or is really a forgemaster. That weaponsmiths or enchanters can't forge me a weapon/armor (providing I've supplied the components) or enchant said weapon or armor for a set price.

The game forces players to invest in two skill trees which realistically might not be part of their skillsets naturally.

SimilarSam profile image

SimilarSam 2 years ago from Australia

Some great tips on taking your Skyrim experience to that extra level. I'm always a sucker for min-maxing in any game and often it just kills the entire experience for me which is unfortunate. This also ties into the point about carrying too much for me because I can never miss an opportunity to make money (but then I never even use it).

I'm also going to play around with timescale next playthrough, didn't realise that could be adjusted, while small I agree with you that it probably adds a lot to the experience.

Ivo Rocha 2 years ago

Really nice article!! Changed my way of playing skyrim.

rustedmemory profile image

rustedmemory 2 years ago from Lexington, KY

I loved the immersion that Oblivion gave the player but I haven't played Skyrim yet. I'm sure the world is deeper and more expansive in this game.


Jake 2 years ago

My character is an orc, he has lived in the secluded mountains for his entire life, he is his tibes greatest beserker and blacksmith, but he was an assassin in secret, he trained in steath at night and became very good, he used his stealth abilities to murder his opponents in secret and keep up his rule, he got caught trying to kill a tribe leader with high respect and was forced to fight, he killed the whole tribe and banished himself out of shame, he was crossing to skyrim to sell his abilities as an assassin and a mercenary, he resents all men and makes a point to kill all he finds, he does this either in his beserking rage or in his werewolf form, as he was bitten by a werewolf during a dark brotherhood contract, he crafted himself legendary daedric armour and now prowls the land killing all dragons he may find and liberates all non humans from service

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ilikegames 2 years ago from Australia

To get number 7 into my head I literally had to write a sticky note on my computer while playing. I'm an item hoarder in video games and it can really degrade the entire experience.

RParsons7 3 years ago

Here are a couple to try:

1. WILDMAN. Similar to the native Forsworn. Use no money no merchants, except for buying spells. Use only those forges outdoors or in dungeons. Only use forges at night in cities. Do quests and get followers only in the wild, outside of cities. (there are a few followers you can get outside of cities). Enchanting alters and forges can be found in skyrim outside of cities. Use only what you find and craft. Sleep where you can find camps. Alternatively only use crafted items. Money, gems, who needs them?

2. Master Conjuror: I tried this using Conjuration and a little restoration. No weapons ever. You can have a dog or armored dog from Dawnguard, along with your follower, that's 2. With your summoned Dremora lords you can have 4 followers once you max conjuration. Until you get that perk you will have 3 followers to fight for you. Sit back and let your army fight for you . :D

Reverie 3 years ago

I have a Stormcloak Altmer as an alternate character. That can be incredibly fun to roleplay.

Vinita Wolsey 3 years ago

[quote]8192 characters left.[/quote]

Kudos, Quite a lot of information!.

Cheers. A lot of stuff!

You suggested this fantastically.

Jeb 3 years ago

Another good way to make combat realistic is to play on adept or novice and never wear armor and never upgrade your health just upgrade you magic then never use magic

stefanssi 3 years ago

I built an imperial lady, dark haired,beautiful green eyes, blushy cheeks with the skin tone a bit beij, a dark small tribal tattoo next to her left eye, she is slim as an elf.. and she likes to fight during the day as a restoration mage with all the gear she needs and during the night as a darkbrotherhood sister, she like's bows very much and stealthy kills, because it's in her nature to be called by the others the "death from everywhere, assassin". You've noticed that i said restoration mage, why? Because i never kill directly during the day, NEVER! Only my companions do the bloody-work and i heal them. I really don't do the killings myself during the day so i have to plan accordingly my missions to be during the night so i can actually kill something. Why this gameplay style? Because i thought it could express a personality. Her name is Arkansia. I can tell you more if you want... :)

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j-u-i-c-e 3 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@AaronWz: I don't have a controller for my PC so I can't test it out, unfortunately, but based on this quote: "Walking vs running is controlled by how far forward you push the left thumbstick. Slight motions of the thumbstick will cause your character to walk; pushing the thumbstick as far as it will go will cause your character to run." (Source: I'm going to speculate that, because the game is listening for controller input instead of keyboard input, it's not checking the prefs at all. Maybe someone else reading this knows more about it. Otherwise, your best bet is asking in a talk page on the UESP.

AaronWz 3 years ago

First off i would just like to state that i'm a disabled gamer so i use a controller for easier use, so i was jw if the always walk thing in the prefs will ever work with a controller? it works with wasd but as soon as i plug the usb controller in it runs instead, help?

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Dreamhowl 3 years ago from United States of America

I keep starting a new character in Skyrim, not playing for a while and then making a new one all over again. I'd like to roleplay my next character more, I think. Thanks for sharing this!

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Gail Stringer 3 years ago

In reply to: elderskrollsnerd - Love to see Gunner, freya and hagard, live happily ever after, together. (Hagard wanting a second name, how about Gunner 2)?

elderskrollsnerd 3 years ago

name: hagard (need ideas for a second name)

hagard was born in markarth and lived there till the age of ten. His father was a descendant of the 500 companions that first conquered and settled in tamriel. hagard father Gunnar was a well respected and noble warrior. He was a worshiper of the 9 divines his idle being talos the god of war. He was once part of the companions but when hagard was born he made the decision to retire from the life of a warrior and look after his family as the head of the house. During a bounty mission for jarl balgruuf to rid a hideout of bandits he came across a nordic woman named freya claiming she had just escaped from the bandits were Gunnar was heading. Gunnar fell in love with Freya at first sight and when he returned to whiterun to collect his bounty he made it his goal to have Freya be his wife. The two fell in love and soon were husband and wife. Freya learned the art of brewing potions for healing and other aids. When hagard was born Freya and Gunnar resided to markarth to raise there newly born child. When hagard was the mere age of six his mother was murdered by a forsworn agent. Hagard didn't fully understand why his mother didn't come home from that night on and his father never talked about Freya and hagard some nights would hear the sobs of his father. with gunnar rasing hagard by himself there relation ship grew stronger. Gunnar wanted hagard to become a warrior better than he was himself and so when hagard turned ten years of age Gunnar enrolled him in training camp in the far reaches of hammerfell. Hagard was taught to live off the land and hunt anything from a rabbit to an elk. He was also taught how to fight with his fists as well as weapons like swords and axes. Hagard was taught how to assassinate with dagger and bow. He made good friends with an orc who was a very strong a talented fighter and reminded hagard of his father.

leaving the camp at 16 he hiked back to skyrim with all the knowledge of what he had learned and eventually made it to markarth returning to his father who had be awaiting his arrival with happiness and joy. While on a hunting trip with his father vampires ambushed and slaughters Hagards father and hagard vowed to get redemption of his fathers death and join the dawnguard . Hagard vowed also to join the companions like his father had once done. Hagard got offered to join a vigilante group killing bandits and marauders and decided to join and put his skills to the test. After a successful raid of a bandit camp he and his men when he was ambushed and blindfolded and shoved into the back of a wagon. Waking up to hand tied looking at stormcloak soilders also tied up.

Phobias: trolls hagard has feared the fearsome creatures from a young age and will flee or sneak past them

Ma'iq 3 years ago

I like dark back stories, but it maybe worth trying a comical character to make the game more enjoyable. I love how dark and morbid skyrim is, but a little comic relief helps it balance out. For example: I used a character that I once acted as in a play, and moved him into skyrim, then filled in the gaps from there (why he is there, etc.) this may not work for some characters or celebrities in a more modern setting in so far as immersion, but it could still make the game more enjoyable on a comedic level. maybe sir Lancelot from the Monty python movie, and give him an exaggerated jaw/chin? Have a "don Quixote" archetype, give him white hair, aged features, etc. and shoot at windmills and chickens as if they were Alduin, etc.

Point being: dark, morbid characters are great for immersion and more serious role play, but comical characters can also make the game more enjoyable.

In addition, I would also like to mention that I like the concept of dead is dead rule, due to the fact that it prevents players from "leeroying" straight into a mob of enemies, calmly enduring a direct, point blank blast of dragon fire breath or casually leaping off a high cliff, thinking that if you die, you'll simply reload the autosave. but actually putting it into practice is impractical (no pun intended) to behave as if your character genuinely fears death/injury would be an immense help to immersion, but to continually re create characters would most likely harm immersion more than it would help it, depending on how adept the player is at not dying. The point being: motivation, backstory, and quirks are great, but it's important to also recognize a characters response to the vast array of unimaginable terrors you'll undoubtedly force upon them.

- Happy skyrimming, and keep your knees well armored.

bob 3 years ago


Orlok 3 years ago

Thank you Juice, this article really got me excited about Skyrim again. I used a lot of these rules in developing my new character!


JoshuaTheLife 3 years ago

Well, I gonna write the rest just for the hell of it. So, after Sonia's Grandfather was banished to Oblivion for his treachery, (Sonia wasn't even born yet, mind you) and Sonia's father escaped the ruined city, being chased by the Deadra. Riding West, he crossed the border of the Reach, entering a small village resting in the mountains. After the Mayor saw the boy, he immidiatly invited him in the town for food and rest. After telling his story, however, he was immidaitly run out of town, however, being mistakenly accused of being a Deadra worshiper . From then on, he lived a quiet life in the woods. Being rejected by his father previously before, he knew how to take care of himself. He hunted with home made traps. He usually sold his meat to other nearby hamlets, but when he returned to the first town he stumbled upon, it was just a smoldering ruin, likely the Deadra's doing. Out of fear (and maybe absentmindedness) he fled quickly without packing his camp, and after nearly two days of running he realized his stupidity. From then on, he stumbled upon a small lumber town (There seems to be a lot of town where he is...) And lived for years there, studying books to try to figure out how to get rid of these Deadra pursuing him. In his mid twenties, after reading a book on conjouration, his natural born powers (Of conjouration, being in his family for generations. How else was his father able to summon those Deadra?) Surged, killing the few people that were around him. Despite this, however, he soon realized his gift and summoned something (Following instructions from the book) But soon realized that was a mistake. Instead of a summoned antronach, the Deadra used the obvious passage to travel to his location. Sonia's father was barely able to escape with her life, and while the Deadra reeked havoc, he noticed a small infant (Sonia!) that looked like it had only been born a few days ago. He picked it up (Noticing, unfortuanatly, the probable parents dead a few paces away). Mounting his horse, he fled the village with the infant still in his arms.

Stay tuned for next week for another exciting episode! :O

Gail Stringer profile image

Gail Stringer 3 years ago

Re: (Joshua The Life): The Father / Daughter bond, is usually a strong one... Why not have them save the kingdom, together? (A happy journey ).

JoshuaTheLife 3 years ago

I would like your opinion on a new character I have created, and will take suggestions on how I could 'improve' on it.

Race: Breton

Gender: Female

Class: Scholar (Focused on history, enchanting, some alchemy, scribing and overall study of Skyrim like Nordic ruins and standing stones)

Guilds: Most likely the College of Winterhold and maybe the Bard's college for the historical tomes kept there.

Wow I pretty much forgot to mention her name.

Name: Sonia Rozzen (or just 'Rose')

The major events leading up to her existence predate back to the time of the Oblivion Crisis. (I will refer to Sonia's grandfather as 'He')

Anyway, He worked as the court mage and imperial historian of a small Breton mountain kingdom resting near the border of Skyrim and High Rock, deep in the misty mountains of The Reach. Sonia's father also lived in the castle as a noble, but her father never spoke to her about it, so she never found out about the kingdom.

Sonia's father was often neglected and strictly dealt with by He, and He often secluded himself in his library, pouring over tomes and novels, often leaving Sonia's father to feed himself and earn his own coin.

After a few years of peaceful living, the kingdom soon in accomplishing it's goal of setting up a substantial trading and military hub, and Sonia's father soon to see his fifteenth winter, merchant caravans began to mysteriously disappear, and soldier outposts and camps were strangely liberated. The High King of this kingdom began to watch more closely, often deploying fake camps and caravans to find out who this shadowy enemy is. His spies reported of 'Barbarians of the East' or 'Reachmen' The High King took immediate action, beckoning his soldiers and subjects into the safety of the castle walls, while he ordered He to look into any way, magical or not, to defend against these Barbarians.

Surprisingly, for the first time, He actually took notice to Sonia's father, giving him a job as his apprentice and asking for him to scour the vast library for any tomes that could be of any use. For the first time, Sonia's father overlooked his distaste for the man that he had so rarely called his father and realized that his father was a very kind, smart man, and realized His work didn't leave him any time for family. During his many months as his father's apprentice, Sonia's father had taken notice of how bad things were for the kingdom. Many people were beginning to starve as more and more merchant caravans carrying essential supplies were raided and looted. Uprisings were now a common nuisance, and disease, crime, and unemployment were now rampant. The High King was powerless to help his people, and a rather aggravated man charged into the court and brutally murdered the King. The Barbarians, clearly sensing that the kingdom was weak, launched a full scale assault on the castle. He and Sonia's father worked harder than ever before, reading and rereading texts and documents to find even a shred of usefulness in their situation. As the Reachmen easily breached the walls and hacked through the starving, weak soldiers, the Barbarians ruthlessly slaughtered the common townsfolk, taking anything of value out of houses then setting fire to them.

Without the leading of the King, the rabble of troops took refuge in the Kings court, on request from He that they buy him a few hours. He quickly tugged Sonia's father into his study, where He made a last ditch effort to save his kingdom and summoned deadra from the planes of oblivion, pleading for them to save his kingdom and have mercy. Sonia's father had never seen his father look so worthless and helpless. Instead of granting him his wish, the deadra summoned the helpless grandfather into Oblivion, and then proceded to reek havoc, burning all the volumes in the library and crumbling the walls. Sonia's father ran, and with the assistance of one of his surviving servants, managed to get on a horse and ride down the narrow paths of The Reach as the Barbarians and deadra destroyed his home.

Well, that's for one part of my history, and I want to cut it off here because I don't want it to cut it off later because of length. Tell me if Sonia's grandfather's history is good, because i plays a major part in Sonia's history later. Tell me if you want to hear the rest!

GirlieAssassin 3 years ago

Hey, I'm back, but I had a question that I really can't find the answer to anywhere. How would you roleplay a wedding in skyrim? Like pamper days, wedding dress pick out, and oh, I don't know, maybe some wedding celebrations things? Please answer soon. It's been bugging me

Rosie 3 years ago

You know, Skyrim is the first open world RPG I've ever played. In other RPGs I never had the freedom this game gives me and I started playing it like I would any Final Fantasy, but I felt that something was amiss. After reading your absolutely brilliant posts about making interesting characters and really role playing I'm resetting my game, although I'm level 51.

I just want to experience this game as it should be. Thanks a lot for the inspiration!!!

j-u-i-c-e profile image

j-u-i-c-e 3 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@GirlieAssassin: Aw, shucks. You just made my day. :)

Thanks for the pointer. The UESP is an invaluable source of information and I highly recommend everyone visit it.

GirlieAssassin 3 years ago

After reading and rereading the articles you have written multiple times, I still love them and find them inspiring. Thanks for that. I have found a few more tips though, on the uesp wiki, that are very helpful to a realistic gameplay. Just search 'role playing tips skyrim' . It should come up as the second one. Just thought other people might like to take a look at it. Hope it helps. And once again thank you JUICE for writing such inspirational articles! :)

I am here 3 years ago

I need serious help! I want to create a Nord female, but I have NO idea what I want her storyline to be! All I know is that her two hobbies are: Taking baths in the river near Riverwood and chopping wood for Hod so she can afford her room at the inn and her lunch. I would apprieciate several ideas, if you have any at all.

JustARandomPerson 3 years ago

Oh wait, she is also very religious to Kynereth, and often visits the temples to try to heal those two sick people, and she also leaves valuables at the shrines in the woods.

JustARandomePerson 3 years ago

I really need help! I read this article and now Skyrim feels more like a game rather than a god simulator. I really need an original backstory for my Nord 26 year old girl. I think she'll work as a woodcutter and hunter, always based out of the inn in riverwood (She refuses all the gifts Gerdur and her family offers, for she likes to ear her own keep) She ownly uses daggers as one handed weapns, and holds the dagger of the first man she killed (An imperial soldier at helgen) and often uses that. She also loves a good adventure novel. I really need a storyline to her, so I could have her actions and motivation off that. (One thing, I would like her backstory to lead up to me somehow killig one of the whiterun clans, but that's just a thought) Thanks for this great article!

TheSkyrim 3 years ago

My Nord always fought for justice for people in his home country in Black Marsh, and made an honest living working with his Argonian father ad winning fistfights. Suddenly, his father became ill with the many diseases in the marsh, and found of a healer in Skyrim that could help. Halfway through the journey, however, he was hunting and fell into an ambush, and my Nord was mistaken for a rebel. After his escape, he learned of the many troubles of Skyrim, and fights for equality and justice. He saves a life whenever he can, and will use any power at his disposal to purge any injustice. Recently, however, he was faced with the power of the Theives Guild and Brotherhood and feels obliged to join them to add to his power. Even all this, he is still an average villager, for he never had formal combat training, but hopes to become a master alchemist and healer, in hopes to meet the healer he was destined to find. He still uses bows, arrows, iron swords, and fireballs, but uses the powerful potions and poisons and magics to fight his way through the world. He still searches for his father. He hopes to learn from the guilds in order to push his power further, but prefrs a solitary life in a village. He still never had a knack for picking locks and is just a novice at that.

khajiit rocks 3 years ago

My character is jabdar, a redguard. He lived with his uncle in hammerfell, who taught nearby kids and jabdar how to use swords and shields. jabdar was very good at learning from his uncle and often boasted his gift. One day, when he was 10, he saw a new boy wearing a cloak and a dagger. The new boy openly challenged jabdar to show his worth to the other kids. jabdar was 126% sure he was gonna win as he had stronger built and muscles and that boy was weak with only a dagger. jabdar didn't intend to kill him but only to bring him a deep wound to make him come to his senses. He rushed forth brutally and attacked several times but only the last one landed slightly on that boy as he was damn good at blocking. jabdar felt something wrong. It was hard as hell for him to move his muslces. When he paid attention, he noticed he had been poisoned by that boy through the dagger. " We are resistant to poison they say... don't fear poison they say...". That khajiit boy stood up and removed his cloak. "You are only 50% resistant foolish friend....". His uncle rushed forward and tended to his wound and the khajiit fled. It was since then that he developed respect for poisons alchemy and wished to try to make his own powerful poisons. After his uncle's death he came to skyrim and got captured." And yes he did enjoy killing that sleeping bear with frostbite venom. the poor bear tried to run at me but got dead at halfway.... too slow. PoisONS are fun :-)

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jasonmstyles 3 years ago from Wichita, KS

Such a great article. If I wasn't such a min/max player, I would role pay more. Another good idea would be to get mods to make it more realistic or survival based (if you have it on pc).

Stefan 3 years ago

My character is an orc who has always lived a poor life, his parents were murdered by the dark brotherhood when he was a kid. He swore to avenge his parents' death by destroying the dark brotherhood. At his parents' funeral a relative told him that he has a twin brother he never knew about, and that his parents had left him at a door because they couldn't afford to raise 2 children. He found out that his brother is in skyrim and went there to find him, then he found out about the dark brotherhood.

This article really helped me have more fun in skyrim. If I didn't have the plan to kill all the dark brotherhood members, *spoiler alert* I would have never found that once you kill astrid at the shack, you'll get a quest called "Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!". That really made me happy somehow :). Great article.

Domoman2000 3 years ago

My character is Tijjit the argonian. He was caught as the leader of the imperials, and was thrown into the wrong execution. He seeks vengance on the imperials for trying to kill him. He can't get the hang of magic, and will never wear helmets. He joined up with the brotherhood and mastered the arts of archery, sneak, and one-handed. He stuck to the shadows, and traveled by night. He woudn't collect anything but loot from other people. He murdered General Tullius in his throne room with his bow, and stole his sword. He used that sword to kill the last jarls of the strongholds, and he rejected the power of the dragonborn. Tijjit died when the Companions turned into wearwolves, and threw him into the portal to oblivion.

meow 3 years ago


AjnaTwilight 3 years ago

Astaroth-A lonely assassin, a follower of the thieves guild and the mystic guild knows as nightingale..a lord of decay, death,shadows and fear. Born from the gut of Nocturnals Ravens,given the name of the ancient dark gods, he dwells unto a mission to seek out all the ancient Deadric Artifacts. He only dwells at night, picking up mushrooms, glow dust, void salts and mora tappinella mushrooms, to cover his ferocious drug needs and habits.. He drinks at a peak of a mountain getting drunk and falling to his death, only to be ressurected afterwards by his brothers of doom and despair (LOAD PEOPLE.) And he lives in fear and hate, he hates EVERYONE.EVERYONE FUCKING SINGLE ONE.And trusts no one, not even his own.. He uses a deadric bow, with ebony arrows, and a sanguine rose to distract enemies and shoot them in the back as they chase that mere pawn known as a deadra AHAHAHAHA.

-Also to enchance ur gaming experience use fitting background music, when i'm in the open i use all kinds of creepy music i found online, and when im raiding a place i listen to aggrotech and black metal. (Y)

Sicarius 3 years ago

I am a high elf named Sicarius. My mother and father were killed by imperials when I was a baby for being accused of the murder of a store owner. I was their only son. People who knew them tell me that they were innocent. I don't remember them, but I was handed down to a long lost uncle who was a great thief and taught me much about patience and everything that has to do with stealing. I disapprove of the Imperial occupation of Skyrim. With what happened to my parents I believe that the people don't need the assistance of Imperial soldiers.I am not really on anyones side, but if I had to choose I would definitely be in the resistance. I will work as a mercenary and a thief. I accept my destiny as a dragonborn and will use it to aid me in my travels. I am not the slightest bit religious. I will not place offerings at a shrine unless it will help me grow stronger or increase my material possessions. I have a soul which I will follow. Some lives will be spared because I may feel they should be. Others will be taken by my hand. I will steal from anyone and still be able to sleep well at night. I will practice in the arts of theft and sneaking and become a master at them both. I will get lost in gold and own the largest house in all of Skyrim. I will not donate to the poor. They can get a job if they need money.

Nicolas 4 years ago

thank you it was very helpful .

i made a new character after reading this . a simple yet interesting character ;

Franccesco is the only son of a male hunter and a conjurer woman .

he hunts mammoths for their valuable tusks . and also wolves etc. like his father did. also he prefer to walk or use carriages NO cheaty Fast travel !!

he hates giants and has joined the imperials to stop ulfric and his stormcloacks.

he knows thanks to his mother the ability to summon creatures to distract his enemies .

he is an honest man and make money by either chopping wood or exploring bandits caves .

he helps people that are in trouble and doesn't kill people unless it's for a really really really reallygood reason i.e the owner of the orphanage XD

keshu 4 years ago

i just started to do this even when i bought this game the day it first was on sale its amazing the number of non scripted characters one can create on skyrim, necromancer, assasins, barbarians, etc, ill follow some of ur tips on to immersive role playing thanks

StevieTV 4 years ago

This is great! I didn't think I would ever regain interest in playing Skyrim, but this Hub showed me the light. I've been having a great time playing my new character! Here, just figured I'd share; Whadaya think?


Race: Imperial

Name: Velus


Velus had been born in the Imperial City to a prostitute named Sylvia. She had no knowledge of who the father could possibly be, so she was forced to make do and care for the child herself. She was a caring women who tried her best to make life tolerable for herself and her beloved Velus, whom she named after her grandfather. She made enough from her job for them to be able to live in a small hut near the docks of the Imperial city, where most of the destitute resided. He would stay in the house by himself during the night, entertaining himself by reading books and fantasising about the world outside of the city. His mother always came home bringing some sort of treat for Velus, like honey crisps, pie, or sweet rolls, and she always smiled at him as he gorged himself right on the spot. But then one night, when he was twelve years old, she didn't come home. Velus grew more and more anxious as it grew later and later, until he decided he would go out and look for her. He had only walked twenty feet from the house when his torch light illuminated what looked like a sack of some sort on the ground. As he drew nearer he saw that it wasn't sack, but a body. A women in a dress soaking with crimson blood still gushing from multiple clean stab wounds in her chest and stomach. Fearing the worst, he turned the women's head to face him, and recoiled in horror as he stared into his mother's face, a look a pain and shock frozen on it. He sobbed over her for what must have been hours before a dock worker on his way to work stumbled upon the scene. He yelled for the guards as he ran to help Velus. She was later buried on the coast by Velus and a group of Sylvia's prostitute friends. Velus now had nowhere to go. He spent the next three weeks begging for coin with varying success. He was ready to roll over and die when he observed a boy around his own age steal an amulet sticking out of the pocket of a guardsmen. He decided to follow the boy eventually discovering that he was a member of a small group of orphaned or runaway children who had formed a pickpocket gang. He was invited to join them, which he accepted. Velus was taught how to size up a mark and effectively pick their pocket, how to escape the authorities, how to pick locks, and how to use a dagger in self defense. He spent years with the boys, and they were quite successful. However, their luck was bound to run out sometime. When Velus was sixteen, he and another one of the boys names Lucas waited outside of a tavern late one night to take advantage of the drunks, something they did often. This time when Lucas went to take the coinpurse of a burly man with a beard, the man turned around faster than any drunk could and ran Lucas through the chest with a dagger. Velus yelled out in shock and the man turned to face him. Velus decided the best thing to do was to run, since there was no way the large man could catch him. He ran as fast as he could back to the hide out, but when he got there, a horrid sight awaited him. The rest of the boys had also been killed. He decided to lay low until daytime, when he would sneak out of the city. As he made his way to the gates, he overheard guards talking about how they had finally taken down a group of thieves that had been terrorizing the city for years. They had been murdered by the city guard. After he finally made it out, he stole a horse and rode for Kvatch. He would repeat this process for ten years: ride to a town, rob someone rich, ride somwhere else. He made a comfortable living and enjoyed his work. He decided that he would rob a wealthy looking Orc named Ullrog in Bravil, and came away with a pretty good haul. Unfortunately, Ullrog was a crime lord and had Bravil along with several other towns in his pocket. Thanks to the co-operation of the townsfolk, Ullrog had Velus' description and was biting at his heels. Velus knew that there was little chance of getting out of this with his head unless he left Cyrodiil. He decided to head north to Skyrim. As he rode across the border and breathed a sigh of relief, he saw some sort of commotion ahead of him. It looked to be a skirmish between Imperial soldiers and some Nords in blue. As he neared the scene, something hard hit him in the back of his head, knocking him out. He awoke sitting in a rickety cart across from one of the Nords in blue with his hand bound. The cart was being driven by an Imperial soldier. "At least its not Ullrog," he thought to himself.


Velus' main ambition is just to have a good time. He's a very talented thief and knows it, and he very much enjoys the work he does. He simply wants to continue doing what he does and living a profitable and eventful life. He perhaps wouldn't mind settling down one day, but for now he wants to make money and enjoy doing it.


Velus is very inquisitive in nature and enjoys collecting and reading books. He'd always have several with him in Cyrodiil, but with no place to keep them, he had to sell most of them when he finished reading. A dream of his is to have an actual collection that he can store and read any time he wishes. He also snacks on carrots frequently (good for the eysight!). He prefers to have at least one a day. Velus is also uncomfortable when not wearing some sort of head cover, liking hoods or cowls most, as it gives him a feeling of anonymity.


Not much genuinely scares Velus, with the exception of one thing: Bears. After a particularly nasty run in with a bear when riding from Bruma to Cheydinhal, an encounter that gave him a particularly nasty scar, he simply can't stand the sight of them. If he happens to cross paths with one, he will either try to simply avoid or outrun it, or get as far away from it as he can and fire arrows at it from a distance, never letting it get closer than fifteen meters.


Velus doesn't dicriminate against any specific race. He has no problem with the rich or poor, soldiers or mages. He only dislikes and distrusts those who enjoy killing, or revel in the suffering of others. While Velus himself likes to keep his blade clean, preferring to sneak past enemies, he has no qualms with dispatching foes only if it is absolutely necessary. If it is, he chooses to do it quickly and quietly, usually opting for the use of a bow. If melee combat is required, he prefers the use of swords, but shield are out of the question as they slow him down and throw his balance off.

Valeniaxen 4 years ago

Thank you, Thank you! You have just inspired me to play the game again. Started to get tired... But now! I'll play the game on master and never fast travel :P

skyplayer 4 years ago

Name: Zihara Kathel

Race: Nord

Class: Shadow Warrior

Archery~Sneak~One Handed~Heavy Armor~Smithing~Enchanting

Armor set~ ebony mail helm gauntlets and boots

great in the heat of battle great in the shadows great with ranged combat

Her father was the founder of the order of the shadow warriors a guild that grew in power and fame quickly but through cercumstances im still figuruing out was destroyed she aquired an old tome wich comtaines all of the knoledge of the shadow warriors and there training and such thus begins her jounrey to become the ultimate shadow warrior and to find out about her past~note story is still in constructuion she will not join either side of the war and stay neutral she will not be a lycan or vampire will join all guilds but only to obtian more knolegdge or more power or just some gold has no set faith loves to collect books prefers to live and travel alone

Rogu 4 years ago

my favourite character now is my Thief which he only steals and don't kill people as first principle (undead, daedra, dragon and animals i still kill but i avoid them as much as possible) unless one crosses me really heavily which i didn't get my cut in a job and the quest giver planned to even trying to kill me afterwards.

i turned off my crosshair and my compass and i really enjoy the game now since it is not like my old burn u or bash u character. Thx for ur tip on this page

lala22 4 years ago

If you enjoy RP i'd recommend SA:MP.Everyone roleplays and it has roleplay tests to get in.Try it someday , LS-RP.COM is probably the heaviest and best server

sonnhy 4 years ago

I've a problem with this game... I really love it, but... I can't play this game more than level 7-8 because i get bored quickly.. I'm worried about this: i want to do everything in this game because i find myself missing the whole world so i usually play as a mage, a warrior and a thief at the same time... After a bit of level i feel like it's the wrong way to play and start a new character.. This one is more thief oriented but i still find myself missing something, like throwing an awesome spell or swing a sword and kill without worry of they have found me.. After this thought i usually got bored and start killing everyone, then i get crazy and rage quit the console.. Also i follow the adventure in Skyrim of Tubuscus on youtube, he's really funny guy, and also he enjoy the game, sometimes i want to play like him, without worring about everything... I feel so sad i can't enjoy this game like others do...

Ferret 4 years ago

Hey Juice, I was wondering if you could help me with a backstory for a Khajiit. I want to have him wear steel/plate armor and maybe a mace and shield; I was thinking he would be similar to Kharjo and Dro'marash. I was thinking he would only barter with Khajiit caravans or people who've gained his trust, seeing how Khajiit are not allowed in the cities of Skyrim. I also want to explore and scavenge as many ruins, caves etc. as possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Grosh 4 years ago


Nightbane44 4 years ago

This basically saved my ability to have fun on skyrim. I never thought of making morals and restrictions for my characters. Doing so gives satisfaction my new character is a high elf is called natas he dosent remember his past which motivates him to push on through the war. He has a split personality due to his inability to remember his past he is usually docile but plagued by nightmares causes him to throw fits of rage spewing spells with reckless abandon. On a separate note I apply the idea of resting after fights to rest so my magica

erkikle 4 years ago from California

I can already tell! When I first got it, I didn't play for a week. I just spent all my time playing with the CK and trying to figure stuff out, or I was watching videos about it.

j-u-i-c-e profile image

j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

There's a ton of good resources for modding Skyrim, but I've collected some of the most important links in my hub Creating Skyrim Mods with the Creation Kit:

Check out the section "Where can I learn more...?" for the links and the last section "My Creation Kit tutorials" for my own CK tutorials. The first two are designed specifically for people who have never modded. The third is a follow up to the second one.

I'll warn you guys in advance that modding is incredibly addictive. Many modders spend a lot more time modding than playing. :)

erkikle 4 years ago

@Weaverward I just got the creation kit, myself, and I'm trying my hardest to figure it out. Youtube is helping some, but if you find any tips, please share!

Weaverward 4 years ago

Thanks for the help Juice! Yeah, Tarlus sees bandits as people wanting to die, and goes out of his way to eliminate them to avenge his parents' death. He sees the Companions as overpayed mercenaries so he won't be joining them.

As for the modding, I have the Creation Kit, but have no clue how to use it? Do you have any tips? If so, thanks!

erkikle 4 years ago

Thanks, that makes me feel better. I've also recently gotten into modding, and I'm saving most of the mods for Kara, so hopefully it will feel sort of like a different game just because of that. And I do wish there were other ways Kara could handle conflict, but I guess she will have to learn to kill or be killed. I'm sure it will be an interesting struggle, and I'm sure she will end up getting a lot more help from followers than she'd really like. I think she would prefer going alone if she could, but she will need them to help her learn to be strong, at least at first.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@ExoticSkyrim: Stopping and waiting periodically is a good idea. I do it sometimes if I find a good place to camp. It does help to make Skyrim feel bigger because walking from one town to the next takes more game time (without significantly impacting play time). This is why some players use dynamic timescales: to lengthen the 'distance' outdoors without having to put up with unrealistic times in towns and interiors.

@Steven Silkett: Thanks for sharing Roran's story. Visiting his father's grave is a nice touch. Does he leave flowers or other objects? What happened to his mother?

The wait mechanic has proven to be very useful for maintaining realistic time frames without making time progress superfast. In fact, I think Skyrim would be a lot better if they just used real time, but attached wait functions to everything. For example, it could give you a prompt like: "Read? (4 hours)" or "Craft? (8 hours)". You'd still get all the benefits of a dynamic day/night cycle without the loss of immersion that comes from an unrealistic time scale. Plus, knowing in advance how long things take would let you plan your activities accordingly.

@Weaverward: I like the way you've integrated Tarlus' history with other characters from the game. You've done a good job using it to justify his skills. You said that Tarlus isn't one to pick sides, but what is his motivation? Just to become a great warrior? If so, is it for glory, gold, justice? How does he feel about bandits? How does he deal with the poor? With orphans? What's his relationship with the Companions now? Lots of areas you can explore based on his background.

Sharing mods is okay, just remember that most of the people reading the article don't have access to mods on XBOX 360 or PS3. One of the mods I am developing right now is set in its own world and has alternate starting options as well. It's a wonder that Bethesda doesn't use this technique, since it's used by many other RPGs.

Having all of your characters live in a shared world is an interesting idea. You could make a mod to add your other characters to the world as NPCs and actually interact with them to a small extent.

@erkikle: It sounds like your characters are fairly distinct, so I don't think you need to worry about them being too similar. It sounds like Aria even has a nice little inner conflict between wanting nice things and doing the right thing. That's a state of mind that most people can relate too. It's a shame there aren't more peaceful options for resolving conflict that Kara could employ.

I have characters that never pick locks and characters that never use magic, and I think it's a good way to make different play-throughs distinctive. You don't need to pick locks to accumulate gold or items, so that's not something you need to worry about. The characters I have that don't pick locks are swimming in gold.

Btw, everybody: I've added a forum to my web site for people who want to further discuss and share ideas. The link is in the bottom of the article.

Weaverward 4 years ago

Sorry for the double post but I want to talk about something I love to do. When I roleplay I act as if all of my characters are in the same Skyrim. For example, if my assassin kills someone, I use console commands to remove them with my warrior and if I hunt all the animals in a forest, for a few days ingame I pretend that there is nothing in the forest with other characters. Please, tell me what you think, thanks!

Weaverward 4 years ago

Juice, if you don't mind, I would like to share an excellent role-play mod that I found on the workshop. It's called the 'Live Another Life' mod I believe. It's brilliant, it allows you to skip the Helgen intro and select lots of different starts, for example, your character can start in an inn, at a hunting camp and even in an army! I just want to recommend it, thanks.

erkikle 4 years ago from California

Thank, that helps. I've been thinking about it more, and I decided a few things. Aria is stubborn and sort of self-centered. She wants the best of everything and will do almost anything to get it, but when push comes to shove, she does want to help the people of Skyrim. Her main interests are getting great armor and weapons, buying all the houses in Skyrim, and knocking out quests to prove her strength and dedication. She wears heavy armor and is always asking Lydia to help carry things. She typically only takes healing potions with her, sometimes stamina potions. Also, she has decided to become a werewolf so she will not need to worry about diseases and to become a Companion.

Kara will be the wanderer, busy picking flowers and making potions, only looting what she needs. She wants to save her money for her family, will probably one have one house, and is more interested in befriending Skyrim's citizens than killing people and dragons. She will wear light armor and either go solo a lot or find a strong follower to help her in battle since she will be focusing on strengthening her magic, and because I suspect she will be hesitant about killing people. She will probably only have a light one-handed weapon to fall back on if she runs out of magic and potions. Most of her inventory will be potions. I want to try to avoid fast travel with her, and she can't steal or pick locks unless she really needs to. She will refuse to become a werewolf and will not kill anyone she doesn't absolutely need to kill.

Weaverward 4 years ago

Hi guys, this is my Nord that I've been working on RPing, a warrior named Tarlus. Tell me what you think!


Tarlus' childhood was sad to say the least, bandits killed his parents, took his belongings and burned his family farm. He wandered to Whiterun where he met a fellow young Nord known as Farkas (The Companion as a teen). They trained together until they were strong enough to find their own destinies, choosing different paths.

Thoughts on war:

Tarlus is not one to take sides, he sees no point in the war. He escaped Helgen with Ralof as he considered that he would not try to behead him! He avoids any conversations with people attempting to recruit him and killed a Stormcloak soldier once for asking too much.

Skills: Ulthberth of Warmaidens in Whiterun kindly housed Tarlus as a lad and he helped him around the forge in return. For this reason he is a decent smith, and enjoys the satisfaction of killing an enemy with a blade he made. As stated before, he trained in combat with Farkas so he is unmatched at one-handed and block against anyone in Whiterun Hold.


Tarlus sees being Dragonborn as another oppurtunity to gain more power. He seeks to master the ancient dragon words of power and the shouts aid him in his fights.


Tarlus is one tough nut, but falmer scare him so much he would freak out and run if he saw one. For this reason he NEVER goes too deep into dwarven ruins. He first gained his fear of falmer when he and Farkas where exploring an old ruin nearby. One of them pinned him to the floor and almost killed him but Farkas saved him.

So then guys, how was it? I'd love any tips or ideas, thanks!

Steven Silkett profile image

Steven Silkett 4 years ago

My 22 year old Nord Roran, son of the Half-Nord, Half-Wood Elf Galbitor was learning how to hunt with his father in Valenwood, after Roran learned the basics of archery he decided to travel and hunt in Skyrim, also to learn more of his history. After making it across the border he saw a group of wounded solider's, they called themselves the Sons of skyrim, who knows? Maybe they are a guild of warriors that are proud of their heritage? Roran quickly uses 9 of the 10 health potions his father created to heal them once he healed them he was allowed to follow them and possibly join the StormCloaks. After five hours of walking from the Reach's border (where Markarth is) to Whiterun they were caught by the empire, Roran had no problem with the empire considering that Galbitor sold Meat and hides from his hunts to the Empire for the army.

" DON'T MOVE A MUSCLE!" shouted the Imperial captian.

"wait what's happe-" Roran was knocked out by the pommel of his sword.

I will skip to the point where you have the decision of going with Hadvar or Ralof.

"Quick come with me" Shouted Ralof, "No don't listen to him he is a traitor to the Empire!" shouted Hadvar.

Deciding not to Endanger his Father he went with the Imperial. When he had to kill the Spider he did quickly and as Painlessly as possible and took every thing that had a use from the creature. Because when he was a kid he lived in a poor district in Cyrodill with Galbitor, and there were the ungreatful rich kids and snobs who would throw away burnt meat and things they disliked that would have saved his brother's life. "hey are you done? we need to get out of here the dragon is still here." Hadvar reminded him. later When Hadvar offered him the decision of killing the bear he quickly rejected it and sneaked away "No point in killing it unless we have to" Roran said.

After going to Riverwood with Hadvar, Roran Hired a Courier to go to Valenwood and tell Galbitor what had heppend and to request gold to go back home in Valenwood. Two Months has passed and Roran Moved out of Hadvar's uncle's house and has been sleeping in the Inn using the gold he earned from splitting wood for Hod and Eating using the fish from the River and the wild game from the woods, The same courier he sent Two Months ago reappeared and with a disturbed look on his face "here, here you go.." he said flatly and got on his horse as quickly as possible. Later that night in the inn Roran read "You are no brother of skyrim,you imperial dog!" with his father's blood splattered over it. Enraged he went to cyrodill and joined the imerial army and later, enjoyed having the power.He started accepting assassination missions from the dark brotherhood and the Thieves Guild to strike out againts the rich and powerful.

He enjoys visiting his father's grave that was in his hometown, Falkreath.

ExoticSkyrim 4 years ago

Hey guys, thanks for the reply j-u-i-c-e, Yeah, I've kept up Elena's day to day life for about six hours of gameplay. Although, she is actually an occasional fighter, since she has actually crafted her own Steel Armor that has been made superior. And a Steel Greatsword. I'm RPing her training daily, but she still does her work with Adrianne Avencii in Whiterun. She'd be broke without it. She's a terrible fighter though, and usually just locks up her armor at Gerdur's House in Riverwood for when she comes to visit. She befriended Ralaf, so it could be possible she will join the Stormcloak Rebellion and discover she is Dragonborn, but I might steer away from the main questline. And maybe do the Companions or something.

And, I had an idea, on another rule, when I travel along the roads, I always stop and rest, after a while, ya'know, if an hour In game has passed, I sit and wait an hour. It makes travelling more time consuming on foot, whereas if I'm on a horse, I wait every two hours for an hour, since the horses in Skyrim are bred for the long haul.

Steven Silkett profile image

Steven Silkett 4 years ago

I want to thank you for your amazing hub, I didn't even think about the wait system having that much potential, Roran, son of galbitor.

j-u-i-c-e profile image

j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@erkikle: You can make your characters less similar by making different gameplay decisions. For example, by giving them different builds and restricting their actions in different ways. If one character picks locks, don't pick locks with the other one; if one character uses spells, don't let the other one use spells; if one character is a smith, make the other one an alchemist, etc. You can also give them preferences about the kind of loot that they will take. Your smith will pick up valuable ores and ingots, but ignore alchemy ingredients and vice versa. Give them preferences about the kinds of arm and armor that they will use. If one of your characters is a fighter in heavy armor who forges her own weapons and likes to collect ingots and your other character is a mage in robes who brews her own potions and likes to collect butterflies, they're going to feel different even if they have similar temperaments and backgrounds. Characters start to blend together when every character does everything, bears any weapons and armor, and picks up any kind of loot. Your characters' preferences will help to establish their identity.

Another way you can flush them out is to imagine how they would behave in particular scenarios. For example, at a wedding, how would each behave? How would they behave at a funeral? How do they behave if someone hands them a baby to hold? How do they act when they meet a stray dog? How do they respond if a merchant tries to cheat them? What do they do if they see two boys fighting? Thinking about these kinds of scenarios will help you understand their idiosyncrasies and personalities and give you an opportunity to explore different responses if they feel too similar.

@ExoticSkyrim: Does Elena plan on becoming involved in any of the questlines, or do you plan on just living out an alternate life? I'd be interested to know how long you can sustain Elena's normal day to day activities before it starts to get boring and you need to mix it up a little. And yes, there are definitely plenty of ways to make money in this game!

ExoticSkyrim 4 years ago

My current character. Elena Great-Heart, is a nord, and the great-great granddaughter of the Hero of Kvatch, Daren Great-Heart, (My character from oblivion ) and is the last of the Great-Heart bloodline in Tamriel. She is unknowing of her heritage, but was born in the rebuilt Kvatch, 22 years before the start of her adventures in Skyrim. After crossing the border to learn more of her homeland, she was attacked by stormcloaks, who where then ambushed soon after. After the dragon attack in Helgen, she made her way to Riverwood, in which she currently works as a woodcutter for Hod, but she aspires to go and work at Warmaidens and become a great blacksmith, supplying traders everywhere with her Armor and Weapons.

I also would like to add, if you wait an hour after combat, ya'know, but only if combat took A lot outta your health or it was long combat, ya'know or your character to patch himself/herself up and take a good breather. And remember, you can make money in skyrim without being a warrior and looting! I make all my money with woodcutting, or making armor and selling it on! Other blacksmiths and traders love a bit of fine armor!

Her day to day activities include, sleeping at the tavern till five AM, going for a quick dip in the river, getting dressed, having a meal, she then works from eight am till six am from Monday to Friday, on saturday she visits Whiterun or a day, and sleeps till Sunday, and on Sunday she goes fishing! Yep! She also has a sweet spot for Ysolda but she is also interested in Men, I'll keep ya all posted though!

erkikle 4 years ago

I just noticed, it appears that only one of my posts went through. Let me know if I need to send the first one again.

erkikle 4 years ago

(Please note that I am making up the smaller details as I type them now. Still discovering my characters. I only just came up with them yesterday even thoug I have been playing Aria for a few weeks. Another thing to note is that I sort of had to explain why aria did things because I had already been doing them, like how I planned to have her be a battle-mage but she has very low magic skill is because she is impatient and wants power quickly. On the other hand, Kara is a brand new character, so I am making up rules rather than excuses. Kara won't fast travel as much, hoard, or steal very often because she is more patient and has stronger values. Oh, and I think I confused Aria's parents. Her mother is a nord and her father is an imperial. She takes after her father.)

So Kara takes mostly after her mother, a high elf mage who has taught Kara everything she knows about alchemy and enchanting. Kara's father is a nord who, despite his family's obvious disproval, was always curious about magic and elves. He eventually chose his forbidden love over his loyalty to his family, but he died not long after the birth of his three children, Kara and her twin siblings. No one really speaks of his death, so Kara assumes it was something dark. After he died, Kara and her mother were forced to make ends meet by smithing, enchanting, and selling gear, and selling potions. One day while gathering ingredients, her mother was killed by an elf-hating nord. Due to the racism against elves, Kara has always wished she was human. She is quite lucky to have a more rounded, human looking face than most elves, but she can't hide her green golden skin. Instead she sends away her younger siblings to live with a relative while she makes a name, and a small pile of gold, in skyrim. She hopes one day when there is peace in skyrim and she has helped the people earn their freedom, they will see that elves are worthy people too. The problem is that she lacks confidence, and ometimes her values get in the way of gaining the power she will need to take down the empire.

I am a LITTLE afraid of my characters being too similar, but I don't want to side with the imperials and I don't want to play a "bad" character. Aria's hoarding and stealthy theivery are enough. She never gets caught so it doesn't seem wrong. She's supposed to be more stubbornly free spirited while Kara is more of a rule follower and a planner. She will most likely only steal lesser or empty soul gems and rare ingredients from people who won't miss them, while Aria takes everything of value and then some.

I would love to hear your input.

erkikle 4 years ago

Hey this is my 2nd video game, first rpg, and first time looking online and getting all into a game or even a character I have created myself. Just yesterday I started to create a new character and after reading a few of your posts I realized I was already doing a lot of things you mentioned. On the other hand, with my current character, I was starting to get bored and confused about her choices, and I think after reading this I have some ideas. For one thing, I am really going to figure out her family. Name her parents, fluff up their story a little, maybe even design their characters so I know what they look like (even though they are dead- probably).

So, I did something kinda weird. I didn't plan it, but somehow both my characters are half-breeds. Of course skyrim limits this with their abilities and appearances, but for the sake of their backstories, I decided it was best for me. Aria's father was a nord, and her mother was an imperial. Both of them were somewhat rebellious (and Aria takes after them). You see, her father never understood the racist thing and her mother always hated the empire, so they both left their homes to make their own decisions. They left skyrim and had a daughter and raised her to make her own decisions. She believes in freedom and loyalty (not to blood, but to those with the same values, but her only-child syndrome sometimes gets in the way. She steals a lot and has a hoarding problem.) Her parents went missing some time ago. They heard rumors about trouble in skyrim and went to support the stormcloacks, leaving their beloved Aria behind. When they didn't return, she decided to look for them. That's when she was caught, lost in the woods, when she stumbled upon the wanted Ulfric.

What do you think? For fear of being cut off or my phone crashing, I'll put Kara's story in a second comment.

j-u-i-c-e profile image

j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Jackrabbit: I really like your hybrid difficulty slider idea. I hadn't really thought of adjusting it on the fly while playing, though it's definitely an intriguing notion and I can see how it would be really useful on occasion. I might incorporate that into the article if it's okay with you.

@SamuraiQuack: Sorry for the huge delay, it looks like I sort of lost track of the comments on this hub! Zark-He Ugrum's story does have a very samurai feel to it, and an Orc is a good choice for that kind of play-through. Are you specializing in two-handed sword? I hope Zark-He gets his revenge!

@Darkciaran: Wow, Skyrim really is a dark place. Now the Orcs are slaughtering people, too! Is it a rogue band of bloodthirsty brigands or an Orc uprising taking advantage of the Thalmor conquest and the civil war? How does Kazadure deal with normal Orc civilians living in the towns?

@Mona: Glad it helped!

@GirlLovesGore: Gameplay challenge and realism are always sort of in conflict. Most people would go down with one or two blows, but then the game is too easy for many people. What would work best would be an option that allows you to increase/decrease damage for both yourself and your enemies separately. That way, you could crank up the damage for both and find a good challenge with a realistic amount of damage. The problem is that the way the difficulty slider works, you can either do realistic damage to an enemy, or have an enemy do realistic damage to your character, but you can't really have both. And I don't think limiting your inventory is really micromanaging at all. In fact, I find I tend to carry less and less the more I play; if anything, it makes for less inventory management and greater realism. I'm with you on that one.

@Huntercslu: Thank you for sharing your experience. Learning more about the history and culture of the people of Tamriel is a great idea. I can't believe I neglected to mention it! If it's okay with you, I'm going to add that to the article when I update it. ;)

@H: I agree with you about the increased combat difficulty making for a more realistic approach to combat. You really do have to plan ahead and come up with original strategies while you're playing just to survive. I found all kinds of interesting little strategies playing this way that I probably would have missed if I'd played at a lower difficulty setting.

@FourDog101: This could make for a very interesting playthrough if you try to play more 'realistically'. Would Luthien stop to skin animals for their hides, for example? Or pick alchemy ingredients? (Maybe she would, if she uses alchemy.) Would she forge her own weapons and armor or enchant her own items? If she's used to getting by on her looks and charm, she's probably more likely to use things to enhance her bartering skills than engage in menial tasks herself. Likewise, she'd probably rather ride or take a cart than walk everywhere, and would probably often have a traveling companion when not on missions, though she might change her followers all the time. There are plenty of interesting ways you could change how you usually play to create a memorable role-playing experience. Good luck!

FourDog101 4 years ago

Great article, I was already employing some of these elements for my third character, but now I want to go back and try doing all of them from the start (it's okay, I've only put like 8 hours into this play through).

Name: Luthien

Gender: Female

Race: Breton

Class: Temptress

Luthien grew up the daughter of a poor trader in Bruma. As a child, Luthien always desired money, and has developed an obsession with gold, and making more of it. She possesses natural "assets" that help her to persuade and manipulate others, and uses them to profit. She is not above lying, stealing, and killing for money, but she is above menial labour and purely altruistic charity. Luthien finds that job and investment opportunities always seem to find her, almost like she is the only woman in the world who can run simple errands in exchange for money. Luthien's goal in life is to become the leader of the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, both of which have retreated to Skyrim.

When the rebellion in Skyrim broke out, Luthien feared that the war might finally mean the end for these factions, and realised she might be the only one who could save them. So she hopped aboard the first trade caravan she could find going North, and crossed the border into Skyrim. Then her caravan was attacked by Stormcloaks, and then the Stormcloaks were ambushed by Imperials, and then the game starts.

4 years ago

Good post, there are a few other methods that can make the game more emmersive, like for example playing on Master from the start of the game, you die allot more but it means you plan out your fights, you wont normally run in head strong if you've died 2 or 3 times to the same enemy, also wear weaker armor, i remember when i got to level 70 i started wearing Steel armor again. I prefer to get into hard fights that i may die if i don't heal at the right time ect...

Huntercslu 4 years ago

I loved this all. I've recently been feeling quite bored and searching for a game to play and found myself wanting to try skyrim again, (since about December) but this time with a role playing atmosphere. It greatly increased the experience. I found myself hunting the woods by Riverwood or being a student at the College of Winterhold reading books and exploring the poles for ingredients. Role playing has brought me right back to the fun and enjoyment I get from playing the Elder Scrolls series.

Recently I was scimming through the skyrim wikia site and realized I didn't have too much knowledge on the background game in general. So I searched things like "The Great War" and the "Night of Tears". Just by reading the brief history lesson, I found myself admiring skyrim and it's architecture so much more. I understood the conflicts of the civil war and how Falmer were descendants of Snow Elves.

I loved this page and I hope my idea helps out a little more in creating the amazing, fulfilling play through.


GirlLovesGore 4 years ago

On number nine, I can't really agree with that, because realistically, most people would probably go down with one arrow or a couple jabs with a sword. So novice works fine. Of course, I also refuse to carry anything that wouldn't fit in the small bag that comes with nearly any outift (or if it doesn't, I make up something about having a small fold in the under folds or something. I really enjoy playing it realistically but that's just me. Maybe it seems like micromanegment but oh well :)

Mona 4 years ago

Wow thanks this really helped!!!! :D

Darkciaran 4 years ago

thanks this really helped this is my idea

Name: Kazadure

Race: Argonian


Kazadure lived with other argonians where they were all at peace with the world around them. Kazadure trained in conjuration and archery since he was 9 but sadly peace doesn't last forever so he would eventually have to use them.

To prove Kazadure was ready to handle the world he would have to spend 2 months out of his home using only his knowledge of survival, archery and necromancy. time was hard but his skills proved useful, he used archery to hunt and used necromancy to create bound weapons and raise those he defeated to help him in battle.

One day he witnessed a Khajiit surrounded by orcs , the orcs killed the khajiit and Kazadure has regretted since then not doing anything to stop it. It was then he realized that the world was a dark place but in the khajiits pocket was a note saying THE DARK ORCS ARE REBORN!!!!!.

Kazadure returned home because the 2 months were over but when he returned everyone in his village were slain expect the leader who died before he could tell Kazadure who did this. Kazadure searched and searched until he found it a note saying THE DARK ORCS ARE REBORN!!!!!. It was then Kazadure knew where he had go. Where he overheard the orcs saying they were going to SKYRIM!!!!!!!!!!!.

Kazadure took all the supplies and equipment he could and some conjuration spells. He found spells called flames and restoration and set off until he arrived at skyrim.

He made it and was going to search for the orcs but he walked right into the civil war and got captured by the imperials with a few people who claim to be called stormcloaks. Ulfric Stormcloak who said he was the leader was there too. They arrived at a town where they were to be executed but Kazadure was saved by a dragon. He escaped from the dragon and town through the help of an imperial who led him out and took him to the town of riverwood. Now Kazadure could hunt down the DARK ORCS!!!!! for revenge for his people.

SamuraiQuack 4 years ago

Wow. This really helped. I had this idea floating around about making a samurai in Skyrim and this article has convinced me. Here goes:

Name: Zark-He Ugrum

Race: Orc

Age: 28 (at start of game)

Background: When the Aldmeri Dominion waged war on the Blades, Bayak Ugrum, a Blade and close friend of Delphine went into hiding. He moved into his twin brother's (the Chief) Stronghold to lay low. Nothing happened for a few months, until one day a group of Thalmor visited the camp looking for him. They murdered Bayak's brother, who had impersonated him. The Orc residents wept. They appointed Bayak Chief as his brother had no children. He grew close to his brother's wife and she evenually became pregnant. On 30th Frostfall, exactly two years after the Blades went ino hiding, Zark-He was born.

He grew up to be a fine warrior, and on his 18th birthday he was to challenge his father for the position of Chief. Before the duel, Bayak told Zark-He to retrieve his blade he had hidden from a nearby cave. Zark-He returned full of pride... only to find the hold ransacked. All his family and friends murdered. The only clue he had was a bloodstained Elven dagger, impaled in his father's chest. He brandished his father's blade, vowing to kill the one responsible, no matter what cost.

He spent ten years travelling the lands, helping locals, killing bandits, searching for his father's killer. While at an inn in Cyrodiil, he was told by the Keeper of the maker of the dagger he carried. Elves. She told him about a group of Thalmor who passed through on their way to Skyrim. Zark-He left, a new destination in his mind.

Personality: Zark-He is an Orc and as such abides by a strict set of conduct. He will only kill those who would hurt innocents, yet when he does so, he does in cold blood. No second thought, no second chance, no mercy. He holds honour in high regard, looking down upon thieves and liars. He also tries to help those less able than himself, as long as their cause is noble. He isn't prejudice towards any race except Altmeri, and is weariy of Imperials.

Jackrabbit 4 years ago

At the risk of spamming I'll make this my last comment!

You hit the nail on the head. I've been hooked on 'I'm a master player', which is completely wrong.

So, I've been playing around with the difficulty sliders and I have to admit, for me they have one fantastic strength. And that's for reinforcing those defining points in a character's story.

My current character for example started of as little more than a hunter, but there was a point in her story recently where something exceptional happened. So I reduced the difficulty and suddenly it actually felt like this moment had had a real effect on her 'life'.

I can think of points in the Thieve's Guild and the Companions questlines, as well as a couple in the main storyline where taking the slider down a notch might really compliment the story.

Of course, you can turn it on its head as well. If you were willing to micromanage the difficulty slider a bit, you could, say, put the difficulty up a bit if you'd become seriously injured, or put it down a bit for a brief moment for an 'adrenaline rush' or that final push in a tough fight where you really give it your all. Again, so much potential in an aspect I'd mostly ignored!

And finally finally finally, I really like your hybrid fast travel idea. Generally if I have a horse handy I'm happy to trot the entire way across the map if I have to, but there are those moments when I don't have a horse that are a bit... long (a recent walk from Winterhold to Riften springs to mind).I'll definitely be giving this a go, thanks!

And thanks for -all- your advice, Skyrim is a new game for me :)

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Me: Glad you found it useful.

@Jackrabbit: Waiting combined with reasonable encumbrance rules has really helped my game. Forcing myself to wait when mining, skinning, smithing, etc., has trained me not to engage in activities that my character probably wouldn't engage in, and limiting my inventory has trained me not to pick up everything that isn't nailed down. It's actually a bit of a relief not worrying about squeezing every last gold out of the environment and has helped my immersion significantly. Now, when I'm wandering through the countryside, I just enjoy it. When I kill enemies, I don't compulsively loot their bodies or see the need to go rumaging through their end tables. If someone has an interesting looking weapon, I might pick it up and examine it, but I won't lug it back to town just to sell it. My characters feel a lot 'lighter' and the RP experience is more intense. The game starts to revolve more around the character and less around inventory management and gold-farming.

As far as the difficulty goes, I really enjoy the challenge presented by Master, but I've also been experimenting with other difficulty settings. I'm finding that you can really use it to help fine-tune your RP experience. For Elsbet, who had no prior combat experience, Master felt like a very good fit: enemies were extremely dangerous and required a good deal of skill and luck to defeat. My newest character, Loric, is supposed to be a seasoned vet who is returning to Skyrim after many years away in battle. He's supposed to be a bit of a bad-ass right from the start (think King Leonidas from 300) and I found that, while I enjoy the difficulty presented by Master, it was taking him too long to whittle down enemies. There was a sort of mismatch between my concept of the character and the way the game responded to his actions. For Loric, I dropped the difficulty down to Adept so that my concept was mirrored better by the game. If I was playing someone like Legolas or Gandalf, I'd probably drop the difficulty down to Novice. Use the difficulty slider to communicate the power that the character has, in your mind, and forget about whether or not you're a 'Novice' or a 'Master' player. The difficulty should match the character, not the player.

I've also been toying a bit with fast travel. If you ever feel that the walking is getting dull, or that you really just don't have time for it, you can use a 'hybrid' form of walking/fast travel: just fast travel part of the distance between places and walk part of the distance and every time you go somewhere, pick different start and stop times. You'll almost always encounter an enemy of some sort, so these walking segments can work a bit like random encounters, only you decide where in the journey you want them to happen. (I should probably work these tips into the main article instead of burying them in the comments.)

Thanks for the tip about the pouches.

@dannyglovepred2: You weren't kidding: that's a pretty dark story. Lots of detail, good motivations and--best of all!--a nemesis! I also like the checklist idea. There's not much to add since Dalisi seems like a pretty complete character. About the only thing missing is a sympathetic character from her past, someone who was kind to her that she respected or felt attracted to. Your post also got cut off at the end, probably for length. Thanks for sharing.

dannyglovepred2 4 years ago

j-u-i-c-e, thanks for some awesome guidance in really role playing Skyrim. I am one of the sad ending haters of Mass Effect 3, and have been consistently frustrated with the lack of really compelling stories in games. As an avid fantasy/sci-fi reader, I'm always looking for more. This page has provided a great way to be my own storyteller with Skyrim as a framework. I've always been a fan of hardcore modded Bethesda games, but never have I engaged so fully in character. Below is the backstory and Skyrim adventure for my character so far...

CAUTION - there are dark elements to this:

Name: Dalisi

Race: Breton

History/Background (used for initial development of character):

Dalisi had no memory of her parents. She was left to die by her father in the streets of Velothis of Morrowind after her mother died during childbirth. Saved by a prostitute named Selvura, Dalisi was named after Selvura's mother. Selvura's pimp, Threvul, allowed Dalisi to live because she would eventually become a profitable whore because of her foreign heritage.

Dalisi was forced into prostitution as early as seven years old. She lost her right eye in a beating when she tried to fight back the first time she was raped. Under Selvura's advice, support, and reassurance, Dalisi eventually resigned herself to her fate and recognized that her talents as a courtesan might present an opportunity for a better life. Her intelligence, grace, and exotic (to Morrowind) nature allowed her to become a highly sought after courtesan by the time she reached her teenage years.

Threvul sold her when a particularly curious and wealthy Altmer client presented an extraordinary offer for a fifteen year old Dalisi. Ungarion was a gifted Thalmor sorcerer with a taste for young girls. Dalisi was, in some respects, treated well by the Thalmor: she was well educated in history, music, and the arts, but was forced into vile sexual fantasies by him, even forced to kill others in Ungarion’s most perverted sexual fantasies.

Ungarion did not recognize or did not fear the growing mystical powers of the Breton child. Dalisi, afforded a great deal of freedom in Ungarion’s mansion, slowly developed her innate magical talents to go along with the talents she developed as a courtesan. Unsurprisingly, as she grew older, she grew more powerful and more resentful. Years of rape and abusive sexual mistreatment exacted a heavy toll on her psyche. She spent years developing her powers and waiting for an opportunity to escape Ungarion's grasp.

During The Great War, such an opportunity presented itself in Cyrodiil. Ungarion had brought her with him to the Imperial City where he and other Thalmor were solidifying Altmer dominance over the Imperial province. After the signing of the White-Gold Concordat, the Thalmor celebrated their victory in the Imperial City. The normally diligent Ungarion was distracted by the honors paid to him for his work against the Empire.

Dalisi preyed on Ungarion's ego and lulled him into drinking heavily and smoking Skooma. While under the effects of the narcotic, Dalisi unleashed a fearsome magical attack on the Thalmor. Her rage manifested in a horrific magical explosion, decimating parts of the Thalmor compound and nearly killing the sorcerer. Ungarion barely escaped his demise, saving himself only through a desperate teleportation. His body, however, was horribly burned by the magical flames, damage that no healing magic could undo.

In the chaos after the detonation, Dalisi recognized she had a small window for escape and fled the Thalmor base in the Imperial City. She managed to escape to the poorer portions of the Imperial City and seduced her way into a trading caravan heading north. The caravan went north to Bruma, where Dalisi caught word that the Thalmor were pursuing her. She abandoned the caravan there and fled further north to Skyrim, where she was captured by Imperials in a raid intended for Ulfric Stormcloak...

Personality and Skills (based upon history AND developing as game goes):

Dalisi is, unsurprisingly, extremely mistrusting of men. She has a hatred for wealthy men who abuse their positions of power.

She has a similar hatred for the Thalmor, but lives in fear of Ungarion capturing her, knowing that the punishment would be severe. For this reason, she often deals violently and fatally with Thalmor she interacts with.

She is a brilliant conversationalist and excellent actor. These skills developed over her years as a courtesan. She excels at blending into local cultures, but is always careful to hide the right side of her face. The scars and damaged eye stand out and she does what she can to conceal them.

She has an unnatural fear of spiders after being subjected to awful sexual abuse in the presence of some of Ungarion's conjured beasts and experiments.

Her magical gifts are only beginning to be uncovered, but she has an incredible affinity for destruction magic, fueled by her hatred and rage.

Her dancing and elegance have left her proficient in close combat with light daggers. She is unable to use bows well because she lacks the depth perception to use ranged weaponry. However, she can effectively use ranged magic, relying on her arcane powers rather than her sight for targeting.

She loves children (although is incapable of having her own) and seeks to help them when the opportunity presents itself. She sympathizes with the plight of abused women and will deal violently with abusive men.

She has no plan moving forward, only a desperate desire for real freedom from her captors.

Her experiences in Skyrim as a captive and around Whiterun have led her to have a healthy distaste for the Imperial presence. However, she is not ready to throw in her lot with the Stormcloaks at this point.

Skyrim Adventures (chronicle of stuff that happens in-game weaved into my creative story line - unchecked boxes are things to do in-game before finalizing the journal entry):

Dalisi found herself touched by the story of Lokir of Rorikstead while in captivity on route to Helgen. She sympathized with him being a small person caught up in the affairs of more powerful people. Once she can manage to get herself on her feet in Skyrim, she wants to visit Lokir's family, if she can find them, in Rorikstead, and explain what happened to him.

[ ] Find Lokir's family in Rorikstead

In Whiterun, Dalisi found that the Battle-Born family sold a Grey-Mane captive to the Thalmor. Having herself been sold to a Thalmor sorcerer, she seeks the release of the Grey-Mane captive, the death of the Thalmor, and vengeance against the Battle-Borns. She discovered the location of the Thalmor base, but refused help in raiding the fort for now, planning instead to exact her own vengeance on the high elves. In the meantime, she has begun careful assassinations of the Battle-Born family.

[ ] Kill Thalmor

[ ] Exterminate the Battle-Born

Dalisi was ambushed and attacked while sleeping outside of Whiterun. The bandits mistook her for a frail and weak woman, but learned their error when they were bathed in flames. She found items on the bandits linking them to an outpost at the Halted Stream Camp. A reward had also been posted by the Jarl of Whiterun for the execution of the bandit leader of the camp. Dalisi, motivated by a personal opportunity for revenge and the money from the Jarl, headed to the camp. She was able to infiltrate and kill several bandits, but had to flee from overwhelming force. She returned later under the cover of darkness and assassinated the bandit leader, leaving his corpse prominently displayed and skinned on a dining table in his own camp.

Applauded for her efforts in eliminating the bandit leader, Dalisi was asked to conduct research on the Jarl’s behalf in Bleak Falls Barrow. Dalisi ventured into the ancient tomb only to discover it was the resting place of long forgotten dragon lore. After bringing knowledge of this back to Whiterun, the city was attacked by a dragon! Dalisi and many Whiterun guardsmen drew the attention of the beast away from population centers and to a guard tower. The battle raged for hours, dozens of guardsmen were killed (it actually took me nea

Jackrabbit 4 years ago

Thanks for replying, Juice.

The waiting was a fantastic addition. I can't thank you enough for that! It's given everything that extra element that just makes things flow a little better.

I find sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but on the whole I find myself doing it a lot since I first read this post. Lengthy timescales make it a real pain when you have a 'meet me here at night' quest, so with this I can read a book for an hour or two, or spend a bit of time fine-tuning a bow - the possibilities are endless!

I do the same as you with difficulties as well, ramp it up as high as it'll go, even if it means dying a few times before I crack it. Sometimes you'll get those fights that last ten, maybe fifteen minutes that have you concentrating so hard you'll be shaking when you're done. That's when I remember why I bother playing games at all, but I dunno, maybe that's just me!

As for fast travel, I agree that it's a really great addition, especially if you can choose to use it or not. But for me I find I miss out on loads of journey encounters if I use it. I started Skyrim at pretty much the same time as a friend who used fast travel for everything. In a few days he'd finished most of the main questlines and I'd barely gotten out of Whiterun. The difference now is that I'm still playing and loving it and he's moved on. But as you say, different strokes for different folks.

I'd like to give a bit of a mention to Bandolier - Bags and Pouches as well. It's a great little mod that allows you to craft your own bags, with lots of the Skyrim designs as well as a few new ones (I think). I find that that little extra capacity a new pouch gives me allows me to say, yeah, I can take those couple of soul gems, or that scroll with me now! It's a brilliant addition for RPers so I thought I'd give it a mention.

Me 4 years ago

Thanks for the tips i was ready to quit Skyrim all together

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@RolyRetro: I have trouble playing 'evil' characters as well; though Elsbet is a pretty twisted character and has done some pretty reprehensible things, I wouldn't call her evil, per se, so much as 'troubled' (though 'insane' is probably more appropriate). It's funny how strong the instinct to do good is for a lot of players, probably the majority.

@Chris: You do not have to follow the main Dragonborn quest line. You can put hundreds of hours into the game without ever talking to Balgruuf or visiting High Hrothgar. Plenty of people do that. I did that with the main quest in Oblivion all the time: my characters often had 'forgetting' spells cast on them that made them 'forget' to pursue the main quest. I haven't done it in Skyrim, yet, because so far I've found interesting ways to use the main quest for my character.

I actually tried to reply to your comment about extra immersion tricks for console users a couple of days ago but my modem crashed on me and by the time it was fixed I'd forgotten, my apologies.

There really isn't a lot more to say, unfortunately. As far as I know, the only things you can do on console from a technical perspective are turn off the HUD (which can make combat hard for many people and makes it hard to pick up objects or identify items and quests that are given to you; very poorly implemented, imo); turn down the volume on the music so that you aren't followed around by an orchestra and hear the sounds you would actually hear instead; and turn off all the quest markers as they get added to your journal. You can't selectively edit the crosshair/compass/quest markers in ini files or change the FOV like you can on PC, or use any of the thousands of mods that try to improve the experience.

The good news is that these really aren't the most important elements when it comes to RP. What really matters is the strength of your connection to the character. Ultimately: does your character interest you? It's not always enough to have a detailed history and hopes and fears, they have to inspire you in some way. You have to want to spend time with them, to get to know them. I'm sure you've met people like this in RL, people that were just really interesting to talk to or watch, people that just made you think, "Man, that person is cool". You need to feel that way about your character. Those characters exist inside everyone, because everyone, at some point, meets or sees somebody that they think is really cool. This is why it's important to explore your character at some depth. You have to dig as deep as a writer digs when creating a character for a movie or novel. You're not interested in every character that you read about or see on tv, even if they do have a detailed backstory. There is something special about the characters that really interest you, they have a life of their own. When you find/create a character like this, playing Skyrim is like watching a movie that goes on for hundreds of hours, or reading a fat fantasy novel. It will hold your interest, even when you're doing things you've done a thousand times before, because you care about the character it is happening to. So, to answer your question: all of the interface tweaks that you can achieve on PC are just nice to haves; what really matters is the depth of your relationship to the character. Keep digging until you stumble across someone that holds your interest. Sometimes that means you have to make a few characters until something 'sticks', and sometimes it means that you just have to dig deeper with the character that you have. But those characters are in there. They're inside everyone. Once you find a character like that, the interface doesn't matter anymore.

@CrazyBox1993: I used a lot of these kinds of mods when I played Oblivion. Realistic Fatigue was the one mod I couldn't play without. (Fortunately, Bethesda improved fatigue a lot for Skyrim.) I haven't used many mods for Skyrim yet, but that's mostly for lack of time. Glad you liked the article.

CrazyBox1993 4 years ago

First time reading your posts Juice and I got to say I like it. It's nice and informative. I just have a suggestion:

For all you PC users, remember, mods are your best friends. I've seen everything from new races, equipment and quests to absolutely new funcions. There are some mods that add heat, hidration or hunger and even some spacific nutrition values and alcoholic intoxication. Not going to name them here, but you can find them easly yourself.

And for all you who don't have the game on PC, well at least you got Dawnguard.

Chris 4 years ago

Sorry this is the last time I have two last questions for you.

1. Does my character have fulfill their destiny as dragonborn or can they just ignore it?

2. I cannot put console commands on my ps3 so how can I maximize the rp experience without mods?

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Chris: I wonder if it was a friend of the family or even a relative that tipped off the Thalmor about Kathy's family? Maybe someone who was secretly profiting from the drug trade, or someone who named names to spare their own life? I can think of at least one embassy that might be a good place for Kathy to start looking for answers. :)

Does the Thalmor cousin know about the operation? How does he feel about it? Playing a corrupt Thalmor criminal makes for an interesting twist; of course, he might despise drug trafficking and consider it beneath Altmer dignity.

@NC4Life078: I think a lot of people don't really understand that the game can be played this way. They feel like they should try to do every quest that comes their way and explore every dungeon. If you split the quests and locations up among different characters, each character's story is unique and memorable. If you try to do it all at once it tends to turn into a bit of a blur. The only catch is you're not going to max out every character if you only do some of the content, and for a lot of people, 'maxing out' is how you beat an RPG. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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NC4Life078 4 years ago from United States of America

I played skyrim playing every story but I wish I had used different people as you suggested. It seems like a cool way to play along with slowing the time down. I think we all get wrapped up with wanting to beat it and not enjoying the little things that amazed us from the start (when you had to walk everywhere). Great hub!

Chris 4 years ago

Okay I fixed the story. Here's one of Kathy's diary entries which sums it up.

21st of Frostfall 4E 194

Finally I have figured out who murdered my family and why. It turns out the thalmor were running a skooma operation in tamriel centered in skyrim. I recovered some documents suggesting my family was involved in a resistance movement against the thalmor. They were about to blow the whistle on their skooma operation, my families plan was already in motion. They would tell all of tamriel about the skooma operation and thus set the sparks of rebellion. It was perfect everything was falling into place, but there was one flaw. The thalmor have ears all over tamriel, they knew about my families plans. So they set the contract on my family. Now I know whoever placed the contract is somewhere in skyrim now I am going to the snowy province to find whoever killed them strike my revenge!

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Chris: I love that you've created characters that are connected to each other. Whenever I hear a backstory about a character's family being murdered, I always wonder what's been left out of the version I'm hearing. Most of the time, tragedies like this occur for a reason; what was Kathy's family involved in? I suspect it's more than just holding heretical views. Were they supporting some sort of resistance movement? Are there people in Skyrim right now that knew her parents and would aid her if they knew she was there? There doesn't have to be a reason for a tragedy like this, but it always pays to dig a little deeper to see what comes up.

The Thalmor cousin could also be a very interesting character. How does he feel about his cousin's murder? Does he approve of his tactics, or is he a more moderate character who sees Thalmor rule as a sort of benevolent dictatorship (like the British empire)? Is he even more extreme? Is he cold and calculating, or uncharacteristically emotional for an Altmer? How do his parents feel about Thalmor rule? Lots of interesting possibilities there.

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RolyRetro 4 years ago from Brentwood, Essex, UK

I have been having doubts about my character taking on assassin missions, as well as dealing with some of the more iffy deities that haunt Skyrim. Maybe I shall repent and just be a good Nord from now on!

Great hub.


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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Jackrabbit: Fast travel is great for testing mods you're working on, or taking screenshots, but I rarely use it when playing. That said, I don't think it's a big deal if people do. Almost every other game, movie and novel has fast travel: it's called a scene transition. I think it would be bad if Bethesda removed it from the game because it can do a lot to tighten up the drama if you're more interested in a strong narrative than simulating everything. It only ever seems to be an issue for hard-line RPG simulationists.

I've been limiting what I pick up more and more over time. I actually find it a bit of a relief because I no longer stop to check everything; I don't even bother to loot a lot of the enemies anymore unless I'm looking for something in particular or they have a nice weapon or shield (I never take armor). I ask myself: "Would this character lug around an extra warhammer, two swords, three wolf pelts and eight iron ingots? Not likely." There's so much money lying around in Skyrim you don't need to peddle junk to become rich. My current character doesn't pick locks (so no looting locked chests), doesn't steal from crypts, and doesn't loot most items from corpses and I've already got a ton of gold. Money is just a non-issue in this game.

I also don't play DID, since I like to crank up the difficulty to insane levels. I'd rather die twenty times trying to get through one awesome fight than creep around like a paranoid jackrabbit. Still, I respect people who do play that way. It's got to be pretty challenging.

Waiting has really helped me a lot because it forces me to decide whether or not what I want to do is worth the time I spend doing it (even though that itself is an illusion). It may help you, it may not. It's a bit like eating: it's a superficial element that can add to immersion or become a tedious chore depending on your personality.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@worn_chaos789: It's amazing how often our own impatience and curiosity can ruin a perfectly good playthrough. Every time I cut corners I always feel bad afterward; even if it does save me a bit of time, I always feel like my experience has become less intense because of it. The reason why coming up with a good backstory, like Maliin's, is so important is that it gives your character motivation and preferences about things. Without that objective, your characters just sort of drift from quest to quest. Having a clear objective makes it easier to turn down quests that don't contribute directly to your character's story. I like the detail about the blind eye, btw. It's a nice little detail that makes him memorable. Thanks for reading and sharing.

@AresGoW: Glad you enjoyed the article.

1. Does Ares know who framed him? How is he going to exact revenge? How does he connect that with the Imperial/Thalmor occupation?

2. Kaitlyn sounds like a very complex character. How does she justify her actions? Does she practice her faith cynically, or is she genuinely conflicted about her actions? Does she find some way to rationalize or justify them that allows her to engage in both healing and murder without conflict? What would her parents think if they found out?

Not too much. Skyrim is a brutal place. :)

Chris 4 years ago


I play skyrim on my ps3. So I can't change the time or do all those fancy console commands. So what's your advice for maximizing the RPing experience without console commands or mods?

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@jogreyr: Any important event in a character's life can help you understand your character better. I talk about this a bit in one of my other articles. Weddings, funerals, birthdays, first day on the job, etc., all tend to get lodged in memory and become symbolic for many people. That's a great way to tap into your character.

I find it really interesting that, although Skyrim is a fantasy game where you can be whatever you want, almost everybody wants to play somebody who's down and out or suffered a great tragedy. It says some interesting things about the kinds of escapes that people are looking for. Thanks for sharing.

@Camron914: Well, it's pretty normal to get bored of playing the same game, so maybe you just need to take a break...but, if you're really dead-set on sticking with Skyrim, I think what you need to do is break away from strong archetypes like your mage/warrior/thief builds. Try to think about your character as a person, not an occupation. You don't *need* to play an archetype to succeed in Skyrim; it's not like most RPGs.

Try this: pick any two skills at random and figure out what type of person would need exactly those two skills as their main skills. It doesn't matter how compatible they are, just ask yourself what kind of person would have those particular skills. Try combinations like: lockpicking and restoration; heavy armor and pickpocketing; alteration and archery. If you put a bit of thought into it, you will be able to come up with something unusual. That can spark an interesting character concept. You can make your character even more interesting by playing against racial stereotypes. I created a follower called Goraz who is a huge, hulking dark elf brute who has more in common with Conan than the aristocratic inhabitants of the Underdark. He's interesting because he defies racial stereotypes, even if he is a fairly ordinary barbarian-style warrior. Try creating a character from skills that seem incompatible in a way that goes against a racial stereotype. I guarantee your character won't be boring.

Don't worry about optimizing your build for this character or trying to maximize every time you level up; that will work against the experience; worry about creating an interesting character. Nobody cares if you turn the difficulty down a notch if your character isn't uber. You want to focus on the story, not the mechanics. For more suggestions, read my How to Build Interesting Characters article, if you haven't already.

Chris 4 years ago

Love it! I am currently planning two very contrastimg characters.

The first one is Lady Katelyn Evermore the twelfth or Kathy (The name she prefers to go by). She is an imperial nobel from Cyrodiil. She left Cyrodiil for Skyrim after her family was murdered by a thalmor spy for their views on the thalmors influence in Tamriel. She went to Skyrim because the blade used to murder her family came from skyrim. Upon arriving in Skyrim she was told that it belonged to a merchant in Whiterun he told her "Oh that old thing? Sold that to the thalmor ambassador two years ago." At that she left for the thalmor where she managed to kill the ambassador but was cuaght. She was then arrested and taken to Helgen. Now she has no desire but to drive the thalmor influence out of skyrim and all of tamriel!

The second one is in fact a thalmor, and is the cousin of the thalmor abmbassador that kathy killed. Haven't gone into much detail with him yet. XD

Jackrabbit 4 years ago

Great article, it's helped a lot in planning out my next character.

I try to RP Skyrim where possible and can probably count the number of times I've fast travelled since release on my fingers. I'm pretty sure I even changed the timescale before the opening cinematic was over.

I really like the idea of limiting yourself to what/how much you pick up. I've been getting away with filling my encumberance by giving horses 'saddlebags', so I extend my carry capacity to 'how much could my horse and I carry?' it works, but it's a bit of a cheap justification.

I've tried DID in so many games and I really don't feel it works for me in Skyrim, there are just too many ways to get killed, especially when combat is such a key element. One of the ways I justify reloading is by telling myself I'm 'just skipping over to an alternate reality where I -didn't- take that arrow to the throat.' ;)

I think I'm going to give the wait function some love now as well. I've avoided it for a long time but I can definitely see sense in the way you use it.

Thanks for the article! I'm really looking forward to playing with your ideas.

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AresGoW 4 years ago

Wow...I'm not much for RP, but after reading this, you convinced me to actually try something new for once. it's well written and informative, in a sense, so I actually am starting to think up story for two characters I will be playing.

1. Ares is a breton battlemage, who left his home for Skyrim after his family was killed and he was framed for the deed. Stubbling through every settlement and city in depression and doing odd jobs, he reaches Dark Water Crossing and befriends a fair stormcloak lass. During the imperial ambush, she's killed and thus he finds purpose, wishing for power at any cost to drive Imperial/Thalmor Influences from Skyrim.

2. and Kaitlyn, the Imperial preistess from the Imperial City(duh?) on her way to skyrim to aid the wounded, gets captured by bandits but in the dead of night, she finds enough courage to kill the guard outside her cell with a self-made blade, only feeling the rush of the kill and makes her escapes. But days later, she returns with her blood caked shiv from before, deciding to finish the entire bandit-camp off. She wonders from town to town, aiding the sick or injured in the temples and inns but secretly takes contracts from the Dark Brotherhood just to feel the rush once more (and has a crush on Cicero...why not? xD).

How do those sound?...too much? : /

worn_chaos789 4 years ago

This is exactly what I was looking for to help increase how much I enjoyed playing Skyrim. Shortly before I read this I restarted a 50+ hour character because he had no depth. He was a mash up of everything, had no real background, and onto of all of that, I had used many exploits in that playthrough. It ruined the game. I restarted the game as an orc warrior. Now I understand that seems cliché but hear me out. He was once a family man, living in a remote village in the mountains with his family, making a living off of the items he crafted as a blacksmith. He had a wife and 2 young children. One day while he was working at the forge, he hears a loud scream and runs into the village to find his family as well as the rest of the village, had been killed. He drops to his knees and begins to cry. As he looks downward mercenaries ride out of the village at full speed and the last one to exit the burning gates raises his sword and takes a swing at Maliin's (my character) head. He narrowly misses his neck, but manages to cut from his upper left to just about his right eye. Now, Maliin is left with a large scar and one white eye as a painful reminder that he will never see his family again. Later, he finds that the mercenaries he saw, were local mercenaries who had been hired by a group of rather rich stormcloaks to eradicate the settlement in a quest to rid the world of all races aside from the nord. In his rage, Maliin, for the first time in his life, despite being a rather established blacksmith, picks up a weapon and sets out on his own journey for justice. He holds no resentment towards the mercenaries, as it is only a job to them. However, he holds great resentment towards the stormcloaks, and as a result, joins the imperial movement. A once happy, well established man, now turned into a vengeance seeking, scarred and bitter monster. And that is where his story begins as he is taken to be executed for crimes he unknowingly committed. Tell me that wouldn't make for one he'll of a book or movie if it was put into much more details with some side components :)

Camron914 4 years ago

Juice i need your advice. I have depression and some mood swing issues.... My problem is that sometimes a game that is just so fun for me can seem like the most dreariest thing in the world. I love TES, but now i'm just not feeling it like i used to. I have tried spicing things up with:

Altmer Mage (Pure mage absolutely no melee or armour) who works for the empire.

A Orsimer Tank (No need for weapons or friends just conjures weapons and help when needed, and uses restoration for healing.)

A Dunmer 'Sneak Thief' (Vampire, Uses sneak skill with some Illusion ability, a complete sneak attack or run character.) ((Also sometimes likes to go into towns and cast fear on everyone one, just to watch them quirm)) (((I think that guy has issues......)

Those were my favorite 3, but i just can find anything to keep me out of my gloom. I don't really like any of the others because they don't suit my play styles. I need some major mental renovations. Plz any ideas you have for the other non mentioned races (Khjiit, Argonian, Bosmer ECT..... would be of tremendous help in peaking my interest again in a game series so near to me.

jogreyr 4 years ago

i find the best way to role play is playing out your ideal charecters, previous encounters. i have a vampyre hunter who was briefly in the stormcloak army, but deserted after the battle for whiterun. he then struggled with his life, becoming a skooma addict, prison for theft, a few D.B assasination contracts. etc. i enjoyed playing his life out then thinking, would he realy change his life to a holy-type vampire hunter? so instead of giving him restoration, he gets alchemy from skooma experience, sword and shield from time in the army. just ect

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Shaux: There are two things you need to do to be a good author: read a lot, and write a lot. It doesn't really matter what you read or write, but people tend to write like the things they read, so if you want to be a good writer, read good books. (I also recommend you pick up a copy of How Not to Write a Novel if you plan on writing fiction. That book is worth 20 books on how to write good fiction.) Writing journals or stories about your character is a good way to start. Good characterization is very important, not only because characters are what most people want to read about, but because plots only make sense when characters behave realistically and in character. Remember: don't settle for the first thing that comes to mind. There's always a better idea hiding behind it. Good luck.

Shaux 4 years ago

Thank you very much for the help. Oh, and I know that this is a bit off topic but I wish to be an author one day and do you think that making journals or stories about my characters is a good way to start off? Any help at all would be wonderful.

Thanks again, Shaux

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Weaver: Why does your Nord assassin refuse to make friends? Why does he constantly move around? There is a basis for this behavior in his history. Is he like this because he's an assassin, or is he an assassin because he's like this? Is he a vagrant that found that the easiest way to make a living is to kill people on his way through town? In other words: does being an assassin just fit his lifestyle? Or is he on the run himself? Maybe he's haunted by his first victim who always seems to find him. Maybe his family was murdered when he was a child but he managed to escape and spent years evading the killer who was trying to eliminate the last witness. Maybe he was a born killer and has spent his life evading arrest. Plenty of ways to explain this behavior.

And a "Khajiit imigrant from Elsewyr" is not much to go on. Give me something to work with. ;)

@Shaux: Do you mean tabletop D&D with friends? It's very different to RP with other people than to RP by yourself with a solo game. It's also a pretty complicated question; I don't think it can be answered in a comment, but here are a few things to think about.

It might be because the people you play with want different levels of immersion. Those different preferences can make it hard for other people to play the way they want to. If most players just want a casual game, players who want a deeper experience won't feel as comfortable getting into character as they would playing Skyrim. It might help to have a discussion about how in-depth everyone wants to go. You may find that everyone is just holding back because they're not sure how serious the other players are. Or, you may decide that you want to find a new group to play with.

If other players are RP in-depth but you're having trouble doing the same with other people present, you might be afraid that they won't approve of your RP decisions. Maybe you're afraid that your ideas will seem too 'out there'. There's no easy answer to that. You can either really commit to your decisions and suffer from some odd looks but maybe win people over to your character, or you can come up with a character that better fits the style of the other players.

When I was young, I joined a small indie comic book startup as a writer. I didn't get to create my own characters but had to use the characters they provided, which, in my opinion, were dreadful. My first assignment was a pair of 'villains' who were supposed to star in their own title. Just looking at the character sheets that had been drawn up made me depressed, but I took it upon myself to make those cliche 'anti-heroes' something worth writing about and came up with two very good back-stories that fleshed out the characters in really interesting ways, but that matched the templates that I'd been given. I never would have created characters like that on my own, but once I got through with them, I loved them. (Unfortunately, the startup ran out of money and disappeared before they finished their first comic, but that's another story. :D) The point is: you can create a character that fits any crowd as long as you're willing to invest some time and energy in making that character your own. Try riffing off the other players' characters to find something that complements them, but that also challenges them in some way.

Weaver 4 years ago


One thing I do when fighting dragons and doind dungeons while roleplaying is that when I get injured I move and attack slower and begin to fall back or crouch. After a fight I drink an ale or two to forget my injuries. Hope you like my help!

Shaux 4 years ago

I role play real good in Skyrim but for some reason when I play Dungeons and Dragons I can't role play well. Any suggestions, please?

Weaver 4 years ago

Juice, me again. I need backstory help. My character is a Nord male assassin who makes no friends and always changes his identity in a new hold. Any help would be cool. But I also have a Khajiit imigrant from Elsewyr if you can help with both.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@rs9311: +1 for the movable bear traps. I'm sure there's a mod that does that. Nerfed builds can definitely add interest and difficulty to the game.

@Carlos: Thanks, Carlos. Working on some other projects at the moment, and some of that you'll probably see here.

@Bolverk: The 'rules' in the title is tongue-in-cheek. Use whatever works for you. These are just suggestions. You probably have your own rules, whether you know it or not.

Bolverk 4 years ago

I found those articles dumb, role-playing games are made to be played the way you want, theres no rules, the game just flows while you play it

Carlos 4 years ago

Excelente article, keep up the good work

rs9311 4 years ago

I personally choose to make nerfed builds instead of upping the difficulty.

For instance, I have a Breton alchemist that only uses clothes and a woodcutter's axe. Use poisons to compliment the weak weapon. Still makes for an intense fight even on novice.

Also, as a side note, I'd eat my hat if they made bear traps movable and baitable; for those hunters out there.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Geeky Gamer: Glad to help. :)

@adigidy: Thanks for reading. Have fun.

@amacq: Glad you liked the article. I like the idea of keeping trophies. :)

@Weaver: That's an interesting backstory from an Imperial perspective. I like the manipulation and coercion from the Stormcloaks. Would your character really have become skilled fighting trees, though? Maybe that's just what he told his family he was doing. Maybe he met someone who lived in the woods who taught him how to fight but it was someone his family wouldn't approve of. Maybe it was someone who disappeared when the conflict started that he is looking for? A mysterious Bosmer ranger? A Dunmer assassin? A beautiful Nord woman? I see a lot of potential there, possibly some good conflict if that person is on the other side in the civil war, or captured by them.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Darth Brony: Realism mods can be a great enhancement for many people, but many people find them overkill. Once I'd tried Realistic Fatigue for Oblivion, I couldn't play without it. Literally. I tried and I couldn't do it, the game just felt too easy and unreal. They can make a huge difference, so if you're a PC gamer and you like realism I definitely recommend giving some of them a shot.

To your point about creating backgrounds for your characters: not everyone needs to go into this much detail, so it's great if you can make it up as you go, but it can be a big help if you're just not getting into a character for some reason. I never used to bother with these details myself but the first time I did it had a substantial impact on my enjoyment of the game. I went from being interested in the game to being interested in my character, so even 'boring', mundane tasks became interesting because I found my character interesting to spend time with. It's especially useful later on, once you've explored everything there is to do; it keeps the game fresh even though there aren't many surprises left. I don't bother with the journal, though I know many players keep one. I think you probably get the same benefit from that that I get from creating the backstory at the beginning of the game. It's all about getting inside the character's head.

I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for sharing.

Weaver 4 years ago

Anyone? I don't know if your reading this but if you are, I'm new to roleplay so this is my first character roleplay. My character is a male Imperial called Lurex.

He had lived on an Imperial farm working for the legion ever since his family moved in supplying crops to Legion soldiers. Practicing sword skills on trees had made him a skilled warrior, yet when Stormcloak rebels took over his farm and kidnapped him and his family. He was defenceless.

Forced by the rebels, he fought for the Stormcloaks with a promise that he would see his family again someday.

When Imperials raided the camp he was in, he had to flee into the wilderness where he ran straight into the Imperial campsite. He surrendered and ended up on the cart. From that day he vowed to side with the Empire and kill any Stormcloaks he could to find his parents.

If anyone has any upgrades or comments for this, please reply.


amacq 4 years ago

I have made a wood elf named Lejon and i have a really deep backstory. He is a hunter that lives in rifted and hunts the animals in that general area and every second weak I go on a hunting trip for three days. When I return I sell the pelts i have collected but if I have had a particular fight that has been challenging I keep the pelt or meat of what I fought and display it in my house. Roleplaying is so fun

PS. I loved your article and think the ideas you have are great. Keep up the good work mate ;)

adigidy 4 years ago

I have created a hunter named Lendho it is so much fun

Geeky Gamer 4 years ago

Wow, I have been roleplaying TES, attempting at realism the best I can, yet none of these things, except backstory, came to my mind. This is highly inspirational. Thanks a lot mate!

Sincerely yours, Geeky Gamer

Darth Brony 4 years ago

I really enjoyed your article and agree with most of the points within. It really made me think about just how immersive a play-through can be. I have a few mods to help with certain things like food, sleep, speed, and temperature(It's cold in Skyrim!), and I was a bit surprised to see that you didn't recommend any. Then again, I would guess that there wasn't really much selection when the article was made. I'm curious what your thoughts are on mods might be, specifically regarding those to make the experience more realistic. Even so, I think the strength of the experience comes from the player himself and his own choices, and mods won't change that. But mods do help. Kind of a bonus, I guess?

Oh, and I thought I'd mention one thing that I've been doing to really try to get into the mind of my character, which is making a journal from her perspective. While it's not perfect, it's really opened my eyes into just how unique every journey in Skyrim can be, and how each each story can shape itself in some incredible and beautiful ways. And when I'm not letting my annoying sense of self-perfectionism get in the way, the journal seems like a fantastic way to get into a character's mind.

I also liked your point on "Reasonable Rules" for encumbrance, which I think would apply to other areas as well. Perfect balance between realism and fun is hard to find, and it's going to be different for everyone. But you kinda said that already. But it's a good point, so it's worth repeating! I think.

I apologize if this is running a bit long, but I do actually disagree with ONE bit on your article. While I do try to plan out characters as best I can, typically I'm a do you say it? Impromptu Role-Player? I make the character as I go. I come up with a VERY basic idea for a character, such as where were they born, what do they do, what are they good at, what do they want, and then go from there. Sometimes I don't even do that much. Sometimes my actions determine both his/her personality and what their history could have been. Frequently, I experiment and decide that I like this or don't like that. Some of my best characters (Or at least the ones that I've liked the most) have come about almost completely by accident. There was no planning or lists made of likes/dislikes and who their parents were or whatever. For me, it usually comes later. I suspect this is really just a matter of personal taste, though.

Anyways, thanks again for the great article. I'm trying to incorporate a few of the suggestions myself, the ones that I haven't really been doing before. And putting my own twist on them, of course. But your article got me thinking about it in the first place, and I appreciate that. Taking time to enjoy the journey and not worrying about the destination makes it feel like a new game again.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Zach: Sounds good. Glad you liked the article.

@htodd: Thanks for reading.

@Good Smith: Most of these rules do make the game more 'realistic'. They're great if you're into simulation, not as much fun if you're just looking for fast-paced action. Thanks for reminding me about the music. I can't believe I forgot to mention it, since that's something I do as well. The music in Skyrim is pretty good, so I turn it on occasionally for variety, but most of the time I play with the music off. It's just more immersive that way. Sounds like you're really grounded in your character.

@Adenn: The only way to get more out of your character is to invest more in her. The 'spark' that keeps your attention comes from getting a very clear, vivid image of what your character is like. You know how some people seem to captivate your attention without even trying? If you can make your character that interesting, you'll enjoy just being them while you're playing and you won't need a lot of external action. Some of my best RP experiences have just been walking around in the wilderness or breaking into houses just because I felt very in-tune with my character in those moments. You need to get inside your character's head. As I've mentioned to others, the best way I've found to do that is to figure out how my character feels about his or her parents. A surprising amount of characterization can come from that. Of course, it doesn't have to be parents, it can be a brother or sister, a guardian, lover, etc., as long as it's a complex relationship that your character can't ignore.

@Fight: It's funny, I feel the same way about sports fans. I guess everybody has their own way of getting their geek on. For some people, it's religiously following sports statistics or the music scene, for others, it's getting into RPGs. Different strokes for different folks. Everybody is too obsessed about something. That's what makes people interesting.

@ggaaiill2: Actually custom characters can be very useful. I've created several of my own. They are personalized for my main character, so they are the kinds of adventurers that my character would actually hang around with.

Ggaaiill2 4 years ago

Re: Syther's comment: How about creating a female companion, so you could do some things together? Might help you through some boredom. (Just a thought)...

Adenn 4 years ago

Just wanted to add, Raven is into offense over defense so grabbong the most powerful weapon (or stealing it) is her thing. She feels a need to prove herself and will do whatevers needed to do so. She's not above robbing the dead as she believes that theres no point leaveing good armour behind expeselly when it's worth coin. I'd like to know if you have any ideas on how to improve my experience useing her. Email is im on the Xbox so PC ideas are of no use.

Adenn 4 years ago

I love this. I actually was complaining about the RPGing in the game before I read this because I just ran around doing whatever I saw availible. I did think up backstories but quickly abandonded them after I joined multiple guilds (exception was my Male Argonian who wanted to unite the guilds into a type of 'personal army' in order to wipe out the Stormcloaks and Imperials and eventually claim Tamriel as his own. Same concept for getting people to like him and gain followers)

I was trying to find ways to work with my 17-18 year old Nord female but kept screwing up by doing certain things. For her I decided she'd be based off one of my writing characters, Raven Giordano. Her fahter fought in the Greatwar and felt betrayed when the with the whole White-Gold Concordct (or how ever it's spelled) He immedialtly fell in with Ulfric and died during an Imperial ambush. After being sent to live with her abusive drunken mother in Cryodil Raven murdered her but was forced to flee when she relized the act was witnessed. She stayed around Skyrim due to her Nordic background and traveld the landscape with the Kahjit Caravans untill she was 15. She became friends with some Dummer mages but still had a distrust of Magic users which eventually caused her to break away and return to Cryodil. She attempted to get herslelf recruited into the DB not relizeing they were diminishing (evidence of this is found in Ciceros Journals). As the events of Skyrim draw closer she was on her way to meet Ulfric and join the Stormcloaks when she was captured by the Imperials. After escapeing she became a Sellsword, heading to Markarth to earn money by eradicateing the Foresworn and was eventually cintacted by Astrid (after taking pity on Arventous) and it ends with just doing the DB Questline and becomeing Listener. is this perfect? No, but now thanks to this guide I can effectivly improve my RPG experience with Skyrim, and for that I thank you!

GoodSmith 4 years ago

Very good article.

After 100 hours playing Skyrim the normal mainstream way, I recently decided to start all over and do a serious role-playing. I am trying to follow all the rules you mentioned, and I am really enjoying it.

I can summarize most of these rules with 1 simple rule: Only If it makes sense to be done in real life you can do it in the game.

When role-playing, I imagine myself in the shoes of my character. I imagine myself literally standing there looking at a dead body, item, flower, iron mine, etc. Would I really feel like doing what I want to do? Would it make sense in real life? I try to remember that before I press E to take or do anything.

Would it make sense staying awake for days? Not eating nothing? Crafting a dagger in less than a minute? So yeah, I try to imagine the whole picture realistically in my head and apply it in the game, using the wait function if needed too.

I am also playing the dead-is-dead style on Master difficulty. Can’t think of anything more realistic than this for role-playing. Skyrim is a harsh land full of dangers, and my character is simply an average guy, a tourist visiting Skyrim mainly for the beautiful scenery and some mountain climbing. He has no real fighting experience, so why should my encounters in the game with the wild beasts be any easy?

My character is mainly a pacifist but finds himself forced to kill for the first time defending himself against animals and bandits attacking him. He is not good with lock picking and if it counts as a crime he prefers not trying any lock picking, even if no one is watching. He doesn’t like to get his hands dirty extracting pelts from animals after killing them. As he gains more experience and confidence in his survival abilities, he starts to look for a purpose of his life and a meaning for his trip to Skyrim. Could the dragonborn legend be his destiny? Would that change who he is as person?

Because of my hard-core rules, my progress in the game is slower than most people. It makes sense to set my timescale to 2, and I haven’t noticed any bugs so far.

I don’t use cart travel because I don’t think it’s realistic. It’s still a form of paid fast travel to me. Plus, there are dangers even on the paved roads which the cart takes, yet I don’t see that reflected on the game when I use the carts.

In addition to disabling the compass, crosshair and all markers, I also disabled the background music but kept all other sounds and audio effects. It makes my experience more immersive and enjoyable when I am standing there in the wilderness enjoying the beautiful nature and hearing all the buzzing sounds around me. This is how an enjoyable real-life Skyrim should be :)

Thanks for this inspiring article.

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htodd 4 years ago from United States

That is really nice post ..Thanks a lot

Zach 4 years ago

Great advice. I think I'll use all these except I'll modify the 7th one to allow me to pick up the armor but not to equip it. I really want that Golden Touch achievement.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

That's quite an interesting back-story, Grey. Playing an older character gives you a lot of room for fleshing out his past. He's probably already visited many places in Skyrim, knows who a lot of the most important people are, and probably has some sophisticated views of the civil war, the Thieves' Guild, etc. I hope he works out for you.

Grey 4 years ago

This was a really good read and I've just started a new character, Grey, who is an old Nord that was an assassin all around Tamriel and has just returned to Skyrim bearing news that he has a terminal illness. He is now on a quest to find a cure, which there is none, so he turns to vampirism.

Hopefully that'll keep my adventures fitful for quite a while. :D


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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@hellyeahskyrim: I like those kinds of mods, too, but they're definitely not for everyone. Thanks for the suggestions.

@FlickerWick: Check out my article. I've provided a lot of advice in the comments on that thread which may be useful to you. The trick with 'evil' characters is that nobody believes that they're evil, they believe that what they're doing is right on some level. Either the world has been unfair to them and they want revenge, or they believe that power is the only thing that matters and threaten and harm people to maintain their power, or they are misguided and have some sort of agenda to save the world, or they believe that they are doing something that needs to be done, but that no one else is willing to do. Some people, of course, are just sociopaths who don't experience guilt or remorse so their actions have no impact on them. Those kinds of people kill people the way that accountants do taxes or garbage men collect garbage. It's just a job to them.

FlickerWick 4 years ago

Love the article. Can you help me out? I want to start RPing an Argonian assassin who also uses archery, one-handed, illusion (invisibility) and alteration (telekinesis). I'm not sure whether or not he's going to be a freelance assassin or a DB member. He'll have a charming, well spoken demeanor to use as a front to keep his cover - really, he's a cold blooded assassin with ice in his veins. I've more or less got the build sorted but I'm really, really stuck when it comes to thinking up a backstory. Making them for 'good' characters is easy but as I've never made an 'evil' one on Skyrim, I'm having a bit of trouble. Any ideas? I literally can't think of a single thing. If you throw me a few ideas I can expand on them. Thanks in advance :D

hellyeahskyrim 4 years ago

If playing on PC definitely download mods to help some of these things along. There are great mods for stuff like making it so your character actually needs to sleep, eat, drink, stay warm, etc. or else there are consequences. They even need to eat and drink well, or it doesn't help any :)

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@player: RPGs evolved from miniature war-gaming: certain miniatures were designated as heroes and assigned stats. Once this happened, it didn't take long for people to realize they didn't need battlefields at all and could use these heroes in dungeon environments. I'm not disputing that. But when I started playing D&D in the '80s, there were already groups of players dressing up and 'play acting' their characters. That means the people you find so offensive have been around for at least 30+ years. This is not a new phenomenon.

The step from 'playing a role in a party' to 'pretending you are that character' has no discernible timeline: I'm guessing people were already doing it with their tabletop heroes. Point is: there isn't a 'right' way to play a RPG. You want to focus on stats and grids and clearly defined roles, knock yourself out. You don't need to add anything to be role-playing; that's how I got into it. But don't knock the people who want to get invested in their characters and try to do a little more simulation just because they seem a little kooky to you. I don't think there was ever a point in time in which there were players who only thought about stats and never tried to 'get in character'. Not everybody does it, but it's not a new thing.

For what it's worth, I don't believe there is a true way to RP, and I don't really care what it's called. Call me a Simulated Action Role-Player (SARP) if you want. It really makes no difference to me. I use Role-Playing in the title because, for the most part, when people want help RP in video games, this is what they mean. People who want advice about the tactical side of the game don't ask for RP help, they ask for help with their character builds or combat strategies. I'm not trying to sleight anyone.

Thanks for your input and providing another perspective.

player 4 years ago

true you're absolutely right in that there's more than one way to play a game. i might not have been clear on that, because i always get pissed off reading things [role] "play actors" write.

the thing is, in truth i don't really care how others play a game, as long as they're honest. in fact i have a great respect for actors in general, and how they do what they do.

but, you calling yourselves true RPGers and completely overtaking this genre is what's pissing me off!

the original role player [pnpg or crpg] played a part within a group of fellow adventurers. it was only later that some people decided it would be cool to actually act like that character. it's a whole new genre!!! and should be addressed as such. but what you guys are doing now is simply hijacking a name and call it yours. that's my point!

why not call yourselves "Playact Gamer" or PAGer... even sounds cool! "leave me alone, i'm paging"

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

Thanks, player. That gave me a good laugh. :)

Contrary to what you might (mistakenly) believe, there is more than one way to play a game. While I respect your right to play however you like, I think it's unfortunate that you have such a negative (and apparently uninformed) view of other players.

The comment approval process is there so that I can prevent people from spamming ads to the comments, which I think you would agree would be pretty annoying.

I don't think anyone really understands any subject until they understand every perspective, whether it agrees with their own or not. Thanks for sharing yours.

player 4 years ago

of course HAHAHHAH. like the true idiot fake role players that you are, you first need to approve of what people write!!!! rules to protect yourself from anyone who thinks different! no wonder why all the posts here are positive hahaha. so pathetic... faker!

player 4 years ago

you role players... why do you always have to make rules to play a game. don't you see that, if you have to make rules, you're already doing it wrong? if Skyrim was made for role players, like you said, you wouldn't have to tell people how to rp it. just enjoy the freaking game! my GOD! the title alone makes me SICK. how to better role play skyrim??? stupid realism freaks is what you are. oooh let's approach a fantasy game, that is filled with magic, realistically shall we? you don't see an error in that? you guys piss me off with the way you talk alone. and you give true role players, who play a rpg the way it were meant to be played, a bad name! rp simply means playing a function within a group of fellow players or henchmen. but you guys rape it all to the point that you playact the character as it were real, and then you come with rules that need to be obeyed and then tell people THAT'S the way rping should be done?!. ever wondered why the so called role play[act] servers hold the record at people banned?

o btw, you're also hypocrites... everything has to be realistic except dying? that's just bullshit! i would have at least a slight bit of respect for you if you restarted when you died.

and no min/max? HAH! why not? do you live in a world where people try there best to be mundane/average and go out of there way to avoid education/training? are you guys that stupid?! YOU are the protagonist! you are in this world that YOU have to save! would you really, i mean REALLY do it like that if it were real??? no! of course not! you would horribly die and the world with you... you are the hero of the story and need to train your skills and min/max your qualities/weaknesses to become stronger than the average person [npc]. or do you guys LIKE to waddle through a world you call your own, and let your follower do all the dirty work and save the world. i wonder how you're real lives would be. if it's the same as how you play, i wouldn't wanna hire you.

bye bye

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

You're welcome, Greg!

Greg 4 years ago

This is great, thank you so much!

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

Definitely try a couple of them, and give them a chance to sink in. Sometimes you don't realize what one of these changes adds to a game until you've been doing it for a while, then you'll wonder how you ever played without it. Walking is a good example.

At first, walking everywhere might seem tedious (it does take a long time to get from place to place) so it might not seem worth the effort but if you've been doing it for a while you'll realize how much you miss those walks if you try to stop. I don't think I could stop walking now if I wanted to.

If you're new to walking, I recommend doing a trial run: just set aside a day and walk between two of the towns. Those long walks are some of the best experiences I've had in Skyrim: you see things you wouldn't notice otherwise, lose yourself in the ambient sound effects and weather, run into NPCs and 'random encounters' in the wilderness, etc. If you're concerned about the time it takes, use the carriages to get between the towns and walk when you're exploring around each location.

Thanks for reading and replying.

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procreate-light 4 years ago from Charlotte NC

Rule 4 is my favorite and couldn't agree more. I never really considered several of them and I may have to give it a try the next time I can find several hours to play. Good Hub.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

Glad you found the hub useful. I look forward to reading about Brand. :)

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Masakke 4 years ago

Excellent hub - I am in your debt!

This hub got me excited to start role playing again since elementary school /junior high. It is surprising how much richer the gaming experience gets even with adding just a simple background story, few goals and motivations and following these rules.

I am starting a blog about my character's (Brand) adventures in Tamriel, but since promoting Hubs or other sites is forbidden, I won't give a link. I'll post an abstract here once I am finished with the background story (it is ready in my mind, I just haven't wrote it all down yet).



Alex31w 4 years ago

thanks for the advice :). I will definattly use the afraid of fire thing, it will prove very challenging to fight mages and dragons (since i will have to be constantly dodging bursts of flame!). He will probably join the storm cloaks so that he can finally extract some measure of revenge from the people who have made his life hell, I might say that he likes to go swiming or he might climb to a high spot and spend a few hours admiring the view because it stops him from going crazy (because as you said he is a powder keg waiting to go off!) and thanks again for the tips! :D

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Alex31w: Sounds like you've got a really solid back-story there and some good personality traits. Although you say that he just wants to start a new life, he sounds like a powder keg waiting to explode. Are you sure Voswyn's just looking to escape his past? I think there's probably something else that he wants, but maybe he doesn't know it yet. The person in charge of the Imperial occupation in Skyrim might be a good target for his pent-up rage.

Judging by his past I'd say that if he's afraid of anything, it's fire. He's probably going to have issues fighting dragons and fire mages. Will he someday meet a woman who reminds him of his lost love? Will he become attached to a friendly couple that remind him of his parents? What's the one thing that gives him peace of mind? Fishing? Leather-working? Collecting daggers? Try to imagine what the does on a normal day. You've already come a really long way, you just need a couple finishing touches. :)

Alex31w 4 years ago

Hi, I've read ur article on how to build interesting characters and this one and have decided to give role playing a go. Would you mind reading what I have got for my Chatacter 'Voswyn' so far and tell me what you think and what else I could add in. Cheers! :)

he lived in the imperial city with his parents but when he was seven, drunk imperial legion troops accidentally set fire to his house and then ran for it a passer by managed to get through the flames and pull Voswyn out of house but not before he saw his parents and sister who were trapped in an adjacent room burn to death, he was then raised by his uncle Dritop who owned a farm on the Cyrodiil border with hammerfall, his uncle was a drunk a habit which Voswyn adopts. He teaches Voswyn how to swing a sword and Voswyn learnt a couple of basic spells from an old Mage in the village nearby. He also falls in love with a girl in the village but never tells her how he feels. When Voswyn is twenty two bandits from hammerfall cross the border and raid the village near where he and his uncle live, they are in town that day and Dritop attacks the bandits when they start to kill the townsfolk he tells Voswyn to run before he is stabbed to death. Thanks to his sacrifice Voswyn manages to run past the bandits and flee town he is the only one to escape, his uncle, the girl he loved and all of the inhabitants of the village are slaughtered. He makes his way to the imperial city and work as a merchants assistant, he does not earn much barely enough to survive and often has to resort to pick-pocketing or breaking into people's houses to steal things to sell. One day he in a tavern attempting to drink himself into a better place, but he overhears a group of four men laughing about the time they set fire to someones house 17 years ago and got away with it, Voswyn immediately realises these are the men responsible for the death of his family. After they leave the tavern the group of four men are not seen again for two weeks until their decaying corpses are pulled out of a nearby river, they had multiple stab wounds and all had been burned horribly. Voswyn continues working for the merchant but is often being arrested and fined for starting fights with redguards and legion troops. In the end the merchant is sick of his assistants constant arrests and drunken fits and fires him. Voswyn leaves the Imperial city and travels to a town in the northern part of Cyrodiil. He works in a stables and one day is transporting a shipment of lumber but when he reaches a crossroad he meets a rich noble couple who are being escorted by a group of imperial troops the troops insult and rob him while their commanding officer and the nobles do nothing, the officer accidentally knocks the logs off of the cart which hit and kill the nobles wife, he blames Voswyn and is about to execute him but Voswyn breaks free, stabs one of the guards and runs north, after several weeks he makes it to a town on the border with Skyrim with the intent of staring a new life but he sees a wanted poster of himself and decides to go to Skyrim instead, but when he crosses the border and make his way down a valley he finds himself in the middle of a battle between imperials and storm cloaks, their leader Ulfric, and a few men are captured and Voswyn is knocked unconscious when he is shoved from a ledge, a legion solider finds him and not bothering to find out who he is, chucks him in a cart with the captured storm cloaks.

.Voswyn hates redguards and the imperial army, he will often stalk them until they are in a secluded spot before slitting their throat.

.he drinks at least once a day, and often gets in drunken brawls.

.he dislikes anyone who looks down on him.

.he is not that handy with a sword, but has a talent for thievery and sneaking, the latter of which he will often use to ambush his foes

.after killing someone he often chucks their body off a cliff or into a river to hide it


.the mage in the village he live in taught him how to use a basic  healing spell and flames, he often uses this knowledge to heal himself during fights and to attack his foes from range.

.he has no knowledge of how to use a bow.

Chris 4 years ago

I've got a dunmer witch hunter who while clearing a nest of vampires killed the master vampires mistress so rather than kill him the master vampire turned him and killed everyone that was close to him his love his chapter members even his child this was all 900 years ago and the rest of his order rejected him after he turned he was the top marksmen in his chapter and the most talented enchanter however he knew very little of destruction and conjuration however he spent 100 years studying these arts and became a master in lightning magic and the only know member of his order to use apart of their soul to bind into a weapon he has spent the last 900 years tracking the one who turned him and improving his skills in his travels he has learnt the ancient magic of the thu'um he has finally tracked his target to skyrim he has contacted both the dark brother hood and the college to help him locate his target the brotherhood because they will alow him to stay with them and the college for their vast library he only uses a bound bow and shock spells because of his witch hunter background he doesnt summon things from oblivion or raise the dead he has deep respect for the dead and every enemy he kills he respectfully lays them to rest for game purposes he has to feed other wise everyone even if you in their faction will attack but if that was the case he would reject his curse but for rp purpose every time he feeds he leaves a small amount of gold or a valuable item on the person he just fed form night stand or table I don't know how he will end yet I was thinking of him finding the vampire that turned him by doing the laid to rest quest if anyone has done that one you should know what I mean but for those that haven't I'm not going to spoil it my only wish is that your health could go down and you could die in the sun light like in oblivion cause if you could I'd havd him walk into the sun after he completes his goal and just wait till the health goes down and make a new character cause he's story would be done p.s he only travels at night except for when you have to like doing the main quest but yea that's my rp character just what to know what you guys think

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Ninjamaster: Yes, some PC players do customize their starting skills and perks like this. Some players max out certain skills so they can begin the game as a master of their trade. Others lower their starting skills to reflect a younger, less experienced character. One of the advantages of having a PC version, I guess. :)

Ninjamaster_255 4 years ago

one thing i dont think you mentioned but it may be possible on the PC to boost your skills through the console to reflect their actions before the game begins like they have studied magic and am much more proficient in a few schools then they standards you start with

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

If you haven't read my article on creating interesting characters, I strongly recommend that you do:

At some point, every game becomes boring, but a lot of the time, we become bored with RP games because we've failed to create a really interesting character. Ever read a book or watched a movie you didn't want to end? Chances are, you didn't want it to end because you really liked one of the characters and wanted to know what would happen to them next. You can create characters like that yourself--writers do it all the time, so there's no reason you can't. If you have a character like that, that really captures your imagination, chances are you will want to keep playing just because you like the character.

A lot of people play through the game a couple of times just to enjoy the gameplay and beat all the quests and get the best loot. The characters they create tend to be based around the type of archetype they want to play: warrior, thief, wizard, etc., but they don't really put much work into these characters. Do you know what any of your characters' parents were like? What their hobbies were? What their favorite food or color is? What happened the last time they went to a wedding or funeral? The worst thing that ever happened to them? The best? The first time they fell in love, and how it ended, if it did?

If you don't know these things, you haven't really invested in your character, and your character will seem 2 dimensional. That doesn't mean it's a bad character, just that the character, by themselves, won't hold your interest, so your interest in the game will depend on the gameplay. Once you know how the game works, though, the gameplay isn't going to be able to hold your interest either.

You need to be able to answer all of these questions (and many more) before you'll come up with a character that really holds your attention, which is why I recommend reading the article I linked to.

It might seem silly to worry about all of these details that don't have much, if any, impact on the game, but whether or not they affect gameplay is irrelevant. What matters is: will this character capture your attention? Are they interesting enough that just being around them and following them through Skyrim is satisfying enough that you really couldn't care about loot or levels or checking off quests in your journal? With a good character, you won't care about any of those things.

Don't be satisfied with the first thing you think up. Always dig deeper, always try to see the character as a complex person like yourself, with good and bad traits, with weaknesses and strengths. Then don't settle for that; dig deeper. At some point, you'll come up with a character that you can't stop thinking about, that you'll want to write stories about. That's the kind of character you need to play Skyrim.

k.brameld 4 years ago

could you give me a bit of help here. ive finished all the clan quests and main storyline quests, and i dont know what to do now! ive made a ton of different characters and i cant seem to ga

et into most of them, my main ones are an argonian, khajit and a wood elf. but i cant grasp what to do next. can you please give me a bit of advice!

Brianna 4 years ago

Thanks so much for your reply! I've used some of your ideas to make my backstory, and it's changed my play experience a lot. I now have a basis to make decisions for my character. Thank you :)

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

One good way to begin building a history and a motivation is to figure out where your character picked up the skills that she has. Here's one possibility:

Your character was raised by her grandmother, a hard but honest and principled woman who believed in the value of a good education. Being a proficient magician herself, she decided to homeschool you in the arts of magic. Her thirst for knowledge, plus a little bit of her cynicism, along with her her moral strength rubbed off on you.

As a teen, you fell in love with someone very different from yourself, someone who loved to hunt and took the craft very seriously, and who took you on hunting expeditions and taught you what they knew. This person was filled with vitality and mirth and was very different from your grandmother. They had their own principals which were different from hers, but made a profound impression on you.

One day, however, this person just disappeared. You never found out what happened to them, though you know that their parents did not approve of the relationship, since you character was poor and 'into magic'. You don't know if they went away of their own will, were forced to leave, or were the victim of foul play. Ever since then, though, and without realizing it, you've been looking for them. Somewhere, in the back of your mind, you have this hope that you will find them again.

Hopefully that will at least serve as a springboard for your own ideas. Good luck with your character!

Brianna 4 years ago

Thanks for the great suggestions! I've just started my first character on Skyrim, and I want to incorporate some of these tips right away.

Like a few other commenters, I'm having a hard time coming up with a backstory for my character, though. I have a habit of trying to experience everything I can with my characters, and I think that fleshing out my character's history and motivations would help me give more focus to her decisions. Since your backstories have been great so far, would you mind giving me some ideas as well?

Here's what I have so far: She's a young Breton aligned at neutral good. Her build is a light armor-wearing mage/archer hybrid, very much like the Witchhunter in previous games, but she's not particularly religious - I chose her build with a sort of travelling magical scholar in mind, rather than a zealot. She's proficient in stealth and alchemy. She's compassionate and somewhat principled in her own way, but also has a cynical side; she can be sarcastic and wary of others, she's not above stealing from the rich if she can justify it to herself, etc. She values her independence and the pursuit of knowledge. So far she's a weird mix of introverted magic scholar and Robin Hood, and I'm not sure where to go with her... I'd greatly appreciate any ideas about where she's from and what she's doing in Skyrim!

utogi 4 years ago

I wanted my decision to be permanent.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@utogi: You mean you were playing Dead is Dead or you deleted them by accident? :P

utogi 4 years ago

I did a thing where I deleted the saves. So right now I let Parthanax fly away this time so I don't know what will happen next. I did kill him my first time through but felt guilty :)

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@sumosalesman: Skyrim is one of those games where you get out of it what you put into it. Like any game, it has its limitations and missed opportunities, but I think I've had more fun playing Skyrim than just about any other game. I'm a pretty hard-core RP'er, though, so YMMV.

Thanks for reading and replying.

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sumosalesman 4 years ago from Somersworth New Hampshire

Fantastic hub! My old computer died after 100 hours on Oblivion and I've wondered how immersive Skyrim was... Now I know! Playing looks all-encompassing. How great that the system can sustain roleplayers alongside power gamers. I thought the pinnacle of civilization was Adoring Fan videos (Google a few if you like) but if I ever have time in the far future I'd love to retrogame Skyrim. And to think that its sequel is already under way...

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Lke: Um. Okay.

Lke 4 years ago

i've decided

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@kininvie: Sounds like you have a well-defined character. IMO, that's how Skyrim should be played. It's too bad the game isn't more responsive to your choices, but playing 'in character' and imposing character-based restrictions on yourself adds a lot to the feeling of immersion. Thanks for sharing.

kininvie 4 years ago

Deciding to restrict what you allow yourself at the start and crafting a character to fit gives the game a whole new context. My character is a simple illiterate smith, deeply principled, and an innocent abroad in Skyrim. He won't steal or take the possessions of the dead or living, and will only use armour or weapons that he has crafted himself (and mined the ore). He won't use magic - including potions - but relies on herbs he has gathered himself.

On his first day, he broke all his principles as he escaped from Helgen, and on his second he was forced to kill three bandits as he searched for a pickaxe (which he took). Deeply remorseful, he donated all the money and equipment he had taken (apart from the pickaxe)to a temple. He then spent days searching for ore and herbs, armed only with the pickaxe - you have no idea how dangerous mudcrabs can be...

Astonished by the aggressiveness of almost everyone he met, he spends much time sprinting out of trouble. Slowly he built up a little gold by selling ore and armour he made. He crafted some hide armour for himself. Feeling the need for further atonement, he decided to take a quest to revive the Whiterun temple tree, and found it impossible. This setback has sent him on a search all over Skyrim for the ores and herbs he will need to complete it...

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@josh: There are at least a couple million people playing Skyrim on PC.

josh 4 years ago

nice but as barely anyone would play this game on PC number 5 and 10 are kinda pointless

Eddie 4 years ago

I Belive Bethesda planned a hardcore mode for Skyrim too, but at some point they decided to cut it off from the main game... you know, you can craft food and work, but thats its kinda useless feature. some things you mentioned on this article I though before too. Its kinda weird loot every single enemy I kill it, because its looks like a necrophiliac thing, or wear a heavy armor from a enemy, because heavy armor is made especially for each size... unfortunately I don't play on PC so I can't change the features like time...

Eddie 4 years ago

I Agree with some things you mentioned but others sound too off to me... I would enjoy more the role-playing if Bethesda had added an hardcore mode same as Fallout New Vegas, which makes alot more things realistic, I found sleep and eat useless in Skyrim... I never fast-travel or wait, my character don't make assassin, mage or thief quests because hes a warrior role. so it depends alot. I make alot things to add more deep playing but Im too tired to write them all...

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@David: That's a tough one. You can't do a whole lot to make characters look younger without replacing the skin textures (possible if you're playing on PC). The shape of the face does change as you grow older, so you can tweak your character's appearance somewhat to reflect a younger character. If you're playing on PC you can also use the console to make your character smaller. I did all three things to create a younger looking character and it helped. If you're a PS3 or XBOX360 player you won't be able to change the textures or scale, though.

The only other thing you can do is role-play them the way you think a younger character would behave: eat lots, drink a lot of wine, stay up late and sleep in late, act impulsively (charging into battle), spend money foolishly on shiny things, get into bar brawls, etc. All horrible stereotypes, I know, but...well, you asked. :)

David 4 years ago

i enjoyed your advice on role playing it makes the game alot more enjoyable. The only problem i have is i just cant get my character to look young enough for me to relate to him. i have a lot of issues getting passed my characters age do you have any suggestions on how to make my character seem more youthful

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Ironman1992 4 years ago

good advice

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ecosimon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Some great tips for Skyrim there, wish I had these at the start of playing as a checklist for what and what not to do. Still you live and learn!

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@James: Glad I could help. :)

James 4 years ago

This was actually really help. I've completed the main quest + all the faction quests, so I was actually thinking about turning in my game, but not now! :)

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Abizon: Well, you can get a lot of good ideas from this guide (these are all things that I do when I role-play), but I recommend taking it easy. If you're not already doing a lot of these things I'd just pick a couple of the techniques that seem most appealing and start with those. Trying to do too many new things at once might just make playing the game more complicated than it needs to be. I didn't start out doing everything in this guide but added new things as I went along.

Abizon 4 years ago

I would love to get into more role playing in skyrim I've gone though most of the quest that I find interesting and now find my self going "Hm what now" I've always had a thing for trying to become who i've created so to say. Would you say this guide would be good for something who wants to start?

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@mikeydcarroll67: I haven't played very much WOW so I'm not sure how well it supports this kind of RP. Being able to RP with other players--as long as everyone stays in character--is something you can't do in Skyrim, though.

mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

These are great tips! I wish they applied more to WOW or something like that!

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Nicky: That's a good idea. I hadn't thought of feeding my horse. A small thing that would be nice is a "Let's eat" option with your followers. If they have food in their inventory they could use the eating animation. If they didn't they could look for some or say something like "I don't have anything to eat". Would aid the immersion quite a bit. Also being able to tell them to get some sleep! I like companions but they always make me feel like a bit of a slave driver.

Nicky 4 years ago

I agree. I also make my toon feed her horse- there's so many apples and carrots EVERYWHERE (lol!) so I 'eat' them to simulate feeding the horse, or dog, or companion, or whatever. It wouldn't make sense for my toon to have stew while Lydia stands there starving lol.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

Well, you could explain those things in a number of ways. Here's one: your character is an orphan, raised by his uncle in Black Marsh. You don't know what your parents were like and your uncle never talked about them.

Your uncle is a poacher who hunts rare animals and sells their parts on the black market. He trained you to be his assistant, so you learned a lot about being stealthy and being good with a bow, maybe even a bit about different poisons and how they could be used against different animals. Accompanying your uncle on dangerous expeditions also taught you how to keep your cool, so you're not really scared very easily.

You also learned a bit about dealing with the black market. Now that you're old enough, you've been sent to Skyrim by your uncle to collect things like mammoth and horker tusks...things people down in Black Marsh will pay a lot for.

Unfortunately, your contact in Skyrim was busted by the authorities while you were making arrangements to set up a distribution channel for your contraband. That got you put on the wagon.

SlickBean 4 years ago

Juice could you help me come up with a backstory for my new character?

hes an argonian archer but is quiet and sort of mysterious.

but how did he come to be in skyrim? how is he so good with a bow? why is he so quiet and sneaky?

please i cant think of one by myself :(

syther 4 years ago

WOAH.. yeah, he was a bounty hunter who was betrayed by his masters and left out of rage and disgust and couldnt bring himself to trust any other person and ended up with no compassion for anything other than his mace! he got his battle scar from a contract gone wrong where his contact double-crossed him and a dark brother hood assassin jumped him and slit his eye with a dagger leaving him blind in one eye (will use white eye on let eye) but being the trooper he is he discards the assassin and completes the contract.

whilst on his way to skyrim after hearing about the strongholds there he set off but was captured by the thalmor on his way there which is why he was arrested at the start, he escapes and is on the run in skyrim.

and his personality is selfish and cold hearted due to his experienes back in orsimar, and he has hate for the imperials but wont help the nords as he doesnt think it will benifit him.

wow im good at this lol

THANKS JUICE! i can have fun on games again. :)

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

Maybe he worked as a bountyhunter tracking people down for rich clients. One day, he realized that the people he was apprehending weren't criminals at all but people resisting Thalmor rule and his rich clients were Thalmor extremists...he was handing people over to be tortured and killed without even realizing it. He went to his guild master and told him what was going on and he was told to shut up and mind his business. At that point, he quit being a bountyhunter and left Orsimer. He knows his former masters are looking for him and he's just laying low.

syther 4 years ago

Juice can you help me? a major thing for me was i didnt like this game, and i hated that. i wanted to enjoy it but couldnt id just play for a while and be like wow im bored, i also ended up starting again lots and so far i think ive done so perhapse 15 or so times because id get bored. i would do stuff like gather evrything for money and boost armorer and fast travel. but then i made a new guy (not after reading up on roleplay) and i didnt fast travel, i slept in inns and didnt take armour and that of bodies because a load of naked dead bodies everywhere would be wierd lol. i was into this roleplay-ish type thing but i didnt know a thing about it, some things i would do would hide bodies of the roads and drag them into a bush, worry about the time because id need to sleep at night, when id swim in icy waters id "get cold" and get out to find a way around and stuff lol. but i still wasnt satissfied, and it took this page to make me realise that im a hardcore roleplayer, and now i want to start again but roleplay, but i cant think of a story and a personality and was wondering if you could give some suggestions i could use or atleast encorporate into a new guy. i want to play a a badass orc who doesnt get on with people much, hes more "himself" and looking out for himself, and he has no interest in the legion and stormcloak stuff because he sort of "pities" them. he wouldnt like feel any attachment to others or really feel for them.

could you help me think of a sort of back story? something to do with where he came from (orsimer i think is where orcs are from) and something that made him this way, something big happened that makes him dislike others.

why hes in skyrim, what brought him there.

how he got that scar across his eye, that sort of thing.

also with the difficulty thing it would also make the armour alot more "flexible" because to me, unless you playing mega famous hero knight, you shouldnt be wearing dragon plate and low diffivulty makes it so you can use your iron/steel/leather and feel like part of the game and not some complete outsider.

post back please :)

DanBrown 4 years ago

My first character is heavy-armor-maxed sword-swinging Nord with 150+ hours playtime. This great article really inspires to create something totally different for next time. Too bad I already finished almost every main faction quest (excluding Dark Brotherhood) so there won´t be many surprises left, I guess..

Pyrusmole 4 years ago

I like the wait function ideas, but I find it far less immersive to watch my character, a non-violent traveling priestess by profession, barely able to maintain the weakest ward for more than a few seconds, than to wait all the necessary hours to learn a spell that she should already know (like healing hands) and level her up through natural (non-exploitative) methodes so that my magika reflects someone who heals people for a living

Random 4 years ago

Hey this is an awesome read and i think i'm going to start a new game to try all of this out. I personally found Oblivion's 'Mehrunes Dagon' unique compared to the over-used 'Dragons' which can be seen in many fantasy books, movies and games (Dragonage & WoW) Therefore i'm going to link my interests with my character and make an Altmer mage member of the Mythic Dawn specializing in shock destruction spells(As stated on ElderScrolls wiki it says that is what the majority of Mythic Dawn agent specialize in.) and Necromancy to make it more fun. (Maybe even summoning daedra lords to aid me in battle would add more to my character.) Plus it's great that i can do the quest to receive the Mythic Dawn robes as well making it more believable.

Thanks for the read! :D

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Unaverage Joe: It's never too late to begin RP. What if you were given the character that you have right now by someone else and they told you to come up with history for that character that made sense? I bet you could do it and I bet it would be pretty good.

I have a test character that I'm using to try to create the worst perk build I can (testing gameplay balance) and it's been very challenging trying to RP reasons for her decisions. In spite of that, she's one of the most interesting characters I've ever played.

Unaverage Joe 4 years ago

This was a pretty useful hub and I'll definently try some of these tips. Unfortunately, it's probably too late for me too make a character with any sense of morale or purpose or specialization. I've already completed three guilds and gained a lot of skill in alchemy, one-handed, heavy armor, sneak, lockpicking, enchanting, destruction, and archery. I guess I could say that he's a stealthy and crafty warrior mage archer who has a knack for making potions and enchantments and also suffers from split personalities lol.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@Sivern Red-Skarr: Sometimes it's the little things that help with immersion. The wait function has been very useful for me because it helps me curb my pack-rat tendencies. Limiting what you carry is easier when you're not stopping and collecting everything on your path. If I really need something, I'll make a special trip to go get it.

I did this with a new character. Although I had killed wolves, it didn't seem appropriate to skin them at the time. When I decided I wanted to learn leatherworking, I had to go hunting to acquire skins. I wouldn't have gone hunting if I'd just collected the skins from everything I killed and the experience of learning a new skill was more memorable because of it. I also discovered a new location I probably would have missed.

Thanks for reading.

Sivern Red-Skarr 4 years ago

Felt like I had to comment, especially after gaining some good ideas to improve my role play from your article. Number 8, 'Use the wait function' is probably one of the more unthought of ideas to further improve and immerse people into the role play of the game. Gives days an actual meaning. An example I would use is that, I couldn't craft 100 ingots since it would take me several days to do so, so I do half the lot and go about my business and return tomorrow at Morning to finish off before I go hunting.

Another example for those who read this article,

I walked in the local inn at god knows where- at god knows what time through the pouring rain. Tied the horse just outside and drenched myself out, removing my outer jacket before walking inside the Inn. Sat in that inn for 4 hours (using the wait function to pass time) whilst I went through a case of Briar-Bear mead, attempting to riddle out this treasure map I bought from a hooded man who claimed to be a respectable salesman...

Haha, from out of nowhere I just started role playing deeper and its completely given the game a new meaning of doing things. Props on the article- was a good read!


Sivern Red-Skarr, Clan Red-Skarr, third son of Yolf, Merchant Mage and part time drunk.

Jared 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this article. I never thought of using the wait function and difficulty slider for role-playing purposes. Also, changing the timescale to 5 is one of the best decisions I've ever made on this game.

One last thing.

enablefasttravel 0

I love you for showing me this command. This will completely eliminate my temptation to fast travel.

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

@videogameviking: I think it's fairly common to adjust it up to make combat more realistic, but I think much less common to adjust it down to make your character seem more epic. Watch LOTR. Most of those orcs go down in a single hit. If you're playing an epic hero, you're in good company.

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videogameviking 4 years ago from California

Great article! I also consider myself a serious role-player, and often do many of the things you have listed. However, I had not thought of using the difficulty setting as a role-playing tactic, nice idea!

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On Author

Thanks for the comments, DDS, El Ray, and Bazmak!

I think the worst mistake you can make is to worry too much about the numbers. No matter how you build your character you're going to be able to enjoy the game. And you'll enjoy it more if you worry more about role-playing and less about whether or not you're squeezing every feature for all it's worth.

Give yourself permission to just enjoy yourself. :)

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Bazmak 4 years ago from Michigan

Great read, thanks for posting. I'll definitely take a new approach to Skyrim after reading this. Some excellent tips for immersion.

El Ray 4 years ago

Excellent Hub here on Skyrim ...thanks!

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DDS 4 years ago from Toronto

Very much agree on the min/max thing.

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