Character Build: The Engineer


Magic? Gods? Who needs them?
What is a god against the overwhelming power of space and time?


NOTE: This build requires several mods, some of them for the build itself, some of them for powerful artifacts and other equipment, some of them to balance things, and one of them to avoid breaking character for roleplayers during a modded quest. I'll categorize them in the mods section in case someone wants to use just parts of the build.

This is a build I've been meaning to make for a while, a young nord, distrusting of gods and magic after growing up in the shadow of the College of Winterhold, and who is obsessed with the Dwemer and their own ways to bend reality to their will. The main focus of this character is the use of lockpicking perks from Vokrii to disable animunculi, or even force them to do your bidding, and the new Smithing perks from The Timelost Dwemer to craft your own automatons and other wonders. Also, this is by no means an optimized build, the main focus is sticking to the theme even if the perks and equipment aren't the best in terms of numbers.




Absolutely Required:


Required for items:

Required for quests:

Not required but highly suggested:

  • Simply Balanced (Use it to decrease lockpicking experience gain. Trust me, you'll get too much too soon if you don't)
  • Lock Overhaul (Use it to prevent yourself from being able to attempt lockpicking locks above your skill level)
  • Dwemer Storage Cube - A Portable Home Enhanced Edition (A home you can access anywhere comes in handy when you do this much crafting. Just try to avoid using it in combat, that's cheating)
  • Skyrim Unborn Reborn (Any alternate start mod that allows you to start in Winterhold is fine, but SUR gives you the choice to NOT being the Dragonborn, as well as starting with no spells and setting how much time is left before dragons start appearing)
  • Security Overhaul SKSE - Lock Variations (You'll be staring at locks a lot, some variation is good)
  • Skyrim Immersive Creatures (More animunculi for you to fight and take over)
  • Any combat mod of your choice to make things harder and more interesting




Born and raised in Winterhold by a very traditional Nord family, the engineer always lived in the shadow of the College, her resentment towards it and mages as a whole growing each year as she saw the pitiful state the town was constantly in. She also grew up naïve and trusting of anyone who is not a mage, specially races who are less magically inclined and can appreciate the art of smithing such as Nords and Orcs.

Living in such a small town, the engineer took any chance to receive news about the rest of the province, talking with travelers and reading any books she could find. One day, one of said travelers showed her a book that would change her life: The Aetherium Wars. She became fascinated with the Dwemer, wondering if this "Aetherium" could be a mean to surpass those mages in the College, or even the gods themselves, who did nothing when half of Winterhold was lost.

After her parents died of old age, she started working as the town's blacksmith, saving money and equipment for the day she'd leave to find the legendary forge. First stop, Windhelm, to maybe get some decent equipment and a carriage ride.


RACE: The Engineer is a Nord, mostly for roleplay reasons. If you don't care much about roleplay any race is fine, but the endgame equipment is enchanted taking into account that the character already has some frost resistance.

GENDER: Female

AGE: 20

PERSONALITY: Cold and logical but unbearably curious. She generally tries to be an overall good person, but she's not above causing some damage and committing some crimes to achieve her goals. She's also very naive but she'll distrust anything a mage, aedra or daedra says.

STATS: 0/1/Until you enchant your final equipment, after that all on Health

STANDING STONE: The Steed. With Andromeda, you'll get 50 extra carry weight, as well as higher movement speed and stamina regeneration out of combat. You'll also automatically discover nearby landmarks.


  • Lockpicking: Your main form of attack against animunculi, and a great way to ensure you'll get more loot to buy more crafting materials
  • Smithing: You'll need this to craft powerful animunculi and other devices
  • Enchanting: Not only useful to make your equipment stronger, but also essential for the crafting of animunculi.


  • Light Armor and Heavy Armor: Not optimal, but I'm a bit tired of all Dwemer-themed build being only heavy armor. You'll be using mostly light armor, but you'll also use Wraithguard in the late game, so there's no point to most "Light/Heavy armor only" perks and the Engineer will be taking them up to the ones that allow you to ignore weight.
  • Block and One Handed: You'll be using one-handed weapons and a shield, but you won't specialize in any weapon type, you can use hammers, swords, daggers, pretty much anything.
  • Speech: Having worked as a blacksmith for a couple years, makes sense she'd learn how to get better prices.






  • Lockdown: Will allow you to stop hostile animunculi from fighting and reduce them to 1 health. You should get this as soon as you can.
  • Hotwire: Allows you to force a locked down animunculi to fight for you.
  • Dwarven Smithing/Magecrafter: The main perk to build your own animunculi and more. NOTE: It also has Enchanting level requirements. To build everything you need, you have to max this out and get your Smithing and Enchanting skills to 100.




Since the Engineer doesn't use magic of any kind and is light on flashy perks, half of the interesting stuff for this build comes from the equipment you'll build. It won't be much at first, but it will grant the engineer godlike powers when she reaches the peak of smithing and enchanting.

NOTE: Always be on the lookout for dwarven oil, fire/frost/void salts, daedra hearts and soul gems. You'll need a lot later on. Also pick up as much dwarven metal as you can carry.


  • Any one-handed weapon
  • Any shield
  • Any light armor
  • A copy of "The Aetherium Wars"

Get or give yourself those items with the console at the start. If you're using Skyrim unbound you should be able to start with everything except the book.



  • Any Dwarven one-handed weapon with a Soul Trap enchantment
  • Dwarven Shield
  • Dwemer Researcher Armor and Amulet
  • Dwemer Boots and Gauntlets
  • Dwemer Goggles
  • Lesser Atronach Cube

The Engineer would probably hear of Calcelmo and visit his excavation, finding his notes for the construction of Dwemer Goggles, which grant a variety of vision-based powers. The Lesser Atronach Cube she'll craft with her magecrafting knowledge will give her the upper hand against mages. Also, a Soul Trap enchantment is vital for making strong gear and crafting animunculi.


  • Any Dwarven one-handed weapon with a Soul Trap enchantment
  • Any Dwarven one-handed weapon with a Shock Damage enchantment
  • Aetherial Shield
  • Dwemer Researcher Armor with a Smithing enchantment
  • Dwemer Researcher Amulet with a Shock Resistance enchantment
  • Dwemer Boots with a Shock Resistance enchantment10184854675?profile=RESIZE_400x
  • Dwemer Gauntlets with a Fortify One-Handed enchantment
  • Gold Earrings with a Waterbreathing enchantment
  • Ring with a Fire Resistance enchantment
  • Cloak with a Stamina Regeneration enchantment
  • Dwemer Goggles
  • Greater Atronach Cube
  • Advanced Warp Core

After lots of exploration and experimentation, the Engineer is starting to see her full potential unfold. Her array of enchanted tools makes her resistant to most things a dwemer researcher should worry about and efficient in fighting mages with her shocking weapon. Not only that, but her aetherium research is already giving her limited power over time and space, using her Aetherial Shield to temporarily remove her enemies from this plane and causing great damage when they return (Thanks to Reliquary of Myth) and her Warp Core to teleport short distances, creating a blast of force on the landing point.



  • Energy Collection Tool: Any Dwarven one-handed weapon with a Soul Trap + Stamina Drain enchantment
  • Electrothermal Blade: Any Dwarven one-handed weapon with a Shock Damage + Fire Damage enchantment
  • Keening
  • Sunder
  • Aetherial Shield
  • Cuirass of the Engineer: Dwemer Researcher Armor with a Smithing + Stamina enchantment
  • Anti-Static Amulet: Dwemer Researcher Amulet with a Shock Resistance + Magic Resistance enchantment
  • Grounded Boots: Dwemer Boots with a Shock Resistance + Stamina Regeneration enchantment
  • Wraithguard
  • Cryobubble Device: Gold Earrings with a Waterbreathing + Fire Resistance enchantment
  • Thermoenergy Redirector: Ring with a Fire Resistance + One-Handed enchantment
  • Enerfiber Cloak: Cloak with a Stamina Regeneration + Stamina enchantment
  • Barrier Sustainment Device: Circlet with Magicka + Magicka Regen enchantment
  • Dwemer Goggles
  • Timelost Atronach Cube
  • Chromatic Warp Core
  • Chronokinetic Stabilizer
  • Null Core
  • Temporal Reversal Module
  • Tesseract Cube

The final, godlike form of the Engineer, equipped for every situation and wielding not only the Tools of Kagrenac, but also Dwemer devices that give her total dominion over Time and Space. Keening and Sunder are two excellent weapons that can only be wielded while wearing Wraithguard, a gauntlet that also uses the wearer's magicka to create a near impenetrable barrier, sustained thanks to the Barrier Sustainment Device. The improved Warp Core grants the Engineer a powerful gravity bomb to push everyone away, while the Null Core allows her to slowly deplete all magicka around her. And furthermore, the Engineer has learnt how to fold space into itself to create a tesseract cube, able to hold an infinite amount of matter. But the Engineer's dominion over Time is even more impressive, able to return from near death thanks to her Temporal reverse module or devastate her enemies with End Time, a power granted by her Chronokinetic Stabilizer that allows her to rapidly age everyone around her. NOTE: Some of the Cores and Modules can only be crafted at the Aetherium Forge and some only after you have 100 in both Smithing and Enchanting




The Engineer starts off rather weak, but luckily she'll quickly learn to build an army of mechanical servants to do her bidding or serve as cannon fodder.

Some tips about animunculi:

Primed animunculi are heavy, so it's best to keep a few stored and only bring one or two with you. Of course, that precaution is for people who don't have a Tesseract Cube

If one of your machines is destroyed, it will take some resources to repair it at a forge. If you store it back before it's destroyed, you can repair it fully at a forge for no extra cost.

Know what you'll need. Experiment with animunculi to see which situations they fit best and bring the correct ones if you know you'll be in a similar situation. Don't bring the big guys if you know you'll be exploring a ruin full of small spaces.

There's too many to list and describe, so I'll be describing the Engineer's favorites for every stage of the game.



  • Repair Spider
  • Flayer

The Repair Spider is essential for the Engineer. Due to her adversion to magic, she won't be using her repair automaton spell, making the Repair Spider one of the only ways of repairing. Flayers are weak but come in packs of three, making for great distractions.


  • Gynoids
  • Strider
  • Witchslayer

The Engineer loves how customizable Gynoids are, possibly keeping a regular one at home for house protection and a storm/flamesword one on her team. Striders are perfect against big opponents, stealing their health while tanking their attacks, and the Witchslayer, as the name implies, is excellent at chasing down magic users.



  • Tempest/Draikana
  • Deathwing
  • Colossus

At this point, the Engineer is just creating machines to surpass living beings. The Tempest and Draikana, masters of shock and fire to rival great mages. The Deathwing, an almost perfect recreation of the dragons who once ruled this land, and a Colossus, a machine even bigger than the mighty giants. With these machines at her side, the only reason the Engineer still fights is to avoid boredom. NOTE: Some of the late game animunculi can only be crafted at the Aetherium Forge and the Colossus can only be crafted there after you have 100 in both Smithing and Enchanting





The Engineer will start off usually friendly to most non-mages, often accepting small quests and helping out others when she finds the time to. But as the game progresses and her power grows, she'll become more and more distant, even forgetting promises she made and caring less and less about everyone else's safety. When it comes to mages, she'll be cold from the start. The only exception is other Dwemer researchers. She'll be friendly with all of them regardless of their use of magic... as long as they don't stand in her way.


None of the vanilla followers really suit her, but Lucien might work with her, as long as she meets him before becoming too obsessed. There's also one follower that can be obtained during Project AHO that would be perfect for her.


The Engineer will NEVER use magic, receive a shrine's blessing (Except the one inside the Dwemer Storage Cube Home if you have it) or assist any mage in anything not related to the dwemer. She will also not use scrolls nor staves, unless they're of Dwemer origin.


Remember, the Engineer is a researcher, not a fighter. There's no shame in running between a Colossus' legs, grab the item you came for, and run to the exit leaving your automatons behind. Getting into a corner and hiding behind your shield while waiting for help is also a valid strategy. At least until she becomes godlike and the need for such tricks is made obsolete.





  • Lock them down!: By approaching and activating an automaton, you can take them out of the battle with your lockdown ability.
  • Block and Lock: If you try to lockdown animunculi right away, they might get a hit in before you can do that. Block first, lockdown when they're recovering
  • Reconnaissance: Your Dwemer Goggles can give you important info on the enemy
  • Distraction Flayers: Throw them to the floor and apply the next tactic
  • The Engineer's Family Technique: RUN!


  • Forced 1v1: Make all of your enemies ethereal with your Aetherial Shield except one
  • Right behind you: Use the power of your Warp Core to teleport behind an enemy, cutting off their escape from your automatons
  • Disengage: You can use your Warp Core to stagger enemies around you, allowing an escape
  • Mine now!: After locking down an automaton, you can hotwire it to make it fight for you. Remember, you can control only one this way


  • Master of Machines: With your perfect skills in lockpicking, you can hotwire even Centurions and Colossi
  • Out of my way, bugs: Use your Gravity Bomb when surrounded by too many annoyances and let your mechanic slaves take care of them as they get back up
  • Calmness: No need to run away anymore, your Temporal Reversal Module will take care of any miscalculation
  • Ultimate humiliation: Drain the energies of mages around you with your Null Core only to have Tempests and Draikanas, superior versions of those worthless spellcasters, take them out
  • Army: You have infinite space in your tesseract. Why not carry around a few dozens Flayers? Or 10 Colossi?
  • The Last Solution: If everything else fails, just End Time




LOST TO THE AGES: You should start this quest as soon as available. The Engineer's first goal is to secure the forge, if it still exists. Important to get the Aetherial Shield and most of the Final Equipment and animunculi.

UNFATHOMABLE DEPTHS: If the Engineer visits Riften and is approached by someone talking about some Dwemer ruins, she'll definitely listen. The Ancient Knowledge power is great to level up Smithing faster.

ARNIEL'S ENDEAVOR: Despite her hatred of the College, the Engineer is interested to learn what Arniel knows about the Dwemer. This quest will give you an unpowered Keening that you'll need later.

THE FORGOTTEN CITY: A mysterious city left behind by the Dwemer. Do I need to say more?

PROJECT AHO: The Engineer is naïve enough to believe the lie that starts this quest. Won't spoil more, but believe me, it's worth it.

THE TOOLS OF KAGRENAC: The Engineer will get a chance to restore Keening and find the other two tools! You'll need the warp core to get some stuff during this quest. Also, you'll need a way to get into Blackreach.

And any other quest that will take you to a dwemer ruin.

Quests to avoid are the main quest, anything related to Dawnguard, any Daedric quest and any of the guilds. While it's tempting to get stuff like the Skeleton Key or the Star of Azura, the Engineer's personality wouldn't allow her to even start those quests.




Thanks for reading my first build. I've wanted to write one for a while and it feels good to have actually done it!

El. Psy. Kagrenac.



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  • I really like the extended information about how you interact with the world!

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