Welcome one and all to the very first Skyrim Character Building contest here on The Sky Forge! This will be a rare opportunity to pit your character building prowess against that of your fellow members, by making a build over the course of 6 weeks around a given theme... xMi29GsdoID7JtWdQ2u0X4ugefrpL6C7Jyyp44xe5ON2VnqkhLFtPOlwJo4VfXOZHuIveOMa2_hMzt3jgIyXKTBi3j3KhIiSSG_cWhm1Ckw48sKVrEyVs9E4935LuZktpF3_G6MC


Pirates, Marauders, Corsairs, Smugglers, Scavengers, Cut-Throats, and Treasure Hunters, the list goes on. Whatever comes to mind when you think of pirates is what this contest is all about. This contest ought to present a unique challenge for participants. Piracy in its many forms has always been a long standing aspect of Tamriel's history

There's no limits or restrictions on the skills, mods or equipment you may use, but your entry must revolve around the theme of piracy (such as a smuggler or sea faring marauder, or perhaps a corsair under the employ of a major naval power). Your only real limitations are your imagination.  You may work in teams of no more than 2 people total. Once the competition closes, a panel of judges (see below) will judge each submitted build based on the criteria below and announce the winner! Here are the prizes…




First Place - Gold

  • $50 Dollars in game credits for the system of your choice (Steam, PSN, Xbox)
  • Build video by PCOutcast for your build.
  • Screenshots done for the submitted build or build of the winner’s choice
  • Your build prominently featured on the front page
  • Exclusive access to the judging panel of the next contest (only if not participating in said contest)
  • Input into the theme of our second Skyrim character build contest
  • "Contest Gold" tag for the submitted build
  • Bragging Rights!

 Second Place - Silver

  • $20 Dollars in game credits for the system of your choice (Steam, PSN, Xbox)
  • Your build prominently featured on the front page
  • Screenshots done for either the submitted build or another build of the winners' choice
  • "Contest Silver" tag for the submitted build!

 Third Place - Bronze

  • $10 Dollars in game credits for the system of your choice (Steam, PSN, Xbox)
  • Your build prominently featured on the front page
  • "Contest Bronze" tag for the submitted build!


Rules & guidelines:

  1. You may work on your own or in a team of 2. You can come up with a team name if you like!
  2. Only 1 build may be entered per contestant/team.
  3. Teams may register on this thread and submit a build at any time prior to the cut off date of 25th of June. Registrations will then close and the panel will judge the entries.
  4. Because this is a contest we cannot offer contestants any feedback on their builds. This is in the interest of fairness. However, you’re free to get feedback from anyone who isn’t judging the builds.
  5. Submitted builds must include a "Contest1" tag so we can find them
  6. Winners will be announced on the 4th of July!

The Panel

  1. John (Teccam)
  2. Elysium
  3. Percival
  4. Curse


The Criteria (Click for expanded view)


The Contestants: 

  1. Lee Fiskilis Carpenter - The Cutthroat
  2. Chris Diokno - The Ork Freebooter
  3. Henson
  4. MoldyMarshmello
  5. Carrow4
  6. Prototype
  7. Achloryn
  8. Maezell - The Pirate Queen
  9. Kendrix - The Sea of Ghosts Siren
  10. Dewalt - The Imperial Corsair
  11. NomadDash - The Dead Tide
  12. Kaluen_a'Ron
  13. Marin the Fox
  14. Hinesandkaid
  15. Long-Chapper - The Sea Ghost
  16. DocPGB - The Angler
  17. Magus80
  18. nystee - The Hafgufa
  19. Fitz
  20. Miraak
  21. Raikage - The Kraken-Born
  22. anOptimalgod

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    • I greatly appreciate the effort and detail in the feedback. Love the building event, hopefully I'll polish my skills in time for the next event :)

  • The Pirate Queen 


    Gameplay - 

    Teccam: 5/10 - I like the Redguard Swashbuckler aesthetic, and dual-wielding is generally under-represented in my opinion. That being said, the build doesn’t do much to separate itself from the standard duelist/ravager archetype. Some perks seem redundant (Quick Reflexes, Paralyzing Strike). Combat could use more detail, especially in scenarios where the swords are ineffective, such as dragons.

    Percy: 6/10 - Fun playstyle and aesthetic. Not very unique, but still fun in its own right. Could use more elaboration in places.

    Ely: 7/10 - I love the combat style (speedy dualist) and it helps inform the character. Followers help shore up the weaknesses.

    Avg = 6


    Presentation - 

    Teccam: 4/10 - No glaring issues, but doesn’t really do anything to stand out. Would have liked to see more images and more eye-catching headers to help break up the different sections. Generally could have used more detail to help sell the build and flesh out the lore/gameplay some more. I think with a bit of polish and some expansion on the current core, this could really develop into a strong build. The bones are there, but they need to be fleshed out.

    Percy: 5/10 - Short and not broken-up. No real issues but things could have been more elaborated in many places, but very good for a first build!

    Ely: 3/10 - Very short and not detailed. Good image, but I’d appreciate a perkspread, an image of a Black woman (ie. from Hammerfell), or even a picture of what seems like cool armor. No issues with grammar or formating, but just not enough of anything.

    Avg = 4


    Lore - 

    Teccam: 5/10 - Relatively minimal investment in lore overall, but what elements are included are done reasonably effectively and feel appropriate. One idea to help bind the character to the lore would be to tie it to a known Redguard faction or deity.

    Percy: 5/10 - Not a lot of lore, but the lore that is there is integrated well.

    Ely: 4/10 - Non existent, but it’s not explicitly lore breaking. Grounding the character firmly in either Redguard or pirate culture could’ve helped. 

    Avg = 4.6666


    Roleplay - 

    Teccam: 7/10 - Reasonable effort to include character-oriented rules and motivations that fit with the overall character concept. As with the other sections, there is definite room for more detail, but in this case, I feel covering the key points is worth a bit more credit.

    Percy: 6/10 - Strong archetype and good character development. Room for more detail but fits well within the character concept. Rules and recommended quests fit well with the character and motivations.

    Ely: 5/10 - There is an archetype there to adhere to and there’s nothing wrong with stereotypes, but detailing more character choices would’ve helped make the character more personal. 

    Avg = 6


    Score = 20.6666

    Likes = 10+


    Total Score 30.6666

  • The Ork Freebooter


    Gameplay - 

    Teccam: 6/10 - Reasonably unique and thematic. Main grievances are that some elements feel a bit tacked on. In particular, the use of Lockpicking and the Ritual Stone are both a bit of a stretch. I know they’re both fun and in some ways relevant, but also in other ways they just feel out of character. Tower Stone may have helped to alleviate both of those items. I also have some concern about the straddling the old “sneak archer” fence here - Sneak will definitely level up pretty quickly, and even without perking it, it will be noticed during gameplay, I expect. Also, the unarmed enchantments didn’t really feel necessary, and the Windshear + custom Scimitar combo looks potentially broken.

    Percy: 8/10 - Combat is fun and everything compliments each other. Remains true to the source material this was inspired from. 

    Ely: 7/10 - I’m sold on the combat. At first glance, it looks both fun and familiar. Nothing is groundbreaking, but the use of magic compliments the berserker commander style.

    Avg = 7


    Presentation - 

    Teccam: 8/10 - Not sure how to feel about that song choice, buddy. Overall, I think you did a good job here. The spacing and use of images are quite effective, and it all flows pretty well. There was a broken image for me in the skills section, a typo or two, and some alignment feels like it could be improved upon, but overall, I think you did a good job on this one.

    Percy: 8/10 - All the images worked and were appropriate. The spacing was alright and there were only a couple of typos. Formatting and spacing was effective.

    Ely: 5/10 - Ouch, the song. Otherwise, it’s well formatted and peppered with images. The broken link of what I’m assuming is the perkspread is getting docked points.

    Avg = 7


    Lore - 

    Teccam: 6/10 - Without using the wiki, I can’t tell whether Freebooters are a real TES thing, or something you made up or borrowed. Which probably means you deserve decent marks here. That being said, I’ve been advised that it’s generally not consistent with the established lore for an Orc to be a pirate, so I’m a bit torn and will meet in the middle there. I like the passage of in-world text to introduce the character. Could have used more detail, and helped to explain how combat, skills, gear, etc. tie into the Freebooter theme.

    Percy: 7/10 - While Freebooters aren’t tied into TES lore, you adapted them well into the world. His backstory could maybe have been a little more fleshed out, but what was there was good.

    Ely: 3/10 - Not really relevant to the build. Orcs aren’t sailors, generally, and the Freebooters feel off to me because of it. 

    Avg = 5.333


    Roleplay - 

    Teccam: 7/10 - As with several other entries, you hit the highlights with some thematically appropriate and original rules/motivations, but didn’t really go into enough detail to flesh out the character into a truly complex or compelling figure. It’s enough to give an impression and let the player fill in some gaps, but I think more detail would help a lot.

    Percy: 7/10 - I enjoy this adaptation of the Ork Freebooters. The roleplay rules and thematic details help flesh out the character but not as much as it could. All the roleplay elements fit with the archetype you were emulating.

    Ely: 7/10 - I enjoy the archetype and there are some creative high points to add to the pirate captain feel.

    Avg = 7


    Score = 26.333

    Likes = 10+


    Total Score 36.3333


    The Hafgufa 


    Gameplay - 

    Teccam: 8/10 - You found some nice synergies in Ordinator, but I think you could have gone into more depth with how they work, what to prioritize, etc. Overwhelmed by the number of mods required/recommended. I would start by removing anything that isn’t truly necessary - let the player decide if they want to use stuff like Mortal Enemies or TK Dodge. With modded builds like this, I sometimes feel it’s better to keep things simple and build around one or two core synergies, rather than 3-5. For readers who aren’t familiar with the mods, it’s hard to follow everything that makes the character. I like each mechanic independently, but I’m not as sold on combining them and uniting them under the pirate theme. That being said, the combat sounds very fun and versatile.

    Percy: 7/10 - I enjoyed the playstyle and some of the Special Moves were quite cool. The sheer number of mods that are “required” is quite daunting. You could have trimmed that list down or at least separated them into ones that are required and the ones that are recommended.

    Ely: 7/10 - I don’t know enough about the intricate mechanics of these mods, but I agree that there’s some cool stuff here. I really like the water magic mod to tie into the theme of the sea.

    Avg = 7.3333


    Presentation - 

    Teccam: 8/10 - Personal opinion, but I’m not a huge fan of using the second person to pitch a character. Not holding that against you too severely since it’s personal taste, but worth mentioning for future builds. Other points of critique would be that there was some areas that felt overly dense and others that felt overly spacious (special moves). I would also advise keeping the images wider than they are tall, so that we can see most/all of the art while we read the next/prior paragraph. Images are very nice though -- could probably just be a bit stingier with the cropping and be good to go.

    Percy: 7/10 - The images were excellent, however, some of them were quite tall and that detracted in places. The second person intro felt a little off but I didn’t mind it too much.

    Ely: 7/10 - Extra points for some amazing photos that really set the mood. No issues with grammar or formatting. Easy to read. I don’t have such an issue with second person.

    Avg = 7.3333


    Lore - 

    Teccam: 9/10 - Cool and original story foundation, though I think a bit more background would help to ground the character (where did they learn the skills to out-duel and out-sneak the seasoned crew, for example?). I like the marriage of the real world mythology and in-game lore with the Sea of Ghosts as a pirate stomping grounds. As with some other entries, I would have liked a bit more emphasis on the TES lore and a bit less on the real world foundation. This is all pretty nitpicky though, I think it’s a strong foundation and an original take on the pirate theme.

    Percy: 8/10 - The story was interesting and you did a good job working the real-world inspiration into TES lore. There could have been a little more in terms of background.

    Ely: 9/10 - I absolutely love it. The feel of the kraken/illithid was really inspired and fits perfectly with TES’s already supernatural stuff. I’m actually surprised there isn’t a kraken equivalent in Skyrim already.


    Avg = 8.6666


    Roleplay - 

    Teccam: 4/10 - Not much detail given, just the character intro to give a general concept for the reader to interpret, and a few quests to help guide decisions/motivations. This is an area that a relatively small amount of time/effort could help to deepen the build substantially. That being said, for a first build, all around, you did a great job. Rubric aside, I personally don’t put too much stock into roleplay in my own builds, so to me, you’ve really done a nice job on the whole. Keep it up!

    Percy: 5/10 - There isn’t much detail, though the intro gives enough for readers to read into, but there isn’t anything explicitly stated so the reader is left guessing. The build could have been a lot better if you had fleshed out the characters motivations more than just through some quests to undertake.

    Ely: 5/10 - An extremely cool concept, just wasn’t executed that last half step. I don’t have a good feel for what the character is. Is the Argonian now a revenant, or possessed by the kraken? Does he just have another shot at life with water magic powers and is gonna go on doing what pirates do?

    Avg = 4.6666


    Score = 27.9998 

    Likes = 10+


    Total Score 37.9998

  • The Imperial Corsair


    Gameplay - 

    Teccam: 3/10 - The build is undeniably powerful, but power alone doesn’t really make for an effective or engaging playthrough. I’d much rather have a build that get by on strategy, awareness, or more specialized skills, than one that simply brute forces its way through everything by way of crafting. Especially with looping exploits.

    Percy: 3/10 - I agree that the damage potential is immense, but I don’t think that it’s used effectively. I’m not a big fan of abusing exploits such as the resto loop, but some builds use it effectively. This doesn’t feel like one though. The build feels gimmicky and relies too heavily on those gimmicks.

    Ely: 2/10 - I disagree that Smithing and Enchanting are good for every build. With an alchemist background, they just add more clutter and grind, especially taking both to 100. Otherwise, it’s a sneak archer. It strives for power gaming in the most brute force way and I’m not a fan.

    Avg = 2.6666


    Presentation - 

    Teccam: 4/10 - The image works for me, but I echo the feedback that more images and more attention to formatting would go a long way to sell this build. Formatting may be a bit daunting to learn, but even a basic level and 20-30 minutes of time can massively polish a build writeup. I’d recommend replacing the wall of perk text with a single clean image, and then writing a bit more about how the perks interact. Grammar and phrasing were fine, and I like the confidence. Many of the most popular builds got there as much on confidence and salesmanship as actual objective quality

    Percy: 4/10 - The image is good but there is nothing else to break up the text. There aren’t many grammar mistakes. I definitely recommend putting in a perkspread. 

    Ely: 3/10 - The only image is a broken link, which sucks. Grammar is good. Writing out the perks was a poor choice, which just means lots of scrolling.

    Avg =  3.6666


    Lore - 

    Teccam: 5/10 - The character is loosely integrated into the game world and more specifically given a reason to be at Helgen, but there isn’t much of the broader lore to inform the character or cement his place in the world. I would have liked to see some more detail on his background in the Legion/Navy, and how those experiences translate into the character when playing the build.

    Percy: 4/10 - The lore is based in TES lore but there could be a lot more, especially to help inform how his experiences affect gameplay and roleplay.

    Ely: 3/10 - Jaded and bitter former officers are a thing post-war, and I’m sure many of them would turn briggand. It does have some background grounding in lore, but nothing that’s explicit in Skyrim.

    Avg = 4


    Roleplay - 

    Teccam: 4/10 - There is enough info to let the player have some concept of the character’s background, but not really anything as far as motivations, purpose, idiosyncrasies, etc. Recommending a few quest lines and/or some basic rules of social interaction would help to flesh this out a lot.

    Percy: 2/10 - The is an interesting lore that people can read into to come up with motivations and what quests to do, but some suggestions would have been better. There’s just not enough.

    Ely: 2/10 - There is a backstory, which a player could use to infer character, but nothing is explicitly stated. 

    Avg  = 2.6666


    Score 12.9998

    Likes = 4+


    Total Score 16.9998

    • Oof that score...

      In my defense my aim is to create builds viable in legendary difficulty. I suppose this runs counter to the more casual mod heavy builds this site seems to favor. 

      • Not really. Your build was just way too overpowered, and too grind heavy. It os possible to run a Legendary difficulty build without needing all three crafting skills. That, and your presentation and backstory could have used work. And even the more mod heavy builds can be replicated in Vanilla. The Mirage by Raidriar is one such Vanilla build that can, if careful, due on Legendary

        • Define casual.

          Because The amount of work and attention to detail that went into a lot of these builds makes them the furthest thing from casual, if you ask me. 

          I can understand your feelings about mods. They’re not for everyone. If it mkes you feel any better a vanilla build did win this contest. 

          • That just it though. These builds are great for roleplay, that I don’t doubt. But are they effective at high difficulties? 

            • Kind Sir, did you really read other contestants builds? The Dead Tide, the Sea Ghost Siren, The sea Ghost are viable on Legendary difficulty. I intensively tested my build on Legendary and I can assure you that I had no problems killing enemies.

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