Baan Dar, The Legend...Thief, Warlock, Shadowmaster, Ruthless Assassin, Undying Avenger, Dark God, Robber Baron, Mastermind of Nefarious Plots. All these things and more are the Legendary Baan Dar, he who is called The Bandit God; but what is the Truth? – The First Scroll of Baan Dar
Baan Dar (The Bandit God): In most regions, Baan Dar is a marginal deity, a trickster spirit of thieves and beggars. In Elsweyr he is more important, and is regarded as the Pariah. In this aspect, Baan Dar becomes the cleverness or desperate genius of the long-suffering Khajiit, whose last minute plans always upset the machinations of their Human or Elven enemies. – Varieties of Faith in the Empire
Baan Dar is an aspect of the Khajiiti trickster idol. Despite being linked to acts of kindness and cleverness, every Wood Elf usually seeks his guidance, as he is also the god of archery. – The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel (Valenwood Section)
The Agent of Baan Dar
This build is based around two things. The first is Baan Dar, obviously. To me, it seems like Baan Dar is the perfect god for the Khajiit, yet as far as I know no one else has made a build about him yet. The second is Extended Slow Time. This build is the first to use a completely new method of creating the Extended Slow Time glitch that is ordinarily achieved via a combination of Quick Reflexes and Slow Time. Want to know what I’m talking about? Keep reading to find out.
Race: Baan Dar’s adherents are found primarily in the Khajiit and to a lesser extent the Bosmer, so either of those races would be good. However, I recommend the former in order to take advantage of a particular glitch (more on this in the equipment section).
Stone: This is my first build to use the Modified Advanced Atronach Stone, or MAAS for short. For a quick and simple explanation on how to create it, drink a Philter of the Healer and then activate the Atronach stone. This will give you 70% Spell Absorption, 70 Magicka and -70% Magicka Regeneration. Thus, once you get the Atronach perk, you will have exactly 100% Spell Absorption. Until you get a Philter of the Healer and the Atronach perk, the regular Atronach stone will suffice.
Stats: 0/1/0. The Agent’s 170 magicka (from the MAAS) and 100 stamina will suffice, so that leaves only health.
Shouts: Aura Whisper and Throw Voice are nice for stealth, but most importantly, you’ll want to pick up the word for Slow Time found in Hag’s End.
The Agent’s weapon of choice is the Ebony Bow. As one of the higher quality bows, its damage per shot is good, making it nice for sneak attacks, but at the same time its fire rate is enough to maintain good DPS. Once you're at level 36 they start showing up in leveled lists, at which point you can usually find one at blacksmiths or on the corpses of Draugr Deathlords.
Due to a glitch, Khajiit and Argonian characters are capable of equipping the Ancient Shrouded Cowl alongside a Circlet or Dragon Priest Mask; I recommend Krosis. Thus, the net boost from the enchantments is Fortify Archery 55% (very useful), 20% Fortify Lockpicking (useful), and 20% Fortify Alchemy (irrelevant to this character). Since the glitch also renders the cowl invisible, only Krosis will appear on the character’s head.
Thieves Guild Armor, Thieves Guild Gloves, and Predator’s Grace round out the rest of the Agent’s armor selection. Be sure to get the improved version of the Thieves Guild chest armor when Tonilia gives you the opportunity.
For jewelry, use anything you come across with a useful and relevant enchantment; I recommend a Necklace and Ring of Archery.
Archery: The Agent’s one and only damage-dealing skill. Seeing as Baan Dar is known as the god of archery, it’s quite appropriate. Grab all the perks in this tree.
Alteration: This skill is needed for only two perks: Stability and Atronach. The former increases Slow Time’s duration by 50%, nearly pushing its duration past its cooldown if you use the Extended Slow Time glitch, while the latter is needed for the MAAS. With 75 Alteration skill and the Expert Alteration perk, you can cast Paralyze for 150 magicka, the exact amount you’ll have with the regular Atronach stone, making it a good last resort to pull out during combat.
Lockpicking: Locked doors and chests are no obstacle for the Agent, as he can pick his way through both with ease. Personally, I don’t like the Locksmith and Unbreakable perks since they take all the challenge out of lockpicking, and I find Wax Key to be wholly unnecessary, but I got all the other perks.
Pickpocket: As a thief, the Agent regularly goes through the pockets of folks he happens to pass by and relieves them of their valuables. I didn’t try to use this for combat purposes at all, choosing to pickpocket the wealthy folk in town instead. You can also pickpocket guards for a good source of arrows. As far as perks go, you should only need about two or three ranks in Light Fingers. Aside from that, you’ll also want to pick up Extra Pockets.
Sneak: The Agent prefers to start battles from stealth, and staying hidden helps to boost your chances of successfully pickpocketing someone. Predator’s Grace completely muffles your footsteps, making the Muffled Movement and Silence perks unnecessary. Thus, the only perk you need is Deadly Aim.
Speech: The Agent is quite skilled at dealing with shopkeepers and merchants, capable of buying their goods at a low price and selling his at a high one. The Amulet of Articulation renders Persuasion and to a lesser extent Intimidation useless, but grab all of the other perks in this tree.
You should be at level 50 once the build is complete.
The reason why the Agent of Baan Dar has come to Skyrim is so he can spread Baan Dar’s ideals throughout the land. To that end, he will want to make many friends and allies in Skyrim, particularly in less savory places where traditional Nordic ideals aren’t upheld. To that end, I recommend completing the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood questlines. You’ll also want to join the College of Winterhold at the very least for spell access, but consider completing that questline as well. You’ll also want to do the Main Quest up to Dragon Rising in order to unlock shouts.
In order to spread Baan Dar’s ideals, you’ll want to make as many friends as possible, so complete any follower quests that you can. In particular, unlocking Faendal as a follower as soon as you reach Riverwood is great for free Archery training. Unlocking the fencing services of the Khajiit Caravans via the Thieves Guild is a great choice as well. Donating gold to beggars and drinks to drunks are also great ways to make friends. No pursuit is considered unworthy for the Agent of Baan Dar; even the Bard’s College is up for grabs!
One final note on roleplay: since the Agent of Baan Dar is meant to be played as wanderer who never stays in one place for long, I recommend against buying a home. However, you can find a non-respawning container to store your things.
Extended Slow Time
Many builds (including quite a few of my own) have taken advantage of the Slow Time + Quick Reflexes combo to extend Slow Time past its cooldown, but this is the first build to use it with Steady Hand instead. Here’s the easiest way to use it. With both ranks of Steady Hand perked (this glitch doesn't work with the first rank), nock an arrow and zoom in with your bow. Once time starts to slow, hit the sheathe button and repeatedly tap the shout button until you use Slow Time. It should last noticeably longer than one word of Slow Time normally does.
Compared to Quick Reflexes + Slow Time, Steady Hand + Slow Time has the major advantage of being able to activate whenever you want, since you don’t have to wait for an enemy to power attack. Unfortunately, Steady Hand doesn’t extend Slow Time by as much as Quick Reflexes. This is where the Stability perk comes into play. It extends Slow Time by 50%, so when combined with Steady Hand, you only need to wait a couple of seconds after Slow Time ends before activating it again, enabling the Agent to fight in Slow Time for almost the entire battle.
When combined with the Ranger perk, Slow Time enables you to dodge most attacks with ease, hence why I didn’t bother perking Light Armor. Some magic attacks, such as dragon breath, are still difficult to dodge though, but thanks to the MAAS, you can simply absorb them. If you end up getting hit with a physical attack, you can take it thanks to your massive health pool. To put it simply, the Agent of Baan Dar is an absolutely lethal killing engine.