Tired of being the "good" guy? Tired of the same old dutiful work of the honorable quester in Skyrim? Well you have come to the right place. This build, inspired by heavy Dunmer lore, is in no way a good character. To further break my seemingly unwilling nature to take on alchemy more often than I do, I thought to use it as a replacement for magic altogether which was surprisingly fun having a big "playbook" so to speak and dabble in all magic schools using potions and poisons. I also wanted to embrace crime rather than to nervously keep reloading my game by accidentally stealing or hitting someone. Get ready for Breaking Bad Skyrim style. Big thanks to Vazgen yet again with the sweet screenshots! He helped me finally finish this project after my little distraction with a window. Without further adiueieuidueeudiueiuuueuu....
The Camonna Tong
The Camonna Tong are the local crime syndicate of Vvardenfall. They are THE bottom line when, all things said and done, you are dealing with criminals in the Morrowind area. As the Morag Tong are a more respectable and honorable assassins guild in relation to the Dark Brotherhood due to their need of official writs for certain "hits", the Camonna Tong are in NO WAY a more respectable thief organization in relation to the Imperial Thieves Guild. Murder, assault, drugs, slavery, prostitution, mugging, intimidation: all words associated with the Camonna Tong and they enjoy doing all of these to gain ... more.
The Camonna Tong are the definition of a xenophobic society. If there is something outsider/strange to them, they will totally ignore it to the point of even losing out on profits at times. Traditionally, the Camonna Tong would not even think to travel outside of Morrowind's borders, but I wanted to approach this character as a "last of his kind" type that was on his own to set up his own drug empire in Skyrim, making a name for himself and to regain the infamy that the Camonna Tong had in their prime.
While most thieves are hindered by their true thief nature (only stealing, no killing, leaving no trace behind) the Camonna Tong are not bound by any sense of code or honor. At times, it would be more appropriate to leave behind traces of their presence to strike fear into their enemies. They would also not be against murdering in the slightest, even enjoying it as a "perk" of their job. Camonna Tong thieves are masterful at their craft and are able to pickpocket, pick locks, and stay unseen when they want and need to, but they are more likely to bash their targets right in the fucking face with their weapon just for the fun of it with a smile on their faces.
Always poised to strike without mercy
Stone: Thief -> Steed
Dragon Shouts: None. You are not the dragonborn, but if you see one, you would rob him blind and leave him for dead.
Major Skills: Alchemy, Pickpocket, Sneak, Speech
Minor Skills: One Handed, Block, Smithing
Equipment: Chitin Light Cuirass, Predator's Grace, Shrouded Hand Wraps, No helmet (occasional Chitin Light Helmet)
Weapons: Smithed Ebony Mace, Chitin Shield
Ring/Amulet: Fortify Pickpocket, Fortify One Handed
The Camonna Tong not being dragonborn is something relatively new to me. It brings a very unique RP experience and allows the player to think outside the box when confronted with a situation usually solved with a simple dragon shout.
Predator's Grace, unique Hide Boots found at Hag's End, are extremely useful. Being a master thief and sneak thug, the Predator's Grace boots allow the wearer to be completely muffled. The boot's enchantment is different from all natural found muffle enchantments. The DB boots and self-enchanted muffle only applies a .5 magnitude of muffle, but Predator's Grace provides a full 1.0, meaning it is as strong as the muffle spell, giving you a tremendous advantage given you do not dabble in any magic skills.
Maces are brutal weapons
Skills and Perks
The Camonna Tong are cunning in many ways. Their favored skills from Morrowind are: Marksman, Light Armor, Acrobatics, Sneak, Long Blade, Blunt Weapon. I decided to interpret these skills in my own fashion, but stayed true to what they were about.
Light Armor is not perked with this build and it may come at a disadvantage, but not to the Camonna Tong. Using specially brewed potions, your Smithing skill can be boosted to expert levels for strong armor ratings and very powerful weapons. Smithing is taken to Elven for the cultured Chitin armor favored by the xenophobic Dunmer as well as up to Ebony for progressively stronger weapons until the very effective Ebony Mace, appropriate weapon for a sadistic thug.
Pickpocket is a no brainer, but is also a unique skill in this character build. In broad daylight, with many possible foes around, the Camonna Tong may be better off silently and sneakily lifting gold and valuables off of citizens without being seen. This is to represent their masterful skill in sleight of hand. However, pickpocket serves as a combat skill as well. Using strong brewed poisons, the Camonna Tong enjoy dropping debilitating paralysis and damage health poisons into enemy's pockets or even random passerby's pockets for a distraction. It is noted that the perks to pickpocket weapons and armor are not taken, as the Camonna Tong would just murder anyone for equipment they want.
Sneak and One Handed go hand in hand to create the ultimate thug. Needing to stay unseen at times, sneak allows for expert light-on-foot tactics to hide and pounce on enemies when needed as well as staying hidden to steal all that can be carried. One handed is essential to keep your mace hand strong, charging enemies from the shadows as well as decapitating foes, leaving their lifeless, headless bodies to send a message. Block is also an essential skill for survival, creating another blunt weapon in your left hand as well as master level protection from oncoming damage, allowing for deflecting arrows and spells as well as disarming enemies and bashing them off their feet.
Speech: Your anti-thieves guild solution! RP talk time!!
Roleplaying - The Camonna Tong are EXTREMELY hateful of the Thieves Guild. They would go to the Daedric Realms and back just to smack a member in the face and that is putting things lightly. The Thieves Guild are their sworn enemy and will stop at nothing to overcome their efforts and to essentially murder every single one of them. In Skyrim, most TG members are essential, meaning murder is out of the question. We handle this by raising our own speech skill to acquire our own fences to sell our stolen goods. Speech training and alchemy help to boost our skill leveling, so storing of stolen goods in multiple "safe houses" is required until the Fence perk is taken.
Alchemy. You knew this was coming... Camonna Tong members are notorious for their involvement with the skooma trade. Unfortunately, players cannot create their own skooma, but they can create some of the strongest and potent potions and poisons. In combat, since no magic is taken with this build, healing potions are essential for survival. Poisons are the other "combat skill" taken here. Paralysis, lingering health damage, slow: all proper plays in the Camonna Tong's handbook.
Cookin' up some trouble
Alchemy (Link to Dragon's expansive alchemy guide!!) is one of the most versatile skills in the game. Harnessing ingredients from the world, the player can practically mimic any magic effect in the game. The Camonna Tong take from the world and NEVER give back, so picking, stealing, and buying with stolen gold the ingredients to create powerful potions and poisons is awesome to create:
- Invisibility potions to escape
- Paralysis poisons to take down powerful enemies
- Frenzy poisons to drop in an enemy's pocket, distracting them from your motives, or just being evil
- Boosting damage of your mace, cracking skulls at an even faster rate
- Boosting smithing to increase armor rating, lasting longer in battle
- Many, many others...
Roleplaying as a Murderer
A Camonna Tong has many situations he would find himself in that would take some thinking. A Camonna Tong would 100% never join the ranks of the Thieves Guild. I thought in the beginning I could act as an "infiltrator" to become the guild master to take over, but to stay true to lore, I never joined them and occasionally attacked them without warrant and ran.
The Mages College is not something a Camonna Tong would find himself involved with. Magic is not his practice and would find it a waste of his time building his drug empire and taking over the crime world.
The Companions and Dark Brotherhood however would be worthwhile. Being an outstanding fighter, proving his strength would be beneficial to the surrounding areas gaining a name for himself. The DB would also provide what most Camonna Tong consider a therapeutic hobby: murder. Assassinating enemies is not something a Camonna Tong would be masters at, as they do not consider silently cutting enemy's throats to be fun. Instead, the Camonna Tong find the mace to be the best tool for their work, demolishing enemies with brute force from the shadows to start brawls in which they taunt their foes and ultimately stare down at their scared faces to smash them in. Violence is their game.
The other reason for joining the Dark Brotherhood is for the financial reasons. Lore states they were not exactly "friends" but the Camonna Tong did utilize their services for some business partners that ... well ... did not "agree" with their terms. Being a lone agent of the Tong in Skyrim will benefit from learning and earning from the skilled assassins hailing death.
I wanted to mix some gameplay elements I was familiar with: attacking from a shadowy position and with a non-conventional sneak weapon, but also wanted to enhance that gameplay with alchemy, which was my least favorite crafting skill ... until now. Tackling the Camonna Tong was really fun, as it has a unique style of approaching enemies.
A regular thief will steal and run. Not the Camonna Tong... They take pleasure in their killings that would result in a heist. They allow themselves to not be bound by rules. Stealing is all well and good, taking their stolen goods to fences and making a huge profit. But maybe on some jobs, you come across a wealthy noble or a warrior with an enchanted weapon that would bring a good price. Their answer is to not steal their items when secluded, but to TAKE it through force. Fail a pickpocket chance? More fun for you! Take them down for even noticing your handiwork!
Camonna Tong are also not afraid to stand and fight. Bounties will be crazy high when you decided to play this character, upwards to 10's of thousands! Wealthy citizens are the chum to your shark-like instincts and city guards are the feeding frenzy for your bloodlust of murder when either caught or purposefully starting brawls.
You do not run from a fight like normal, weak thieves. You turn and enjoy the violence.
The Camonna Tong takes on foes from the shadows, utilizing my found Shadow Pounce tactical move, taking your Silent Roll combined with Critical Charge to come from a steathy position to one of dominance in battle, usually taking enemies down in one mace hit.
With the shrouded hand wraps from the DB, your mace attacks will deal a whopping 12x the amount of damage from a sneak position. This attack, since maces are not silent, will alert enemies to your position, but can easily be hidden again with using an invisibility potion early on or shadow warrior straight into another shadow pounce.
Taking everything into consideration, anyone who wants a change of pace if in for a treat with this character. I have always felt weird having bounties or murdering or getting caught. With this character, you welcome the notoriety, and bounties are racked up into a thousands and thousands. Freeing myself from worry of the crime system and dominating it is extremely satisfying. Become your own skooma drug lord!