Character Build: The Dwarven Scholar

Greetings, sera. Blackblood here with my first ever Character Build. Some time last year I came up with the idea of a scholar who specialized in Dwemer  constructs, and how some of them can use Shock-based attacks and the like. This character was made to be adept in everything related to the Dwemer: Dwarven Constructs, Falmer bastards, etc. 

The Dwemer. These ancient Deep Elves are an enigma to the world. They vanished all at once after the Battle of Red Mountain, leaving only their ruins and artifacts to the world. What little is known about them is that they were masters of technology far advanced beyond their time. From automatons to steam and energy-powered machinations, the Dwemer's creations are so well-designed that they continue to function to this day. Their ruins are as awe-inspiring as they are dangerous, housing many automatons that still guard and protect their sacred creations.

The Dwarven Scholar, an intellect from far off lands, is said to be one of, if not the most gifted scholar on the work of the Dwemer. However unlike many other scholars, who put their works on display like a museum, he prefers to keep his knowledge to himself. His dedication to his studies has rewarded him with a most revolutionary magnum opus: The ability to get into the framework of the Dwemer's creations and, with some effort, possibly replicate their designs himself.

But there is still much missing. Many facts on the Dwemer that he needs to complete his research. He has heard word that an Altmer in Skyrim by the name of Calcelmo is also an expert in the Dwemer culture, going so far as to be called the greatest mind into their study. The Dwarven Scholar believes that in order to perfect his research, he needs Calcelmo's assistance. Therefore, he sets off to Skyrim to make his mark on the world.







Race: There are three good choices here: Imperial, Redguard, and Orsimer. They all have good starting skills for this build. Other than that, any race works for this. I would dissuade Altmer, however, because I find that I dislike their boost to Magicka in this build.

Standing Stone: The Steed is the go-to here. +100 carry weight makes it easier to carry around all those Dwemer parts to be melted down. Removing the weight from armor is also an excellent bonus.

Major Skills: Enchanting, Destruction, Lockpicking
Minor Skills: Archery, Heavy Armor, Smithing, Block, Restoration

Powers: Secret of Arcana, Ancient Knowledge, Seeker of Sorcery, Agent of Mara

Quests: The Only Cure, Discerning the Transmundane, Lost to the Ages, Unfathomable Depths, The Book of Love, The Kagrumez Trials










Enchanting: Vitally important to the build, as it is where it gets its entire magical prowess from. Fortify Magicka Enchantments on the Gauntlets and Ring, the Atronach Stone from the Aetherial Crown and fortify Destruction Enchantments give this build plenty of magical juice to keep firing spells into the early morning.

Destruction: The main offense of this build. Naturally, we will be going with Shock spells reminiscent of the Dwarven Sphere’s shock attacks.

Lockpicking: With all of the locked chests in Dwarven Ruins, this skill will not only be important to save a little time, but it’ll also level fast. Treasure Hunter is where you’ll really start getting the bang for your buck, being able to find awesome goodies all over.



Archery: Taken for use with the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow. With its staggering effect, armor piercing ability and, of course, its power, it’s the perfect weapon for long-range encounters and single enemies alike.

Smithing: Only 3 perks in here, but one is invaluable. Dwarven Smithing not only gives us our armor of choice but it also allows us to power level Smithing so that we can get Arcane Blacksmith.

Heavy Armor: Dwarven Armor is our armor of choice. Well Fitted and Matching Set are also important to one of this build’s special skills.

Block and Restoration: These are only taken to fortify the Spellbreaker.








Aetherial Crown (Atronach Stone)

Visage of Mzund

Hi-Energy Capacitor Armor: [Dwarven Armor (Fortify Destruction | Fortify Destruction and Magicka Regen)] 

Voltaic Tumblergloves: [Dwarven Gauntlets (Fortify Magicka | Fortify Archery)]

Electromagnetic Boots: [Dwarven Boots (Muffle | Resist Shock)] 

Tungsten-Fortified Shield: [Dwarven Shield (Resist Poison | Fortify Block)]



Power Core: [Gold Jeweled Necklace (Fortify Magicka | Fortify Magicka Regen)]

Battery Mini-Cell: [Gold Sapphire Ring (Fortify One-Handed | Fortify Destruction)]


Charged Stun Blade: [Dwarven Sword (Shock Damage | Paralyze {1 sec})]

Spark Bolt Bow: [Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow (Shock Damage | Paralyze {1 sec})]







There’s a strategy for every enemy from any range. When dealing with single enemies and/or long range enemies that haven’t spotted you yet, the Spark Rod Gun is the way to go. With its natural stagger effect, Power Shot and the 1 second Paralysis effect your enemies aren’t going anywhere for a while. Remember to save the Dwarven Bolts of Shock for the bigger enemies or for groups of far off enemies.

When dealing with a good deal of enemies that’ve found you and are closing in, Shock spells takes good care of them. Chain Lightning fries enemies who try to get too close and punishes archers and mages who think they can beat your ranged game, and Wall of Storms punishes them for trying to close the gap. Lightning Cloak is for anyone who somehow gets close enough to swing a sword at you and is really fun to use alongside Wall of Storms.

Should an enemy get within close combat, that’s the time to break out your Charged Stun Blade. With the Lightning Cloak active and the blade’s paralysis chance, any enemy who manages to get within range will quickly wish they hadn’t. Should you be dealing with a real heavy hitter you can put on your Visage of Mzund and break out a shield and out-juggernaut them.

Speaking of shields, or chosen shield for this build is the Spellbreaker, a Dwarven artifact that fell into the hands of the Daedric Prince Peryite. We’ll be enhancing its potency greatly, halving the damage spells belt out and absorbing the rest. Combined with the Magic-Repelling Armor Core, most non-physical attacks can be shrugged off and absorbed.

Who could make a Dwarven-based build without mentioning two of the coolest followers for a Dwarven enthusiast: The Steadfast Dwarven Sphere and Spider. These guys can be found in Kagrumez and take up the creature follower slot. They act exactly like their monster counterparts, with the Spider shooting lightning and the Sphere shooting bolts at long range. . Should they die, you can just “rebuild” them back at Kagrumez.






Dwarven Ruin Bestiary


Dwarven Spider (Worker) – The weakest of the Automatons, but not one that should be underestimated. You don’t need any real gameplan for the worker variant; just hit and don’t be hit and you’ll do just fine. The regular Dwarven Spiders, however, come with an extra Shock spell, and when they die they unleash a shock explosion. Try to take them out with long ranged combat before they get too close. Both of these variants (as well as every other Dwarven Automaton) are 25% immune to Magic, so keep that in mind.




Dwarven Sphere – These guys are pretty tough. Much like the Spider they have answers for all ranges. For long range they can shoot you with their built-in Crossbow, and at close range their blades can slash you for a good amount of damage. They’re also fast and can take a lotta hits. Best throw up a Lightning Cloak and prepare for close quarters combat. If you have to, you can also use Battle Mode to tank him right back.




Dwarven Centurion – This. THIS is the not-fun-guy. They’re big, heavy, and have horrible breath. They hit really hard and have a Steam Attack for long range. Thankfully, they’re the slowest Automaton, so we got a few ways to deal with them. The first is to out range them, firing either shock spells or using our  Crossbow to pick at his health before he gets too close. After that, get right up to him and start swinging away. As long as you’re close to him he won’t use the Steam Attack, and if you’ve got good footwork you might be able to avoid most of his blows. Just keep this up until he falls down. Some Centurions will be in a rest state when you see them, and can activate when alerted. These guys can be snuck past with our Electromagnetic Boots to avoid a dangerous confrontation.




Dwarven Ballista – These guys are annoying, mostly cuz they keep backing the hell away. They’re a long range exclusive Automaton that fires Dwarven Bolts that ignore armor and stagger, which means they are annoying when you have to deal with other enemies. Best way to beat them is to give them what they want; Stay at range so that you have the best chance of dodging their bolts, while at the same time pelting them with either your shock spells or your own bolts.




Falmer – I hate these guys with a passion. Not only do they hit hard and take a lotta force to kill (which belays their skinny shapes), they also use poisons which add to the hurt. They’re as versatile as Bandits, ranging from warriors to archers to mages, except they’re about 50% stronger. This is why we have our handy dandy anti-Falmer shield with resist poison and fortify block. It should take care of the warriors and the archers, but if you run into any mages or spellswords you might wanna switch to Spellbreaker. Fortunately, however, they're all blind, which means they rely on sound to locate you, which means our Electromagnetic Boots will make it easier to just sneak on past them with little worry.




Chaurus (Reaper)- Not all that fast, but deceptively strong, especially it's bite attack. It's capable of spitting an acid that will inflict poison damage if it comes into contact with you. Oddly enough, this counts as a spell, so whip out your ol' Spellbreaker if you wanna handle these guys from range. As for their bite attack, you can almost easily evade their more powerful bite attack (the one where they leap at you) by moving to the side or power bashing them. Overall, they aren't that agile, so one by itself shouldn't be "that" bad. That said, watch out for swarms!




Chaurus Hunter (Fledgling)- Fully matured variants of the aforementioned Chaurus, these guys won't show up until mid-late into the playthrough. Most of the time, they're stuck in their chrysalis, until you walk over and disturb them. You can, however, sneak past them while they're asleep. This is good if we've got our set of Electromagnetic Boots to keep us quiet. If not, or if they're not in chrysalis mode, they're a bit faster and swifter than their previous form, and multiple Hunters can make quick work of you if you're not careful. Their poison still counts as a spell, so Spellbreaker is still relevant for these guys. Other than this, they're pretty much the same as before.







Magic Disruptor Barrier – Spellbreaker + Elemental Protection + Ward Absorb + Aetherial Crown
By tinkering around with the Spellbreaker, the Dwarven Engineer is able to increase its potency to such a higher degree that all non-physical attacks are utterly nullified and recycled when they come into contact with the shield’s energy barrier

Ion Field – Lightning Cloak + Wall of Storms + Charged Stun Blade
The Dwarven Engineer can remove a few of the limiters on his armor, allowing him to create a localized field of energy that continuously damages all enemies in range. Using his Charged Stun Blade’s stunning capabilities, he can keep enemies within the field for much longer.

Nchuak’s Armor – Visage of Mzund + Well Fitted + Matching Set
The Dwarven Scholar found the Visage one day and decided to tinker with it. By linking its fortifying powers to his armor he’s managed to increase its synergy. By equipping the helm both his body and his armor are fortified at the cost of some energy from the Crown.

Ionic Overload – Secret of Arcana +Lightning Cloak + Lightning Storm
Once a day, the Dwarven Engineer can release the limiters set within his armor, overloading it and allowing him to fire a high-power stream of unquantifiable destructive energy which obliterates everything in its path. Enemies who get to close to him will find themselves burned by the excess energy pouring out of his armor.










So there you have it! My very first build. It's still incomplete, and I plan on working on it when I have more time, but for now this is what I've got thus far. If you've got any feedback, I'd be happy to hear it. Then, until next time!


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  • My god I can't believe I finally did it...

    • I guess hell really will freeze over. Great job on this.
      • Oblivion never freezes. That's simply Coldharbour.

  • I like this build, but I'd change the races around a little bit to make it more lore friendly, most of the dwarven ruins were in skyrim, morrowind, and hammerfell, so I would recommend playing a nord, dark elf, or redguard just for lore's sake
    • The chosen recommended races were picked for their stat relevance.

      Besides that, just about anyone in Tamriel can be a Dwemer enthusiast with a good bit of roleplay.

      • That's true, stat bonuses don't really matter and they are just a convenience
  • This is a pretty solid build Blackblood. I certainly hope we see more builds from you in the future. My only situation at this time would be to give a brief explanation of when you'd typically use the 4 special moves you listed. 

    • Grazie for the feedback. I'll see about that at some point in the future.

  • When i first read this i had a hard time believing that this was your first build. Written like a true master. Good mix of everything. Solid build, solid presentation.
    • Ehhhhhh... It's always something that bites me when I look at it that says "you could add more."

      But grazie for the opinion. I've had this build in my head for quite a few months now.

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