It has been awhile CB and that is due to a few factors. This character has changed so much that the original idea is gone. It went from a Thaumaturge, to Shadowmage, and I eventually wanted to see if I could do all of those and more in one build. I have seen few true "jack-of-all-trades" builds in the truest sense. Those that I have seen are sometimes missing a few things that I personally enjoy OR they are just straight up crafting nightmares. I wanted to present a build that could be everything by representing all of the skills with no glitches, exploits, or crafting as I sometimes get bogged down with those and can make the game not fun anymore.
This build has been in the works for awhile and before getting into it I want to thank the generous Skype peeps with helping make sense of any of my scrambled ramblings (Tim Faroe, Ponty, Skally, Matt Feeney, Dragon, Vazgen, Jo, Snacks, Ky). You have all helped along the way in major ways.
Factotum, from the Latin fac totum, "do/make everything." A build that does all, seeks all, and accomplishes all. Skills in Skyrim are broken down into three paths: Magic, Combat, and Stealth. Through the use of all 3 in unique ways, I was able to dive into each and every one (negating those grindy crafting skills!) and still come out on top in one of my most extensive builds I have attempted. The result was a really fun character that could approach any quest and any enemy and have the know-how and capability to succeed with any choice that I made.
Race: Any, I chose Orsimer.
Stone: The Lover. Learn all skills 15% faster!
Shouts: All. Key shouts are: Marked For Death, Throw Voice
Skills: All except for Smithing, Alchemy, and Enchanting. (Light/Heavy Armor swap)
Armor: Blades Cuirass, Blades Boots, Blades Gauntlets
Shields: Blades Shield, Auriel's Shield, Torch
Headgear: Diadem of the Savant. 5% reduction of spell costs in all schools of magic.
Found Rings and/or Amulets: Peerless...
Wielding, Archery, Illusion, Sure Grip, Deft Hands
Weapons: Bound Sword, Bound Bow, Bound Dagger/Mehrune's Razor, Ebony Blade, Wabbajack
Stat Ratio: 1/1/0 (M/H/S)
Guilds: All. Favor the College first and branch into the Thieves, Companions, and Dark Brotherhood accordingly.
Civil War Allegiance: Imperial Legion
Into The Everything
You may be thinking this is impossible, unfun, or even the inevitable "not worth it". If you have ever seemed not too satisfied with a character, gotten bored halfway through, or even wondered what it would be like to keep one save file for all of your Skyrim doings, this will be enjoyable for you. I often wondered why I should perk every skill but I found that by doing so, I was committed to the idea that this character can do everything to a reasonable degree and to take charge with key perks in every skill. Here is the level 65 (yes, 65) perk spread that I came up with that honed in the incredible Lover's Stone and taking each skill into the deserving light that each one should be in.
I began this character that with the incredible diversity of the Conjuration skill I would be able to tackle all of the major combat skills that are included within the Combat path. Bound weapons, more specifically the sword and the bow, become the Factotum's bread and butter when venturing the lands of Skyrim. Going along with a heavy focus in the Magic path, Alteration is the tool belt of the Factotum. Utility is the name of the game, providing extra protection both physical and magical, heightened senses, paralyzes, breathing under water, and seeing in the dark. Illusion is interesting as with few perks invested and the ability to dual cast (the only magic school I decided to do so) the Factotum can control basic humanoid and animal enemies up to levels 35-41 with respect to only using Novice and Apprentice skills while helping to cast spells quietly and remain totally muffled in heavy armor. Destruction, sometimes requiring a lot of perk investment to make an element viable, is available to us in the form of runes as they will be dealing 50 damage, and in some cases, for no magicka. (Wait for magicka to recharge before engaging). Restoration is our skill for healing and basic recovery when dealing in our Master difficulty world.
The Combat skills that the Factotum possesses rely on our magical abilities to form weapons. These bound weapons are conjured to further progress the One Handed (Bound Sword), Archery (Bound Bow), and Two Handed (Bound Battle Axe, eventually Ebony Blade). Since none of the weapons this build uses requires smithing, pure perk damage will assist in taking down enemies with ease with the help of discovered ring and amulet loot which can be interchangeable. Heavy Armor is a great choice for the Factotum as it provides quite a bit of defense (plus Ebony Flesh) which will allow you to take on enemies face to face in any situation. Block quickly became the life saver of this build in severe situations, taking perks to reduce damage taken from physical and ranged damage, spells and magic, as well as added reflexes when dealing with heavy hitters. Diadem of the Savant works with the "Well Fitted" perk and will aid in cost reductions nicely. Wooh to both!
As the least "focused" of the three paths, the Stealth skills allow the Factotum to truly round out his versatility and delve into the deceptive and stealthy arts. Sneak allows the Factotum to not only stay unnoticed but to deal extreme amounts of damage should he/she so choose to take on a specific area without raising attention. All weapons (barring the Ebony Blade) will benefit from the 6x (Sword), 3x(Bow), and 15x(Dagger) damage boosts when in a hidden position. The Pickpocket skill is invaluable to the true thief and to the Thieve's Guild quest line. Leveling this skill takes little to no time and allows for an immense carry weight of 100lbs. Lockpicking is not often thought of as a "perked" skill but the ease of stealing becomes true when you have quicker hands. Speech is made to shine when you are able to sell any item to any merchant, allowing the Factotum to speak and reason with any shopkeeper or merchant to gain wealth from all over. Light Armor, for the purposes of choosing Orsimer, is not perked. Anyone is more than welcome to choose Light Armor instead of Heavy Armor as it may fit their race/playstyle/RP even better.
The Factotum, as you can tell from the perk spread, can delve into every skill but does not master any of them. You will inevitably hit the 100 mark in a good number of skills but that will just come from heavy usage of everything. Crafting was not taken in this build to refrain from making the build too grindy (which makes it way too boring for me), too powerful (I hate being overpowered when gaming for real), and too "bound to the tables." Everything available to the Factotum levels organically with pure adventuring and questing. Followers are extremely helpful as well as the temporary summons and minions that come from Conjuration and Illusion.
As an Orsimer, Bound Weapons become extremely viable through the Berserker Rage racial ability. Effectively doubling weapon damage immediately, even the Bound Bow, tough fights will become simpler when taking half damage as well. Along with playing as an Orsimer, your pariah-type race is well known. Do not squander opportunities given to you and be accepting of everyone. Be the bigger Orc.
It is not recommended to remain a Werewolf or a Vampire. These skills/abilities tend to take away from the true nature of the basic 18 (14) skills and do not add too much to gameplay IMO with regards to this character build. It will be up to you when you are choosing your particular RP/race and specific gameplay but when an Orsimer is involved I wanted to leave him without any power advantages or weaknesses. This character is also advised to take charge in all quest lines, random encounters, Daedric Lord encounters, and everything in-between. Some "crafting" is to be OK with this build. The occasional steel ingot for our armor (does not require perk for upgrading double), the occasional ring/amulet, and maybe a favorite poison is OK. Your Enchanting skill alone will go through the roof with using and recharging the Wabbajack alone (Azura's Star is key here). I personally did not use any tables, but it would not be game breaking to the build as long as no grinding occurs and no perks are taken. The Staff Enchanter and Imbuing Chamber played a nice addition to magical attacks.
Fitting The Bill
The Factotum is hard to pin down as a class in specifics. Their skills, in our case we have 14 in total, pale other classes in that they can mimic the effects of any class they wish. These are taken from Oblivion:
Magic - Battlemage, Healer, Mage, Nightblade, Sorcerer, Spellsword, Witchhunter
Combat - Archer, Barbarian, Crusader, Knight, Rogue, Scout, Warrior
Stealth - Acrobat, Agent, Assassin, Bard, Monk, Pilgrim, Thief
With just the right amount of perks in each skill the Factotum can shift into any of these roles and then some. It has been an absolute blast to play and one that I highly recommend for anyone who has restartitis. You will be intimidated at first given the sheer amount of perk investment across 14/18 skills in the game but the leveling is some of the fastest I have ever experienced. Whenever it gets slow, go to the skills that you are the lowest in and begin to focus on those. The use of the Lover Stone allows all skills to be learned equally fast and you are never going to feel hindered in your quest to progress as trainers can level you through your vast amounts of eventual wealth to you designated levels in all skills. Nothing is required above 90!
I was very hesitant to put any race specific pictures or art in this build post as this can be taken on with any of them but I did want to represent what I experienced personally. I highly recommend playing as an Orc not only for their invaluable racial ability but the feeling that they are master "crafters" of their own skill, never being bogged down by difficulties, something an Orc excels at. Please enjoy as I have and let me know what you think.