Having never really delved into a truly evil build (Mythic Dawn is pretty evil though) that incorporates raising the dead, I wanted to give it a go. I also wanted to give it a go at a "pure" mage build that only wielded distance spells and did 100% no melee and 100% no sneak. After some really fun experimentation and continuous changing of my build concept from Illusionist, to Magician, to Conjuration Mage, I fell into something really devious.
This build has been a work that has put a smile on my face every time I play it. It combines some of the most powerful schools of magic into a cohesive idea of being an evil, necromantic warlord that strikes fear into all his opponents through the use of illusion and raising the dead.
The Fearmonger is a master illusionist and necromancer that allows for constantly fleeing enemies with undead minions in hot pursuit, a la "giving chase". The Fearmonger, especially in the lower levels, also makes heavy use of Restoration to heal himself as well as using "fear" (repel/turn) spells on undead foes. With the addition of Dawnguard, both Conjuration and Restoration get some additional spells that work nicely together. Necromantic Healing is a helpful tool in the field in case your undead minions are having a tough time fighting harder opponents. Conjure Boneman, Mistman, and Wrathman are invaluable if you do not have corpses to raise allies from. The final main component of the character build is Destruction fire magic. Using the Intense Flames perk and Aspect of Terror perk, you will be even stronger in your fire spells and enemies will flee when mortally wounded. So let's get to the details...
Stones: Ritual and/or Lord
Major Skills: Illusion, Conjuration, Destruction
Minor Skills: Restoration, Speech
Apparel: Necromancer's Robes, Ebony/Daedric Gaunlets and Boots, Masque of Clavicus Vile or Aetherial Crown
This is my first ever vampire build and boy was I missing out on some cool features. I don't know quite as many details as some more seasoned players, but taking the Necromage perk greatly increases many spell durations, effects, and powers. I know someone out there could probably tell me what order to take perks to be most effective or how to fully take advantage of the boosts, but I took perks as they came and it is extremely, extremely powerful. Raising the dead is brought to a whole new level, literally, as the level cap of raising a fallen foe is higher, giving you the ability to Dead Thrall the most powerful of enemies. The other great addition is the ability to turn into a Vampire Lord. WOW. I feel dumb for always being the "good guy" and trying to defeat evil. SO much more fun being on the dark side. Vampire Lord is the epitome of striking fear into your enemy's hearts.
-> I became a vampire at level 16ish. Earlier, the better. <-
Skills and Perks lvl50
Illusion: All perks. Most notable perk would be Aspect of Terror as it boosts both the fear spells and fire spells. Fear is the name of the game, and this skill is the heart of the build.
Conjuration: Undead minions are your army of dread. After your enemies are running in fear, send the dead to hunt them down. Dread zombies, dead thralls, and the new Bone summon spells are the main focus.
--> Flaming Familiars are also HILARIOUS as they chase down baddies and then explode. Too cool, but I have yet to notice any boost to damage from Destruction perks or taking Necromage.
Destruction: The first layer of attack if you need to raise your army and to use from a distance. Firebolt and Fireball are most useful here, as they do not cost as much but still pack a punch. Incinerate is good for higher levels of play. Impact is not needed, as your enemies will be too busy running away, so why stun them when they run?
Restoration: Extremely useful at lower levels. Turn undead spells are your fear spells to use on the undead. Draugr tombs would be very tough without this skill, as Master of the Mind is one of the last Illusion perks you will take. Necromage is the other very important perk. Being a vampire and raising the undead has never been more fun with this perk.
Speech: Intimidation. Strictly for roleplaying, but I thought I am doing a lot of firsts here, so I tried the right side of the speech tree.
-> I like displaying my perks with this calculator here. I also want to mention my stat distribution as I get that question a lot. I went for roughly 3:1:1, but only added stamina later on when my magicka pool was big enough for battles. <-
A couple of points of roleplay that I tried to hone in on once the character concept came into view for me. No calm spells. This build is not a peacemaker. Frenzy spells are very useful to start chaos right off the bat, as it creates fear for the afflicted all around them, causing them to lash out at anyone. Also, the Aetherial Crown is not an important aspect of the build, but having two stones is just too cool. The Ritual stone is my favorite stone as of right now and I don't see my opinion changing. Having 20+ undead following you around for 3 minutes is almost too strong. Necromantic Healing is also a great new spell, as with Regeneration and Respite perks, you can heal your zombie fighters 15 pts per second. Necromantic Healing is useful early on, but at higher character levels, your minions will be extremely powerful they will seldom need it. As a Vampire Lord, new abilities are available to you and are great for this build. Vampiric Drain and Vampiric Grip make you an unstoppable abomination of pure fear. The last point to mention is do not sneak. Why should you? Hiding is for the scared, and you are the essence of fear. I have had the privilege to play many different characters, but this is my all time favorite.
Intense Flames, Aspect of Terror, Hysteria/Rout/Fear, Turn Undead will all make your enemies run in absolute fear. Zombies both from spells and Ritual Stone (and the occasional Flaming Familiar) plus the new undead summons will hunt foes down. Flames, Firebolt, Fireball, Incinerate, and sometimes Fire Storm are another primary source of damage. Combine all three, and you have one formidable character build.
I hope you give this character a shot. It has been a blast and has opened my eyes to being a vampire/evil character. I might include my run ins with the Daedra, as I did not intend on that being a part of the character. Both the intentions of the build and the Dunmer race would have big connections with them. I wish I wish I wish I had this game on PC so I could provide quality screenshots, as my camera against a TV looks absolutely horrible. Will try to produce in game photos soon. Have fun!
TZ has done it again! A fantastic video representation of my Fearmonger. Big thanks to him for all that he does to give us a visual look at what these builds can do!