As of right now, the backstory for this character is still a work in progress. I know where I want to go with it, but have had lots of work lately and haven't found time to polish it enough. I will add it to the build as soon as I am satisfied with it ; the rest of the build being essentially finished, allow me to introduce my take on the Barbarian class : Ulfgar, The Lone Wolf.
To play as Ulfgar, the soldier of fortune, here is a list of the mods you will need, as well as a few suggestions.
ESSENTIAL MODS :
Alternate Start Choose to start camping in the wilderness if you wish to follow the backstory
RECOMMENDED MODS :
NB : The latter three essentially act as a replacement for 20/50/100% more perk point mods that come with Ordinator. I prefer to play with these, as exploration (Skyshards), defeating epic enemies (PPA) and mastering more and more skills (PP@SL) make perk points feel like a reward for your acomplishments, rather than just something you get double every few levels. It is up to your preference, however, you could bypass these and just get any perk point modifier on the Ordinator page.
Ulfgar feasting in Jorrvaskr.
Name : Ulfgar
Age : 33
Class archetype : Barbarian
Race : Nord
With Imperious installed, Nords start with a base Health of 110 (regen rate 0.75%), base Magicka of 85 (regen rate 2.875%) and base Stamina of 105 (regen rate 5.25%), and a carrying capacity of 325.
Their racial abilities include Warrior's Heart, which increases attack and spell damage by up to 40% based on missing Health, The Purge, which lets you select three different races other than Nord at levels 10, 20 and 30, increasing your damage to them by 35%, and finally Child of Skyrim, which grants 25% Frost resistance, and an additional 50% when their active abitity, Avatar, is active.
Speaking of Avatar, it is a one use a day power that regenerates 10% of total Magicka and Stamina per second for 30 seconds. It is unlocked by clearing any 10 dungeons.
As for The Purge, the three races you should choose are Imperial, Dunmer and Altmer ; the order depends on what content you aim to do first. Imperial is a good choice for the Civil War, Altmer is a good choice for the main questline, and Dunmer is a good choice when you're in Solstheim.
Standing Stone : The Warrior
With Andromeda installed, the Warrior Stone has two passive properties and one active ability.
For passives, Fierce Spirit makes your Power Attacks deal 15% more damage, and your ranged weapons deal up to the same bonus percentage based on shot distance ; Warrior's Path makes all of your Warrior skills progress 10% faster.
The active ability, Star of the West, is unlocked through discovering every standing stone in Skyrim. It is a one use a day power, that allows you entirely replenish your Health and Stamina, while fortifying them by the amount restored for 30 seconds.
Stat Distribution : 1 - Stop perking Stamina when you reach around 300 and put all further points into Health./ /
Factions : Stormcloak Rebellion, The Companions, Skaal-Friend
Alignment : Chaotic Neutral
These are examples of quests that make sense role-play wise for Ulfgar, the solitary berserker. Please note, these lists are non-exhaustive, in no particular order, and are overall just a way for you to get started into roleplaying the character.
QUESTLINES : Main quest, Dragonborn DLC, Civil War (Ulfgar will join the Stormcloaks), Companions Questline
MAIN QUESTS : Thirsk Mead Hall (Ulfgar will side with his Nord kinsmen in order to retake Thirsk), Skaal village quests, Ancestral Worship, Infiltration, Lights Out !, Rise In The East, The White Phial, Repairing the Phial, The Forsworn Conspiracy (Ulfgar will defend the interests of the Silver-Blood family), Missing in Action
MISC QUESTS : Find all standing stones, Amren's Family Sword, Armor for Erik, Roggi's Ancestral Shield, Court Steward Bounties, Companions radiant quests
As a Barbarian, Ulfgar's best defense is a good offense ; he mostly uses speed and critical strikes to wreak havoc on the battlefield. Let's review the key perks here :
ALCHEMY - A skill seldom used by Barbarians ; that being said, in most Scandinavian cultures, from which the Elder Scrolls Nords are heavily inspired, Berserkers were warriors of inhuman strength, and it was said they made use of alchemical concoctions to empower themselves - often at the cost of their sanity. As such, Ulfgar is no great alchemist by any means, but he is capable of brewing basic potions to bolster his battle prowess.
- Physician : As he bears no shield, doesn't use Restoration magic or enchanted gear, and is wrapped in light armor, Ulfgar needs the extra help from this perk to stay alive in combat. Choose to increase the magnitude of your Health potions.
- Crimson Haze : This perk has amazing synergy with the rest of the build, whose only mobility option is movement speed.
- Witchmaster : A perfect fit for a berserker - Ulfgar benefits from a lot of these possible side effects, most notably Free Power Attacks and Infinite Health.
BLOCK - Ulfgar's prowess with a warhammer is such that he also knows how to use its handle to deflect a blow or break jaws.
- Poke the Dragon : This perk synergizes extremely well with a crit-based build ; indeed, critical strike damage is calculated by multiplying the initial damage of the blow, so boosting your base damage is always interesting.
- Quick Reflexes : The two main things Ulfgar has to be wary about in combat are ranged spells and melee power attacks ; this perk gets rid of the latter.
- Skull Rattler : The damage added to your power bashes is nothing to scoff at ; besides, you'll find yourself bashing a lot in combat, so you'll make use of it a lot.
- Mocking Blow : Despite preventing your enemies from fleeing, this perk is defensive in nature ; halting Stamina regeneration completely prevents your opponents from attempting power attacks - which can be devastating if they land, considering you're wearing light armor.
LIGHT ARMOR - Barbarians, as opposed to most combat classes, traditionally favor Light Armor, trading the higher protection offered by Heavy Armor for speed and freedom of movement.
- As a Leaf : Given that Ulfgar doesn't have any gapclosing abilities besides sheer movement speed, you'll find yourself sprinting a lot in combat ; this perk ensures you can do so unhindered.
- Lightning Strike : This perk allows you to make quick work of the closest melee enemies, giving archers and mages less time to react before you inevitably close the gap and crush them under your hammer.
- Fight or Flight : An amazing perk overall, taking a hit will give you enough Stamina to either block the next blow, power attack to retaliate,.or quickly sprint out of the way of a subsequent attack.
- Survival Instinct : Very good against archers, as taking an arrow means you'll reach them even quicker ; also has great synergy with Fight or Flight, since the movement speed boost also applies to sprinting speed.
- Expert Smithing (Orcish) : It may seem odd at first to pick a Heavy Armor smithing specialization for a build that uses Light Armor ; this perk, however, will allow you to temper your weapon, The Longhammer, twice as much, hence why you should take it over the other option.
SPEECH - As for Alchemy, Speech is not a skill traditionally used by Barbarians ; however, Ordinator gives Speech a whole branch dedicated to Shouts, which is way too good to pass up.
- Windborne : Ulfgar benefits from mostly two things : attack damage, and movement speed. This perk provides both whenever you Shout. And it stacks.
- Thu'um of War : This perk gives us both offensive capabilities by literaly negating the armor of your opponents, as well as a much needed crowd control option.
TWO-HANDED - Ulfgar solely relies on a sturdy warhammer when it comes to weaponry ; his skill with such a weapon is unmatched, even by the greatest of warriors.
- Death or Glory : This perk has incredible synergy with the Nord racial ability Warrior's Heart. It allows for literal one-shots of even the most heavily protected opponents when your Health bar gets low enough.
- Trample : Ulfgar's way of dealing with archers and mages is fairly straightforward : run at them, crush their skull.
- Massacre : Being focused on critical strike damage, Ulfgar greatly benefits from effects that increase the already incredible attack speed of The Longhammer.
- Voice of Rage & Ruin : Not only does this perk grant us free Elemental Fury procs - as it should be the power you have selected by default - but it also procs Windborne from the Speech tree. Overall, this is probably the most important perk in the whole build.
- Batter : This is where our critical damage comes from ; this perk also passively doubles your critical strike damage, making it a perfect fit in conjunction with Lightning Strike from the Light Armor tree.
- The Pendulum : As you know by now, critical strikes are great ; but there's one thing that's even better than a critical strike : an AOE critical strike.
- Grand Slam : Some quick math on this perk : even if you're still at your base Stamina level for some reason (which is 105 for Nords), your critical power attack deals a whopping 315% bonus damage. With the Batter perk, it means 730% bonus damage on your power attacks. And it keeps scaling as your Stamina increases ; with the final build having 305 Stamina, it equates to your critical power attacks dealing 1830% more damage.
A quick note on Lycanthropy : while doing the Companions questline, I chose to not cure Ulfgar's, as being a werewolf fits the general idea I had for the character. Should you want to focus more heavily on that, I would recommend you use Growl. It provides a much deeper and more interesting perk tree than the Vanilla game, and also allows you to customize the appearance of your form - you can even be a Werebear ! That being said, I didn't end up using the Beast Form power at all to be honest, as the build fully functions without it, I simply took Lycanthropy as a nice RP addition to Ulfgar. Therefore, using the Beast form and perking the Werewolf Tree it is up to your personal preference.
The choice of weapon, most notably, is key for this build to fully work ; indeed, The Longhammer has increased attack speed, which makes it the actual highest-DPS two-handed weapon in the game, but this effect doesn't count as an enchantment ; therefore, you're able to use the Elemental Fury Shout while wielding it.
Weapons - The Longhammer, which you can find in Liar's Retreat in the Reach, south of Dragon Bridge. To get it to have a more distinct appearance, I used a mod that is probably a staple in most load orders by now : Unique Uniques.
Armor - I went with the gorgeous Blood Horker Light Armor, from Unplayable Faction Armors. I was always a fan of NordWarUA's work, and am glad to be able to include some of it in a build. Should you want to stick to the base game, Savior's Hide provides some well-needed Magic Resist. For useful enchants should you find enchanted boots and bracers, and an enchanted helmet, see the Jewelry section. Do keep in mind, however, that you might want to invest an extra perk in Arcane Blacksmith in the Smithing tree if you're using enchanted gear.
Jewelry - Useful enchants include Fortify Health, Fortify Health Regen, Fortify Stamina, Fortify Stamina Regen, Fortify Block, Resist Magic and all specific variants, and Fortify Two-Handed.
Miscellaneous - You should always carry crafted Health and Stamina potions. For boss fights, Fortify Two-Handed potions can also come in handy. Don't hesitate to use lower-level potions (Minor Health/Stamina, or even Magicka potions you might find in your travels); to activate Stimulants, Crimson Haze, and Witchmaster.
While people may see Ulfgar as a hero, he doesn't claim nor want to be one. Perhaps, as his understanding of the Way of the Voice gets deeper, he will realize it doesn't take a hero to simply do the right thing, and he doesn't need to be one.
- Elemental Fury
- Marked for Death
- Whirlwind Sprint
THUNDERCHILD BONUS ABILITIES
- Storm Crown : Shout cooldown is removed when you enter or leave combat.
- Thundering Echoes : The first shout you use in combat has no cooldown.
- Way of Peace : Shouts have a greatly reduced cooldown out of combat.
Undying Frenzy (Passive) : Warrior's Heart + Death or Glory + Survival Instinct
Ulfgar's rage grows as the battle goes on ; the more damage he suffers, the deadlier he becomes.
Unstoppable Charge : Trample + Annoying Mosquitoes + Grand Slam
Ulfgar rushes at his target, mitigating their attacks, and slams them with his warhammer, dealing devastating damage.
Ferocious Roar : Elemental Fury OR Voice of Rage & Ruin + Windborne + The Longhammer
Ulfgar uses the Voice to become crazed, allowing him to decimate his foes with a flurry of heavy strikes.
The Beast Within : Dismay + Thu'um of War + The Pendulum
Ulfgar unleashes the power of the animal inside him ; his enemies are paralyzed in terror as he culls them down.
Jaw Breaker : Quick Reflexes + Skull Rattler + Mocking Blow
Ulfgar interrupts an enemy power attack with a quick pommel strike to the teeth, damaging, staggering and enraging his target.
Annihilate : Marked for Death + Thundering Echoes + Elemental Fury + Power attack
With a conjuction of Voice and hammer, Ulfgar can obliterate even the strongest foe.
STRENGTHS : Extremely fun to play, insane damage output in single-target, decent cleave damage, decent sustain, challenging but highly rewarding, viable through all stages of the game and in any difficulty, no reliance on enchantments, and only a few, easily-obtainable ones are relevant.
WEAKNESSES : No ranged options, vulnerable to slows, weak against archers and magic users if they have a superior vantage point.
Ulfgar, The Lone Wolf.
Ulfgar is a Barbarian, a combat-focused class that is way harder to play, and way less one-dimensional, than it seems at first glance ; the basic principle of the class might be to heedlessly rush forward, but the actual combat application requires clever target selection, good movement, and thoughtful Stamina management. That being said, combat remains excessively fun and fast-paced, which is what makes the Barbarian one of the most enjoyable combat specs to play.
Your main approach to combat, contrarily to most melee classes - which try to gapclose to the farthest enemy, and drag the rest of their foes to them along the way - is to meet the closest baddies head on, making use of the Lightning Strike perk. Trading your Health for your enemies' is absolutely fine ; it will only make you stronger due to Undying Frenzy. The best-case scenario for you is facing multiple melee enemies, as you're able to make full use of Ferocious Roar. Should your opponents pose too big a threat, The Beast Within will often provide you with good enough CC to thin their ranks.
Against a single, powerful foe, you should look for good timing windows to use Jaw Breaker, and follow it up with a massive Annihilate. Once you've dealt with your opponents in melee range, move from ranged target to ranged target with Unstoppable Charge ; your damage is usually enough to one-shot most ranged enemies, and the Annoying Mosquitoes perk will have made you safe from their attacks before you close the gap on them.
As far as Stamina management goes, you should only Power Attack when your enemy is vulnerable to your next blow, and only to apply the effect of one of your Two-Handed perks, or as a part of Unstoppable Charge or Annihilate. Otherwise, stick to regular attacks, as you can very quickly reach ungoddly amounts of attack speed with the build. That being said, should Witchmaster give you the Free Power Attacks, or Unlimited Stamina buffs, you should of course look to make full use of it.
While most of your mobility relies on sheer movement speed - further enhanced by the use of Alchemy - it's important to note that Whirlwind Sprint is a very useful tool in that regard, and can often come in clutch. Do note, however, that using it hinders your ability to make full use of the Voice's offensive capabilities. The same goes for the Warcry shout ; while the healing it provides is invaluable, it's often better to use Star of the West or Avatar to replenish your resources, if you ever run out of potions, despite the one day cooldown.
This concludes the seventh build I'm posting on The SkyForge, namely my Barbarian build. This is a part of my Project 21 series of builds, which will be my own take on all 21 classes of the TES universe, I can't believe I'm a third of the way there already. My sincerest thanks for the appreciation you guys have shown this project so far. I feel truly blessed.
I was indeed pleasantly surprised that so many people were happy and willing to bounce off ideas, provide useful advice, and generally encourage me in this ambitious endeavour. Thank you very much for welcoming me into the community, and for your support. It is a great source of motivation for me to keep trying my best at crafting these builds.
I would like to extend special thanks to Enai Siaion, creator of Ordinator, Andromeda, Wildcat, Imperious, and many more gameplay-enhancing mods, for making Skyrim an even more amazing game than Bethesda already had, and one I still enjoy playing after almost a decade, as well as to Furrion 17. I tried all of his builds when I got into character building and really had a blast, and the dedication he shows in crafting a good backstory for a good build inspired me to try my hand at it as well. Since I joined this community, Furrion has helped me get started, and has provided me with nothing but kind advice and friendship, for which I am immensely grateful.
That's all from me for now, expect more soon ! Don't hesitate to comment and share your experience playing Ulfgar, I hope you'll have as much fun playing him as I had creating, playing and writing the build he is the star of !
MY OTHER BUILDS
ARCHER : Kastav, the Turncoat
ASSASSIN : Thogra gra-Karosh, the Crimson Dirk
HEALER : Alska, She of the Wild
KNIGHT : Acilius, Alessia's Chosen
NIGHTBLADE : Caesia Tremellius, the Imperial Inquisitor
ROGUE : Thessia, the Rascal
SORCERER : Lanathel, the Bloodsworn
SPELLSWORD : Ariane, the Skystrider
WARRIOR : Kazan, the Lion of Bangkorai
WITCHHUNTER : Taren Verelas, the Beckoner of Retribution