Ah, coin… Was there anything better in this world? Gleaming, glinting, shiny gold coins…
“My name? Oh, don’t worry about that, darling, just sit back and relax. I promise this night will be unforgettable…” I purred in the ear of the fat noble. A fool, just like all Nords, always with his mind in his pants. His stomach jiggled as he grew excited, all the while I slipped my tail into his pocket and extracted his safe key. Magicka appeared in my hand behind his skull and I weaved a spell, soothing the man and filling his mind with all manner of erotic illusions...
It seems my time at this place has come to an end. Cyrodiil had run it’s course and where else was there to go next but Skyrim? The Nord fell asleep in his chair, thanks to the poisoned drink I slipped him earlier, and I left the tavern, my tail flicking as I descended into the dark streets. A knight was passing by, riding upon a horse and he looked down at me with interest.
“Bit late for a lady to be walkin’ about… Where you headed?”
I didn’t answer him, but merely put an arrow through his knee. “Sorry dear, but I need to borrow your horse…” I smirked before mounting the beast and heading off.
Hmph. Men. All fools.
One of the most interesting challenges of bringing what was originally a joke build (because that’s how all the best builds start) to life in Skyrim was deciding what archetype fit the Lusty Argonian Maid best. Sure, there's plenty of suggestive references to spears in the books, but we just couldn't imagine Lifts-Her-Tail swinging around a hefty, blood stained pole-arm and getting up close and personal against Skyrim’s toughest bruisers.
With that being said, our rendition of the Lusty Argonian Maid is a seductive and charming maid by day and daring master thief by night. With nothing but her wits and charm our lusty lizard is constantly a step ahead of both her enemies and admirers. And really, who can honestly bring themselves to fight back against such a beautiful maiden, hmm?
As you may have guessed by now, Speech is the centerpiece of this build and it proves itself to be far more than just some throwaway skill most builds only use for RP. Its greatest quality is eliminating the need for crafting, and who doesn’t love a no crafting build? Stores often sell items that would require heavy crafting investment to match and they tend to cost more than a house! Literally. Speech perks drastically drop the cost of all items and increases the worth of everything you sell. The end result is walking away with exceptionally powerful trinkets with no training and no need to empty out your wallet!
Exotic scrolls, staves, concoctions and more can all be added to your bag of tricks, and all you have to do is sweet talk a few shopkeepers. With such a wide range of possibilities at her disposal, the Lusty Argonian Maid can become among the most versatile and deviously unpredictable build to ever tread the roads of Skyrim!
Race: Female Argonian (duh). Argonians get a great boost to Sneak and can recover health in a pinch. We will be playing an argonian female, unless you choose to play as the Sultry Argonian bard ;)
Stone: Lady Stone. You’ll be rolling and maneuvering a lot so naturally the improved stamina regen will come in handy.
Stat Distribution: 1M 1H 1S. Once health & stamina reach 200, place all points into magicka from then on out. Your goal is to avoid damage so health isn't so important here. Magicka is key especially with dual casted illusions.
Shouts: Lusty maid, master thief, and hero of Nordic legend?!? I think not. Lifts-Her-Tail just isn’t the heroic, dragon slaying type, thus she uses no shouts.
Powers: Lover’s Insight, Gift of Charity, Agent of Dibella
Blessing: Dibella’s Blessing
- Weapon - Any bow of choice enchanted with Paralysis ( 1 second duration)
- Clothes - Tavern Cloths
- Boots - Any boots you want enchanted with Muffle
This is technically a no crafting build because not a single perk is invested into a crafting skill. But a select few enchantments maintain the same potency regardless of your enchanting level ... So we're gonna cheat a lil' bit. Paralysis is an invaluable enchantment for your bow. Even a duration of 1 second will knock an enemy down, forcing them to waste several seconds getting back up. Muffle, along with the Silence and Light-foot perk will make you much better at sneaking around, so be sure to acquire that enchantment as soon as possible.
One-Handed is also an option, if you know what we mean... ^_^
Speech - The silver tongue is mightier than the sword, as they say, and you’ll easily see the truth behind the phrase soon enough. Speech is such a powerful skill tree, that does SO much more than just liven up one’s role-play experience. And it’s made even stronger when paired with its partner in crime, Pickpocketing. With those two skills in hand, every city becomes a sprawling five-finger discount store, and the guards will happily let you carry on once buttered up with a few honeyed words.
Pickpocketing - The jelly to speech’s peanut butter. As it turns out, the most precious valuables aren’t locked away in safe boxes, but rather stored in pockets. Watch and be amazed and how fast pickpocket allows you to amass both levels and gold. The pace gets even more ludicrous once you get into pickpocketing money back from trainers. Sweet talk a guard and throw some septims his way, and then pick the gold right back out of his pockets.
Archery - Lifts-Her-Tail prefers to keep her distance from her enemies, thus she prefers bows. It’s a wise choice, given her rather meager health and defense. Fortify Archery accessories are very common in stores, and our sweet talking argonian will be flush with enough septims to buy these very early in her adventure. In the end you’ll be able to deal respectable damage with a bow without any crafting necessary.
Sneak - Quite an important skill for the Maid, especially considering the fact that this build plays it rather dangerously with zero armor. Remaining unseen when needed is critical in battle, and fortunately the Maid is quite adept at doing just that. Light clothing, combined with various sneak perks make the Maid exceedingly difficult to detect.
Illusion - Lifts-Her-Tail is a master of manipulation, addling the minds of men from the safety of the shadows like a master puppeteer. Quiet casting is critical, allowing her to use all manner of spells and magical items in complete silence. Illusion is an invaluable third partner to the dynamic duo of speech and pickpocketing. For a calmed enemy cannot report crimes and can do not but blissfully watch as that pretty argonian makes off with all their valuables.
As soon as you leave Helgen, head to Riverwood and Whiterun pickpocketing along the way. Sell everything you steal to raise speech to level 30 for the bribe perk, Speech and pickpocket can be leveled in tandem by bribing guards and pickpocketing the money back from them. At level 50 speech you can grab the persuade perk which will make pickpocketing even easier to get away with. Once you’ve gained a few thousand septims, head to Radiant Raiments in Solitude. It’s the easiest place to find an Amulet of Dibella early on (before you grab the Amulet of Articulation, course) and to find a nice enchanted Circlet too!
We highly recommend joining the Thieves Guild as soon as you can. It is a phenomenal source of money, and a great opportunity to level up all of your thief skills, especially sneak and pickpocket. Archery will level up naturally as you progress. The best way to get a head start on it is to complete the love letter quest in Faendel’s favor and take him on as a follower. You will be able to trade back any money you give Faendel towards archery training. Illusion will also be a fast leveling skill, considering you will start off most of your bouts with some illusion spells.
If you’re the highly impatient type, you can take advantage of the Mystic Tuning Glove exploit to max out illusion in mere minutes. All you have to do is accept the quest to cleanse the magick focal points from Drevis Neloran of the College of Winterhold. The second focal point bestows a unique buff that boosts magicka regeneration through the roof. Take advantage of this by spamming muffle in both hands. You’ll never run out of magicka to cast it. Be advised that this buff only lasts two real time hours.
What a lovely night for larceny.
So, what’s a girl to do with all this money?
One of the more vexing concerns that come about with a speech and pickpocket heavy builds is what to do with all those ill-gotten septims. Well, money is meant to be spent as the saying goes. Scrolls, staves, potions, poisons, you name it. Anything goes when money's no object. Store bought goodies open up a wide range of powerful options and offer a level of variety you couldn’t even scratch the surface of.
The best part of all this is unloading all of these powerful toys in battle with no training at all. Merchants sell goodies that often rival what a master craftsman could make. Here’s a few shopping suggestions for you. These are what we used, but don’t be afraid to buy and try what you want. The sky’s the limit here.
Staves - Your top choices here are going to be the staff of chain lightning, ice storm, and staffs of storm atronach. Pretty much anything that can slow down or pre-occupy a group of aggressors in a pinch. Staff of chain lightning staggers enemies and the staff of ice storm has a chance of slowing enemies to a crawl.
Scrolls - Lots of potent options here! Scrolls of Mass Paralysis will incapacitate an entire room while you run off with everything not bolted to the floor. Scrolls of Guardian Circle will help tremendously should your adventures in larceny and seduction happen lead you to any of the deadly Nordic crypts that dot Skyrim’s landscape.
Potions & Poisons - The best potions to buy are ones that boost your bow damage, as well as the potency of your illusion spells. Be on the lookout for fortify illusion, and marksman potions. Invisibility potions invaluable when you need a quick get-away. Other useful concoctions to consider include fortify speech, magicka and stamina. And As far as poisons go, you can't go wrong with paralysis.
Tricks of the Trade
Requires: Agent of dibella + Lover’s Insight + Allure perk
Why are the pretty ones always so dangerous? The men in your life just can't seem to stay focused around you and take 20% extra damage from all of your bow attacks. You’ll also find male shopkeepers to be 20% more generous with their prices.
Dead in Their Tracks
Requires: Bow w/ Paralysis Enchantment + Bulls Eye Perk + Powershot + Quickshot
Most thieves prefer not to kill if it can be helped. It’s bad for business after-all. When faced with a pursuing aggressor our lovely maiden can stop them dead in their tracks with one well placed shot. Each attack has a very high chance of stunning or outright paralyzing an enemy for several seconds.
Requires: Histskin + Shadow Warrior + Invisibility Potion
Even the best thieves need a proper exit strategy, and when the best of plans go awry our lusty friend prefers flight over fight. Escape any dicey situation in a snap and rapidly replenish any lost health.
Requires: Pacify/Calm + Misdirection + Perfect Touch + Extra Pockets, Dual-casting (optional), Illusion Potion (optional)
Help your enemies slip into something a little more...comfortable, if you know what we mean. Your dexterous yet sensual touch can strip the armor and weapons right off a man’s back before he even notices, and your sultry charm will leave him unwilling to stop you even if you’re caught.
- Thieves generally dont enjoy leaving a messy trail of dead bodies, and Lifts-Her-Tail is no different. These tricks of the trade are designed to render enemies harmless or enable a fast getaway if all else fails.
- 'Lusty yet Deadly' takes advantage of the fact that the majority of enemy NPCs encountered are men. Multiple passive abilities are combined to make male enemies more susceptible to physical damage. And as an added bonus male shop keepers are even easier to butter up.
- 'Dead in Their Tracks' is a passive combo that makes it much easier to escape pursuers since each shot will have a very high chance of staggering or paralyzing an enemy for several seconds. By the time the enemy has recovered from paralysis, Lifts-Her-Tail will be long gone.
- 'Escape Artist' is best used in dire emergencies where a fast getaway and some healing is required. While you're invisible you will have ample time to assess your current predicament.
- Sometimes the best strategy is to render enemies harmless from the start. 'Striptease' is a devious combination that lets you strip and enemy of all their equipped weapons and armor and get off scott free even if your pickpocketing fails. Casting calm on an enemy before pickpocketing them renders them unable to retaliate even if they catch you pickpocketing. This is a pretty useful combination should you find yourself having to sneak past multiple enemies or want to keep a particularly strong enemy from being a threat. Dual casting and illusion potions will give your calm spells a much needed boost against higher level enemies.
- You're by no means limited to just the tactics and combinations above. Shop often for powerful staves, scrolls, and concoctions and you will be well prepared to handle any situation.
Role-play & Quests
With her sultry charms acting as a cover for larceny, one of the easiest agreements we came to was joining the Thieves Guild. The many guards and mercenaries guarding the prize behind every major heist prove, in many cases, to be an overwhelming challenge to those lacking the wit and guile to evade them. Luckily those happen to be this character's specialty, and the quest-line leaves no shortage of opportunities to apply said specialties.
While you're out there pilfering everything of value, resist the urge present in most pickpocketing builds to reset your game when pickpocketing fails. Just roll with it, and sweet talk the authorities into letting it slide. Apply your calming charm to your mark prior to picking their pockets and they wont even bother alerting the guards if you're caught red handed.
Despite the Thieves Guilds rather lax attitude toward killing everyone that stands between you and the prize, do try your best not to. Its a greater test of ones skill as a player to complete a heist with as few deaths as possible, and it fits better with the character as well.
And lastly. Try befriending NPCs by performing quests on their behalf. Many of them will welcome you into their home as a result, and make them much easier to rob blind.
This build was tested on Vanilla Skyrim, but if you're lucky enough to have access to the game on PC consider using these mods to enhance your gameplay experience.
Racemenu - The difficult challenge for some may be creating an attractive female argonian. Racemenu opens up countless additional customizatio options
Sadistic Mage Mash-up Outfit - Adds a beautifully rendered light armor set that almost resembles the Lusty Argonian Maids trademark french maid outfit, but with a fitting roguish upgrade.
Immersive Speechcraft - A simple mod that add some much needed value to the Speech skill and give the player the ability to interact with NPCs in interesting ways. With a high enough speech level, one can convince an NPC to do all sorts of things.
Simply Knock - A simple mod that allows you to knock on doors and potentially be invited into homes, if your speech levels are high enough.
Pretty Combat Animations- A fully customizable pack of animation geared towards making combat animations less clunky and more graceful.
Closing Remarks & Credits
As always we hope you enjoy this build as much as we enjoyed making it. I'd like to thank Tae-Rai who has been an invaluable partner throughout the collaborative process.