Character Build: The Old Orc

Body is weary. The road has been long. But there is life in these old hands yet...

Hammer is heavier than it used to be, not like the early years. Hammer remembers many faces, the bones broken, the skulls crushed, the blood sprayed. Pain radiates through my fingers, arms sore from battle, scars too many to count. But there is life in these old hands yet...

Tribes will not accept me. Cities cast me out. No one wants an old, beat-down Orc. Wandering the lands to come closer to the Good Death, I seek a champion to release me of my sorrow and shame...

But I cannot go quietly. My Violence and Rage still burn. Warriors, Wizards, Trolls, Abominations, Dragons: let them come! If I shall die, let it be for Honor. Let it be for Prince Malacath. I welcome death if it knocks at my door, but I will meet it with Violence and Rage, for there is life in these old hands yet...

The Old Orc

After running into The Old Orc in Skyrim, I wanted to explore the lore and history of the Orcs. Turns out, what they traditionally worship and believe in is pretty badass. Their Daedric Prince Malacath was once Trinimac, a strong god of the early Aldmer. Boethiah was said to have eaten (yes, eaten) Trinimac and then excreted the dung that is Malacath. I can't make this stuff up folks... Then again, there are apparently those who disagree with what had happened in the legends, and even Malacath says that certain tale is too "literal". 

Orc culture is centered around the worship of Prince Malacath (who is actually not recognized as a Daedric Prince by other Daedric Princes, which fits his role as "Prince of the Outcasts"). Orcs follow the Code of Malacath, which in essence is a unwritten law that all Orcs follow by not stealing and no unwarranted violence while maintaining honor and strength. (All taken from the UESPWiki). If Orcs break this code, then a "blood price" is paid, in which blood is spilled until the one offended is satisfied. Hardcore, right?

Orcish tribes follow a chief, who is the sole leader and only one allowed to have wives. This is where our Old Orc comes into play. For this build, I take on the role of an Orc passed his prime. Extremely strong, but unwilling to kill one of his own. The Old Orc then embarks on quests to seek adventure before his end, and eventually leading to a Good Death. Being a fierce warrior that has seen many battles, it's going to be awhile before anything can bring down the Old Orc...


Race: Orc

Guardian Stones: Warrior, Lady, Lord, Steed

Dragon Shouts:

Disarm - Shout and roar with such ferocity, your enemy drops his weapon in fear.

Dismay - Your sheer immense size and appearance are enough to strike fear in enemies, but a shout will make sure they run for their lives.

Marked for Death - Do exactly how the shout is named: mark the foes you will bring on the most pain.

Unrelenting Force - Release a shout full of rage to decimate enemies and wipe them off their feet.

Whirlwind Sprint - You may be old, but your strength is unmatched with your age. Bursts of speed can change the result on a battlefield.



Two Handed: Your warhammer is an extension of your powerful arms, crushing bones and steel under immense, earth-shattering blows.

Barbarian 5/5, Skull Crusher 3/3, Champion's Stance, Great Critical Charge, Devastating Blow, Sweep, Warmaster

Heavy Armor: Protection from enemy attacks will be important here. As much as we are accepting death, an Old Orc cannot be seen on the battlefield unless they are sporting armor worthy of lots of violence and rage.

Juggernaut 1/5, Fists of Steel, Well Fitted, Cushioned, Tower of Strength, Conditioning, Matching Set, Reflect Blows

Smithing: Orcs can forge some of the strongest armors in the land. We are aiming for Orcish and Ebony armors to keep with the roleplay.

Steel, Arcane, Dwarven, Orcish, Ebony, Daedric, Dragon


Block: Bash, deadly bash, disarming bash ... all in a days work for an Orc warlord. Old Orcs know all battle tactics to defeat their foes.

Shield Wall 5/5, Quick Reflexes, Power Bash, Deadly Bash, Disarming Bash

Enchanting: Starting bonuses in enchanting prove for extremely powerful gear. Enchanting armors and warhammers offer the most powerful of gear.

Enchanter 5/5, Insightful Enchanter, Corpus Enchanter, Extra Effect, Soul Squeezer, Soul Siphon

Fully smithed and decked out Orcish armor. Badass.


  • No healing. I know, this is tough. That is the point. You are not trekking to seek riches or fame. You are seeking a good death and honor. The only way to recover after battles is to sleep off injuries if a bed is available. You'll have to have a place to take your back pills, too.
  • No magic spells. Honor is not won through trickery. Illusion, conjuration, restoration, alteration, and destruction are off the table. Your hands are bound to your hammer.
  • No stealing. You follow the Code of Malacath. You are no thief. There is no honor in that.
  • No murdering. You face your enemies head on. Honor must be maintained at all times 


  • No followers. You are on your own journey. You can accept temporary aid if on a quest that someone has asked of you, but no asking anyone to follow you.
  • No helmet unless absolutely needed. I went for full on gray hair, massive scars, grayed out right grizzly appearance. Let your enemies see it. Adding helm will activate needed perks (Cushioned, Well Fitted, Reflect Blows)

Equipment (w/ enchants)

Weapons: Volendrung, The Longhammer or Ebony/Daedric/Dragonbone Warhammer (Paralyze + Soul Trap)

Head: Some good choices here. I swap between a Steel Horned Helmet, Helm of Yngol, Ebony Helmet, and an Orcish Helmet.

Chest: Ebony Armor (Fortify Health + Healing Rate). I have also progressed to the Ebony Mail. It is a "tip of the hat" to Boethiah, the Daedric Prince who "created" Malacath. Plus it looks awesome and it fits with ebony.

Hands: Ebony Gauntlets (Fortify Two Handed + Block)

Feet: Ebony Boots (Fortify Stamina + Stamina Regen)

Amulet and Ring: I went with both having Fortify Health + Healing Rate.

***This is of course "end game" equipment. Wearing Orcish armor to start is great for appearances and roleplay. Orcs are known for their superior smithing, and also for using Ebony armor. 

***I also enchant clothes with smithing enchants. I wear Blacksmith's robes, hat, gloves, boots, and a ring and ammy to help with crafting. You are not going to wear heavy armor while working ... bad for your arthritis.


This character build follows a strict roleplay to follow the Code of Malacath and to seek out as much violence as you can. It isn't hard with a giant hammer. This build utilizes all heavy-side smithing perks for weapons in battle. I had some perks left over, so it was fun to try out the ridiculous power of a dragon bone warhammer. Volendrung is perfect for the roleplaying aspect of the build, but it is not boosted by smithing perks, so you may want to switch to something more hard hitting at times. 

The idea about the no healing is to stop you from switching out your weapon constantly. You may say, what about alchemy, but I just came off from playing a Duelist character (will post some other time, needs tweaking) and I was sick of gathering ingredients. This REALLY makes you focus on battle and arrows flying at you. Sure, an old Orc wants death, but it is your goal to last as long as possible. If you die, make it your challenge to regain your honor and defeat all enemies.

I included Great Critical Charge to close the gap on enemies. Whirlwind sprint also helps with this, as mages and archers are my only weakness (sometimes). Warmaster is also sometimes overlooked. Being able to paralyze enemies on a backwards power attack is fantastic when mobbed. Once you get sweep, you will be laughing maniacally at your power.

TZ Old Orc Rap!

I hope you will give this heavy roleplay character build a try. Being an old dude is awesome, and it is addicting to turn on berserker rage when in a tough situation and decimate everything in a room. I will add some battle strategies I used to stay alive soon, as I am trying to come up with more. I could also use some help with finding any cool pics (360 player here, all my photos turn out mega crappy).



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  • I forgot how cringeworthy that rap song vid was. 

  • Bah! Using enchanting like some foul sorcerer!
  • That rap... it's terrible. The build is fantastic but that rap makes me cringe.
    • Cringe seems to be the very purpose of this video.
  • Seeking a good death, the Old Orc has traveled to Reddit.

    Character Build: The Old Orc • r/SkyrimBuilds
    This build was created by one of our members, [Henson]( --- ##The Old Orc *Body is weary. The...
  • Really cool concept! These lore-friendly characters are really cool to see, and I love the roleplaying aspects you specified. Might give this one a try myself, once I can get some time on my hands . . . 

  • This looks like it’d be fun to play. 

  • Freaking hell Henson, this is a really cool build mate. I really like your take on the Old Orc, and that roleplay is on point man. Change that tag to Expert too you just hit 13

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