I have been waiting to complete this build for a long time and I wanted to make sure I did it right and did not rush it. The result was probably one of the most rewarding and unique roleplaying/gaming experience I have had playing this game. Having done 2 other Akaviri race builds, I thought I would go for the hat trick and finish out the races. I wanted to explore a gameplay mechanic that I have not solely focused on in any character, however I have dabbled in it with multiple builds here and there. Time! With this in mind, I knew I could create a high power, extra fast, warrior monk of a monkey. I present...
The Tang Mo
The Tang Mo (translates to "The Thousand Monkey Isles") are the generous and kind monkey people of Akavir. There are various breeds of the Tang Mo, ranging from blue-skinned and white haired apes to monkeys with brown hair and peach colored skin. Some are described as "simian" like. The Tang Mo are known to be a simple race but extremely brave. Most are also known to be quite insane!
The Tang Mo are able to raise armies when they must to defend their home. Every other race of Akavir has time and time again invaded their lands. They are annually attacked by the Kamal or "Snow Hell" demons when the Kamal thaw out. The Tsaesci have invaded as well, pushing back the vampire serpents every single time. The Ka Po' Tun have recently became allies with the Tang Mo, but even they have tried to conquer the brave Tang Mo. This got me to thinking: this has got to be the most badass race on that crazy continent. I wanted to present this race as being an expert in combat from both a distance and in close quarters combat by using speed and agility. We achieve this through the usage of the slow time effect.
1. The perk Quick Reflexes can be applied to using only a sword and nothing in the off hand, giving the player a HUGE advantage when in melee combat. Most to all enemies will power attack when in close quarters combat, meaning dodging attacks and retaliating with quick strikes will be a regular tactic and will save your fur.
2. The Steady Hand 2/2 perks are invaluable to a build that wants to achieve precise shots on the player's own time and take down enemies in a much more efficient way. I do not usually take both perks in this perk, as 50% slow down effect is significant, but for this build it is extremely satisfying to decimate opponents from afar with a big advantage on their speed.
3. The Slow Time shout. Boy was I missing out on a cool aspect of this shout that may be general knowledge, but was new to me. The perk Stability improves the duration of this shout as if it were an Alteration spell, turning even the first word of Slow Time from 8s to 12s. That extra time is incredible when fully realized at 3 word Slow Time turning from 16s to 24s, achieving almost 50% of your combat will be in the awesomeness that is Slow Time due to the fact that 3 word's cool down is 60 seconds ... and that is not even counting the Blessing of Talos or an Amulet of Talos, two things that turn this build into a speedy powerhouse of monkey rage insanity!
Race: This is where one of the biggest challenges of this build comes into play. I finally got it down to two choices when I first started this build and honestly, I hate saying it, but either one could have worked just as well as the other.
Bosmer - The race I ultimately decided to go with for a couple of reasons. First of all, size. Since they are the smallest race, it was fitting to play as one to mimic a monkey race such as the Tang Mo. Second, the racial power is amazing. AoE on any animal, INCLUDING MAMMOTHS? Who does not love that? Giants die at level 1. This fit because of their new found alliance with the Ka Po Tun, meaning they have a way to communicate with even the most savage of beasts. With the right facial adjustments and hair/facial hair choices, it looks great!
Imperial - This was the other choice. The Voice of the Emperor power is incredibly powerful. It would fit so perfectly due to the fact that the Tang Mo are a simple, kind, and generous race. Calming enemies in a large AoE effect would be a nice touch with RP, but the size difference made me choose Bosmer overall.
Major Skills: One Handed, Archery, Restoration, Alteration, Enchanting
Minor Skills: Sneak, Light Armor, Block, Smithing
Head - None. Enchanted circlet earlier on for skill boosts.
Chest - Red sleeveless Dawnguard armor. Very oriental inspired with lamellar armor style.
Feet - Scaled Boots
Hands - Scales Bracers
Amulet/Ring - Amulet of Talos OR Fortify Enchantments
Enchantments to focus on (changed around when needed):
Fortify Health, Stamina, Health Regen, Stamina Regen, One Handed, Block, Alteration, Restoration.
Weapons - Blades Sword (occasional torch) and Forsworn Bow (great damage to speed ratio)
Dragon Shouts: Slow Time (most important), Whirlwind Sprint, Elemental Fury - SPEED
Roleplaying as a Tang Mo is a lot of fun if you want to be a good aligned character but have a crazy side to you. You are open to help in any way you can due to your generous and kind nature and will take on any challenge with your intense bravery and courage. Being a Tang Mo means being an agile warrior monk in all aspects of your playing. Sneaking and attacking enemies from the shadows is warranted when engaging evil creatures and foul hearted foes. The "insane" side to the Tang Mo is not clear at all so I began to take liberties with what that meant.
Here are some general guidelines to keep you true to a warrior monk's path:
- Always help anyone in need. Give to beggars when you can, take on quests that will provide aid.
- Do not steal or commit crimes. A Tang Mo is generous and kind, not evil.
- Display bravery in combat. This cannot be confused with using sneak when in combat. Agility and the ability to maneuver quietly is a skill set that the Tang Mo thrive on, so do not confuse it with being dishonorable when fighting purely evil enemies.
Skills and Perks
One Handed: Brandishing your blade with quick strikes is one of your trademarks. Relying on only a sword and open off-hand, you can deliver blows while block/evade at the same time.
Archery: Taking down enemies from afar is essential for a Tang Mo. Hunting and tracking foes from a safe distance can keep you out of harm's way.
Restoration: The first magic school a warrior monk needs to harness. Utilizing Respite, you can power attack more often, sprint longer, silent roll more often, and zoom in with your bow, effectively slowing time for longer.
Alteration: A key skill for both roleplaying and for mechanics. Your resistance to magical attacks has been imbued into your blood after relentless attacks from magic foes from your homeland. The perk Stability also plays a major role as it extends the shout duration of Slow Time, turning you into a speed hungry warlord. The additional armor helps early on as well from flesh spells.
Enchanting: Meditating for extended periods of time have granted you the ability to imbue your apparel with magical effects, increasing your battle readiness and combat effectiveness.
Sneak: A Tang Mo is light on his feet at all times. Remaining undetected and springing from an undisclosed location is a valuable tactic for the Tang Mo, providing extra damage and protection against tougher enemies.
Light Armor: The lighter, the better! Keeping light on foot is key, but the Tang Mo are also in the thick of battle when needed. Light Armor provides great protection with the remaining speed associated with it.
Block: Two perks, but one is invaluable. Quick Reflexes make you a close quarters combat machine, dodging power attacks to counter left and right. Slowing your enemies down and keeping you fast means you stay alive, and they hit the ground.
Smithing: Upkeep of quality armor protection and bow strength as well as sharpness of blade keep the Tang Mo a powerful force to reckon with.
Leaping from enemy to enemy with reckless abandon is one way to express your insanity. Critical Charge allows you to pinball your way from enemy to enemy, stunning them with a power attack using speed. Under the influence of Slow Time, this can achieve a lot of damage in a small amount of time (from the enemy's perspective!). Combining your Sneak Roll and Critical Charge allows for unseen power attacks, much like the Ka Po Tun. This can give you the edge in combat with heavily RPed armor choices.
The concept behind this build is all about gameplay and how to survive. Sneaking is great for hiding and staying alive, but you need to unleash the crazy side! Slow Time and the effects of slowing perks are what make this build so much fun!
Utilizing your sword, you can block your way out of any power attack, increasing survival rates through the roof. An extremely underrated perk, Quick Reflexes creates a sense that you are an incredibly agile monkey humanoid capable of devastating blade maneuvers. Combined with sneak, your one handed attacks gain a 6x multiplier, more than enough to take most enemies down with a sharpened blade. Silent Roll and Critical Charge (Ka Po Tun specialty) is also extremely effective with large crowds.
Utilizing your bow, you can slow down your aiming process to a complete CRAWL. 50% slow down is ridiculous and allows you to always hit your mark, making enemies fall down much more often and have them unable to reach you. Your bow combined with silent roll is an extremely effective combo as well. Rolling from position to position, you can then aim down your bow to inflict maximum damage, rolling away when needed in a quick fashion.
Utilizing your shouts, you transform into a true Akaviri warrior. Slow Time increases with the perk Stability, allowing your inner monkey rage to be extended to punish your enemies as you see fit. Dodging arrows and even catching them mid-air is very satisfying. It is GREAT to note, even without taking a single perk in Alchemy, Fortify Alteration potions seem to increase the duration of Slow Time shout. Definitely my new favorite perk. Whirlwind Sprint and Elemental Fury are also key ingredients for a speed freak of massive proportions.
Pierce: Steady Hand 2/2 + Eagle Eye + Power Shot - Aim with extreme precision, staggering your opponents for 50% of the time when delivering an arrow to vital organs.
Ambush: Stealth + Silent Roll + Critical Charge - A rolling charge from the shadows, coming down on an opponent with a powerful strike to start battle, severely weakening and stunning the target.
Marksman: Stealth + Silent Roll + Steady Hand 2/2 + Eagle Eye - Rolling to reposition after every shot, stay far from your enemies when you slow time down to aim your bow.
Decimation: Ambush + Shadow Warrior - Re-engaging sneak and activating Shadow Warrior allows you to stay hidden from enemies, effectively rolling and springing with your sword from one foe to the next, leveling a room without a chance or being hit.
Annihilation: Marksman + Shadow Warrior - Same as Decimation, but with your bow. Staying far away or close to your enemies, it does not matter. You disappear and reappear to pelt them with arrows until they are all on the ground.
Tang Mo Insanity: Slow Time Shout + Stability + Blessing/Amulet of Talos - Extended periods of slow time make you a speed warlord of immense capability, firing arrows or engaging with your sword, your enemies won't stand a chance.
Well there you have it. Probably one of my absolute favorite character builds I have ever done. Discovering one little game mechanic can change the whole game! I hope you try this build and check out my other Akaviri race builds as well as Emer Dareloth's Tsaesci. Let me know what you think!