With this build, I am done without really being done. This character build in a nutshell is an extension of my love for Ayleids and Ayleid lore, which will be expanded upon later, but an experience with all of my favorite things within Skyrim and the ES universe.
Av molag anyammis, av latta magicka.
"From fire, life; from light, magic."
The Thaumaturge is a pilgrim of immense magical prowess. Capable of miraculous works, a Thaumaturge can wield magic either for a restorative or destructive force. A battlemage, a spellsword, a warlock, a Thaumaturge encompasses all magic schools in the Elder Scrolls universe to take on the world around him. With the combination of all schools into a melting pot of Aetherius the Thaumaturge has no time for creating his own mystical items. He instead relies on diving deep into dark dungeons and caves to uncover lost relics with which to augment his power when equipped.
In attempting to try a "pure mage", I wanted to make sure this build could take on all difficulties in all quest lines during all times of the day. Through the power of the Speech skill, a Thaumaturge can barter with any merchant more effectively which opens up doors to more effective, enchanted armors, weapons that can melt steel, and potions to make his magical skills to amplify.
Race: All (Altmer)
Standing Stone: The Steed
Skills: Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration, Illusion, and Speech
Dragon Shouts: All. I focuses my time with Aura Whisper, Dragon Aspect, Marked for Death, and Slow Time
Stats: 3M/2H/0S for early on and focus solely on health when lvl30+ or comfortable with magicka
The build is not contingent on any specific race which was important to me. Picking a race, even now, is always hard for me. I chose to play as an Altmer for my own Ayleid role play and it was extremely helpful not only early on for the magicka boost but also the Highborn power being clutch in tough situations due to playing with all magic schools.
The Steed stone is the saving point for the build and more useful to accomplish more destructive feats. With any armor worn now being weightless, it creates a huge cushion of carry weight to hold enchanted weapons and staves as well as leaves room for augmenting potions. 400 carry weight gives a confidence in exploring for extended periods of time and looting all dark corners. With no crafting skills, the Thaumaturge relies on adventuring to become more powerful rather than bending over a table. The synergy comes into play with Speech allowing us to buy and sell any item with any merchant, opening up pools of untouched gold to buy:
--Potions and poisons to make all weapons/staves more effective
--Magical weapons of all elements and of all styles
--Enchanted armors of any type to boost skills and power
Skills and Perks
Barra agea ry sou karan.
"Wear lore as your armor."
Thaumaturgy in the ES universe is very specific but this build does not confine itself to specificities. Creating a mage that deals in thaumaturgy means magical defense and reflection, alteration of reality, and magical summoning. Through all the schools of magic and any combination of them the Thaumaturge can accomplish any task. These combinations and applications are simple yet effective.
The fun of this build, at least for me, came in when I was using all of the magic schools (and speech) to actually make all of the other skills raise in level. One Handed, Two Handed, Archery, Light Armor, and Heavy Armor all raised at a steady pace because they were all being used but not being perked.
Alteration: The main focus of my RP and an all around effective school. Boosted armor ratings, exploring spells such as water breathing and sensing life/death, as well as well needed magic resistances.
Conjuration: An Ayleid inspired Thaumaturge means deadra and undead galore! Raise what you need to and banish/summon daedra for who you wish to worship at any given moment! Plus, soul trapping along the way to refill your enchanted weapons.
Destruction: Thaumaturges are elemental mages skilled in wielding various forces of destruction. Taking a focus in augmenting all elements means more weapons and staves become relevant in combat.
Illusion: The glorious push and pull of wills creates a battlefield in which you control ... not the other way around. Confusion and deception are your tools up your sleeve to maintain survivability in combat.
Restoration: Healing and creating defensive magical wards make you a warlord in conflicts. Lightning the way through undead hordes and restoring your energies is what a Thaumaturge is all about. Wards can regenerate magicka when dealing with mages.
Speech: The wondrous skill that makes you a traveling magician of words. Enchanted items, potions/poisons, tomes, staves, scrolls, and much more become your myriad of "solutions" to all of your problems. Speech is the underlying skill that governs everything you do.
I had so much fun with this character concept because I did not feel restricted in what I did. I could use any weapon, any armor regardless of the type (light, heavy, or cloth), and cast any spell. This was drawn upon some previous concepts I have seen around here. The magic schools were both my offense and defense in more ways than one. I also discovered some pretty awesome, and AWFUL, armor combinations whenever it suited me.
At a glance, choosing worn equipment means picking more powerful enchantments rather than a few more points in armor rating. Flesh spells cover up the gap of lower armor rating due to no perks but the rating is only there to stave off instant death at higher difficulties. Crowd control spells, healing effectiveness, and summons are your real forms of armor. The hidden armor bonus for each piece lowers the cap to 567 instead of relying on Mage Armor perks which would mean a 300 AR against a 667 AR cap.
Your focus throughout the play through should be keeping each school even and controlled. NO glitches or power leveling were used in the creation of this build which to me makes it much more fun. Even the thief skills level nicely and are used with ease thanks to bought and found potions. The general order of leveling that comes natural actually matches the order in which the order of perks come:
Conjuration, Alteration, Illusion, Destruction, Restoration
Va garlas agea, gravia ye goria, lattia mallari av malatu.
"In the caverns of lore, ugly and obscure, shines the gold of truth."
Summons are your best bet at staying alive for longer and for dishing out some serious damage. Fitting the role of "monster summoning" within the school of thaumaturgy, it creates barriers for you to become a true battlemage and charge in if you wish. Flesh spells and reality altering spells are your second layer of defense. It becomes a routine to summon-protect, summon-protect. Illusory crowd control allows you to control the situation. A healing spell should almost always be in your left hand when you are fighting with a one handed weapon.
Destruction is where the synergy shines. Augmenting perks makes any weapon or staff with an elemental enchantment more powerful which in turn can also be boosted with potions of fortify destruction. Staves double your resource management and allow for longer fights. Fire, frost, and storm powers are realized when you wield anything and everything you can find in many combinations. I very much favored using a bow with lightning for ranged and mage takedowns, a two hander fueled with frost damage for warrior confrontations, and a fire enchanted one handed weapon for any spellsword needs.
Armors are chosen based off of the enchantments. Fortify Destruction, Alteration, Illusion, and Restoration are the most helpful for schools. Conjuration is a cast and forget style and doesn't need any help. Fortify health and magicka as well as magicka regen are the most desired as a secondary focus. Thaumaturges also keep a collection of rings and amulets to boost their power, switching them off and on given the situation.
Pilgrimage Through Aetherius
Agea haelia ne jorane emero laloria.
"Wisdom learned by pain is a reliable guide in dark times."
You may notice there is no "gear" or "equipment" section and that is for good reason. The Thaumaturge uses everything he finds. You are a wild mage on a search for more powerful relics and in that pilgrimage, every enchanted item you come across has worth. I never truly felt like I was really playing the game until I tried this particular play style. Nothing was off limits and everything was in my list of goals. When something outweighs your current gear, you replace it. Traveling from area to area is where a Thaumaturge shines: Changing and adapting to where he is at any given moment.
I hope you enjoy the build as I have. If you have any questions, please leave them below. This is definitely my last build and will be continuing some posts with the other groups through exploration of magic schools, Ayleids, and others.
Suna ye sunnabe.