Character Build: The Vigilant

Honour. Justice.  An undying devotion to exterminate out the Daedra from our world. That’s what most people think when they hear the name “Vigilantes of Stendarr.” At least, that’s what I used to think when I heard my parents boast of their group’s work. I couldn’t wait to join them once I was of age. And when I did, I thought we were doing well, that the evils were being banished to Oblivion. That my father’s words rang true, that the worshipping of Daedra was evil, even though our kinsman still worshipped the one known as Malacath.

And yet… Violence still rages the land. Darkness grows, light fades. We are slowly losing the fight to the dark arts because the Vigilantes refuse to change their ways. Refusing to accept that sometimes you have to fight dirty to win.

They may not understand that, but I do. I must wait though… It would be too risky to prompt an uprising against Keeper Caracette so soon. I’ll leave first thing tomorrow morning and head back home to Narzulbar in Eastmarch. Hopefully my cousin is still the Chief and I can get in safely…



Stendarr have mercy on you, for the Vigil have none to spare!

This build is a little different to my previous ones and is, quite basically, two play throughs with the one character. The first part is obvious; you need to start out as a proud Vigilant of Stendarr, who slowly starts to believe the group’s work is failing. As a result, they leave the Hall and wanders, only to be captured by the Imperials, before Stendarr saves them from being beheaded by sending a dragon (odd, but things happen). Now questioning everything they know, the Vigilante wanders, searching for answers. And they eventually find them, at Fort Dawnguard. They sign up almost straight away, as they recognise their father’s old friend Isran leading the group, but now question how Stendarr views them now. Regardless, they soon transition from a holy mage into a ruthless vampire hunter.

((Disclaimer: This build is designed to be playable on vanilla Skyrim, however, it was tested on PC with many mods installed. If I have missed something, please let me know!))


Race: Orc. There are Nords, Redguards, Imperials, Bretons and Dark Elves amongst the order so it’s pretty clear they don’t discriminate by race and I felt that playing an Orc wouldn't be too far off. Plus having boosts to One Hand, Block and Heavy Armor isn't shabby.

Stats: 3/2/1

Stone: Mage, then Lord

Shouts: Aura Whisper, Animal Allegiance, Fire Breath, Dismay, Disarm14638368?profile=RESIZE_710x

Major Skills: One Hand, Restoration, Alteration

Minor Skills: Conjuration, Archery, Heavy Armor, Block

Armor: Adept Robes and Hood of Restoration or Archmage Robes, Steel Plate Boots (Enchanted with 
Resist Shock) and Gauntlets (Fortify Magicka), Amulet of Stendarr, Ring of Fortify Magicka, Mage Circlet (Level 25+ only)

Weapons: Lunar Steel Mace, Elven Mace (Turn Undead), Bound Bow, Destruction Staves

Follower: Go with a hard hitting tank, such as Erik the Slayer, Uthegerd, Kharjo or one of the housecarls. I used J’zargo, personally, since he is one of the best followers in the game.

Quests: All divine quests, the College of Winterhold questline and all radiant quests, Laid to Rest, Repentance, Dark Ancestor, Evil in Waiting, Ancestral Worship, Main Quest (optional – Only do around half of it for this portion of the build), both Wolf Queen quests, Waking Nightmare, House of Horrors, Pieces of the Past, The Taste of Death and pretty much any quest that revolves hunting undead and protecting people from them.



The first part of the build is simply centered on roleplaying a wandering Vigilante who has not abandoned the teaching of Stendarr, yet feels confliction in the order. The Vigilante of Stendarr wanders around the land, working where they can and purging the undead and daedra at every opportunity. I wanted to create an easy character to play straight up and out of Helgen that was believable enough to be recognised as a class while still being unique enough for a build.

14638360?profile=RESIZE_710xAs early as you can, make your way to Mara’s Eye Pond and pull the dead robes off the Vigilant there and gain his amulet too. I would also suggest visiting to the Hall before it’s destroyed because there are many useful items around.

One Hand, Restoration and Alteration are the core elements of this build. Your weapon of choice will be a good ol’ mace, no higher than Elven in quality, which will serve us well. The Lunar Steel Mace also suits the Vigilant of Stendarr. You can buy the basic Alteration and Restoration spells at the Riverwood Trader and the Golden Claw quest will be a perfect training ground for them. Cast Turn Undead on every dragur you can, even if you don’t need to, and Restoration will level very quickly.  Call forth your loyal familiar for back-up while you circle around and pelt your undead enemies with a mace. When needing something for long range, just use your bound bow or a destruction stave. And while capable of defending himself, I would consider the Vigilante a supporter class so make sure to keep your followers healed up.

Conjuration, Heavy Armor and Archery are minor skills, but ones we will make use of later in the build. Try and perk Juggernaut as soon as you can to gain a higher AR. Key perks in the Conjuration tree will be 14638272?profile=originalreducing our Magicka costs, as well as Mystic Binding, for when we gain the Bound Bow spell. Don’t bother placing perks on Archery until you actual gain the tome, which I did early on, by heading to Fort Amol’s prison. 

As for Daedric quests, there is only a select few that I feel can be completed. The first one to do would be Waking Nightmare, as it revolves around destroying a Daedric Artifact.

The second Daedric Quest to be completed is Pieces of the Past, but spare Silus, obviously. My reasoning behind this quest is because you pretty much spit in Methrunes Dagon’s face and his razor is sealed in an unlockable case. I even roleplayed that my Orc, Morgrul, threatened to rip Silus apart if he ever thought about reforging it! 

The third one for this portion of the build should be House of Horrors. ‘But wait, that doesn’t have an alternate ending!’ you say. Yes, I realise, but you get help out a fellow Vigilante and, obviously, your character doesn’t know what’s going on. A rule of thumb I like to use is this: “If your character doesn’t know it’s a bad idea, you don’t know it either.” But you are going to kill Boethiah’s priest. Why? Entirely up to you. Whatever way you do it, Molag Bal will not get to inflict pain on this priest and you won’t have to deal with the mace either.

The final Daedric quest is the Taste of Death. I suggest roleplaying that your Vigilante is infiltrating the cult before killing all them before you get the ring, because a Vigilant would never become a cannibal. Or you can just kill Eola on the spot, if you’re lazy.

As for roleplaying, here are a few key points:

  • Apart from what I stated above, no Daedric quests are to be completed.
  • Give to the poor and help out those in need wherever you can. Give no mercy to evil-doers, no matter what they are – Witches, Daedra, Werewolves, the undead or even petty criminals.
  • Try to only ever pray at a shrine of Stendarr and wear his amulet, but he’ll forgive you if you use another divine’s shrine. And make sure to always carry at least a Cure Disease potion, Hawk Feathers or Garlic Bread in case you accidently contract Sanguinare Vampiris.14638270?profile=RESIZE_710x
  • Also, the other Vigilantes carry these books of them so make sure to keep at least one of these on you at all times – Physicalities of Werewolvesthe Book of DaedraVarieties of Daedra, and Immortal Blood. Other fitting books include Lycanthropic Legends of SkyrimThe Oblivion CrisisSkyrim Bestiary - Hagravens and Amongst the Dragur.
  • If you find any slain Vigilantes, take their amulets and store them somewhere safe.
  • Confiscate anything related to the Daedra and lock them in a safe in your Hearthfire Home. This includes artifacts, hearts, armor and general clutter. I managed to ‘confiscate’ the majority of Silus’s collection during his quest.

These are just the main points but the aim is clear – Hunt evil, help the gold folks of Skyrim, all in Stendarr’s name! But after Level 30, this is where the build changes direction.


It has been almost four months since I left Helgen. I have hunted daedra and undead across the land, but my heart yet still aches with an unfilled need. Something is missing, but what is it? Is this not my purpose in life, to hunt the cursed in Stendarr’s name? For him to give mercy when I have none? I should return to the Hall, report my findings to the rest of the order. Perhaps Mother and Father can clear up my mind… 

By the Mercy of Stendarr, they’re gone! The Hall has been obliterated. Everyone is dead… Ma, Pa, Keeper Caracette, my friends… Those damn vampires did it; they burnt my home and slaughtered my Order! Oh, they’ll pay. I swear in Stendarr’s name that they’ll all pay!

It’s been four days since I found the hall destroyed. And it’s been two days since I found that vampire den. And it’s been one day since I realised I was infected
. I found a healer willing to relieve me of this curse, but I have never been felt worse in my life. I may have killed them all but there are more, however they remain hidden elsewhere. I will need to rest before setting off again.

A stranger came to the Windpeak Inn today, where I was licking my wounds over a mug of cheap mead. He was of my kind, an Orc, but I could see he wasn’t the typical barbaric, daedra-worshipper like the others I had known. We talked for a bit, swapping tales, before he told me to follow him to a place called Fort Dawnguard and joined the hunt against vampires.

Maybe hunting daedra isn’t all I’m destined to do. Maybe the attack on the hall was a sign, a sign that things needed to change. Perhaps this is Stendarr’s way of telling me how to avenge my parents, my friends, and the order. I set out tomorrow for Fort Dawnguard and that will the day my new life begins.




Morgrul tests out his new armor set

This is where the build switches up. When the Vigilant joins the Dawnguard, they will change from being a simple restoration mage devoted to purging the Daedra from Nirn, to a hardened heavily armoured, crossbow wielding vampire hunter. Alteration drops down to be a minor skill as the Vigilante now focuses on honing his combat skills, such as Heavy Armor, Archery, Block and One Hand, and is now not just a skilled sorcerer, but a heavily armed and dangerous warrior.

Stats: 2/2/214638309?profile=RESIZE_710x

Stone: Lover

Shouts: Aura Whisper, Fire Breath, Summon Durnehviir, Cyclone, Slow Time, Dismay

Major Skills: One Hand, Archery, Heavy Armor, Restoration 

Minor Skills: Conjuration, Alteration, Block

Armor: Full set of Dawnguard heavy armor with Rune Shield (enchant to regen magicka, resist shock and fortify one hand and archery), Gauldar Amulet, Amulet of Stendarr, Ring of Fortify Magicka

Weapons: Enchanted Dwarven Crossbow, Glass Mace (enchanted with Turn Undead)

Follower: A Dawnguard Husky or an armoured troll with a fellow Dawnguard hunter.

 Dawnguard questline, finish the main questline, Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!, Any remaining Daedric quests (see Gameplay for more details), Companions (Up to The Circle), Dragonborn questline (optional), Forbidden legend, The Pale Lady, and any quests that revolve around protecting the innocent and hunting undead and vampires.



With my game, I was able to download a handy mod that allowed me to delay Dawnguard until level 30, the perfect spot for our hero to be switched up. Unfortunately for console players, you are just going to have to wait all that time after Level 10 to join the Dawnguard.

Picking what to change was a little difficult and the effect was quite subtle at first. I started placing a few more perks in Heavy Armor first, to symbolise the Vigilante training himself to use his new set or armor, but after that I kept going with Restoration and using magic for combat. It was only after a fair few levels that Morgrul (my Orc) finally got to put some well-needed perks in archery and one hand. Training with what gold you have will be very useful here.

Perk focus will switch from the magic skills to the warrior side of things. Block will be your new priority, as well as the left hand side of the archery tree and the right side of heavy armor. The only other magic skills that will be getting perks added on now will be Restoration, as the Vigilant will still be relying on healing magic, as well as Turn Undead spells. When they do use summons, it’s still only the Flaming Familiar and Familiar, as they are still against summoning Atronachs and resurrecting the Undead.

Combat tactics have only changed a bit for the Vigilant. Rather than hanging back and then letting your summons or followers distract the enemies while you circle around and do damage, the Vigilant can charge in and do his own damage. As a result, Alteration will not be needed again and Conjuration use will dwindle till it is only use sparingly. Restoration will still play a vital part, thanks to the new spells added in Dawnguard such as Sun FireStendarr’s Aura (which suits the build perfectly!) and Vampire’s Bane. Another useful spell from Dragonborn, Poison Rune, is also a great way to lay down surprise attacks on living enemies.

Speaking of Dragonborn, it introduces some interesting choices for our Dawnguard Solider. The game 
somewhat forces you to be Hermaeus Mora’s champion. But you can be pretty indifferent to this through in-game choices.

The roleplay aspect is very similar to the first part of the build. However, there are a few changes:14638237?profile=RESIZE_710x

  • Remember all those Daedric quests you couldn’t do? The Dawnguard Vigilant now does what they can to gain those artifacts and wants to lock them away from mortal hands. If you have a Hearthfire house, use your basement safe for this goal.
  • Keep your amulet of Stendarr on you still, but feel free to switch it out for the Gauldar Amulet, because the Vigilante is no longer bound to Stendarr alone. This also applies for blessings.
  • Vampires are a plague on this world and should be purged. With Serana, you can either take her with you to keep an eye on her, or leave her to be guarded by the Dawnguard.

Apart from those, just follow the same rules as before.




That’s all there is to it, folks! As you may notice, this is a bit different to what I normally do so (hopefully) it pays off. I would like to thank both Ponty and Tim for the great advice they gave me on Skype, all my friends on here (particularly, Neb and Bryn) for their on-going support, MIraak for doing some awesome perk spreads for me and everyone who reads my builds. Seriously, thank you!

(P.S Feel free to help out with a perk spread!)


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  • My favourite character build!

  • Wow, I haven't seen this bugger since back at Ning - I nearly forgotten all about it! Don't forget your Rank:Apprentice tag!

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