Character Mini-Build: The Tinker


Thin sheets of light squeezed through the arrow-slits far above, falling through the darkness before splashing across a haphazard workspace. A scattering of arcane supplies littered the wooden workstation, ranging from fire salts to soul gems. In the pre-dawn light, an Imperial woman in simple attire - stained with all manner of oils, reagents, pigments, and flux - toiled among the disorderly workstation, maniacally working towards some obfuscated goal.

The Cacophonous sound of shattering glass filled the chamber as an alembic - set to distil an admixture of minced garlic and pulverized jazbay grapes - erupted, scattering a fine paste across the chamber’s entirety. Cursing her own obliviousness, the Imperial woman paid no mind to the mess, scraping shards of glass off the diagram before her, continuing her work. Grabbing an empty soul gem, she placed the crystal in a focusing instrument, tuning the brass mechanism with meticulous, minute adjustments.


Hello once again, Everyone! Finally, I have returned with another build after a year-long break. For a brief background on this character, the Tinker was born from my desire to introduce an element unlike anything I’ve seen before in a build; with the help of a handy twenty sided die, no longer shall you need to ponder on how to best approach a combat scenario - let fate decide! Using their unpredictable Bag of Holding, the Tinker produces a random arsenal for each combat scenario! I wished to pronounce this element above all other aspects of the build, forgoing a long-winded backstory and an extensive roleplaying guide in favor of raw, candid gameplay. In fact, I sought to challenge myself further; I wished to fit the entirety of the build onto a single, one sided page of standard letter paper. Needless to say, I am pleased with how the Tinker evolved, and utterly delighted by the final iteration. Without further ado, I present the Tinker, my first ever 1-page Mini-Build!


A high-quality PDF of the Build Sheet - Erinoth Tinker Build

And a fun, interactive one - Interactive PDF

You may note that I list no details for potion combinations, specific artifacts, or apparel. The reason is quite quaint, actually. Such decisions are left entirely up to the player! That is the unspoken beauty of these concise builds; they provide greater freedom for the player to take the character and make it their own - greater freedom to carve out their own story in the tumultuous lands of Skyrim.7973565870?profile=RESIZE_584x

With all said and done, I do hope each of you thoroughly enjoy this outlandish concept. I loved building this character, and the self-imposed challenge was a breath of fresh air in a world saturated with potent, infallible builds. I would like to give a quick thanks to Kendrix, who gave some insights whilst I was playtesting, and Lee, who’s eagerness to see this build come to fruition drove me to actually get it out there!

As a final note before I leave you all once again, do not be afraid to voice your opinions and thoughts; as always, I welcome and encourage all constructive criticism, especially with such a bizarre format.

May Zenithar’s hand guide you towards your next masterwork!

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  • As a person who regularly plays mini-builds, well done! I really enjoyed this. How did you handle early game? 

    • I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. Like I briefly alluded to in the “Bag of Holding” section, I did not start using the table until the mid-game tier; I spent the early game trying to acquire as many level-independant artifacts and skills as I could. For example, north of the thalmor embassy above a snowy Sabre Cat den, one can find a staff of fireballs. The Eye of Melka is also easy to acquire, as is a staff of revenants near Morthal.

      As tempting as it was, I avoided over-inflating the crafting skills early on - outside of alchemy for money - and focused on speech and lockpicking instead. Joining the Dawnguard is a given to get the Tinker’s primary weapon, the crossbow, and the first quest is no issue if you have the aforementioned staff of fireballs. I also picked up the Volsung and Krosis masks, as their enchantments bolster the tinker.

      So, in short, the early game is about three things:

      1. Accumulating Artifacts from around the world.
      2. Raising Speech to help reduce upkeep costs (filled soul gems and scrolls). Neither of these are cheap, and the Tinker goes through tons of soul gems.
      3. Increasing Lockpicking - the dwemer museum is an excellent place to practice - so you find more gold in chests to support the high cost of equipment.

      The exploding spiders will no doubt be the last piece of equipment the Tinker acquires, and once I had 30 or so, I phased the table in and began the real gameplay.

      • Thank you for the detailed explanation. Your builds always have a way of utilizing crafting skills in a fashion that synergizes well with the gameplay and, at the same time, isn't abusive or redundant. I like that very much. 

        The economy in presentation also stood out, though with my bad eyes, I apprecieated the nice pdf link. I could zoom it in with my touch laptop and really admire the work.

        It is great to see a builder sort of deconstruct what they do and not always do something totally within a comfort zone. It shows a flexibility in style and a willingness to push their boundaries. It is like going from a mini build to a build that is very narrative driven and then to a pure gameplay build. Sometimes builders can get stuck in a rut of sameness (presentation, perks, mods, gameplay, etc). Your huge deviation of styles between builds already makes me excited to see more. Erinoth will keep me on my toes and I really like that. You are already making me rethink some of the presentation of my latest build, how I can streamline things further while still communicate a sound narrative. Thank you.

  • Awesome all around. This will spark my vote to have more to most builds presented like this!

    • I appreciate it, Henson! I saw it as a neat way to innovate the way things are normally done! I plan on using similar formats for any of my builds in the future that prove too concise to be deserving of a full write up!

  • I'm a little bit disappointed that THE ferret isn't on the Bag of Holding table.
    Jokes aside, awesome concept and wonderful presentation, Erinoth.

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