As with most of my builds, this one requires several mods to work at its peak. You will need the following mods, all of which are available on both the PC and Xbox One Special Editions of Skyrim.
*Ordinator: Perk Overhaul
*Andromeda: Standing Stones of Skyrim
*Imperious: Races of Skyrim
*Apocalypse: Magic of Skyrim
*Alternate Start: Live Another Life
*50% More Perk Points - This is a balance option for Ordinator. The leveling system in Skyrim was not designed to accommodate the sheer amount of perks offered by Ordinator. With this balance patch you’ll get an extra perk point every other level-up.
*Everlight: Torches of Skyrim
*Black Mage Armor
'Sup all? I present to you this day another Skyim SE Modded build. This one is a submission for the Secret Santa Christmas event here on the Forge. Let's start off by wishing a very merry Christmas indeed to the person who this build was made for: Mr. Curse Never Dying. Thanks a ton for submitting your idea, "The Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come," to the event. I may have taken it a little far this time, but this one really pushed me to my limits. I'm still not entirely sure I have suceeded, but hopefully you and everyone else reading will enjoy it all the same. Merry Christmas to all, and enjoy your time with ...
Even in death, a second chance is never impossible. Some call him the Ghost of the New Life Festival, for he is seen often in the snowy months at the end of the year when all of Tamriel celebrates the coming new year. Though a horrid miser and humbug in life, in death he was redeemed. His soul, restless on Tamriel after his passing, sought a path to Aetherius. And now, his Ghost wanders the face of Tamriel to bring retribution to those who act with selfishness and greed in the hope of earning his place in the heavens, and prevent others from facing the same consequences.
The Ghost of the New Life Festival will be an Imperial because this build will need all of health, magicka, and stamina in unfortunately copious amounts. This build combines several playstyles into one so the high starting points in every attribute that the Imperial race provides can be quite valuable. The Imperial Virtues passive ability (see below) is also a nice buff to attributes whenever you enter combat.
As an Imperial, the Ghost will start with:
Health Regeneration: 1.0%
Magicka Regeneration: 3.0%
Stamina Regeneration: 5.0%
Carry Weight: 300
With the Imperious mod, Imperials are naturally gifted with three passive Abilities and one Racial Power unlockable through a quest given as soon as the playthrough begins.
- Discipline: In combat, nearby allies gain bonus armor and attack damage.
- Imperial Virtues: Randomly gain bonus Health, Magicka or Stamina when entering combat.
- The Human Spirit: At levels 10/20/30, you may change your attributes/resistances/skills.
Quest reward - Complete 20 quests for the people of Skyrim to unlock...
- Colovian Star: 1/day - Replenishes the two attributes with the highest remaining percentage.
The Ghost of the New Life Festival will benefit from the two passive abilities and unlockable power of the Atronach Stone.
- Corrupted Arcana: Magicka does not regenerate. Each death within 50 feet restores Magicka equal to 25 times their level.
- Oblivion Bound: If you have Magicka remaining, spells are 25% more effective and cost 50% less Magicka.
- Devour from Within: 1/day - Paralyzes a living target, absorbing 50 Magicka for 10 seconds. When depleted, absorbs Health instead.
The Ghost will benefit greatly from the Oblivion Bound passive, which is useful to any mage. The lack of any magicka regeneration may seem quite punishing, but it can be easily dealt with through some useful spells and perks that will be described later on.
As mentioned before, the Ghost needs all attributes in sizeable portions in order to accomodate all of the combined playstyles.
They say that the Ghost of New Life was once a greedy, selfish, and miserly Jarl of Winterhold. When he died suddenly at a young age, nobody missed him. In fact, some were even happy at his passing. Thus his restless soul could not pass on into aetherius. Instead it seeks redemption through punishing those that await a similar fate. Those whose greed and uncaring for others will lead to their own destruction and the destruction of those around them. But don’t take it from me. Gather around the fire of the tavern in Winterhold, and hear it from the innkeeper himself, who claims he knows the story best. Enjoy this little short story I wrote to accompany this character.
ROLEPLAYING & QUESTLINES:
Typically, I position this section near the end of my builds, after all of the combat, skills, abilities etc. However for this build I’ve decided to relocate it because I feel that understanding the roleplaying is a key component to understanding the reasoning behind some of the choices I’ve made for combat.
So the original idea for submitted for this build was “The Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come.” For those of you who are unaware, this is a character from a story called “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, in which an unpleasant man is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. These are the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and they each use their unique traits to change him into a much nicer and much happier man. Despite the fact that the suggestion was just the Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come (Future), I ambitiously and rather overconfidently decided to take that a bit farther and recreate a character that could take each of these three ghosts and turn them into different aspects of this one character that would all eventually synergize together to make a varied and unique experience.
Now that I’ve clarified the concept, let’s move to the actual roleplaying. As seen in the backstory, this Ghost is the spirit of the Jarl himself, who’s supposed to be analogous to Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol.” He was so unloved and uncared for upon his death that his restless spirit could not pass on into Aetherius, so he remains here on Nirn to bring punishment to those for whom the same fate awaits. This character represents his spirit’s journey to earn his spot in Aetherius. The general goal of this character is to bring to justice the unrighteous, the selfish, the criminal, and pretty much everyone who is regarded unfavorably by the general population, ending the lives of those unwilling to change with his magick in order to save their souls from the same fate that his suffers. He will use all three of his aspects to do so. You’ll be playing as each aspect for 10 levels, but they stack on top of one another. So you’ll start with the Ghost of New Life past up to level 10, and then move onto Present at that point, and so on. However, the benefits of one also benefit the next.
The Ghost of New Life Past is described in the original story as being “angelic” and “white-robed.” As you’ll see in the gameplay sections, the Ghost of Christmas Past is the first aspect that Scrooge goes through after his death. Here he learns the kindness he lacked in life along with the power to heal. When interacting with NPCs as this aspect, be kind but quiet, and help wherever you can.
The Ghost of Christmas Present is described in Dickens’ story as being giant, jolly and green-robed. He also is shown holding a torch. The Ghost of New Life Present in the Elder Scrolls is the main open combat aspect. When traveling and interacting is him, you have a more personable and charismatic character that enjoys humor and cheer. Think of him as one of the Compaions. He enjoys feasting and merriment as much as the next man, but he can be all business when a fight is at hand. At this point in his spirit’s journey, Scrooge has learned from the lessons of taking on the mantle of a healer, and is much more kind and agreeable to all people. However, with Present he also moves on to becoming willing and able to physically protect the people he has learned to care for.
As the Ghost of New Life Yet-to-Come, who is described in the original story only as a cloaked and hooded figure, you should try to avoid contact with others at all times unless you are assassinating them. This aspect is an enigmatic spirit of few words, and none when possible. This is the final stage of the journey of Scrooge’s spirit. While he has not forgotten the lessons of the previous two aspects he has taken on, he now becomes the silent patron of those that are hurt by selfish and greedy people.
When it comes to questing, I found it fun to assign a questline to each aspect. For Past I did the College of Winterhold. For Present I joined the Companions (choosing to cure the Beast Blood), and for Future I chose to join the Dawnguard in the final quest to eliminate the ultimate greed of Vampires in Skyrim. With this character I avoided the main quest entirely, but if you want to do that it’s certainly not out of the question.
Obviously, having a ghost do all of these quests, or even exist at all, isn’t exactly immersive or lore-friendly, but for this character you’ll probably just have to suspend your disbelief with this one and embrace a less serious, more fun and out-there build. Getting the roleplaying correct was probably one of the hardest things to do for this build so if you are struck by any other inspiration please try it out and let me know so I can see what you all are doing with it.
LEVELS 1-10: THE GHOST OF NEW LIFE PAST
In order to show you how this build progresses from a gameplay standpoint, I’ll be taking you through each stage independently, and each time we move onto another stage we’ll have a section discussing how it synergizes with the previous one(s).
*Healing / Fast Healing
*Mage Armor Spells
*Red Mage robes
*Ring (Rollback Enchantment)
*Restoration Mastery (2/2)
*Restoration Dual Casting
*Alteration Mastery (1/2)
*Intuitive Magic (2/2)
*Enchanting Mastery (2/2)
*One-Handed Mastery (2/2)
The Ghost of New Life Past is the healer and buffer for this character. He focuses on making the character survivable in combat. He is positioned at the beginning of the playthrough not just because “past” comes before “present” and “future,” but also because focusing on leveling Restoration is easier when the enemies you’re facing early on are a bit more easy to take down. Here is an overview of the perks taken in this part of the build. I’ve tried to keep it brief.
A large part of this character is minimizing the cost of each of his playstyles because he uses each about equally. Restoration works with Alteration in this way, as you’ll see later on. The only healing spell that the Ghost of New Life Past actually uses is Fast Healing, although Healing is used at the beginning. The Restoration Mastery and Restoration Dual Casting perks will lower the cost and further empower the healing spell, respectively. Edgewalker makes healing spells 30% more powerful when below half health, offering a further increase to healing spell effectiveness as health decreases. Finally, Spirit Tutors will put two ghostly tutors in the world that each offer a buff to Restoration spells. Not only is this helpful since you’ll be using low-level spells to limit the magicka cost, but it’s also neat for roleplaying considering that the Ghost himself is a spirit and can learn from others in the same situation. Respite is another handy perk that makes all healing spells restore stamina equal to the amount of health they restore.
Several Apprentice level Restoration spells will be used from the Apocalypse: Magic of Skyrim mod. Their classification as Apprentice spells is very important, as you’ll see later on. Slay Living instantly kills a target within melee range if they are below 25% health. Mystic Wind restores magicka over time while sprinting, which is one reason why Stamina is an important attribute. Due to the Atronach Stone, as stated above, you will not naturally regenerate magicka in combat, so this is your main source of magicka regeneration. These Apocalypse spells can be purchased from their respective tutors at the College of Winterhold.
Alteration’s main purpose is to lower cost and increase effectiveness of your low-level Restoration spells. Alteration Mastery is perked with only one point because the Ghost does not actually use any Alteration spells, so it serves merely as a gateway to the other helpful perks. Wild Shrines places shrines around the world that grant a bonus to each school of magick. You’ll want to search for the Restoration shrine, which will make all healing spells permanently 15% more powerful. Again, this is a helpful augmentation because the spell you use is rather low level, so any increased effectiveness is welcome. The key perk in this tree, however, is Intuitive Magick, which at the second level makes Apprentice spells cost nothing to cast. This totally eliminates the cost of your healing spells and other Restoration spells from Apocalypse, which will be very helpful in enabling you to have the magicka reserves to cast Illusion spells for the Ghost of New Life Yet-to-Come later on in the playthrough, especially considering you don't regenerate magicka naturally due to the Atronach Stone.
Another part of Alteration that will be important to the the Ghost of Christmas Present is the Ocato’s Recital spell. Again, a big goal for this character is limiting the cost of the different parts of each playstyle as much as possible. Ocato’s Recital will store any beneficial self-targeted and non-concentration spell held in your left hand at the time of casting. This spell will then be cast for free at the start of combat, making it ideal for casting mage armor spells, so using this to store the best mage armor spell you have is very beneficial.
A note on Alteration: since you don’t actually use Alteration spells leveling could be slow, so you’ll want to find some low-level Alteration spell to cast just to level up. You’ll also want to pay the tutors at the College of Winterhold to help you train up.
This will be a running skill across the first two of the Ghost’s aspects: each one will level up a different part of this tree in a way that is beneficial to that part of the playstyle. As for the Ghost of New Life Past, the main point here is to just make enchantments more effective. Enchanting Mastery and Gem Dust both improve the effectiveness of enchantments in different ways.
A note on how to level enchanting and get enchantments. It may be useful, not only in this build but in others as well, to take the Lover Stone for awhile for the Secret Admirer passive. This one will grant enchanted weapons or armor periodically. This will allow you to level by disenchanting as well as give you the potential to randomly obtain an enchantment you need.
One-Handed will mainly be useful to the Ghost of Christmas Present later on, but taking the first perk to the second level will provide a damage buff that’s very helpful for any character. While damage is not the main point at this stage with the character, it’s still necessary in combat, and you’ll find yourself struggling if you don’t take One-Handed Mastery to the second level early on.
Quick Trip to the Past - Many underestimate the power of history, particularly the greedy and selfish, who are only concerned with their present situation. They pay no mind to what happened before. But the past holds power. Your enemies know not where you went as you disappear before them. They search for you, bewildered, only to realize with horror that you are returning from your position not a few seconds before, fully restored and ready to bring their greed to an end.
Requirements: Rollback enchanted ring + Fast Healing spell + Intuitive Magic perk
This ability provides great escape potential, and makes you really able to control your positioning on the battlefield, albeit with strategic planning. With proper positioning and foresight, this ability can be quite powerful. With the Rollback enchantment, you can travel to your position 4 seconds previously by jumping with your hands raised. Once you’ve done so you can easily get off a casting of Fast Healing to bring your health back up to speed, and then re-engage. Thanks to Intuitive Magic, Fast Healing will cost nothing to cast, making this ability entirely free to use as much as you like. In addition to getting healing in, it’s also a great way to avoid devastating damage or even killing blows. The planning and positioning is a very important aspect of this ability. You’ll want to be moving around your enemies a lot in order to maximize the distance from them you gain when using this ability, because if you spend all your combat time right in front of them or in the midst of a crowd, the teleportation will get you nowhere and you’ll find yourself in essentially the same position you were before.
The Ghost of New Life Past really sets the groundwork for the build’s future stages. The Rollback enchanted ring mentioned in the Equipment section is actually a pivotal part of this character as part of the Quick Trip to the Past ability. This is quite a powerful mechanic, especially for a character that doesn’t have much damage output nor armor rating. In combat with this character later on, you really won’t have to worry about magicka management because none of your spells actually cost any thanks to Intuitive Magic. Speaking of, I’d recommend prioritizing that perk over others, because getting it as soon as possible makes this character quite a bit more powerful.
To initiate combat, use Ocato’s Recital to apply your Mage Armor spell, then equip your mace and healing spell and go into the fray, using that escape tactics to consistently heal and avoid big damage.
LEVELS 10-20: THE GHOST OF NEW LIFE PRESENT
*Steel gauntlets / boots
*Everlight mace (Everlight enchantment)
*Ring (Rollback enchantment)
*Denting Blows (3/3)
The Ghost of New Life Present is the fighter of the build. His main point is to get the damage out there when it comes to melee combat. He’s also the link between Past and Future, and he glues the character together in a lot of ways. He benefits a lot from the other two aspects of the Ghost, but his main skills are One-Handed and of course Enchanting.
There’s not a ton of exciting things to say about this skill. Most of the perks here are taken simply to increase damage. I won’t go too in-depth about what each perk does, but suffice it to say that once you’ve already taken One-Handed Mastery with the Ghost of New Life Past, Disciplined Fighter and Furious Strength both increase power-attack effectiveness and Denting Blows combines with Smite to act as the damage buff perks for this build.
Once you move on to this stage of the character, you’ll want to exchange your steel mace for an Everlight mace as soon as possible. To find out how to get this mace, check out the description of the mod when you download it. It’s quite a neat weapon that acts as both a mace and a torch, and it fits quite well with the Ghost of New Life Present as in “A Christmas Carol” he is described as constantly carrying a merrily crackling torch. In Skyrim, this is his weapon, and it has a useful enchantment on it. It lowers power-attack cost with one-handed weapons, as well as lowering the cost of casted spells by the same amount when this weapon is equipped. The latter effect will be quite useful once we get to the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come.
The Ghost of New Life Present takes this skill in a very different direction than Past did. He focuses on buffing attack efficiency with Enchanting. Thunderstruck increases weapon enchantment effectiveness by 25% when delivered by a power attack, which is another reason why stamina is an important attribute for this character. Attunement makes weapon enchantments 10% more powerful and last 10% longer before needing to be recharged.
Festive Light - The torch of the Ghost of the Present is said to bring light andc heer to those who are caring and generous. But to those who are not, it brings another sort of light: that light that dances before their eyes as it smashes repeatedly into their heads with a thundering force.
Requirements: Torch-Mace with Everlight enchantment + Disciplined Fighter, Furious Strength, Smite, Thunderstruck and Attunement perks
This passive ability is the culmination of the mace-based One-Handed perks working together. Disciplined Fighter and the Everlight enchantment will work together to reduce the stamina cost of power attacks by a respectable amount. This cost reduction will be even further increased by the Thunderstruck and Attunement perks, which both work when delivered by a power attack. With this low cost, you can repeatedly hit a target with devastating power attacks. The first of these will be particularly effective thanks to Smite, dealing 6x critical damage.
While the Ghost of New Life Present is indeed a fighter, keep in mind he does not wear any armor and has no armor skill, so he relies on the mage armor from Ocato’s Recital for protection. Remember to equip the best mage-armor spell available to you with Ocato’s Recital as you progress. However, he also still uses the same skills that the Ghost of New Life Past used to quickly escape from deadly situations and get a healing spell off in order to return to the frey. Not a lot about the active combat style changes at this stage of the character from the previous one. Most of the perks and such taken with this Ghost are passive buffs that you’ll have to keep in mind when fighting.
LEVELS 20-30: THE GHOST OF NEW LIFE YET-TO-COME
This is where the character really comes together into a fully fledged build. The Ghost of New Life Yet-to-Come adds an illusion-assassin aspect to the character. Looking back on it, a healer, warrior, and assassin combined into one character seems really odd, but it actually comes together in quite an interesting manner. Quick note that with the 50% More Perk Points balancing option for Ordinator, you receive 15 perk points every ten levels, so I’ve tried to keep the perk investment below that range for each stage. This stage goes 1 perk point over, but you should have enough left over from the previous two that it will be easily covered.
*Steel black mage plate (light variant) armor (Windfall enchantment), boots (Muffle enchantment), hood (Amplify Illusion enchantment), and gauntlets (Fortify Power Attacks enchantment)
*Necklace (Amplify Restoration enchantment)
*Ring (Rollback enchantment)
*Sneak Mastery (2/2)
*Illusion Mastery (2/2)
*Quiet Before the Storm
*Bite Marks (3/3)
The Ghost of New Life Yet-to-Come adds a totally new assassin/illusion layer to the build, and also adds an interesting aspect to combat. The Ghost of New Life Yet-to-Come is the final aspect of the Ghost of New Life. He brings silent death to the selfish and uncaring, and is capable of showing them mental images of their deeds and how they will affect the future, causing them to flee in horror at thier own deeds.
Obviously this skill is a must have for any assassin type character. Sneak Mastery and Infiltrator increase the effectiveness of sneaking, while Sneak Attack and Assassin’s Blade make stealth assassinations more powerful. Backstab is where things get more interesting and start to tie together with other parts of the build. It boosts attack damage by 50% at the second level when attacking a target from behind. Not only is this nice for sneak attacks, but also it works very well with Fear spells, as you’ll see as we move on to Illusion.
To the Ghost of New Life Yet-to-Come, Illusion’s main purpose is to cause fear. I like to roleplay that the fear from the spells is caused by the creation of a mental image of the destruction that will come on the target as well as others if they continue their ways of greed. Illusion Mastery simply decreases the cost and increases the effectiveness of Illusion spells, increasing along with your Illusion level. Quiet Before the Storm eliminates sound generated by casting spells, allowing you to get off fear spells, or any other spell, while remaining undetected.
Nemesis is quite an interesting one because it allows you to, every 180 seconds, activate a hostile creature to summon an illusion of them for 30 seconds that will relentlessly attack the target. Again this is cool from a roleplaying perspective as well. I like to look at it as though this is a reflection of the person’s own greed and selfishness. Through this and the fear spells I’ve tried to sort of emulate the way the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” shows Scrooge the effects of his selfishness on himself and others and what horrible things will come of it.
This next set of One-Handed perks makes the open combat playstyle for the Ghost quite a bit more interesting. He actually ends up dual-wielding a mace and dagger, which is quite the interesting combo. Bite Marks is the main contribution of the dagger. This perk, at the third level, will cause unblocked dagger attacks to deal a devastating 3 points of bleed damage per second over a 60 second period. This is further augmented by the Twin Fang perk, causes forward power attacks to deal double that bleed damage regardless of whether the attack is blocked or not. Ravage makes dual wielding attacks faster.
Fear of Pain Yet-to-Come - When the Ghost of New Life Yet-to-Come brings the final retribution to the wicked people of Skyrim, they experience a momentary premonition of all the pain and destruction that their actions will cause them. Unable to bear it, they flee from combat, with visions of their wicked selves in hot pursuit. While these may be only illusions, the Ghost himself certainly is not, and one cannot hope to outrun the arms of Death.
Requirements: Fear spell + Smite, Backstab and Nemesis perks
This ability is a rather powerful way to quickly dispose of enemies. Start by activating the enemy in combat, summoning an illusion that will target them, dealing constant damage. Then hit them with a fear spell, and let them run for a moment. Then quickly follow behind throwing out a forward power attack, which thanks to the Smite perk from the Ghost of New Life Present’s perk selection will deal 6x critical damage. By this time the enemy will be close to dead, especially if you can get in a quick bleed-applying thrust with your dagger as well, but if they are not you can usually rely on the illusion you summoned to finish them off.
This is where we get to go over how all the playstyles up to this point come together. This can get pretty complex, so let’s take combat step-by-step.
Starting in, you’ll want to use the sneak attack damage potential of the dagger to your fullest advantage, killing as many enemies as possible before you are detected. Once detected, Ocato’s Recital activates and applies the Mage Armor for no magicka cost. Now you’ll want to use the mace and dagger combo as efficiently as possible. The mace’s Denting Blows perk helps the dagger out a little bit by removing 100 points of armor rating at the third level. Daggers don’t do much damage, so the lowered armor rating can be helpful, but really the armor rating isn’t too relevant considering that the bleed is not affected by armor rating. The best way to use this combination is to power attack with the mace to lower armor rating, then apply the bleed with the dagger, and then use the 15 seconds of reduced armor rating from the mace to deal heavy damage over that period. The dagger can also be used to apply a quick bleed with a forward power attack, and then the Rollback enchantment can be used to get out of the situation quickly so you can deal damage to the target without worrying about being within range of their attacks. The bleed is also useful against mages and archers so you can run away from them and not worry about having to get in too close to deal damage.
The entire time you’ll want to intermittently be casting Fear spells. It’s helpful to know what level the opponents you are facing are because if you can get away with casting an apprentice-level Fear spell, it will cost you no magicka and give you the same benefits. Otherwise you’ll have to spend the magicka, which really isn’t too much of an issue considering that most of your other spells cost nothing in that department. Also, if you unequip the dagger to replace it with your fear spell and keep the mace equipped, your spell cost will be reduced by 20% thanks to the Everlight enchantment from the torch-mace. This is also where the Backstab perk comes in, which at its second level applies a 50% damage boost when attack enemies from behind. This makes hit-and-chase tactics very effective, because all you have to do hit them once with a Fear spell and then power attack them from behind with your mace in order to deal heavy damage. If you don’t have time to pursue that target, try to at least apply a quick bleed to them with your dagger so they take damage while they run in terror.
Now if you find yourself running low on magicka, you won’t be regenerating it thanks to the Atronach stone, although in exchange you are receiving some fairly powerful benefits. However, that’s not much of an issue. Simply cast the Mystic Wind spell, which costs no magicka again thanks to Intuitive Magic, and then sprint around the battlefield, expending your stamina to regain your magicka. This is a worthy trade-off because your stamina should regenerate pretty quickly, while your magicka will only regenerate when targets are killed due to the Atronach Stone. You can also replenish your stamina with the Respite spell if you have the opportunity, which costs nothing since you only need your Apprentice Fast Healing spell to take advantage of it.
And finally, if you find your health low, you can easily use the Quick Trip to the Past ability to heal yourself up and get back to combat. Keep in mind that you can also use that ability to control your positioning in battle and escape dangerous situations.
There’s not much left to say about this character. No housing, mounts, or followers are required, unless you deem it necessary for your playthrough.
Wow, that was a long one. Hopefully I didn’t ramble to much and you were able to figure out how everything worked together and enjoy the build. I’ll finish off by wishing a very merry Christmas to Mr. Curse Never Dying, for whom this build was made, and to all of you who made it this far :D Now go forth! Punish the greedy and selfish on the day of the New Life Festival! May their blood be adequate payment for those they have wronged!
For anyone who didn't know, I have a YouTube channel where I post builds like this one. If you want to see more, check it out here: