Well, lol, this build has a history. I played an incarnation of it years ago, though with different skills. Inspired by Conan O'Brian's Clueless Gamer Review of Skyrim, Mr. Buttons was born and I had fun. Then on Tamriel Vault, Mr. Buttons served as the inspiration for the Event Two in Two, but my Agents of Oegnithr then came to me and this little build that could was put on the backburner. The initial playtest was nearly done too, as was my concept art, and thematic material. However, It languished then in the Workshop, trying to be an Ordinator build in the bottom of my build queue until Deebs decided to throw his wonderful Workshop commenting event. Remember the words "little build that could". This sums up Mr. Button's new incarnation to the teeth (Pun totally intended). We have a tongue in cheek, roleplay build here that offers, within a measly five levels, all types of combat from magic, to melee, to archery. All this serves this little pseudo-monk, this devout Khajiit, on his personal quest to prove himself worthy of a Shield-Brother's love. I present to you...
This one saw him from a distance, across the tundra that blossomed in rolling clouds of white cotton tufts and lavender stalks, and all the troubles of the past day flew from the mind like a comet flies through the jeweled twin-mooned sky. Like wisps from the moon sugar pipe catching the breeze from the caravan tents. The shackles, the cart ride, the black, winged beast that made this one wish desperately to crawl back inside mother's womb and hide forever. He was like a god of bronze to this humble Khajiit, beautiful and proud, black hair with eyes of starlit silver. His armor shone in the waning light of Magrus and a great sword of unspeakable size and strength was surely held in his hand. He stood before a menacing giant with two others and Khajiit watched this god do the dance of battle, dread deep in his soul. It was tense, and many times Khajiit had to cover his eyes, unable to bear the possibility of seeing the death of this valiant god. But at the same time, Khajiit was compelled, compelled to inch closer and closer, to see, to hear, to taste the droplets of blood and sweat born upon the winds. This one watched in silence as the god made a lusty battlecry that would make the very Alkosh cower and thrust his tool of death into the giant, killing it. Khajiit knew then, deep in the bottom of his now lovelorn heart, that this god needed to belong to him. That the god needed to hold Khajiit in his arms like he held his sword. And that Khajiit would use all of Ban Daar's tricks, do anything the god wished, to be considered worthy of such blessing. It will be hard, because Khajiit has no skills that would match a warrior of such great strength, but Khajiit will find a way...
Class: Monk; monk/mage hybrid depending on the path you take on this one's quest for love...
Mods: Unmodded, but several mods that will enhance this playthrough include: Khajiit speak (so that this one will sound like this one, yes?), The unofficial Patches (So that mammoth's do not dance the Twin Moon's Dance) , Real bows (A monk's weapons must look real, no?), either Lupus' or Elianora's Breezehome (The Love Den must be worthy of the Bronze God), Cloaks of Skyrim (So that this one's tail does not get chilly).
Difficulty: Tested actually on Expert. I was Adept for a few levels and then cranked it up. Alduin was faced on Expert. This one says you will not die... much.
Race: Khajiit, for roleplaying purposes and claws. A Perfectly Punchy Pussy as Paws likes to call it. Punchy pussy is good joke, this one thinks so.
Stats: Just punch it all into health. More punching is always good, Khajiit always says.
Blessings: Talos. Every little bit helps this one's words of power, yes?
Lycanthropy: This one is a cat who likes dogs, especially wolves! Grrr. Fell in love with one, no? Passive Lycanthropy, though it was used strategically for key moments in the game as The Lovelorn Dragonborn was not an especially hardy build. In addition, the lycanthropy also keeps you from not getting the leveling bonus from rest. I know! We are slowing leveling.
Standing Stone: Atronach, or even Advanced Atronach, though you will not find anything past Potion of the Healer. What bounces off this one... eh, is absorbed by this one, sometimes. And then sometimes no...
Gear: Clothes or Novice Robes of Destruction (the path of enlightenment taken determines dress, though this one would prefer to be only in fur!), Gloves of the Pugilist (+10 unarmed, think of it as sharpening one's claws), Bonds of Matrimony (Khajiit is serious with his vows!), Amulet of Talos. If you want, steal the Archmage boots after completing Saarthal. I didn't, but it would round out the look and the shock resist is handy. (My dear Long-Chapper, all resistance is handy, no?).
Weapons: (Path of Love's Arrow) Crossbow with exploding bolts. The bolts are this one's love bursting for the Bronze God. Well, it is not the only thing that is bursting. Khajiit is being raunchy, much apologies. (Path of Love's Fire) Novice Destruction spells, especially Flames and Sparks. For both paths, staves and scrolls are heavily used for extreme encounters when packing a punch was not enough.
Shouts: Become Ethereal (One word), Unrelenting Force (mastered), Whirlwind sprint (One word), Fire Breath (two words), and Storm Call (two words). The repertoire was limited, but this one has learned that one can do much with seemingly little.
Followers: Lydia and then Farkas (The Bronze God is the correct term, Long-Chapper, not this Farkas. Do not demean him so with such a name!), and Meeko until one of the children in Breezehome wants him as a pet.
Quests: Companions, Mainquest, Book of Love, Bonds of Matremony, College of Winterhold (only for the Mainquest and to access the Atronach forge. Is a very scary place, nearly had this one's whiskers frozen off), A Scroll for Anska, Explore Deep Drop Falls in Dayspring Canyon, watch Agmaer target practice (Khajiit has to learn from someone, no?).
Skills: Pick a path, love is a flexible, bending thing, yes? HA! Or not. This one does not mind some stiffness! This one plays with you and can be a little naughty at times. But as was said pick a path, what will work for you. The path of Love's Arrow or the Path of Love's Fire, you decide, but some of the rules of this one's dance in the Arena stays the same...
There will be punching.
There will be staves. What can this one say, staves are liked. They remind this one of Bronze God, no?
Same thing with scrolls. Khajiit winks at you now. You are getting it, yes?
You will use some skills but not perk them. These are Enchanting and speech and what can Khajiit say, he is a bit sticky with his fingers still, especially when there are locks to be picked! But be careful how much you use these skills, or you will then break rule five.
You can only achieve five levels of true happiness. And now Khajiit will speak in riddles. The last level of true happiness is reached when the evil Black Sky Demon is slain, when an Old grey wolf of Ysgramor's Line sleeps deeply in his beloved Hall of Valor, and when the Bronze God makes you a home-cooked meal.
These are the rules, so now pick your path...
This one asks in response, well why not? Is he not a Bronze God or what?
The dance towards true love begins straight from Helgen. Unarmored combat is always favored since it slows leveling. Depending on the path you have selected to ensure that the Lovelorn Dragonborn wins the heart of Farkas in the end, you will favor as a second weapon; either the bow (in true monk fashion), or go for a more hybrid approach (using Destruction magic). Once out of Helgen, delay your first encounter with the Bronze God (Farkas fighting the giant with Aela and Ria) for a brief detour to Riften, more specifically the Ratway, to acquire the item that will make this build pretty tough to beat for most of the game.
Khajiit claws do 10 base damage + a 12 point passive called "Claws". The Gloves of the Pugilist, found on a Gian the Fist, give another +10 to this damage, so each blow does a whopping +32 damage. Not much in later levels when you factor in crafting skills and weapon perks, but in the early game, it borders on over-powered. It's not the first time I've punched my way through Skyrim, but what I really enjoyed about the gameplay of this build was the flexibility, despite of the limitations brought on by the low level endgame. This build can engage in close melee attacks using his claws or can approach battle from a distance, using either Archery or Destruction magic. When I noticed that skills were increasing too quickly, I changed combat to either claws or I switched to staves and scrolls, which do not level skills, especially if you discard the staves after you use them. Khajiit chuckles, there is only one staff worth keeping. ;)
Claws were favored for most encounters, which really allowed me to enjoy a ton of content in this playthrough, whereas if I had used more skills that required leveling, I would have accomplished a lot less. The challenge to myself was to get through the Mainquest and the Companions without passing level 5, which was essentially what I did with The Lovelorn Dragonborn when he was a level 35 Shield mage.
Dragons were a huge challenge. Not for the damage they did, because Become Ethereal and the Atronach Stone did much to absorb damage or stay it altogether, but for just getting them to land. I had to really watch that I didn't over level either Archery or Destruction. Several solutions to this dilemma were explored. First, the use of staves and scrolls, much like how I approached The Freelancer's combat. Another solution was to use a follower exclusively for ranged attacks. Lydia, the Housecarl you acquire upon slaying your first dragon, fit the bill nicely - until you win Farkas' heart by completing the Companions. She was also used as a roleplaying tool by being someone The Lovelorn Dragonborn traveled with to ease the loneliness he felt when he still did not have Farkas. Once Dragons landed, however, Khajiit was all claws. Even Alduin posed no match, though he did make the Lovelorn Dragonborn drink copious amounts of health potions. Save those, by the way. Save them, because you are going to need them for the last few major quests in the main questline. I didn't need them much throughout the Companions Questline, Dustman's Cairn actually being much easier because The Lovelorn Dragonborn was such a low level. However, for the mainquest from Elder Knowledge and beyond, I was very glad that I was smart enough to stockpile the potions. You could opt for Restoration if you go the destruction route, just because it is such a slow leveler, but I liked that I had to scrouge around for potions.
The biggest challenge, by far, however, were the areas that were just not designed for a low-level character. The Lovelorn Dragonborn did Alftand Ruins AND faced Alduin (Twice, Long-Chapper, please emphasize that Khajiit did this not once, but twice to win the Bronze God's heart, very important to point out). In addition to facing enemies that were at a much tougher level than you, you also do not have the endgame equipment that would make dealing with these enemies easier. To battle these odds, Mr. Buttons, my ingame name for the Lovelorn Dragonborn, employed several tactics (Yes, this one definitely called upon several of Ban Daar's many tricks to win the Bronze God's love).
Follower + Become Ethereal: Let the follower distract the enemy while you charged in from behind with Become Ethereal.
Become Ethereal used as a lure: I would taunt the enemy while in Ethereal state, leading them to my follower.
Tactical use of traps and shouts. This was the build that Fus'd Falmer off those narrow passageways.
And what about that area where no follower can go? Namely Skuldafn?
Beast Form: I never perked Beast Form and for the most part I didn't use it, but there was a special point in Skuldafn where I knew I would struggle, so I did not cure Mr. Buttons of lycanthropy for that reason. Not inside the Temple, but outside where you are bombarded by Ancient Dragons and powerful draugr. I used Beast Form to acquire the fastest speed for any creature in the game. And Mr. Buttons ran. He ran fast up those steps, dodging dragon fire and frost attacks, axes and arrows. And after several attempts, he made it inside the Temple still in one piece thank the Old Huntsman, may Hircine forever reign in the Hunting Grounds! The same thing happened again when I knew I'd have to go outside again. And so after I used Storm call, I used Beast Form again, and ran right past Nahkriin (he wasn't going to stop to collect a dragon mask, dealing with Vokun to get a word of Storm Call was enough, thank you very much) and jumped into the portal for Sovngarde. What matters is that he is doing this for the love of Farkas, not HOW he did it, am I right? Farkas doesn't have to know. You won't tell him, I won't tell him, the Lovelorn Dragonborn's dignity remains intact. It's actually a fair tactic for such a low level build. (Khajiit says there is no shame in running fast, that is why Azurah gave Khajiiti the long legs for!)
One of the funnest aspects of this game was the roleplaying. Because right out of Helgen, once you get the Gloves of the Pugilist, your goal is simple. Marry the Bronze God and make a home for the two of you, whatever it takes. What can I say? It was one of my quirkiest playthroughs. I explored how many tomatoes I could stuff in Lydia's room, pretending that she had a tomato fetish. I collected flowers and gemstones to scatter over the marriage bed. I made and stored tons of Elsweyr fondue (obtained through the kindness of the khajiit caravans - yes, I raided the chests - and by relieving evil drug dealers of their merchandise) even though I didn't use it, but it felt like the Khajiit thing to do, as did collecting all sweet treats. I picked butterfly wings. I ran from dragons sometimes. The Lovelorn Dragonborn rises from being a lowly monk who has had a pretty rotten first day in Skyrim to becoming Dovahkiin and earning the man of his dreams.
Breezehome, however, is not so easy to acquire when you are not leveling speech through the buying and selling of items or through lockpicking for loot. I was about halfway through the Mainquest and the Companions when I finally had enough to afford Breezehome with all its furnishings. Until then, Bleak Falls Barrow is not a bad place to store your materials, nor is Anise's Cabin, though I didn't feel like killing her in my playthrough. Mr. Buttons was not a murderer. You can also befriend one of the townsfolk. Hulda is a kind woman who offers a room at the inn for one who is proficient with the use of an axe against wood. Uthgerd the Unbroken is sympathetic towards those hard luck cases like herself and her bed is usable if you beat her in a friendly brawl. Little consolation for the lonely Khajiit, but a bed is a bed and safe storage is safe storage, no? (See my article in the Tips and Tricks page for a map of safe storage in Uthgerd's House).
When you finally acquire Breezehome, shower the main bed chamber with the all flowers and gemstones you have acquired from your travels. Prepare the nuptual bed for the arrival of the Bronze God. I also adopted two children, Lucia and Sofie, and let them have Meeko as a pet. Might as well make it one happy family.
Another fun aspect to the roleplay was that Farkas isn't one of the easier marriage candidates in Skyrim. You must complete the Companion's Questline past Glory of the Dead for him to be your follower or an available candidate for marriage. That's an awful lot for this Khajiit with basically no skills to go through, and add to that a level 5 cap. The completion of Book of Love, was another very lovely addition to this playthrough. It also marks the first time I really used the Bonds of Matrimony as gear, even if it did nothing for the actual gameplay. Farkas wore his ring too and it was a nice piece of immersion as Mr. Buttons and he traveled together.
You can roleplay their relationship two ways. Marry Farkas after The Companions and then have him travel with you through the remainder of the mainquest, which is what I did. Or, you can wait until you vanquish Alduin and then marry him. Both have their rewards. The former gives the newlyweds some time to travel together. Honeymoon in Alftand anyone? It is very lovely this time of year with all the snow and little white goblins running about! The latter has more of a sense of completion. You go through all this and you get the guy in the end. Be aware, however, that poor Farkas can sometimes be overwhelmed by marriage (Read that he glitches and then disappears), so I would recommend a good hard save right before the ceremony. I had to marry him three times. Well? Why not? He is very marriable, no? This one thinks so...
Well, there you have it, my first build in a good long while. I sincerely hope you enjoy, for all of its strangeness. I had a blast doing this in only, what? Three days? I'd like thank a few people. First Deebs, who always seems to come up with something to get me out of my little cave and build again. Clever, clever this flash event, eh? I thank always Phil because he is an inspiration and always encourages me to follow my crazy paths. The Lorc of Flowers and Teineeva too, especially the latter for his flash psychology sessions. Here's to more builds in the future!