Roleplaying with Skyrim

When I first saw the reveal trailer for the Nintendo Switch, I was quite surprised and happy to see The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim running on the hybrid console. I’ve put in nearly 150 hours into the original PC version of the game over several characters, but I still haven’t experienced everything the game offers. Of the three DLC expansions, I had only played Dawnguard (the other two being Hearthfire and Dragonborn). At the time of the trailer, it was speculated that the Switch version of Skyrim would be the special edition of the game. Now we know that it is the special edition which not only includes the three DLC expansions, but also has updated graphical effects. Some reviews are calling it the definitive version of the vanilla game (vanilla == no mods). I can’t wait to play it again come Christmas Day.

I saw this Reddit thread the other day titled “Make Skyrim Great Again - Build Your Character Here” that suggests people who have played Skyrim for many, many hours try something new by coming up with a character to roleplay as. Since I’ve already played the game for 150 hours, this sounded like a grand idea to me. I have never roleplayed a character like this before. I mean, I’ve said to myself “this character will be sneaky” or “this character will use brute force”, but I have never come up with a complete character with name and everything before even starting the game. So I’ve been thinking about this and writing down some notes on my character every day since I saw that thread. This blog post will outline and discuss this character.

I’ve been thinking about the next Star Wars film entry “The Last Jedi” and how Luke might now be a gray jedi (walking the line between light and dark side, and capable of using either side’s Force powers). I thought it would be fun to make my Skyrim character walk the line between light and dark. And so my character’s primary skills will be conjuration, restoration, and sneak. The sneak skill may sound dark-side, but it is an all-around useful skill. (Now, I just want to say that Skyrim doesn’t have a morality meter like Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, or Mass Effect. I am imposing a dichotomous morality system on the game.) Conjuration involves summoning weapons and creatures from “beyond”, as well as reanimating dead bodies. Necromancy is widely considered to be very dark-side not only in many other video games, but also in other mediums (books and films). My thinking is that my character would regularly rely upon summoned weapons, but would only summon creatures and reanimate dead bodies when in great need. Restoration is as light-side a skill as there is, especially when you consider that there are restoration spells that deal damage only to the undead like zombies and vampires.

Even my character’s name revolves around this idea of straddling the light and dark: Luciana Nyx. Luciana means “light” and Nyx means “night”. Light in the night could mean a good, light-side person brightening the night, but I intend it to mean someone who walks the line between light and dark. Her Dawnguard adventures will literally be a light-side person brightening the night as she combats vampires with sun magic.

Luciana’s secondary skills would be enchanting, lockpicking, pickpocket, alteration, and alchemy. Enchanting is always a useful skill for a mage. Considering the absolute plethora of locked objects in Skyrim, lockpicking is a necessary skill. Pickpocket will be part of her dark side. Alteration is a very useful skill for exploring (waterbreathing, detect life, detect undead, magelight) and combat (passive magic resistance and active magic armor). Now that I have writen it down, I’m thinking that alteration and sneak will switch places. I chose alchemy because I always avoided it in the past and I want to try it out.

Luciana’s birthsign and race will be the lord and Breton, respectively. The Lord Stone adds 50 points to your armor rating and adds 25% magic resistance. Breton bloods grants a 25% magic resistance and give +10 to conjuration and +5 to alchemy, alteration, illusion, restoration, and speech. So Luciana would have a total of 50% magic resistance without accounting for any armor effects or skill perks.

In Skyrim, there is a civil war between the Empire and the Stormcloaks. Luciana will choose to join the Empire because they have a big picture view of the world. They know that there will be another conflict with the Thalmor and a unified empire is the way to victory. Ulfric Stormcloak is also a racist that reminds me too much of Donald Trump so that’s another reason for Luciana to choose the empire.

A character actually living in the world of Skyrim would have favorite foods, books, gemstones, beverages, etc. Luciana’s favorite beverage will be Honningbrew Mead, favorite food will be Elsweyr Fondue, favorite treat will be Honey Nut Treat, and favorite gemstone will be flawless sapphire (but she’ll take normal sapphires as well). As for her favorite book, Luciana will be an academic that wants to read every book she comes across. She likely won’t have a favorite book, but we’ll see.

There are several different guilds in Skyrim that one can join. Luciana will join the College of Winterhold to learn more about magic and to read all of their books (she will be quite the voracious reader). She will also join the Dawnguard to rid the world of vampires.

One aspect of Luciana that I still don’t know is her origin. Where did she come from? How did she end up being captured along with Ulfric Stormcloak? Does she know that she is Dragonborn? Did her family know that she has such great potential? Maybe these are questions that will never be answered. One thing I do know is that she is young, in her mid-20s.

There are nine Divines in Skyrim: Akatosh, Arkay, Dibella, Julianos, Kynareth, Mara, Stendarr, Zenithar, and Talos. Luciana’s favorite is Julianos because he is the god of wisdom and logic. Her favorite Daedric Prince is Meridia because Meridia has an everlasting hatred of the undead and will reward those who seek to destroy them. Luciana plans to become Meridia’s champion and obtain the fabled Daedric artifact Dawnbreaker. Dawnbreaker is a holy sword forged to burn away corruption and false life (the undead). This will help Luciana tremendously in her Dawnguard adventure. Another Daedric artifact that would be useful is Spellbreaker which is imbued with a ward spell that reduces magic damage by 50 points. This ward is renewed every time the shield is raised. This artifact would be quite useful when facing a powerful enemy mage or a dragon.

If there’s interest, I might write a few journal entries from Luciana Nyx’s perspective once I get Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch.

Written on November 20, 2017
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