I'm interested to know the various steps people take to create a strong character for themselves in Skyrim.

Are there certain skills that you strive to develop as early as possible when starting a new character? Is there a specific skill that you simply cant live without? Do you have a method for quickly enhancing that skill as effortlessly as possible? Perhaps its a racial decision?

I could personally give dozens of ways to quickly create an advantage when starting a new game, but i'm interested in what other people do with their own characters. I'm not asking people to write out a complete build here, we have a character build section for that.

Some people may prefer to just play the game as nature intended and let their character develop normally. If not...

 

"Briefly describe three steps you take early on to define your character and give yourself a strong advantage"

 

I'm hoping to get some new ideas here and hopefully some of the posts will help and inspire others when creating their next character. Only post if you have three constructive steps for others to comment on, dont just post and say "I like restoration, its really cool".

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Every character that uses any armour or weapons I like to start smithing very early on. I can get a full set of superior (even exquisite) Dwarven easily by level 10.

1. Kill the bear in the intro, then once you leave take all the hunter's hides from the camp near the Guardian Stones. Clean out Embershard Mine, take all of Alvor's iron ndd do his smithing tutorial. Steal the pelts from Faendal's house.

2. Make your way to Whiterun, using Fury on any deer you pass by. This should net you plenty of hides. Then smelt all the iron/craft the leather, making iron daggers/leather bracers. Should get your skill to 30 or so depending on your race.

3. Go to Markarth, and break in or otherwise get entry into Calcemo's Dwemer museum. Steal all the plate/bent scrap/solid metal, which should get you quite a large amount of ingots.

 

On a side note, if you're feeling particularly brave you could try clearing out Nchuand-Zel. Doing this (and taking all the metal) got me a full set of epic ebony by level 20, even while doing some Compaions/MQ stuff along the way.

Efficient ;)

I like to try to live through the experience rather than boosting individual skills:

1. Choose what race and a basic class. For example ive wanted to have a mage so had a choice of the high elf or bretons for my race as they have the best natural ability with magic.

2. Once the game has started i tried to focus on 6 main skills to begin with. Obviously most were the magic skills destruction, restoration & alteration. This meant i could kill, heal and protect myself basically with magic then to give myself an edge and to help develop my skills i focussed on Heavy Armour - high elfs are weak physically so i needed the extra protection and one handed so i could slice n dice anything that got to close.

3. With the basics in place i would then go out questing until i levelled up a couple of times or i couldnt carry anymore then head back to town to do some crafting and would usually move around a couple of different holds smithing, enchanting, potion making until i levelled up at least one level then start the cycle again.

Just a little foot note i tended to only go through one quest line at a time sometimes even leaving a quest line to become thane of a hold or to go hunting down some words of power. The balance and mix of activities meant i never got bored or felt i was rushing or cheating by boosting my skills.

Although i have to admit i did become skyrims largest contributor of iron daggers for a time when i really wanted the daedric armour

The process has felt very organic and my character has developed over time with certain choices which then led him to other darker routes which i didnt set out on doing. Im now at the point were im level 52 and pretty much go and do what i want day or night sweeet

Well,

If it is a mage char, I donne the mage robes found on the dead mage during unbound and head to winterhold

If heavy armor char, I take hadvar's side and get the iron and steel ingots in alvor's forge for free and make my first armor and weapons and move on to whiterun

if light armor ranger then I take ralof's side and go take everything in Hod's house and get the first trainings and hunting bow from faendal and move on to Riften (and oh, i wait for the night and rob alvor's smithy anyway :P

1. Smithing is essential for most of my characters. Your offense and defense are based on two factors - the quality of your gear and your skill in using them. Some of my characters lag in armor skill depending on their fighting style. The answer is to compensate by crafting better armor. And smithing will also help your offense so it's a double win.

2. Have a backup plan. Develop a fighting style that works for you, use your head and keep the fight on your terms, have a backup plan in case it isn't. Invisibility potions, illusion spells, or really good healing magic could all work. Just be ready with Plan B because Skyrim doesn't have a Fortify Speed spell.

3. Stealth, because some times it is helpful to get a good look at what you are getting yourself into. Honestly, every character concept I've developed so far will at least dabble in stealth. It helps with the earlier point - use your head and keep the fight on your terms.

Making a strong character in a TES game is mostly about getting the best gear as soon as possible. Now in past games you needed to complete elaborate questlines for that, but in Skyrim, for the first time in a TES game, the equipments you craft are actually better than those you're given as rewards for completing quests. So, the steps are thoe:

1- Train smithing and enchanting together all the time, making little trinkets of iron and leather, with weak enchantments, till you can craft ebony and dragon scales to legendary level, with strong double enchantments. Unmake every enchanted item you get to learn the enchantment and improve your skill. Sell the gear you made to buy more craft material;

2- When you're making the gear you will wear, be sure to take the strongest potions of smithing and enchanting, and craft various equipments to enhance smithing and use then together to get the maximum enhancement to your weapons and armour;

3- Use double enchantments that keep complement each other and improve the skills you need the most. You can put twelve enchantments in your gear, so use them well.

By level 15 you should be able to wear ebony or dragonscale gear with strong double enchantments that are designed to reinforce your weakness and signifcantly increase your main skills.

1. RACE MATCH TO COMBAT TECHNIQUE EG MAGIC =DUNMER OR ALTMER

2. LEVEL UP ONE HANDED PERKS FIRST, - YOU WILL FIND MOST ATTACKS YOU NEED WILL BE FROM A SWORD

3. GO ALL OUT FOR FUS ROH DAH! - HANDY SHOUT TO HAVE IN STICKY SITUATIONS.... - 

play uniquely with a character.........i dont save between quests...only if i complete one.......that means it can be a long re journey if i die..........il never forget my 3 hour journey without auto save.....i had run out of potions and couldnt heal myself......

i play on expert and really was up against it....infact on the back foot.....i was in a cave where you get the crown of barenziah....literally twenty odd falmar chasing me......little did i know i was going to experience something almost unfair and rather negative impact on my heart and pants lol.....when leaving one doorway from the cave with falmar army chasing me...i thought i had safely escaped after the loading screen.......BOOM they all had followed and more were behind them as well.....i was trapped and being raped by these buggars as i couldnt move what so ever in the narrow cave way...........whats that ahead......a cliff drop......... ..............FUS ROH DAH!

atleast 11 falmar flying away off a cliff edge in a beautiful cave into a water fall setting me free from rape and sparing me the gloom of redoing my 3hour journey...........

possibly the most relieving sight in this game i have had yet.

Haha! Yeah falmer rape is pretty shocking, especially as they are already part naked and all up for the task at hand...

I love battles like the one you just described, really epic moments to be had in Skyrim...

iv had so many but one i will never forget, dunno if you will believe me but here goes....

after leaping from a waterfall for the fun and clearing out dark water pass i eventually found myself in an area in eastmarch...wide open land and noticing a dragon wall nearby i decided to make my way over there.....ths was within the first magical 10 hours of the game. 

some random hairy nord ran at me and i took out my bow..... but he panicked and told me to take a sword....so i did......as i turned to watch and see what he would do next, .....somehow.....a dragon landed, and crunched him in its jaws and tossed the poor fella away....out of the blue! didnt even hear it coming.......

so as i begin battle......some other nord dude runs up to me and goes "hey did you see a guy with a sword?".................(looks at dragon).......... and of course he didnt last long either haha. just the timing of it all was brilliant

First I create a backstory, and a personality for my character.  Some are typical (khajiit hunter), some atypical (orsimer mage).  I try to make them all different, but there's going to be some overlap.  The OP is looking for three steps to create a strong character, so I'll just pick one.  An archer.

1.  After arriving at Riverwood, talk to Sven.  Get his letter.  Give it to Camilla, but tell her the truth.  Sell your stuff while you're at the store.   Now, go talk to Faendal.  He is very grateful, and just like any friend that you've help win the love of his life, he'll train you for free.  How?  Ask him to be your companion.  Then ask him to train you.  Spend all the gold you can on this.  Trade with him, and get your gold back.  Continue to level 50 in archery.   (This will work with any trainer that can also be a companion - max training level varies)

2.  Sneak everywhere - stay in the shadows, and wear light/no armor.  If possible, plan your shot to be at a good distance away (snipe) - have a retreat plan.  Fire, move back and away (don't advance), sticking to the shadows - you must change your location.   He or any allies are likely to go to the point of origin of the arrow.

3.  Be prepared to run away (and only when you must, remembering that somtimes you must retreat is very important if you play dead=dead).  Your light armor will help.   Take stamina potions/food to maintain your speed.  Try to keep cover between you and your opponents.   They will usually give up persuit.  Return if you think you can take them out - repeat step two.

I dislike the fact that your skills are fairly low at the start of the game, regardless of your backstory. Therefore with my khajit assassin I did the following.

1)Go with Hadvar in Helgen and sneak attack him constantly in the first room, grinding my Dneak and One-handed up to 90 and 35 respectively

2)As soon as I'm in the world, head for Indhelm and join the Dark Brotherhood

3) Once theBrotherhood gives me some good gear, level up 15 times in one go, getting every Sneak perk except the final one as well as improving my archery and one-handed with the spare perks.

My khajit is now at the level of badass my backstory for him implies :D

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