Ok so last night I was messing around with Skyrim and decided to start an unarmed character to see how viable it was. So I rolled up a tough looking Khajiit and scuttled through Helgen in the usual way.

When I got properly started I was amazed to find that I was doing heavy damage with my Khajiit claws, in fact most enemies were going down in one or two hits at default difficulty. Even when I went up to Expert level I was easily besting the Imperials / Bandits / miners that I found in the starter dungeon and around Riverwood.

And the unarmed kill cams are pretty fun too 

That got me thinking as to whether it is actually viable - and, more importantly, fun - to play an unarmed Khajiit for a proper play through? 

There are at least a couple of potential drawbacks that I foresee

1. How am I going to be able to level at a rate that keeps me tough enough to be able to cope with the bigger and tougher enemies that I'll run into eventually? Obviously there's no unarmed skill and only one unarmed perk, so what am I going to use to raise levels?  Heavy armour perhaps? Perhaps sneak, or lock picking or a bit of restoration?

2. What kind of role playing character would make sense? I've obviously got to take at least a bit of Heavy Armour to get the Fists of Steel perk, but it seems like a monk or martial arts character would probably wear  either light armour or (more likely) enchanted robes? And would I want to be looking at using Sneak and/or Illusion to create more of a 'move in and out of the shadows' type?

Apart from the Gloves of the Pugilist that I already know about are there any other items, enchantments, daedric artifacts or other shiny things that I really should be looking for to make my unarmed character seems both viable and 'in character'?

So.... lets talk about unarmed 

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Go too the riften ratways as yoi go through the system you will be attacked by an unarmed orc who has a sweet set of brawling gloves
also their is a mod i used which pits in a one armed skill tree its really awesome and yeah the unarmed killmoves are awesome

I did an 'unarmed test' build way back in December (http://theskyrimblog.ning.com/group/character-building/forum/topics...) and leveled on Smithing, Enchanting, Alchemy, Restoration and Heavy Armor. It worked surprisingly well, and Mason suggested that I add Destruction to the mix as well since cloak damage also adds to weapon damage (not sure about unarmed, I never bothered testing it). It's very viable overall, but not very RP friendly. You really need Enchanting to use with Heavy Armor gauntlets and to enchant a ring with fortify unarmed as well. You could probably do it without the Heavy Armor, it'd be about 20 or so points weaker though.

Something else I'm trying for a build I'm working on at the moment is using the Silent Roll perk as an evasion maneouvre in combat. It's working pretty well so that'd be good for a martial artist type character too.

hahah. nice!

my very first character was a ranger/rogue Khajiit who went around using unarmed as primary weapons and a bow as secondary. i only leveled up sneak archery a bit of lock picking and a smattering of random skills she is wearing the Nightingale armour. i haven't enchanted any extra gear and at adept level can quite easily take down a dragon (haven't come across any elder ones yet though.)

sorry can't give any clues on gear wise apart from the gloves you know about, but for looks if you can get your hands on the , the Alik'r Kematu guy's gear by following the Alternative route option here it looks pretty sweet.

OK, so if I can be really clear on the fortify unarmed enchanting.... (I've done very little enchanting in Skyrim)

1. I kill the brawler in the Ratways and grab the gloves of the pugilist

2. I take that to an enchanting altar and 'break it down' to learn the 'fortify unarmed' enchantment 

3. Then I use that to enchant another set of gloves (presumably the original gloves are destroyed) AND a ring. That gives me Fortify Unarmed +20 since they 'stack'??

Is that the right way to go to get the maximum fortify unarmed?

And what should I enchant the rest of my clothing and jewellery with to supplement my character?

yes that's right far as the enchanting goes

probably some regeneration or fort health on the chest? (increases rate of health regen/ or adds to the base amount)

muffle to the boots if you want to sneak?

some waterbreathing on your helmet to be all zen master look-at-how-long-i-can-hold-my-breathe-for :P

and either a amulet of Arkay for health +10 or Kynareth for stamina + 10 or if you plan to shout a lot go for the amulet of talos with a 20% reduction on shout cool downs

Yep that's correct. I'd mainly use health/heavy armor/magic resistance enchantments since Stamina is only really used for sprinting, as unarmed power attacks can't stagger, and maybe a bit of magicka enchantments if you're using Restoration.

Magic resistance enchantments make sense since I'd have zero ranged attack. So mages would be able to pick me off with their spells before I get close enough to punch their lights out

I guess the same goes for archers, but the heavy armour would deflect some plus its not all that hard to dodge arrows

Sadly the unarmed damage in skyrim caps at a 46-61 with everything you can add.

Paul, I did a similar thing in Fallout New Vegas and it was so much fun. Trying to punch out a Super Mutant. :P Maybe you can enchant your robe/whatever you are wearing to make it as resistant to damage as possible then go level up by fist fighting all the mudcrabs in Skyrim. (oh, you could probably handle a wolf or two as well.) 

Seriously, though I was half-serious with that last, I think sneak would be a definite plus for you especially when fighting large groups unarmed.

I leveled up my character in New Vegas pretty much like that though. I just went around punching flies and such until I could level up. Although I can't say I am as stout as you, I didn't try for expert bare-fisted.

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