The Magicka Monk
Skills: Destruction, Restoration, Conjuration, Alteration, Illusion
Weapons: None or fists.
Armor: Roughspun Tunic or none.
Powers: Secret of Arcana, Mora's Boon, Seeker of Sorcery, Root of Power.
Essential Questlines: The College of Winterhold & Dragonborn DLC
Magicka 1 - Health 0 - Stamina 0
Play on novice difficulty. You are the epitome of glass cannon. Your power should be overwhelming for lowly bandits, but your weakness will show in dragon and boss fights.
This is up to you if you want to dabble in conjuration, alteration, and illusion but the way I played it was very simple. Destruction and restoration. Mostly destruction. You should be overwhelming enemies with the appropriate spells. Shock for mages, Frost for melee, and Fire for archers. Your goal is to have effective magicka usage. If you use most of your magicka conjuring an ally and they are killed by your enemies, it is not efficient usage. If you cast a defensive flesh spell and struggle to produce damage with your remaining magicka, it is inefficient. Basically, choose one school to specialize in.
The monk's parents were battle healers for the Empire during the Oblivion Crisis. After the end of the crisis, and towards the beginning of the fourth era, the monk was born and raised in a humble home near Skingrad, on the outskirts of the big city. The monk was not raised to be a battle healer specifically; only learning a few basic spells from their parents. The monk grew old there, happy to care for their aging parents as well as offer healing services to citizens of Skingrad in exchange for food/supplies.
Their world would be turned upside down, however, as the great war started between the Dominion and Empire. The monk's parents wanted to aid in the battle but were far too frail to be any use. Locals, not knowing of the high elves' previous service, became suspicious and began to speak against the monk's family. Fearing for the worst, the monk made a deal with a local stableman to trade the family house for a horse and carriage to flee the city.
The monk headed northeast, away from the fighting. Unfamiliar with the other lands of Tamriel, they headed northeast in an effort to find a safe place between Skyrim and Morrowind. The monk misjudged the direction and was headed far more north than east, closer to the lands of Skyrim. The air grew colder, food supplies nearly frostbitten, and both parents health began to fail. The monk stopped in Bruma in hopes of getting help for their parents, but there was little to do at their age. No spell or tincture would stop the natural aging process, as the father passed in his sleep and the mother would do the same the following night.
The monk was alone and without a purpose now. They sold the carriage and any excess supplies in Bruma and continued to journey away from the fighting into Skyrim and headed for Morrowind. Passing into Skyrim, you witness a skirmish between Imperial soldiers and another faction. The Imperial leader questions your purpose and eventually sends you along your way after realizing you are not with the Thalmor. Upon arriving in Riverwood, the locals speak of a dragon attack in a nearby city. They offer you a small reward for notifying the citizens of Whiterun to send for help as you are the only one in town with a horse. Thus begins your story in Skyrim.
You only wear your ragged robes, tattered from your long journey. You do not seek out enchanted gear as you were taught to never rely to heavily on augmentations that can be removed from you; if you are taken prisoner or have your goods stolen from you in the night. You also avoid most items and materialism from your humble past. The only thing you collect in the world is gold to afford food and transport and spell tomes/scrolls. You use scrolls as soon as the situation is applicable; preferring not to carry a knapsack full of random scrolls to sift through when you need them immediately.
You feel you have no purpose. Your only desire is to help/heal others as your parents did. You discover your dragon blood in Whiterun and fulfill your destiny to defeat the World Eater. Then you defeat the first dragonborn in Solstheim and settle in Raven Rock as you and your parents had always intended. From then on you venture as you please, aiding the Dawnguard in defeating vampires and joining the Legion to fight back against racism in a war-torn world.
The magicka monk follows traditional Aldmeri religions, worshiping Magnus to increase effectiveness of magicka meditation, and carries forth a neutral good lifestyle; choosing to operate independently as opposed to part of a group with rules. Avoids followers except for difficult battles; take whoever you see fit for dragon encounters and hard bosses.
I like to play this character like a "level one build". I try to stay as underpowered as possible. I think the game feels best at level one because enemies have a minimum level. So bandits are a cakewalk and you feel confident against them, but dragons are way out of your league and much more difficult.
The more of these you have the better. In the beginning you will simply be using highborn once your magicka is drained. Once you acquire all powers, however, you will be reducing the cost of all spells with seeker of sorcery and root of power, cast spells for free including an infinite concentrated spell with secret of arcana, then towards the end of battle you can use Highborn as your magicka runs dry and Mora's Boon to escape death, refilling all your attributes at once.
In this order: Seeker of Sorcery + Root of Power + Secret of Arcana + Highborn + Mora's Boon.
(do not delete. custom photos coming soon.)