Creating Your Own Artifacts

"It is said that Flame Atronachs willingly gave of their salts to forge the blade, and that it was tempered in water purified by the Divines.

It has no equal."

One of my favorite things about Skyrim is the crafting system. In fact, improving and upgrading equipment is one of my favorite aspects of any game. Skyrim is just one of those games where it really shines, though, and presents a lot of awesome opportunities.

So have you ever made your own artifacts? Tell us about them below! If not, see if the the suggestions below give you some ideas!

Here we'll look at some ways to use crafting (and of course, RP) to create your own epic items worthy of the term "Artifact," using a few criteria. Let's get started.


One of the first things we notice about the artifacts in the game is their distinctive and often telling appearances. One look at the Mace of Molag Bal, and if you knew nothing else about it, you'd know that it was made for a cruel and brutal wielder. When making our own artifacts, that's the first limitation to be aware of. Unless you're a modding wiz, your legendary shield is going to look like every other Ebony Shield out there. Even so, the variety of equipment available means you can still choose a characterful base for your artifact; something that will give the adventurer who finds it an idea of what it's meant for.

This is applicable whether you RP that your character originally crafted the item, or it's something that they discovered in their travels. It's going to be something that suit's your character's personality and playstyle. So, the first thing you should do is choose the most appropriate type of item. Is this legendary bow for a woodsman? Then maybe a simpler, more rustic material, like a Hunting Bow. Is it the bow of a great warrior? Then something with more flair is appropriate.


What exactly can this legendary item do? Again, there are some limitations for us as players. Without using the Creation Kit (certainly an consideration for PC players) we make a weapon that creates a fiery explosion on contact, like Dawnbreaker. But between the items and enchantments offered, and perks like Extra Effect, there is a huge range of options at our disposal, and even some of the game's included artifacts stick to these basic effects. So decide what this item can do, in keeping with it's Character. Does that blessed woodsman's bow weaken it's targets by draining their stamina, or chilling them with a freezing effect? This is the opportunity to really make the weapon shine in comparison to the myriad other enchanted/unique items you'll come across during the game.


This is an important one to consider in terms of balance. Keeping in mind that even several of the games own unique artifacts will eventually be outclassed by your own randomly found weapons and armor, you have to decide how powerful to make your artifact.

Is it the sword to end all wars, strong enough to kill any opponent in a single blow? Will that be interesting for you? If so, take into account that actually making a piece of equipment that powerful will require either modding, or taking advantage of glitches in order to boost your crafting skills. On the upside, this means that you may not have to invest as much of your perks and effort into crafting.

Alternatively, you may want it to be balanced against the gear you'll be encountering. In this regard, players actually have the advantage over the artifacts added by Bethesda. If it happens that your item's quality begins to be outshined, you have the option of creating a new, updated version to accompany you. This approach, however, does necessitate investing significant effort in crafting.

Whatever you do, make sure that you're using the best materials you can(unless RP dictates otherwise), materials worthy of such an awesome undertaking.


The final step in the process. Every artifact needs an evocative, interesting name. Dig deep for this bit, it's worth it. Naming things has always been a good excuse for me to get into lore and things like that to find inspiration, but it can really come from anywhere. Reference its rarity, or its material, its maker or its purpose.

Final Notes

With these ideas as a framework, any character can have their own collection of artifacts. Those playing on PC have even more options. For example, the Familiar Faces mod allows you to import one of your own characters into another character's game world as an ally...or an adversary. You can kit up that character with your personalized artifacts, and acquire them in an epic quest or battle, just like the many artifacts Bethesda added to the game!

Don't forget to tell us about artifacts you've made!

  • What were they called?
  • How were they made?
  • What's their history?

Tags: BoromGuide, RP:Discussion, RP:Guide

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Replies to This Discussion

Interested to see if anybody as any cool warhammer artifacts. I tried to make one for my cleric but I suck at leveling up enchanting.

That's the real tough part. To be an artificer, you really have to invest into enchanting, and usually smithing, too. No warhammer's from me, though. I've yet to play a warhammer wielder.

I used a mod to enchant a Dwemer warhammer with Meridia's Retribution and Sun Damage and called it Anvil of Meridia.

That sounds boss!

Yeah but it was pretty weak since I didn't level it very well, ended up not using it much. I have ideas of two other weapons I'd like to make if I ever get round to it.

Keep us posted ;D

Thinking about making some insidious dagger, what do you think would happen if you enchanted a weapon with both fear and paralyse? 

I think that more often than not, it would end up wasting the fear enchantment. True, on those blows where paralyze doesn't trigger, you'd Fear them, but then you'd have to chase them down. Maybe worth playing around to see if it works better with both effects in one dagger, or as a paired set of artifacts, one with fear, and the other with paralyze.

Might be cool for RP purposes though? Could be that the blade is so evil that it scares people so much they actually can't move. Could also have it covered in poisons so it slowly kills them as well, or literally scares them to death. Could make it from an Orc dagger and call it the Goblin's Toothpick or something.

That'd totally work!

Oh, well back in oblivion I made a deadric warhammer caled Flaming Zeal. It did 40 points of fire damage for 1 sec and 62% weakness to fire for 1 sec it was enchanted with a black soul gem housing the soul of  a dremora valkynaz. A very powerfull artifact and one  I am very proud of.

Nice! A dremora soul would make for a very characterful source of power.


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