Skyrim without the dragons: my khajiit's quiet adventure.

Sansha

There's a principle in business
Nov 16, 2008
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So here I am, recovering from surgery on my tailbone, unable to:
- drive
- exercise
- do little more than sit awkwardly

For this and the proceeding three weeks. So, bored of grinding on World of Tanks, I decided to poke my head back into Tamriel with TES5: Skyrim.

My first and only character was a level 58 Imperial Thief/Assassin, and I pretty much immediately knew that I was no longer interested in him. So I made a hard save to keep him where he is, then started a new character.

When it came time to make him up, I initially again chose Imperial - partly because Cyrodiil, partly because well-rounded character, but then thought about what I liked and disliked most in the game.

Liked:
- sneaking
- stealing
- riding my horse
- making millions of Septims

Disliked:
- everything dragon related
- especially the Alduin quest line

So, I picked a Khajiit.

Yes, I go with Hadvar every time.
After derping through Helgen and Riverwood, I went to Whiterun like Alvor asked, told the Jarl about what happened at Helgen, he ordered some guards sent to Riverwood, and... I left.

That's it for me with the Dragonborn quest line. I'm not at all interested in shouts, killing dragons, the Elder Scrolls themselves, the Civil War or generally killing anybody. I stopped both quest chains halfway through because I was just bored; I kept wandering off to loot stuff.

So now here I am, level 30, no shouts, dragons or main story quests, and I can't tell you just how much fun I'm having without all that. A lot of people tell me it must be sucking all the epicness and action out of the game, but really I get enough epicness from those landscapes, and action? I've got a mod that removes levelled enemies and loot - bandits are taking me from full to no health with a single arrow unless I really know how to fight and I love it, that's all the action I need. The upside is the loot and vendors - I can find anything anywhere.

The thing about open world games like this is you can play them however you like, and Skyrim is easily the most free and unrestricted world I've ever seen in games. It's not punishing me at all for not playing the game 'as intended' - I can literally do whatever I like, completely excluding the parts I didn't enjoy about the experience I've had with the game.

I just wanted to share my new adventure, and how I'm experiencing one of my favorite games in a whole new way, and having so much more fun for it.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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I've recently had a reinvigorated experience with Skyrim.

I got a new PC just before Christmas and bought Skyrim during the Steam sales, despite already owning it on the Xbox.

I modded out all the stuff I hate about the game, modded stuff in that looks awesome/tweaks the game to my liking, and I'm having a blast :D

Not to mention just how much better the game looks on a decent PC.


These are the 2 characters I'm running at the moment :D

[sub]Might not show, I'm using a computer at work, and a lot of websites don't display properly.[/sub]


 

IndomitableSam

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Sep 6, 2011
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I've got a mage around 30ish without dragons going as well. She's got a couple followers to take the hits while she fireballs things to death. Mostly does alchemy and enchanting, wandering the fields picking flowers. I've got close to 100 mods on my game, too, so the game is really different.

However, I'm one of those annoying people who has to have the perfect house, so if I can't find/make it, I get bored. And I also get bored after a few days of dungeon delving, so I usually play for a week, stop for a month or two, then pick it up again.

Mostly I'm just waiting for more info on ESO since my sister and I really want to play together, and highly doubt they'll ever be able to mod Skyrim into co-op.
 

DoPo

"You're not cleared for that."
Jan 30, 2012
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Sansha said:
A lot of people tell me it must be sucking all the epicness and action out of the game
And it seems a lot of people are wrong. Dunno, I never found the main quest to be that interesting. Or a lot of the questlines, for that matter, but the sheer amount of stuff to do was something liked. Killing dragons was sort of OK and the shouts are not entirely too bad but few of them I actually like - the wallhack one mainly, and several others, I may as well not have bothered for the rest but I had so see if they were worth it. The pesky dragons kept attacking, though, so I just installed the mod to allow me to purchase perks with dragon souls - that helped, at least I had a reason to kill dragons then.

"Just doing stuff" is good enough for me. I've also done it in Morrowind and I had self-imposed cheesing reduction restrictions (don't use the scamp merchant, you can only sell an item for as much as the merchant has - so no "sell ebony armour, pick up a couple of glass daggers then sell them later" barters) and I really liked it - now quests that gave you 1000 gold actually matter and you have incentive to go and just explore more of the world for some more money.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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I plan to do something very similar if/when I ever get around to playing my second character.

I didn't like the main plotlines, I didn't enjoy the dragon fights (they mostly consist of either hiding behind a rock and popping out to shoot arrows or waiting for the damn thing to land), and I can do just fine without shouts.

The fun for me was in exploring and building my character.
 

Sansha

There's a principle in business
Nov 16, 2008
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Daystar Clarion said:
I've recently had a reinvigorated experience with Skyrim.

I got a new PC just before Christmas and bought Skyrim during the Steam sales, despite already owning it on the Xbox.

I modded out all the stuff I hate about the game, modded stuff in that looks awesome/tweaks the game to my liking, and I'm having a blast :D

Not to mention just how much better the game looks on a decent PC.


These are the 2 characters I'm running at the moment :D

[sub]Might not show, I'm using a computer at work, and a lot of websites don't display properly.[/sub]


You'll have to jam 'em onto ImageShack if you can; Steam Cloud doesn't let you link directly to images... for some reason. But I like your pair of toons there. I've never played warrior or mage, just thief/archer. I wish there were different save slots or a character sheet.

DoPo said:
Sansha said:
A lot of people tell me it must be sucking all the epicness and action out of the game

"Just doing stuff" is good enough for me. I've also done it in Morrowind and I had self-imposed cheesing reduction restrictions (don't use the scamp merchant, you can only sell an item for as much as the merchant has - so no "sell ebony armour, pick up a couple of glass daggers then sell them later" barters) and I really liked it - now quests that gave you 1000 gold actually matter and you have incentive to go and just explore more of the world for some more money.
I fancy imposing my own restrictions too - for example, I never fast travel. That's what Frost (my horse) is for. Random encounters are what ties the entirety of Skyrim together for me, be they meaningless bandits or animals, actual quest starters, or - my absolute favorite part of the game - butchering Thalmor patrols. I seriously cannot get enough out of battling and cutting down Thalmor agents.
And most of my Septims I never actually use - I store most of 'em, or spend them on copious amounts of skooma.
 

Sansha

There's a principle in business
Nov 16, 2008
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its really easy to make jack of all trades in skyrim which by around level 30-40 every character pretty much ends up the same. good on you for ignoring the ain quest and forging your own adventure in the world.

for me im currently playing a dwemer obbsessed battlemancer (heavy armour, shield + sword warrior that uses conjuration) its a good change from the usual sneak + marksman i normally use

you definitely need to limit yourself alot more in skyrim than you did in previous games otherwise you loose that interest
 

Kieve

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Jan 4, 2011
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I'll admit, for a while Skyrim did get rather dull. I didn't mind the main quest so much - meeting Paarthunax was worth it, he's pretty awesome - but after a point it felt like I'd done everything I had any interest in doing. Been trying something a little different lately though.

I have three different characters, but I'm trying to play them in such a way that they could all coexist at once. For example, while Ra'Shirr is down at the tower killing his first dragon, Kaleena's off murdering bandits in a mine for bounty and Rahna is looking for Kenmu to settle that whole business with Saadia. Only one of them is allowed to do any given quest or clear out a location, and ideally never on the same day (to avoid "continuity" issues where they ought to be running into each other).

It's been... interesting, so far.
 

Sansha

There's a principle in business
Nov 16, 2008
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Kieve said:
I'll admit, for a while Skyrim did get rather dull. I didn't mind the main quest so much - meeting Paarthunax was worth it, he's pretty awesome - but after a point it felt like I'd done everything I had any interest in doing. Been trying something a little different lately though.

I have three different characters, but I'm trying to play them in such a way that they could all coexist at once. For example, while Ra'Shirr is down at the tower killing his first dragon, Kaleena's off murdering bandits in a mine for bounty and Rahna is looking for Kenmu to settle that whole business with Saadia. Only one of them is allowed to do any given quest or clear out a location, and ideally never on the same day (to avoid "continuity" issues where they ought to be running into each other).

It's been... interesting, so far.
That's actually a very interesting way to play, I never thought of it like that. Skryim co-op or some way to intertwine your characters would be an amazing experience, so as your assassin shanks the emperor, your warrior hears about it from a fellow wanderer.
 

Jfswift

Hmm.. what's this button do?
Nov 2, 2009
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I did the same thing, also playing as a khajiit. Every day I'd hop on a taxi or head off into the wilderness on some new adventure. Irony is I stumbled onto one if the final ruins five minutes into the game and spent the rest of my time searching for a key to open this special door.
 

cswurt

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Oct 26, 2011
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I also have a no-dragon playthrough.

I play a Breton vampire Illusion mage.
I use Illusion magic almost exclusively. Stuck sneaking/daggers in because it doesn't work on some enemies.

I use no armor.

I put no points into +Health.

I just find a good spot, cast Fury on several enemies in a group, watch them fight each other to the last man, then slit the throat of the winner.

It's fun.

If I mess up, I pretty much die in one hit.
 

Hafnium

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Jun 15, 2009
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I have also recently made a character that isn't the dragonborn, mostly because I was getting tired of dragon attacks, lugging around their bones and scales and just wanting a more pure character without the help of shouts. My unarmored Altmer Spellsword is very interesting to play, I must be pretty careful a lot of the time. That slow time shout would be handy though!
 

voltair27

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Apr 9, 2012
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I always thought that unless the Dragonborn was a Nord, it didn't make sense at all.

I made a Dark Elf Spellsword and now, I'm just running around the world as an over glorified mercenary, killing people with an Ebony longsword and Flaming Walls.

It's pretty damn awesome.
 

romxxii

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Feb 18, 2010
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Even with dragons around, you can more or less ignore the main questline. My level 60 Imperial Illusionist/Assassin has racked up her fair share of dragon kills, but hasn't really finished the dragon or civil war quest lines. It's not like the dragons show up often, either. By eschewing fast travel and hoofing it from hold to hold, you can avoid most dragons, and as an added bonus gather up crafting ingredients from all the trolls, bears and bandits that show up along the way.
 

SirPlindington

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Jun 28, 2012
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I did that too. Gotta say, it was a million times more fun. It sounds sort of weird, but I liked being little. Maybe because I felt like when I was involved in the main story, I ought to be seeing real changes, but when I'm just sort of meandering about, it makes sense that nothing would be happening and I can just sit back and let it wash over me. Rather than getting caught up in the trivialities, I can look at them from their level. Does that make sense? Probably not.
 

JaceArveduin

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Mar 14, 2011
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voltair27 said:
I always thought that unless the Dragonborn was a Nord, it didn't make sense at all.

I made a Dark Elf Spellsword and now, I'm just running around the world as an over glorified mercenary, killing people with an Ebony longsword and Flaming Walls.

It's pretty damn awesome.
Dunno what yer talkin about, Argonian's work too. I mean, if you've got dragon-blood, shouldn't you look a wee-bit scaley?

My character from my friend's 360 is a murderous Argonian who bludgeons things to death with a hammer. And is an evil bastard in general.
 

Maxtro

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Feb 13, 2011
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I did a no dragon play through on my Snow Elf (yes Snow Elf mod) for the longest time. But he needed to be the Dragonborn so he could go to Solstheim. Pooy. It's completely possible to go through the Dawnguard quest lines without being the Dragonborn, but the cool encounter of fighting two dragons on the frozen lake does not happen. There are simply no dragons in the world.

BTW, I highly recommend using Skyrim -Community- Uncapper
http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/1175

It lets you keep leveling up because your skills can go above 100. For exeample, my other character is a lvl 40ish female Breton Vampire mage who has 125 Destruction, 110 Alteration and just hit 100 Conjuration. It makes sense that as she gains experience she continues to become a better mage. I'm also using one of the balanced magic mods that bases Destructions spell power on your skill. It's obvious that a mage with 75 destro casting a basic fireball would have do more damage then a mage with 10 destro casting the same spell.
 

The Sanctifier

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Nov 26, 2012
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I didn't really make any specific rules for my playthrough, so it was mostly running around in full daedric with a deadric mace clobbering people too death in one hit. After a while though that can get kind of boring, so towards the later stages of leveling I decided to invest more skill points into stealth. I didn't max out the tree, but I got the damage multipliers for one-handed, knives, and bow. Its a hell of a lot of fun trying to stay really far away from a patrolling bandit, and then pick them off by leading them into an arrow. Also quite fun to sneak up behind and just slit their throats.
 

PhunkyPhazon

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Dec 23, 2009
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There are indeed some characters I make where I just don't want to faff with the dragons or main storyline at all, and for that I highly recommend the Live Another Life mod [http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/9557]. Not too long ago I had a long-running character who was more concerned with joining the Companions and the civil war. ...Unfortunately, I then found out you HAVE to fight the first dragon in order for the Battle of Whiterun to start, which I think is ridiculously stupid. Well, whatever, I went ahead and did that and just jammed my fingers in my ears whenever talk of Dragonborns and shouts came up, because GOD DAMNIT THAT CHARACTER WASN'T DRAGONBORN. Headcanon is a glorious thing.
 

Spectrum_Prez

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Aug 19, 2009
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Yeah, I always play without dragons. I've never really tried following the main plot organically, I always put it off until the end when I'm at least level 40 or so.

Same thing with Oblivion. If you never go find Martin, the gates don't open and you can avoid having to do all that tower-climbing malarkey.

This isn't so much of a house-rule, but more of an unbreakable, terrible habit:
I always end up doing a complete sweep of all locations in game before starting on any quests in Bethesda games. This goes back to Oblivion. Start in one corner, visit every location in the game, then start doing things. I've tried breaking out of this habit, but always revert back to it before I realize what I'm doing.

Personally, I liked the system in Morrowind better where venturing off in that fashion would get your killed quickly. The game there made more sense... being ordered to go out in the wilderness was actually a little intimidating because transportation was difficult and the creatures could very easily screw up your game. So, you tended to stick near towns and transportation hubs. In other words, textbook pitch perfect use of game mechanics to heighten immersion and realism.