The Elder Scrolls

Elder Scrolls 6: My Ideal Skill System – Warrior Archetype

TheElderScrolls14 - Elder Scrolls 6: My Ideal Skill System - Warrior Archetype

I've spent a lot of time, more than is probably healthy, thinking about the Elder Scrolls and how to make it better. Because I lack ANY modding knowledge, I keep my notes on pads of paper (and pads and pads and pads). I thought I'd put my notes down here in case someone was interested in them. I add a few skills and combine a few (lockpick and pickpocket become Thievery, for example). I've played Morrowind through Skyrim with a mind boggling number of mods, so I've definitely been inspired by other peoples work. Some (like PerMa's wayfinder) overlap with mine, simply because I liked the idea so much, but I feel I've changed them enough to warrant going unaccredited but I will list a few mods that have inspired me enough to warrant note.

PerMa, Ordinator, SPERG, Invested Magic, Horse Whistle, and Archery Gameplay Overhaul

Skill List

There are 18 skills, six per archetype, along with three crafting skills.

Warrior Mage Thief
Block Alteration Explorer
Heavy Armor Conjuration Light Armor
Medium Armor Destruction Marksman
One Handed Illusion Thievery
Riding Mysticism Speechcraft
Two Handed Restoration Stealth
Smithing Enchanting Alchemy

The warrior archetype is fairly self explanatory. Riding makes mounts a viable long term strategy for melee, ranged, and magic types, as well as for simple ease of use. In the Mage archetype, Mysticism comes back and replaces Alteration as the meta-magic skill tree, while reclaiming some of the more esoteric meta-spells. Thief sees the most change. Explorer is an entirely new skill, focusing on secrets (doors, chests, and locations) as well as enemy knowledge and location detection. Thievery combines lockpick and pickpocket, as well as a new function – mugging. Stealth is just Sneak, renamed.

Formulas. When the formula for an effect is written next to a perk or skill, the skill name is written in there. The skill name variable represents the current numerical skill level. It seemed obvious but it can't hurt to mention. Also, on skills with comparable other skills (One handed, Two handed. Or the Armor Skills). Perks may not specifically state it, but the perks only apply when using the respective item or spell. The destruction skill tree does not improve illusion spells unless specifically stated, and the Heavy Armor Skill tree does not improve medium armor, etc, etc.



Blocking is slightly different than in previous elder scrolls games. Blocking does not cost stamina, but redirects health damage to the stamina bar, then applies the shields AR and DR (see heavy armor) to the stamina cost. In effect, a weak shield will move some of the damage to stamina, and not reduce it very much. A strong shield will move most of the damage to stamina, and reduce it a lot. Timed blocks move all the damage to stamina and reduce it by 50% outright before applying AR and DR. Weak shields are easier to timed block wit as shields take time to raise (its not instant) and weak shields are also lighter.

Small Shields redirect 25% of damage to stamina, Large Shields redirect 50%, Tower Shields redirect 75%.

Small Shields take 1 second to raise, Large Shields take 1.75 second to raise, and Tower shields take 2.5 seconds to raise.

The skill tree looks like a
search?q=Kite+shield&client=firefox b 1 d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiups2Rqf7hAhVvTt8KHY60A4MQ AUIDigB&biw=1638&bih=808&dpr=1 - Elder Scrolls 6: My Ideal Skill System - Warrior Archetypekite shield with a boss

Block Skill: Increase Shield armor rating by (BLOCK/2)%

Level Name Prerequisites Effect
1 Shield Training n/a Increase damage blocked by shield by (5+(BLOCK/5))%
15 Shield Bash Shield Training Attacking with the shield raised does damage. Interrupting a power attack has a (BLOCK/5)% chance to injure.
20 Ready Shield Shield Training Raise shield BLOCK% faster.
30 Cover Shield Training May block Spells with (50+(BLOCK/2))% effectiveness.
40 Shield Rush Shield Bash OR Ready Shield Backwards or Strafing power attacks while blocking perform a two hit attack.
50 Anticipation Cover OR Ready Shield Increase timed block window by BLOCK%
65 Steady Arm Anticipation OR Shield Rush Gain (BLOCK/2)% shield armor rating and (BLOCK/10) shield damage reduction.
75 Bell Ringer Shield Bash Forward Power attacks while blocking stagger targets.
85 Deflection Cover Reflect single target spells with a timed block for (BLOCK/1.5)% power.
100 Shield Mastery Shield Bash OR Cover OR Steady Arm Reflect 10% of damage blocked.


First I'm going to explain my take on armors. Armor grants armor rating (AR) and damage reduction (DR) as hard stats. AR is a percentile damage reduction, which caps at 80%. DR is a flat damage reduction, which is available from limited sources (mostly your armor). Second, Armor grants some soft stats: Crit Resistance (CR: percent chance to turn a crit into a regular hit), Combat Effect Resistance (CER: percent chance to negate a stagger, injury, or bleed effect), as well as negative stats like Move Speed Reduction (MSR), Sprint Stamina Cost (SSC), Power Attack Cost (PAC), and Light Attack Cost (LAC). MSR reduces total move speed by a percent, so even magical speed boosts affect armored characters less. The other stats (SSC, PAC, LAC) increase the stamina cost of their respective actions.

Heavy Armors are all plate armors (gothic plate, white plate, full plate, breast plate, banded armor)

The perk tree looks like a sugarloaf helm, with Insulated and Doubt forming the visor slits.

Armor Comparison: Highest Quality

Armor Type Heavy Medium Light None
AR 400 300 200
DR 15 10 5
CR % 50 25 5
CER % 50 25 5
PAC x2 x1.5 x1
LAC 10 5
SSC % 50 25 10
MSR % 30 20 10

AR is applied before DR.

Heavy Armor Skill: +(HEAVY ARMOR/2)% AR. All heavy armor perks are reduced when not wearing a full suit of heavy armor, (Heavy Armor Slots/Max Armor Slots)%, the same goes for any armor or weapon based perk tree with their respective equipment.

Level Name Prerequisites Effect
1 Heavy Armor Training n/a Gain (HEAVY ARMOR/20)+1 DR
15 Momentum Heavy Armor Training When you are hit, your next attack gains (10+(HEAVY ARMOR/10))% chance to stagger
35 Indestructible Heavy Armor Training Gain ((HEAVY ARMOR/4)+25)% CR
40 Second Wind Momentum When you take no damage from an attack, restore (25+(HEAVY ARMOR/1.5))% of the reduced damage to stamina
50 Impenetrable Indestructible Gain (HEAVY ARMOR/2)% AR
60 Doubt Second Wind When you take no damage from an attack, the attacker deals (5+(HEAVY ARMOR/10))% less damage on their next attack.
75 Immovable Impenetrable Gain (HEAVY ARMOR/2)% CER
80 Insulated Impenetrable Gain (HEAVY ARMOR/5)% resist Fire, Frost, and Lightning
85 Unstoppable Second Wind In Combat, sprinting into enemies deals (HEAVY ARMOR/2)% weapon light attack damage and has a 75% chance to injure them
100 Juggernaut Immovable OR Unstoppable Each time you are hit in combat, deal 10% more damage with your next attack, up to 100%.


Medium armor has no strengths but, when fully invested in, has no weaknesses. Unlike heavy armor and light armor, which lean into their specific methods of battle, Medium armor focuses on minimizing its weaknesses and has no specific combat style. Fully investing in medium armor, without investing in Light or Heavy, makes medium armor superior to both.

Medium armors are all Maille type armors (Chain, Scale, Ring, Banded)

The perk tree looks like scales where the bottom of a scale houses the perk.

Medium Armor Skill: Gain (MEDIUM ARMOR/2)% AR

Level Name Prerequisites Effect
1 Balance n/a Gain 5+(Skill/4) Health, Stamina, and Magicka
20 Conditioning Balance Reduce SSC by (MEDIUM ARMOR/2)%
25 Hard Points Balance Gain (MEDIUM ARMOR/25)+1 DR
35 Turn Away Hard Points Gain (MEDIUM ARMOR/4)% CR
50 Flexible Joints Hard Points OR Conditioning Reduce LAC by MEDIUM ARMOR%
60 Weight Distribution Conditioning Gain (MEDIUM ARMOR/2)% AR
75 Reinforced Turn Away OR Flexible Joints Gain (MEDIUM ARMOR/4)% CER
80 Oiled Hinges Weight Distribution OR Flexible Joints Reduce MSR by (MEDIUM ARMOR/2)%
90 Extra Padding Oiled Hinges Reduce PAC by (MEDIUM ARMOR/2)%
100 No Weakness Oiled Hinges OR Reinforced Gain 5% to all resistances


The one handed skill applies to all weapons used in one hand, with either a weapon, shield, spell, or nothing in the other hand. All weapons have a Combat Effect Profile (CEP), which grants them a chance to inflict a Bleed, Injure, or Stagger just from attacking. Generally the profiles are thus: Blunt Weapons have a 15% chance to stagger, Axes have a 15% chance to injure, Swords have a 15% chance to bleed. Spears have a 7.5% chance to bleed or injure, and reach. Daggers have a 15% chance to bleed, and a 30% chance to injure on sneak attacks.

Stagger: Cause the target to recoil briefly, unable to attack or block (but still move at 50% speed). Large enemies have stagger resistance

Bleed: Cause the target to take damage over time, some enemies are immune.

Injure: Cause part of the body to have reduced function (chart in appendix).

The perk tree looks like a saber held by an arm.


One Handed Skill: Gain (ONE HANDED/2)% damage and (ONE HANDED/20%) swing speed.

Level Name Prerequisites Effect
1 One Handed Training n/a Gain (ONE HANDED/2)% damage and (ONE HANDED/20)% attack speed
15 Parry One Handed Training Your one handed weapon benefits from the Block skill and perks. Blocking with your one handed weapon levels Block.
25 Darting Attack One Handed Training All power attacks have a (ONE HANDED/4)% chance to avoid interruption. Standing power attacks have (ONE HANDED-5)% chance.
35 Dual Wielding Tempo Darting Attack When dual wielding, gain (ONE HANDED/20)% more damage and attack speed for 4 seconds each time you hit an opponent, up to 10 times.
45 Riposte Parry After blocking an attack, your next attack ignores ((ONE HANDED/3)+17)% AR.
55 Merciless Attack Darting Attack OR Riposte Backwards power attacks gain (50+(ONE HANDED/2))% higher CEP . All weapons gain (50+(ONE HANDED/2))% higher CEP or pick one weapon type (swords, waraxes, maces, or short spears) and gain (50+ONE HANDED)% higher CEP.
60 Battle Mage Merciless Attack Your weapons gain a new CEP: 15% chance to Reduce Fire, Frost, and Lightning Resistance (ONE HANDED/5)
75 Disarming Attack Merciless Attack All attacks have a (5+(ONE HANDED/10))% chance to disarm opponents. Strafing power attacks have a (ONE HANDED/2)% chance to disarm opponents or injure unarmed opponents.
85 Dual Wield Rhythm Dual Wield Tempo While dual wielding, targets hit lose (ONE HANDED/20)% stagger resistance for 4 seconds, up to 10 times.
100 One Handed Mastery Disarming Attack Charging power attacks deal 2x damage and reduce enemy attack speed by 25% for 6 seconds. All attacks reduce enemy attack speed by 5% for 6 seconds.


The riding skill serves two purposes. The first is to make mounts more viable as the game progresses and therefore keep them around longer when dangerous things appear. The second is to make mounted combat more viable as a tactical choice, rather than a minor advantage or occasional disadvantage. In skyrim mounted combat was awkward and frustrating, the side swings were hard to manage and you didn't get a lot of benefit for it. Riding aims to change that.

In addition to the Riding Skill, players can apply Barding and Tac to their mounts, each of which provides bonuses and penalties. Barding offers more protection at higher stamina drain while Tac provides dismount resistance, storage space, or both but less.

Greater Power: Mark Mount. Once per day you can mark a mountable creature as special, allowing you to summon it with your Call Mount lesser power and grant it benefits from the Riding Skill and Skill Tree.

Lesser Power: Call Mount: Allows you to summon your Marked Mount from wherever it is, will arrive in less than one minute. At will.

The riding skill tree looks like a rearing horse, with Mount and Blade as the muzzle and Trample as a raised hoof.

Riding Skill: Gain (RIDING/4) dismount resistance and (RIDING/10)% reduce aim sway, spell interrupt resistance, and melee damage.

Level Name Prerequisites Effect
1 Whistle n/a You gain the greater power Mark Mount (1/day) and the lesser power Call Mount (hotkey "H")
15 Bonded Mount Whistle While riding, your mount benefits from (50+(RIDING/2))% of self target spells and potions and is immune to friendly fire. You and your marked mount split damage take 50/50.
25 Swift Hoof Bonded Mount Your marked mount gains (7+(RIDING/3))% move speed and stamina.
35 Charger Bonded Mount When in combat, your mount sprinting into targets deals (RIDING/2)% damage and has a (RIDING/4)% chance to stagger them.
50 Wild Swift Hoof Your marked mount gains (RIDING/3)% CER, poison, and disease resistance
60 High Ground Charger While mounted, light attacks break blocks and power attacks, ranged attacks, and spells have a RIDING% chance to be uninterruptible.
75 War Training High Ground OR Iron Hide Marked Mount gains (2xRIDING)% health and jumping backwards while mounted causes the mount to kick backwards, triggering Charger.
80 Lancer High Ground Mounted attacks while sprinting deal RIDING% more damage.
90 Trample Lancer Any time Charger is triggered, there is a (RIDING/2)% chance to send the target flying (as in FUS-RO) and knock them down.
100 Mount and Blade War Training Mounted attacks ignore 50% of armor and resistances. Mounted power attacks, fully drawn ranged attacks, and fully charged spells have a 50% chance to injure


The two handed skill is analogous to the one handed skill, but for two handed weapons. There is less variety, because two handed weapons have no off hand, but it is more focused on melee combat than the broader one handed tree. It includes the term Cleave. Cleave means the attack hits an additional number of targets listed. Cleave 3 means it would hit 4 targets in swing range.

In regards to Grim Harvest (level 85 perk), aggression and courage are hidden statistics for NPCs which determine their willingness to fight. If these two statistics are low enough they will surrender instead. Unlike Skyrim, enemies who surrender are likely to stay passive and may even be extorted for loot.

The perk tree looks like a battleaxe held in two hands.

Two Handed Skill: All attacks gain Cleave (TWO HANDED/50) and (TWO HANDED/2) damage

Level Name Prerequisites Effect
1 Two Handed Training n/a Gain (TWO HANDED/2)% and (TWO HANDED/2)% power attack damage.
25 Sweeping Swing Two Handed Training All attacks gain Cleave (TWO HANDED/50) and strafing power attacks Cleave all targets in reach.
30 Mauler Sweeping Swing All weapons gain (50+(TWO HANDED/2))% higher CEP or pick one weapon type (Great Swords, Battle Axes, Mauls, or Great Spears) and gain (50+TWO HANDED)% higher CEP.
40 Retaliation Sweeping Swing Timed blocks increase your next attack's damage by TWO HANDED%
50 Counter Swing Sweeping Swing Attacking while blocking deals (TWO HANDED/3)% light attack damage. Backwards power attacks automatically block and can't be interrupted.
55 Slaughter Counter Swing Killing an enemy reduces nearby enemies damage by (TWO HANDED/4)% for (10 x (TWO HANDED/10)%) seconds.
60 Chop Counter Swing Power attacking while blocking deals (5 x TWO WEAPON)% damage and cannot cleave.
75 Great Reach Counter Swing Gain (TWO HANDED/2)% longer reach. Standing Power attacks gain (TWO HANDED/2)% great reach and damage.
85 Grim Harvest Slaughter OR Great Reach Killing an enemy reduces nearby enemies aggression and courage by (TWO HANDED/4)% for 10 seconds.
100 Frenzied Charge Great Reach Charging power attacks always crit, injure, and ignore armor rating.


I have smithing only partially worked out, here's what I have so far. All equipment you can smith is comprised of two (technically three, but later) elements. Materials and Designs. The third is culture, it is minor, mostly asthetic.

Materials: Materials are things like Iron, Steel, and Ebony Ingots, maybe other materials but mostly what we all know and love from Skyrim – our ingots and leathers. These materials are assigned two values: Weight and Strength. All positive aspects of armor (AR, DR, CR, CER) and weapons (Damage) are affected by the strength of the material. All negative aspects of armor (MSR, SSC, LAC, PAC) and weapons (Swing Speed) are affected by the weight of the material.

Design: Designs have multipliers for all the aspects of equipment. So for armors its AR, DR, CR, CER, MSR, SSC, LAC, and PAC. They all have a number between 1/2 and 5 which is then applied to the strength or weight of an item, giving the final value to the armor or weapon. This both allows armor to be made from different materials (as opposed to skyrim) but also allows for visual variations of armor. Steel "Ebony" armor. Ebony Chainmail. Glass full plate. The design also determines the armor's class, Light, Medium, or Heavy.

Culture: An almost entirely aesthetic effect, culture applies a very small non armor based buff to the armor. For example: Khajiti armor is 5% more muffled, Altmer armor is 5% more resistant to spell interrupts, and Yokudan armor is 5% lighter (in weight, not in penalties). These little buffs come with stylistic effects on the armor. The aforementioned Khajiti armor is a bit darker and does not shine (matte), Altmer armor has eagle icons on it, while redguard armor has cloth on the joints.

Material strength is further modified by Smithing Skill. Strength is treated as (Smithing/100) while weight is treated as (101/(Smithing+1)). This means all positive aspects of crafting are diminished and negative aspects are exacerbated by a low level smith. However, as you'll see, perks improve material strength and reduce material weight, meaning a skilled smith invested in the smithing tree will surpass average equipment, while a starter smith will produce very poor equipment. Such equipment is labeled and both weak and poor enemies are likely to wear such low quality armor as it is much cheaper to acquire. On to the half done system, which I imagine will look like an anvil, as usual.

Smithing Skill: Improve crafted item stats as noted above.

Level Name Prerequisite Effect
1 Apprentice Smith n/a Sharpening and Reinforcing is (Skill/4)% stronger. Select Light, Medium, Heavy armor, Melee or Ranged weapons. Increase strength and reduce weight by (SMITHING/4)%
15 Smelter Apprentice Smith Reduce items into raw materials with SMITHING% efficiency.
25 Adept Smith Apprentice Smith Increase material Strength by (SMITHING/4). Select another item type from Apprentice Smith.
35 Spell Preserver Adept Smith Can repair enchanted items. Repairs restore (Skill/20)% charge.
40 Barder Adept Smith You may craft barding at twice the cost of normal armor. Apply the appropriate perks to the barding as though it were the armor.
50 Journeyman Smith Adept Smith Reduce material Weight by (SMITHING/4). Select another item type from Apprentice Smith.
65 Filigree Spell Preserver Increase the maximum enchantment value of crafted items by (SMITHING/4)%.
75 Expert Smith Journeyman Smith Gain a (SMITHING/6.5)% chance to have 1 material left over from crafting. Select another item type from Apprentice Smith.
85 Specialization Expert Smith Choose an item type from Apprentice Smith to increase strength and reduce weight by (SMITHING/1.5)% OR increase strength and reduce weight for all types by (SMITHING/4)%
100 Master Smith I dunno

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