This is my first Character Build Guide. I hope to make more in the future. Feel free to post any builds you would like me to work on. Please keep in mind that this is not a “Master Build” and is intended for fun. I also recommend that you take my idea and experiment a little and tweek it to suit your preferences. So, let us begin. · Build Name: Dark Paladin o This build focuses on close-quarters combat with either One-handed or Two-handed weapons while being clad in Heavy Armor. After an enemy is slain, the Dark Paladin will raise them from the dead to assist them in battle. The build is even more deadly if the Dawnguard DLC is downloaded, allowing him to summon Bonemen, Mistmen, and Wrathmen, as well as Arvak for your own undead steed. The Dark Paladin may also utilize flesh spells and Block to further increase its defense. · Race: Breton o This is not essential to the build, as any race could fit the role well enough. I chose Breton simply because they start with the Conjure Familiar spell, a decent place-holder until you can get a reanimation spell, and the Dragonskin racial power. Technically though, any race can be chosen, as the +10 in Conjuration will not make a large impact in later levels. A Nord who has no initial specialization in Conjuration (or most skills associated with this build), would still be just as proficient by at least level 30. · Mandatory Skills: Conjuration, either One-Handed or Two-Handed, and Heavy Armor o Necromancy is the Dark Paladin’s greatest skill, and is therefore a first priority. I recommend going all the way up to Master Conjuration and Twin Souls so that you can have two Dead Thralls. Useful perks to get along the way would be Necromancy and Dark Souls. If you plan to use Bound Weapons in combat, Mystic Binding is a must-have. Note: If you plan to smith your own equipment, I don’t recommend using Bound Weapons, as the items you craft will soon out damage your ethereal weapon, even with Mystic Binding. o One-Handed or Two-Handed weapons will be the Dark Paladin’s main source of damage (outside of reanimated dead). Which one you choose should be based on your play style. Would you rather deal massive amounts of damage or leave your off-hand open for that crucial animation spell or shield? Hotkeys on PC can equip and un-equip mapped items/spells. You can also do this on Xbox/PS3 with the left and right directional buttons, but only with two items, so mapping a spell and a shield/two-hander allows you to switch on the fly. Either one you choose, the perks are mostly the same. You should snag 5/5 in Barbarian/Armsman, Fighting Stance/Champion’s Stance, and Savage Strike/Devastating Blow. If you plan to use Two-Handed, Sweep is highly useful perk and should be gotten ASAP. You can get the weapon-specialization perks if you want, but the benefits are not very useful at later levels IMO. Critical Charge/Great Critical Charge can be fun, but will not be used often, and Paralyzing Strike/Warmaster is a near useless perk IMO. o Heavy Armor gives the Dark Paladin high defense capabilities. You may move slower, but you will be able to take a lot of abuse. It also makes sense from a lore standpoint to use Heavy Armor. The weight can be cumbersome, especially if using Two-Handed weapons, but you could fix this by getting the Conditioning perk, but you will have to waste a couple of perks on Fists of Steel (practically useless) and Cushioned (only slightly useful when scaling mountains). I do recommend getting 5/5 in Juggernaut and Tower of Strength. You could get Matching Set and Deflect Blows if you want, but they aren’t going to make or break the build. · Optional Skills: Smithing, Enchanting, Alteration, Block o Smithing is a highly useful skill to almost any build, and very advantageous to a Dark Paladin. It allows you to maximize both your attack and defense as well as make easy gold if paired with Enchanting. For this build, I recommend going up the right side of tree, as well as snagging the Arcane Blacksmith perk if you plan to enchant as well, or improve any special equipment you find. o Enchanting will not only allow you to further improve your equipment, but also better immerse yourself as a Dark Paladin by stealing the souls of the living for your own personal gain. I recommend the left or middle side of the tree, depending on whether you want to focus on skills or magical resistance/damage. (The middle branch will still allow you some extra damge in the form of drains or stamina/migicka damage). Whichever you choose, you should get the Extra Effect perk no matter what. o Alteration could be used for extra defense. Dragonhide plus full Daedric armor can be a nearly unstoppable combo. I suggest skipping most perks except for the main branch. Where you choose to stop is up to you. Dragonhide is a master level spell and allows the most resistance, but Ironflesh might be sufficient enough for this build. Stability might also be a useful perk if you are caught in a long battle o Block is useful whether you’re using One-Handed (with or without a shield) or Two-Handed. If you plan to use a shield, the left branch will be the most useful. You should try and grab Deflect Arrows and Elemental Protection for increased ranged protection. You could grab Block runner if you want but I only find it useful when a mage runs backward while casting spells. You can’t really see where you’re going either. If you’re not using a shield, the right branch will be better for you. Power Bash, Disarming Bash, and Deadly Bash add a bit more offense to a seemingly defense-based skill. You could take these perks with a shield as well. Personally, I would use the shield for pure defense (and well-timed bashes) and not so much offense, but it depends on your play style. Quick Reflexes should only be taken if you are able to cope with the “infinite slow-time” glitch. It is otherwise pretty useful. · Stone: You should stay with the Lover Stone until you have sufficiently leveled your skills, then you can switch to the Ritual Stone for a powerful daily raise-all-dead ability. · Main Shout: I highly recommend Soul Tear if you have the Dawnguard DLC. It casts Soul Trap for 2 seconds, drains 300 HP, and reanimates the fallen enemy. (Be careful if you are using Dead Thralls, as the reanimation will replace them unless you have the Twin Souls perk). If you do not have the DLC, any Defensive or Offensive Shout will work just fine. Whew, long post. I tried to give as much information as I could. Please note that I have not taken anything from the Dragonborn DLC into account when writing this, as it is only about a day old and I have yet to find much info to include. I hope you enjoyed reading this and would love to hear any adventures you may have with this build, and of course any changes you have made to your own Dark Paladin. Also feel free to post any recommendations for future builds and ask any questions concerning the build.