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It really does not sit well with my role playing fantasy that my light-armored assassin who actually sneaks great and shoots well - is also a master blacksmith and an enchanter! In a real setting, such a person would not have any time to waste with forges and enchanting tables.

While wishing that Skyrim provided a way to give 'orders' to blacksmiths/mages to custom-smith or custom enchant my weapons and armor (I'd pay a mountain of gold to Eorlund or Festus Krex if they can just upgrade my Daedric bow to legendary and add a couple of choice enchantments), and idly surfing the 'net, I found information about the atronach forge!

I can make Daedric weapons now without having to waste perk points on heavy armor smithing. However, I would like to know if wearing enchanted smithing apparel (bought from radiant raiment), and downing a blacksmith's elixir and going to work on the grindstone, will give me the same level of improvement as having the perk point for Daedric artifacts? If it won't, will the gap be too large to ignore despite having the entire archery tree?

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This should help, if you don't mind using exploits. It doesn't require a single perk in enchanting or blacksmithing. – Fambida Mar 19 '12 at 11:55
up vote 8 down vote accepted

According to UESP, in order to improve an item to Legendary quality, you'll need to increase your Smithing skill to 168 (since you won't have the Smithing Perk for that armor type). Given that you also won't have any Enchanting perks, I don't think that you'll be able to find/make a set of armor and Fortify Smithing potions to get your Smithing that high.

So no, I don't think that Smithing and Enchanting skills can be entirely replaced by potions.

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okay then, my character will simply have to rely on skills, cunning and guile. :) thanks – Aditya M P Jan 22 '12 at 14:07

will the gap be too large to ignore despite having the entire archery tree?

Well, no. You don't need capped armor rating to play. You don't even need smithing improved armor to play (otherwise, what would robe users do?).

There are plenty of ways to prevent incoming damage, of which armor is just one.

  • An Enemy may die in one arrow shot.
  • An Enemy dies to one backstab.
  • Enemies don't know where I am (sneak).
  • Enemies prefer to attack my conjuration/follower.
  • Enemies prefer to attack their "Fury" afflicted ally.
  • Enemies stop due to "Calm" or "Fear".
  • Enemies Paralyzed (spell or archery).
  • Enemies staggered (Destruction dual-casts or archer).
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