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I've always liked paladins.

Do you think it would be feasible to have a shield/sword wielding, heavy armor, self buffing, self healing character?

What perks should I focus on initially and what would be the ideal way to level up my health/magicka/stamina?

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Be careful that you will then miss for sure the Oblivion Walker trophy/achievement as most part of the time when dealing with Daedra, we have to make the "wrong choice" (paladin point of view) to get the artefact. But a paladin doesn't do this for trophies/achievements, right?! :) –  LudoMC Feb 3 '12 at 10:36
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he's going to miss more than that, such as all the thieves guild and dark brotherhood achievements. –  z ' Feb 3 '12 at 13:36
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+1 I started out Lawful Good, but then Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood tempted me enough to walk on the dark side. :-) –  ヴァイシャリ Feb 3 '12 at 13:48
    
@yx. Correct, just thought about the evil Deadra (extreme opposite of the paladin) but the thieves and dark brotherhood will also be out of reach for such a character. –  LudoMC Feb 3 '12 at 13:52
    
@yx I've lived those amazing quest lines with my sneaky archer. –  Marcelo Feb 3 '12 at 14:21
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3 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Well for skills to go after this is probably what I'd start with:

  • Heavy armor
  • Block (you're gonna wanna go with a shield imo)
  • Restoration (for the healing and turn undead spells)
  • One-handed (for a mace or perhaps a sword)
  • Blacksmithing (you're gonna want to make and improve your armour)
  • Enchanting (you'd want your "holy" gear)

What I'd also go with is:

  • Speech (your voice to soothe the downtrodden)
  • Archery (just because it can be a helpful way to start battle)
  • Alchemy (for "holy" water)
  • Illusion - again for your calming effect of your presence and voice

Not sure:

  • Conjuration ("holy" weapons, but alas also unholy creatures)
  • Alteration (magic "holy" armors...)

What I'd avoid:

  • Pickpocket (you are lawful good, you can't steal)
  • Lockpicking (this will be hard and not always used for evil... but still)
  • Destruction (vile sorcery! :P)
  • probably the rest is off limits...

And you need to help everybody, only do good things (no Dark Brotherhood and no Thieves' Guild).

And probably get your weapon enchanted with Turn undead...

Go forth oh righteous Paladin and smite thy wicked foes!

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+1 And don't be tempted. The Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood story lines are too awesome that it might tempt the Paladin. –  ヴァイシャリ Feb 3 '12 at 13:49
    
You could also use Restoration Wards instead of a shield. It's pretty fun. –  Corey Csuhta Feb 3 '12 at 15:01
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Final step: name your character Deathspank, Hero of the Downtrodden! –  Ben Brocka Feb 3 '12 at 16:49
    
What about attributes (magika, health, stamina)? I was thinking maybe 1:2:1 ratio. Is it spreading too thin to try and increase them all? –  mattblang Dec 11 '13 at 19:12
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I've pretty much got the build you're looking for, except with shakier morals (if it's not nailed to the floor it's going into my pocket).

I've focused on one-handed and heavy armour (go for lots of perks in these trees, esp. One Handed to maximise damage), as well as restoration and destruction (the latter to a lesser degree as it becomes considerably less efficient than high-level weapons). One perk I found incredibly useful is Respite in the Restoration tree, as it heals Stamina as well as Health. Useful for all sorts of things, from cross-country travel (sprint, heal to restore, keep sprinting - if you have high magicka regen you can cover great distances without stopping) to staying dangerous (power attacks nearly always available).

Also go for the perks that make Restoration spells cheaper as it will keep your magicka reserves usable for longer.

As I mentioned in my comment to Hackworth, I've never used a shield in the game. There have been times when they would have been useful (dragons, etc) but that was mostly early in the game. By now (level ~45) I've got great dragon armour and high damage output so very few enemies pose a significant threat unless I'm careless.

Addendum: Potions are a great way to make money and can be very useful, but again, I keep stockpiling them and eventually selling them off. I can heal efficiently so rarely need healing/magicka/stamina potions. Resistances and poisons are usually not needed as the enemies are not threatening for very long :)

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You should not.

Switching away from your sword/shield combo for restoration magic in the middle of combat leaves you more vulnerable for a few seconds.

Since you heal when you are LOW on health, obviously, you run a real risk of death if you use resto magic during combat.

Use potions for every heal and buff you need

  1. Potions give you every heal and buff you can get from any school of magic that are useful to melee chars.
  2. Potions give you buffs that you cannot find in any school of magic, like more 1H damage, more block, more armor, etc.
  3. Potions have an instant effect, unlike spells, which at least have a charge time, or even require constant upkeep (e.g. Wards)
  4. Potions can be used while the game is paused
  5. Potions can be used without putting away your sword and shield, keeping you fully armored and armed at any time.
  6. Potions do not require Magicka. Therefore, you can focus all your level-ups on Health and Stamina, which is what you want in a melee fighter. You do not want to spread your level-ups over all 3 attributes.
  7. Side benefit: If you brew your own potions, Alchemy is a superb money maker.
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I'd just like to point out, I have a character who uses one-handed + spells in combat - I've never used a shield and have not needed one. I usually keep a restoration spell in my left hand for emergency healing, and I'm rarely in trouble. –  Alex Feb 3 '12 at 10:18
    
@Alex OP was asking specifically about a sword/shield combo though. If you need to heal, then by definition you're in trouble. And if you're in trouble with a shield, then you're in bigger trouble without the shield. Big trouble leads to death, and death leads to ragequit. Besides, Skyrim isn't known to be the hardest game ever, unless all you level is Speech and Pickpocket. –  Hackworth Feb 3 '12 at 10:28
    
Agreed. The full quote should have been "Low armour leads to Fear, Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Suffering" :) I agree that shields can be very useful when you focus on them, I just wanted to provide an alternative build. –  Alex Feb 3 '12 at 10:33
    
Thank you so much for your advice, but this potion brewing-chugging warrior could never be a paladin. –  Marcelo Feb 3 '12 at 14:45
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All of your points are true, but I think the idea was for roleplaying and challenge, rather than power gaming. –  Andy_Vulhop Feb 3 '12 at 18:01
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