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Jun 18, 12 at 2:58pm ^No Looting - An Alternate Skyrim Play Through
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But what if you couldn’t loot enemies? What if you didn’t take valuables from tombs? What if the only why you could earn money was to complete jobs/quests and sell items you got honestly (no murder)?
To see for myself how plausible this is, I started a new character. Geralt, a white-haired Nord (). Before heading in, I made the following rules:
1. No looting humanoid corpses. So any playable race, as well as draugr, falmer, etc. is off-limits. Animals, however, are open season. Basically, no taking from anything that is likely to have armor, weapons, or gold. If a troll happens to have a gold ring, all the better for me.
2. No grave robbing. That includes the recently deceased. No taking items from the places I clear out. Sadly, that includes the loot chests dungeons invariably include. This also means no taking potions. These will have to be purchased or made instead.
3. No item spamming or abusing jobs (woodcutting, mining, etc.). That means I can’t just make a dozen iron daggers and enchant them. In fact, I’m limiting it to, if I make it – I have to use it. And I can’t make my character chop wood and then leave the game for an hour or two.
Now for the set up. I’m not trying to optimize a build or anything here. I’m trying to see if a general character can get through the game this way. As such, rather than playing on Expert as I normally do, I’m taking the difficulty down to the default (Adept). As for the character himself, I’m playing a character inspired by (but not bound by) the Witcher games and books, so I’m focusing on Alchemy, Light Armor, One-Handed, Alteration, and Archery (yes, I realize Geralt did not use archery, that’s why I said not bound by). I might, potentially, use a few illusion and destruction spells (igni and axii, etc.), but they won’t be a focus.
With the preliminaries out of the way, here goes:
Spoiler:Helgen To Riverwood
Helgen To Riverwood
Right off, I was forced to break a couple rules during the Helgen sequence. Ralof won’t let you out of that room until you take Gunir’s gear. However, as soon as we got out, I dropped everything so I’d be starting fresh. The only things I kept were some frostbite venom I got off the spiders and the bow Ralof gave me. Since the last was given to me rather than me taking it, I figured it was allowed.
The trip to Riverwood was significantly different this time around. The bandit camp I usually raid right off was a little too well defended for my unarmored character, especially when he was only armed with a bow, so I made right for the town instead. The wolves just outside provided my first kills as well as some hides which, when combined with the hide I got off the bear in the cave gave me my first armor. It was just leather and I could only build the chest piece but it was better than the rags I was wearing.
The next part was trickier. I needed a weapon. Selling what little Ralof’s sister had given me left me 45 gold. Enough to buy a dagger, but short of buying a sword. I wasn’t going to be able to do much with the dagger. I certainly couldn’t complete the Bleak Falls quest with one. In the end, I was forced to sell the ingredients I had been planning on using to get a start on my alchemy. These were things I had picked off the plants rather than looting, so I figured they were safe to pawn. I had been tempted to sell the armor, but that violated my “If I make it – I have to use it” rule.
Selling the ingredients left me with just enough gold to buy an iron sword. So With that in hand, my leather chest piece, and 0 gold in my inventory, I set off for the barrow, hopeful for that 400 gold pay day I knew was waiting for me if I finished it.
Spoiler:Bleak Falls Barrow
Bleak Falls Barrow
It’s remarkable how much this game conditions you. While working my way through the barrow, I had to consciously stop myself from looting corpses and opening chests. Looting had become an automatic response. Not doing so makes you look at the ruins in a slightly different light. It makes you more objective focused.
Typically when I’m going through a dungeon, regardless of why I’m there, the primary thing I’m interested in is the loot. Finding a chest is always the most rewarding part of the experience. Sure, I killed some mobs, but aside from the experience to my skills, there’s little reward for that. The loot is what makes dungeon diving worth it. Take that away, and what are you left with?
Answer:The task at hand.
I feel doing things this way makes me more concerned with the quest that brought me here. Before, Bleak Falls was just the necessary first step. An incidental baby’s first dungeon to get through before you can continue with the main quest. Now, however, I had that promise of a quest complete payday to draw me in. A carrot, as it were, to make me care about finishing the job. It may be a small thing, but does help me feel a little bit more like an adventurer than I did before.
My rules also left me with another unusual experience. I had to conserve arrows. Iron ones at that. Not being able to loot them from bodies (except animals I kill) and lacking the funds to purchase any, I had to make those 12 arrows Ralof gave me go as far as possible. Given the claustrophobic interior of the barrow, this was more of an issue on the way there and back, but definitely worth noting.
I also made a few modifications to my rules:
1. Arrows my enemies shoot at me and miss with are valid to pick up.
2. Obviously, I have to loot some characters to complete quests (the Golden Claw and Dragon Stone, for example). However, Quest specific items are the ONLY thing I can take at those times.
The fact that the only healing items I had were the three minor potions I got off Gerdur, combined with my general lack of armor, meant I had to be a lot more careful than I normally am. The Giant Spider fight ate up two of those, leaving only one for my fight with the Overlord at the end. I didn’t end up needing it, but it was a good experience to feel legitimately vulnerable due to my lack of supplies. I think Alchemy is going to be a very useful skill for this playthrough.
Heading back to Riverwood led to an uncomfortable realization… I didn’t have money for the inn. Thank Talos Gerdur let me stay at her house, or my Dragonborn would be sleeping in the street.
Any comment/suggestions you guys have feel free to share.
Next Up: Pay Day and a Date with the Jarl.
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Jun 18, 12 at 3:29pm ^re: No Looting - An Alternate Skyrim Play Through
I like the idea. Just a couple questions/comments/suggestions.
First off, are you allowed to drop any armor afterwards? Your rule 'If I make it, I use it' makes me wonder. I know you dropped the stormcloak gear early on, but that's beside the point. All in all, are you able to drop your leather armor?
A suggestion is try to use stealth. It allows the conservation of arrows, and allows your character to save those potions.
Another suggestion is to make sure you buy giant toes when you have extra gold to make the Fortify Health potions. Seeing as you can't loot Giants because of all the goodies they carry, this seems the only other way.
Just to clarify, (and I'm sure this is a no-no) you are not allowed to pick-pocket characters, right?
Jun 18, 12 at 3:52pm ^re: No Looting - An Alternate Skyrim Play Through
This sounds fun and highly frustrating lol. Due to your comment on conserving arrows, I'll probably wait to try this out myself until Dawnguard, since I thought I heard you could craft crossbow bolts yourself.
I second the stealth suggestion. If you decide it makes you OP later you can just stop sneaking.
I really like the whole respect for the dead aspect of your first two conditions. The third I probably couldn't make myself hold to completely. If I need a new sword, I should be able to gather ore and make some things to trade to a smith for a shiny enchanted sword - just how I would play it, because I don't think I'm going to play with enchanting ever again, it makes things too easy for me.
If you want to train Pickpocket up just to hit max level, you could always steal something and then put it back. It's a hilarious mental image of some nord sneaking around Riften's markets emptying people's pockets, shaking his head and then putting all the items back.
Jun 18, 12 at 4:23pm ^re: No Looting - An Alternate Skyrim Play Through
Stealth would be a good idea, and I'll probably use it to an extent (hunting, etc), but I don't think I'm going to make it a focus. Just personal choice.
Also, for this playthrough, I'm going to say no to pickpocketing, again, for character choices. It does, however, make me think that playing a character that gets by through stealing from NPC's sound fun. Make them stick to towns and pay the fine/go to jail if they get caught. I doubt it would stay interesting if that's all I was doing, but it might be fun to try out sometime.
This character, though, I think I want to stick with the monster hunter/adventurer trope. See if it can work.
Oh, and on the point of using what I make, it's basically there so I don't abuse it. As my wife pointed out, you can make a lot of money making potions (and armor). Something she used to do was go to an apothecary, buy all the ingredients, make potions and sell back what she didn't want for profit. She'd end up with all their stock and all their money. I want to avoid the temptation there, so no selling what I make.
quote ArtKatI lol'd
Jun 18, 12 at 4:50pm ^re: No Looting - An Alternate Skyrim Play Through
I might try this, as a break from my usual no crafting, lockpicking, shopping (except court wizards, and professors, you have to get your spells somewhere, and they don't spawn in enough chests) and often unarmored builds. Instead of, because if I throw in no looting, that pretty much eliminates everything except unlocked chests, and the scripted items in quests, and factions, which are really plenty.
My problem is, I'd have to relearn my usual playstyle, which is, I see something I want on an NPC, so I mug them for it. This would also eliminate Leather from hunting, and i just don't think I can do that, without smithing. (Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't depends on if I'm wearing armor.) Also a lot of nice ingredients, like Vampire Dust, and Hawk Feathers, which you don't need Alchemy to use. Quick question, do you count weapons? Because these are often dropped where you can pick them up, without going in the inventory of the corpse.
Give up on Archery, unless you use Bound Bow, no way you can buy a decent enough supply of arrows without looting other archers. I don't know how much I would like it, but I'll give it a shot. In Helgen, you're pretty much left with Iron Swords, and the incomplete set of armor in the chests. (You have to loot what's his nuts on the floor or Ralof just stands there, so go with Hadvar.) until you can get to Alvor.
There's a lot of quest you just couldn't do. Red Eagle's Fury is on the Briarheart, for instance. Not to mention Red Eagle's Honed Ancient Nord greatsword of Burning. (Mighty!) and the giant's "club" you need to get Volendrung. What about the Dragonstone, and Golden Claw? Without looting those, you just can't do the main quest!
"Don't Fight, Kill."
Jun 18, 12 at 5:04pm ^re: No Looting - An Alternate Skyrim Play Through
quote psiberzerkerYou didn't read my entries did you? I simply dropped everything I looted during the helgen sequence. As for Quest items, I need to take those to complete anything, so they're exceptions. The condition is I cannot take anything else.
I also said that anything off animals is fair game. So troll fat, hawk feathers, pelts, etc are all things I can take. I might even extend that to things like Vampire dust, but I'm undecided at this point.
Jun 18, 12 at 5:17pm ^re: No Looting - An Alternate Skyrim Play Through
quote KrantosI read the OP, and scanned the rest. Going back, I found most of them hidden behind Spoiler tags. Anyway, it looks like this has changed from "No Looting" to "No looting, except at the very beginning, quest items, animals, and possibly Alchemy Ingredients, unless you really have to." What are you going to do when you run out of arrows, and charge an archer to finish him with hand weapons? I respectfully suggest Destruction, Conjuration, and/or a good Archer follower.
"Don't Fight, Kill."
Sep 6, 13 at 11:19am ^re: No Looting - An Alternate Skyrim Play Through
I know this is a really old post, but some other play styles i have tried are:
Healer, I went through as a Stormcloak or Imperial Healer, never taking a life, never running but had my Housecarl or another follower around to protect me. I didnt really make it past the Civil war due to stiflingly slow progression and having to do more yourself.
Ab'kir The Coward: I played this kajhiit as a cat, Slept/waited half the day, got distracted easily and started chasing butterflies, rabbits, or fighting only skeevers and other small animals, and freaking out when i fell into water. I played as part of the thieves guild, always running away from the fights, carrying a bow just to distract people, and letting mercer, or karliah do the killing. First kill i made was against Mercer Frey at the end of the thieves guild at level 24.
Also, Turning off the HUD, turning brightness down so that everything seems more natural, sticking to the roads instead of jumping over mountains, no fast-travel except for carriages(and that was a rare occasion), and travelling mostly during the day I have found to be some of the most immersive and rewarding experience in a game yet. I would travel away for roads for exploration, but I wouldn't jump up mountains or over them to get there. It allows to experience the game rather than just play it, if you catch my meaning.
Im going to try the no loot thing, but instead i think im going to be a fisticuffs/mage kajhiit and not even loot at the beginning, the only thing i would even remotely want to loot through out is Gloves of the Pugilist, so i dont know if i will make that exception or not...
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