Skyrim Scavenger Challenge – The Beginning

I’ve played through Skyrim maybe three times now, and I know as well as everyone else that it rocks. I’ve been playing the Elder Scrolls games since a friend lent me a copy of Morrowind back in 2004, which makes me a little ashamed to say that until Skyrim, I played them in very much the same way, as a spell sword. All through Morrowind and Oblivion I had pretty much the same character and play style; wear the best armour I can find, spam the best destruction spell I have, charge in with a big ass weapon, chug a gallon of health potions and loot or steal everything of value I can find. I may have switched it up with weapon types from time to time; spears, swords, blunt, axe. That’s why with Skyrim I decided to mix it up, my first playthrough I was a straight up mage; no armour, just destruction, conjuration, and for a time, it was good, but my lack of defensive spells and skills made the higher level enemies crazy hard to beat. Second playthrough I was a thief; I used mostly sneak, archery, light armour and daggers, and it was fun but easy, especially when my back stab got ridiculously strong.

So now in elder scrolls I would say I have had a taste of the three main classes of character available; Warrior, Mage and Thief. These are truly amazing games how they let you shape your experience in so many different ways, to reduce it to the three major classes sells the experience short, no two people make the same skill progression and everyone has such a radically different journey.

So now I embark on what I hope to be my greatest Skyrim challenge yet and a playthrough different to any I have previously attempted. Here are the rules, and I’ll explain my thinking behind them:


  • No wielding of weapons (unless conjured), Shields are acceptable.

  • No picking up carrying of weapons (unless quest specific, and even then wielding is still forbidden). Weapons given as rewards must be disposed of or put on display after the quest, no selling.

  • No use of gold (travelling by cart is the only exception), the only gold in my inventory should be quest rewards. If a quest requires the use of gold, too bad, find another method of completion or leave it undone.

  • No crafting: no alchemy, no smithing, no enchanting, no exceptions.

  • No use of fast travel or way points. I must use the cloth map that came with the game and sparingly use the in-game map.

  • No exploiting glitches

  • Master Combat difficulty


So basically I see my character as being spell wielding sneaky scavenger. Here is how I break down the reasoning for the rules


  • No weapons – One of the worse things in these games, especially older ones has been the way I end up stood in front of an enemy, trading blows to see who will die first. This rule is to try and force some more tactics into the combat.

  • No gold – Ever get to that point in a game where you have far too much money, you just end up buying all the best stuff regardless of need, just because it’s the best? Well this rule is to combat that, this way I’ll have to find more interesting ways around problems then just throwing money at it. I’m allowing myself to purchase cart travel just because I don’t have the time to walk from Riften to Solitude all the time.

  • No crafting – I want to spend my time adventuring, not sat in Whiterun smithing and brewing potions for hours on end. Also to reinforce the scavenger idea.

  • No fast travel or way points – Two words; Morrowind nostalgia. I miss the way that in morrowind you had to learn all the locations of mage teleporters and silt striders, how you’d need to calculate the location of the nearest temple to travel using intervention spells. Also the way you weren’t led by the hand on every quest. With way points it feels sometimes like you just fast travel somewhere, follow the arrow, kill or steal whatever the arrow points to and fast travel back. I hope to recreate the experience of having to ask for directions, follow land marks are use basic orienteering to locate everything.

  • No glitches – well it’s just cheating isn’t it. I did the Oghma Infinium glitch once to get to level 9000+ and you know what, once I’d made an epic dragonscale armour, I stopped playing that character, it was boring. I’ll go back maybe when I decide to wrap up the achievements.

  • Master combat difficulty – Just to make it harder (though I understand sneak pretty much renders this obsolete)


So that’s the plan, I can’t wait to see what emerges from these rules, no doubt countless consequences I cannot foresee. Time to dive in a give it a go. Onwards! To adventure!


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