Yo! If you're going for a stealthy archer Pumpatron, the first thing you'll want to do is decide which race you're going to be. For sneaky Assassin/Thief characters, the best two races to pick from in Elder Scrolls games are the catlike Khajit or lizard-like Argonians(the race I went for for my main character). Each has various strengths and weaknesses;
I've just bought this. Never played an Elder Scrolls game before, though I was always kinda curious about it due to the huge open world, and now that Game of Thrones has starting again I'm in the mood to play something epic/mythical/swords/arrows/that kind of shit.
I'm thinking of going for a stealthy archer character.
Any advice, tips etc? I'm guessing it works in a similar way to fallout 3?
-Khajits have the advantage of being able to see in the dark and, being cats, are also able to use their claws in unarmed combat. Lots of ES players like this race cos they look cool too
-Argonians can rather usefully breath underwater (though you can make potions/enchantments for this for other races, which you can no longer do in ES:V for Khajit night-eye ability) and have a natural 50% resistance to contracting disease, as well as a once a day 'Histskin' power to regenerate health very quickly - it's saved my arse numerous times for my Argonian Assassin character!
For weaponry, I'd personally recommend Daggers as your primary melee weapon to compliment your archery skills. There are some tremendously powerful skills that you can acquire that will give massive damage bonuses to your sneak attacks with daggers and you'll be glad to know that similar style bonuses can be found in the archery skill tree for using bows & crossbows (crossbows only come in the Dawnguard DLC).
If you're not too worried about your moral compass in these types of games and considering the build you're possibly looking at, I thoroughly recommend joining the Dark Brotherhood which has big advantages; they have some brilliant enchanted armours that will compliment a sneaky build, you'll eventually get access to a rather awesome horse, they have some pretty big and interesting missions, a certain lunatic character in the guild is one of the best in the game and you get access to one of the best daggers later on in their quest line. There's quite a few other added bonuses later on too...
If you'd rather not be a murderous psycho, or alternatively if you want to be part of an additional faction to compliment your Dark Brotherhood 'membership' to boost your skills even further, then you could consider joining the Thieves Guild. Like the 'DB' they offer you access to some useful enchanted light armours as well as some very useful trainers, one of whom is a Master-level (can train you up to level-90) Archery trainer. There's some really great special abilities on offer in their quest line too, especially useful for the sneaky builds
In terms of the three core stats (Magic, Health, Stamina), I personally mostly ignored magic (apart from the odd increase here and there to be able to use some basic spells) for my sneaky Assassin and instead focused more on raising both health and stamina. You could however, develop some Magic skills in say, Illusion magic (Frenzy, Fear, Invisibility), which can work well for a sneaky build.
Bearing in mind that to benefit the most from being sneaky you'll be using Light Armour, so won't have the most robust protection for head on encounters [even sneak-thieves can't always hide from combat ], then increasing your health is a must. Don't neglect stamina though, as it will cover the length of time you can run and fight in 'normal' combat situations, allows you to do power attacks, dictates and increases your maximum carry weight and covers how long you can hold your breath for some more advanced archery skills!
I usually like to keep my stamina to within around 40-60 points of my health stat. But every build is different and like I mentioned before you may want some decent Illusion or Alteration magic, so don't let me put you off the Magic stat if you fancy some of that to compliment your sneaky abilities.
There's also some additional 'permanent'(till you switch to a different one) bonuses that can be selected in the form of standing stones - the early part of the game will cover this and give you access to 3 but the others are spread all over Skyrim.
Don't forget that like Fallout you haven't got to be tied to the main story - there's loads of missions to get stuck into and a massive world to explore. I'd say at the least stick with the main story till you can start using 'Shouts' and then perhaps head out on your own after that if you feel like it.
There's also the Skyrim Wiki if you want to look something up and I can also thoroughly recommend the excellent official guide that was created for the game (if you can get hold of one) - it's one of the best and most detailed I've ever used!
That should hopefully be enough to get you started, hope some of it helps
^My character 'Skink', with some of the tastiest daggers in the game
Edited by Rodriguez at 20:58:38 15-04-2013