It doesn’t strike me as a particularly good idea in a land like Skyrim. It’s cold, and there’s rocks and such, not to mention bear traps in caves. Plus, there’s a plethora of armored boots available, and Skyrim doesn’t have an Unarmored skill. It does have the Mage Armor perk, but I use a mod that adjusts the armor curve considerably.. without changing the amount of armor granted by the Alteration spells.
I’ve never really been one for unarmored builds in Elder Scrolls games anyhow. When I played through Oblivion as a mage, it was as a heavy armor Battlemage, not a robe wearer, and I never got far with pure caster builds in previous games. If I go back and play through Oblivion again, though, I might try again after this experience.
I like to play female characters as much or more than males in many respects. They’re easier to get attached to. I don’t mind staring at a female ass rather than a male ass for dozens of hours of gameplay, either, but I prefer not to dress my female characters in overly revealing or excessively sexualized clothing, and I like female armor at least semi-practical. That might be surprising given that I’ve castigated feminists for their silly concerns about sexy female armor, but that’s for the prudery, not because stripper armor is to my personal tastes. I do like some outfits in game that show skin, but it tends to be more things like shorts, or bare shoulders.
With unarmored characters in a game like Skyrim where normal clothing offers no mechanical advantage in and of itself (solely the ability to take advantage of the Mage Armor perk) a lot of the “impracticality” argument regarding skimpy female armor loses traction. It’s silly to argue that skimpy clothing would offer no protection, because regular clothing doesn’t either. I can’t think of any terribly skimpy non-armor clothing in unmodded Skyrim anyhow. Of course, Skyrim is supposed to be cold, but running around in the snow or swimming in frigid water won’t hurt you, which is also pretty unrealistic, especially if you’re any race other than a Nord, and aren’t a vampire. You can mod in the effects of exposure if you want, and you can also mod in appropriate cloaks and other cold weather clothing that are suspiciously absent from Skyrim, which will punish you for running around in your bondage straps, or whatever, but although I like cloaks I don’t play Skyrim to deal with the realities of cold and wet. I’ve been cold and wet in the field quite enough in real life as it is.
With all that in mind, while browsing Skyrim Nexus I ran across a mod known as the Misfit Mage outfit. This outfit is not particularly warm-looking, but it’s not skimpy, either.. at least as long as you use the loose pants, rather than the silly “panties and stockings” bottom, but that’s a good aspect of the mod, as it caters to all tastes. A more unfortunate aspect of it is the absurd way it introduces the clothing to the game, and leaves any crafting recipe for it out. I downloaded another mod to make the stuff craftable straightaway.
For some reason, the pictures of the mod “spoke” to me. They made the character look like she was dressed casually and comfortably, and they looked practical and easy to move in. It has a nice variety of colors, and you can mix and match all the parts – speaking of which, because this mod uses more than the normal four body nodes, you can get more enchantments on it than a vanilla armor or clothing set.
There’s something else unusual about this clothing set too – it totally lacks footwear of any kind. I noticed right away her bare toes poking out, and sure enough, the description of the mod states it has no shoes or boots. He took the screenshots that show her feet with the footwraps you start the game in as part of your prisoner’s outfit, or else in her bare feet.
This combination, of the comfortable-looking mage outfit and the footwraps somehow just has incredible personality to me. It’s casual and carefree looking, but still practical as long as you stay away from the stockings and undies. It’s a little unrealistic to go running around snowy Skyrim in just some footwraps, but I also jump into freezing water, and I can always carry a pair of boots for the cold parts.
Footwraps, being completely worthless, aren’t something it bothers me to add new copies of using the console, either. I’m not at all averse to using the console for some things, but I try to avoid just blatantly giving myself good stuff. It destroys the fun of finding loot, if you never need any of it.
I was determined to play a character that dressed in this outfit – which meant I needed a mage of some sort. I have a plan for a jedi-knight based character, but that one WILL be male; it didn’t fit well with this outfit.
What to do, what to do?
Finally, I decided since I was going with a concept relatively unusual for me, I’d go all the way and do two – I’d make a criminal character as well. Although I always intend to try out actively criminal characters I somehow never quite seem to get to it. My stealthy characters, even if they are criminal, always just seem to not steal very much.
The thief-mage combination in Elder Scrolls games has a long tradition in the Nightblade, but this was supposed to be something a bit different. The Nightblade flirts with the Assassin, and is more of a typical thief that also uses magic, rather than a traditional mage, who also is a thief.
Thus, Katherina was born. I’m not entirely sure what she’s called. I was going to call her a Witch Thief, but she’s not a witch, really, not an outcast. Just a young mage that can’t keep her hands off other people’s things. She’s in it for herself, for the fun of it, and for her curiosity and comfort.
So far, she’s all kinds of fun, combining enough of what I’m familiar with and like, with enough that’s new to make the game different for me. It reminded me just how much you can do with Skyrim if you’re willing to go beyond your comfort zone.