Nicole the Traveling Merchant – part 1: inspiration

This is the fourth of many character articles I will be producing about my own personal character builds in Skyrim; today I’m introducing Nicole the Traveling Merchant.

Picking flowers, staying out of trouble

(Nicole, gathering alchemy ingredients along her travels)

As I was playing through Skyrim I asked my girlfriend what she would be doing in the midst of all the chaos that was happening due to the civil war erupting in Skyrim.  She for one stated she would not contribute to the conflict. That she would try to help people but would not enter combat.

I explored a more passive playstyle with my character series Pom Pom the Illusionist: pt 1, pt 2, pt 3.  However, Pom Pom still engaged in combat albeit supporting and protecting her follower who engaged in combat and did kill their foes. So in returning to Skyrim with the determination to not enter combat at all I focused on creating a character who focused on Alchemy and Speech as her main interactions with the world.

This meant ignoring the enemy camps, avoiding detection by sneaking past them, and instead looking to accumulate a massive collection of ingredients for creating potions and food to sell at the markets all over Tamriel and to give as gifts to weary travelers in need of assistance. As if a she were a gentle spirit, springing from the forest itself, Nicole the Alchemist was formed.  In stark contrast to the combat focused playstyles of other characters which gain their income from plundered treasure acquired through traveling from dungeon to dungeon, Nicole’s playstyle focuses heavily on the creating and selling consumable items, and trading odds and ends that she collects in her travels from city to city.


This is the first installment in my character series titled Nicole the Traveling Merchant, if you enjoyed it please feel free to read through the other articles within the series. I welcome discussion on this topic and if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please do so in the comments below, or write in to

Andrew Mantilla is a ludologist and video game journalist for Play Professor.  You can check out more of his content on FacebookTwitterInstagramand Youtube.

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