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This and That

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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This and That

While you can theoretically begin this expansion in any of the major cities, you are best off starting out in Riften at the Thieves Guild, where you will find Golothid in the bar in the Thieves Guild.  Golothid is the NPC you need to talk to (and pay 1000 Gold to) in order to change your face -- which also happens to be one of the new Achievements in the expansion -- "A New You (20 GP) Change your face" -- and due to a minor issue with the game this is ideally your first action even before starting the main set of quests for the Dawnguard expansion.

The reason that it is your best first action is simply that if you delay doing this until after you become a vampire, you will be unable to do it, since Golothid freaks when you approach her as a vampire.  Since becoming one of those is essential to part of the quest line, it would be an idea to deal with this now and get it out of the way, plus it gains you 20 GP to add to your Gamer Score!  So hey, well done mates! 

Bear in mind that during this expansion you will become a vampire and a werewolf and, as each, complete a specific set of tasks (and in order to unlock all of the Achievements for the expansion you will also need to obtain 11 vampire perks and 11 werewolf perks respectively as each).  Note that you can change your face with her as a werewolf, just not as a vampire.  If you do the vampire route first and you want to then change back into a werewolf and you are a member of the Companions, you can ask Aela the Huntress to cure your vampirism immediately and turn you back into a werewolf.  Otherwise you will have to do the Rise of Dawn quest in order to change back into a human, which requires quite a bit more effort.  Remember though that before you cure your vampirism you should complete all of the vampire-related activities including the Achievement.

Locating Golothid in the Thieves Guild

Now with that out of the way, there is something important that you need to bear in mind:

First, while you must be at least Level 10 to complete most of the expansion and all of its quests -- you must be at least Level 78 to acquire all of the Achievements -- though honestly you should be near to or at Level 60 by the time the expansion was released, so that should be a non-issue for you thanks to the power-leveling section of this guide.

Second, the Dawnguards cannot make you a werewolf -- you can only obtain that transformation from the Companions, but assuming that you have completed the main game, you should be a member of the Companions already, so that is also a non-issue.  This being the case, the ideal path to take with this is to do all of the vampire stuff first, and THEN see Aela, get cured and turned back into a werewolf, and complete that side last.

Third, the Dawnguard expansion was actually created for high-level characters, so if you are not high-level (for instance you stopped playing after you finished the main story, which if you are anything like me would put you at around Level 58 to 60), your play-through will take a bit longer to complete than it would if your level was already near the cap because the Legendary Dragon (that you need to defeat for the Achievement) will NOT appear until you are at least Level 78.  Since you only gain XP in Skyrim by increasing your skills in the various abilities -- that means that you will be spending some time working those abilities to gain levels.

It would probably be an idea to touch a bit deeper on that subject for a moment -- basically most of the leveling you did for your character level took place as you played because you increased your various abilities.  For example by the time I reached level 58 I had capped to 100 the abilities Enchanting, Smithing, One-Handed, Light Armor, Sneak, and Speech.   The rest of the abilities were at various levels with some north of 50, but there was still a lot of room for gaining XP obviously.  There are two basic approaches that you can use for this -- either let the XP come naturally as you use skills or intentionally begin working those skills to gain levels.

While this is purely a personal decision, you may actually want to grind yourself into the 70's to make it more likely that you will reach the level range you want to be at towards the end of the expansion...  Just saying.  Another thing that you may want to consider is that there may be a reason for the requirement to be Level 78 to encounter the Legendary Dragon -- a source inside Bethesda has suggested that gamers will need to be high level for the DLC that will follow Dawnguard.

So to cap-off the This and That you are about to embark upon the first expansion to the Skyrim saga and you will find that this is not really a difficult adventure, just a long one depending upon your level when you begin it...  So bear in mind that if you are not near Level 78 at the start you will want to do things that provide you with XP.

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