Tag Archives: Skyrim

In Skyrim, when Khajiit and Argonians punch, they swing open-handed and close their fists right before impact. Is there any logic to that? Is it effective? Does the fact that those two races have claws play into that?

I’m pretty sure the Khajiit swipe open handed in Skyrm. The ready stance when you have your weapons out, but nothing equipped, is a pair of fists, but their actual attacks are just claw rakes. Which fits with the small amount of lore about Khajiit martial arts in setting.

The Khajiit have at least four defined martial arts. Gout Fang, Whispering Sands, Rawlith Khaj (which may translate to Rain of Sand, I’m not sure), and Two Moons Dance. Though there isn’t much information on any of those.

As for the animations in Skyrim, I wouldn’t read too much into those. I suspect the strike starting from a clenched fist has more to do with creating a unified resting pose for all 10 playable races, rather than because of an in universe reason.

At a more basic level, the animations are configured to give players as much information as possible about the current state of combat (is your opponent attacking you, are you attacking them, ect). This is the exact opposite of what you actually want to do in a real fight, because giving that information to your opponent provides them with a better awareness of what you’re doing. In Skyrim (and most video games, really), it improves the gameplay, but it’s not about realism.

In actual combat, you want to keep your strikes inside your profile (literally, the silhouette your body creates naturally). So the large roundhouse punches and most of the weapon attacks in the game, are techniques that would endanger you in the real world.

Now, there are martial arts that switch between open and closed hands mid strike. Usually making a fist happens while chambering the attack (when you draw back before striking) not during the strike itself.

In actual martial arts, there are any number of reasons to go between a closed fist and open hand when chaining from one strike to another. This is just because you can achieve different things with your fist than you can with the blade of your hand, your palm, or (in rare cases) your fingers. If open or closed is appropriate will depend on what you’re trying to do, and what your training suggests.


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Can you do an article on 1 vrs group fights. and the techniques people use and how to actually win them. So far all I hear is that I master can with great difficulty fight off a group but nothing on how. I feel this is an area that there is very little info about.

You’re in luck…

Also, no guarantee these are in the correct order. I’ve been using google to hunt them up, so it’s been a little scatter shot, and I might have missed something.

Fight Scene Strategies: The Individual Versus Group

There was also this ask chain… Which resulted in a lot of information over a couple days.

April 5th (Initial Question)

April 5th (Followup – Tactical Mindset)

April 6th (Followup – Excessive Force, Psychological Warfare, and Combat Nietzsche)

I referenced The Only Unfair Fight is the One You Lose articles here, you can follow the tag, or find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

Someone in the comments for one of those suggested looking at Skyrim and Dragon Age: Origins for insights into fighting groups, which is actually a terrible suggestion. I love both games in their own way, however they’re anything but realistic.

For Skyrim, it’s important to remember that the player character is explicitly a superhero. You see this most with the shout mechanic, but there are a ton of minor points scattered through the game where someone who’s familiar with the setting will realize magic just doesn’t affect the player character properly. As a fantasy superhero simulator it’s entertaining enough, but, as I said, it’s not a realistic depiction of combat.

As much as Bioware wants it to be an RPG, Dragon Age: Origins is a strategy game. I have a lot of nitpicks on inconsistencies in the setting (without including DA2), but even as much as they tweaked it from Neverwinter Nights, the combat is still a turn based strategy game playing out in real time. Or, in other words, not how combat works.

A little off topic, but there was an unrelated ask about angry mobs from December here.


How much damage would you get if you got hit in the knee with an arrow?

Not nearly as much as the daedric battleaxe from the player who finally snapped after hearing that bark one too many times.


But, yeah, barring reconstructive surgery, that would be a permanent injury that would, at least, limit the mobility of the character, if not outright preventing them from ever walking again.

I’ve seen the suggestion that this was supposed to be Nord slang for getting married, though I haven’t seen any support for this in game, and I’ve never heard of it as actual slang anywhere. Another strike against this is that the guards in game who say this, don’t appear to be married to anyone.

Also, we are talking about a setting where restoration magic can restore someone from virtually dead to completely unharmed in seconds. And any player with a basic heal spell can get shot in the head repeatedly until their magicka runs out, so… *shrugs*

Let’s just file this one along with all the other tired video game memes, and move on with our day.