The Former Model Diplomat Build – Starfield

In a game like Starfield, it’s understandable to want to play as an explorer, a cowboy, or a pirate. But what if you want to be a people person? Someone good at leading your followers from behind and avoiding conflict whenever possible? Well, Starfield lets us easily do just that.

This particular take on such a refined character archetype will be centered around Maddie Hayes, a former model-turned PI, portrayed by Cybill Shepherd on Moonlighting.

Our Background for this build will be Diplomat, as our initial inclination upon getting into trouble will be to talk things out, and the skills the Diplomat Background provides will work well with that playstyle.

  • Persuasion – if you can convince people to give you what you want, you won’t have to fight them.
  • Commerce – supplying yourself and your companions won’t be cheap, and this helps us get better prices.
  • Wellness – some extra health is always nice to have.
  • Hero Worshipped – your past as a famous person leaves you with dedicated fans.
  • Extrovert – you’ll feel better when accompanied by a companion.
  • Dream Home – you’ll have a place to call your own, as anyone of import should, but also bills to pay.

Since Starfield will eventually allow you to unlock everything, the build will be focusing on the core skills required to become an inspiring leader of men. Outside of these, feel free to unlock supplementary skills that fit well with your playstyle.

The main skills for this build will be located in the Social group, but since you can’t completely avoid combat in Starfield without turning your playthrough into a challenge run, we’ll also be picking up some Combat skills that will help us stay out of trouble.

Early on, we’ll be focusing on Commerce and Persuasion to unlock the more advanced Social skills. Strictly speaking, Commerce isn’t absolutely necessary, but unlocking the second tier of Social skills with Persuasion alone will take too long, so we may as well become a better merchant in the process.

Stealth will help us avoid trouble, and Ballistics will help us in those situations when we won’t be able to do so. Stealth in this build is also a nod to the fan-favorite stealth archer playstyle from Skyrim.

The second tier of Social skills will let us convince our enemies to stop attacking us, while Rifle Certification will allow us to initiate fights from a safe distance.

The higher-level skills are where this whole build comes together. Sniper Certification will let us dispatch enemies before they even notice us, while Leadership will greatly improve the effectiveness of our companions. And if merely having a companion is not enough, then Manipulation will let us boss even our enemies around.

starfield maddie hayes diplomat levelling order
Suggested Skill order for levels 1-20
Click here to see the build in the Character Planner

This build will feel at home in civilized settlements – talking to people, performing assorted tasks for them while ensuring considerable rewards, and just plain shopping, because as we all know, half the game is finding the right hat for your character.

When forced to fight, your companions will be significantly stronger than usual, and even your enemies will give you a hand from time to time, while you yourself will be providing covering fire from a safe distance and under the relative safety of stealth.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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