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Character Guide by SnipeBob

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 05/09/06

Daggerfall Character Guide v1.2

Written by Erik Scheets

I. What This Guide Covers

II. Character Races and Classes

III. Skills

IV. Starting Out

V. What Do I Need to be Successful?

VI. Developing Your Skills

VII. Vampirism and Lycanthrope

VIII. Final Thoughts

v1.1  Update

Fixed a few typos, added some more detail to make somethings more clear, and
added a new section on Vampirism and Lycanthrope.

v1.2 Update

Fixed more typos, and added some more things to make a few subjects more clear.
I also added a skill development chapter.

I. What This Guide Covers 

This guide is intended to explain your character and how it can affect the
way you interact with the game. This guide will NOT have a walkthrough for 
the main quest or any other quests.  My intention is to inform the player 
about what to expect while playing the game and improving their characters.

II. Character Races and Classes

There are 8 races to choose from in the game.  

Skyrim - Nords *Resistant to Frost
Elsweyr - Khajiits
Hammerfall - Redguards
High Rock  - Bretons *Resistant to Magic
Black Marsh - Argonians
Valenwood - Wood Elves
Summerset Isle - High Elves *Immune to paralyzation
Morrowind - Dark Elves

90% of the time, unless I choose the Knight character, I pick High Elf for my 
race.  Getting paralyzed and killed by a lowly spider is not fun, and later in
the game there's Ghosts and spellcasters who cast Paralyze to worry about.
Paralysis is a wee bit overpowered in this game, so if you are newer to the 
game, I recommend choosing a High Elf.  Once you get comfortable to the game, 
try out the others.  It's a shame that there is no race that has innate 
resistance to Shock, as it's one of the more common types of offensive spells 
used against you.  It's worth pointing out that in regards to Bretons, the 
resistance to Magic does not mean that you are resistance to all types of 
magic.  It only applies to magic-based spells, such as Sleep, Paralysis, and 
so forth.  Fireball, Shock, Ice Storm, and so on are elemental based and so  
having a resistance to Magic will not help you against these types of spells.

There are 18 premade classes in the game, plus the option to create your own
custom class.

Fighter-type classes


These classes are based around weapon skills, have higher hit points than the
other classes, and have little to no magic potential.  

Some thoughts on each class:

Warrior - You have weapon skills in all of your Primary and Major skill slots.
One one hand, this gives you a lot of options when choosing weaponary, but on 
the other hand levels will be hard to gain because you need to have plenty of
different weapons on hand and switch among them often.  You will have access 
to all types of armor, though.  This and the fact that you have high hit 
points means that survivability in dungeons should be relatively high.  
Joining the Fighter's Guild is a must, and possibly a Knightly Order if you 
want to get some free armor with every rank.

Primary Skills: Axe, Long Blade, Blunt Weapon
Major Skills: Hand to Hand, Archery, Short Blade
Minor Skills: Climbing, Running, Dodging, Jumping, Swimming, Medical

Knight - You get Immunity to Paralyzation with this class, so if you intend to
be a Knight, pick a race other than High Elf to avoid redundancy.  A Knight is
a more noble version of the Warrior.  The Etiquette skill might be handy when 
speaking to Nobles, since they tend to respond better to 'Polite' tones rather 
than 'Blunt' or normal ones.  Other than that, it's pretty similar to a 
Warrior.  Make sure to live up to your namesake and join a Knightly Order.

Primary Skills: Long Blade, Etiquette, Blunt Weapon
Major Skills: Axe, Archery, Short Blade
Minor Skills: Dodging, Medical, Hand to Hand, Jumping, Swimming, Climbing 

Archer - This basically a Warrior that is specialized in Archery.  I've never
been too fond of Archery as my primary weapons skill.  In dungeons, it's not 
always easy to attack from a distance; enemies tend to close fast in such 
close quarters.  If you hang out in the wilderness, however, you can pick off 
enemies at a distance quite well.  Anyway, with a good bow and some distance, 
an Archer can do some serious damage thanks to the Expertise in Bows advantage.
Don't neglect your other weapon skills, as you will need back up when the 
enemy gets close. The high Dodging skill with help with close up enemies too.

Primary Skills: Archery, Hand to Hand, Dodging
Major Skills: Axe, Blunt Weapon, Critical Strike
Minor Skills: Long Blade, Short Blade, Climbing, Jumping, Running, Swimming

Ranger - This is another variation of the Warrior class, although it does not
have a specific specialization.  Swimming and Climbing are bumped up to the 
Primary and Major Skills to make this a "nature orientated" class.  This one
has one of the highest hit points per level among the figher classes.

Primary Skills: Long Blade, Axe, Climbing
Major Skills: Swimming, Archery, Critical Strike
Minor Skills: Blunt Weapon, Short Blade, Hand to Hand, Running, Dodging, 

Barbarian - Yet another class based in nature.  Barbarians have the most hit
points per level.  The Major skills aren't too attractive, since Swimming 
isn't that essential.  Having Running as a Major skill means that you can gain 
levels rather quickly if you run everywhere you go (which most players do).  
You get immunity to poison, so Assassins will be less of an annoyance.

Primary Skills: Long Blade, Blunt Weapon, Axe
Major Skills: Jumping, Running, Swimming
Minor Skills: Medical, Climbing, Dodging, Critical Strike, Archery, Giantish

Monk - Probably the hardest fighter class to play.  You can't use armor or 
shields, but you will have a high Dodging skill to offset some of that.  You 
can hit any creature in the game, even ones needing high level material 
weapons to hit, with Hand to Hand.  I'd say you should bring up your Speed
attribute so you can attack faster and possibly your Strength as well when you
gain levels.  If you wish to stay in character, forget about developing your
weapons skills in your Minor slots and stick with Hand to Hand.

Primary Skills: Hand to Hand, Critical Strike, Dodging
Major Skills: Medical, Swimming, Blunt Weapon
Minor Skills: Axe, Archery, Long Blade, Short Blade, Jumping, Climbing

Magic based classes


These classes are based on around magic skills.  They typically have lower hit
points, but given time to develop their magic skills, they can pack a punch.

Some thoughts on each class:

Mage - They have all six schools of magic in their Primary and Major slots.  
This makes gaining levels extremely easy, as I will point out later.  I would 
have preferred to have Destruction in a Primary slot to make combat a bit 
easier, but Mysticism is probably the most handy magic skill so it's a decent
trade off.  It would have been nice if this game had a 'Summon Critter' spell
to make combat for spellcasters easier, but oh well.  You will have really 
low hit points and no access to the better types of armor, so either get a 
Shield spell or keep a distance and sling spells.  The language skills in the 
Minor slots are rather useless, but at least you are given some weapon skills 
to fall back on.  Joining the Mage's Guild is a must obviously.

Primary Skills: Mysticism, Alteration, Thaumaturgy
Major Skills: Destruction, Illusion, Restoration
Minor Skills: Medical, Short Blade, Blunt Weapon, Dragonish, Daedric, Dodging

Spellsword - Pretty much a Figher/Mage character.  You get combat skills in 
your Primary slots and magic skills in your Major slots.  I'm not a fan of 
Illusion, but at least Destruction is in a Major slot to help with offense.  
Work on improving your Mysticism skill.  You won't have access to plate armor,
so be careful in close combat.  This is one of the easier classes to win the 
main quest with because of the access to magic and combat skills.

Primary Skills:  Axe, Long Blade, Blunt Weapon
Major Skills: Destruction, Illusion, Alteration
Minor Skills: Restoration, Thaumaturgy, Mysticism, Short Blade, Hand to Hand

Battlemage - Similar to the Spellsword, but your specialty is Destruction, and
you have a larger spell point pool to work with.  Sling spells at enemies at a
distance, because you only get to wear leather armor.  Develop that Archery
skill to further augment your range attack capability.  Again, definately try 
to improve your Mysticism skill.

Primary Skills: Destruction, Long Blade, Axe
Major Skills: Thaumaturgy, Alteration, Hand to Hand
Minor Skills: Restoration, Mysticism, Illusion, Archery, Short Blade, Blunt

Sorceror - The most useless class in the game.  Sure you get 3x Int in spell
points, but you cannot regenerate spells points.  Instead, you get spell
absorption as an advantage.  Too bad it rarely works, even if you have no spell
points.  Plus, early in the game there are very few creatures that fire spells
at you.  Don't bother with this class.  If you must use this class, alter it
in the custom class form and get rid of the inability to regenerate spell 
points disadvantage and swap it for something else.  

Primary Skills: Mysticism, Alteration, Thaumaturgy
Major Skills: Destruction, Illusion, Restoration
Minor Skills: Medical, Short Blade, Blunt Weapon, Dragonish, Daedric, Dodging

Nightblade - This one is a Mage/Thief hybrid.  The Nightblade will be harder to
play than the Spellsword, because you get less hit points and less of a focus
on weapon skills.  The magic skills you do get are non-offensive.  Illusion may
be handy here, as the Invisibility skill greatly helps your Stealth and 
Backstabbing skills.  Consider building up your Destruction skill, work on 
being very stealthy, and don't neglect your Short Blade or Critical Strike 

Primary Skills: Illusion, Stealth, Dodging
Major Skills: Thaumaturgy, Short Blade, Lockpicking
Minor Skills: Alteration, Critical Strike, Mercantile, Destruction, Restoration

Healer - A very defensive character.  Many people consider this among the best
classes to be, but I'm not sure why.  You get fast healing with a high medical
skill and Rapid Healing advantage, and a specialization in Restoration means
cheap healing spells.  Lack of Destruction means that you will have to fall on
weapon skills to attack, but those are in your Minor slots.  You'll need some
type of Shield spell to help survive combat situations.  This class is good for
joining temples though.

Primary Skills: Restoration, Medical, Dodging
Major Skills: Thaumaturgy, Alteration, Mysticism
Minor Skills: Illusion, Streetwise, Etiquette, Short Blade, Hand to Hand, Blunt

Thieving based classes


These class are based on thief skills.  They have low hit points, but if they
are sufficiently stealthy, they can strike before the enemy knows what hit 

Acrobat - Another tough class to play.  This is basically a thief with more 
focus on non combat skills i.e. Running and Jumping.  Running and Climbing are
easy skills to improve, so gaining levels won't be too hard.  You get no armor
besides leather, and you can't use any shields.  I can imagine that this class
would have a hard time winning the main quest.  Lack of weapon and magic 
skills will be a problem.  You must increase that Short Blade skill to have a 
good chance in combat; sometimes Hand to Hand just doesn't cut it.  Get that 
Stealth skill improved as well; you might find it necessary to avoid some 
enemies instead of fighting them.

Primary Skills: Jumping, Dodging, Running
Major Skills: Climbing, Hand to Hand, Stealth
Minor Skills: Pickpocket, Critical Strike, Backstabbing, Short Blade, Archery,

Thief - Like the Mage and the Warrior, this is the basic class within each 
branch of specialization, in this case Thieving based classes.  Your main goal
is to build up Stealth, Backstabbing, and Critical Strike.  Sneak up on the
enemy and take them out without them fighting back (hopefully).  Pickpocket is
a very easy skill to increase, so leveling will be easier.

Primary Skills: Pickpocket, Stealth, Short Blade
Major Skills: Backstabbing, Climbing, Lockpicking
Minor Skills: Critical Strike, Jumping, Running, Dodging, Streetwise, 

Burglar - A variation of the thief with an emphasis on Lockpicking.  This 
class should rob stores like crazy.  The only armor available will be plate, 
which is odd for a class that uses Stealth.  It might make combat a little 
more doable.  Consider robbing the boxes in palaces for paintings and selling 
them with the help of your higher than normal Mercantile skill.  

Primary Skills: Lockpicking, Stealth, Climbing
Major Skills: Mercantile, Dodging, Short Blade
Minor Skills: Jumping, Running, Critical Strike, Pickpocket, Streetwise, 

Rogue - This is a Fighter/Thief class.  A Rogue has a better chance at
surviving face to face fighting than the other thief classes.  Long Blade is 
nice to have as a Primary skill.  The rule of thumb for this class is sneak 
when you have to and fight when when you have to.  The Rogue can do both 
pretty well.  I recommend building up that Lockpicking skill, not just for 
locked doors in dungeons but also for robbing stores.

Primary Skills: Long Blade, Stealth, Dodging
Major Skills: Pickpocket, Backstabbing, Streetwise
Minor Skills: Critical Strike, Blunt Weapon, Lockpicking, Hand to Hand,
              Running, Swimming

Bard - A tricky class to play.  The Bard is a hybrid of a Mage/Thief/Fighter.
The problem is that he doen't do any of those roles that good.  Streetwise and
Etiquette as Primary skills is crippling.  They are not useless skills, but
developing them is tough and those slots could have been used for either more
thievly skills or combat skills.  You do have some magic capabilities, but you
only get INT in spells points, so magic can't be the focus of your character.
Talk to plenty of peasents, either in a Polite or Blunt tone, to increase your
Etiquette and Streetwise skills respectively.  Do your best to increase those
weapon skills as well.

Primary Skills: Etiquette, Streetwise, Pickpocket
Major Skills: Stealth, Short Blade, Hand to Hand
Minor Skills: Lockpicking, Alteration, Illusion, Destruction, Archery, 

Assassin - A fun class to pick (at least I think so).  You get a high Stealth
and Critical Strike skill, plus access to plenty of weapons skills.  Work on
perfecting that Stealth skill so that you can spend time improving that
Backstabbing skill.  This is the preferrable way to attack, but thankfully the
Assassin is not completely helpless in face to face combat.  Definately 
consider joining The Dark Brotherhood, and possibly The Thieves Guild.

Primary Skills: Critical Strike, Stealth, Backstabbing
Major Skills: Short Blade, Long Blade, Blunt Weapon
Minor Skills: Axe, Archery, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Climbing, Dodging

III. Skills

Skills are what largely determine your class.  Be especially mindful of where
you place your skills when making a custom class.  While none of the skills 
are completely worthless, some are less useful than others.  

You gain levels in Daggerfall by improving your skills.  The rough guideline is
that you need to increase 15 points among any of your Primary or Major skills
and you will gain a level.  This is dependant on the difficulty dagger that 
you'll see in the custom class form.  This difficulty dagger goes up or down
based on what advantages or disadvantages you pick (the really good or bad ones
cause it to move much higher or lower, respectively), as well as how many hit 
points you gain per level.  Choosing the reflex speed at the end of character
creation also affects level gain, but not to a huge extent that I can detect.
One exception to level gain is in the beginning of the game where you only 
need several increases to go up to level 2.

So here they are, all the skills listed alphabetically.

Alteration - A moderately useful school of magic.  It has some handy spells for
dungeon exploring (Water Breathing and Water Walking).  The latter pretty much
renders the Swimming skill pointless, as long as you can cheaply cast the 
spell.  Slowfalling is nice to have, because dungeons often contain huge drops
Theoretically, a Levitate spell could serve as a substitute though.  For those 
characters with severe armor restrictions, the Shield spell is just for you. 
The standard version sold in Mage Guilds is expensive to cast, so you may 
want to make your own version of it.  The Resist spells are helpful, if you 
know that you will be going up against a specific spell caster.  Overall, a 
decent school of magic to have.

Archery - Deals with using bows.  I'm not a fan of using bows, but sometimes
it is nice to have when there is an enemy on a distant ledge just begging to be
shot off of it.  Note that it is possible to retrieve your arrows from the dead
bodies, but they only appear if it took you more than one arrow to kill the 

Axe - Deals with using axes (duh).  There's only two types of axes, and there's
no serious benefit of choosing axes as your favorite weapon, unless you want to
have it for role playing reasons.

Backstabbing - The art of sneaking up on an enemy and causing massive damage
before they know what hits them.  If successful, the attack will cause a lot 
more damage than normal.  Since you need to be behind the creature for this to
work, a high Stealth skill is needed before you can really take advantage of 
this skill.  Backstabbing also applies to using bows, so as long as they are
facing away from you an arrow can do a backstab.

Blunt Weapon - Deals with using maces, flails, and war hammers.  The only 
serious benefit to using blunt weapons is when fighting with skeletal creatures
like the Skeletal Warrior or a Lich.  With any weapon other than a blunt one, 
you do half damage against them.  There's not many skeletal creatures so don't
think you'll have to seriously improve this skill just for that purpose.

Climbing - Outside of spells, this may be your only way to get over some 
obstacles.  Walk directly into a wall and after a few seconds the message
"Climbing Mode" appears on the screen and you begin to climb the wall.  Despite
what the manual says, you cannot climb down.  You will need to cast Slowfalling
or just take the damage from the fall.  Climbing is iffy in this game, because
it's quite easy to fall into the object you're climbing, such as a box 
or a wall.

Critical Strike - A successful critical strike will result in a great increase
in damage.  It develops on its own when you attack.  Thieves should have a high
Critical Strike, if only to make combat shorter.  Warrior-type characters will
find this developing on its own, and it will likely be at a decent strength at
higher levels.

Destruction - One of the more handy schools of magic.  It also has the widest
variety of spells available.  All offensive spells are based on some element.
These are Fire, Frost, Lightning, Poison, or Raw Magicka.  Some creatures are
immune to certain elements, so a wise Mage will have a variety of spells 
to pick from.  Shock is the one most beginning spell casters start off with.
Fireball is the classic standard.  Some of the more powerful spells i.e. 
God's Fire are expensive to cast, so consider improving your Destruction skill
to reduce casting cost.

Dodging - A success means that you dodge the incoming attack.  This one is 
tough to develop, because it requires you to be in the heat of battle.  Plus, 
the characters likely wanting to improve this skill have low hit points.  

Etiquette - Speaking to people in a "Polite" tone will use your Etiquette 
skill.  This might be helpful when speaking to nobles, since it's a more 
proper tone of voice.  Overall, it's not very useful.  You can typically get
the information you want out of people by talking with them normally, and if
not, there's tons of other peasants walking around anyway.

Hand to Hand - Martial arts.  With your fists and feet, you can hit any critter
in the game.  The higher your skill, the more damage you do.  If you plan to 
use this skill, work on increasing your Strength attribute so that you do more
damage.  Having a high speed helps, as you will notice if you become a 
were-creature.  Having a Speed of 100 makes your fists (or claws) move very
very fast.

Illusion - A not so useful school of magic.  Chameleon and Shadow Form are a 
poor man's Invisibility spell.  You'd best go with Invisibility itself or even
better Invisibility True.  Light is a great spell if dungeons are too dark for 
you to handle (or if you are afraid of the dark).  There aren't many spells 
to choose from in this school.  Thief-like characters will likely benefit the 
most from Illusion.

Jumping - A higher skill mean that you can jump farther and higher.  Kind of 
pointless if you have a Levitate spell, but occasionally you will come across 
pits in dungeons that require you to jump over them.  If you are bored, jump
from rooftop to rooftop in the towns.  It's a good way to develop the skill.
Either that or jump in place a dozen times before you rest.

Languages - The most useless skills in the game.  Ok, they aren't completely 
worthless, but the effect they have in very small.  According to the manual, if
you click on a critter that has a language while your weapon is sheathed, there
is a chance that they will leave you alone.  What I've noticed that simply 
fighting the creatures increases my language skills.  In a dungeon filled with 
orcs, I'll guarentee that your Orcish skill will increase a few times after
fighting a bunch of them.  I don't run around dungeons without a weapon in hand
so it seems that simply fighting them can increase the skill.  But if what I've
observed is true, then it makes no sense that the languages skills are 
described as being a non-violent way to deal with foes.  Perhaps it gives a
damage boost to your attacks on specific enemies.  No clue as to how this 
could be tested though.  The available languages are: Daedric, Harpy, Giantish,
Nymph, Orcish, Spriggan, and Centaurian.  

Lockpicking - If you are into robbing stores, this skill is for you.  Note that
locked doors inside of buildings can freely be bashed down with your weapons or
fists.  Be careful that you do not bash the exit door to houses or shops as it
will bring the guards on you.  You can't bash magically locked doors though.
When picking a lock, you only get one shot at doing it.  Trying it again will
bring guards if it's inside a town.  If you must get through the door, pick it
once then loiter for an hour and try again.  If you have a ship, pick the lock
then switch transportation modes to Ship and then switch back to Foot.  This 
will give you another chance to pick the lock without worrying about summoning

Long Blade - The most variety of weapons in the game fall under Long Blade.  
Not much to say here except that the dai-katana does the most damage of all the
weapons in the game.

Medical - This affects how quickly you heal during rest.  Tends to develop on 
its own quite well.  Having a high endurance also affects resting rate.

Mercantile - A high Mercantile skill will give you lower prices when buying and
better prices when selling.  This one is particulary useful for thieves since
they will be selling all the loot they steal.  To improve this skill faster,
buy and sell items one at a time.

Mysticism - The best school of magic.  Recall is probably the most handy spell
in the game.  It's a huge time saver, especially when you are traveling far
distances for quests.  Open is helpful for those magically held locks, and if
you make your own cheap version, you can open pretty much any outside door with
no problem i.e. shop doors.  For characters that will have access to an Item
Maker, Soul Trap is your best friend.  Soul Trap some critters into soul gems,
and you can add more enchanment points to an item (plus some added benefits and
disadvantages depending on the creature.)  These three spells are reason enough
to have your spell caster improve his or her Mysticism skill.

Pickpocketing - With this, you can pick the pockets of creatures and peasants.
You never get more than a few GPs, but it is an easy skill to develop so 
thieves can gain levels pretty fast.  Even creatures without treasure can be
pickpocketed.  Pickpocketing a certain amount of times will bring you to the
attention of the Thieves Guild.

Restoration - Healing spells mostly.  Heal is pretty much the standard spell 
that all characters should have access to, be in potion, magic item, or spell
form.  The regenerate spells are too slow to have real benefit.  Cure Poison is
a must have though.  Despite these useful spells, I don't specialized in this
field often, because these effects are commonly found in magic items and 

Running - A high Running skill mean you move faster while running.  Again, 
this one develops on its own rather nicely.

Short Blade - Covers short bladed weapons such as daggers and tantos.  It's a
common skill for non combat orientated classes i.e. thieves and mages.

Stealth - How well you can remain undetected.  Get close to critters to improve
this skill.  If you have the Backstabbing skill, you will definately need this
skill.  I find that a Stealth skill of about 60% will give you plenty of 
opprotunities for backstabbing.  This one tends to develop on its own if you
frequent dungeons.

Streetwise - Talking to people in a "Blunt" tone will use your Streetwise 
skill.  Again, like Etiquette, you can usually live without this skill.

Swimming - Only relates to underwater movement.  A higher skill gives you more
time to breathe underwater and increases your speed.  Spell casters can do 
without this skill, because of the Water Breathing and Water Walking spells.
Non-spellcaster will have to develop this skill or rely on potions for 
underwater movement.

Thaumaturgy - Levitate is an essential spell and so is Spell Reflection.  The
latter is very expensive to cast, so it may be better to make a magic item
that casts the same spell instead of buying the spell itself.  There's not 
many spells in this field.  Levitate is available in potion and magic item 
form.  Decide whether you think you want to have this spell, unless you want 
to have it for roleplaying purposes for your character.

IV. Starting out

So you've gotten out of Privateer's Hold, and now you don't know what to do
with yourself.  First things first, within the few weeks you will receive a 
letter from Lady Brisienna asking you to meet her in a random tavern in a 
random town.  Even if you wish not to do the main quest, go talk with her 
anyway.  This way, you have the option of starting the quest if you want to
later on.  If you don't meet with her, you are permanently barred from the 
main quest.  She tells you about King Lysandus haunting the street and about 
the missing letter.  She also says that you should speak to the people in 
Castles Daggerfall, Sentinal, and Wayrest.  You should only do this if you 
want to continue with the main quest.  After speaking with Brisenna, the main
quest comes to an indefinate halt, unless you follow up the next few letters 
you receive from nobles from either Wayrest, Daggerfall, or Sentinal.

While you wait for Lady Brisienna's letter, you'll need a town to hang out in
and do some quests.  The best town at the beginning of the game is Gothway
Garden.  It's right next to Privateer's Hold.  Gothway Garden is a great town
for a few reasons:

     -It has a Fighter's Guild, Mage's Guild, a temple of Zen, and a temple of
     -There's 5 general stores, one of which is of "Rusty Relics" quality.  
      It's called First Class Supply Store.   This is a great place to unload 
      some of the items you found in the starting dungeon, and you can buy a 
      horse or a cart for real cheap.
     -There is a bank in town.  This is where you'll store your loads of cash.

     -The city is not walled, so you can travel here recklessly and not worry
      about not being able to get in.

     -There is a Glenmorial Witch's Coven in an orange house directly south of
      Gondyn's Quality Supply Store.  You can't take advantage of their
      daedra summoning yet (plus they only summon Hircine, so if you aren't a 
      were-creature he won't help you much), but you can do quests for them
      if you wish.  Some of the witch quests are pretty hard for low level
      characters so be careful.

     -It's a small to medium sized town, so any in-town quests you take (i.e.  
      kill the creature that got into someone's house/shop from the Fighter's
      guild) won't take too long to do.

Depending on what kind of character you are, you should join a guild.  I
personally don't start doing dungeon quests until I'm about 3rd level, but 
it's up to you.  Warrior-like characters can probably handle dungeons at low
levels.  Consider exploring Privateer's Hold again.  Every dungeon resets 
after you leave them, plus you won't get lost because you've probably explored
most of the place.  Graveyards are good training grounds as well, since they 
are so small.

Vancroft Wood in the Daggerfall province has a "rusty relics" pawn shop and
weapons smith.  This is a great town for unloading your goodies.  

Those are some tips to get you started.  Now I will go indepth for each of the
three types of characters and give some pointers.

V. What Do I Need to be Successful?

Each of the three types of characters (magic-based, fighters, thieves) have
their own advantages and disadvantages.  In order to be successful, it is 
vital that you know your own disadvantages and try to do something to remedy
them.  This section will describe them.


Any weapon-based character (Warrior, Paladin, Ranger, etc.) falls into this
category.  The obvious benefit is that they are good at bashing enemies with
weapons and are given enough hit points to be able to stand up long in combat.
Dungeon quests are slightly easier for these types of characters.  Having a
higher amount of hit points lets you wander dungeons without having to rest
all the time.  No creature is immune to a weapon strike, although some require
certain material weapons to hit (Imps require steel or better weapons to hit).
As long as this type of character has good weapons, the fighting aspect of 
dungeons should not be too hard.  

Where should a fighter gets his or her quests from?  The Fighter's Guild is
the obvious choice.  In addition to a free room to sleep in, the guild gives
you a discount on repairs based on how high your rank is.  Quests at the 
Fighter's Guild range from killing animals that have gotten in local houses
to hunting Daedroths at the bottoms of dungeons.  All the quests are usually
combat based so do these quests to improve your skills.

You might want to consider joining a Knight's Order.  You'll get a free armor
piece at every rank and free stays at all taverns in that Order's region.  
Eventually, you can earn the right to free travel by ship, free stays at any
tavern in the game, and even a free house at the top rank.  All Knight's Order
quests invovle dungeon crawling so make sure your character is ready before 
signing up.

If your class allows you to wear it, always be on the look out for plate armor
made of good materials.  Humans, Orcs, and Centaurs are creatures that often
carry weapons and armor, and occasionally they will have a decent piece of 
armor or a good weapon.  The stuff made of better materials is dependant on
your level, so don't expect to find Daedric stuff at low levels.

You've got some problems if you choose a fighter class, though.  For one, your
access to magic will be very limited.  Although it is possible to train like
crazy and improve your magic skills to respectable levels, there comes the 
problem of spell points.  Unless otherwise noted in the class advantages, all
characters will have .5 INT in spell points.  Considering that the average
fighter has around 50 in INT, your spell point pool is going to be low (A max 
of 50 spell points is possible with a character like this).  

Without magic skills you can't join a Mage guild.  This is no big deal except 
that it bars you from using their Item Maker to create magic items.  The only
other place to use this feature is at a Julianos temple, and their required
skills are not slanted toward weapon skills.  Why is access to the Item Maker
so important?  Well, it's an easy way for non-spell casters to make items that
cast useful spells like Recall, Open, and Spell Reflection.  Without this 
access, your only hope is to come across magic items in dungeons.

What you can do to help out your character is to join a temple or 
The Dark Brotherhood for access to buying and making potions.  Potions of 
healing are essential to almost any character, and so are potions of levitate
and cure poison.  If you don't have any moral problems with joining The Dark
Brotherhood, as in your character being a Knight, they offer the potion maker 
at the lowest rank (rank 3 I think) of all the guilds in the game.  Temple of
Zen lets you buy potions at rank 1, but fighters may find going up ranks 
difficult since the only required weapon skill is Blunt Weapon.  Temple of 
Stendarr has Axe, Blunt Weapon, and Critical Strike among their required 
skills, and it may be the better choice.

Magic users

Spells are your best friend.  What you lack in weapon skills, you can more 
than make up for in magic, provided you develop your character correctly.  
If you are going to be using Destruction as your primary attack method, you
are going to have to have a variety of spells available.  There are plenty of
creatures out there that are immune to one or more forms of magic.  Be 
prepared for anything.  Some of the first spells you should consider buying
are Fireball, Lightning, Frostbite, and maybe Toxic Cloud.  This gives you
a wide range of attacks to pick from.  As far as I know, there isn't a 
creature that is totally immune to magic.  Casting attacks spells over and 
over again costs a lot of spell points, though.  Train your Destruction skill
up to reduce casting cost or bring plenty of Restore Power potions on your

Some of the premade magic classes have Short Blade as a weapon skill.  If you 
choose to answer your background questions yourself (which you should always 
do), always take the Ebony Dagger option if it's presented to you.  It's 
great for magic-based characters, and it will even the odds a little in 
combat at lower levels.  Besides this, weapon combat will not be a good idea
unless you have to.  As far as armor goes, wear the best possible and maybe
invest in a Shield spell or create a magic item that strengths armor.

Spells that every magic based character should know:

Soul Trap (only if you are serious about making magic items)
Heal (a magic item with this power is preferrable)

Later in the game you will need a Spell Reflection spell to even attempt
fighting the Vampire Ancient, Lich, or Ancient Lich.  With your low health, 
you will be fried in a few seconds.  If you can't get a Spell Reflection
spell, Spell Absorption or Spell Shield might work.

On the topic of Spell Absorption, you can often buy rings from the magic item
seller in Mage Guilds that absorb spells.  These actually kind of useful.  
While they do not absorb spells all the time, it will do it occasionally if 
it is equipped.  It's worth while for a mage to have, since it's pretty common
for your character to not have full spell point reserves while adventuring.
Absorbing that occasional spell can be helpful, especially if it's a damaging
one.  Unlike the character advantage of Spell Absorption, this magic item
works consistently.

Developing magic skills is very easy.  In the Spell Maker, create practice 
spells that are cheap to cost (around 5 sp is ideal).  Next, go into your room
and repeatedly cast the spells and rest.  You can really improve your skills
quickly this way, and therefore gain levels fast.  It gets boring after awhile
but it's the easy way for a mage to gain levels.  

Thief characters:

I think these are the hardest classes to play, or at least complete the main
quest with.  Thieves will have low hit points, not much armor they can use,
and little to no magic.  That being said, they do some things quite well.  For
one, Stealth is a cool skill to have.  You can avoid a lot of combat if your 
skill in Stealh is high.  Backstabbing is a complement to Stealth, and it 
allows you to do large amounts of damage to opponents.

How can you develop these skills to even the odds?  Your Stealth skill is 
checked everytime you get close to an opponent.  Probably the safest way to do
this is to hangout in graveyards and clean out any critters that are there.  
The chances of encountering a major enemy in a graveyard are slim, so you can
practice sneaking up on things that are not very threatning.

It is advisable for every thieving character to join a temple of Julianos.  
Two of their required skills are Lockpicking and Short Blade, basically two 
skills that all thieves should have access to.  You won't get potions at a
School of Julianos, but instead you will have the ability to buy and create
magic items once you have risen to the appropriate rank.  To really augment
your theiving, create a magic item that casts Invisibilty when held or when
used.  This makes dungeon crawling, if you have to do it, a lot safer.

Joining The Thieves Guild is a must.  You will get an invitation after 
pickpocketing a bunch of times or when you successfully break into a store
via lockpicking.  What's nice about Thieves Guild quests is that no dungeon
crawling is involved.  Instead, you are typically asked to steal or smuggle 
some item.  Be careful about getting arrested; you don't want your legal rep
to go down a lot.  The further down it goes, the more likely guards will 
arrest you for Criminal Conspiracy.  This makes traveling throughout the 
province quite hard.

VI. Developing Your Skills

In order to gain levels, obtain higher ranks in guilds, and just plain do 
things easier, you need to develop your skills.  Just like in real life, the
development of skills requires time, energy, and repetition.  Unless you cheat,
or have lots of gold to spent on trainers, developing your skills will take a 
lot of work.  To gain a level, you need to gain roughly 15 points in your
primary or major skills.  To help you achieve easier level gain, here are some
pointers to developing each skill.

Magic skills:
Alteration, Destruction, Illusion, Mysticism, Restoration, and Thaumaturgy are
fairly simple to level up.  As a character with one or more of these skills in
your primaries or majors, you'll get the benefit of quick level gain.  The
reason is that spells can be cast over and over again, all of which develops
your skills.  The trick is to create practice spells that cost very little to
cast.  For instance, at the Mage Guild spell maker, you might make a cheap
Open spell that has a 1% percent chance of working.  This low chance of 
success will bring the casting cost down to 5.  Do this with the other schools
of magic as needed.  

For Alteration, make a cheap Water Breathing spell.  

For Destruction, you may use any spell because of a bug in the game.  When you 
cast a spell like Shock, you'll see a line of text at the top of the screen 
prompting you to select a target for the spell.  The bug is that if you press
the 'E' key to abort the spell, your spell points get replaced, but the game
still thinks you casted the spell.  So what does this mean?  Cast Shock, press
E, press Q to recast, press E, and repeat as needed.  You get to practice your
Destruction skill without ever spending any mana.

For Illusion, make a cheap Light spell.

For Restoration, make a cheap Heal Fatigue spell.

For Thaumaturgy, make a cheap Levitate spell.  This is an expensive spell, so 
the cheapest casting cost you may be able to get it down to will be around 10.

Find a tavern room, cast spells, rest to replenish mana, and repeat.  This is a
boring process, but you can raise your magic skills to high level in a short
amount of time.

Weapon Skills: 
Axe, Archery, Blunt Weapon, Critical Strike Hand to Hand, Long Blade, and
Short Blade all are increased the same way: by fighting.  There is no easy
way to raise these, since swinging at walls doesn't increase your skills.  
Dungeon crawling is one way, but if you don't want to get lost in a creepy
dungeon, go into the wilderness, rest repeatedly, and fight whatever spawns 
near you.

Thief Skills:

Backstabbing can only be developed with a decent Stealth skill, because you 
need to approach an enemy from behind undetected.  I suppose invisibility
spell could be used in lieu of a high Stealth skill.

Dodging requires you to get hit, and with low hit point character builds, this
isn't easy to do.  Therefore, this skill is best developed by seeking out
low level monsters and letting them take a few whacks at you.  Rats and bats 
are probably the best creatures to improve this skill with, even if there's a 
small chance at catching a disease.  Graveyards are a great place to work on 
this skill since they typically have low level critters inside.

Lockpicking isn't easy to develop, for the simple reason that you only get
one chance per lock, and if it is inside a town, a second click will call the
guards (I guess they are psychic).  A good place to develop this skill is 
inside any walled town.  Walk along the inside perimeter of the wall and 
attempt to pick the lock once on each door.  Occasionally, you'll get lucky 
and get through, but there's nothing inside the walls and in my experience,
hanging around inside there too long tends to call the guards.  Walking the 
perimeter of a good sized town picking the locks should be enough to raise 
your skill level.  Leave town and repeat the process.

Pickpocketing is fairly easy to raise, just pickpocket each creature you 
fight a few times before killing them.  You don't even need to be undetected
for it to work.  Do not practice this on townspeople, unless you are aiming to
join the Thieves Guild.  There are better ways to gain their attention (i.e.
successfully breaking into a store) without getting caught.

Stealth is one of those skills that develops on its own, but there are some
things you can do to speed up the process.  First, stick to darker areas.
Critters have a harder time detecting you in the dark than in broad daylight.
For this reason, dungeons and crypts are good places to practice.  Second, 
move slow.  Although the game has a 'Sneak mode' button, (which you get into
by pressing Alt IIRC) it is not needed to actually sneak.  Just plain walking
will do the job fine.  This skill raises when you are undetected near a 
monster.  If you manage to get the drop on an enemy, don't attack right away.
Walk around a bit.  The longer you are undetected, the more the skill is

Other Skills:

Climbing is best developed on short walls where there is no chance of falling
and causing damage.  Climb the walls of your tavern room over and over.  You
will bump you head on the ceiling and fall back down, but you won't get hurt.
Walls are the best thing to practice on, because it's to easy to fall into
other objects (like hedges).

Etiquette, like Lockpicking, appears to only work once on one person.  
Therefore, walk through towns, talk to random people, choose 'Polite' for the
tone, ask one question, and say goodbye.  Repeat as necessary.

There's no secret behind improving your Jumping skill.  Jump as you run through
towns doing errands.

Languages are best developed at a trainer.  I hope that none of you picked one
of these for a primary or major skill.  As mentioned previously, just fighting
the creatures appears to improve this skill, so if you can't live without
getting your language skills improved, go fight the appropriate critters.

Medical is improved every time you rest.  At high levels, you'll need to rest
in short time spans.  It's a bit annoying having to rest in one hour bursts, 
but it's the only good way to raise this skill effectively.

Mercantile is easy to improve thanks to a bug in the game.  In each Mage Guild,
there's a guy who can identify magic items for you.  The bug is that you can
have him identify no magical items for 0 gold.  The game considers this 
bartering, thus checking your Mercantile skill.  If you want a more honest way
to improve this skill, buy and sell your stuff one piece at a time.

Running, like Jumping, has no magic secret.  Just run everywhere you go and it
will develop fine on its own.

Streetwise like Lockpicking, appears to only work once on one person.  
Therefore, walk through towns, talk to random people, choose 'Blunt' for the
tone, ask one question, and say goodbye.  Repeat as necessary.

If anyone has any handy tricks for improving skills, feel free to email at
snipebob@gmail.com.  I'll add it into this guide and give you credit for it.

VII. Vampirism and Lycanthropy

One of the interesting aspects of the game is the possibility of becoming 
either a vampire, a wereboar, or a werewolf.  Vampirism and lycanthropy have
plenty of advantages, but also (especially in the case of vampirism) have
lots of disadvantages.  Some of them are so severe, that it's probably not
worth it to get the diseases, but I'll leave that up to you.


You contract Vampirism from getting hit by Vampires.  I'm not sure whether or 
not you can get it from Ancient Vampires.  Anyway, the chance of contraction
is very low per hit, so more often than not, you won't get the disease if you
just get hit a few times.  If you do contract it, you won't know until you 
rest.  While you sleep, you'll get a spooky dream about a woman who gets
brutally murdered, and you'll see a cutscene of a lovely lady crying blood.
You now have three days to cure the disease, otherwise, you become a vampire.
At this stage, any Cure Disease spell should do the trick, but you may want to
do it at a temple (for a price) just in case.  Get there in three days, and 
you'll be fine.  If you don't get there in three days, you'll wake up as a 
vampire, more often than not in a random dungeon.  This can be quite a pain,
since you'll have to find your way out.  One way around this is to plan a 
trip that will take more than three days to complete.  This way, you'll arrive
at your destination as a vampire.  From this point on, you cannot be cured 
with a Cure Disease spell; you'll have to find another means, which I'll talk 
about later.

Several things happen to your character when you become a vampire . . . 

     -All stats, except Intelligence get boosted by 20 points.
     -Climbing, Critical Strike, Hand-to-Hand, Jumping, Running, Stealth, all
     get a 30 point boost.
     -You get Calm Humanoid, Charm Mortal, and Levitate added to your 
     spellbook.  You also get some other spells based on what tribe you are,
     and what tribe you are is dependant on what province you got bit in.

     -You become immune to disease and paralyzation.

You also get a nifty new character portrait where you character has blood 
dripping from their mouths and are standing in a graveyard.  Whenever you 
travel 'Cautiously' now, you'll arrive at the destination in the middle of the

There are some really big drawbacks to being a vampire . . . .

     -You cannot rest if you haven't killed something in the past 24 hours.
     This is where the game really dropped the ball on vampire characters.
     Because the game considers clicking on the Rest button as wanting to rest
     if you haven't killed something you'll get a message saying your hunger
     needs haven't been fulfilled.  The real annoying part is that this blocks
     out any loitering as well, which is stupid because it's not like 
     loitering restores any health or spell points.  This means that waiting 
     for stores to open is a massive pain in the behind.  Since you'll tend 
     to do a lot of robbing and dungeon exploring, you will accumulate a lot
     of gold.  Gold gets really heavy to carry around when you have several 
     thousand in your pocket.  Normal characters would just head over to the 
     local bank and make a deposit, but banks have limited daytime hours, and 
     as a vampire it gets real frustrating real fast trying to kill something
     within 24 hours, rushing over to a town, and loitering til day time.

     One solution for the resting problem that I've heard and used is to soul
     trap a weak creature like a bat, create a magic item with it that casts a
     simple spell like Light or Restore Fatigue, and then use the item until 
     it breaks.  This causes the creature in the soul gem to be released and 
     will be within your immediate area.  Kill it and then you can rest.  
     Since soul gems and enchanting is an expensive process, this idea isn't 
     very effective in my opinion.

     -You'll now take damage in holy places and in daylight.  The holy places
     one isn't too bad, but be forewarned that in the desert provinces the
     Fighter's Guilds down there are called Fighter's Trainers.  They offer 
     the same services as normal Fighter's Guilds, but they count as holy 
     places for some reason.  Damage in Sunlight isn't a huge deal because 
     you'll tend to have a large amount of hit points as a vampire anyway,
     and the damage done isn't constant, it's done in intervals. 

     -All your current guild ranks go back to zero and you have to rejoin.  
     This is a pain, but it's not the end of the world.  30 days after you 
     rejoin, you get your former rank back.  I'm not quite sure how the 
     Theives Guild or Dark Brotherhood handle this, because rejoining requires
     the entry quests which are supposed to be one shot deals.  But maybe 
     since you are technically dead, you get another chance.  

     -About once a year, you'll get a letter from a vampire hunter demanding
     that you repent and perform a quest for him that will rid you of the 
     disease.  The quest invovles slaying your blood father in a dungeon.  
     The 'blood father' happens to be a Vampire Ancient, so it is by no means
     an easy quest.  If you don't follow the instructions in the letter, 
     you'll start to get hunted by vampire hunters who will show up when you
     try to rest or arrive at a town.  They aren't difficult to dispatch and
     may help satisfy your hunger so you can rest, but it does get annoying. 
     After a while, the attacks will stop, and you'll be vampire hunter free
     until the next letter shows up.

After the initial 'wow' factor wears off, being a vampire becomes tiresome. 
Combat becomes easier with the boosted stats and skills, and the immunities 
are nice, but the issues with resting make being a vampire not very easy.  
Maybe if they made loitering available, I would change my mind.  After about a
month of running around in the dark killing things, I usually stop.  This 
means I never get around to doing the vampire tribe quests, which do exist. 
Supposedly, after some time, a member of your tribe will send you a letter 
asking you to meet them to perform some quest.  Since I have never done any
of these quests, I can't give any advice.

Except for doing the vampire hunter quest, the only way to get cured is to 
find a witches coven.  One of the quests they give is to deliver a package to 
a Mage's guild.  The package happens to be the cure for vampirism and 
lycanthrope.  You'll notice that when doing the quest, these critters will 
show up and try to kill you so they can have.  All you have to do is use the 
potion in your inventory and you are cured.  This causes you to blow the quest 
and lose some rep points, but that can be easy fixed by doing more quests for 


You become a werewolf or a wereboar by getting hit by the respective critters.  
Much like vampirism, after you successfully get infected and rest, you'll 
have a dream about it.  This time it's not a spooky dream, it's a dream about
a man who turns into a beast.  Three days from that point, you can get it 
cured at any temple, and you'll remain human.  After three days, you turn into
a were-critter.  There is no difference between a wereboar and a werewolf 
other than appearance.  Since the werewolf looks more intimidating that
the wereboar, I prefer being a werewolf.  

A few things occur when you become a werecritter . . . . 

     -You get 40 points added to Strength, Agility, Speed, and Endurance.  
     This makes combat from here on out much easier since you'll be way faster
     than most of the game's creatures.

     -30 points are added to Climbing, Critical Strike, Hand-to-Hand, Jumping,
     Running, Swimming, and Stealth.

     -As you will notice when you run into your first werecritter, they are 
     immune to iron and steel weapons.  This also will apply to you, so at 
     lower levels, most humans won't be able to touch you with weapons 
     (including town guards :O, yes you can pretty much kill them all you want
     and not face any penalty, since your rep only goes down if you are caught
     and you only get caught if they successfully cause damage to you.)

     -In your spellbook you get the Lycanthrope spell, which allows you to 
     switch forms once per day.  It says that it costs something like 100 
     spell points to cast, but it's really free.

You'd figure that with the boosted stats and skills, the enemy werecritters 
you face would be tough opponents.  They are actually pushovers once you get 
a few levels and some decent weapons.  They also move very slowly, which 
doesn't make much sense.

Anyway, there are some drawbacks . . . .

     -Once a month, during the full moon, you involuntarily change into your
     hairy form.  It lasts one day.  During the time you are in your hairy 
     form people won't talk to you and the streets will be empty.  You also 
     cannot use weapons or access inventory while in your wereform.  Clicking 
     on a corpse to collect treasure will cause the treasure on that body to 
     disappear forever.  Doing quests in this form is difficult, but there is
     a way around that.  During the full moon, you can cast your Lycanthrope
     spell as many times as you want.  One casting will change you back into a
     human for a brief amount of time.  This will let you talk to a quest 
     giver, collect treasure, or do something in your inventory.  Just be 
     quick, because you will change back.

     -Once a month, you must also kill an innocent person, otherwise your hit
     points drop to 4.  This is annoying to deal with, but easy to handle.  
     Since you can't get arrested, go to a town (make sure you enter it as a 
     human, otherwise the streets will be empty), switch into wereform, kill
     a townsperson or two, and run (or stick around and kill tons of guards).

     -Like Vampirism, there are lycanthrope hunters.  They act in the same way
     as the vampire hunters do.  They send you a letter once a year giving you
     a chance to change.  The method they give is different than vampires.  
     The lycanthrope quest invovles injecting a kid with your own blood.  
     Again, if you ignore the quest, you get a string of killers headed your 

If the drawbacks are annoying to you, the artifact Hircine's Ring gets rid of 
most of them, except for the full moon changes and lycanthrope hunters.  The
Glenmorial witches only summon Hircine, and they can be found in the town 
coven that I mentioned that was in Gothway Garden.  It will cost at most
200,000 gold, but that can be adjusted by doing quests for the witches.
Hircine's Ring makes being a werecritter very unbalanced in my opinion, so be
warned that getting super powers without the drawbacks will make the game 

Again, if the hunter quest doesn't appeal to you and you want to get rid of 
the disease, do the aforementioned witch quest where you deliver the package.
It cured both lycanthrope and vampirism.

It is overall much easier to be a werecritter than it is to be a vampire.

VIII. Final Thoughts

Now that you have an idea about what you should do with your character, feel
free to explore the world.  Although, I usually end up staying in the 
Daggerfall province in my games, it's great fun to do adventuring in other
provinces.  I prefer Daggerfall mainly because I know which towns have the
best items to buy and which towns are good for selling my stuff in.  Go 
explore and see what's out there.  The game world is big enough for you to 
never run out of places to go and people to see.

For the absolute definative guide for Daggerfall go here:


It's the website that I use a lot.  It's very through in it's details.  Also
has a complete walkthrough for the main quest.

Any questions or comments, email me at snipebob AT yahoo DOT com

Copyright Erik Scheets 2004-2006

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
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violation of copyright.

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