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 Warrior Knight Archer Ranger Barbarian Monk 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, Spriggan 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 Mage Spellsword Battlemage Sorceror Nightblade Healer 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 Archery 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 Weapon 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 skills. Primary Skills: Illusion, Stealth, Dodging Major Skills: Thaumaturgy, Short Blade, Lockpicking Minor Skills: Alteration, Critical Strike, Mercantile, Destruction, Restoration Backstabbing 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 Weapon Thieving based classes Acrobat Thief Burglar Rogue Bard Assassin 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 them. 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, Swimming 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, Mercantile 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, Backstabbing 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, Restoration 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 creature. 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 guards. 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 potions. 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 Kynareth. -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. Fighters: 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 adventures. 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: Open Recall Levitate 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 checked. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Vampirism 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 night. 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 them. Lycanthropy 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 way. 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 boring. 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: http://www.izhtex.com/tes2/ 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 web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.