The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion Walkthrough, Hints and Tips for PC Games.

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 The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion

                              The Elder Scrolls IV
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         CHARACTER BUILD GUIDE (for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3)
                              V2.00 2007-02-26
             Copyright 2006, 2007 Barry Scott "PapaGamer" Will

A premium version of this guide is available. It includes maps, screenshots, 
hyperlinked cross-references and more. See

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                             CONTACT INFORMATION
To contact me about the guide, send email to:

Please include "Oblivion Character FAQ" in your subject line so I don't auto-
discard the message. Also, please read the FAQ carefully prior to asking for 
help on any part of the game. If you send me additional suggestions or hints 
for the game and I find them useful, you will be acknowledged in the Credits.

If you found this guide useful and would like to contribute a small token for 
my efforts, you may send money through PayPal by using the Donate link found 
on my Web site:

Thank you, and enjoy the guide!

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              TABLE OF CONTENTS

              The Leveling System..........................CG04
              Class Templates..............................CG06
              The Math: How Skills Increase................CG07
              Skill Training...............................CG08
              Version History & Credits                    VH00

To quickly jump to a section, copy the section code, press CTRL-F and paste 
the section code in the search box.

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                       <~~~~~~ HOW SKILLS WORK ~~~~~~>

Everything in the game is based on skills. What race (and therefore what 
starting attributes) you choose, what class you choose (pre-generated or 
custom), how you fight, how you interact with people, what quests you pick should all be founded on the skills you want. Oblivion features 21 
different skills. Each skill is governed by an attribute score, has different 
Mastery Levels--Novice, Apprentice, Journeyman, Expert and Master--and affects 
how well you are able to do certain things. Each skill is also related to a 
class specialization (combat, mage or stealth).

The Mastery Levels are:

Skill     Mastery
Rank      Level
-------   ----------
0 - 24    Novice
25 - 49   Apprentice
50 - 74   Journeyman
75 - 99   Expert
100       Master

Your base rank in all skills is five (5), which is Novice level. At that rank, 
you will receive limited benefit when using the skill and may even receive 
penalties. For example, Novice Marksmen lose Fatigue whenever they draw a bow.

The highest natural rank for any skill is 100. You can boost a skill beyond 
100 by using Fortify spells; however, very few skills provide any additional 
benefit when boosted past 100.

When you select a class, seven skills are identified as "major skills". All 
the rest of the skills are "minor skills". Major skills immediately receive a 
+20 bonus and begin at rank 25, or Apprentice level. Any major skills that 
come from your class' specialization receive an additional +5, for a starting 
rank of 30*. You'll also receive a bonus of +5 or +10 in several skills based 
on your racial selection. Thus, you can start the game with some skills as 
high as rank 40 (major skill from class specialization +10 racial bonus).

*Correction provided by yaox0024 and McArminius. Various printed material 
about the game (including the game manual and in-game information) lists a +10 
bonus from specialized skills, but the game actually only provides a +5 bonus.

Example: a Breton Battlemage would begin the game with the following major 
skills and scores:
-> Alchemy.......35
-> Alteration....35
-> Blade.........25
-> Blunt.........25
-> Conjuration...40
-> Destruction...30
-> Mysticism.....40

Additionally, the character would have the following minor skill scores:
-> Illusion......10
-> Restoration...15

All other skills would be rank 5. This doesn't mean this character could not 
use the other skills, but they will be at Novice level and it will take a long 
time to increase them to Apprentice level. On the other hand, the character 
should quickly reach Journeyman level (and the associated perks) in 
Conjuration and Mysticism.

All skills increase in rank as you use them. The lower your rank in a skill, 
the faster it will increase as you use it. Major skills increase slightly 
faster than minor skills of the same rank. You must increase your major skills 
in order to increase your class level. (See the section on Leveling.)

                        <~~~~~~ COMBAT SKILLS ~~~~~~>

-> Armorer
   Attribute:  Endurance
   Novice:     Repair hammers break quickly
   Apprentice: Repair hammers last twice as long as Novice
   Journeyman: Can repair magic items
   Expert:     Can repair items to 125%, weapons do more damage, armor
               provides more protection.
   Master:     Never break a repair hammer

As you use weapons and armor, they deteriorate. You can buy (or find) repair 
hammers and use them to repair your items based on your Armorer skill. Repair 
hammers also wear out with use. At Novice level, hammers last a very short 
time and you cannot repair magic items. At Apprentice level, hammers begin 
lasting twice as long.

Armorer is a "tweener" skill. Leveling this skill can be tedious and requires 
a lot of money (for repair hammers) and lots of time spent damaging and then 
repairing armor and weapons. You also do not want to wait a long time before 
hitting Journeyman Mastery so you can repair enchanted items. Armorer is a 
good choice for a major skill, especially for melee fighters.

-> Athletics
   Attribute:  Speed
   Novice:     Slow Fatigue regeneration while running
   Apprentice: While running regenerate Fatigue 25% faster than Novice
   Journeyman: While running regenerate Fatigue 50% faster than Novice
   Expert:     While running regenerate Fatigue 75% faster than Novice
   Master:     No reduction in rate of Fatigue regeneration while running

Your ability to run and swim is controlled by your Athletics skill. You 
normally regenerate Fatigue whenever you are not running or swimming; 
performing one of those activities reduces the regeneration rate of your 
Fatigue. As your ranks in Athletics increase, your ability to regenerate 
Fatigue while exerting yourself increases.

Even though most players prefer to play with Always Run on, Athletics levels 
up very slowly. Also, you will not typically run while in a dungeon (unless 
you're Sneak-running, which does not provide experience for Athletics); and, 
above-ground, there is Fast Travel and horses to keep you from wearing out 
your feet. All-in-all, Athletics is very controllable and makes a good major 

-> Blade
   Attribute:  Strength
   Novice:     No Power Attacks
   Apprentice: Standing Power Attack
   Journeyman: Left/Right Power Attacks with chance to disarm
   Expert:     Backwards Power Attack with a chance to knockdown
   Master:     Forward Power Attack with a chance to paralyze

This skill determines how much damage you can inflict with a bladed weapon--
swords, daggers, etc. Higher Mastery Levels allow you to disarm or knock down 
your opponent. The Master perk is almost equivalent to an instant win.

There are three melee combat skills (Blade, Blunt and Hand To Hand); you 
really only need one as a major skill. Fighters will want to have one of the 
three as a major skill for quick access to Power Attacks. By mixing up some 
spellcasting and ranged attacks, you can keep from ranking up your major skill 
too quickly. In general, Blade is the best of the three as there are more and 
better blades to be found than blunts, and there are not magic enhancements 
for your fists.

Hint: When you reach Cloud City Temple, you can watch two Blades sparring. 
Watch for a few minutes and your Blade skill will increase by two.

-> Block
   Attribute:  Endurance
   Novice:     Fatigued by blocking, hand-to-hand blocking has no effect
   Apprentice: Not fatigued by blocking
   Journeyman: Shield or weapon takes no damage when used to block,
               opponents may recoil when blocking with hand-to-hand
   Expert:     Blocking with a shield gives a chance to counterattack
   Master:     Blocking with a shield gives a chance to disarm when a
               successful blocking counterattack is made

Blocking is a key ingredient in Oblivion combat. The amount of damage you can 
deflect is governed by your Block skill. At Novice level, blocking costs 
Fatigue and lets a lot of damage through anyway.  Melee fighters will want 
Block as a major skill since their lives will depend upon it. Other classes 
can leave this as a minor skill and use Blocking to get modifiers to 

Hint: When you reach Cloud City Temple, you can watch two Blades sparring. 
Watch for a few minutes and your Block skill will increase by two.

-> Blunt
   Attribute:  Strength
   Novice:     No Power Attacks
   Apprentice: Standing Power Attack
   Journeyman: Left/Right Power Attacks with chance to disarm
   Expert:     Backwards Power Attack with a chance to knockdown
   Master:     Forward Power Attack with a chance to paralyze

Same as Blade, but you fight with weapons classified as blunt (clubs, maces, 
axes, hammers, etc.) Note the classifications of blade and blunt differentiate 
on the way the weapons are wielded. Axes are used just like maces and clubs, 
not like swords, even though axes have a bladed head.

-> Hand To Hand
   Attribute:  Strength
   Novice:     No Power Attacks
   Apprentice: Standing Power Attack
   Journeyman: Left/Right Power Attacks with chance to disarm
   Expert:     Backwards Power Attack with a chance to knockdown
   Master:     Forward Power Attack with a chance to paralyze

Same as Blade, but you fight with your fists.

Hint: Outside the Arena in the Imperial City, you can find two NPCs sparring 
with each other. Watch them for a couple of minutes and you will receive 5 
bonus ranks to your HTH skill.

-> Heavy Armor
   Attribute:  Endurance
   Novice:     Armor degrades 50% faster than normal
   Apprentice: Armor degrades at a normal rate
   Journeyman: Armor degrades 50% slower than normal
   Expert:     Equipped heavy armor items only count 50% of their normal
               encumbrance value.
   Master:     Equipped heavy armor items cause no encumbrance.

Heavy armor (iron, steel, dwarven, orcish, ebony and daedric) is the 
protection of choice for high-Strength melee combatants. (Low Strength 
characters will find heavy armor to be too...well, heavy.) The only way to 
increase this skill is to wear heavy armor pieces--as many as you can buy or 
scrounge and take damage while wearing them.

Heavy Armor ranks up slowly, so having it as a major skill should not be a 
liability. Unless you have a very high STR character, you'll want to reach the 
Expert perk sooner rather than later, to reduce the encumbrance of all that 

                         <~~~~~~ MAGE SKILLS ~~~~~~>

-> Alchemy
   Attribute:  Intelligence
   Novice:     Can identify the first of four effects of an ingredient
   Apprentice: Can identify the first two of four effects of an ingredient
   Journeyman: Can identify the first three of four effects of an ingredient
   Expert:     Can identify all four effects of an ingredient
   Master:     Can make potions with just one ingredient

There are many alchemical substances in Tamriel: food, plants, bits and pieces 
of the creatures you kill...Each of these substances has up to four effects--
some beneficial and some harmful. By mixing two or more ingredients that have 
the same effect, you can create potions or poisons. Your Alchemy skill 
determines how many of the four effects of a substance you can identify. At 
Novice level you can only identify one effect. Apprentices can identify two 
effects, and so on. At Master level, you can create a potion with just one 

You need an alchemical apparatus to mix ingredients. The mortar and pestle is 
the basic apparatus, and you should find one during the starter dungeon. The 
better the apparatus, the greater the magnitude of the effect produced by your 
potion or poison:

* Mortar and Pestle: basic apparatus allowing potions to be created

* Retort: increases magnitude and duration of beneficial effects of potions 
(but not poisons)

* Alembic: decreases the magnitude and duration of negative effects of potions 
(but not poisons)

* Calcinator: increases the magnitude and durations of all effects of potions 
and poisons.

There are different quality "grades" for each type of apparatus. The higher 
quality apparatuses have the same effect on your potions and poisons, but to a 
higher degree.

To mix a potion or poison, select any apparatus in Inventory to bring up the 
Alchemy menu. Select at least two ingredients with the same effect and click 
Create. The higher your Alchemy skill, the greater the magnitude of your new 
potion or poison.

Alchemy is a very controllable skill; thus, it's useful both as a major skill 
for leveling or as a minor skill to rank up for the Intelligence modifiers. 
Alchemy can also be tedious to train--you have to buy, harvest or scrounge 
every ingredient you can. Once you have lots of ingredients, mixing them into 
potions and poisons is quick, and easy.

The following spell school skills do not have skill perks, per se. Spells are 
rated at a particular Mastery Level and you must have achieved that Level in 
the skill in order to cast the spell. For combat effectiveness, you'll want to 
start with some spell schools as major skills, thus getting Apprentice-level 
spells. If you're planning to be a magic-wielding class and all you have are 
Novice spells...well, good luck.

On the other hand, you'll want to vary spell-casting between major and minor 
skills, so you don't level up your class too quickly. For example, you could 
throw some high-level Destruction spells at the start of combat, then switch 
to lower-level Alteration or Restoration spells close-up. Or, you could use a 
high-level Conjuration to summon some help, and then switch to low-level 
Destruction spells.

-> Alteration
   Attribute: Willpower

Alteration spells are primarily used in a defensive or adaptive way, with a 
focus on buffs. Alteration spells can shield you from damage, enable you to 
breathe underwater, reduce your encumbrance, etc. This school may be of most 
use to a combat-oriented character with some magical ability (i.e. a 
"Spellsword" or "Battlemage"). Thieves may also find this school useful for 
the "Open Lock" spells. Alteration levels up very quickly and has a lot of 
self-targeted spells that can be cast over-and-over. It's a good choice for a 
minor skill.

-> Conjuration
   Attribute: Intelligence

This school of magic is primarily concerned with three things: summoning 
creatures to fight for the caster, summoning "bound" armor and weapons--i.e. 
creating armor and weapons out of Magicka--and repulsing (turning) undead. 
Pure casters will definitely want this school, and battlemages with low 
Strength may like the bound armor and weapons, since they have no weight. 
Conjuration is the fastest-leveling skill in the game and you can cast Summon 
spells over-and-over to rank it up. Never take Conjuration as a major skill, 
you'll level far too fast.

-> Destruction
   Attribute: Willpower

Your basic offensive spells. Pure mages need this school for raw firepower.  
(Literally.) However, Destruction spells go beyond simple damage-dealing; they 
can weaken attributes and skills, corrode armor and weapons and other nasty 
things. There are also a number of good long-range Destruction spells, making 
this an excellent choice for battlemages who don't want to lug around bow and 
arrows. Destruction levels fairly slowly--the second slowest of all the spell 
schools; and, you have to hit a valid target to level it up. You can always 
create a small, self-targeted Destruction spell to help level this one up. 
However, since Destruction is a major tool, it's probably best not to use this 
as a major, you'll simply be forced into using it more often than you would 

-> Illusion
   Attribute: Personality

Illusions run the gamut from charm spells to invisibility to controlling 
creatures to lighting up the dark spaces in the world. (And there are a lot of 
dark spaces in Oblivion.) There are a wide variety of spells in this school, 
many of them of most value to a Stealth character rather than a pure mage or 
battlemage. Illusion ranks up quickly and has good spells that can be cast 
over-and-over to earn experience.

-> Mysticism
   Attribute: Intelligence

Mysticism has three major uses: protect against magic, detect enemies and soul 
trap enemies for enchanting. This is the school where you find your dispelling 
magic as well as detection magic. A good school for pure casters and for 
"bounty hunter" builds--warriors who specialize in tracking down targets. All 
characters can benefit from Soul Trap spells, since all types of classes use 
enchanted weapons. Mysticism is another easy-to-level skill. Detect Life is 
not only useful, it can help you rank up this skill in short order. Definitely 
not a major skill candidate.

-> Restoration
   Attribute: Willpower

Restoration spells include basic healing magic, as well as many more types 
that can be used for offense as well as defense. Some Restoration spells allow 
you to increase your own attributes and skills by absorbing them from your 
foes. You'll also find a number of buffing spells in addition to restorative 
magic. Restoration is a great all-around school that fits well into any 
character build that needs a little magic boost. Restoration makes a good 
choice for a major skill because: a) it ranks up very slowly; and, b) you have 
to have a damaged target (normally yourself), which is not that easy to 
achieve. Starting with Restoration as a minor skill will only lead to it being 
ignored since it will take far to long to rank up to the more useful 
Apprentice and Journeyman level spells.

                        <~~~~~~ STEALTH SKILLS ~~~~~~>

-> Acrobatics
   Attribute:  Speed
   Novice:     Cannot attack when jumping or falling
   Apprentice: Can make normal (non-power) attacks when jumping or falling
   Journeyman: Gains the Dodge ability--hold Block and jump in a direction
               to evade attacks
   Expert:     Fatigue loss for jumping is cut in half
   Master:     Water Jump--time your jumps just right and you can jump across
               water surfaces

Acrobatics is one of those little-used skills, the main purpose of which is to 
use in leveling up. Acrobatics is pretty controllable--it levels slowly and 
you won't rank up much if you just do the normal amount of jumping that's 
required to get around. This makes Acrobatics, along with Mercantile and 
Restoration, as must-have major skills, since you just won't get anything out 
of them if you have to rank them up from Novice.

-> Light Armor
   Attribute:  Speed
   Novice:     Armor degrades at 150% the normal rate
   Apprentice: Armor degrades at the normal rate
   Journeyman: Armor degrades at 50% the normal rate
   Expert:     Equipped Light Armor does not encumber the wearer
   Master:     Gains a 50% bonus to armor rating if wearing only Light Armor

Light armor (fur, leather, chainmail, mithril, Elven and glass) is for those 
characters that rely more on stealth and speed to stay alive. While these 
armors provide some protection, they are not meant to keep you alive if you 
consistently go toe-to-toe with the bad guys. Light armor is sort of the back-
up plan for ranged characters who get caught in melee or Stealth characters 
who are spotted before they can deliver a critical blow.

-> Marksman
   Attribute:  Agility
   Novice:     Drawing a bow causes a loss of Fatigue
   Apprentice: There is no loss of Fatigue when drawing a bow
   Journeyman: Hold Block while your bow is drawn to zoom in on the target
   Expert:     Gives a chance of knocking down the target with arrows
   Master:     Gives a chance of paralyzing the target with arrows

The only ranged weapon in Oblivion is the bow, and characters who depend upon 
it must have Marksman. Generally, one should choose a single combat skill and 
stick with it; however, Marksman may be mixed with a melee skill that you can 
fall back on should you get caught by a rush. If you decide to go the archer 
route, make sure you always have plenty of arrows before leaving town and also 
be careful to recover arrows you have used.  Since archers will want the 
Journeyman perk as quickly as possible, you should start with Marksman as a 
major skill if you plan on being a ranged fighter. Mix it up with some spells 
to keep from ranking it up too quickly, and getting your class levels too 

-> Mercantile
   Attribute:  Personality
   Novice:     The condition of an item reduces its selling price
   Apprentice: The condition of an item does not affect its selling price
   Journeyman: Buy and sell any item with any merchant*
   Expert:     You can invest in a shop, giving that shop a bonus to the
               amount of gold on hand.
   Master:     All shops have an increase of 500 gold for bartering

*This does not mean you can sell stolen items to non-fence merchants.
It only means, say, an armor merchant will buy rings or a ring merchant will 
buy weapons. Etc.

Mercantile affects your ability to haggle with a merchant. While the 
merchant's barter screen (the shop inventory) is open, click the Haggle 
button. You'll get a slider from Easy (far left) to Hard (far right). 
Underneath you'll see the percentage of base cost for items you buy from the 
merchant (e.g. 185%) and the percentage of base cost for items you sell to the 
merchant (e.g. 35%). Moving the slider from left to right decreases the buy 
cost and increases the sell cost.  Once you've chosen a buy/sell combination 
you like, close the Haggle window and try to buy or sell an item. If the 
merchant refuses, open the Haggle window and move the slider to the left. The 
higher your Mercantile skill, the more likely the merchant is to accept deals 
on the right side of the slider.

At high levels, Mercantile increases the amount of barter gold each merchant 
has available. The barter gold a merchant has is, essentially, the limit of 
what you can sell that merchant per transaction. E.g. if the merchant has 800 
gold and you have three pairs of boots the merchant would normally pay you 400 
gold for, you cannot sell all three to the merchant in one transaction (1200 
gold total). You could sell them one at a time, or two and then one.

Normally, the largest individual transaction with a merchant is 1,200 gold. If 
you advance to almost the end of the Thieves Guild, you get a fence with 1,500 
gold. The Thieves Den official mod includes a 1,500 gold fence. The Wizard's 
Tower official mod includes a 2,000 gold normal merchant. Any merchant's 
barter gold can be increased by 1,000 gold at Master Mercantile (by investing 
500 gold in the store).

-> Security
   Attribute:  Agility
   Novice:     Up to four set tumblers will fall if you fail to set a tumbler
   Apprentice: Up to three set tumblers will fall if you fail to set a
   Journeyman: Up to two set tumblers will fall if you fail to set a tumbler
   Expert:     Onlye one set tumbler will fall if you fail to set a tumbler
   Master:     No set tumblers fall if you fail to set a tumbler

Security controls the lockpicking mini-game in three ways:
* Higher Security provides a more likely chance of success if you use the Auto 
Attempt button to try to pick the lock.

* Higher Security keeps set tumblers in place when you break a pick by failing 
to properly set a tumbler.

* Higher Security causes tumblers to drop back down more slowly.

The lockpicking mini-game pops up whenever you try to open a locked object. 
You'll see a stylized rendition of the internal workings of a lock. Through 
the middle runs a hollow bolt into which your pick is inserted. This bolt is 
held in place by from one (very easy locks) to five (very hard locks) 

You may attempt to automatically open the lock using the Auto Attempt but-ton, 
or you may pick the lock manually. Move the pick under a tumbler and push up 
to push the tumbler out of the bolt. The tumblers are spring-loaded and will 
pop back down either immediately or after a one- or two-second delay. While 
the tumbler is still seated in the up position, LEFT-CLICK or press the right 
trigger to set the tumbler. If you click at the wrong time, the tumbler falls 
back into place and breaks your pick.  Depending on your Security skill, other 
tumblers you have already set will also fall and you'll have to set them all 
over again.

You can figure out when to set a tumbler into place in one of two ways:

1) Keep pushing it up and letting it fall and watch the pattern. For the most 
part, a quick reset of the tumbler is immediately followed by a long reset. So 
all you have to do is watch for a quick reset and then set the tumbler on the 
next try.

2) Listen to the sound of the tumbler moving up. There is an extra, very quiet 
click when the tumbler is going to stay seated for a second or two. That's 
when you can set the tumbler. Once you learn how to recognize that little 
extra click, you can pick locks very easily.

Whether you take Security as a minor or major skill depends on how much you 
intend to use it. While you'll occasionally need Security for quests, it only 
becomes important in Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood quests. If you don't 
plan on performing those quests, make Security a major skill. You won't use it 
often enough to class level unexpectedly. If you do plan on a bit of 
skullduggery, leave Security as a minor skill. You can successfully complete 
the lockpicking mini-game regardless of your Security rank, and you don't want 
to gain unnecessary class levels from all the locks you pick.

-> Sneak
   Attribute:  Agility
   Novice:     Undetected attacks have a bonus of 4x damage for one-handed or
               hand-to-hand attacks, 2x damage for bow attacks
   Apprentice: Undetected attacks have a bonus of 6x damage for one-handed or
               hand-to-hand attacks, 3x damage for bow attacks
   Journeyman: Weight of your boots does not affect chance of detection
   Expert:     Moving, regardless of speed, while Sneaking does not affect
               chance of detection
   Master:     Undetected attacks ignore armor rating of opponents

Sneaking is the bread and butter of the thief-type character, whether you are 
a basic sneak-thief or a stealth-oriented fighter. Attacks made while 
undetected do more damage:

* Novice:               4x from one-handed weapons and hand-to-hand,
                        2x from bows
* Apprentice and above: 6x from one-handed weapons and hand-to-hand,
                        3x from bows

*Note* you do not receive any damage bonus when Sneak attacking with a two-
handed melee weapon.

Sneak also allows you to pick pockets, avoid detection while you burglar a 
house, etc. When in Sneak mode, an eye replaces your standard crosshair. If 
the eye is grayed out, you are undetected. If the eye starts to glow, another 
creature hears or sees something suspicious. Remaining undetected while 
Sneaking is not just a matter of your skill rank, it also takes gameplay 
skill. You have to move slowly, stay in shadows, avoid being in another 
creature's sight (i.e. only move when their back is turned), etc. The only 
clothing item that makes a difference when sneaking is your boots, and at 
Journeyman level you can Sneak in steel boots if you're so inclined.

To pick someone's pocket, approach in Sneak mode. While remaining undetected, 
Activate the NPC. You'll get a pick-pocket inventory rather than a 
conversation. The higher in value or weight of the items you try to remove, 
the more likely your attempt will be noticed.  Sneak is best left as a minor 
skill. You can rank it up quickly in a number of ways. Perhaps the best way is 
to Sneak behind an innkeeper, and then run into a wall. You can level up Sneak 
pretty quickly that way. This is a good way to get +5 modifiers to your 

-> Speechcraft
   Attribute:  Personality
   Novice:     Can bribe most NPCs for Disposition bonuses
   Apprentice: Can get one free rotation of the Persuasion mini-game wheel
               during each play of the mini-game
   Journeyman: Disposition decreases more slowly during the Persuasion game
   Expert:     Lower reduction in Disposition from the hated response
   Master:     Bribes are 50% lower.

Each NPC has a Disposition score that indicates how likely they are to give 
you important information or Haggle with you (if a merchant). You can increase 
an NPC's Disposition using a Persuasion mini-game. In some cases, getting or 
continuing a quest requires you to get a high Disposition score with the 

*NOTE* You can also increase Disposition by using Charm spells, the Imperial 
ability, "Voice of the Emperor", or the vampire ability, "Vampire's 

To play the Persuasion mini-game, click the Persuade button (face icon on the 
left of the conversation menu) during conversation. A segmented wheel opens 
next to the NPC. There are four segments: Admire, Boast, Joke and Coerce. 
During each round of play, you must perform each action once.

To perform an action, select it and LEFT-CLICK or Right Trigger. Of the four 
actions, the NPC will love one, like one, dislike one and hate one. You can 
tell the NPC's reaction by examining his or her face when you select the 
action. Inside each action's segment of the wheel is a wedge. After each 
selection, the wedges "rotate", changing their position.

There are four wedges: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. They always rotate clockwise 
and their order will differ from round to round. The actions the NPC loves, 
likes, dislikes and hates will always be the same, so you only need to test 
them at the beginning of the mini-game.

Basic gameplay involves choosing liked or loved responses when they are filled 
with a medium or large wedge and choosing disliked and hated actions when they 
have only a small wedge in them. All the while you're deciding which action to 
pick, the NPC's Disposition is falling.

First, get a blank sheet of paper and sketch four large X's on it:
        \    /        \    /        \    /        \    /
         \  /          \  /          \  /          \  /
          \/            \/            \/            \/
          /\            /\            /\            /\
         /  \          /  \          /  \          /  \
        /    \        /    \        /    \        /    \
Start the Persuasion mini-game and quickly examine the NPC's reactions to each 
action. Pause the game and note these reactions in the appropriate section of 
your diagrams. In this example, the NPC (a city guard) loves Admire, likes 
Boast, dislikes Joke and hates Coerce:

          LV            LV            LV            LV
        \    /        \    /        \    /        \    /
         \  /          \  /          \  /          \  /
      LK  \/  D     LK  \/  D     LK  \/  D     LK  \/  D
          /\            /\            /\            /\
         /  \          /  \          /  \          /  \
        /    \        /    \        /    \        /    \
          H             H             H             H

Next, quickly examine the current position of the wedges, pause the game and 
note these in your first X:
        \ 25 / 
         \  /  
      LK  \/  D
      75  /\ 50
         /  \  
        /100 \ 

You can now extrapolate where each wedge will be for each selection:

          LV            LV            LV            LV
        \ 25 /        \ 75 /        \100 /        \ 50 /
         \  /          \  /          \  /          \  /
      LK  \/  D     LK  \/  D     LK  \/  D     LK  \/  D
      75  /\ 50     100 /\ 25     50  /\ 75     25  /\100
         /  \          /  \          /  \          /  \
        /100 \        / 50 \        / 25 \        / 75 \
          H             H             H             H

The strategy is simple: First determine in which turn you get the 25% wedge in 
Hate and take that--in this example, it is the third turn. Then you want the 
100% wedge in Love, or, if that's unavailable (because it occurs in the same 
turn as 25% in Hate), then take 75% in Love (second turn in this example). 
Then Dislike when it is lower--of the remaining turns (first and fourth), 
Dislike is lower in the first. So, the correct strategy for this round is: 
Dislike (50%), Love (75%), Hate (25%), Like (25%). You then start the next 
round and your opening looks like this:

        \100 / 
         \  /  
      LK  \/  D
      25  /\ 75
         /  \  
        / 50 \ 

Planning ahead yields: Love (100%), Like (50%), Dislike (25%), Hate (25%). 
You'll get a greater increase in Disposition this round than the previous 
round. Continue until you've maximized the NPC's Disposition.

Your Speechcraft skill can help with the Persuasion mini-game in several ways:
  * At Apprentice rank, you can get a free rotation of the wheel during
    the mini-game.
  * At Journeyman rank, the NPC's Disposition falls more slowly while
    you're making your decisions.
  * At Expert rank, there is less reduction in Disposition from the
    hated response.

Once you get good at this mini-game, you won't need to sketch out your moves; 
you'll be able to do it in your head, which dramatically decreases the time it 
takes to sweet-talk NPCs.

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-> Strength
   Related skills: Blade, Blunt, Hand To Hand

Determines how much you can carry, contributes to your Fatigue score and helps 
you do more damage with melee weapons.

-> Intelligence
   Related skills: Alchemy, Conjuration, Mysticism

Determines how much total Magicka you have and the effectiveness of your 

-> Willpower
   Related skills: Alteration, Destruction, Restoration

Contributes to your Fatigue score, gives resistance to Magicka and determines 
how quickly you regenerate Magicka.

-> Agility
   Related skills: Security, Stealth, Marksman

Determines the damage from bows and contributes to your Fatigue score.

-> Speed
   Related skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Light Armor

Determines how fast you move.

-> Endurance
   Related skills: Armorer, Block, Heavy Armor

Contributes to your Fatigue score and determines your Health.

-> Personality
   Related skills: Illusion, Mercantile, Speechcraft

Affects NPC reactions to you.

-> Luck
   Related skills: None.

Has some effect on everything.

-> Health

Measures how much damage you can take before dying. Starting Health is equal 
to 2x your Endurance. Each time you level up, you receive 10% of your 
Endurance added to your maximum Health.

-> Magicka

Your power pool for casting spells. Each spell costs a certain amount of 
Magicka to cast. Magicka regenerates over time at a speed determined by your 
Willpower. Magicka is equal to 2x your Intelligence.

-> Fatigue

A sort of catch-all stat that shows how tired you are. The less full your 
Fatigue meter, the less effective you will be at any action. Fatigue is equal 
to STR + END + AGL + WILL.

Your Fatigue and Magicka regenerate gradually at all times. All three derived 
stats (Health, Fatigue and Magicka) can also be restored using potions, 
spells, raw ingredients, resting or worshiping at an altar (as long as you 
have no outstanding bounty).

Your base ability scores are determined by your race and gender, as listed in 
the next section. In addition, you receive a +5 bonus to each of the two 
favored attributes for your chosen class. You can then also receive ability 
score bonuses from your birthsign.

For example, a female Nord begins with:
STR 50, INT 30, WILL 40, AGL 40, SPD 40, END 40, PER 30, LUCK 50

If you choose the Warrior class, you would receive +5 to STR and END. If you 
further chose the Warrior birthsign, you would receive another +10 to STR and 
END, giving you starting attributes of:
STR 65, INT 30, WILL 40, AGL 40, SPD 40, END 55, PER 30, LUCK 50

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Special abilities not listed as "constant effect" or "unlimited use" can 
only be used once per 24 hour period. I.e. you have to wait 24 hours after 
using the ability before you can use it again.

* These are base attributes. Your actual starting attributes will also be 
affected by your class and birthsign.

* Race descriptions are from the Oblivion game manual.

-> Argonian
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  40  |   40   |
   | Intelligence |  40  |   50   |
   | Willpower    |  30  |   40   |
   | Agility      |  50  |   40   |
   | Speed        |  50  |   40   |
   | Endurance    |  30  |   30   |
   | Personality  |  30  |   30   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Alchemy +5, Athletics +10, Blade +5, Hand To Hand +5,
            Illusion +5, Mysticism +5, Security +10
   Special: Resist Disease, magnitude 75, constant effect
            Immune to Poison, magnitude 100, constant effect
            Can breathe underwater

      This reptilian race, well-suited for the treacherous swamps of
      its homeland, has developed natural immunities to diseases and
      poisons. They can breathe water and are good at picking locks.

Argonians make good Stealth characters, and females can do well as 
spellcasters. They are not suited for a heavy armored combat role. Resistance 
to disease is helpful when fighting undead, and there are several quests that 
involve underwater work. They are a fast race for those that like to travel 
quickly (without using a horse or Fast Travel).

-> Breton
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  40  |   30   |
   | Intelligence |  50  |   50   |
   | Willpower    |  50  |   50   |
   | Agility      |  30  |   30   |
   | Speed        |  30  |   40   |
   | Endurance    |  30  |   30   |
   | Personality  |  40  |   40   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Alchemy +5, Alteration +5, Conjuration +10, Illusion +5,
            Mysticism +10, Restoration +10
   Special: Fortified Magicka, +50 max Magicka, constant effect
            Dragon Skin, 50 magnitude shield, 60 sec duration
            Resist Magicka, magnitude 50, constant effect

      In addition to their quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft,
      even the humblest of Bretons can boast a resistance to magical
      energies. They are particularly skilled at summoning and heal-
      ing magic.

With their skill bonuses, high starting Intelligence and Willpower and special 
abilities, Bretons are a natural choice for any Magic-specialized class. 
Beyond that, they don't have much to offer as they will be weak in a Combat or 
Stealth role. Their skill bonuses affect mostly defensive rather than 
offensive magic schools.

-> Dark Elf
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  40  |   40   |
   | Intelligence |  40  |   40   |
   | Willpower    |  30  |   30   |
   | Agility      |  40  |   40   |
   | Speed        |  50  |   50   |
   | Endurance    |  40  |   30   |
   | Personality  |  30  |   40   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Athletics +5, Blade +10, Blunt +5, Destruction +10,
            Light Armor +5, Marksman +5, Mysticism +5
   Special: Ancestor Guardian, summons a Ghost, 60 sec duration
            Resist Fire, magnitude 75, constant effect

      Also known as "Dunmer" in their homeland of Morrowind, the Dark
      Elves are noted for their skilled integration of the sword, the
      bow and destruction magic. They are resistant to fire, and can
      summon an ancestral ghost for aid.

Dark Elves are designed to be fleet warriors, with a little offensive magic 
thrown in for good measure. They can also work well as a thief or assassin, 
though they get no racial bonus to the "thief" skills (Security, Sneak). Next 
to the Wood Elf, they are the most natural choice for an archer, and may 
actually be the best archer race since they can combine ranged attacks with 
both bow and spell with devastating melee ability.

-> High Elf
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  30  |   30   |
   | Intelligence |  50  |   50   |
   | Willpower    |  40  |   40   |
   | Agility      |  40  |   40   |
   | Speed        |  30  |   40   |
   | Endurance    |  40  |   30   |
   | Personality  |  40  |   40   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Alchemy +5, Alteration +10, Conjuration +5, Destruction +10,
            Illusion +5, Mysticism +10
   Special: Weakness to Fire, Frost & Shock, magnitude 25, constant effect
            Resist Disease, magnitude 75, constant effect
            Fortified Magicka, +100 max Magicka, constant effect

      Also known as "Altmer" in their homeland of Summerset Isle, the
      High Elves are the most strongly gifted in the arcane arts of
      all the races. However, they are also somewhat vulnerable to fire,
      frost and shock.

Along with Bretons, Altmer are almost stereotypical mages. Their skill bonuses 
are tilted more toward offensive magic rather than defensive, but they will be 
sufficiently capable in any magicka school. Weakness to elemental damage is a 
warning that High Elf is not an easy race to play. You'll want to have a good 
selection of shielding spells available, and then keep the bad guys off you.

-> Imperial
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  40  |   40   |
   | Intelligence |  40  |   40   |
   | Willpower    |  30  |   40   |
   | Agility      |  30  |   30   |
   | Speed        |  40  |   30   |
   | Endurance    |  40  |   40   |
   | Personality  |  50  |   50   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Blade +5, Blunt +5, Hand To Hand +5, Heavy Armor +10,
            Mercantile +10, Speechcraft +10
   Special: Star of the West, absorb Fatigue, magnitude 100
            Voice of the Emperor, +30 to target Disposition, 30 sec duration

      Natives of the civilized, cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil,
      they have proved to be shrewd diplomats and traders. They are
      skilled with heavy armor and in the social skills and tend
      to favor the warrior classes.

Imperials are a very average race. Their two big skill bonuses come in skills 
that are of little real value in the game. They get bonuses to all three melee 
combat skills when, in practice, most players will only use one. Their ability 
scores, outside of Personality, are distinctly average. On the other hand, the 
high Personality, large bonus to Speechcraft and Voice of the Emperor ability 
mean there will be precious few quests that cause you any difficulty--since 
many quests involve persuading people to talk.

-> Khajiit
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  40  |   30   |
   | Intelligence |  40  |   40   |
   | Willpower    |  30  |   30   |
   | Agility      |  50  |   50   |
   | Speed        |  40  |   40   |
   | Endurance    |  30  |   40   |
   | Personality  |  40  |   40   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Acrobatics +10, Athletics +5, Blade +5, Hand To Hand +10,
            Light Armor +5, Security +5, Sneak +5
   Special: Eye of Fear, Demoralize up to level 25, 30 sec duration
            Eye of the Night, Night Eye, duraction 30 sec, unlimited use

      Hailing from the province of Elsweyr, they are intelligent,
      quick, and agile. They make excellent thieves due to their
      natural agility and unmatched acrobatics skill. All Khajiit
      can see in the dark.

Khajiit are natural sneak thieves and "martial artists". Low Health (for 
males) and low Strength (for females) means they don't work well in any kind 
of melee combat role and they have neither the attributes nor skill bonuses to 
be more than average mages. Play Khajiit if you are going full-on Stealth; 
otherwise, avoid this race.

-> Nord
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  50  |   50   |
   | Intelligence |  30  |   30   |
   | Willpower    |  30  |   40   |
   | Agility      |  40  |   40   |
   | Speed        |  40  |   40   |
   | Endurance    |  50  |   40   |
   | Personality  |  30  |   30   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Armorer +5, Blade +10, Block +5, Blunt +10, Heavy Armor +10,
            Restoration +5
   Special: Nordic Frost, touch attack, 50 frost damage
            Woad, Shield, magnitude 30, 60 sec duration
            Resist Frost, magnitude 50, constant effect

      Citizens of Skyrim, they are a tall and fair-haired people.
      Strong and hardy, Nords are famous for their resistance to
      cold. They are highly talented warriors.

At first blush, Nord seem ready-made to be straight-up warriors. But, a little 
examination shows a propensity for defensive magic (especially for females) 
that give the Nord more of a melee/caster feel. If you really want just a 
plain hack-n-slasher, Orc or Redguard is probably the better choice. Nord give 
you just a touch of the mage look to put a little spice in your me-smash tank.

-> Orc
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  45  |   45   |
   | Intelligence |  30  |   40   |
   | Willpower    |  50  |   45   |
   | Agility      |  35  |   35   |
   | Speed        |  30  |   30   |
   | Endurance    |  50  |   50   |
   | Personality  |  30  |   25   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Armorer +10, Block +10, Blunt +10, Hand To Hand +5,
            Heavy Armor +10
   Special: Berserk--Health +20, Fatigue +200, STR +50, AGL -100, 60 sec dur
            Resist Magicka, magnitude 25, constant effect

      The people of the Wrothgarian and Dragontail Mountains, Orcish
      armorers are prized for their craftsmanship. Orc troops in heavy
      armor are among the finest in the Empire, and are fearsome when
      using their berserker rage.

There are two races in Oblivion that are almost uniquely suited for pure 
combat roles. Orc is the more defensive of the two. (Redguard is the offensive 
melee race of choice.) Their high Endurance (equals high Health), heavy skill 
bonuses on defensive skills and their innate resistance to Magicka all spell 
defensive powerhouse. They have plenty of Strength to do serious damage, and 
can also wield defensive magic (such as Alteration or Restoration) well due to 
high Willpower. A good choice if you want your tank to be a real tank.

-> Redguard
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  50  |   40   |
   | Intelligence |  30  |   30   |
   | Willpower    |  30  |   30   |
   | Agility      |  40  |   40   |
   | Speed        |  40  |   40   |
   | Endurance    |  50  |   50   |
   | Personality  |  30  |   40   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Athletics +10, Blade +10, Blunt +10, Light Armor +5,
            Heavy Armor +5, Mercantile +5
   Special: Adrenaline Rush, +50 to STR, SPD, AGL & END, +25 Health, 60s dur
            Resist Poison, magnitude 75, constant effect
            Resist Disease, magnitude 75, constant effect

      The most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel. In addition to
      their cultural affinities for many weapon and armor styles,
      they also have a hardy constitution and a natural resistance
      to disease and poison.

There are two races in Oblivion that are almost uniquely suited for pure 
combat roles. Redguard is the more offensive of the two. (Orc is the defensive 
melee race of choice.) Redguards are designed for dodge-and-slash melee 
tactics, without much thought given to blocking incoming attacks. Decent 
Agility and Speed makes a stealthy fighter an option as well. You could even 
get by putting them in heavy armor and tanking. Just don't try to turn one 
into a mage...of any sort.

-> Wood Elf
   |              | Male | Female |
   | Strength     |  30  |   30   |
   | Intelligence |  40  |   40   |
   | Willpower    |  30  |   30   |
   | Agility      |  50  |   50   |
   | Speed        |  50  |   50   |
   | Endurance    |  40  |   30   |
   | Personality  |  30  |   40   |
   | Luck         |  50  |   50   |
   Bonuses: Acrobatics +5, Alchemy +10, Alteration +5, Light Armor +5,
            Marksman +10, Sneak +10
   Special: Beast Tongue, Command Creature, up to level 5, 60 sec duration
            Resist Disease, magnitude 75, constant effect

      The clanfolk of the Western Valenwood forests, also known as
      "Bosmer." Wood Elves are nimble and quick, making them good
      scouts and thieves, and there are no finer archers in all of
      Tamriel. Their ability to command simple creatures is well-

Wood Elves are natural archers. Beyond that, they can get by as a mage, though 
not nearly so well as their cousins (Dunmer and Altmer). Low Endurance 
(especially for females) tilts this race towards a stealthy profession. If 
sniping is your play-style of choice, this is the race for you. You definitely 
don't want to tank with a Bosmer.

                     <~~~~~~ QUICK REFERENCE TABLES ~~~~~~>

Stats are male/female.

Skill key: ACR (Acrobatics), ALC (Alchemy), ALT (Alteration), ARM (Armorer), 
ATH (Athletics), BLA (Blade), BLO (Block), BLU (Blunt), CON (Conjuration), DES 
(Destruction), HTH (Hand To Hand), HVA (Heavy Armor), ILL (Illusion), LTA 
(Light Armor), MAR (Marksman), MER (Mercantile), MYS (Mysticism), RES 
(Restoration), SEC (Security), SNE (Sneak), SPE (Speechcraft).

These tables will print on one page if you don't print the above key 

        Argonian  | Breton   | Dark Elf | High Elf        | Imperial
STR   | 40/40     | 40/30    | 40/40    | 30/30           | 40/40
INT   | 40/50     | 50/50    | 40/40    | 50/50           | 40/40
WILL  | 30/40     | 50/50    | 30/30    | 40/40           | 30/40
AGL   | 50/40     | 30/30    | 40/40    | 40/40           | 30/30
SPD   | 50/40     | 30/40    | 50/50    | 30/40           | 40/30
END   | 30/30     | 30/30    | 40/30    | 40/30           | 40/40
PER   | 30/30     | 40/40    | 30/40    | 40/40           | 50/50
LUCK  | 50/50     | 50/50    | 50/50    | 50/50           | 50/50
SKILL | ALC +5    | ALC +5   | ATH +5   | ALC +5          | BLA +5
      | ATH +10   | ALT +5   | BLA +10  | ALT +10         | BLU +5
      | BLA +5    | CON +10  | BLU +5   | CON +5          | HTH +5
      | HTH +5    | ILL +5   | DES +10  | DES +10         | HVA +10
      | ILL +5    | MYS +10  | LTA +5   | ILL +5          | MER +10
      | MYS +5    | RES +10  | MAR +5   | MYS +10         | SPE +10
      | SEC +10   |          | MYS +5   |                 |
SPEC  | Resist    | +50      | Summon   | Weakness to     | Absorb
      | disease   | Magicka, | Ghost,   | fire, frost     | Fatigue,
      | & poison, | Shield,  | Resist   | & shock,        | Charm
      | Water     | Resist   | fire     | Resist disease, |
      | Breathing | Magicka  |          | +100 Magicka    |

        Khajiit  | Nord     | Orc      | Redguard   | Wood Elf
STR   | 40/30    | 50/50    | 45/45    | 50/40      | 30/30
INT   | 40/40    | 30/30    | 30/40    | 30/30      | 40/40
WILL  | 30/30    | 30/40    | 50/45    | 30/30      | 30/30
AGL   | 50/50    | 40/40    | 35/35    | 40/40      | 50/50
SPD   | 40/40    | 40/40    | 30/30    | 40/40      | 50/50
END   | 30/40    | 50/40    | 50/50    | 50/50      | 40/30
PER   | 40/40    | 30/30    | 30/25    | 30/40      | 30/40
LUCK  | 50/50    | 50/50    | 50/50    | 50/50      | 50/50
SKILL | ACR +10  | ARM +5   | ARM +10  | ATH +10    | ACR +5
      | ATH +5   | BLA +10  | BLO +10  | BLA +10    | ALC +10
      | BLA +5   | BLO +5   | BLU +10  | BLU +10    | ALT +5
      | HTH +10  | BLU +10  | HTH +5   | LTA +5     | LTA +5
      | LTA +5   | HVA +10  | HVA +10  | HVA +5     | MAR +10
      | SEC +5   | RES +5   |          | MER +5     | SNE +10
      | SNE +5   |          |          |            |
SPEC  | Fear,    | Frost    | Berserk, | Adrenaline | Command
      | Nighteye | touch,   | Resist   | Rush,      | creature,
      |          | Shield,  | Magicka  | Resist     | Resist
      |          | Resist   |          | disease    | disease
      |          | frost    |          | & poison   |

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Special abilities can only be used once per 24 hour period. I.e. you must 
wait 24 hours after using the ability in order to use it again.

-> Apprentice: Maximum Magicka +100, Weakness to Magicka 100%
Risky sign for mages. Extra Magicka is always helpful, but enemy spellcasters 
will kill you quick. Useful primarily for pure mage classes with plenty of 
offensive and defensive spells.

-> Atronach: Maximum Magicka +150, Spell Absorbtion 50%, no Magicka regen
Lots of extra Magicka a great bonus for pure casters, but you'll drink potions 
like water. Expensive (to your wallet) sign.

-> Lady: Willpower +10, Endurance +10
Good stat boosts for characters that mix a little heavy melee with defensive 

-> Lord: Restore Health (magnitude 6, 15 sec duration), Weakness to fire
         25% (constant effect)
Bonus ability is weak at higher levels and weakness to fire when the main 
point of the game is to travel in hell? Yeah, right...

-> Lover: Paralyze (10 sec duration) touch attack cost 120 Fatigue
Great special ability if you're getting your rear handed to you on a platter; 
but, good tactics and careful selection of equipment should help you avoid 
those situations.

-> Mage: Maximum Magicka +50
Safe bet for casters. Not as much extra Magicka as the Apprentice or Atronach, 
but no weaknesses to go along with the bonus.

-> Ritual: Restore 100 Health, Turn Undead magnitude 100, 30 sec duration
Really helps with undead, useful if Restoration is not one of your major 

-> Serpent: Single ability with four effects--
            Damage Health (touch attack, magnitude 3, 20 sec duration)
            Dispel (magnitude 90)
            Cure Poison
            Damage Fatigue (self, magnitude 100)
Questionable ability that damages you almost more than your opponent. Plenty 
of potions can cover the Cure Poison ability.

-> Shadow: Invisibility 60 sec duration
Great for Stealth characters, especially in quests involving theft or 

-> Steed: Speed +20
Only useful if your character concept is built around Speed, which not many 

-> Thief: Agility +10, Speed +10, Luck +10
Good all-around selection for Stealth characters. Helps other classes as well. 
Good sign for novice players.

-> Tower: Open Average lock, Reflect Damage magnitude 5 120 sec duration
Good for non-Stealth characters to help them get through quests that involve 
lock-picking. Damage reflection good for casters who don't wear armor.

-> Warrior: Strength +10, Endurance +10
Basic fighter setup. Good sign for novice players.

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                             THE LEVELING SYSTEM

Levels, levels everywhere! There are skill levels, skill Mastery levels, class 
levels, equipment levels...Like any good RPG, you can quickly bog down in the 
concept of levels in Oblivion.

-> Skill Ranks (Levels)

Each skill has a rank (or level) indicated by a numerical score from 0 to 100. 
The higher your rank in a skill, the more benefit it provides. You block more 
damage with higher Block ranks. You more easily Haggle with merchants with 
higher Mercantile ranks. Etc.

Skill ranks increase as you use the skill. The lower the skill rank, the less 
use is required to raise the skill. Major skills increase slightly faster than 
minor skills of the same rank.

Skill ranks can also be gained by purchasing them from a trainer. You may only 
purchase a total of 5 ranks during any one class level. You can also gain 
skill points by reading special books.

-> Skill Mastery Levels

Each skill has a Mastery level that indicates what types of bonuses or 
penalties come with the skill. The Mastery Levels are:

   Skill     Mastery
   Rank      Level
   -------   ----------
   0 - 24    Novice
   25 - 49   Apprentice
   50 - 74   Journeyman
   75 - 99   Expert
   100       Master

At Novice level, most skills have a penalty. For example, Novice Armorers 
break their repair hammers much more quickly. Novices in Acrobatics can-not 
attack while jumping. Any skill can be increased all the way to Master level, 
it will just take longer for minor skills.

-> Class Level

As your skills increase, you will gain levels in your class. Each time you 
increase your class level, you have the opportunity to increase three of your 

When you gain a total of 10 (ten) ranks in major skills, you gain one class 
level. The 10 ranks can all be in one major skill, or spread through all seven 
major skills.

Once you have gained 10 ranks in major skills, you will receive a message 
telling you to meditate on what you have learned. You then need to find a bed 
and rest for a minimum of one hour. (Any bed will do, but you have to rest in 
a bed, you can't just use the Wait command.) "Leveling up" consists of 
increasing three of your attributes. You will see a list of your attributes 
followed by a +# indicating how many points that attribute will increase. 
Select three attributes and click Exit.

*NOTE* There may not be three attributes that can be raised depending on how 
you gained skill ranks.

The increase in an attribute is determined by the increases in governed skills 
during the class level. For each two ranks gained in a skill, you will receive 
one point to add to that skill's governing attribute.  Increases in both major 
and minor skills are used for attribute bonuses.

The maximum you can increase an attribute at level up is +5. Example: During 
the class level, you increase Blade +4, Block +4, Heavy Armor +2, Armorer +4, 
Security +2, Speechcraft +3 and Restoration +5.  You will have the opportunity 
to raise...
  Strength (Blade +4) by +2
  Endurance (Block +4, Heavy Armor +2, Armorer +4) by +5
  Personality (Speechcraft +3) by +1
  Agility (Security +2) by +1
  Willpower (Restoration +5) by +2

You could select any three of those attributes to increase on this level 
increase. Attributes not selected during this level up do not carry over their 
modifier to the next level. You can level up several times in one rest if you 
do not level for a while. E.g. you have gained 32 ranks in your major skills 
since your last rest. You will level up 3 times when next you sleep in a bed. 
Attribute bonuses earned while "skipping" levels do accumulate, and you'll be 
able to use them all when you finally level up. Once you do level up, all 
attribute bonuses will reset to zero (0).

-> The Leveled System

Oblivion uses a leveled system for enemies, loot and merchant inventory. All 
enemies are adjusted based on your level. You can, technically, complete any 
quest in the game at very low levels*. As you increase in class level, so do 
your enemies. The game actually becomes much more difficult as you increase, 
so "power leveling" is not much help.  The loot dropped by enemies and found 
in chests is also determined by your class level, as is the inventory 
available in any shop. All this combines to make Oblivion a truly open-ended 
game. You can go anywhere and do any-thing regardless of your current level.

*Practically, there are quests that are off limits because you either need to 
complete other quests first (i.e. the main plot quests) or you need special 
equipment you can't yet purchase or can't afford even if it is available. 
There are also a few quests (daedric quests) that have a minimum class level.

                      <~~~~~~ WORKING THE SYSTEM ~~~~~~>
(Some information in this section contributed by Cliff Lenoir.)

OK, let's go over that again...No, that would take too long. Let's sum up:
* Increases in class levels cause corresponding increases in enemy levels
* Minor skill increases do contribute attribute modifiers when leveling up
* Minor skill increases do not contribute to increasing class level
* Attribute increases are capped at +5 for each class level

In the long run, attribute increases are more important than class levels.  
"Power leveling" your class is counter-productive, as you'll get a measly +2 
or +3 to only a few attributes and your enemies will more than compensate in 
their increased levels. So you want to work the system to get the maximum 
increases to attributes each time you increase your class level. To exploit 
this system, it is required that you do three things:

* Use minor skills more than major skills
* Use minor skills that cover all your attributes
* Only use your major skills when you are ready to level up

Then, when you do level up, you should get an available +5 in every attribute. 
You want your major skills to be skills you can use when you choose, without 
being forced into using them. Essentially, you're controlling your leveling so 
you earn your attribute modifiers and then start leveling your major skills 
quickly so you can level up. The ideal would be to gain exactly 30 skill ranks 
(10 major, 20 minor) covering exactly three attributes so you get +5 in each 
attribute and don't waste any skill ranks. (Meeting that ideal is a tedious 
process, but if you can do it the "right" way, you'll be a very powerful 

Picking your major skills is very important if you want to work the system 
with maximum efficiency. In order to pick skills, it's necessary to divide 
skills into three types:

-> Easy Skills

Easy skills are those skills that both level up very quickly AND can be 
leveled with a minimum amount of work. Easy skills should *ALWAYS* be minor 
skills. They level up too quickly and too easily to be used as a major skill.

The easy skills are:

* Alteration
* Conjuration
* Illusion
* Mysticism

These four Magicka schools all rank up quickly; and, all have self-directed 
spells that are cheap and always earn experience. You can walk along casting 
Light on yourself over and over to rank up Illusion. Or Detect Life to rank up 
Mysticism. Or Summon something to rank up Conjuration. Or Water Breathing to 
rank up Alteration. The possibilities are endless and you can rank these 
skills up faster than you can say Sigillum Sanguis.

* Sneak

You don't have to be hiding from a hostile creature to level up Sneak. As long 
as there's some NPC in the vicinity and that NPC can't see you, you can earn 
experience for Sneaking in the area. The NPC can even be sleeping! There are 
numerous opportunities to rank up this skill, and it ranks up quickly.

-> Hard Skills

Hard skills are those skills that are both tedious to level up (i.e. it takes 
a lot of work to level them up) and level up very slowly. These skills should 
pretty much be considered as necessary major skills for all characters. Not 
only are they very controllable, but they level up so slowly that you're not 
likely to class-level accidentally by using the skills too much. You also want 
to get the Journeyman perks as quickly as possible, and you can't do that 
without a huge amount of tedium if you start with these skills at Novice 

The hard skills are:

* Acrobatics

Yes, you can just jump around all the time; but, Acrobatics levels up slowly 
unless you go jump off something really high--high enough to damage yourself. 
You could, theoretically, jump your way down a mountain while healing yourself 
to gain both Acrobatics and Restoration ranks. But there are more fun things 
to do than play Oblivion that way; like watching grass grow.

* Mercantile

This wouldn't be so bad if the barter interface worked a bit more intuitively. 
Anyway, slamming your fingers in a door is infinitely more enjoyable than 
selling a stack of arrows--one at a time.

* Restoration

First, you can't get experience for casting Restoration spells unless you 
actually have an effect. That means you or your target must be damaged. 
Becoming damaged in a *manageable* fashion (i.e. not life-threatening) isn't 
all that easy. And then, Restoration levels up *very* slowly. Not a good 
combination and a frustrating skill to rank up.

-> Tweener Skills

As the name implies, these are skills that are not exactly easy skills, but 
not hard skills either. They either level up very slowly or take a lot of 
tedious work to level up. Tweener skills are the primary source of your major 
skills. Once you've taken the three hard skills (Restoration, Mercantile and 
Acrobatics), fill in the remaining major skill slots with those tweener skills 
that are important to you, especially those where you need the Journeyman 
perks sooner rather than later.

Tweener skills are:

* Alchemy

Alchemy ranks up rather quickly; however, you have to buy or scavenge for 
ingredients, which is tedious and time-consuming. Buying the Wizard's Tower or 
Vile Lair official plug-ins will help, since both have extensive gardens of 
alchemical ingredients.

* Armorer
* Hand-to-Hand
* Heavy Armor
* Light Armor
* Marksman
* Blade
* Block
* Blunt
* Destruction

All these skills go hand-in-hand. The easiest way to rank up most of these 
skills is to perform the side quest "Whom Gods Annoy" (find Rosentia Gallenus' 
house in Leyawiin). Keep the cursed staff and use the infinite scamps it 
summons to rank up all your attack-related skills. Of course, those scamps 
don't fight back, so you can't rank up defensive skills. And, the staff slows 
you down considerably, so you don't' want to hang on to it for an extended 
period while you rank up skills in a controlled manner. In the long run, the 
best way to increase any of these skills is to simply get out and delve into 
some dungeons.

* Athletics

Athletics would seem to be an easy-to-rank skill; after all, most players 
always run everywhere. Well, first, Athletics is the slowest leveling skill in 
the game--it takes over 90 hours of running to rank Athletics from 5 to 100. 
That's a lot of time. Also, you don't normally run while in dungeons (or 
you're Sneak-running, which doesn't earn experience for Athletics). Plus, 
considering Fast Travel and horses, there's no reason that Athletics can't be 
a very controllable skill.

* Security

There's no way to rank up this skill short of picking locks; and, unless you 
have an infinite supply of lockpicks, you're going to have to pick the locks 
successfully. Which means you then have to hunt even harder for locks to pick. 
All-in-all, this skill is almost a hard skill. It's only saving grace is it 
earns a decent amount of experience.

* Speechcraft

You can rank up Speechcraft for each Persuasion mini-game you play. You don't 
have to play to win, just start the mini-game and rapidly press the select 
option button to finish the game and get your skill experience. It does take a 
while, and this is not exactly a fun activity nor one you can do as part of 
your normal adventuring. Thus its status as a tweener skill.

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                       <~~~~~~ DEFAULT CLASSES ~~~~~~>

These are the pre-generated classes from which you can choose at the beginning 
of the game.

-> Acrobat
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Agility, Endurance
   Skills: Acrobatics, Blade, Block, Marksman, Security, Sneak, Speechcraft

-> Agent
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Personality, Agility
   Skills: Acrobatics, Illusion, Marksman, Mercantile, Security, Sneak,

Both of these classes are optimized for the player who prefers a very Stealthy 
character. Acrobats are more combat oriented, while Agents are sort of the 
Oblivion equivalent of a grave robber--just enough combat know-how to raid the 
numerous ruins and tombs and then skilled in getting top dollar for the loot.

-> Archer
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Agility, Strength
   Skills: Armorer, Blade, Blunt, Hand To Hand, Light Armor, Marksman, Sneak

An archer should be a specialist in using a bow, but having all four combat 
skills is a waste. For a better archer build, see the Class Templates section.

-> Assassin
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Speed, Intelligence
   Skills: Acrobatics, Alchemy, Blade, Light Armor, Marksman, Security, Sneak

A skilled fighter if he gets to make the first blow undetected. Alchemy 
provides poison for daggers and arrows. Acrobatics can help reach hiding 
places, though that may not be important in Oblivion.

-> Barbarian
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Strength, Speed
   Skills: Armorer, Athletics, Blade, Block, Blunt, Hand To Hand, Light Armor

Another fighter with three combat skills...What's the point? Trying to balance 
all three (or even two) will gimp your melee skills. Since you've got a light-
footed fighter, replace two combat skills with some Stealth-related skills.

-> Bard
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Personality, Intelligence
   Skills: Alchemy, Blade, Block, Illusion, Light Armor, Mercantile,

The classic "bard" doesn't translate well into Oblivion. Mercantile and 
Speechcraft are not the best major skills in the world and if you're going to 
go Light Armor melee, Acrobatics wouldn't hurt.

-> Battlemage
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Strength, Intelligence
   Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Blade, Blunt, Conjuration, Destruction,

Once again, mixing two combat skills is a waste. Better to throw in Block or 
an Armor skill. Also, since the focus is on Intelligence, having two 
Willpower-modified spell schools may be a bit much. Drop Alteration and either 
Blade or Blunt and put in both Block and Armor.

-> Crusader
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Strength, Willpower
   Skills: Athletics, Blade, Blunt, Destruction, Hand To Hand, Heavy Armor,

Another gimped class because two major skill slots are wasted on duplicate 
combat skills. For a better crusader build, see the paladin in the Class 
Templates section.

-> Healer
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Personality, Willpower
   Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Destruction, Illusion, Mercantile,
           Restoration, Speechcraft

Well, all that really needs to be said about this class is: the focus in 
Oblivion is killing, not healing. Capiche?

-> Knight
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Strength, Personality
   Skills: Blade, Block, Blunt, Hand To Hand, Heavy Armor, Illusion,

See notes under "Crusader" above, and the superior Paladin build in the Class 
Templates section.

-> Mage
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Intelligence, Willpower
   Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion,
           Mysticism, Restoration

A pure wizard character. With all major skills coming from one specialization, 
you'll start stronger and reach Journeyman perks faster.

-> Monk
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Agility, Willpower
   Skills: Acrobatics, Alteration, Athletics, Hand To Hand, Marksman,
           Security, Sneak

As close as you can get to a "pure" martial artist. (That is, Eastern, unarmed 
martial artist.) If you're going to fight hand-to-hand a lot, you might be 
better off replacing Athletics with Light Armor.

-> Nightblade
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Willpower, Speed
   Skills: Acrobatics, Alteration, Athletics, Blade, Destruction,
           Light Armor, Restoration

The point of this build is elusive. A sneak attack artist? A sneaky mage? An 

-> Pilgrim
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Personality, Endurance
   Skills: Armorer, Block, Blunt, Light Armor, Mercantile, Security,

Part melee fighter, part thief, part sweet-talker, all gimped.

-> Rogue
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Speed, Personality
   Skills: Alchemy, Athletics, Blade, Block, Illusion, Light Armor,

Replace Athletics with Security and you've got a better roguish character.

-> Scout
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Speed, Endurance
   Skills: Acrobatics, Alchemy, Armorer, Athletics, Blade, Block, Light Armor

One of the few default builds that's pretty decent. Acrobatics would be better 
replaced with Restoration or Alteration, but as is, this is a viable class.

-> Sorcerer
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Intelligence, Endurance
   Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Heavy Armor,
           Mysticism, Restoration

Heavy Armor does cut down on effectiveness of magic, so this is a strange 
build. It's like they took the mage and got rid of Illusion in favor of 
something that would gimp the remaining skills. Strange.

-> Spellsword
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Willpower, Endurance
   Skills: Alteration, Blade, Block, Destruction, Heavy Armor, Illusion,

A pretty good fighter/mage combination. Illusion might be better replaced with 
Mysticism or Alchemy, but not bad overall.

-> Thief
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Speed, Agility
   Skills: Acrobatics, Light Armor, Marksman, Mercantile, Security, Sneak,

A prototypical Stealth character, with all major skills coming from the same 

-> Warrior
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Strength, Endurance
   Skills: Armorer, Athletics, Blade, Block, Blunt, Hand To Hand, Heavy Armor

The pure fighter, and quite gimped with duplicate combat skills. Take this 
same class and replace two combat skills with defensive magic, offensive magic 
or some Stealth skills (depending on your racial bonuses) to create a more 
interesting tank.

-> Witchhunter
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Intelligence, Agility
   Skills: Alchemy, Athletics, Conjuration, Destruction, Marksman,
           Mysticism, Security

A pretty good build. Athletics would be better replaced with Light Armor, 
since there's more of a combat focus to this class.

                 <~~~~~~ BUILDING A CLASS & CHARACTER ~~~~~~>

The pre-generated classes in Oblivion all leave a little to be desired. Once 
you've gotten a feel for the game, you may wish to create your own class. This 
is best done beforehand on paper, since the order in which you set up the 
class in the game is not the most efficient.

There are essentially three philosophies for building a character:

* Role-player: this player creates a person in their imagination and builds 
the in-game character to match that person's background, abilities, etc.

* Power-gamer: this player is all about the numbers and maximizing the power 
of the PC. Race, gender, class & skills are all designed to squeeze as much 
out of the system as possible.

* Balanced: this player is a mix of the other two types. Some attention is 
given to what type of person the PC is; but, the balanced player also wants to 
make sure the character isn't gimped, so will do some number crunching.

Players can be quite passionate about their preferred method of gameplay and 
character building. Don't let anyone dissuade you from following your 
preferred path! There's no "right" way to build a character.

-> Role-Player

Play around with the character concept. Will the class be primarily a melee 
fighter? Archer? Spellcaster?

Is the character adept at magic? Picking locks? Backstabbing? Charming NPCs?

If the character is a melee fighter, is it with blades, blunts or fists?

Does the character need to run quickly? Be able to dodge attacks? Absorb 
magic? Make potions? Cast defensive spells? Cast offensive spells?

Once you have the character concept firmly in mind, go through the list of 
skills and pick out those seven skills that most closely resemble your 

Write down the governing attributes and specialization of each skill. Now, 
check to see which specialization and which two attributes are most 
represented by your skills. Choose the specialization (combat, mage or 
stealth) that represents the most skills in your list. Choose the two 
attributes that govern the most skills in your list.

*TIP* Every character can use Endurance. Consider using Endurance as one of 
your two favored Attributes for the +5 bonus.

Dig through the races and birthsigns. (The Quick Reference Tables under races 
can be printed on to one page as can the entire birthsign list.) You can 
either pick a race based on your visual preference; or, pick a race that is 
most suited for your class. If you're having trouble deciding, understand that 
races with high starting Endurance will have an easier time surviving. Races 
that have a high starting Strength will have an easier time looting dungeons.

Pick a birthsign that fits your character concept. If you have a backstory for 
your character, it most likely includes a sign under which they were born. If 
you're having trouble choosing, then attribute bonuses (Thief, Warrior and 
Lady) are safe choices. If your character is a mage, then Mage is the safest 
choice. Apprentice and Atronach are more powerful, but more difficult to 
play.Your character is now ready to go! Or, will be after you've spent a 
couple of hours getting the cheekbones just right, the nose to the proper 
length and fixing that underbite...

-> Power-gamer

Your primary goal is to increase three attributes by +5 every class level and 
to only class level when you have those three +5 bonuses for your three 
attributes. One of your favored attributes will be Endurance, because you 
understand the importance of Health. You will likely never pick a race that 
begins with an Endurance score of 30.

Since you want to control exactly when you level, you want seven major skills 
that you can increase only when you want them to increase. Here is a list of 
all the skills and how you can control them:

Acrobatics: rarely used in normal play, it can easily be leveled by hopping 
and skipping everywhere you go.

Alchemy: raw ingredients are everywhere. You get a mortar & pestle in the 
starter dungeon. Get mixing!

Armorer: buy a bunch of repair hammers and repair everything you find, even if 
you're just going to drop it on the ground again.

Athletics: some players like to play with Always Run turned on; however, with 
Fast Travel and horses, you don't need to do so (you can get a horse two 
minutes after leaving the starter dungeon). When you're ready to level the 
skill, get off the horse and run around a little; or, better, go swimming.

Combat: whatever combat skills you don't normally use can be leveled at will 
if you have at least Apprentice level Conjuration skill. Summon a creature, 
then attack it. Rinse and repeat until your skill levels up. Works for Blade, 
Block, Blunt, Hand To Hand, Heavy Armor, Light Armor and Marksman. (Idea 
submitted by Nikola.)

Mercantile: the only way to increase this skill is to Haggle with merchants, 
which is not something you can do a lot or sell items one at a time. The most 
difficult skill to increase.

Security: depending on your play style, this skill will either be very 
difficult to increase or very easy. If you're not playing a sneak thief, then 
you will have a hard time finding enough locks to pick that won't land you in 
jail. If you are playing a sneak thief, you will use this skill all the time 
and don't want it as a major skill.

Sneak: enter an inn, get behind the innkeeper, enter Sneak mode and sneak-run 
at the wall until you've leveled up this skill as you prefer.

Speechcraft: You don't have to "win" the Persuasion mini-game to increase your 
skill. Pick an NPC, open the Persuasion mini-game and just start mashing 
buttons and watch your skill ranks fly.

Spells: most of the spell schools have spells you can cast on yourself, over 
and over and over and over...

In addition to picking major skills you can control, you want all your major 
skills to start at rank 25. Why? Well, the maximum skill rank is 100. You get 
one class level every 10 major skill ranks. If all seven major skills are 25 
to start, you can get 75 (per skill) ranks * 7 (number of major skills) = 525 
ranks in your major skills. 525 / 10 (number of ranks to class level) = 52.5 
total class levels gained. In short, starting with all major skills at 25 
gives you a "level cap" of 53 (1 starting level + 52 gained levels). Start 
with just one skill at 40 instead of 25 and you've cost yourself a level. 
Start with two skills at 40 instead of 25 and you've cost yourself 3 levels. 
So, all your major skills must come from outside your class specialization and 
all of your major skills must not receive any bonus from your chosen race.

Go through the list of skills and make sure the skills you will use the most 
during normal gameplay are all minor skills. Your major skills should remain 
unused until you're ready to increase your class level. Make sure your minor 
skills include at least one skill for each attribute. For example, you don't 
want Blade, Blunt and HTH all in major skills because you would be unable to 
increase your STR without also increasing your class level.

Choose a specialization that includes none of your major skills.

Choose a race that has no bonuses to your major skills and has an Endurance of 
at least 40.

Favored attributes for your class should be Endurance (for Health) and Luck 
(because it is the only attribute you can't increase by +5 whenever you want). 
Birthsign should be Thief (mainly for the +10 Luck bonus), unless you're a 
mage, then you probably want Atronach--you can find ways of restoring Magicka. 
For each class level, pick three attributes you want to increase. Check the 
skill rank of one or two minor skills that are governed by those attributes.

You want to increase Endurance, Willpower and Intelligence. You pick the minor 
skills of Block, and Destruction and the major skill of Mysticism. Use those 
skills regularly until each has increased 10 ranks. You now have locked in a 
+5 bonus to END, WILL and INT and are ready to level up with exactly three 
attributes increasing by +5.

-> Balanced

Basically, you're going to start with the role-playing perspective, building a 
character based on your idea of who that person is. But, you don't want to 
neglect your inner statistician. Choose a race with 40 or 50 starting 
Endurance (for Health). Consider taking Luck as a favored attribute (for the 
additional +5). If you're not a mage, you'll probably take Lady or Warrior as 
your birthsign. If you are a mage, you'll take Mage or Apprentice. (Atronach 
can be very difficult to play and is probably best left to the power-gamers.) 
The balanced player will still work the system, leveling up minor skills so 
they can get the maximum +5 modifier to attributes at each class level.

However, the balanced player is also interested in reaching Journeyman, Expert 
and Master perks faster than the power-gamer. You can still play with minor 
skills in town to raise attribute modifiers, then use your major skills in the 
wild to clear quests and raise a class level. You'll be much more powerful in 
the use of your primary skills--i.e. those skills you use in the course of 
adventuring--at the cost of 5 or 6 class levels at the top end.

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                               CLASS TEMPLATES

The following custom class templates are suggestions. Those from readers of 
this guide have not necessarily been tested for effectiveness. You can, of 
course, just use these templates as a basis for your own custom class. None of 
these are guaranteed to be THE power class in Oblivion.

In alphabetical order...

-> Archer
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Speed, Agility
   Skills: Acrobatics, Alchemy, Athletics, Block, Light Armor, Marksman,

Archers are...well, bowmen (or women/lizard/cat) of extraordinary ability. 
Their entire focus is on effective use of the bow. To that end, they focus on 
finding the right spot from which to snipe the enemy (Acrobatics), staying 
away from the enemy (Athletics) and making their first shot count by shooting 
undetected (Sneak). Light Armor and Block contribute to keeping them alive if 
a fighter gets too close and Alchemy provides deadly poisons for their arrow 

   Recommended races:
   * Wood Elves get bonuses to almost all the class' major skill list,
     including a +10 to Marksman and Sneak. Not bad, not bad at all.
   * Dark Elves get a bonus to Marksman, Athletics and Light Armor, but their
     remaining skill bonuses go to waste. The innate ability to summon help
     is a good thing.
   * Argonians and Khajiit have high favored attribute scores and bonuses to
     some important Stealth abilities, but will have to work harder to get
     their Marksman skill up to serious damage land.

   Recommended birthsigns:
   * Thief: boosts both favored attributes, and Luck as well
   * Warrior: increases carrying capacity and boosts Health for a warrior
              class that is otherwise weak in those areas
   * Shadow: can't beat Invisibility for launching the first sneak attack
   * Tower: mainly useful for the Reflect Damage ability

-> Death Knight (submitted by Andrew Lynner)
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Endurance, Willpower
   Skills: Alteration, Armorer, Blunt, Block, Heavy Armor, Destruction,
   Race: Orc, Male
   Birthsign: Atronach (To compensate for Orc's low intel)

With the high endurance (50) and willpower (50)with the male orc, this is a 
formidable opponent when skilled this way.

-> Fighter Mage (submitted by Mark)
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Strength, Endurance,
   Skills: Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Mysticism, Blade, Block,
           Light Armor
   Race: Imperial (female)
   Birthsign: Warrior

The Fighter Mage is a more refined Battlemage as they concentrate on four 
schools of magic that happen to complement each other and for those times when 
they get stuck in a spot with no spells they are well versed in the use of 
sword, shield and armor of their choice.

-> Highlander (submitted by BleeDinG_SolDieR)
   Specialization: Combat
   Favored Attributes: Strength, Endurance
   Skills: Restoration, Illusion, Speechcraft, Blade (or Blunt), Block,
           Armorer, Heavy Armor

Especially nice for role-playing a big, blonde haired, intimidating brute from 
the north.

   Recommended races:
   * Nord
   * Orc
   * Redguard

   Recommended birthsign:
   * Warrior

-> Illusionist (submitted by TheInfamous83)
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Personality, Luck
   Skills: Illusion, Alteration, Alchemy, Mercantile, Speechcraft, Sneak,

The magic of deception is where a illusionist thrives. They are your local 
magician, pulling rabbits out of hats, card tricks, etc.. But don't be 
mistaken an illusionist can be a very powerful specialty mage if his powers 
are used to their potential. Their skills lie in all that effects or persuades 
the perception of the mind. Even their words and actions confuse their 
opponents. A quick wit and even quicker hand is recurred of any powerful 

   Recommended Races:
   * Breton
   * High Elf
   * Wood Elf

   Recommended Birth Signs:
   * Shadow - the invisibility effect derives from the school of illusion
   * Apprentice - illusionists were never known for their ability to combat
     other mages so their spell weakness is only suiting to the class, the
     perk being a +100 magicka increase, honestly how hard is it to pull a
     rabbit out of a hat.

-> Mage Assassin a.k.a. Mageblade (submitted by Dane Woodall)
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Speed, Willpower
   Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Blade, Destruction, Illusion, Light Armor,

The Mageblade is an assassin who specializes in melee combat used in 
combination with destruction magic. Health, while a concern is not a primary 
concern because of the nature of combat this character engages. Choosing to 
strike from stealth for added melee damage, the Mageblade can capitalize on 
the use of a powerful 1h or 2h blade for an initial burst of damage, followed 
by falling back out of melee combat and finishing with destruction magic. 
Oftentimes, the Mageblade will intermix melee strikes with magical attacks, 
being as he can easily move in and out of melee combat through the use of 
superior speed and stealth.

Illusion plays a strong role in combat, providing the means to turn Invisible 
at will, and often times combat will revolve around going in and out of 
invisibility between strikes, to make most use of the sneak attack damage 
multiplier. Destruction magic is the preferred method of ranged damage over 
bows, as it does not require switching back and forth between weapons, 
allowing him to move in and out of melee combat as necessary with no penalty 
to his ability to remain on the offensive. The Mageblade has a strong reliance 
on Magicka, as his performance in combat is closely tied to his ability to use 
Illusion and Destruction magic often, which is also why one of his primary 
attributes is Willpower, to enable him to replenish his Magicka pool during 
combat. His birthsign should also reflect this, making The Apprentice or Mage 
sign a viable choice to supplement his available pool of Magicka.

His one vulnerability is his armor protection (or lack thereof) in melee 
combat. Being as he chooses to strike from stealth and move in and out of 
melee combat through his use of speed to strike when the opportunity arises, 
his reliance on armor is minimal, which becomes his one real vulnerability. 
Whether he is knocked down, paralyzed or just miss-times a melee attack, the 
Mageblade can often suffer multiple strikes from a melee weapon, which can be 
very detrimental to his health. To aid in covering this vulnerability, the 
shield serves the purpose well. Used when not attacking (whether melee or with 
magic), the shield will protect the Mageblade against most attacks caused by 
sticking in melee range too long. And since the Mageblade has an abundance of 
speed, he can even make use of a Heavy Armor shield, as this one item will not 
detriment his speed or acrobat capabilities in combat.

Also consider becoming a vampire, as the boosts to stats and skills provided 
by being a vampire cater directly to the stats and skills utilized by a 
Mageblade. If managed well, vampirism is no longer seen as a drawback, but 
purely a boost to all the important attributes of this character.

   Recommended races:
   * Dark Elf is the primary choice here, with a good balance of all stats
     but most importantly starts with 50 speed. The racial bonuses to
     athletics, blade, destruction, light armor and sometimes marksmanship
     all play a strong role in aiding his particular method of combat. Males
     are preferred as they have 10 more endurance while sacrificing 10
     personality, which is more or less useless for NPC interaction
     considering the use of Illusion charm spells. In addition, the Dark
     Elf's special power of 75% fire resistance makes this race the strongest
     choice, considering the prevalence of fire magic in the world and the
     possible addition of fire vulnerability from being a vampire.

   * Wood Elf is the secondary choice, with the starting 50 speed but lacks
     in terms of strength. While he makes up for it somewhat with the added
     agility, it is an obvious second place compared to the Dark Elf who
     seems best suited for the job. As with the Dark Elf, a male Wood Elf is
     the obvious choise for the extra 10 endurance over 10 personality, for
     the same reason.

   * Khajiit is the third and only other choice as the only remaining class
     with good racial skill modifiers and a decent layout of stats. While a
     Khajiit does not have the starting 50 speed he does have 50 agility and
     40 strength, both necessary starting points for the Mageblade class.
     However, he has a lower than average 30 endurance (as male) or lower
     than average 30 strength (as female), making him a less than optimal
     choice. A Khajiit's special powers are more or less useless considering
     the strong role that Illusion magic plays, therefore replacing the need
     for his special powers.

   Recommended birthsigns:
   * Mage: +50 to Magicka is important to reinforce the need for an abundance
     of Magicka during combat.

   * The Apprentice: +100 to Magicka is a very strong boost to support his
     need for magic, and the downside of 100% vulnerability to magic is
     somewhat countered by the rabid use of Invisibility in combat. The
     vulnerability is only a weakness if the enemy is able to capitalize.

   * Steed: A good boost to speed, but not all together important as the
     boost to Magicka. Speed comes into abundance as you level up and get +5
     to speed multiple times.

   * Thief: Same as steed, the bonuses are useful, but become a novelty as
     you level up.

-> Mage Hunter (submitted by Kaushik Goswami)
   Specialization: Magic
   Favorite Attributes: Willpower, Endurance
   Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration,
           Mysticism, Acrobatics

Is practically invincible against spell casters (Bretons get a 50% resist 
magicka constant effect ability). If the enemy can survive the barrage of 
spells thrown at him, then he gets his revenge very easily.

   Recommended race:
   * Female Breton

   Recommended birthsign:
   * Atronach

-> Mau Thai Monk (submitted by TheInfamous83)
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Speed, Endurance
   Skills: Block, Blunt, Athletics, Hand to Hand, Acrobatics, Alchemy,

Mau Thai is a dangerous and lethal martial arts style practiced by few in the 
world. It focuses on elbow and knee assaults which can result in devastating 
effects. These monks of the ancient arts of Mau Thai wear no armor and 
practice no magic excluding the healing powers of restoration. They also have 
a understanding of alchemy and herbal properties. Their entire lives are in 
preparation and practice of their art, which involves rigorous hours of 
acrobatic and athletic training. All in all the monks of Mau Thai are 
physically superior to any other warrior.

   Recommended Races:
   * Orc
   * Nord
   * Khajiit

   Recommended Birth Signs:
   * Tower - its defense bonus is just what the monk needs, and being able to
     break open locked doors can come in handy.

-> Ninja (submitted by TheInfamous83)
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Speed, Agility
   Skills: Athletics, Acrobatics, Blade, Sneak, Destruction, Illusion,

The Ninja is a cunning master of stealth. Quick, agile, and adept at light 
magic. They are best suited as assassins, striking from the shadows with 
lethal and unrelenting force. Primary attacks consist of both use of the blade 
and bow, even rumored to be proficient in destruction magic. To better 
compliment their ability to move undetected ninjas are also reputed experts of 
illusion. This integration of diverse attacks combined with their shadowy 
nature, create a warrior of uncanny ability. Although not a master combatant, 
if used correctly, a ninja can dispatch numerous opponents without the 
slightest detection. Their ability at critical strikes and evasive maneuvering 
is unmatched.

   Recommended Races:
   * Dark Elf
   * Khajiit
   * Argonian

   Recommended Birth Signs:
   * Thief - +10 boosts in speed, agility, and luck are a must for ninjas
   * Shadow - the ability to turn invisible once per day for 60 seconds is
     hard to ignore

-> Paladin
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Endurance, Willpower
   Skills: Alteration, Armorer, Blade/Blunt (choose one), Block, Heavy Armor,
           Restoration, Speechcraft

The paladin is a holy warrior/knight errant who specializes in melee combat 
with some healing/buffing magic for backup. You don't really need to worry 
about Magicka, as you'll primarily use your spells in between fights rather 
than for offensive purposes. This build is designed to be somewhat self-
sufficient, with Armorer to keep gear in top shape and Restoration and 
Alteration to reduce reliance on potions.

The paladin is also a persuasive class, designed to sway people to your way of 
thinking. You'll want good Personality and Strength (for carrying all your 
equipment) in addition to Endurance and Willpower.

   Recommended races:
   * Imperial is the primary choice here, with good WILL and END scores for
     both males and females as well as high PER, decent STR and bonuses to
     combat skills and Speechcraft.
   * Female Nords can also do well with this class (male Nords have too low a
     WILL score).
   * You could also make this work with a male Dark Elf.

   Recommended birthsigns:
   * Lady: +10 to both your prime attributes
   * Warrior: +10 Strength boosts damage and carrying capacity
   * Apprentice: Gives a big boost to Magicka and makes the class more
     caster-centric. The weakness to Magicka is overcome by shiny thing
     with points. (Idea contributed by Charles Mousseau.)
   * Ritual: makes the class feel like the classic D&D paladin
   * Tower: makes up for low Stealth skills when you need them for a quest

-> Ranger (submitted by Holj102)
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Strength, Endurance
   Skills: Armorer, Blade, Illusion, Light Armor, Marksman, Restoration,

   Recommended Races:
   Nord, Redguard, Orc, Dark Elf

   Recommended Birthsigns:
   Thief, Warrior, Lady, Shadow

The Ranger is your all in one class.  He's a loner, drifting from one town to 
another relying on his own skills as opposed to buying them.  He relies on the 
player's intelligence about combat more than anything else.  He is proficient 
in both sword and bow, can repair his own equipment, and heal when in tough 

This is a great first class for those who don't know what they want to be or 
are trying the series out for the first time.  Based loosely on the Ranger 
concept from Lord of the Rings, this class is designed to be flexible about 
anything and everything.  The ranger can be a thief, an assassin, or a knight.  
He is able to withstand oncoming close combat fighters, or run away and pelt 
them with arrows.

-> Revenant (submitted by psaczkowski)
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Speed (Strength), Intelligence
   Skills: Block, Blade, Light Armor, Alchemy, Destruction, Illusion, Sneak
   Race: Dark Elf Vampire
   Gender: Male
   Birth Sign: Apprentice, Atronach, Mage or Thief

The Revenants are ancient creatures, who, because of their untimely and 
unfortunate death, have decided to take vengeance on the world. They stalk the 
living with poison soaked blades, using invisibility so as not to leave a 
trace of their damned existence. When it so happens that they are revealed, 
they become a raging fury of powerful magic and decimate those who were 
foolish enough not to go quietly.

To be this character, you are going to have to want to be evil, plain and 
simple. There is mostly not a way around this, and I would suggest to those 
who do not want to murder, steal and be dishonorable in the process not to be 
this character, simply because I think it would take the fun out of it.

The main idea behind the Revenant is to be THE stealth character, and I feel 
that is done best with a combination of offensive magic and melee. I feel that 
there are many reasons why this character is superior to stealth characters 
that rely on blade and marksman. First, destruction spells give you superior 
ranged combat over bows, since you don't have to switch weapons and can keep 
attacking vigorously. Second, blades are also better than bows, mostly because 
the stealth modifier is x6 on blades, rather than x3 on bows (once at high 
level), and since you are going to poison dip your weapons, it makes sense to 
have only one rather than two (saves time and money not to have to poison two 

Furthermore, high-end bows do less damage than high-end blades, and you are 
going to want to try and max your stealth attack damage so you do not have to 
fight your enemy for very long afterwards. Third, destruction can enchant your 
blade to inflict up to 60 elemental damage, which you will need when 

First, this character is specifically designed to become a vampire. I see no 
reason not too, personally, the statistic boosts are amazing, and I have 
tailored the Revenant so that he/she is not as susceptible to the weaknesses 
accrued by becoming a vampire (although that doesn't mean that you are going 
to be able to just walk around in the sun and talk to everyone, but it does 
mean that you are going to play a relatively normal game). You will want to be 
a vampire because of the attribute boosts, but also because of the damage 
reduction which will help a lot. Also, the powers are quite cool. One thing 
you will have to do with the vampire is 1) Try and find something that has a 
constant health regeneration effect which will help out if you are in the sun 
2) Make sure your charm spells are effective enough to be able to talk to NPCs 
even when you are at full vampirism 3) Make sure your fire resist is high, 
being a dark elf helps a lot, but more would be better.

I chose the dark elf race specifically because it boosts your most important 
stats, and because of the 75% fire resistance which is a MUST if you want to 
be a vampire. I also suggest being male so that your strength and damage is 
higher, but if you want to be a female and be more persuasive, by all means.

Your birth sign is up to you. I gave the options I think are best, but it 
depends if you want to be risky. You will be an alchemist, so you can choose 
Atronach and be able to make potions for yourself if you aren't fighting a 
mage and can't absorb. If you want to be risky choose Apprentice, I wouldn't 
though.  If you are not sure I would go with Thief, but you can try Mage if 
you'd like (I think the +10 luck is really good on Thief).

The skill set I chose does a number of things. First, none of the governing 
attributes are the same, so this means you can have a power character. Why is 
this important you ask? Since each level you can up your attributes by a max 
of fifteen (5 points for three attributes), you are going to want two minor 
skills with the same governing attributes, because this will make it so you 
can use those skills to get a high number of skill points for any one 
governing attribute to boost it +5 without leveling. Otherwise, if you have, 
say, all intelligence governed skills as major ones, you will level before 
being able to have 3 attributes be able to get +5. Another reason the skills 
are good is because they will make you light as a feather, fast, powerful in 
melee and magic and invisible. I would suggest that when you fight, make 
yourself invisible from time to time, so that you are able to get behind your 
enemy, poison your blade, and take them out. Also, I would suggest cloaking 
yourself, so that you are only 75% visible at all times, the problem with 
invisibility is that it comes off whenever you attack. You may ask why I put 
block as a major skill, well, mostly because it was that or Speechcraft, 
acrobatics or athletics and all of them level too fast to be used as majors, 
and you will want to make sure that they are high levels from the beginning so 
will want to run around with always run, jumping and trying to persuade NPCs 
(which can be augmented by using illusion charms as well).  Also, block is 
going to save your ass when you become visible, or cannot sneak away, but is 
not going to be used enough to not let you be able to max attributes when 

I think you'll find this character is also going to be hard at the beginning 
(though if you become a vampire quick enough that should help a lot), and may 
even be quite equipment intensive being a dual build.  But I think you will 
find it rewarding in the end, I think that Oblivion has catered to dual builds 
quite well, as opposed to games like Diablo, which do not allow this freedom.  
I would suggest to boost Speed, Intelligence, Strength, Endurance and Agility, 
sort of in that order, but do what you think is best.

-> Samurai (submitted by TheInfamous83)
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Strength, Agility
   Skills: Blade, Block, Marksmen, Light Armor, Armorer, Athletics, Mysticism

Samurai live their life by the sword, in some terms their swords are 
extensions of themselves. They are capable of defensive and offensive 
techniques in swordsmanship and have a wide knowledge in the crafting and 
repairing of armor and weapons. Also skilled users of the bow and mystic 
magic. These warriors are both honorable and passionate to their cause, to 
which extent they fight with such fierce professionalism that has earned them 
a reputation for fear amongst their enemies.

   Recommended Races:
   * Dark Elf
   * Orc
   * Redguard

   Recommended Birth Signs:
   * Warrior - +10 strength and endurance only make him that much better of a
   * Ritual - helpful considering its restoration effects and turn undead.
     Being a warrior class any ability involving cure is a huge advantage.

-> Seeker (submitted by Harry)
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Agility, intelligence
   Skills: marksman, alchemy, sneak, security, mysticism, athletics/acrobats,

Skilled in the art of silent, effective, and fast killing, the Seeker has the 
skills to find it's target and quickly dispatch it. Using a bow and a nice 
sword coated with poison, the seeker can get instant kills to many, even 
imperial guards. By using security, the seeker can easily get into one's house 
and loot their deepest treasures. As a master in sneaking, the seeker can 
easily walk right past someone (bodyguard) in hopes of dispatching the target 
silently. With skill in either athletics or acrobats, the Seeker is able to 
make a safe getaway without anyone knowing he/she was there.

   Recommended races:
   * Argonian: has 5 bonuses to main skills and underwater breathing is good
     for escaping ships.
   * Dark Elf: Also has 5 bonuses to main skills, less bonus to main
     attributes, summoning a guardian is nice if you get overwhelmed
   * Khajiit: Has only 4 bonuses, although good attributes and the ability to
     see in the night is great due to you carry out your "business" in the
     dead of the night.
   * Wood Elf: Also has 4 bonuses but two are +10s, attributes are great,
     although the special abilities aren't too powerful.

   Recommended birthsigns:
   * Thief (obvious)
   * Shadow (nice for quick getaways or sneaking past smart guards)
   * Steed (if you have athletics, you can become a speed powerhouse)

-> Shade (submitted by anonymous)
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Strength and Personality
   Skills: Alchemy, Blade, Illusion, Light Armor, Marksman, Security, Sneak

The "Shade" class is kind of like an assassin. You make poisons (Alchemy) and 
apply them on your Bow or Sword and sneak attack your enemy. Illusion will 
help you with Night Eye and Chameleon spells (useful for dungeon crawling and 
attacking enemies undetected). And since you are also kind of like a thief, 
you're going to need to be able to pick locks.

For the attributes, I recommend Strength and Personality, since this class is 
best  for a Wood Elf, and Bosmers have low Strength and Personality (which 
they need for Illusion, Blade, and sometimes Speechcraft and Mercantile to 
sell your stolen loot). If you are not going to be a Wood Elf, I would suggest 
something like, Agility and Endurance.

   Recommended Races:
   * Wood Elves because they are great at sneaking and with a bow
   * Khajiit / Argonians since they have some qualities for this class

   Recommended Birthsigns:
   * The Thief: +10 Agility, Speed and Luck
   * The Steed: +20 Speed

-> Shadow (submitted by Deo Baka)
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Speed, Agility
   Skills: Marksmen, blade/blunt/H2H *note for players who want to not carry
           the heavy weapons and save for bows go with H2H, (optional if none
           selected go with acrobatics so you can jump to a high place) light
           armor, illusion, sneak, security, alchemy (can switch out for
           acrobatics but would suggest a combat skill)

A silent assassin  who stays in the shadows and takes down enemies from afar 
with poised arrows. When it gets rough will quickly perform a few stabs to an 
opponent with poisoned blades or will turn into a shadow with illusion and 
continue sniping.

   Recommended races:
   * Wood elf--really a great choice if you don't go with a melee weapon and
     go with poised arrows  and paralyzing then running and fighting. Great
     sniper. Just remember, run and fire If you have to leave a dungeon and
     the target will keep cashing you. Or jump on top a rock.
   * Khajiit if you want to go H2H and maybe get rid of the arrows and throw 
     a blade and poison it.
   * Dark elf--Mix and match what you want

   Recommended birthsigns:
   Interesting depending on how reliant you want to be on the illusion magic
   really. A magicka based sign will help, or you can go thief steed or
   warrior to give boosts in your areas. Tower is worthless because you don't
   want to get hit and lock picking is needed. Lover is the same you have

-> Summoner (submitted by TheInfamous83)
   Specialization: Magic
   Attributes: Intelligence, Willpower
   Skills: Conjuration, Mysticism, Destruction, Alchemy, Speechcraft, Blunt,

An arrogant class to choose. Summoners notoriously view themselves as 
demigods, wielders of the greater magic of conjuration, calling on outer world 
beings to come do their biddings. From these voids walk demonic creatures who 
in turn carry their own essence of power. Also do they command the minds of 
men and even the elements themselves.

   Recommend Races:
   * Breton
   * High Elf
   * Dark Elf

   Recommended Birth Signs:
   * Atronach - The summoner commands from raw power and has no magicka
     regeneration, although he gains a +150 max magicka and %50 spell

-> Tank (submitted by Eric Opsahl)
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Endurance, Strength
   Skills: Armorer, Blade, Blunt, Block, Heavy Armor, Athletics, Hand-to-Hand

The tank is a pure melee warrior. Don't care about your magicka, since it's 
practically useless if your only using melee. Mainly uses heavy armor. Also, 
you want very high strength and endurance to be a good tank.

   Recommended races:
   * Nord would be the best choice for a strong tank.
   * Imperials also suit this build.
   * The Redguard could be used as well.

   Recommended birthsigns:
   * Warrior: +10 Strength and Endurance.
   * The Lord: Gives your Restore Health.
   * The Steed: Boosts speed by 20.

-> Tank (submitted by Samuel Ayaz)
   Specialization: Combat
   Attributes: Strength and Endurance
   Skills: Blunt/Blade (pick one), Heavy Armor, Armorer, Block, Athletics,
           Alteration, *players choice*

This guy is built for absorbing tons of damage and returning it tenfold. He 
has a choice of blade or blunt, which ever is the players preference. He also 
has Heavy Armor for more damage absorbing and Armorer to repair the Heavy 
Armor. Athletics is in so this guy can run up to the enemy before they crap 
their pants in terror and Alteration is there for damage shielding. The last 
skill is players choice, I recommend Restoration to heal or Conjuration 
*possibly* to summon guys to absorb more damage.

   Recommended races:
   * Nord - Male - The typical barbarian type race, this guy has strength and
     endurance and knows how to use it. Has a +10 in a couple of skills.
   * Orc - Male - All of this guys +10 are in skills for this class, not to
     mention his Berserk will induce explosive diarrhea in any enemy in its
   * Redguard - Male - Also a good class with some +10s in some skills.

   Recommended birthsigns:
   * Warrior - +10 in both specializations...'Nuff said.
   * Ritual is also good, but Warrior is overall better, players choice

-> Tracker
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Speed, Intelligence
   Skills: Acrobatics, Alchemy, Athletics, Blade/Blunt (choose one),
           Light Armor, Mysticism, Security

A tracker is a bounty hunter, focused on finding a target and bringing it (or 
pieces of it) back to the employer. The defining attribute for a Tracker is 
Speed, and lots of it. They are designed for running down their targets (or 
running away if the target has a lot of backup).

The tracker is a light-armored warrior, relying on dodging and quick strikes 
with blade or blunt to bring down their foes. Security helps them bypass the 
locked doors behind which the targets cower. Alchemy allows the tracker to 
make her own potions, saving money and trips back to town. Mysticism offers 
protection from magical attacks and the ability to easily bind the target's 
soul into a gem. Much easier to carry than a head, don't you think?

   Recommended races:
   * Argonians (both genders) have good favored attribute scores and bonuses
     to many of the major skills. The ability to bob along on the bottom of
     the beautiful briny sea doesn't hurt.
   * Khajiit also work well in this class, just make sure you choose Blade
     as your combat skill, and not Blunt.
   * Wood Elf can also be a good choice. If you decide on Wood Elf, you might
     want to exchange Blade/Blunt for Marksman.
   * Dark Elves can excel in this class, with good INT, excellent SPD and
     several bonuses to major skills.

   Recommended birthsigns:
   * Steed: kind of obvious for a character focused on Speed
   * Thief: bonuses to Speed and Luck never hurt
   * Lover: paralyzing touch fits with the class concept

-> Warlock (submitted by Omar M. K.)
   Specialization: Magic/Combat (anyone will work just depends on which you
   Attributes: Intelligence and Strength
   Skills: Alchemy (For healing potions and adding effects to weapons)
           Destruction (For offensive magic)
           Blade/Blunt (Depends on preference)
           Alteration-Shield spells (For protecting yourself in melee
           situations and lockpicking spells.)
           Heavy/Light armor (Depends on Preference, but if your
           specialization is magic than I recommend heavy for better
           Conjuration (An ally can help at times and sometimes if you need
           someone else to take damage for you)
           Mysticism (for soul trap and enchanting and recharging magical
           Armorer (For when your not near a town and you need your equipment
           in top shape and to save money)

The great thing about this class template is the fact that it has more than 
one use or focus. With this template you can complete the mages guild quest 
line, Fighters Guild quest line, and Brotherhood of shadows quest line. The 
main quest line has been only moderately difficult with this template for me. 
It is the best mix of magic and combat because the magic compliments the 
weapons and armor and the weapons armor pick up where the magic leaves off 
(Melee combat situations).

   Race selection:
   * Male Dark Elf- Has both magic and combat attribute
   * Male Redguard- Combat taken care of only need to up magic
   * High Elf- Needs to improve on blade/blunt and armor and all else is easy
     to handle.

   * Warrior- Helps your maximum hp, strength, and how much you can carry
   * Mage- Helps your mana
   * Lord- helps your mana and gives you spell absorption

-> Widowmaker (submitted by Todd Ramsey)
   Specialization: Stealth
   Attributes: Endurance, Intelligence
   Skills: Alchemy, Blade, Illusion, Light Armor, Marksman, Security, Sneak

A Widowmaker is a cold blooded killer. He coats his weapons in poisons and 
then quietly dispatches his enemies. He uses Illusion to distract, charm, 
paralyze and become invisible. Using the shadows, he snipes enemies with his 
bow and then closes the distance with his blade.

   Recommended races:
   * Wood Elf is the best choice. Aside from the low personality and
     strength, all other attributes and skills line up perfectly. Using the
     sign of the  warrior, he is able to carry more, do more blade damage and
     last longer.
   * Khajiit also work well in this class.

   Recommended birthsigns:
   * Warrior: boost Strength (higher encumbrance) and Endurance (more Health)

Have a custom class you think should appear here? Email 
about submitting your class for use in this FAQ.

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        THE MATH: HOW SKILLS INCREASE

This section was submitted by nyekobug and all work is his. Thanks nyekobug! 
As you use skills, you are awarded experience points. Based on testing by 
nyekobug, the experience points (XP) you earn for using skills are as follows:

* Acrobatics: 0.30 per jump made, bonus awarded for damage taken during fall, 
0.30 per dodge (Block + Jump)

* Alchemy: 5.00 points per potion created (regardless of number of ingredients 
used), 0.50 points per ingredient eaten

* Alteration: 4.00 per spell cast (regardless of spell cost, type, or level)

* Armorer: 1.50 points per use (regardless of damage repaired or hammer 

* Athletics: 0.03 points per second of running, 0.04 per second of swimming 
(no points accumulated if running while sneaking)

* Blade: 0.50 per successful hit (regardless of damage inflicted)

* Block: 1.25 per successful block (regardless of damage blocked, when using 
either a shield or weapon to block)

* Blunt: 0.50 per successful hit (regardless of damage inflicted)

* Conjuration: 6.00 per spell cast (regardless of spell cost, type, or level)

* Destruction: 1.20 per spell cast that hits a target (regardless of spell 
cost, type, or level)

* Hand to Hand: 0.60 per successful hit (regardless of damage inflicted)

* Heavy Armor: 1.25 per hit taken (assuming the area hit is wearing heavy 

* Illusion: 3.00 per spell cast (regardless of spell cost, type, or level)

* Light Armor: 1.50 per hit taken (assuming the area hit is wearing light 

* Marksman: 0.80 per successful hit (regardless of damage inflicted)

* Mercantile: 0.40 per item sold (no points accumulated for purchases)

* Mysticism: 3.00 per spell cast (regardless of spell cost, type, or level)

* Restoration: 0.60 per spell cast (regardless of spell cost, type, or level)

* Security: 1.50 per tumbler locked into position (regardless of lock 
difficulty, no points for breaking locks)

* Sneak: 0.75 per second not detected while sneaking

* Speechcraft: 2.40 per complete use of the persuasion wheel (regardless of 
net gain/loss of disposition)

The number of XP required to reach the next rank in a skill varies depending 
on the rank of the skill, whether it is a major or minor skill, and whether it 
is part of your class specialization's group of skills.

In the following table, the "Base" XP required is for minor skills that are 
not a part of your class' specialization. "Group" figure is XP required for 
minor skills that are part of your class' specialization and is 75% of the 
base. The "Major" column is the XP needed if the skill is a major skill, but 
not part of your class' specialization; it is 60% of base. The final column, 
"G+M" is for major skills that are a part of your class' specialization and is 
45% of the base.

|Rank | Base  | Group | Major | G+M   |Rank | Base  | Group | Major | G+M   |
|   5 |  2.89 |  2.16 |  1.73 |  1.30 |  53 | 99.87 | 74.90 | 59.92 | 44.94 |
|   6 |  3.80 |  2.85 |  2.28 |  1.70 |  54 | 102.7 | 77.03 | 61.62 | 46.20 |
|   7 |  4.79 |  3.59 |  2.87 |  2.14 |  55 | 105.5 | 79.17 | 63.34 | 47.50 |
|   8 |  5.86 |  4.39 |  3.51 |  2.62 |  56 | 108.4 | 81.35 | 65.08 | 48.80 |
|   9 |  6.99 |  5.24 |  4.19 |  3.14 |  57 | 111.3 | 83.53 | 66.82 | 50.12 |
|  10 |  8.18 |  6.13 |  4.90 |  3.68 |  58 | 114.3 | 85.74 | 68.59 | 51.44 |
|  11 |  9.44 |  7.08 |  5.66 |  4.24 |  59 | 117.3 | 87.97 | 70.38 | 52.78 |
|  12 | 10.76 |  8.07 |  6.45 |  4.84 |  60 | 120.2 | 90.21 | 72.17 | 54.12 |
|  13 | 12.13 |  9.09 |  7.27 |  5.44 |  61 | 123.3 | 92.48 | 73.98 | 55.48 |
|  14 | 13.56 | 10.17 |  8.13 |  6.10 |  62 | 126.3 | 94.77 | 75.81 | 56.86 |
|  15 | 15.04 | 11.28 |  9.02 |  6.76 |  63 | 129.4 | 97.07 | 77.65 | 58.24 |
|  16 | 16.57 | 12.42 |  9.94 |  7.44 |  64 | 132.5 | 99.39 | 79.51 | 59.62 |
|  17 | 18.14 | 13.60 | 10.88 |  8.16 |  65 | 135.6 | 101.7 | 81.38 | 61.02 |
|  18 | 19.77 | 14.82 | 11.86 |  8.88 |  66 | 138.7 | 104.0 | 83.26 | 62.44 |
|  19 | 21.44 | 16.08 | 12.86 |  9.64 |  67 | 141.9 | 106.4 | 85.17 | 63.86 |
|  20 | 23.15 | 17.36 | 13.89 | 10.40 |  68 | 145.1 | 108.8 | 87.08 | 65.30 |
|  21 | 24.91 | 18.68 | 14.94 | 11.20 |  69 | 148.3 | 111.2 | 89.01 | 66.74 |
|  22 | 26.71 | 20.03 | 16.02 | 12.00 |  70 | 151.5 | 113.6 | 90.95 | 68.20 |
|  23 | 28.55 | 21.41 | 17.13 | 12.84 |  71 | 154.8 | 116.1 | 92.91 | 69.68 |
|  24 | 30.43 | 22.82 | 18.25 | 13.68 |  72 | 158.1 | 118.5 | 94.87 | 71.14 |
|  25 | 32.35 | 24.26 | 19.41 | 14.54 |  73 | 161.4 | 121.0 | 96.85 | 72.64 |
|  26 | 34.31 | 25.73 | 20.58 | 15.42 |  74 | 164.7 | 123.5 | 98.85 | 74.14 |
|  27 | 36.31 | 27.23 | 21.78 | 16.32 |  75 | 168.1 | 126.0 | 100.8 | 75.64 |
|  28 | 38.35 | 28.76 | 23.01 | 17.24 |  76 | 171.4 | 128.6 | 102.8 | 77.16 |
|  29 | 40.42 | 30.31 | 24.25 | 18.18 |  77 | 174.8 | 131.1 | 104.9 | 78.68 |
|  30 | 42.53 | 31.89 | 25.51 | 19.12 |  78 | 178.3 | 133.7 | 106.9 | 80.22 |
|  31 | 44.67 | 33.50 | 26.80 | 20.10 |  79 | 181.7 | 136.3 | 109.0 | 81.78 |
|  32 | 46.85 | 35.13 | 28.11 | 21.08 |  80 | 185.2 | 138.9 | 111.1 | 83.34 |
|  33 | 49.07 | 36.80 | 29.44 | 22.08 |  81 | 188.6 | 141.5 | 113.2 | 84.90 |
|  34 | 51.31 | 38.48 | 30.78 | 23.08 |  82 | 192.1 | 144.1 | 115.3 | 86.48 |
|  35 | 53.59 | 40.19 | 32.15 | 24.10 |  83 | 195.7 | 146.7 | 117.4 | 88.06 |
|  36 | 55.91 | 41.93 | 33.54 | 25.14 |  84 | 199.2 | 149.4 | 119.5 | 89.66 |
|  37 | 58.25 | 43.68 | 34.95 | 26.20 |  85 | 202.8 | 152.1 | 121.6 | 91.26 |
|  38 | 60.63 | 45.47 | 36.37 | 27.28 |  86 | 206.4 | 154.8 | 123.8 | 92.88 |
|  39 | 63.04 | 47.28 | 37.82 | 28.36 |  87 | 210.0 | 157.5 | 126.0 | 94.50 |
|  40 | 65.48 | 49.11 | 39.28 | 29.46 |  88 | 213.6 | 160.2 | 128.2 | 96.14 |
|  41 | 67.94 | 50.95 | 40.76 | 30.56 |  89 | 217.3 | 162.9 | 130.3 | 97.78 |
|  42 | 70.45 | 52.83 | 42.27 | 31.70 |  90 | 220.9 | 165.7 | 132.5 | 99.44 |
|  43 | 72.98 | 54.73 | 43.78 | 32.84 |  91 | 224.6 | 168.5 | 134.8 | 101.1 |
|  44 | 75.54 | 56.65 | 45.32 | 33.98 |  92 | 228.4 | 171.3 | 137.0 | 102.7 |
|  45 | 78.13 | 58.59 | 46.87 | 35.14 |  93 | 232.1 | 174.0 | 139.2 | 104.4 |
|  46 | 80.75 | 60.56 | 48.45 | 36.32 |  94 | 235.8 | 176.9 | 141.5 | 106.1 |
|  47 | 83.40 | 62.55 | 50.04 | 37.52 |  95 | 239.6 | 179.7 | 143.7 | 107.8 |
|  48 | 86.07 | 64.55 | 51.64 | 38.72 |  96 | 243.4 | 182.5 | 146.0 | 109.5 |
|  49 | 88.78 | 66.58 | 53.26 | 39.94 |  97 | 247.2 | 185.4 | 148.3 | 111.2 |
|  50 | 91.51 | 68.63 | 54.90 | 41.16 |  98 | 251.1 | 188.3 | 150.6 | 112.9 |
|  51 | 94.27 | 70.70 | 56.56 | 42.42 |  99 | 254.9 | 191.2 | 152.9 | 114.7 |
|  52 | 97.05 | 72.78 | 58.23 | 43.66 | 100                                 |

Total exp required to reach (from rank 5, assuming not group or major)
Rank 25 (Novice): 303.11
Rank 50 (Journeyman): 1,780.22
Rank 75 (Expert): 4,955.21
Rank 100 (Master): 10,219.61

Interesting fact: To get to 100 in Athletics, you will have to run 97 hours 
(or swim 70) if it's not a major/group skill.

*NOTE* The following bug is fixed in the Oblivion v1.1 patch:
When you gain skillups (Speechcraft/Acrobatics skillup from the Fighter's 
Guild "Rat Problem" quest, Mercantile from the "Shadow over Hackdirt" quest), 
it doesn't actually lock the skill permanently. What happens is the skill rank 
is increased, but the current XP is not adjusted accordingly.  What this 
means, is if you get the +5 skillup from Seed-Neus, it raises your skill by 
+5, but to get the skill to move again, you'll have to gain as much experience 
as you would have needed to gain those five levels of Mercantile.

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                SKILL TRAINING

Oblivion is all about the skills, so training up your skills is of primary 
importance throughout the game. There are five ways to increase your skill 

1) Use the skill. This is the most common way of skill training.

2) Read a skill book. There are five skill books for each skill (except 
Speechcraft, which has only four). Opening one of these books increases the 
associated skill by one rank. A particular title will only increase your skill 
one time, so finding multiple copies does you no good. In addition to finding 
these books at various places in the game world, you may also be able to buy 
them at one of the book merchants.

3) Pay a trainer. For each skill there are Apprentice, Journeyman and Master 
trainers. Apprentice trainers can train your skill to rank 40. Journeyman 
trainers can train your skill to rank 70. Master trainers can train your skill 
to rank 100. You can only train five skill ranks per class level (five ranks 
in one skill, or one rank in five skills or any combination thereof).

Apprentice and Journeyman trainers are available to everyone*; and, you do not 
have to be a certain rank to use Journeyman trainers (i.e. they'll train you 
even if your skill rank is 5). Master trainers are only available once you've 
reached rank 70, gotten a recommendation from a Journeyman trainer (requires 
high Disposition with the trainer) and fulfilled certain requirements.

*Trainers may be members of a guild and may not let non-guild members train 
with them; these will be noted in the skill guides below.

4) Rewards. Certain quests or actions give you increases in a skill as part of 
the reward. In the original release of Oblivion, certain skill rank quest 
awards are bugged so that you receive the additional ranks, but not the 
additional skill experience, so your skill becomes stuck until your experience 
catches up to your rank. This bug is supposed to be fixed in patch 1.1.

5) Magic. Spells and enchantments can temporarily or permanently increase your 
skill ranks. Depending on the type of effect, you may or may not receive any 
additional Mastery Level perks when increasing a skill with magic.

Here's the full list of skills along with how to train them through use, the 
related skill books (and their locations if known), the trainers and the 
Master Trainer "quest", and how you can get that skill increased as a reward.

For a more complete description of each skill (as well as races and 
birthsigns) along with how to control your leveling, see the PapaGamer 
Character Build Guide at:

| Acrobatics
* Skill use: this skill is primarily trained through jumping; however, you get 
a bonus to your skill experience if you are hurt at the end of the jump. 
(Seems counter-intuitive, but there you go.) So...go fall off a mountain. 
Actually, you need to find a steep hillside or mountainside, ready some 
healing potions or spells and jump down in stages. You'll sustain damage and 
your Acrobatics ranks will fly.

* Books:
  -> "Thief"
  -> "A Dance in Fire, v1"
  -> "A Dance in Fire, v2"
  -> "The Black Arrow, v1"
  -> "Mystery of Talara, v1"

* Trainers:
  -> Quill-Weave (Apprentice), lives in Anvil along the north wall
  -> Ida Vlinorman (Apprentice), Imperial City, Elven Gardens district
  -> Tsrava (Journeyman), Leyawiin, J'Bari's house
  -> Ganredhel (Journeyman), Cheydinhal, house is behind the chapel
  -> Torbern (Master), Aerin's Camp, north-northeast of Cheydinhal

  Master "quest": none really. The Journeymen will tell you to see Aerin at
  his camp in the northeastern section of Cyrodiil. When you get there, you
  find no Aerin, but a Torbern will train your Acrobatics. No questions

* Rewards:
  -> +1 from Quill-Weave if you protect her secret in the Fighters Guild
     quest, "A Rat Problem"

| Alchemy
* Skill use: making potions trains this skill the fastest. You can also earn 
experience just eating ingredients, but only 10% of what you earn by making a 
potion. Potions are also a good source of income (and selling them helps your 
Mercantile skill). The time-consuming factor is obtaining ingredients. You can 
buy out alchemy merchants, but that costs a lot of gold. So whether you're 
scavenging for ingredients or scavenging for the gold to buy ingredients, it 
still takes a while to train up this skill.

* Books:
  -> "A Game at Dinner"
  -> "Mannimarco, King of Worms"
  -> "Song of the Alchemists"
  -> "De Rerum Dirennis"
  -> "Calcinator Treatise"

* Trainers:
  -> Felen Relas (Apprentice), Anvil Mages Guild
  -> S'drassa (Apprentice), Leyawiin Mages Guild
  -> Ardaline (Journeyman), Bravil Mages Guild
  -> Brotch Calus (Journeyman), Bruma, next to the chapel
  -> Sinderion (Master), Skingrad, West Weald inn basement
  Master "quest": Sinderion wants two bottles of wine--Tamika 399 and Surilie
  Brothers 399. You can find these wines at various places throughout the
  game, including the wine cellar in Castle Skingrad, the vault of Frostcrag
  Spire (if you buy the Wizard's Tower official mod and the vault
  furnishings); and, the captain's cabin of the Marie Elena (northern-most
  ship docked at Imperial City's Waterfront and target of Dark Brotherhood
  quest, "A Watery Grave").

* Rewards:

| Alteration
* Skill use: Alteration, like Illusion, has a lot of self-targeted spells: 
Feather, Water Breathing, etc. Pick one and cast it on yourself over and over. 
Since each cast has an effect, you earn experience for every cast. You can 
increase your skill by many ranks just walking from one town to another.

* Books:
  -> "Daughter of the Niben"
  -> "The Dragon Break"
  -> "Sithis"
  -> "Reality & Other Falsehoods"
  -> "The Lunar Lorkhan"

* Trainers:
  -> Dovyn Aren (Apprentice), Imperial City Elven Gardens district
  -> Deetsan (Apprentice), Cheydinhal Mages Guild
  -> Athragar (Journeyman), Chorrol Mages Guild
  -> Abhuki (Journeyman), owner of the Faregyl Inn, on the Green Road south
     of Imperial City (site of "The Potato Snatcher" side quest)
  -> Tooth-in-the-Sea (Master), near Flooded Mine on Niben Bay coast
  Master "quest": Tooth-in-the-Sea wants a demonstration of your Alteration
  prowess. You must stay underwater with him for three hours game time (six
  minutes real time). Argonians--natural water breathers--are exempted from
  this test. Afterwards, he'll train you.

* Rewards:

| Armorer
* Skill use: Armorer is actually rather difficult to train. In order to train 
this skill you need two things: damaged armor or weapons and plenty of money 
to buy repair hammers. You can get damaged armor and weapons in the same way 
you train other combat skills: Summon a low level creature, turn it hostile 
with three strikes and then let it beat on you. Getting money for repair 
hammers...well, that comes with dungeon delving. Though not as difficult to 
train as Mercantile or Speechcraft, this is not one you want to depend on when 
you need to level up or boost an attribute.

* Books:
  -> "The Armorer's Challenge"
  -> "Last Scabbard of Akrash"
  -> "Light Armor Repair"
  -> "Cherim's Heart of Anequina"
  -> "Heavy Armor Repair"

* Trainers:
  -> Eitar (Apprentice), Margarte's house in Leyawiin
  -> Tadrose Helas (Apprentice), Bravil Fighters Guild
  -> Rohssan (Journeyman), owner of "A Fighting Chance" in Imperial City's
     Market district
  -> Rasheda (Journeyman), owner of "Fire and Steel" in Chorrol
  -> Gin-Wulm (Master), wanders Elven Garden district in Imperial City

  Master "quest": Gin-Wulm wants you to prove your knowledge of armor lore
  by answering a question about a famous smith named Hazzadir. To answer, you
  need to have read "The Armorer's Challenge", which can be purchased at
  First Edition Books in the Market district (and may be found elsewhere).

* Rewards:

| Athletics
* Skill use: training this skill seems easy enough--just run everywhere and 
swim every time you see water. But, breaking down the numbers shows it takes 
70 hours of swimming to go from rank 5 to rank 100, assuming it's not a 
specialty or major skill. (Or 97 hours running.) That's a lot of running and 
swimming. The upshot, Athletics trains pretty slowly. It will train faster if 
you have it as a major skill, and faster still if your class specializes in 

* Books:
  -> "The Ransom of Zarek"
  -> "A Dance in Fire, v3"
  -> "The Red Kitchen Reader"
  -> "Beggar"
  -> "The Argonian Account, Book 1"

* Trainers:
  -> Uuras (Apprentice), shepherd who lives in Skingrad and spends his days
     near the grape fields west of the city
  -> Mahei (Apprentice), lives in Leyawiin
  -> Hauls-Ropes-Faster (Journeyman), wanders the docks of Anvil at night
  -> Honditar (Journeyman), lives just outside Chorrol
  -> Rusia Bradus (Master), lives in Anvil, Silgor's House, next to the
     Abandoned House
  Master "quest": You must have discovered 30 locations (see the stats tab
  of your journal). If you've been playing the game for a while, this should
  not be a problem.

* Rewards:

| Blade
* Skill use: obviously you train this skill by using your weapon. Every hit, 
regardless of the amount of damage, adds to your skill experience. The easiest 
way to train this skill is to use Summons as training dummies. Just summon a 
low-level creature and beat on it. Rinse and repeat as needed. Make sure you 
do this out in the middle of nowhere so civilians or guards don't join in the 
fun. And summon something that's not too far below you in level, you don't 
want to kill it in one stroke.

* Books:
  -> "Words and Philosophy"
  -> "2920, Morning Star (v1)"
  -> "Fire and Darkness"
  -> "Song Of Hrormir"
  -> "Battle of Sancre Tor"

* Trainers:
  -> Naspia Cosma (Apprentice), steward at Castle Cheydinhal
  -> Right-Wind (Apprentice), Bruma Fighters Guild
  -> Sherina (Journeyman), Leyawiin Fighters Guild
  -> Rhano (Journeyman), Anvil Fighters Guild
  -> Alix Lencolia (Master), is staying at the Faregyl Inn on the Green Road
     south of Imperial City (site of "The Potato Snatcher" side quest)
  Master "quest": You need either a Fame or Infamy score of at least 20.
  Unless you've been working hard on skill training without actually doing
  any quests, this should be a no-brainer.

* Rewards:
  -> For a few minutes, watch two Blades practicing outside Cloud Ruler
     Temple and get +2 Blade

| Block
* Skill use: each block of an enemy's attack gives you some skill experience, 
regardless of how much damage was done. Summon a very low-level, non-magic-
using creature (skeletons are good), punch it three times or use a very low-
damage spell three times and it will turn and attack you. Raise your shield, 
and let it hit you until its time runs out. Then summon another and do it 
again. Do this in the wilderness or there will be unwanted consequences. You 
can also train this skill in the wild; if the enemies you face are not too 
strong, just sit and Block their attacks. Since they have no expiration date, 
you can keep this up a lot longer.

* Books:
  -> "Death Blow of Abernanit"
  -> "The Mirror"
  -> "A Dance in Fire, v2"
  -> "Warrior"
  -> "The Warp in the West"

* Trainers:
  -> Huurwen (Apprentice), Anvil Fighters Guild
  -> Fadus Calidius (Apprentice), Skingrad Fighters Guild
  -> Lum gro-Baroth (Journeyman), Chorrol Fighters Guild
  -> Ambroise Canne (Journeyman), lives in Skingrad
  -> Andragil (Master), lives above Dro'Shanji in Bravil
  Master "quest": You have to endure a 45-second beating from Andragil.

* Rewards:
  -> For a few minutes, watch two Blades practicing outside Cloud Ruler
     Temple and get +2 Block

| Blunt
* Skill use: see Blade

* Books:
  -> "The Legendary Sancre Tor"
  -> "The Importance of Where"
  -> "Night Falls on Sentinel"
  -> "King"
  -> "Mace Etiquette"

* Trainers:
  -> Vigdis (Apprentice), Anvil Fighters Guild
  -> Bugak gro-Bol (Apprentice), owner of "Southern Books" in Leyawiin
  -> Azzan (Journeyman), Anvil Fighters Guild
  -> Christophe Marane (Journeyman), owner of the "Brina Cross Inn" north of
  -> Irene Metrick (Master), Imperial City, Elven Gardens District
  Master "quest": You must have killed more than 50 "people"--i.e. the player
  races. This stat is shown on the stats tab of your journal. You will have a
  hard time reaching a rank of 70 in Blunt in any kind of normal manner
  without killing at least that many NPCs.

* Rewards:

| Conjuration
* Skill use: this is the fastest skill to train with use (6 skill experience 
points per cast). Skill experience is gained simply by casting a spell, so all 
you need is a low-level Summons spell and you cast it over and over. You don't 
need to wait for each summons to expire, as soon as you cast the spell again, 
the previous summons is replaced. You will also use Summon spells frequently 
to train other skills.

* Books:
  -> "The Doors of Oblivion"
  -> "Liminal Bridges"
  -> "2920: Hearth Fire [sic] (v9)"
  -> "2920: Frostfall [sic] (v10)"
  -> "The Warrior's Charge"
  -> "Commentaris on the Mysterium Xarxes, Book 1"

* Trainers:
  -> Fathis Aren (Apprentice), court mage in Bravil
  -> Sulinus Vassinus (Apprentice), Skingrad Mages Guild
  -> Alberric Litte (Journeyman), Chorrol Mages Guild
  -> Arentus Falvius (Journeyman), Great Chapel of Talos in Bruma
  -> Olyn Seran (Master), Molag Bal's shrine
  Master "quest": You have to summon a faded wraith in front of Seran before
  he'll train you. The Summon Faded Wraith spell requires a Conjuration skill
  of 75; so, even though you can be referred to Seran at rank 70, you can't
  get training from him until you're rank 75 (unless you're lucky enough to
  find a scroll of the spell).

* Rewards:

| Destruction
* Skill use: essentially, you can only train this skill in the wild against 
enemies, since you only gain experience if it hits a target. You can use 
Summons for target practice, in much the same way you use them for combat 
skills. For an alternate training method, you must join the Mages Guild (or 
buy the Wizard's Tower official mod) and use the Spellmaking Altar to make a 
very low-damage self-targeted spell. Cast it on yourself until your health 
gets low; then, heal yourself to raise Restoration.

* Books:
  -> "The Horrors of Castle Xyr"
  -> "Response to Bero's Speech"
  -> "A Hypothetical Treachery"
  -> "The Art of War Magic"
  -> "Mystery of Talara, v3"
  -> "Commentaris on the Mysterium Xarxes, Book 2"

* Trainers:
  -> Chanel (Apprentice), Castle Chorrol's resident mage
     If you get Chanel expelled from Chorrol in "Canvas the Castle", she's
     out of the game for good.
  -> J'skar (Apprentice), Bruma Mages Guild
     You must complete the "Bruma Recommendation" Mages Guild quest before
     you can talk to J'skar
  -> Delphine Jend (Journeyman), Bravil Mages Guild
  -> Marc Gulitte (Journeyman), Anvil Mages Guild
  -> Bralsa Andaren (Master), hangs around a shrine to Kynareth (west of
     Weatherleah, north-northwest of the Shrine of Sanguine)
  Master "quest": Bring Andaren 20 bear pelts. You may be able to buy some
  from "trader" merchants (such as Colovian Traders in Skingrad, Jensine's in
  Imperial City, or Northern Goods in Chorrol). You should also be able to
  find bears in Tidewater Cave south of Leyawiin (Nocturnal's quest) and
  wandering in the wilderness beginning at level 7.

* Rewards:

| Hand To Hand
* Skill use: see Blade

* Books:
  -> "Immortal Blood"
  -> "The Wolf Queen, v2"
  -> "Ahzirr Traajijazeri"
  -> "Way of the Exposed Palm"
  -> "Master Zoaraym's Tale"

* Trainers:
  -> Nahsi (Apprentice), Bravil Fighters Guild
  -> Rufrius Vinicus (Apprentice), Anvil Fighters Guild
  -> Ra'qanar (Journeyman), Castle Cheydinhal servant
  -> Davela Hlaren (Journeyman), owner of the "Imperial Bridge Inn" on the
     Silverfish River (site of "No Stone Unturned" side quest)
  -> Helvius Cecia (Master), lives in the south section of Bruma
  Master "quest": You have to reduce his health by about half in 30 seconds
  of hitting him with your fists.

* Rewards:
  -> Watch two sparrers outside the Arena (Imperial City) for a few minutes
     for a +5 to HTH skill

| Heavy Armor
* Skill use: each hit taken on a part of the body equipped with heavy armor 
counts toward your skill level ups. Equip yourself totally in heavy armor, 
summon a very low-level, non-magic using creature (skeletons are good), punch 
it three times or use a very low-damage spell three times and it will turn and 
attack you. Prep a healing spell and let it hit you until its time runs out. 
Then summon another and do it again. Do this in the wilderness or there will 
be unwanted consequences.

* Books:
  -> "Hallgerd's Tale"
  -> "2920, MidYear (v6)"
  -> "Chimarvamidium"
  -> "How Orsinium Passed to Orcs"
  -> "History of the Fighters Guild"

* Trainers:
  -> Bumph gra-Gash (Apprentice), Bruma Fighters Guild
  -> Brodras (Apprentice), Leyawiin Fighters Guild
  -> Valus Odiil (Journeyman), lives in the southwest corner of Chorrol, but
     spends a lot of time at The Gray Mare
  -> Varnado (Journeyman), co-owner of The Best Defense in Imperial City
  -> Pranal (Master), lives in the Roxey Inn north-northeast of Imperial City
     on the Red Ring Road
  Master "quest": Pranal wants you to present a gift to Roxey Inn
  proprietress Malene--four silver glasses and a silver pitcher. Note--
  that's "glasses" not "cups" or "mugs". You may be able to buy these from
  the typical "trader" merchants in each city. You can also steal these
  things from just about any castle as well as some of the more affluent
  houses in the Talos Plaza and Temple disricts of Imperial City. One good
  mark: Trenus Duronis of the Temple district. His house is west of the
  temple, and opens into the central circle. Duronis is a skooma (drug)
  addict. He's rarely home at night and has no servants. His house is easy

* Rewards:

| Illusion
* Skill use: every spell cast gives you experience. Illusion, like Alteration, 
has lots of self-targeted spells, such as Light or Chameleon. You just walk 
along, casting one over and over.

* Books:
  -> "The Wolf Queen, v3"
  -> "The Argonian Account, Book 3"
  -> "Incident at Necrom"
  -> "Palla, volume 1" (Can only be found in Arkved's Death Quarters in
     Arkved's Tower, part of Vaermina's quest)
  -> "Mystery of Talara, v4"
  -> "Commentaris on the Mysterium Xarxes, Book 3"

* Trainers:
  -> Hill the Tall (Apprentice), priest at Chapel of Arkay in Cheydinhal
  -> Jantus Brolus (Apprentice), Bruma, Istrius Brolas' house
  -> Carahil (Journeyman), Anvil Mages Guild
  -> Martina Floria (Master), Chironasium, Arcane University
     You have to finish the Recommendation Quests to get access to Arcane
     University's Chironasium and Master trainer Floria
  Master "quest": Bring Floria ten welkynd stones. You can find welkynd
  stones in Ayleid ruins. The closest ruin--Vilverin--will provide far more
  than the ten stones needed.

* Rewards:

*NOTE* Kud-Ei of the Bravil Mages Guild is supposed to be a Journeyman 
Illusion trainer--she has the conversation and the scripts. Unfortunately, the 
developers forgot to set her trainer ability, so you'll have to rely on 
Carahil for Journeyman Illusion training.

| Light Armor
* Skill use: see Heavy Armor, but fully equip light rather than heavy armor

* Books:
  -> "The Rear Guard"
  -> "Ice and Chitin"
  -> "Lord Jornibret's Last Dance"
  -> "The Refugees"
  -> "Rislav the Righteous"

* Trainers:
  -> Dul gro-Shug (Apprentice), Imperial City, Elven Gardens district
  -> Olfand (Apprentice), Nord Winds, Bruma
  -> Luciana Galena (Journeyman), south quarter of Bravil over the house you
     can buy (she's also a Thieves Guild fence)
  -> Ahdarji (Journeyman), lives in Leyawiin, subject of "Ahdarji's Heirloom"
     Thieves Guild quest
  -> J'Bari (Master), house in Leyawiin
  Master "quest": Bring J'Bari an Elven cuirass. Your best bets for finding
  such a thing are to raid a bandit camp and get one off them (if you're
  high enough level for bandits to be wearing Elven armor). Besides the
  numerous small camps scattered around Cyrodiil, you can also find bandits
  in numbers in Cursed Mine just west of Skingrad, Dzonot Cave on the south-
  western shore of Lake Rumare and the first level of Vilverin (Ayleid ruin
  across from you as you leave the sewers at the beginning of the game).

* Rewards:

| Marksman
* Skill use: see Blade

* Books:
  -> "The Gold Ribbon of Merit"
  -> "A Dance in Fire, v5"
  -> "Vernaccus and Bourlor"
  -> "Father of the Niben"
  -> "The Black Arrow, v2"

* Trainers:
  -> Shameer (Apprentice), house in Skingrad
  -> Edla Dark-Heart (Apprentice), Regner's house, south Bruma
  -> Reman Broder (Journeyman), house in Skingrad
  -> Pinarus Inventius (Journeyman), hunter based in Anvil, frequently
     wanders the wilderness (part of Fighters Guild quest "A Rat Problem")
  -> Melliwin (Expert), part of the Thieves Den official mod
  -> Alawen (Master), Troll Candle Camp, east-southeast of Anvil (Gweden Farm
     from "The Siren's Deception" is closest quest-related point, west-
     southwest of the camp) Alawen hunts frequently, so you may need to Wait
     until nighttime for her to return to her camp.
  Master "quest": Alawen wants an Elven bow. Your best bets for finding
  such a thing are to raid a bandit camp and get one off them (if you're
  high enough level for bandits to be using Elven weapons). Besides the
  numerous small camps scattered around Cyrodiil, you can also find bandits
  in numbers in Cursed Mine just west of Skingrad, Dzonot Cave on the south-
  western shore of Lake Rumare and the first level of Vilverin (Ayleid ruin
  across from you as you leave the sewers at the beginning of the game).

* Rewards:

| Mercantile
* Skill use: you get a bump in Mercantile experience points for each item 
sold. So, how do you train this skill? Buy a stack of 100 arrows and sell them 
back--one at a time. Yeah, you would rather clean the bathrooms in Grand 
Central Station with your tongue. But, there it is.

* Books:
  -> "The Buying Game"
  -> "The Wolf Queen, v4"
  -> "2920, Sun's Height (v7)"
  -> "A Dance in Fire, v6"
  -> "A Dance in Fire, v7"

* Trainers:
  -> Foroch (Apprentice), Gottshaw Inn, southwest of Kvatch
  -> Mach-Na (Apprentice), owner of Mach-Na's Books, Cheydinhal
  -> Margarte (Journeyman), Eitar's house, Leyawiin (part of Fighters Guild
     quest "Drunk & Disorderly"), Margarte wanders a lot
  -> Seed-Neeus (Journeyman), owner of Northern Goods & Trade, Chorrol
  -> Khafiz (Expert), part of the Thieves Den official mod
  -> Palonirya (Master), owner of Divine Elegance, Imperial City, Market
  Master "quest": If you have at least 10,000 gold in your pockets, Palonirya
  will train you (that's not how much the training costs, just how much you
  must be carrying when you meet her).

* Rewards:
  -> +5 from Seed-Neeus for completing "Shadow Over Hackdirt"

| Mysticism
* Skill use: the Detect Life spell is a good, cheap self-targeted spell that 
will allow you to train this skill while you're walking around. Just keep 
casting it over and over; you don't have to wait for each cast to expire 
before casting again.

* Books:
  -> "The Firsthold Revolt"
  -> "2920, Sun's Dawn (v2)"
  -> "The Black Arts on Trial"
  -> "Before the Ages of Man"
  -> "Souls, Black and White"
  -> "Commentaris on the Mysterium Xarxes, Book 4"

* Trainers:
  -> Druja (Apprentice), Skingrad Mages Guild
  -> Angalmo (Apprentice), Chorrol Mages Guild
  -> Boderi Farano (Journeyman), Mystic Archives, Arcane University
     You must complete the Recommendation Quests to have access to the Mystic
     Archives and this trainer
  -> Ita Rienus (Journeyman), Bravil Mages Guild
  -> Dagail (Master), Leyawiin Mages Guild
  Master "quest": If you've closed at least three Oblivion gates, Dagail will
  train you.

* Rewards:

| Restoration
* Skill use: You can train this skill using a cheap Fortify self-target spell, 
e.g. Fortify Magicka, and casting it on yourself over-and-over. But...this 
skill trains *very* slowly. You get 1/10 of the skill experience per cast as 
you do with Conjuration, 1/8 of Alteration, 1/5 of Mysticism and Illusion, and 
1/2 of Destruction. Since it takes so long to train this skill normally, 
you'll need to rely on trainers, and probably don't want to rely on this skill 
for class leveling.

* Books:
  -> "Withershins"
  -> "Notes on Racial Phylogeny"
  -> "The Exodus"
  -> "2920, Rain's Hand (v4)"
  -> "Mystery of Talara, v2"

* Trainers:
  -> Cirroc (Apprentice), Great Chapel of Talos, Bruma
  -> Marie Palielle (Apprentice), Great Chapel of Julianos, Skingrad
  -> Marz (Journeyman), Great Chapel of Mara, Bravil
  -> Ohtesse (Journeyman), Great Chapel of Arkay, Cheydinhal
  -> Oleta (Master), Chapel of Akatosh, Kvatch (but she moves to the refugee
     camp south of the city after you secure the chapel as part of the main
  Master "quest": You must complete "Breaking the Siege of Kvatch" and "The
  Battle for Castle Kvatch" before Oleta will consent to train you.

* Rewards:

| Security
* Skill use: there's no getting around it, the only way to train Security is 
picking locks. This is easier said than done. First, most locks that need 
picking will also get you into trouble with the law. Second, not everyone 
finds lockpicking to be easy. Fortunately for you, the developers foresaw the 
difficulties with lockpicking and provided both Open Lock spells (Alteration) 
and the Skeleton Key. So training Security isn't really worth a lot, unless 
you're trying to boost Agility. (PS: Once you have the Skeleton Key, you can 
go crazy picking locks using Auto Attempt and get ranks in Security that way.)

* Books:
  -> "The Locked Room"
  -> "The Wolf Queen, v1"
  -> "Proper Lock Design"
  -> "Advances in Lock Picking"
  -> "Surfeit of Thieves"

* Trainers:
  -> Malintus Ancrus (Apprentice), house in southwestern Chorrol
  -> Samuel Bantien (Apprentice), Imperial City, Talos Plaza district
  -> Dro'Shanji (Journeyman), house in the north quarter of Bravil
  -> Mandil (Journeyman), Othrelos's house, Imperial City, Elven Gardens
  -> Tahm Blackwell (Expert), part of the Thieves Den official mod
  -> J'baana (Master), Imperial Prison, he wanders the fenced prison yard in
     the back section of the district, you can speak to him through the gates
     or steal a key from a jailor
  Master "quest": You must pick up a message from S'Krivva (north quarter of
  Bravil) and bring it to J'baana.

* Rewards:

| Sneak
* Skill use: you can train Sneak by successfully Sneaking around *any* NPC; 
they don't have to be hostile. Break into someone's house, Sneak up to their 
bedroom and Sneak-run into the wall while they sleep. Sneak behind an 
innkeeper and Sneak-run into the wall. You can even train up Sneak while in a 
dungeon or on a mission where you have a convenient cubbyhole near some NPCs. 
For example, in the Dark Brotherhood contract, "Accidents Happen", you can 
Sneak-run in the crawlspace for days (game time) and rank up to 100 without 
even breaking a sweat.

* Books:
  -> "The Wolf Queen, v6"
  -> "2920, Last Seed (v8)"
  -> "Sacred Witness"
  -> "Legend of Krately House"
  -> "Purloined Shadows"

* Trainers:
  -> City-Swimmer (Apprentice), north quarter of Bravil
  -> Glistel (Apprentice), Malintus Ancrus's house, southwestern Chorrol
  -> Othrelos (Journeyman), Imperial City, Elven Gardens district
  -> Mirabelle Monet (Journeyman), owner of the Fo'c's'le, Anvil docks
  -> Rowley Eardwulf (Journeyman), new merchant added by "Vile Lair"
     official plug-in, located in Wawnet Inn west of Imperial City
  -> Kovan Kren (Expert), part of the Thieves Den official mod
  -> Marana Rian (Master), house in the Temple district of Imperial City, but
     wanders the city a lot
  Master "quest": Pickpocket the coin in Rian's pocket and you're in.

* Rewards:

| Speechcraft
* Skill use: if there's one skill that can be said to be the most difficult 
and tedious skill to train, it is Speechcraft. The *only* way to train 
Speechcraft is by playing the Persuasion mini-game, which some players may 
liken to having a root canal without anesthetic. You gain 2.4 skill experience 
points each time you complete the mini-game (regardless of how much you raised 
or lowered Disposition). Considering the hundreds of points needed to rank up 
a skill...that's a lot of Persuasion. You'll definitely want to seek out 
trainers and skill books if Speechcraft is important to you.

* Books:
  -> "Biography of the Wolf Queen"
  -> "The Wolf Queen, v5"
  -> "2920, Second Seed (v5)"
  -> "The Wolf Queen, v7"

* Trainers:
  -> Alga (Apprentice), Honmund's house, Bruma
  -> Uravasa Othelas (Apprentice), Great Chapel of Mara, Bravil
  -> Gruland Garrana (Journeyman), Great Chapel of Arkay, Cheydinhal
  -> Varon Vamori (Journeyman), Bravil (has a part in the Bravil
     Recommendation Mages Guild quest)
  -> Jak Silver (Expert), part of the Thieves Den official mod
  -> Tandilwe (Master), Temple of the One, Imperial City
  Master "quest": You must speak to every beggar in Cyrodiil (there are 19).
  Beggars killed prior to starting the quest will not be counted. Any beggars
  you have spoken to prior to starting the quest will be counted--you do not
  have to talk to them again. There are five beggars in Imperial City; two in
  each of the other seven major cities.

* Rewards:
  -> Get "Biography of the Wolf Queen" from Ursanne Loche when you finish
     "Caught in the Hunt"
  -> +1 from Arvena Thelas if you turn Quill-Weave in at the end of the
     Fighters Guild quest, "A Rat Problem"

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        VERSION HISTORY AND CREDITS

v2.00 2007-02-26
      - Major changes to skills and skill training

v1.50 2006-06-12
      - Re-wrote the Skills section
      - Added "Skill Training"

v1.30 2006-04-17
      - Added "The Math: How Skills Increase" courtesy of nyekobug

v1.20 2006-04-13
      - Corrected: High Elves receive +100 Magicka (thanks to Joshua Farmer
        for pointing out the error)
      - Extensive re-write of the skills section
      - Added numerous reader-submitted Class Templates

v1.10 2006-03-30
      - Corrected errors: major skills within a specialization only receive
        a +5 bonus; Imperials have a +10 bonus to Heavy Armor; Argonians
        have a +10 bonus to Security
      - Rewrote entire Class Build section
      - Added several new reader-submitted Class Templates

v1.01 2006-03-28
      - Finished race commentaries
      - Finished default class commentaries
      - Added more class templates
      - Added Exploiting the System to Leveling section

v1.00 2006-03-27
      - First published version

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Written & Copyright 2006, 2007 by Barry Scott Will

Trademarks and other marks are reserved to their original owners. This guide 
is not endorsed or authorized by 2KGames or Bethesda Softworks.

This guide is for informational purposes only and no explicit or implicit 
warranty is made with regards to the suitability of this information. The 
reader agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the author, Barry Scott Will, 
from any consequences of using this information.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 
United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit

or send a letter to

   Creative Commons
   543 Howard Street
   5th Floor
   San Francisco, California, 94105

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