The Elder Scrolls IV
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                                CHARACTER GUIDE
                                v1.50 2006-06-12
                  Copyright 2006 Barry Scott "PapaGamer" Will

A premium version of this Character Guide is available as part of the premium
Unofficial Strategy Guide for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. See
for more information.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was developed by Bethesda Game Studios,
published by Bethesda Softworks and 2K Games and is copyright 2006 Bethesda
Softworks. This guide is not endorsed by, nor is the author associated with,
Bethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks or 2K Games.

--The Elder Scrolls IV-------------------------------------------------------
                             CONTACT INFORMATION

To contact me about the guide, send email to:

A lot of people have written in about the "perfect" build. I've updated a lot
of information in this guide with all the math. That's the most I'm going to
do. I'm not a power-gamer myself, and I'm not going to turn the entire guide
into a power-gamer's guide to character building. Thanks.

Please include "Oblivion Character Guide" 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

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
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Thank you, and enjoy the guide!

~~The Elder Scrolls IV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                               TABLE OF CONTENTS
  Front Matter
  Contact Information
  Table of Contents

  The Leveling System..................................................CG04
  Class Templates......................................................CG06
  The Math: How Skills Increase........................................CG07
  Skill Training.......................................................CG08

  Version History & Credits

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:

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 rank for any skill is 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 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 secion 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 good skill to leave as a minor skill. It is easy to rank up
   the skill, and, since it's based on Endurance, is a good choice to help
   you get your +5 modifier for Endurance. Melee combatants, especially, will
   not want this as a major skill as they are likely to use it a lot, thus
   causing them to level their class too often.

-> Athletics
   Attribute:  Speed
   Novice:     Slow Fatique regeneration while running
   Apprentice: While running regenerate Fatique 25% faster than Novice
   Journeyman: While running regenerate Fatique 50% faster than Novice
   Expert:     While running regenerate Fatique 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.

   Athletics should almost always be a minor skill. Unless you're going to
   play with Always Run off (which most players do not, preferring to move
   faster), you'll rank up in this skill too quickly to leave as a major
   skill. Leaving it as a minor skill will also help you easily get those +5
   modifiers to Speed.

-> 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 of paralyzation is almost
   equivalent to an instant win.

   Of the 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.

   * 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 Endurance.

   * 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.

   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 metal.

                          <~~~~~~ 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 ingredient.

   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 your apparatus in Inventory to bring
   up the Alchemy menu. Select the apparatus you want to use from the top
   row. 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 good skill to leave as a minor skill. You can mix potions all
   day long--there are always plenty of ingredients lying around. This will
   give you important +5 modifiers to INT (increasing your Magicka), and
   you'll be able to mix all these potions without increasing your class
   level. What you don't use, you can sell for money, making Alchemy a profit-
   able skill.

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.

-> 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.

-> 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.

-> Illusion
   Attribute: Personality

   Illusions run the gamut from charm spells to invisibility to controlling
   creatures. 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.

-> 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.

-> Restoration
   Attribute: Willpower

   Resoration 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
   restoritive magic. A great all-around school that fits well into any
   character build that needs a little magic boost.

                         <~~~~~~ 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 provides some benefit in combat, the Dodge ability tends to be
   terribly underrated. However, Acrobatics works best as a major skill that
   is left unused until you're ready to level up your class. Then you just
   start hopping everywhere and, just like that, you'll be ready to level up.

-> 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 keep themselves
   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.

   Light Armor works best as a minor skill. You can use Armorer skill to keep
   your armor in good condition, and you don't need to get the mastery level
   perks quite as quickly as you do with heavy armor.

-> 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 quickly.

-> 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. At high levels,
   it 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 mercant 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.

   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 win-
   dow 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.

-> 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 tumbler
   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:

   * Keep pushing it up and letting it fall and watch the pattern. On more
     complex locks the tumbler's patter can be quite long. For example, an
     easy lock might have a tumbler with a pattern of short-long-short-short.
     A more complex lock might have patterns like short-long-long-short-short-
     short-long-short-long. Once you've got the pattern, click to set on a
     long segment of the pattern.

   * 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 occastionally 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 unneccessary class levels from all the locks you

-> 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

   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 Agility.

-> 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 target.

   You can also increase Disposition by using Charm spells or the Imperial
   ability, "Voice of the Emporer".

   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 examing 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 clock-
   wise 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

   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 maxed the NPC's Disposition.

   In addition to playing a role in the Persuasion mini-game, Speechcraft also
   determines the maximum Disposition score you can have for an NPC. This
   score can be exceeded with magic or bribes, but not with the Persuasion

   Speechcraft is a good choice as a major skill, since ranking up in it is
   entirely controllable.

~~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 alter (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 immunites 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 spell-
   casters. 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. A very 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 more theifly 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, Myticism +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 Emporer, +30 to target's 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 Emporer ability mean there will be precious few quests that
   cause you any difficulty--since many quests involve persuading people to

-> 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 Endurace (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
   deffensive 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 spell-
   casters 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 spellcasting.

-> 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 are.

-> 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

-> 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:

   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 attributes.

   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.

   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.

-> 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, com-
   plete 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.

                       <~~~~~~ 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.

Good choices for major skills:
* Acrobatics (Speed): all you have to do is start jumping all the time
* Athletics (Speed): turn on Always Run and watch the ranks fly
* Speechcraft (Personality): go around Persuading NPCs
* Armorer (Endurance): buy repair hammers and repair everything you see
* Alchemy (Intelligence): start mixing those potions!
* Destruction (Willpower): head into the woods and tick off Smokey the Bear
* Blade/Blunt (Strength): use one for attribute gains, switch to level
* Illusion (Personality): cast Light spells on yourself

Class specialization: Mage
Class attributes: Strength, Endurance (for encumbrance & Health)
Class skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Speechcraft, Armorer, Alchemy,
              Destruction, Blunt

Pick a race with high Strength and Endurance. Wear Light Armor (Speed), use
Blades (Strength) and Block (Endurance). Sneak (Agility) a lot. Cast Illusion
(Personality), Restoration (Willpower) and Conjuration (Intelligence) spells.
Keep track of the ranks you gain. Once you've gained 10 ranks in each minor
skill (+5 modifier to governing attributes), go play with your major skills
and level up. Add +5 to three attributes.

Why? Well, attribute increases are the *only* thing you get from each level.
Therefore, maximizing the attribute increases maximizes your power at each
class level. Since your enemies keep up with your class level, but don't
necessarily maximize the attributes for each level, you should stay ahead of
the difficulty curve.

Of course, all of this is probably more trouble than it's worth. Good tactics,
keeping up with the Jones' in spells/armor/weapons and enchanting same and
wisely using potions and restorative magic should keep you alive. Make no
mistake, Oblivion is a hard game and gets harder as you increase in power--not
easier. If you're having a difficult time, it's either cheat or work the

~~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, Marskman, 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 graverobber--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

-> 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 special-
   ization, 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,

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

-> 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, Mercantile

   Replace Mercantile with Sneak and 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

-> 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 specialization.

-> 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.

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

* 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 buy-and-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: go to a city (Imperial City is especially good for this), and
  play the Persuasion mini-game with every NPC you meet.

* 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, Destruction and Mysticism. Use those skills regularly until
each has increased 10 ranks. You now have locked in a +5 bonus to END, WILL
and INT. Go to a town and use your major skills until you've gained a total of
10 ranks across the skills and are ready to level up.

| 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 modifer 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 alphabetial order...

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

   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 arrowtips.

   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 Armour
   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 armour 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

   Especciallly 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, pullin rabbits out of hats, card tricks, etc.. But dont be
   mistaken an illusionist can be a very powerful speciality 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 oppenents. A quick wit and even quicker hand is recurred of any
   powerful illusionist.

   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 magics 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 mis-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 prevelance 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, therefor 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
   devestating 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 lite
   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 manuvering 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, Sneak

   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 battles.

   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
   assasin, 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 dishonourable 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 weapons).

   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 backstabbing.

   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 leveling.

   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
   techinques in swordmanship 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 professionlism that has earned
   them a reputation for fear amongest 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.

   Recomended 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.

   Recomended 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 assasin. 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 enemys undected). And since you are also kind of
   like a thief, you're gonna need to be able to pick locks.

   For the attributes, I reccomend Strength and Personality, since this class
   is best  for a Wood Elf, and Bosmers have low Stregth 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, Agilty and Endurance.

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

   Reccomended 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 assian  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 oppent 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.
   * Kajhite if you wanna go H2H and maybe get rid of the arrows and throw in
     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 majick
   really. A majick based sign will help, or you can go theif steed or warrior
   to give boosts in your areas. Tower is worthless because you don"t wanna
   get hit and lock picking is needed. Lover is the same you have illusion.

-> 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 demi-
   gods, weilders of the greater magics 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 ten fold.
   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 barbian type race, this guy has strength and
     endurance a nd 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 diarhea 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.
   * Khajiits 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: Intelligance and Strength
   Skills: Alchemy (For healing potions and adding magical 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 soultrap 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
   questline, Fighters Guild questline, and Brotherhood of shadows questline.
   The main questline has been only moderatly 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 absorbtion

-> 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.
   * Khajiits 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 awareded "experience points". Based on testing by
nyekobug, the XP you earn 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 broken)

* 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 armor)

* 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 armor)

* 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.

| 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 asked.

* 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"

* 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"

* 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 pickins'.

* 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"

* Trainers:
  -> Hill the Tall (Apprentice), priest at Chapel of Arkay in Cheydinhal
  -> Jantus Brolus (Apprentice), Bruma, Istrius Brolas' house
  -> Carahil (Journeyman), Anvil Mages Guild
  -> Kud-Ei (Journeyman), Bravil 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:

| 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")
  -> 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
  -> 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"

* 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
  -> 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
  -> 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)
  -> 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 & CREDITS

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

Written and Copyright 2006 by Barry Scott Will

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
License. To view a copy of this license, visit