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The following hints can help you start off on the right foot. You might also want to check out the Daggerfall Cheats page, which contains hints closer to cheating.
General Gameplay Tips
SAVE OFTEN: the most important tip. Save before and after quests, before entering dungeons, frequently while in dungeons, and after something "big", like a level raise, big bank deposit, etc. It's also a good idea to have a good structure to saving games: keep one slot for the regular save, like every 15-20 minutes in a dungeon; The other slots are for 'backup' positions, a time when you have no quests and are outside, and are saved just every once in a while. It's also a good idea to backup save games in case something really bad happens. The following is a list of good times to save your game.
- Before and after receiving a quest
- Before and after deciding to clear a new dungeon
- Before and after resting
- Before and after traveling
- After leveling
- After obtaining an item of Daedric quality
- After attaining the quest objective
- After any skill increases
- Arriving at a new location
Traveling: travel cautiously most of the time, resting in inns, as this will allow you to be fully rested before arriving at a dungeon and lets you practice spells before leaving. Being a member of a knightly order allows you to stay in inns for free. When time is of the essence, traveling recklessly gets you there much faster, although you might have to climb over city walls at night.
Recall: take advantage of the Recall spell. Casting a Recall anchor just inside the dungeon entrance will allow for a quick exit if you find the quest item, or if you simply need to load up your wagon. Don't forget to recast the anchor if you plan to explore the dungeon some more.
Exploring dungeons: this can be a hairy experience in Daggerfall, especially if dungeon crawling is not your forte. Remember that these are just suggestions, you do not have to follow them to the letter in order to be successful (or have fun).
- Follow the right hand wall method. Begin exploring the dungeon by following the right hand wall. This method can help you explore a great deal of the dungeon. Make note of teleporters, shafts, underwater areas, and other hazards but leave them until later. Explore doors on either side of hallways, entering any rooms beyond them, but try to stick to right hand passages.
- Following the right hand wall method will still leave many areas unexplored. After exploring as much you can with this method, switch and follow the left hand wall. Check your map often now, so that you will notice unexplored areas and secret doors.
- There may still be some shafts, water, and teleporters left unexplored. Do these next, following similar rules as above.
- If you still haven't found what you're looking for, start again at step 1, but check the map often for unexplored passages and secret doors.
- Dungeon crawling can be tiring. If you are frustrated after several hours of exploring, take a break.
Horse and Wagon: you should purchase one as soon as possible. A wagon is a great, if not essential, asset to have (wagons in the original release can carry 1000 kg. Early patches reduced this to 500 kg, but later patches bumped it back up to 750 kg).
Graveyard Tour: you can make easy money by doing a little grave robbing. Graveyards always have a crypt, which will contain a dungeon with only 2 to 4 rooms. In most crypts you will only encounter two or three enemies, but you will normally find two to seven loot piles as well. So start in a city of your liking, travel to the nearest graveyard, plunder the crypt, leave it (it resets) and plunder it again if it contained enough loot piles. If not, travel to the next graveyard. You can continue this until you're fully encumbered. You can easily make around 10,000 gold in about 3 in-game days. For starter characters, this is a really useful method.
Here's how to make wilderness terrain consistently affect the towns:
- Enter a town directly next to a regional border (includes sea borders).
- Run out of the town, directly across the border. Run until you have one travel map pixel between you and the border.
- Turn around and run back to the town.
Every once in a while, you might say to yourself, "I wish I could save this screen of me killing a daedra lord at level 1". To be able to save Daggerfall screenshots, simply follow these steps:
- Create a directory named "PICS" in your main Daggerfall directory.
- To save a screenshot in the game, press the \, or backslash key.
- Some say you can only have 10 screenshots saved in the directory at any one time, others say it is unlimited. It may depend on the what version you have installed. with patch v1.0.179, you can have more than 10 screenshots saved at once. Although if you quit the game and restart, it appears these image files will be rewritten.
- There are only certain parts of the game where this will work, mainly the main game display. Unfortunately, this method doesn't seem to work yet in the character screen.
In order to save a screenshot just about anywhere, do the following:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows button between the CTRL and ALT buttons. This should bring you to the desktop. Click anywhere on the screen to turn off the pop-up menu.
- Right-click on the Daggerfall program box on the task bar.
- Select "Properties" then the "Screen" tab.
- "Full Screen" is turned on; select "Window" instead and click "OK."
- Left-click the Daggerfall program box on the task bar and there is your game!
- While the game is actually playable to a certain extent at this point, the goal is to grab a screen shot. Expand the game window to full size (to get rid of the scroll bars) and press ALT+Print Screen, which places the active Daggerfall window into the copy buffer.
- Run your favorite paint program and paste the screen shot.
If you are running Daggerfall from DOSBox, simply press CTRL+F5. This will save an image of the current screen into the "PICS" folder (it will create the folder if needed). Open the file in your favorite image manipulation program to edit it.
Note: this only works for items you can equip (armor, weapons, rings, bracelets, etc.).
First, you need a wagon, and a store where you can sell your stuff. Next, put any equipment that you are going to equip into your wagon. Talk to the merchant, and click on "sell". Click on the wagon tab to bring it up, and then leave. Enter your inventory, and the wagon tab should be active in the left-most column. Equip anything you want for 0 encumbrance! But remember, if you unequip anything, it will go straight back into your wagon. If you're in a dungeon, this might not be a good thing. Instead, use "remove" and then pick it up into your main inventory.
Problem: "I had my Wisdom drop from 62 to 34. I have no diseases, no "spell Icons" are on my character sheet and if I look at my Wisdom score in an editor, it shows 62 still."
Answer: "I had the same thing happen to me with my Personality. I figured it out: I was using a Personality ring and saved the game while wearing it. When I loaded, my Personality was equal to my original unmodified value. When I took off the ring...poof! My personality dropped about 20 or 30 points. I had to re-load from the previous save game (luckily I had one). You could always use the edit program to put it back..."
Answer: "Maybe you have been hit by spell? Try a "Heal Wisdom" custom spell. This option in the spellmaker seems to imply that there is a way to have a "damaged" attribute!"
Answer: "Early versions of the game had a problem with the poison / disease part. If you were hit by a nightblade and you were poisoned, a cure poison spell didn't work and several attributes dived towards 0. After 12-24 hours or so the 'poison' changed to witches pox, a deadly disease. Then a cure disease spell worked. It turns out that casting cure disease when you are poisoned in this case heals you. This is fixed in the v1.0.179 patch I believe."
Answer: "This problem was addressed in The (In)Famous Beginner's Guide to Daggerfall by Mark Stinson, on page 47. It's not clear whether this effect was a bug or a "feature". However, this problem does not seem too uncommon. Basically, an attribute may fail to return to normal after unequipping an attribute-boosting item that was worn for long periods. So consider removing such items before traveling or extended periods of sleep! Besides, this saves these items from wearing out too fast. The sudden drop in attribute may be up to half of the original value. But there are two methods of fixing this in-game. One is to get healed at a temple. The other is to create and use a custom Heal Attribute Restoration spell that's specific for the damaged attribute. (However, I've been wearing these items for long periods in v1.07.213 and I have yet to be bothered with this problem.)"
Information on Switches
One switch I found yesterday is the torch switch that is on the wall. When you click with the 'grab' icon readied the switch will slide from left to right. My switch opened a secret wall (there was a corridor with a dead end to the left of it and when I pulled the switch the wall opened). MOST of the time the switches will reveal something near it but not always. In the random dungeons a rule I use is always pull every lever and switch you find, as sometimes two switches pulled will open those floor doors you have seen. One human skull I have seen that hangs in mid air is a teleporter. Another skull with "fangs" that come out the side is a lever that I was able to pull from top to bottom. I think that most secret levers are on the wall.
More Switch Hints
Not all switches are obvious. Some are invisible and obscure. In the Privateer's Hold dungeon I found that by grabbing the podium in the middle of the room, a bookcase in the corner moved to reveal some hidden treasure piles. (See Starting Dungeon Spoilers below.)
Also, in one random dungeon I found a room with four pillars with flames. I went around grabbing each one and after grabbing the fourth one I was suddenly teleported to a secret room with treasures. And yet, in another random dungeon I tried the same thing, but nothing happened. So sometimes being curious and thorough pays off.
Hints on Thieving
If you want to get rich fast, thieving would be the way to go. The easiest way to make some quick money is to create a custom 'Open' spell with the lowest possible chance (i.e., 1 + 1/1lvl). Use this spell to open any store after closing to gain entrance. It seems that simply casting the open spell in front of a store door opens it without fail, no matter what chance the open spell has. Bug? Unfortunately, this doesn't work the same in dungeons or inside.
The best stores to rob are good quality pawn and general stores (especially if you are a low level), or at higher levels armor and weapon smiths, as dwarven, mithril, etc. weapons / armor get you a lot of cash (an ebony claymore I had sold for close to 50,000 gold). Book stores are useless to break into as you still have to attempt to steal the books once inside. Weird. Note that using this open spell method to get inside stores doesn't attract guards or affect your reputation...unless you try to open the 'private property' items inside the store. Another interesting tip on thieving is that if you completely empty a shelf and select it again, it will have restocked. Also, don't steal more than one horse or cart as you cannot get rid of them and may crash the game. Another good tip: go to a shop and loiter in there until the store closes, which is usually around midnight. After the shop closes, approach the shelves and you'll be able to remove items without being charged for them. Providing you haven't saved and reloaded your game or left and re-entered the store the shop keeper will still hang around inside and will happily buy back all of his stolen goods at market value.
[see The Loaded Tavern tip below to make millions on stealing Daedric Weapons. I find that plundering the Rusty Ogre Lodge is so fast and easy that it makes all other thieving obsolete. But instead of an Open spell, being able to cast Recall is usually needed.]
To join the Thieves' Guild, you need to pick, or attempt to pick, at least 10 pockets. The easiest way to do this is to pick monster's pockets in dungeons, as you don't have to worry about the city guards who appear to know everything you do (picking monster's pockets in dungeons is also a great way to practice the skill!). After picking 10 pockets, the guild will contact you. After joining the Thieves' Guild, the location of one in town, if there is one, will appear on your automap (it is simply a normal house). Don't try to pick the pockets of any monsters in town as this attract the guards.
Similarly, to join the Dark Brotherhood you must kill enough innocents (worth 5) or city guards (worth 1) to reach a total of 15 points; i.e., 3 innocents or 15 guards or combination of both. Innocents are defined as any of those NPCs walking around town.
If you belong to the Thieves' Guild, engage the spymaster in regular conversation; he will still be all knowing and never clam up like he usually does! If you have low lock picking skills try to get a quest from the fighters guild where you have to rid a building of monsters. If that building is a shop you will be able to enter it after it closes! Then feel free to steal away!
Several Bugs to Avoid
- The soul gem bug most definitely causes crashes. These are manifested upon scene changes (like entering cities, ships, buildings). I had to backtrack several days worth of playing because I made some "super items" with this bug. Before I made the items, there were no problems. After, I was lucky to go 5 minutes without a crash.
- The repair bug - this is triggered by any item enchanted with repair, causing error 2 upon entering a ship, or error 117 when an item repair event occurs (about every 2 minutes). It doesn't happen all the time, so there's probably some other factor involved. (Fixed in early patch)
- The $spellname cheat seems stable, but the !spellname cheat no longer works. Be aware that editing the STR or END statistics seems to cause problems with stamina "rolling over" when you sleep (goes to zero / negative). [Neither $spellname nor !spellname works in v1.07.213]
- Falling through elevators can be avoided by continually jumping while on them. Don't access your inventory / character sheet while riding one as the platform is still moving, but you will remain stationary while in the other sheet, causing you to fall when you return to the game. [Not a problem in v1.07.213]
- Many have experienced the bug known as the 'void'. This occurs when you 'fall' through the floor or walls in a dungeon. You can move around in the void by casting levitate and can actually kill monsters with spells and arrows with impunity. To return, casting recall will get you back to your recall anchor (assuming you have one). Several people have used this to circumvent various 'puzzles' in main quest dungeons. [If you want to avoid this bug, there are several locations to be wary of. When scaling a steep slope, you may get stuck near the very top. Jump when you reach this point to avoid falling through the floor. It's also a good idea not to engage in melee with any enemy on such a slope. When dropping through a hole in the floor to a level below, let go of any directional movement keys so that you don't go through the wall.]
- Attempting to cast a previously prepared spell after loading a game will cause a crash. Always prepare a new spell after loading a saved game.
- Attempting to recast a previously deleted spell will cause the game to crash. Never hit the recast key after deleting a spell.
- Upon entering a body of water in a dungeon, the swim up/down controls (same as float up/down) may fail to work at all if your character is carrying too much at the moment. This can make it impossible to exit certain bodies of water, as they require you to swim up to reach a ledge and climb out. If this happens, you can either drop some gold or equipment, cast a Levitate spell, or teleport to an already existing anchor point.
Furniture stores will show up in the "General" section of NPC dialogue. They are often inhabited by four to six Thieves Guild and/or Dark Brotherhood NPCs, one of which is usually The Crow, a high-ranking member of the Thieves Guild (has a gold frame around his portrait). The Crow will provide quests if the player is a member of the Thieves' Guild.
Examples of furniture store names are Furniture Emporium, The Champion Carpentry, and The Duchess's Furniture Shop. Known towns where furniture stores are located include Ripwych and Tuntower in Daggerfall and Merdale in Daenia.
The game code contains unimplemented furniture items (see Hacking Items).
Starting Dungeon Spoilers
Some people have a difficult time getting through small places (and getting hurled into that weird "auto-map oughta-be" tans-dimensional universe at the slightest misstep).
In the starter dungeon, in the room with the book-cases and the candle-encircled Imp, (here's the "spoiler" if you can call it that) you can fiddle with something (i.e., "click-on") the podium/music-stand/secret-switch to the book-case thing in front of the where the Imp is, and one of the book-cases swing open.
It can be hard to slip through the gap unless you duck, slide and turn a little bit every time you start to "rise up"(climbing mode). This helps to avoid what must be representative of little protrusions and possibly books on Argonian Poetry.
So, if you can't fit through standing, the secret is to crawl. (verified in v1.07.213)
Easy Money and Experience Method
Here is a really cool way to get treasure and experience. First, enter a city or town, wander about for two minutes and then choose to rest for awhile (24 hours). You will get attacked by mostly human foes, very rarely a real monster. The humans (assassins, thieves, spellswords, etc.) usually carry very valuable treasure like daedric weapons and a good deal of gold. It is advised that you don't do this unless you are at a high level or are a mage. If you are a mage, you can cast detect enemies and easily find your prey. If you are at a low level, you will become the prey, because the monster will probably sneak up behind you. If you are a high enough level to survive the backstab then you should be ok. There's plenty of room to move around and run if needed. Some people have mentioned that the patch version 200 creates more random encounters in the wilderness (unconfirmed).
- This trick also works in any dungeon with high concentrations of humanoid enemies, such as the dungeons of Castle Wayrest. During the quest that takes place in said dungeons (although you can visit them at any time) you will encounter a lot of knights, rogues, spellswords, etc. and they have a high probability of carrying the best valuables you can expect to find at your current level.
The Rusty Ogre Lodge
This method was also mentioned in The (In)Famous Beginner's Guide to Daggerfall by Mark Stinson (page 206). There are about a dozen footlockers upstairs. If you save right in front of one, then load, plunder the footlocker, save, reload, and repeat, you'll get all the Daedric weapons you can possibly carry! And while still inside, the guards still screaming "Halt!" downstairs, unload to your wagon and plunder some more. If you have an empty wagon and only save the Daedric weapons and leave the other junk, it's easy to plunder 3 million GP worth in just one trip! (That is, provided you sell at a "rusty" pawnshop - or at least described as "cobbled together." Both Holmarket and Newtower have "rusty" shops and they're both within spitting distance.)
To avoid the damage to reputation, be sure to cast a Recall spell (or use an item of Recall) and set the anchor to somewhere outside the building and make sure you have enough Magicka to cast it a second time. Then, after you're done plundering the joint, cast Recall again. Alternatively, it might be possible (if unlikely) with a high Stealth skill to sneak by the guards. Otherwise, being a vamp or being shaggy from lycanthropy should make your character immune to the guards' weapons, hence they can't try to make you surrender or hurt your rep. (verified in v1.07.213)
Note that this does not work with inns where the guest room is the same as the footlocker room, like The Crimson Dungeon in Newtower. If you save and reload in that room, you will not be able to interact with the footlockers, and will therefore not be able to reroll the contents.
Other Inns this works in
Horse Tricks: If you are riding a horse and cast Levitate the horse flies, and you can go much quicker than if you were levitating without the horse. (Depends on your Speed attribute and Running skill. If you have high Speed and a Running skill of 100%, it's about as fast while holding [P] down.)
Flying Chariot: Levitation also works with the cart. But, it's not quite as fast as the horse. A flying chariot?! Go 'bump' into the rooftop of a house and your chariot will be pushed upward. "Look, it's a guy in a red suit! It must Santa and his reindeer on the roof!" I wish the game had camera controls so as to see this from 3rd person.
Superman: Try adding "cheatmode 1" to the z.cfg file. Then press  and cast Levitate. Press [PgUp] to gain some altitude, then hold down [P] and [Up]. Faster than a speeding bullet...
Buggy Levitate: When using the [PgUp] and [PgDown] keys to control elevation, the character always slides diagonally to the left, in addition to move up or down. This makes changing elevation a real pain. (verified in v1.07.213)
If you jump while levitating you can float upwards about twice as fast as normally. You also increase your jumping skill like you wouldn't believe. (verified in v1.07.213)
Another way to increase the jumping skill is to open a door and stay in the middle of it, between the two rooms. Because the low 'ceiling' of the door blocks your head when you attempt jumping, your jumps are extremely short in time. Holding the jumping key down will make you jump a dozen times per second without moving at all. Watch your fatigue gauge.
Another somewhat odd factoid involving jumping is one privately dubbed 'roof-vaulting'. Though this may not increase any skills (though the fall endured may help), it is mildly interesting and entertaining. The average player may notice that their jump somewhat sporadically shifts from a minuscule hop to a great bounding leap, and that the seemingly inapplicable climbing skill may be used to mount buildings. however, were one to run up a steeply inclined roof, holding down the 'jump' key as they would normally pass over the point of the roof's angle, there is a chance that one may leap much higher and at a greater distance than they usually could, depending on their running skill, jumping skill, the building's height and its roof's incline. This may be used as a method of increasing the jump skill, performing improvised roof-hopping, escaping from guards, or simply enjoying the thrill of jumping really high and far. One should be cautious while aiming and jumping, though, as this is also an effective method of suicide.
Flying Without Levitation
I was playing Daggerfall v1.07.213 two nights ago and I found a useful bug; It lets you fly UP ONLY without spells or magic items etc. It may be fun or useful only for those without the Levitate spell or if you run out of magic.
- Hold the JUMP button for duration of fly time.
- Equip your Weapon (some work better than others).
- Attack the air as quickly as possibly.
- You should now float upwards one jump's height at a time. I think you can go up forever but I don't know as my hand gets tired after about 24 'steps'.
A Secret Dungeon
If you go to your ship and proceed to the middle of the deck, switch to full screen. Face northwest (the N should be on the right and the W should not be visible). Turn on the speed cheat, and hop off. Use the "running on water" cheat from this site. After a while, you should see a dungeon message appear on the screen (harpy feathers everywhere, etc.) Set an anchor or save your game and go west (the exact direction is not known, west is an approximation). You should eventually approach an island if you go the right way. There will be a stone placed on it. Look for a door. Inside is the Mantellan Crux dungeon!
The direction to travel is northwest, with the W positioned as the N is. Use the cheapest ship and position yourself to the side of the stairs going down before taking off to the northwest. Note that going straight north will not help, as the distances traveled are different with each direction. This can be accessed from the large ship as well. Traveling northwest from the prow will eventually take you to the small ship.
While this provides access to the Mantellan Crux, it cannot be used to short-circuit the Main Quest. It is a good way to practice the complex sequences of actions that are required to advance between the various sections.
Note: The only exit from this dungeon is teleportation. If you do not have an anchor set outside the Crux, you are stuck. If you are there as part of the Main Quest, Nulfaga will provide the teleportation if and when you are successful; otherwise you need to set your own anchor.
Immune to Disease Bug
In Daggerfall I have found an easy way to be immune to diseases without choosing 'immune to disease'. It must be a negative-math bug. What you do is create a custom character with critical weakness to disease. Then you choose to answer the 12 questions and 'as a child you were-' less resistant to disease. I have never been infected with any disease when I choose both of these options conjunctively. This is also a big advantage in dropping the leveling dagger in your character creation. As an added bonus, this increases the chance of being infected with lycanthropy/vampirism.
- Make a mage-type character with the 2 above options.
- Get to a sufficient level that you encounter vamps/werebeasts
- Make yourself a good regenerate health spell and a cheap heal spell
- Find a vamp or werebeast
- Cast regeneration
- Keep heal ready just in case health gets too low.
- Sit back and get pounded by werewolves and/or vampires.
Supposedly there is a 0.6% chance per hit of being infected, so just get hit 200x and you're almost sure to get the disease. You might wanna play around with this...it has worked every time for me but there are several versions of Daggerfall out there.
Get Ebony, Orcish, & Daedric items
Having a hard time completing that collection of Daedric, Orcish, or Ebony equipment? Do you feel that your current suit of mismatched armor looks like a Heinz-57 monster almost as ugly as a Flesh Atronach? Are you too impatient to wait until at least level 25 or a maxed-out Luck attribute? I know the feeling. Over time I was able to collect a nearly complete suit of Dwarven, but then moved on to better armor. I never was able to find a pair of Dwarven Boots. :D But, I did discover how to finally complete an entire suit of Daedric at only level 15 and with Luck at a mere 60.
First of all, if your Luck is not already about 95 or 100, go find or create an item with Jack of Trades. As far as magic items go, it's not too uncommon. If you can't find one in random treasure hunting (see Getting Better Treasure on the Daggerfall Cheats page), sometimes they will be sold in the Mages Guild. If necessary, go visit the Mages Guild in several towns to find one, or boost your Rank in the guild until you can access the Item Maker. Luck plays a significant role in (among other things) determining the quality of items found - not just in treasure piles, but also on enemy item drops and even the stuff appearing on store shelves!
I'm assuming your character's Luck is naturally around 60 or more. Now that you have a Jack of Trades item, save your game and then equip it. Now go to the stats screen and look at your Luck. If your level is about 15 or more it should boost it by about 40 points to nearly 100. (If your level is only about 10 or so, it may only be around 80 or 90.) But if it is significantly less than this, try loading that save and then equip the item again. Every time the Jack of Trades activates, the resulting increase is randomly generated, based in part on your level. (However, do remember to unequip it before resting, traveling or otherwise not needed! Otherwise, it will become used and eventually break.)
Then, go pay a visit to the local Weaponsmiths and Armorers. If you have lots of gold in the form of Letters of Credit (at least $600k, preferably $1 million or more) you might be able to buy a suit of Daedric. (Having a personality score of 95 or 100 or equipping an item of Charisma and/or Enhance Skill Mercantile will make this much cheaper.) Or if you are into thievery, you could try burglary or shoplifting. But to get the very best stuff in a short amount of time, this is how:
Having a Ship is important. It makes resetting stores a snap so the inventory refreshes. (Otherwise, use the Recall spell or Levitate with "1" in cheat mode to exit the city fast and return.) Target the best Armorer in town. If you can not find one described as "you can't detect the slightest defect", go look in a different town. There are always one or two of these in the capitol of Daggerfall. But do not go inside the Armorer just yet!
Next, look for a building in front of this high-end Armorer. Ideally, the door of this other building will be facing the door to the Armorer. Go inside this building and turn around with the door right in your face. SAVE. Then go through the door, walk across the street and enter the Armorer for the first time. Search each shelf carefully for what you're missing or desire. If nothing strikes your fancy, immediately load that save and try again. Do this over and over. This is fast and eventually you'll hit pay dirt.
When you find what you want or need, either buy it or swipe it. But do not save just yet. (See below for why.) Immediately exit the store and then go to your ship (or leave town). Immediately come back to town and return to inside that building across the street, facing the door again. Now save. Repeat as often as necessary. After several hours of this, I was finally able to complete a full suit of Daedric. (Took me forever to find a single pair of Daedric Gauntlets...)
This is complicated, but it works. I've tried to save right in front of a store, but that does not work! If you load such a save and go inside the store, all the shelves will be empty! Even after leaving for your ship and then returning, the shelves might still be empty (verified in v1.07.213).
Another possible way to get hold of high-level weapons and armor is to use the spellmaker to create a "summon item" spell with the shortest possible duration. While the spell's description would suggest that the item disappears after the duration is over, it in fact does not - however, you cannot summon another item while the spell is still active. For this reason, it helps if you have a ship or join the fighters guild so you can sleep for 1 hour each cast to get your Magicka back and to time the effect out.
Summoned items are generally made of the lowest quality materials - about 50% of summoned cuirasses will be leather, chain or iron. However, there is a chance to get virtually any level of item quality, including Orcish and Daedric (Checked in version 213). It's also a good way to raise Mysticism relatively quickly and make a bit of extra cash if you don't believe in robbing stores.
Not all Item Powers work
For serious item enchanting, I would suggest reading The (In)Famous Beginner's Guide to Daggerfall by Mark Stinson. (In particular, see the Enchanting Items section.) Even veteran players can find some of the info very useful. There are numerous tables and charts that details most item enchantment potential and details item powers, side effects, soul binding, and other info. Most importantly, it gives sound advice and explains why some item powers are useless or at least inferior to alternatives.
However, there still appears to be a few discrepancies and factual errors. In other words, players should not assume that any game charts or material is 100% accurate, particularly since using different patches can significantly alter gameplay.
"Potent vs." Powers
While playing around in the Item Maker and reading guides, I decided to try out the Potent vs. powers. In particular, I wanted to see if Potent vs. Undead, Humanoid, or Daedra would be at all affected by the Multiple Low Damage Vs. Side Effects Trick. (See section on the Daggerfall Cheats page.) So after making several tests out of Daedric Katana and Daedric Long Bows, I headed off for random graveyards and dungeons to test them out. I tried three versions of these weapons: One without any enchantment, one with Featherweight, Potent vs. Undead and Vampiric Effect When Strikes, and one with the multiple side effect Low Damage vs. Animals, in addition to those powers.
I eventually found a Vampire Ancient and saved the game. I reloaded and tried each weapon in turn. Each time I carefully counted the number of blows it took to finish the dangerous fiend off. Result? It took between 4, 5, and 6 blows to kill it. I repeated this many dozens of times with each weapon, making well over a 100 blows in total. (There were a couple occasions where it only took 3 blows, but I assume this was a Critical Strike.) On average... each weapon took 5 blows. I could tell no significant difference.
Not convinced, I continued until finding an Ancient Lich and saved again. Again, I repeated this many dozens of times with each weapon. It took between 3, 4, and 5 blows to finish it and, on average, each weapon took 4 blows. No difference. So, I started over again with a plain Daedric Katakana and one with Potent vs. Undead as the only power or side effect. I went to a graveyard, found a Zombie and saved. It took between 3, 4, and 5 blows to finish it and, on average, each weapon took 4 blows. Both weapons fared the same!
Thinking that perhaps this was just Vs. Undead, I repeated that experiment with using Potent vs. Humanoids instead. I tried them out on a Rogue. Same thing: After many dozens of blows with each I'm quite confident that each weapon took 4 blows on average. In other words, despite claims to the contrary all four of the Potent vs. powers are worthless (at least in v1.07.213)! Note that I have not been using buggy cheats, game editors, or any hacks. My game is 100% original and very stable.
I find that the Vampiric Effect When Strikes is extremely useful. (Tip: Adding Cast When Strikes: Energy Leech is also useful, particularly for characters without Athleticism or an Endurance of 100. It saves from having to rest all the time between fights.) It makes, for example, fighting Barbarians, Vampire Ancients and Ancient Liches bearable as my character recovers almost as much health as the fiends can dish out. Curious as to what Vampiric Effect At Range might do (since it costs twice as much), I made test items of two Daedric Longbows and headed for nearby graveyards. Finding some Rogues and Bards, I saved and proceeded to turn them into pincushions. After dozens of blows with each, I can safely say that while Vampiric Effect When Strikes works fine, Vampiric Effect At Range does not seem to do anything. I repeated this with two Daedric Katana with similar results.
A Trick to raise Magic Skills
This trick takes advantage of the people at the Mages' Guild, who kindly regenerate a sorcerer's magicka. Possibly it will work for any character who does not naturally recover magicka. Start by making some cheap cantrips like these. Then approach any member of the guild. Cast the cheap cantrip over and over. Then ask the guild member for whatever service he performs (e.g. buy spells). He'll recharge you. You've practiced that skill enough to raise it a level. Until around 50%, casting the cantrip until your magicka is gone is enough. After that you may need to get recharged and use it up again - no worry, the guild members will recharge you any time your magicka is less than full. When you've practiced all the skills you want to raise, go sleep on it and they'll go up. Tedious? You bet, but if you haven't got or don't want to use a character editor, it's the easy way to get those spell skills to where spells are affordable.
Looting From A Stack Of Bodies
Especially if you are using the "cast fireball and absorb, repeat" method of killing, you can end up with a stack of bodies. Sometimes, there will be bodies with no loot stacked on top of bodies with loot, leaving you unable to get to the goodies that you just fought so hard for. To overcome this problem, simply save and reload. All of the corpses that were stacked close together will collapse into a single corpse with all of the loot. (This was done with the recently released v1.07.213 free copy of Daggerfall.)
Bug to Avoid When Making Save Backups
When making backups of your saved games it seems you have to make a backup of all 6 saves if you have used the 6 save slots. When I replaced one of my 6 saves they got bugged and the coordinates didn't work correctly when I opened the saves in DFHack. This was fixed when I replaced the 6 saves with a previous backup of 6 saved games.