Oblivion talk:May the Best Thief Win

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The Second Test[edit]

Shouldn't there be a section concerning the second test Armand gives you if Methredel succeeds in joining the guild? Namely, the part about Rohssan having a guard dog in her bedroom who'll alert her to your presence? — Unsigned comment by (talk)

It is mentioned at the bottom of the notes; hopefully when this page gets cleaned up and converted to the proper quest format the second test will get better incorporated into the rest of the quest. --Nephele 22:42, 7 February 2007 (EST)
Incorporated the second chance quest during rewrite and cleanup - might need a tweak in the options layout as I haven't done the quest myself or trialled possibles eg. times rohssan sleeps, killing dog whilst sneaking etc. --MacFodder 21:24, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Methods of completing[edit]

Not sure if you need to mention other ways to complete above and beyond the major approaches. eg. pickpocket Methie before she leaves allectus' house, followup down sewer and pickpocket, wait until she arrives to deliver the diary and pickpocket before she interacts etc.--MacFodder 21:24, 11 February 2007 (EST)

NPC details[edit]

i'll have a visit to methie's shack and get the NPC who lives with her. their schedule is 6PM for a slapup nosh at the bloated float, her sleep times are hazy to recall - until 10 am ? Methie hangs out in the temple district in the evenings but might be affected with her going to armand etc.--MacFodder 21:24, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Problems doing this quest[edit]

I'm having problems doing this quest and I'm not sure i was in the right place. --ShakenMike 13:34, 18 February 2007 (EST)

Give a few more details of the problem you're having (starting the quest or within the quest?) and we may be able to help you. You should begin at the Garden of Dareloth (behind the abandoned shack in the Waterfront District) at midnight. --GuildKnight 11:51, 15 February 2007 (EST)
I miss the first part of the quest due to my timing.I can't even pickpocket the person inside her store in market district for the Diary.--ShakenMike 13:34, 18 February 2007 (EST)
So, are you saying that Methredhel gets the diary before you? If so, see Creative Thieving --GuildKnight 23:36, 15 February 2007 (EST)
I might already did that I think.The journal told me to steal a sword from someone in the market district.--ShakenMike 13:34, 18 February 2007 (EST)
Then you're at the second half of the quest, A Second Fighting Chance. Follow your quest arrow to the store (or talk to a beggar to find out where the store is, if your quest arrow is not pointing to the store yet). You don't want to pickpocket anyone to get the sword; the sword is in a chest upstairs. --Nephele 00:35, 17 February 2007 (EST)
Ok thanks and I'm able to get it.--ShakenMike 13:34, 18 February 2007 (EST)
By the way, UESP leaves discussions on discussion pages so that they may be able to help another player. --GuildKnight 21:00, 24 February 2007 (EST)

I've hit a problem in that the diary isn't there! The green gem shows it's still in the desk, but it isn't on or beneath it; Methredel doesn't have it nor is it anywhere in her house. Getting arrested or going back to the midnight meeting doesn't spark off the second try. Basically, it looks like the game's stuck, with no way in.Prunesquallor 06:46, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

I beat her to the diary, but later I walked into her house before returning to the diary, and I got the message, you place the diary in the chest. I had to pick and steal the diary back. — Unsigned comment by Rebelscum (talkcontribs)

Getting Rohssan's Sword Back[edit]

This comment was added in reference to what happens if you are arrested by a guard:

However, you can pick the evidence chest in the prison, and get it back, and return it to Armand Christophre

However, in my experience, breaking into the evidence chest is the worst thing to do if you lose a quest item when you're in prison: quest items (such as Rohssan's Sword) do not reappear when you break into the evidence chest. You're much better off serving your time, at which point all quest items (including stolen ones), do reappear. I haven't tested this specifically with Rohssan's Sword, but I wouldn't imagine that it works differently than any of the other items that I have tested. --Nephele 13:12, 3 March 2007 (EST)

I just got arrested inside the house after stealing the diary; I chose to pay the fine, and walked out with the diary (still flagged as stolen) in my inventory. Just thought I'd mention this, cuz it kinda scared me not knowing if they'd take the diary.


At one point, I went from my Imperial City home straight to the Garden of Dareloth very close to midnight (I think it was about 11:55 pm when I left my house). Methredel never showed up. Going back the next night, everything was fine.--Robin Hood 23:10, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

Locked (key needed) Door[edit]

In Allectus' House there is a door in the main room that requires a key. The Allectus key does not work. Any ideas? — Unsigned comment by (talk)

There is no key for that door. Generally when there's no key for an unpickable lock it means that it's a quest-related door that gets opened as part of a quest. In this case, the name of the door in the construction set is "EscapeDoorRef", but I can't even find anywhere in the CS where the door gets unlocked. The one option that I can't check at the moment is that the door is possibly used by Methredhel when she steals the diary, allowing her to instantly transport back to her house. In any case, it doesn't seem to be a door that the player ever gets to open. --NepheleTalk 00:57, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

Methredhel actually uses the basement door to escape somehow. I used tcl to travel through the door and there isn't anything on the other side, unless it leads to a new area, but in those cases the area it would lead to would usually be shown when you hover the mouse over the door. Bamspeedy 21:32, 1 June 2007 (EDT)Bamspeedy

Why doesn't someone just unlock it using console commands and then walk through? 07:47, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Why didn't you try it? :-) I just tried it and nothing happens. The 'needs a key' message goes away, but nothing happens when you click on the door. --Bamspeedy 23:44, 16 November 2007 (EST)

Possibly it was put in for a quest or something that never ended up in the final game (mabey having to do with the blood-sucking plants?), however at some point Bethesda might have deleted an area but not the door, leaving a door that it not linked to another area. Someevilgenius 01:32, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
Which door? Methredhel uses the basement door to escape with the diary. You can pick that lock and follow her, then there is a trap door to the sewers in the basement. I never tried to open the basement door before the quest, so maybe it becomes unpickable until then, or it's status changes when the quest begins.

2 Infamy from A Second Fighting Chance[edit]

Minor stat detail, but you get two infamy points instead of one by failing the stealing of the diary but then successfully stealing Rohsann's sword. So you could get up to 30 infamy from the Thieve's guild quests instead of 29. Bamspeedy 21:41, 1 June 2007 (EDT)

Fast Traveling[edit]

It says that fast-traveling to the temple district is slower then running, however EVERY time I've done this quest, I fast traveled and was able to get to the diary before Methredhel was even inside the temple district. 07:45, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Did you have high skills? The time it takes to fast travel depends on your stats (probably speed, but also possibly agility and/or athletics) . I just tested this by fast traveling from the prison sewer exit to Leyawiin. With all my stats at 1 (skills at 0) then 6 hours passed, when all stats and skills was set to 100 only 3 hours passed. Just going from Waterfront to the temple district would only be a minute or so, but in that foot race 10 seconds is a huge advantage. --Bamspeedy 23:40, 16 November 2007 (EST)

I have done this quest with a maxed character (100 speed/100 athletics) at lvl20. That character was also an male Altmer, which due to their extra height (10% more than normal) have increased speed. The result was that i could BARELY outrun Methedhel. Now i just did it with a female Breton (5% less speed than normal due to height) with only 45 speed and 25 athletics, at level 2. Methedhel would run at exactly the same speed she would run at lvl20 so i knew i was a loser beforehand. But i tried fast-traveling. And i reached the temple District before she did. And i won. My explanation: From my understanding, what really happens is that when you fast travel, NPCs that act outside of their predefined day schedule, will barely move even if you spent a lot of time on fast traveling. And i think the same happens with waiting/sleeping as well. So, if the above is correct or almost correct, what actually matters here is not in-game time but actual real time. 12:22, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

New Bug[edit]

This has come from the main page. My reason for moving it here is that it's not clear exactly what happens. Was the diary successfully pickpocketed or not? If so, why not just take it to Armand yourself? If not, surely she'll report you anyway? Plus there's first-person usage.

  • POSSIBLE QUEST BREAKER! On the PS3 version of Oblivion, if you decide to follow Methredhel to Amantius Allectus' house and she gets the diary before you, DO NOT attempt to pickpocket it from her. Firstly, you can't get it from her unless you have a high sneak skill, and secondly, if you do this, she will never put the diary in the chest in her house, meaning she never takes it to Armand. therefore, you can't get into the Thieves Guild. Not tested yet, but that's what happened to me.

Possible addition to journal entries notes[edit]

I was thinking, shouldn't there something mentioning that even though the journal says in stage 75 that "Armand is giving Amusei and I ...", that Amusei isn't actually given another oppertunity? I would make the edit if I knew how, but the text there is part of a template (if I remember correctly). On another note, I believe the comment under "Bugs" about not being able to fast-travel should be removed, or at least moved since that bug can happen at various locations and times, not just during this or a select few quests. Thanks in advance to whoever make the edits and/or responds back with a conclusion! Someevilgenius 01:26, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

(Moved from main article)[edit]

IMPORTANT: I, Who Played This Quest Recently, Found The Diary On Methredhel's Body, Not In The Chest. — Unsigned comment by (talk)

I'm going to assume that means you pickpoceted it from her, because she can't die.

That's it, I managed to pickpocket her just as went off the house.

Also moved from main article: One quirk of completing the quest this way is that you are not officially told the rules of guild membership.. I tried this with no mods active on the original Oblivion.ESM and this doesn't happen. The only topic available after returning Rohssan's Antique Cutlass to Armand is "Three rules" as with the usual way of completing the quest. Kivan 14:11, 17 May 2008 (EDT)

Bug with Methredhel never delivering diary last day(s) of the month[edit]

Just so that there's some backing to this bug I just posted, I found this one while I was playtesting this quest for another bug (I can't believe my luck at finding these things.) :^p

From Methredhel's script:
Set TG01BestThief.DayMethredhelDelivers to GameDay + 2
If GameHour < 12
Set TG01BestThief.DayMethredhelDelivers to GameDay + 1

The GameDay function has been a notorious source of bugs. The designers who wrote the scripts seemed unaware at first that it returns the day of the month, so it wraps around to 1 when the month ends. If the current month has 29 or more days, it may be set to 30 or 31, which will take at least a game month to reoccur or more likely several months, or 32 or even 33, which will never occur, so Methredhel won't deliver the diary for a very long time, or never at all. -- Kivan 21:57, 16 May 2008 (EDT)

That makes perfect sense! I believe this bug could be fixed by commanding Methredel to deliver the diary a determinable amount of hours later instead of one or two days later. Someone should collect as many of these "potential bugs" as he can and make a patch out of it anybody with the Construction Set (not me) and some programming knowledge (again not me, much of what I know about scripting comes from theory) will do. (Gromir the Wasted) 13:06, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Might I suggest that you read about the Unofficial Oblivion Patch? And perhaps take note of the authors of the patch? --NepheleTalk 13:22, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

Bug: Failed quest with diary in my possession[edit]

The quest failed when I had the diary in my possession.

The thieves' guild meeting took place at 2am to 3am on Heartfire 28. Methredel was stuck in her house for some reason. When I picked the lock to investigate, she started walking to the meeting place. At 5:10pm on Heartfire 28, I travelled to the waterfront. figured I'd taunt Methredel a bit about the diary, do the bloated float quest, and deposit Goldbrand in my house's chest.

I overhear Methredel talking to Armand: "I had the diary but someone stole it from me!". Then, I got a quest message: "Word on the street is that Methredel delivered the diary". I'm running the Frostcrag Spire plugin, Shivering isles, oblivion standard with latest patch, unofficial oblivion patch, and AFLevelling mod.

The quest started normally. I tailed Methredel to Amantius's house, after asking a beggar where it was, and tailed her into Amantius's basement after she got his diary. Methredel disappeared on top of the sewer entrance, so I went down, smacked some gobbos around a bit, and exited the sewers. At about 10am, I asked a beggar about Methredel's house, broke in, stole the diary from her chest, and pickpocked her gold. She yelled at me for a bit.

I headed over to Boethia's shrine for Goldbrand, and encountered another bug while there, then came back and failed the quest with the diary in my possession.

I'm pretty sure with this quest you have to complete it before sunrise, meaning that you should probably do all of the quest at one time, including talking to Armande about the diary. --Twentyfists 22:13, 7 July 2008 (EDT)
What do you mean "She yelled at me for a bit."? Why was she yelling - did she catch you pick pocketing her?
If this is the case, it could be once the diary was in your inventory it was unable to be dropped, since it is a quest item. If you are caught pick pocketing someone they usually take back what you have stolen, often all items that belong to them, not just what you immediately taken. If you stole it from her room, and then she took it back there may have been two copies, (since yours can't be dropped), and it could have registered that she was still in possession of the diary. If this is the case it would qualify as a glitch I would have though. There is usually a message telling you what items are being removed from your inventory when caught pick pocketing.

Bug moved from Oblivion:Thieves Guild[edit]

I moved this from Oblivion:Thieves Guild. It needs to be verified, and if verified, should be added to this article instead. --GuildKnightTalk2me 22:21, 18 September 2008 (EDT)

Sometimes the argonian required to start "May the Best Thief Win" will not show up. This can be fixed with the 1.2.1 patch. If he still doesn't show up you may have to start a new account to join the Thieves Guild. This glitch has only been found on the Xbox 360 Collector's Edition, and the PS3 Game of the Year Edition. The reason for this bug is unknown at this time.

I'm assuming the editor is referring to Amusei. This has never happened to me on Xbox, either with the original or the Platinum Hits version, though they are patched and I don't have the GotY version. --GuildKnightTalk2me 22:21, 18 September 2008 (EDT)

- I am having this problem now, except it is the wood elf, instead of the Argonian that isn't showing up. I was at the garden and tried to join, before I had the topic. Came back afterward, and she just never came. I've waited a couple of nights too. Any ideas? This is on 360 with GOTY edition.

Fix: There is none. The reason these two NPCs sometimes don't show up is that they get killed. They do resurrect as important characters do, but they seem to lose connection to the quest (and therefore irreversibly break it, except for PC gamers who can advance the quest with console commands).

Next Quest activates without fencing anything[edit]

It has caused no problems that I'm aware of but I was wondering how something like this could happen. I completed "May the Best Thief Win" by beating the other two to the diary and brought it back to Armand no problems. When I was going through the motions to get him to name my fence he jumped right into talking about Lex taxing everyone at the Waterfront. I knew I was supposed to have fenced something so I went to the guy in Bruma and it states I've already fenced 73 gold worth of stuff. Does anyone have any idea how this could happen? 19:58, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Why Methredhel goes to the cellar[edit]

In the article it says this is inexplicable. When I did the quest I presumed it was because she escaped via the sewers (there is an entry point in the basement). The lock was 'hard' so I didn't bother trying to follow. — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 5 February 2010

Nope, she exits via the main door. It's just a peculiarity of the game; albeit easily solvable. --SerCenKing Talk 18:19, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Finding Methredhel[edit]

While on her way to the meeting place Methredhel stopped to talk to Amusei. This seemed to interrupt her task, causing her to wander off. Anxious to get a move on with the quest I decided to go looking for her, thinking her house would be the best start. I picked the lock and she left as soon as I entered. 12:14, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Methredel has diary - cannot pickpocket - not in chest - not delivering[edit]

Methredel got the diary before me and she carries it on her at all times, she does not put it in the chest and she is not delivering it!! So I try to pickpocket her while I'm not seen and I can't take it from her! She just calls the guards on me. I'm tired of all these Oblivion glitches, does anyone know what I should do. Wait for awhile and return to this quest later? Maybe get my sneak skill up so I could maybe pickpocket from her later? Get an invisible potion of some sort which I dunno how or why that might help..?? I don't know, please help? 21:25, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Sounds really odd, but just let some time pass and she should deliver it to Armand. Then you'll get a second (and easier) chance. --Krusty 21:27, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
sure is odd...then again I have bad luck with this game and always tend to find the loopholes/glitches within it haha. Thanks for the reply :) 02:52, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Same thing happened to me. I spoke to her first, then pick-pocketed the key (couldn't do it with book), followed Methredel to her the house and she simply didn't put the book into the chest. Seems like it happens when you enter her house too early. 17:45, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

"Stealing" the Diary[edit]

From article: If you get to the diary before Methredhel and then speak to her, she will say you stole the diary from her, even though she never took it from Allectus's home.

Rather than revert back and forth, I thought I'd bring the note here for discussion.

My take on the wording ("Thief! You stole that diary from me. Now I have to wait to get into the guild.") is that it was meant literally and is a bug. Nevertheless, I agree that stealing could be seen either literally or figuratively in this case. Looking at the Construction Set, I see no clear indication that it was intended either way (i.e., there are no clear bugs along the lines of a failed "if player stole the diary"). Given that, I'd go for keeping it as a note on the article, along with a clarification that it may be a bug or it may have been meant more figuratively. Robin Hoodtalk 17:04, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I've always thought that she was just venting and she thought it was as good as hers, especially since we both end up being in the house together, yet I reach the actual diary first. --Arch-Mage Matt Did I Do That? 17:51, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I find it odd that she calls you a "thief" when she is one too (and the purpose of the quest was to enter the Thieves Guild anyway), which makes me think that it is a bug if you don't actually steal the diary from her. Doesn't seem to indicate a figurative meaning to me. -- Jplatinum16 18:28, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
It's a competition, so it seems very unlikely to me that she would refer to you beating her as "stealing", even if she was just venting. rpeh •TCE 06:15, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Moved notes[edit]

  • If you can't beat Methredhel, you may try fast-traveling to the temple district. Even though it takes more in-game time to do so, sometimes it works.
  • Even though you're told to return the diary "by midnight" (actually supposed to mean 'on the following night'), it's possible to complete the quest in a single night, as Armand will stay in the garden for a few hours--giving you plenty of time to complete the quest. (You can even leisurely follow the dejected Methredhel back to Armand's location once you've beaten her to the book.)
  • If you find that Methredhel has beaten you to the diary, there is another easy way to steal it from her. At around 11:30pm, Armand will enter the garden and wait. If you position yourself in a corner opposite the side he is on, you can wait for Methredhel to enter at around midnight to return the diary to Armand. As she is walking across the yard, you can sneak up behind her and pickpocket her to retrieve the diary. Once this is done, quickly talk to Armand to complete the quest.

I've pruned these notes, feel free to re-add them as you see fit. --AKB Talk 07:12, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

  • If you manage to steal the diary and outrun any guards pursuing you, you can have Armand pay off your bounty. Unfortunately, this doesn't stop guards pursuing you, which will prevent you from fast traveling. To fast-travel again, go up to a guard and start a conversation with him (or let them catch you if they are pursuing you). Since you no longer have a bounty, the guard will commence normal conversation.

This just seems like common knowledge. JackTurbo95 18:14, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Argonian Never Shows[edit]

simply the argonian doesnt sho up so i wait 24 hours still doesnt show i repeat the process and still nothing — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 23:10 on 20 July 2011

See the last bug in this section. Sorry, but that is a very serious bug. --Krusty 23:21, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Methredhel Not Giving Diary[edit]

whenever i do these quests i steal the diary so this tim e i let the girl get it but she wont give it to armand or put it down i cant pickpocket it and when i paralyze her and try to take it it tell me she is fleeing how can i fix this? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 14:53 on 5 December 2011

It's probably a bit late to matter now, but first off, look at the Bugs section of the article and read the entry about Methredhel never giving Amantius the diary. Another trick you can try is to Fast Travel somewhere away from the city, then Fast Travel back. Failing that, load an older game and try again. Robin Hoodtalk 04:20, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Quest Problems[edit]

I'm having problems with the first half of the quest. Methredel got it before me, but isn't delivering it to the thief initiator guy, and when I go in the chest, it's not there, but in her inventory, from which it cannot be removed, even successfully pickpocketing doesn't work. I don't know what to do. -Jetfyre922 (Talk), 12:56, 5 August 2013

look at RobinHoods comment above. -- SarthesArai Talk 13:03, 5 August 2013 (GMT)

(:)I got the diary before her, but Armand won't let me give it to him? Its my first time playing, so idk whats supposed to go down? Also, the girl whos name (::)i forgot keeps saying "Thief! Now i have to wait to get in the guild." Apparentally thats a bug? Im kinda confused173.26.61.177 22:24, 3 March 2016 (UTC)