Daggerfall:Unofficial Newbie FAQ

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This FAQ is specifically written for players who are new to Daggerfall. Other available Daggerfall FAQs are:

How do I get out of the Privateer's Hold?[edit]

The exit is in a room with a bat, a rat, and an imp in it near the "top" of the dungeon. Click on the archway with a skull at the bottom to leave the dungeon. If you are completely lost, see here.

I got a disease in Privateer's Hold. Why and how do I cure it?[edit]

Most animals can transmit diseases. Every time you are damaged by an animal in combat, there is a chance of catching a disease. Be aware that untreated diseases will eventually kill you in time. The best way to avoid catching a disease is to not be hit by an animal; you don't have to fight ALL the monsters in the game. If you are diseased, you can cure it by using a purification or a cure disease potion, if you've found one in the dungeon already. If you don't have any potions, leave the dungeon and fast travel (click the box on the overhead map for fast travel) to the nearest town or temple. (Most towns have temples. All temple locations on the map named after one of the major deities have a temple; beware, some locations of them listed under the general category of temples are shrines which are not temples.) All temples have healers whom you can pay to cure your disease.

What are the red brick doors?[edit]

There are four types:

  1. Teleporters that when you click on them take you somewhere else in the dungeon.
  2. Teleporters that when you walk into them take you somewhere else in the dungeon.
  3. Red brick walls that do nothing except arouse your curiosity.
  4. Death traps that when you touch or click them will take a lot of your health and will eventually kill you.

Therefore, always save before playing with a red brick door just in case.

The manual says...[edit]

The manual was printed before the game was finished with alpha and beta testing. Some of its contents are inaccurate.

The hintbook says...[edit]

The hintbook was printed before the game was finished with alpha and beta testing. Some of its contents are inaccurate.

How can I repair magic items?[edit]

As of patch 1.04.191, you cannot. The capability was removed by Bethesda in order to maintain game balance. When a magic item wears out, it breaks and is gone. This is true for artifacts as well. However, this feature was re-added in version 1.06.200. See here for further information on this topic.

I cannot find Lady Brisienna. The note says to meet her in the xxx pub in Daggerfall, but there is no such pub in Daggerfall.[edit]

Sometimes the tavern may be a regional tavern. In this case, you must look among the tavern locations on the overland map to find it.

I'm on a quest and I need to meet person X. How do I find them?[edit]

The quests usually tell you what town to look in. Once there, put your weapon away and talk to the locals on the street. Ask under Person or under General to find more info. If you ask someone who says something like "South of here" again (and again) eventually they will mark the location on your map.

How do I mount my horse?[edit]

Click on the legs icon (or hit "T" for transportation) and choose the horse entry by clicking on it. To get off the horse, hit the icon again and choose foot.

How do I enter my ship?[edit]

Click on the legs icon (or hit "T" for transportation) and choose the ship entry by clicking on it. To exit your ship, click on the legs icon again and choose the ship line which is your only choice.

How do I use my ship for travel?[edit]

You will do this automatically if you choose to travel by ship on the fast-travel map.

How do I buy a ship?[edit]

Ships are sold in all port cities (cities located near the ocean) which have at least one bank. Just go to the bank, deposit enough gold in your account, and buy one from the banking menu.

My gold in inventory is messed up. How do I fix it?[edit]

When merchants cannot pay you without exceeding your maximum carrying capacity, they will pay you with letters of credit. These can be used like regular money with every service except those offered by inns. You may deposit your letters of credit at any bank and then withdraw either cash or another letter of credit as needed.

How do I become a vampire?[edit]

Whenever you are injured by a vampire, there is a 0.6% percent chance of becoming infected with vampirism. If you are infected, you will have a dream of a maiden being killed the next time you sleep. You then have 3 nights to cure yourself before becoming a vampire. If you contracted another disease along with vampirism, you may die before the transformation is complete.

How do I get cured once I'm a vampire?[edit]

There are several ways to cure yourself of vampirism. The most common is to complete the quest given annually by vampire hunters.

How do I become a werewolf/wereboar?[edit]

The method and chances of contracting lycanthropy are similar to those of vampirism; each time you are damaged by a werewolf or wereboar, there is a chance of eventually transforming into whichever type of lycanthrope infected you.

How do I get cured once I'm a lycanthrope?[edit]

Similarly to vampires, lycanthropes will be contacted by hunters once a year with an opportunity to cure themselves by completing a quest.

I turned into a vampire. What happened to my guild affiliations?[edit]

You have lost them, since you are considered dead. You can rejoin any of the guilds and receive your former rank, with the exception of the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves Guild.

How do I join the Thieves Guild?[edit]

Successfully pick 10 pockets or a locked door without using an Open spell. After three days have passed, you will be given a note providing instructions on how to join the next time you are in a city.

How do I join the Dark Brotherhood?[edit]

Kill 5 innocent civilians or 15 guards. After three days have passed, you will be given a note with further instructions on joining the guild.

How do I put the poison in the drink?[edit]

Pick up the vial. It may be on a table, bed or the floor. The poison will be put in the drink for you. Then use the remove option to put the vial back.

I can see, but cannot pick up the quest object. How do I do it?[edit]

You must be close enough to the object to be able to pick it up, and you must be looking at it directly. Make sure the camera is focused on the object and try moving around until you can pick it up.

I want to join the Mages Guild, but they say I need to improve my guild skills. How do I do that?[edit]

You need a skill value of 22 in one of the guild skills and at least 4 in a second guild skill. The Mages Guild skills are the six schools of magic. If none of yours are 22, you can train them by joining a temple. (As of version 1.05.195,, you can train at temples without joining.) Each temple trains at least two of the magic schools. Once your skills meet the required levels, go back to the Mages Guild and ask again.

I have done tons of quests for the xxx guild but I don't go up in rank. Why?[edit]

Being promoted in a guild requires two things:

  1. A high reputation with the guild, which is usually secured by successfully completing a number of quests for the guild. Each normal quest completed earns you 5 reputation points, while failed quests cost you 2 points.
  2. Meeting the skill requirements in two of the guild's required skills. Skill requirements for each rank are listed here.

It is always a good idea to save just before asking for a quest to avoid losing reputation if you are unable to complete the quest. Some quests taken for other factions can also adversely impact your reputation with a guild. Your reputation with a guild will also regress towards 0 by one point every month. Also, you cannot be promoted more than once within a 28-day period.

How do I level up?[edit]

The formula for determining your level is

        ((current skill total) - (starting skill total) + 28 ) / 15

where skill total is the sum of

        your three primary skills + 
        the highest two major skills + 
        the highest minor skill

Note: that the actual skills used for the latter two may be different as you go through the game when figuring the current skill total. The starting skill total is always a constant.

How do I raise my skills?[edit]

Through use. Most guilds (all except the Knights) will offer training in the guild skills and some others the guild considers useful. Training is priced at 100 gold times your level. You can train any of the skills offered up to and including 51. After that you have to use the skill to increase it.

Each skill has a tally counter. Each time you use the skill the tally counter is increased by 1. When the tally counter exceeds the difficulty factor times the skill value and it has been at least 6 hours since the skill was last increased, the skill value is increased by 1 and the tally is reset to 0. Training adds a random number between 10 and 20 to the tally counter. The difficulty factor for standard classes is 1. For custom classes it's between 0.3 and 3.

Minor and miscellaneous skills seem to have an extra small difficulty factor built into learning them, making them a little harder to increase.

Spell schools tally counters are increased for each spell cast, no matter the casting cost. It is therefore, perhaps advisable to have a number of cheap spells to practice with before sleeping (unless you don't regenerate magic, then it would be before talking to people in the Mages Guild). These tend to be called cantrips. Here are some cheap cantrips four of which "Two Socks" suggested (remember to make the per level number high to cut down on casting cost):

  • Alteration Cantrip - slowfall
  • Destruction Cantrip - damage fatigue [with 'Target at Range' setting]
  • Illusion Cantrip - shadow form
  • Thaumaturgy Cantrip - Buoyancy
  • Mysticism Cantrip - open [extremely useful for getting into Residences and Shops when you don't feel like picking locks]
  • Restoration Cantrip - heal fatigue

Once your skill levels go up so that you are casting these for 5 points each, you may wish to combine them into 2 or 3 multi-spell cantrips. I have one called MIT and a second called DAR. At 28th level both of these cantrips only cost 5 each to cast.

I've gone up three levels but have not gained any spell points. Why?[edit]

Spell point max is determined by INT. To increase spell points, increase your INT when you level up. You can find out what the other attributes affect by clicking on the attributes on the character info screen (hit F5 from the main screen or click your character's face). You can also increase your spell point max by enchanting and equipping an item of extra spell points when you reach the Enchanter level in the Mages Guild (or the equivalent level in the Temple of Julianos).

I just bought the xxx spell and it takes more points than I have to cast. Will I ever be able to cast it?[edit]

As you increase your skill level in the school(s) of the spell, the casting cost decreases. The minimum casting cost for any spell is 5 points.

How do I open the box for the quest the Mages Guild gave me?[edit]

See here.

What level do I need to be to start the main quests?[edit]

You choose. At 3rd level they are difficult. You must be at least 10th level to finish the last quest. Most players like to be closer to 20th or more before starting the main quests. But it's up to you.

I turned down a main quest. Will I ever be able to get it again?[edit]

No. Once you refuse a main quest, it will not be offered to you again, so if you are not strong enough to complete a main quest, reload to an earlier save and do not talk to the questgiver until you are prepared.

In the spell maker how do I change the values associated with the spell?[edit]

Many spells have duration, damage or percentage chances to work. In the spell maker they default to something of the form 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 / 1 level. This means when cast the duration, damage or percent is a base of 1 to 1 with 1 to 1 added for each level of the caster. In the spell maker you can click on the bar above or below these numbers to change them. The first pair determine the base range with the second number always being greater than or equal to the first number. If you click above the second number it will go up to 2. Click again to raise it further. If you click below the number it lowers. The second pair of numbers are the variable portion. Again the second must always be greater than or equal to the first. If you click above the first one, the variable portion goes up, below and it goes down. The last number represents is divided into the number of levels of the caster to determine the variable part. If you increase it to 2 the cost of the spell goes down but the variable portion only goes up with every other level of the caster. So if by clicking you set the numbers to 1 - 10 + 4 - 5 / 1 level and are 3rd level the value is something between 13 and 25 when the spell is cast. If you are 10th level the value of casting the same spell will be between 41 and 60.

How do I add other spells to an item in the item maker?[edit]

You need to click on the add spell line rather than hitting return when it is highlighted. That will bring you to another scroll where you can choose the spell. If you hit return, you always get the first spell.

How do I bind a soul to an item in the item maker?[edit]

Have the soul gem with the trapped soul in your inventory. Click on Add disadvantages. Click on soul bound. Click on the soul you wish to bind.

How do I capture a creature's soul?[edit]

Acquire an empty soul gem. The Mages Guild sells them. So do some temples and the Dark Brotherhood. You have to be a sufficiently ranked member to buy them. Then you need a Soul Trap spell. It's probably best to make your own, with as close to 100% chance of success as possible (or more). Duration may be kept short to keep the cost down. Find the creature. Save. Cast the spell. If it says trap activated proceed otherwise reload and cast again the target gets a chance to save. Then kill the creature before the duration runs out. The soul will be transferred to the gem for later use. Warning: when the magic item breaks the soul is released and will attack you for using it in this fashion.

Where do I find the best weapons and armor?[edit]

What you find is based on your LUCK, your level and the level of the shop, dungeon or monster you are dealing with. With sufficiently high luck you may be finding Daedric weapons by 8th level or so. Armor of a given material usually comes along about two levels after weapons. Most find Daedric weapons by about 12th level. There are 5 levels of shop: superb (incense burning), above average (skillfully crafted), average, below average (barely functional), poor (mice scurrying). The better the shop the more likely they will have better merchandise. The better the shop the higher the prices you will be charged. The worse the shop the better price you will get when selling items. Armorers and weapons shops have both armor and weapons, as do pawn shops. General stores sell weapons, but not armor.

Where can I sell my holy tomes and holy daggers?[edit]

At Pawn shops.

When I try to attack monster type xxx the game says my weapon is ineffective. What kind of weapon do I need?[edit]

All monsters can be attacked with hands as well as with magic (although some have certain immunities e.g., Fire Daedra are immune to or even healed by fire based spells). This can be hazardous to your health against Daedra, Gargoyles, Ancient Vampires, Liches or Ancient Liches all of which otherwise require mithril or better.

Imps require steel or better. Were creatures, Ghosts, Mummies, Wraiths, Vampires require silver or better. Nymphs require elven or better and Harpies require dwarven or better.

The metals in order are iron, steel, silver, elven, dwarven, mithril, adamantium, ebony, orcish and daedric. As you go up the scale, weapons made of the various metals tend to do more damage, have more hit points (last longer) and hold more enchantment points. Both weapons and armor tend to get heavier as the quality improves.

I can't find the dungeons after I fast-traveled to them[edit]

Look for a small hill in front of you, in a 20 degree radius left and right. Occasionally this door is in a wall.

My health is 4/4 what happened?[edit]

You have Lycanthropy (i.e., you are a wereboar or werewolf). If you are a were-beast and don't kill an innocent person twice every month, your hit-points are reduced to 4/4 and stay that way until you kill someone.

I just started and I'm told to visit the royal families to inform about the ghosts of Lysandrus but when I talk to them they say nothing related to the quest.[edit]

You have to gain level and reputation, then after a while you will get notes from the members of the royal families.