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We are missing the difficulty levels for all intimidation challenges, and all Speech challenges added by Dragonborn.
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Skill: Speech

The Speech skill (referred to as Speechcraft in the Console) allows you to more effectively persuade people and to barter with shopkeepers. Perks in this skill allow you to get better deals when trading, buy and sell any kind of item to any merchant, and make it more likely for a persuasion or intimidation attempt to succeed. The Speech skill tree has a total of 9 perks, requiring a total of 13 perk points to fill.

In-game Description: The skill of persuasion can be used to get better prices from merchants, and persuade others to do as you ask.

Skill Perks[edit]

Speech Perk Tree
Haggling (5 ranks): 0/20/40/60/80 Speech. Buying and selling prices are 10/15/20/25/30% better.
Allure: 30 Speech. 10% better prices with the opposite sex.
Merchant: 50 Speech. Can sell any type of item to any kind of merchant.
Investor: 70 Speech. Can invest 500 gold with a shopkeeper to increase his available gold permanently.
Fence: 90 Speech. Can barter stolen goods with any merchant you have invested in.
Master Trader: 100 Speech. Every merchant in the world gains 1000 gold for bartering.
Master Trader
Bribery: 30 Speech. Can bribe guards to ignore crimes.
Persuasion: 50 Speech. Persuasion attempts are 30% easier.
Intimidation: 70 Speech. Intimidation is twice as successful.
Speech Perk Tree
Perk Rank Description ID Skill Req. Perk Req.
Haggling 1 Buying and selling prices are 10% better. 000be128
2 Buying and selling prices are 15% better. 000c07ce 20 Speech
3 Buying and selling prices are 20% better. 000c07cf 40 Speech
4 Buying and selling prices are 25% better. 000c07d0 60 Speech
5 Buying and selling prices are 30% better. 000c07d1 80 Speech
Allure 10% better prices with the opposite sex. 00058f75 30 Speech Haggling
Merchant Can sell any type of item to any kind of merchant. 00058f7a 50 Speech Allure
Investor Can invest 500 gold with a shopkeeper to increase his available gold permanently. 00058f7b 70 Speech Merchant
Fence Can barter stolen goods with any merchant you have invested in. 00058f79 90 Speech Investor
Master Trader Every merchant in the world gains 1000 gold for bartering.¥ 001090a5 100 Speech Fence
Bribery Can bribe guards to ignore crimes. 00058f72 30 Speech Haggling
Persuasion Persuasion attempts are 30% easier. 001090a2 50 Speech Bribery
Intimidation Intimidation is twice as likely to be successful. 00105f29 70 Speech Persuasion
The Merchant perk also allows you to buy any item from a merchant's inventory. One implication is that various bugged alchemy ingredients that normally cannot be purchased become available, making some ingredients much easier to find.
Some merchants have the dialogue allowing you to Invest with them, but doing so does not result in any permanent change in the merchant's available gold. This bug is noted on the pages of individual merchants for whom it applies, and on the general merchants page, which also lists which merchants do or not allow investment - most do not.
¥The Master Trader perk increases most merchants' gold by 1000; see the merchants page for a listing of which ones.

Skill Usage[edit]

Your Speech skill determines the chance of successfully being able to get information out of an NPC using intimidation or persuasion. These Speech Challenges will be provided as options during certain dialogues. You can temporarily boost your character's effective Speech skill by activating a Shrine of Dibella; acquiring the Gift of Charity buff; drinking a Potion, Draught, Philter, or Elixir of Glibness; and equipping items that boost Speech, such as an Amulet of Dibella, the Amulet of Articulation, or the Masque of Clavicus Vile. These buffs stack, but they have different durations, so plan accordingly.

Special dialogue options include:

  • Persuade: influence someone by reasoning with them. Chances of success depend solely upon your Speech skill.
  • Intimidate: influence someone by threatening them. Success depends on the player's "scariness" being higher than the NPC's "scariness", determined by a formula.
  • Bribe: influence someone by giving them money. A formula calculates the required gold amount, a successful bribe therefore depends on having the necessary amount of gold.

Your Speech skill also affects merchant prices; prices can be further improved using some of the Speech skill perks, barter potions or enchanted equipment.

The base rate for buying/selling is based solely on your Speech skill and any perks or Fortify Barter effects are applied to prices afterwards.

Bribe Formula[edit]

NPC Morality  = (NPC Morality Actor Value * fBribeMoralityMult) + 1.0
v11 = ((NPC Actor Level * fBribeNPCLevelMult) + Player Level) - (((Player Speech Actor Value - NPC Speech Actor Value)) - 100.0) * fBribeSpeechCraftMult)
bribeValue = (v11 ^ fBribeCostCurve) * (fBribeScale * NPC Morality)

Intimidate Formula[edit]

Player's Scariness = Player Level × (1.0 + max(-1.0, (Player Speech Actor Value - NPC Speech Actor Value) ÷ 100)) ^ fIntimidateSpeechcraftCurve game setting
NPC's Scariness = NPC Level x fIntimidateConfidenceMult___ game setting

Replace ___ with the NPC's confidence level (there is a game setting for each possible confidence level).

The player's scariness can also be modified by perks with the "Mod Player Intimidation" perk entry point.

Persuasion Options[edit]

What follows is a list of all persuasion attempts that can be made in Skyrim. Spoilers in this list are intentionally kept very minor. All speech challenges fall into one of five categories: Very Easy, Easy, Average, Hard, and Very Hard. Their skill requirements to pass are 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100, respectively. Possessing the Persuasion perk reduces the requirements on all but Very Easy challenges by 30%, dropping them to 10, 18, 35, 53, and 70, respectively. Wearing the Amulet of Articulation allows you to succeed at any persuasion check in the game regardless of skill.

Impossible to Fail[edit]

Very Easy (10)[edit]

Easy (25/18)[edit]


Average (50/35)[edit]

This persuasion challenge was cut from the game. These NPCs (Drahff and Hewnon) are instead always hostile to you.

Hard (75/53)[edit]

  • Convincing a guard to ignore minor crimes.
  • Convincing Markarth guards to leave you alone, but even then you will still be taken to Cidhna Mine; it is one of the few speech checks in the game that always fails regardless of skill.
  • During a random encounter with an adventurer who calls you a milk drinker, backing away from the fight.

Very Hard (100/70)[edit]


Prices are computed by the following:

The Base Price Factor is calculated by your skill level; each skill rank reduces the price factor by .013 by default, and skill levels over 100 have no effect:

price factor = fBarterMax - (fBarterMax - fBarterMin) * min(skill,100)/100
price factor = 3.3 - 1.3*min(skill,100)/100
price factor = 3.3 - .013*min(skill,100)
  • fBarterMax default is 3.3, fBarterMin default is 2.0 (defines a base vendor-selling-range of 200% to 330% of an item's base value, and a vendor-buying-range of 30% to 50%).
  • the function min(x,y) return the smallest of two or more arguments (here, [skill-level] or [100]).

The modified Price Factor depends on perks and Fortify Barter bonus:

sell price modifier = HagglingS * AllureS * (1 + Fortify Barter from potion) * (1 + the sum of Fortify Barter from equipment + Fortify Barter from Blessing of Zenithar)
buy price modifier = HagglingB * AllureB * (1 - Fortify Barter from potion) * (1 - the sum of Fortify Barter from equipment - Fortify Barter from Blessing of Zenithar)

The final price combines the two Price Factors and rounds to the nearest whole number:

sell price = round(value of item * sell price modifier / base price factor)
buy price = round(value of item * buy price modifier * base price factor)

HagglingS = 1.10 at Rank 1, 1.15 at Rank 2, 1.20 at Rank 3, 1.25 at Rank 4, 1.30 at Rank 5. AllureS = 1.10

HagglingB = 0.91 at Rank 1, 0.87 at Rank 2, 0.83 at Rank 3, 0.80 at Rank 4, 0.77 at Rank 5. AllureB = 0.91

Buying multipliers are the reciprocal of the respective selling multiplier, but rounded to two decimal places (a percentile). Do not use unrounded (untruncated) values, as it will yield incorrect results. (For example, at rank 2, HagglingB is 0.87. 1/1.15 is actually slightly less than 0.87, so using the full (untruncated) value may get you a lower-than-actual buying multiplier.)
  • At 0 skill and no perks, the final price factor is 3.3 for buying and 0.303 for selling.
  • At 15 skill and no perks, the final price factor is 3.10 for buying and 0.322 for selling.
  • At 100 skill and no perks, the final price factor is 2 for buying and 0.5 for selling.
  • At 100 skill and all haggling perks, the final price factor is 1.54 for buying and 0.65 for selling.
  • At 100 skill and all perks, including Allure, the final price factor is 1.4014 for buying and 0.715 for selling.
  • Trade price cap: (max sell price = value * 1.00), (min buy price = value * 1.05).

Skill levels over 100 have no effect.


Investing 500 gold into a business with the Investor perk immediately increases their current gold by 500. Investing is as simple as speaking to a merchant NPC and selecting the 'I want to invest in your business' option. This can only be done at the same time of day as they would normally allow sales.

All merchants who are available for investments are identified in the notes column on the Merchants article.

Skill Increases[edit]

Character Creation[edit]

The following races have an initial skill bonus to Speech:


Skill Books[edit]

Free Skill Boosts[edit]

Gaining Skill XP[edit]

  • Trading with merchants will increase the Speech skill. The amount of skill progress gained is based on the actual value of the item, rather than the amount for which it is bought/sold. Skill progress is not limited by the merchant's available gold.
However, if you trade multiple units of an item at the same time, you will only gain experience equivalent to trading a single unit; for optimal leveling, sell each item one at a time and sell expensive items (e.g. if you have 89 plates and you want to maximize skill gain, you must sell them one at a time instead of all together; it's important to note that you do NOT need to press Esc to exit the merchant's trading window then talk to him again for every plate you have to sell—you should sell them all in a single "transaction", but one at a time).
  • Fortify Speech and Barter allow for more items to be purchased for a given amount of gold, which increases skill gains.
  • Successful Persuade, Intimidate, and Bribe attempts in conversations will also increase the skill.
  • Barter with skill trainers that sell items (trainer-merchants). At higher levels (51 and up) buying 5 training sessions from a trainer-merchant will cost a minimum of 8,200 gold. This will temporarily buff the amount of gold that the trainer-merchant has on hand by the amount of gold used for training sessions. Then you can sell items to the trainer-merchant. At the highest levels you can trade 28,000 worth of items in a single visit if you have saved a level up prior to training (this allows 5 training sessions, a level up, then another immediate 5 sessions). This can require a lot of gold on hand and you should avoid allowing the trainer-merchant to accumulate more than 32,767 gold due to a bug with merchant banks.
  • One method for those who have a very large amount of money is to don your best haggling apparel (e.g. Guild Master's Hood and a Necklace of Haggling), go to the local fence and sell/rebuy your most expensive weapons (e.g. a pair of Legendary Blades of Woe) repeatedly until your skill increases to the desired level.[verification needed — see talk page] As you will lose money (the amount varies based on perks and equipment) with every sell/buy cycle, the merchant will end up with a vast quantity of gold if you continue the exercise for long enough. At this point you can sell all your more expensive items (i.e. those items which will normally cost the merchant most of their gold) as well as any others to the merchant until they are back down to 0 gold, or you have run out of items to sell.
  • One way to train this skill without spending money is to commit a crime with a very low bounty, such as trying to pick a lock one time or stealing an item with a value of less than 10 gold. When your bounty is 5 gold or less, guards may ignore such crimes unless you speak to them. In dialogue, you may get a Persuasion option for the guard to overlook your crime. If you fail the persuasion check with such a low bounty, the guard may ignore the crime anyway. By speaking with and persuading every guard you encounter (except the one who witnessed the crime), your Speech will go from 50 to 100 in 10-15 visits to the town. A bounty of 10 gold may be too high to use this technique. Take note, however: this requires at least 53 Speech (with the Persuade perk) to work; alternately, if you have the gold to spare, you can bribe the guards repeatedly for the same benefit. [verification needed]
  • The Fortify Restoration or Fortify Alchemy/Enchanting exploit can be used to acquire items of extremely high value, which when sold will grant immense boosts to the Speech skill.
  • Speech is one of two skills which has a different Console ID than the name, the other being Archery. The actual Console ID for Speech is Speechcraft. For example, the Console code for improving Speech is AdvancePCskill Speechcraft <#>.
  • There are some quests that can repeatedly persuade NPC by exiting the dialogue after the persuasion and before quest stage advances. For example, No News is Good News, The Black Star, Buy Dwarven artifact, and Hard Answers.


Achievements related to the Speech skill are:

  • SR-achievement-Snake Tongue.png Snake Tongue (10 points/Bronze) — Successfully persuade, bribe, and intimidate


When you reach a high level in this skill, guards will sometimes comment:

  • "Don't think you can barter with me like I'm one of those damned shopkeepers."
  • "Heard about you and your honeyed words."


  • If you raise a merchant's gold to 32,768 it will freeze. It will continue to allow you to sell your items, but you will not receive any gold.
    • To reset, wait the 48 hours for an inventory refresh. You can also save, attack the merchant, and load; this refreshes their inventory, and is much faster.
  • Some of the merchants may "forget" that you invested in their shop and lose the option for having extra buying gold. This appears to affect female alchemy merchants much more than male merchants or merchants of general goods stores (e.g. Angeline's Aromatics in Solitude will never remember an investment).
  • Selecting the Fence perk may allow you to sell stolen goods to any merchant, not just those you have invested in as the perk description states.
  • When resetting your Speech skill, you still retain your ability to invest in merchants, without having to have that perk or having a speech skill high enough to be able to get this perk. This is also true for Master Trader—all related merchants will still have 1000 more gold even after you lose the perk.
  • During Stabilized, Sapphire has speech options, but none of them perform the proper checks to see if you could succeed. This makes persuading her always succeed by default, no matter what level of Speech you have.
  • Allure only provides a 9% bonus when buying items instead of a 10% bonus as is stated in the description.