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> Renee's Modding Thread
post Jul 26 2020, 06:07 PM
Post #61

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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland

Horse Rentals. Game: TES IV: Oblivion

This is going to make a horse rentable in TES IV: Oblivion. Renting a horse (rather than buying one) is good for someone who hasn't go a lot of money available yet. Another advantage is: if the horse gets killed, at least the PC did not blow weeks or even months of earnings! In roleplay terms: maybe the character has also not become too attached to the poor horse in such a scenario.

So this idea is going to make it possible to rent a horse for one month, from a Chestnut Handy NPC who I'm something going to call Stable Master, or aaaStableMaster. After the horse is rented, it is essentially owned by the Player. After a month has passed, the horse will return to Chestnut Handy Stables, near the Imperial City. It will also no longer belong to the Player.


OBJECT window > Actors > NPC
1). Edit an NPC, doing all the usual steps, and place this NPC wherever. This is going to be the stable master who we rent the horse from. I am going to call this guy aaaStableMaster

I am placing my NPC (an orc) into the Chestnut Handy pen, where all the horses are kept. In fact, my original idea was so make this NPC sell horses, not rent them, since the vanilla game doesn't allow us to buy horses here (ahem). But buying horses is nothing new. I want to try something new.

Now to make the horse itself. Horses are to be found in two areas of the Construction Set's Object window: Creature > Creature or Creature > Horse.

--Do not edit anything from the Creature > Creature section. These cannot be ridden. These are (in fact) the wild horses which can sometimes be seen south of the Imperial City.

--Do not edit anything quest-related, or anything from the MyHorse area. nono.gif
--Do not edit an ImpLegion horse.

Actors > Creature > Horse
2a). Right-click > Edit a basic horse, such as HorsePaint. These are good to start with since they haven't got any scripts.

2b). Change ID and Name, I am calling it aaaPaintHorseRental and Paint Horse Rental.

Stats tab
2c). By default, most horses are Level 1, and they are somewhat weak. A Bay has 250 health, for instance. This may seem quie a lot, but since it's possible for a person to acquire even more, I don't feel bad toggling PC Level Offset on. This horse is special. It can have hundreds more health. It'll last longer, if it happens to get into a fight!

Toggle Respawn on (if it's not on). You can leave Can Corpse Check toggled on or off.

2e). Get rid of any AI packages.

By default, base horses have zero Aggression, 50 Confidence, 25 Energy Level, and 50 Responsibility.. They will never pick fights, but somehow they'll be able to know if our character is stealing. Weird. Change these around, if desired.

Factions tab
By default, basic horses are part of the Prey faction, which has an interfaction relationship of -50 to the Creature Faction. Yikes. It's up to you if you'd like to place this horse into the HorsePC faction (which causes the horse to stay absolutely loyal to the Player, unless broadly attacked over and over) or play around with a customized faction. The reason this is important is by default, horses get attcked by a lot of Player enemies, which can get annoying. It might be prudent to try to change this.

I am going to experiment by not putting the horse into any faction at all. Because like I said, the vanilla game has an annoying habit of making enemies attack our horse first, instead of attacking the PC. Maybe this has something to do with the HorsePC faction MyHorses are placed into.

2f). Click OK, saving as a New Form. Find an appropriate worldspace, and place the horse out into the world.

2g). Give the horse a Reference ID. I am calling it aaaPaintHorseRentalRef. Copy this ID and paste it onto a Notepad page so it can be pasted into scripts later.

2h). Click on the Ownership tab, and find the NPC stablehand in the NPC scroll-bar. If the horse is not rented, this NPC owns the horse, and it's considered stealing if it's not paid for. Click OK.

OBJECT window > WorldObjects > Static
3). Drag an XMarker out into the Render window. Give this X-marker a Reference ID. I am calling it aaaPaintHorseReturnXMarker. This marker is where the horse will return after its rental terms is over.

Again, copy this ID and paste it onto the same Notepad page, so it can be pasted into scripts later.

QUEST window
4a). Start a new quest. This quest does not need a name, unless you want it to appear in the Quests section of the in-game menu for some reason. Otherwise, this quest does not require stages, and therefore does not need a Name.

Change Priority to 30. This is the standard number for Bethesda's own Horse quest.

4c). Leave Start Game Enabled toggled on. Toggle Allow repeated conversation topics on as well.

4d). GetIsPlayableRace == 1.00 goes into the Quest Conditions winow.

Start a script, and add these variables.

scriptname aaaHorseQuestScript

short Rent
short Timer
short StartDay

Save that, click OK, and reopen the quest window. Find the script in the scroll-bar and click OK. Reopen the quest window.

Topics tab
5a). We're going to make a total of five GREETINGs. Each one has a different set of options and QuestVariables.

Greeing one is what starts the dialog. "Hi, my name is Bob. I rent horses here at Chestnut Handy Stables...." this NPC explains that he or she rents horses, rather than sells them (or eats them).

5b). In the Conditions window, make a GetISID for the NPC created ealier.

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 0.00

In the Result Script box, type Set QuestName.Rent to 1

5d). Right-click > AddTopic into the Add Topics window. Start a new topic called aaaHorseTopic. Add this into the Editor ID window, too.

Greeting Two: this gets spoken if dialog is started (the first GREETING is spoken), but for some reason the PC backs out of conversation.
The dialog spoken during Greeting two can be siomething simple. "Can I help you?" Conditions go like this...

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 1.00

Add the same aaaHorseTopic into the Add Topics window.

Greeting Three: this is another interim greeting, spoken when the QuestVariable is at 2. Again, this gets spoken if the Player backs out of conversatio early, but then returns to the NPC.

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 2.00

Add the same aaaHorseTopic into the Add Topics window.

Set QuestName.Rent to 1 goes into the Result Script box.


Greeting Four gets spoken after the player-character rents the horse, backs out of conversation, but for whatever reason returns to speak to the NPC stable master. "How is your horse? I hope everythin is satisfactory." and so on. By now, the PC temporarily owns the beast.

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 3.00

Add aaaHorseTopic into the Add Topics window. A Result Script is not needed.


Greeting Five is used after the horse rental has ended, and the player retuns to the stablehand NPC to maybe try renting it again. "You have returned.... bla bla bla."

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 4.00

Result Script: Set QuestName.Rent to 1

Add aaaHorseTopic into the Add Topics window.

Click OK and save.

QUEST window > Topics tab
6a). Select aaaHorseTopic (or whatever this first custom topic was called). Change the Topic Text name to something in plain English, if necessary.

6b). Two responses are going into the Info window.

In the first one, it is explained further to the PC that there is a horse (or horses) available for rent. "We have paints, bays, and chestnuts..." The NPC explains how much each selection will cost for that month. The stablehand also explains that after the month is over, the horse will return to its home stable. Write this response. Conditions go like this...

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 1.00

Result Script: Set QuestName.Rent to 2.

6b). In the Choices window I'll start a Paint Horse topic choice and a No choice. Eventually there will be a Bay Horse Topic choice and a Chestnut Horse Topic choice. But for now, right-click > Add Topic. Since the first horse I'm adding is a paint, I'm calling the topic aaaPaintHorseTopic.

Add aaaBayPaintTopic (or whatever it's called) into the Editor ID window.

6c). Also add a "No" topic into the Chocies window. If you already have a No topic from other quests, this can get reused. If you do not have a No topic, create one, and make sure to add it into the Editor ID as well. Here are its conditions and Result Script.

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent <= 2.00

Result Script: Set QuestName.Rent to 0

Click OK and save.

7a). Go back into the Quest window and back into the initial Horse topic (which I called aaaHorseTopic). Start a second response. "You have already rented a horse from me, is there a problem?"

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 3.00

There is no Result Script or Choices for this topic. After one horse has been rented, it is not possible to rent another; doing so would complicate things. So this topic is simply an empty 'filler' which follows the fourth GREETING.

7b). In the Editor ID window, go back to the first horse choice. I called this aaaPaintHorseTopic. Dialog can go like "Yes, I've got a fine paint available. Slow, but durable, and more highly maneuverable than a faster horse. Good for rugged terrain..."

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 2.00

7c). In the Choices window, add a "yes" choice (aaaYesPaint), and a "no" choice. The No choice can be the same No used before. Add aaaYesPaint into the Editor ID.

7d). Select aaaYesPaint in the Editor ID window. Topic Text can be changed to "Yes, I'd like to rent a paint horse." Two responses are going to be written here: one which the stablemaster will say if the PC has enough gold, and one which hte stablemaster will say if the PC does not have enough. Let's start with the first response.

7e). "Very good, that paint over there is now yours for the next thirty days..." says the stablehand. In my game, this guy will charge 120 gold for the month.

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 2.00 AND
GetGold ......... NONE.... >= 120

Make sure to toggle Run on Targlet ON for that final GetGold condition.

Result Scripts: aaaPaintHorseRentalRef.SetOwnership
Set QuestName.Rent to 3
Message: "Paint Horse has been rented for one month", 30
Player.RemoveItem Gold001 120

Notice that the SetOwnership script does not refer to the Player. It took me awhile to figure out, if nobody is referenced, the referenced item will automatically go to the Player! panic.gif (You don't know how many error messages I sat through as I kept trying to include Player here. Grr....)

7f). But what happens if the PC does not have enough money? "No, I asked for 120 gold. And this is not enough..." goes the dialog. Toggle Goodbye on, so the quest's dialog gets forced back to the beginning (from the stablehand's point of view).

GetIsID NPC: aaaStableMaster == 1.00 AND
GetGold ......... NONE....< 120.00

Again, toggle Run on Target ON for that GetGold condition.

Result Script: Set QuestName.Rent to 0[b]

Click OK and save. All the dialog has been written, so phew.

QUEST window > Quest Data tab
8a). Time to write yet another Timer script. I love these things. This has already been started with the three short variables.

scriptname aaaHorseQuestScript

short Rent
short Timer
short StartDay

Begin GameMode

If (Timer == 0)
If (aaaHorseQuest.Rent == 3)
Set Timer to 1
Set StartDay to GameDaysPassed

If (Timer == 1)
If ((GameDaysPassed - StartDay) >= 30)
aaaPaintHorseRentalRef.SetOwnership aaaStableMaster
Set QuestName.Rent to 4
Set Timer to 0

Message: "My horse rental has expired.", 30



8b). Save that, click OK, and save from the main toolbar.

RENDER window
9a). Make sure the X-marker created earlier is onscreen. It also helps to find the horse as well, and have both of these items onscreen. Double left-click on the horse, and click its AI button. Two packages are needed: one which causes the horse to return home after the rental has expired, and one which causes the horse to NOT return home, assuming it's been paid for.

Let's start the go home package. Right-click > New into the AI Package List window. Name the ID something specific for that horse, such as aaaPaintHorseReturnHome. Click on the Package Type scroll-bar and find Travel.

9c). Toggle Must Reach Location and Defensive Combat on. You can also toggle Always Run on, which might allow the horse to make it back home without getting pwned.

9d). Click on the Conditions tab. GetQuestVarible 'QuestName', Rent == 4.00 goes here.

9e). Click on the Location tab. Toggle Near Reference on, click Select Reference in Render Window, and double left-click on the X-marker. Click OK.

9f). Right-click > New into the AI Package List window again, and name its ID aaaPaintHorseDismounted. Find Wander in the Package Type scroll-bar.

9g). Toggle Must Complete on. Defensive Combat can also be toggled on.

9h). Conditions tab: GetQuestVariable 'QuestName', Rent == 3.00.

9i). Location tab: select Near Current Location and use a binary number (such as 512) for the Radius slot. This way, the horse will wander around a bit when dismounted, looking for grass to munch on, perhaps. It is also possible to simply choose 0 for Radius, if you really want to keep the horse from wandering into trouble.

Note that when dismounting the horse, this will cause any other rentable horses to also wander a bit in their stables, way back home! This is safe, as long as "home" is not located near an enemy lair.

9j). Click OK. Click Save. Click OK. And Save.

This post has been edited by Renee: Aug 20 2020, 02:40 PM
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post Sep 27 2020, 12:47 AM
Post #62

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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland

Trigger Zones, Game: Fallout 3

Fallout 3 does have X-markers, but it also uses what are called trigger zones or 'triggers" to setstage quests and perform various script-related functions as we pass through them. Triggers can be more effective than X markers. The reason is, trigger zones can be structured to cover an entire area, to make sure the PC will pass through them. X-markers, on the other hand, require scripts to determine how close we are, which don't always work as well.

Here is a good video to watch, for those who want better visual aids.


Otherwise, here are some text instructions.

CELL window
1). Go into the Cell or Worldspace where the trigger zone is going to be added.

2). On the main toolbar, find the T button. It looks like a child's block with a T in it, and is just right of the NavMesh button (with red scribbles in it). Click this button.

3). In the Render window, left-click somewhere on the ground, and drag upon it. It helps if the area where you are clicking does not have a bunch of stuff on it (items, Markers, etc.). After you drag on the ground.

4). At first, nothing might happen. Or perhaps a red square will show onscreen. If nothing is seen, just move the mouse upwards (without holding any buttons). Now we should be seeing a transperant red cube. This red cube will be what activates the next stage of the quest, or the next script variable, or whatever.

Once we're back in game, walking THROUGH this red area is what makes things happen, so if it's not big enough, or if it's not in the right area, chances are it might need to be redrawn or dragged. These red cubes can be tricky to move around though.

5). Double left-click on the red cube. This will pull up the Activator panel.

6). We'll need to give it a new ID. Click on the New toggle (next to the ID pane), and give it a new ID name. "Name" is not important, and can be deleted, even.

7). If there is any Script on this Activator, get rid of it by moving the scroll-bar to NONE. Click OK. And Save.

Note: After we close the Activator panel, notice there are a bunch of colored lines & arrows in the cube. Now it can be moved and manipulated. Just left-click and drag. Pull or collapse. The video can give better visuals, of course.

8). Double-click on the red cube. Next, click on Edit Base. Now we're going to add a script, which can be left as an Object. It should look like this..

scn XnameScript

Begin OnTriggerEnter Player

If (GetStage == X)
SetStage X


Save the script, click OK on the Activator panel, and reopen it.

9). Click Persistent Reference ON.

10). Click OK and as always, save.

The instructions below are for those who wish to attach the trigger zone to a Quest Objective, such as a marker.

11). Open up the Quest window you've been working on (if there is one). Go into the Quest Objectives tab. In the Target Ref window, add a target if this hasn't been done already.

12). In the Quest Objectives tab's Cell scroll-down bar, locate the area where the red cube has been added, and select its Ref.

Note: If this cube has been placed outside (especially somewhere in Wilderness) it may not show up in the scroll-bar. If this is so, click on the "Select Reference in Render Window" button. Make sure that the Render window is still displaying the area where the red cube has been created. Double-click on the cube, and it should automatically get selected as the Ref.

This post has been edited by Renee: Sep 27 2020, 03:36 AM
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post Sep 28 2020, 02:55 PM
Post #63

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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland


Timer script with seconds


A REF variable stores a ref ID that you snatch out of the game in realtime. Like. if I am in combat with Fawkes, and I run the script commands:

Some stuff must use FLOAT values, such as additemhealthpercent.
Some stuff must use SHORT or INT, such as getweaponhealthperc

My understanding is that Short and Int don't get to have decimal point values after them. Float does. And Float numbers can hold values that are larger than Short ant Int - - like, really, really huge values, bigger than almost anyone would have a use for.\

I don't know what LONG is.

Float means floating point... which means has a "point" in it.

"Short" for the Geck is a 32 bit signed integer. This is large enough that you will not likely overrun it.

For Oblivion, short is only a 16 bit signed integer. Still pretty large.

In summary, use floats when you need fractional parts, use short otherwise.

Since using the GECK, I use only REF, FLOAT, and INT variables.

I prefix my variables with the first letter of the type of variable it is.
For example:
int iVariableName
float fVariableName
ref rVariableName

I stay away from labeling the INTs as SHORTs, because FOSE allows STRING variables, so
string sVariableName
won't get confused with
short sVariableName

This post has been edited by Renee: Oct 27 2020, 10:56 PM
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post Oct 29 2020, 11:17 PM
Post #64

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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland

https://web.archive.org/web/20130429160307/...ObjectReference -- has an example of locking a door via script. Just follow links in the wiki to also get it to Unlock.


To add a spell effect to somebody in Skyrim just by putting something on...



If you want a script to run on a piece of equipment when it is equipped, and affect the actor that has it equipped, you'll want to use a structure like this:int bEquipped
ref rContainer

Begin OnEquip
set bEquipped to 1
set rContainer to GetContainer

Begin GameMode
if bEquipped
; Do stuff using rContainer

Begin OnUnequip
set bEquipped to 0


Disable referenced NPC 10 seconds after pwning


Activate Parent and Enable Parent tabs, yes? The Activate Parent tab is used when you want an activator (like a door) to be activated by something else (like when opening a vault gear door by flipping a switch as opposed to just "activating" the door itself). If you set up an activate parent, the activator object will then be activated by the object itself and the parent object. If you check the "Parent Activate Only" flag on the tab, then only the parent will activate it.

The Enable Parent is more or less the same thing except instead of Activating, it enables/disables an object based of the parent's enable state. One way to use this is to set a bunch of lights that have their enable parent set to an Xmarker. Then when you enable the Xmarker, all the lights will be enabled as well (turn on). When you disable the Xmarker, all the lights will be disabled (turn off).


Change Creation Kit page size?

Did a quick test and by changing the value of

Creation Kit X=
Creation Kit Y=
Creation Kit W=
Creation Kit H=

I was able to play with the startposition and size of the windows. Use at you own discretion as I am a total noob regarding inifiles.


Papyrus is very “type-oriented”. In programmer terms, it is “strongly-typed”. The best way I can think of to explain it would be that the compiler has a very narrow view of what you can and cannot do with various kinds of objects in the game (also known as “types”).

As an example, think of a car. The “Car” is our “type”. You can tell a “Car” to drive by writing: “Car.Drive()”. But you cannot tell a car to fly, because a car is not an airplane. So “Car.Fly()” doesn’t work. (And would give you the “function doesn’t exist error”)

One thing that can be incredibly useful if you are having trouble with a specific function is to search the other scripts included with the game for the name of the function. So, if you can’t seem to get SetEssential to work, search all the files in “Skyrim/Data/Scripts/Source” for “SetEssential” with your favorite text editor, or even Windows (they’re just text files), which should help you in figuring out what to do differently. Simply extending a different script will most likely make your script not run at all on the object you attached it to (because the game won’t let you run a quest script on an actor, for example), and importing another script is simply shorthand that is mostly useful for global functions.

This post has been edited by Renee: Jan 17 2021, 12:09 AM
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post Nov 28 2020, 03:00 AM
Post #65

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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland

I have found a really good Daggerfall tutorial which was originally written in Beth's forums by BOX MAAAN. I'm copy/pasting most of it, so if I ever get involved with Daggerfall again I'll have this guide ready.



This is the easy part. Just check out "DaggerfallSetup"; it's an installer that comes with a preconfigured DOSBox and a bunch of unofficial patches, so after everything is all installed all you have to do is double-click a shortcut and you're in the game. You can download Daggerfall from Bethesda's official website, but I'd strongly recommend just sticking with DaggerfallSetup. And don't worry, it's completely legal.

It also comes with a few extra goodies. Once you get into the game and make your first save, open the Eye of Argonia application in your Daggerfall installation folder and run it to patch your savegames to increase your view distance. Don't ever touch the detail slider on any of your saves, before or after running this patch, otherwise it won't work. And if your save ever gets screwed up in some way, try using Fixsave on it before giving up.


The first thing you want to do when you wake up in Privateers' Hold is customize the control scheme to something more to your liking. With a little tinkering, you can make Daggerfall's controls feel positively modern - which for me is a huge help in making the game enjoyable. I can't tell you what your ideal control scheme is, but�€�

Turn on mouse look. For the love of Arkay, turn on mouse look. Daggerfall was one of the earliest games to feature full mouse look, and don't you ever take it for granted.

Remap WASD so that it uses "Slide Left/Right" instead of "Turn Left/Right". Mouse is covering the camera, so for the most part you can forget about the Turn Left/Right mappings.

Since you're using mouse look, you'll need to use either "Activate Center Object" to interact with things (which works just like it does in modern Elder Scrolls games), or "activate cursor" to temporarily toggle off mouse look and bring up the cursor to click on whatever you want to interact with. I generally just use "Activate center object", but Daggerfall doesn't have a crosshair it can sometimes be tricky to activate those little switches and stuff - "activate cursor" comes in handy there.

You could also enable fullscreen to disable that bar at the bottom of the screen with all of your interact options and the wait/rest menu - it's not as useful if you're using mouse look, and in fullscreen your HUD will just be you health/magicka/fatigue bars and your compass, which looks nice.

"Float Up/Down" are used for when you're underwater, or under the effects of a levitation spell.

I've honestly never used the "steal/grab/info/talk" mode keys - generic activate seems to be pretty smart about what you're doing when you click on something, but maybe you'll need "Steal mode" to pickpocket people. Never knew if just crouching/sneaking let you pickpocket people like in the later games.

As it happens, "Sneak" doesn't put you in a stealth crouch like the later games, it just slows down your speed so you can tip-toe around, since faster movement means more noise. Similarly, your starting speed isn't as bad as in Morrowind so "run" feels like actual sprinting. And the fatigue drain from running isn't too bad, so feel free to run around a lot. I never had much use for "crouch" or "slide", but you will need crouch for a dreaded wall opening in Wayrest Castle.

You need to be moving when you jump if you want to jump in any direction other than straight up.

"Cast Spell" brings up your spell list. Double-click a spell (or hit Enter with that spell highlighted) to cast it: on-self effects (and Open, for some reason) will automatically cast, but on-touch and ranged spells are only loaded; you'll have to hit the "activate center object" key to fire. On-touch requires a valid target (so with an enemy within attacking range), on-target can be fired regardless. Recast spell loads whatever spell you last cast. "Abort spell" unloads any spell you've loaded but haven't cast, as well as refunds the magicka cost. "Use magic item" works like "Cast spell", but instead of opening the spellbook it opens a list of magic items in your inventory to load spells from.

"Rest" is how you wait to pass time. Resting restores your health/magicka/fatigue, loitering doesn't but it passes the time just the same. Loitering is for when you need to pass the time in a city until the shop/guild you want is open - don't rest inside a city, or you'll get arrested for vagrancy. You can't loiter for more than three hours at a time, because Daggerfall hates you. Just re-enter the menu every three hours.

"Transport" opens a menu where you can choose whether to walk, or mount your horse and/or cart. You need to buy a horse and cart at any general trader, and then when you do they'll exist in hammerspace until you mount them with this key - can't do it in interiors of course, and remember if you're riding on your horse or cart you won't be able to grind your Running/Jumping skills. If that's important to you. Also, if you own a ship, you can use this menu to basically teleport to it.

Think of "automap" as the local map from the modern games - a top-down look at the city or interior space you're hanging out in. The automap inside dungeons is super useful, and even more frustrating to actually use; but it's not hard to get used to. The travel map is the world map, and you'll use it to, yup, fast-travel. Which isn't optional, by the way. And don't misspell the whacky fantasy name of the location you're traveling to, the map isn't smart enough to guess what you were saying.

You can access your inventory menu from the character sheet, in case you need to be conservative with how many buttons you have (for instance, if you're trying to use a controller). Status tells you the time, date, and your current health. "Logbook" shows you any active quest notes, and your main quest progress. "Notebook" is for any dialog you save, but I honestly haven't really used it all that much.

Oh right, weapons. "Ready weapon" is just the draw/sheathe key. You can equip two one-handed weapons, and switch between them with "switch hand". "Swing weapon" is the part everyone gets confused on, but IMO once you know how to use it combat feels great. You don't attack by pressing "swing weapon", you hold down that key while you move the mouse to attack. So just think of it as "attack mode": with "swing weapon" held, you use your mouse to attack, and with it up, you use your mouse to look around normally. For reference: Mouse up is a thrust (lower damage, better accuracy), mouse down is a chop (higher damage, lower accuracy), diagonal attacks do slightly more damage with slightly less accuracy, and horizontal attacks are neutral. You can even just hold down the "swing weapon button" and draw circles with your mouse, and you'll get by in most cases.


My favorite feature in Daggerfall is the most open-ended, and most utterly broken, character creation in the entire series. If you pick a preset class via list or personality test, you'll have a fine experience; but in this guide I want to go into detail about how to get the most of the custom classmaker, with and without exploits. I'll also touch on the background questions that come after deciding your character class, which has some important parts to it.

Attributes: distribution is pretty straightforward, any points you add to an attribute must be subtracted from another. Attributes can't go higher than 75 or lower than 10 here. (Exploit: if you hit U in the classmaker screen, it resets the counter for attribute distribution to zero while keeping any changes you made. Useful for creating a god character, but this is indisputably cheating.) UESP does a fine job of describing each attribute, but a few notes:

Speed governs attack speed, not just movement speed. Since the combat is dice-roll based like Morrowind, it may be more beneficial to boost speed and your frequency of attacks than it is to boost damage with Strength.

I'd say the biggest dump stat would have to be Personality. It affects barter prices, but finding enough gold is hardly a problem. It also affects your ability to get information from people, which basically amounts to asking for directions. Which isn't difficult to do, at all.

Skills: Daggerfall has 35 skills, more than any other Elder Scrolls game, but it also has the highest number of useless skills in any Elder Scrolls game. You may have difficulty filling out your list of class skills with things you actually care about. A few notes:
Since combat is dice-roll based, your best bet is to pick one weapon skill and just stick with that. Of these, Long Blade is probably the best, but keep in mind that bladed weapons deal half damage to Skeleton Warriors (but not any other skeletal enemies, like Liches, I think). And there are no artifacts that use the Axe skill, if that's something you care about.

Lockpicking is a pretty crummy skill even if you're a thief-type character. It's automatically checked at any locked doors, and to my knowledge even if you raise it up it's not very reliable and doesn't work on any magically sealed doors. You can bash any door you could potentially lockpick, so just do that and have an Open spell handy for any magic locks.

Language skills are useless. Don't even bother. For reference, a language skill is checked when you approach an applicable enemy with your weapon down, and if the check is successful, all that happens is that particular enemy isn't hostile to you. And to be honest, I can count the number of Centaurs and Dragonlings I've seen in this game on one hand, so their language skills are even more useless.

It's worth checking UESP to see the schools of any spells you plan on casting. Daggerfall's spell schools are�€� bizarre, from the perspective of a modern Elder Scrolls player.

Difficulty dagger: this shows how much time it will take for your character to advance their skills. It goes up when you take an advantage or increase your HP gain, and goes down when you take a disadvantage or lower your HP gain. Your class isn't acceptable if the dagger is ever in the red.

Hit Points per level: the amount of HP you gain with each level up is anywhere between this number and half of this number. Plus your bonuses from Endurance. I've always liked playing tanky, so I generally pump this up, but it's your call how high you want to go. I wouldn't go extremely low, though.

Advantages and disadvantages: this is where you can really break the game.
Acute Hearing, Adrenaline Rush, and Athleticism aren't really worthwhile advantages.

"Bonus to Hit" is good, but I wouldn't suggest picking it for Animals. That may give you a small boost early on, but animals are generally the weakest creatures in this entire game. Likewise, this means animals are the best group to take the "Phobia" disadvantage for, since they're the least threatening option and all of the phobias are worth the same on the difficulty dagger.

Take "Expertise In" whatever weapon skill you chose for your class. This will increase your accuracy even further with that weapon type, which will remain useful for the majority of the game. Likewise, you can take "forbidden weapon type" for any weapon types you never, ever plan on using to get more mileage out of your difficulty dagger. Maybe don't forbid Short Blades, though.

Increased Magery is essential if you ever plan on casting more than just a few spells. By default, your max magicka is only half of your Intelligence, which is barely good enough for the weakest spells. Don't be afraid to go all the way to 3x INT in spell points. I strongly recommend you have at least enough magicka for basic spells.

Immunity, Resistance, Low Tolerance, and Critical Weakness are pretty self-explanatory, but a few things to clear up: "Magic" in this sense is an element alongside poison, fire, frost, or shock; it's not all-encompassing like it is in Oblivion or Skyrim. By glancing at the bestiary on UESP and looking at all of the enemy spells, it seems like the best element to take a weakness to is Frost - it's the least common element among higher level spellcasters, so you'll only ever need to worry about Ice Daedra after you level up a little. Most of the other elements are about equally common, although Poison seems to be the second least common after frost.

Also! Feel free to take a critical weakness to paralysis. All you need if you ever get paralyzed, is to cast Free Action. Which is one of the cheapest spells in the game, and easy for even non-mages to cast. Plus, if you start as a High Elf, your racial immunity to Paralysis completely overrides any class weakness to it you pick, for some free space on the difficulty dagger. That's kinda exploity, though, sooo...

Regenerate health, I think, isn't worth the chunk it takes out of your difficulty dagger. Damage health, similarly, I don't think is worth taking in any context. Worth mentioning that for the purposes of these effects, and any other advantage/disadvantage, "darkness" means not just night, but inside every dungeon. Which is where 90% of the game takes place, and where your choices here really matter.

Rapid Healing, on the other hand, might be a worthy timesaver. It increases how much HP you heal for each hour you rest, and since most quests have a time limit, this will give you some extra breathing room to rest up without running out the clock. It doesn't increase how quickly you recover fatigue or magicka from resting, though, so if those are tapped out it won't make a difference.

Spell absorption is weird. Your chance to absorb spells half your INT+WIL, but you can also absorb the magicka from your own area-of-effect spells if you get caught in the splash damage. And any magicka absorbed over your max directly damages your health. Magicka burn, it is called.

I don't recommend taking "Forbidden Armor Type: Plate" as that forbids you from everything but the first two tiers of armor. The classmaker makes it seem like leather, chain, and plate are Daggerfall's version of light, medium and heavy armors; but there aren't any armor skills, armor only factors into your defense and not things like movement or fatigue drain, and leather and chain are simply the two weakest tiers of armor. On the contrary, you could get away with forbidding yourself from using leather and/or chain, and never miss either after leveling up once or twice.

"Forbidden Shield Type", you can take or leave. Shields aren't actively used like in Oblivion or Skyrim, or even activated like a dice roll in Morrowind - they're just an extra armor slot you can throw on if you're not wielding two weapons, or a two-handed weapon.

Reputations: Optional, and just affects your rep with generic groups in the game. No huge game-changers here.

Background questions: One nifty feature about Daggerfall is that it will automatically generate your character's backstory depending on your class and how you answer some of these background questions. Most of this is just flavor, or for some marginal stat changes that you can find in the UESP, but two things to highlight:

One of the questions will ask you what you got as a gift from the Emperor. Choose the Ebony Dagger. Always. (and make sure you haven't forbidden your character from using Short Blades in the Classmaker) This means you'll start the game with one of the most powerful daggers in the game. Most other weapon types will start to outperform it as you upgrade to a higher tier, and you'll want to focus on whatever weapon type you picked as your class skill - but the Ebony Dagger will be a huge lifesaver if you ever encounter an enemy that's immune to your current weapon material. Ebony is capable of damaging anything - up until you find Mithril at later levels, there will be enemies your current weapon may not be able to damage. Especially if it's something like a Daedra spawned as part of a quest, instead of the typical level-scaled fare.

Exploit: If you take "Critical weakness to disease" as a disadvantage in the classmaker, and then take an additional weakness to disease, you'll gain complete immunity to diseases. And diseases in this game are mean. But you won't get immunity to vampirism or lycanthropy - those have a chance to transfer that isn't changed by disease resistance.

That's it for character creation. After picking your class and background, you'll be able to distribute some extra points among your skills and attributes. Fun fact: you can potentially start the game with one attribute as high as 99, if you raise it to 75 in the classmaker and keep rolling the dice for a satisfactory attribute spread. Another fun fact: You can change your character's name at any time by clicking on it in the character sheet.

I'd recommend reading a little about the leveling mechanics on UESP. Skills only advance when you rest. Every time you level up, you get 4-6 points to distribute among your attributes freely as well as a health boost determined by what you chose in class creation. You can save scum for each level-up to get the best results, but it's hard to track when your character will actually level up. And despite the save scumminess, I honestly prefer Daggerfall's leveling system to Morrowind and Oblivion's. tongue.gif


A really robust feature that I don't feel is sufficiently explained, or at least not sufficiently understood. Maybe it was obvious to everyone else but me, but the spellmaker is set up so that you can create custom spells that scale with your level. Which is awesome!

For duration and chance, look at it as [base value] plus [additional value] per [level]. Which means if I make an Open spell with 10 + 5 per level, that means I have an Open spell with a 15% success chance at level 1, that goes up by 5% with every level. Or a Water Breathing spell that gives 3 + 1 per every 2 levels, would be 3 rounds at level 1 and only 8 rounds at level 10.

And for reference, 1 "round" in Daggerfall's spellmaker is ten seconds long. So 6 rounds is a minute, 11 rounds is 110 seconds, etc.

For magnitude it's the same, but you can decide a randomized range for the base and leveled value. For example, a Fireball spell with 10-20 base damage plus 9-10 additional damage per level would do 19-30 damage at level 1, and 37-50 damage at level 3. You can see how cool this is, since you can make custom spells at the start of the game that will remain useful throughout the entire game.

You can gain access to spell merchants and the spellmaker by joining the Mages Guild. Some spells I'd recommend making as soon as you get out of Privateers' Hold, for ANY character type:

Teleport: This spell costs zero gold to make in the spellmaker because Daggerfall. But regardless of how you get it, this spell will be the biggest timesaver in the game for you. Dungeons in Daggerfall are long and labyrinthine - expect to spend hours in real-time, and days in game-time, crawling through a dungeon searching for your quest target. And once you find your quest target, you have to go back and find the dungeon entrance. Unless you prepared your teleportation spell! It's like both Mark & Recall in Morrowind - the first time you cast it, you have to set an anchor. The second time you cast it, you teleport back to that anchor. But always remember that you have to recast your anchor every time you teleport somewhere. Anchors are a one-time thing. So set an anchor at every dungeon entrance, or better yet, in front of every questgiver. Remember that quests have time limits on them, and a big chunk of that time limit is for fast-traveling to and from the location. You can shave off the return trip by teleporting back to the questgiver instead, which gives you enough time to go through the quest and rest all you want inside the dungeon without worrying about the time limit.

Levitate 1 plus 1 round every 20 levels. Basically, you'll really want a Levitation spell for exploration purposes, but you don't need it at an overlong duration; just keep recasting it if you need to maintain levitation for longer. I know climbing is a skill in Daggerfall, but Levitation is more robust and some main quest dungeons outright require you have it - they'll usually provide a little levitation buff for you by activating a random object, sure, but it's better to have your own source of levitation.

Water Breathing/Water Walking, each at 1 round plus 1 round per level. Putting both together is still an extremely cheap spell you can keep recasting as you explore deeper in water, and as you level up it'll last you longer. Worth noting that Water Walking isn't what it is in the later games where it lets you walk on the surface of water - in Daggerfall, it lets you move through water at a normal speed, which is very useful for underwater exploration. (stray thought: the underwater portions of Daggerfall's dungeons are terrifying)

Free Action, 1 round plus 1 round per level. Any time you get paralyzed by an enemy, just open your spellbook and cast this cheap spell. So easy a Nord Barbarian could do it.

Open, for when bashing down the doors isn't enough (basically whenever you find a magic lock). For this I'd recommend a low base chance and a high per-level chance, so that you have a solid chance as you level up. At 10% + 10% per level, you've got a 100% chance to open all doors at level 10.

For offensive and healing spells, if you choose to be a more dedicated spellcaster, I'd again suggest going with lower base values and higher per-level magnitudes. That will make cheap spells that slowly become fantastic as you level up and really need them.

Also worth mentioning that Shield works differently in Daggerfall, compared to the later games. In Daggerfall, Shield basically adds its magnitude as another layer of HP; you don't take any damage until your Shield either wears off or is broken from damage.

Important note: If you're going to be doing quests for the Mages Guild, there are occasionally some quests where you have to cast a specific spell. Custom spells won't do it. So make it a priority to buy the canned spells "Open" and "Sleep" if you're in the Mages Guild, even if your custom spells are better.


The final part of this little guide. I don't have a whole lot to say here, just a few general gameplay tips.

Congratulations, you've made your character and woken up in Privateers Hold. Before you start exploring, or even start messing with the controls, though�€� SAVE. Save right now, immediately as you start the game. Because if you get killed before making your first save, you'll have to go through character creation all over again. There are no autosaves in Daggerfall.

Make multiple saves. Daggerfall only has six save slots, but NEVER use just one for a character. If you think Bethesda games are buggy now, just think about how bad they were 20 years ago. As a minimum, I generally save to one slot before starting every quest, and keep a separate slot (or two) for saving during the quest. That way if something goes FUBAR during the quest, I have a save from before I even started the quest. For random quests this will mean you won't get the same quest if you reload, but that's usually just fine.

Don't ever reject a part of the main quest. Otherwise you'll never be able to complete it. Similarly, the only quest in the game with a time limit is the very first one, to speak to Lady Brisienna. Don't be late, because you can run out the clock on this quest and basically fail the entire main quest before you even start it.

The amount of loot you collect going through a random quest will dwarf whatever quest rewards you're offered, so if it looks like you're going to fail a quest for some reason you really shouldn't sacrifice a great loot haul by reloading a save. Worst case scenario, you lose a little reputation with that faction that you'll just gain back by doing another quest.

I'd say about 90% of this game is dungeon crawling. So have some good strategies for exploring dungeons - hug the right wall so you always know how to backtrack, start recognizing dungeon blocks (every dungeon in the game is built from a few dozen prefabricated dungeon sections that get procedurally put together in-game to form thousands of dungeons), and save often.

Gold has weight, every 400 gold is 1kg in Daggerfall. Go to a bank and deposit your gold, or draw it up in a letter of credit - make sure to have some plain old gold on hand for staying at taverns, though.

Read the manual, comes with the game installation in a docs subfolder. Not just because it contains useful story information, but because it's an honestly entertaining read.

8.Enjoy the game.

This post has been edited by Renee: Dec 11 2020, 07:08 PM
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