The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion FAQ/Walkthrough
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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion FAQ/Walkthrough

by Jordan_owns   Updated on
This walkthrough was originally written for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the XBOX360, but the walkthrough is still applicable to the PC version of the game.
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|                   Authors: Jordan_Owns                          |
|                   Email: jordan.1337marth(at)gmail(dot)Com               |
| || CT.TS ||                  Table of Contents                 || CT.TS || |
|               - Table of Contents.....................CT.TS                |
|               - PC Controls...........................CN.PC                |
|               - Xbox 360 Controls.....................CN.XB                |
|               - System Requirements...................00.00                |
|               - Basic Tweaking........................01.00                |
|                    - Out-of-Game Settings.............01.01                |
|                    - In-Game Settings.................01.02                |
|               - Advanced Tweaking.....................02.00                |
|                    - Read this First!.................02.01                |
|                    - INI Performance Tweaks...........02.02                |
|                    - INI MIsc. Tweaks.................02.03                |
|                    - Nvidia Coolbits Tweak............02.04                |
|               - Gameplay Mecchanics...................03.00                |
|                    - Combat...........................03.01                |
|                    - Interaction......................03.02                |
|                    - Freedom..........................03.03                |
|                    - Crime............................03.04                |
|                    - Everything Else..................03.05                |
|                         - Quests......................03.05                |
|                         - Guilds......................03.05                |
|                         - Persuasion..................03.05                |
|                         - Lockpicking.................03.05                |
|                         - Haggling....................03.05                |
|                         - Leveling Up.................03.05                |
|                         - Health......................03.05                |
|                         - Magicka.....................03.05                |
|                         - Fatigue.....................03.05                |
|                         - Vampirism...................03.05                |
|               - Skills................................04.00                |
|                    - Descriptions.....................04.01                |
|                    - Statistics.......................04.02                |
|               - Character Creation....................05.00                |
|                    - Choosing the Right Character.....05.01                |
|                    - Race & Appearance................05.02                |
|                    - Birthsigns.......................05.03                |
|                    - Character Class..................05.04                |
|               - Introduction: The Prison..............06.00                |
|                    - The Prison.......................06.01                |
|                    - The Imperial Substructure........06.02                |
|                    - The Imperial Subterrane..........06.03                |
|               - The Main Quest........................07.00                |
|                    - Deliver the Amulet...............07.01                |
|                    - Find the Heir....................07.02                |
|                    - Breaking the Siege at Kvatch.....07.03                |
|                    - Weynon Priory....................07.04                |
|                    - The Path of Dawn.................07.05                |
|                    - Dagon Shrine.....................07.06                |
|                    - Spies............................07.07                |
|                    - Blood of the Deadra..............07.08                |
|                    - Bruma Gate.......................07.09                |
|                    - Blood of the Divines.............07.10                |
|                    - Miscarcand.......................07.11                |
|                    - Allies for Bruma.................07.12                |
|                    - Defense of Bruma.................07.13                |
|                    - Great Gate.......................07.14                |
|                    - Paradise.........................07.15                |
|                    - Light the Dragonfires............07.16                |
|               - Daedric Quests........................08.00                |
|                    - Azura............................08.01                |
|               - Fighters Guild Quests.................09.00                |
|                    - A Rat Problem....................09.01                |
|                    - The Unfortunate Shopkeeper.......09.02                |
|                    - The Desolate Mine................09.03                |
|                    - Unfinished Business..............09.04                |
|                    - Drunk and Disorderly.............09.05                |
|                    - Den of Slaves....................09.06                |
|                    - Amelion's Debt...................09.07                |
|                    - The Master's Son.................09.08                |
|                    - More Unfinished Business.........09.09                |
|                    - Azani Blackheart.................09.10                |
|                    - The Wandering Scholar............09.11                |
|               - Optional Quests.......................10.00                |
|                    - The Battle for Castle Kvatch.....10.01                |
|                    - Imperial Dragon Armor............10.02                |
|               - The Arena.............................11.00                |
|                    - Pit Dog..........................11.01                |
|                    - Brawler..........................11.02                |
|                    - Bloodletter......................11.03                |
|                    - Myrmidon.........................11.04                |
|                    - Warrior..........................11.05                |
|                    - Gladiator........................11.06                |
|                    - Hero.............................11.07                |
|                    - Grand Champion...................11.08                |
|                    - Monster Arena....................11.09                |
|               - Mages Guild Quests....................12.00                |
|                    - Anvil Recommendation.............12.01                |
|                    - Bravil Recommendation............12.02                |
|                    - Bruma Recommendation.............12.03                |
|                    - Cheydinhal Recommendation........12.04                |
|                    - Chorrol Recommendation...........12.05                |
|                    - Leyawiin Recommendation..........12.06                |
|                    - Skingrad Recommendation..........12.07                |
|                    - A Mage's Staff...................12.08                |
|                    - Ulterior Motives.................12.09                |
|                    - Vahtacen's Secret................12.10                |
|                    - Necromancer's Moon...............12.11                |
|                    - Liberation or Apprehension?......12.12                |
|                    - Information at a Price...........12.13                |
|                    - A Plot Revealed..................12.14                |
|                    - The Bloodworm Helm and The.......12.15                |
|                      Necromancer's Amulet.............12.15                |
|                    - Ambush...........................12.16                |
|                    - Confront the King................12.17                |
|               - Thieves Guild Quests..................13.00                |
|                    - May the Best Thief Win...........13.01                |
|                    - Independent Thievery.............13.02                |
|                    - Untaxing the Poor................13.03                |
|                    - The Elven Maiden.................13.04                |
|                    - Ahdarji's Heirloom...............13.05                |
|                    - Misdirection.....................13.06                |
|                    - Lost Histories...................13.07                |
|                    - Taking Care of Lex...............13.08                |
|                    - Turn a Blind Eye.................13.09                |
|                    - Arrow of Extrication.............13.10                |
|                    - Boots of Springheel Jak..........13.11                |
|                    - The Ultimate Heist...............13.12                |
|               - Dark Brotherhood Quests...............14.00                |
|                    - A Knife In The Dark..............14.01                |
|                    - A Watery Grave...................14.02                |
|                    - Accidents Happen.................14.03                |
|                    - Scheduled for Execution..........14.04                |
|                    - The Assassinated Man.............14.05                |
|                    - The Lonely Wanderer..............14.06                |
|                    - Bad Medicine.....................14.07                |
|                    - Whodunit?........................14.08                |
|                    - Permanent Retirement.............14.09                |
|                    - Of Secret and Shadow.............14.10                |
|                    - Affairs of a Wizard..............14.12                |
|                    - Next of Kin......................14.13                |
|                    - Broken Vows......................14.14                |
|                    - Final Justice....................14.15                |
|                    - A Matter of Honor................14.16                |
|                    - The Coldest Sleep................14.17                |
|                    - A Kiss Before Dying..............14.18                |
|                    - Following a Lead.................14.19                |
|                    - Honor Thy Mother.................14.20                |
|               - Download Content......................20.00                |
|                    - Horse Armor Pack.................20.01                |
|               - Legal & Copyright.....................LE.AL                |
|               - Credits & Thanks......................CR.DS                |
| || CN.PC ||                       Controls                     || CN.XB || |

O== PC VERSION ==============================================================O

| Key / Button   | Function           || Key / Button   | Function           |
| Q              | Auto Move          || Tab            | Menu               |
| W              | Move forward       || Caps Lock      | Autorun            |
| A              | Slide left         || Ctrl           | Sneak mode         |
| S              | Move backward      || Alt            | Block              |
| D              | Slide right        || F5             | Quicksave          |
| E              | Jump               || F9             | Quickload          |
| R              | Switch view        || Spacebar       | Activate           |
| T              | Wait               || Left Mouse     | Attack             |
| F              | Toggle weapon      || Right Mouse    | Block              |
| Z              | Grab               || Middle Mouse   | Change view        |
| C              | Cast magic         || Mouse Wheel    | Zoom in / out      |

O== XBOX 360 VERSION ========================================================O

| Key / Button   | Function           || Key / Button   | Function           |
| N/A            | Auto Move          || B              | Menu               |
| L Thumbstick   | Move forward       || N/A            | Autorun            |
| L Thumbstick   | Slide left         || Click L Analog | Sneak mode         |
| L Thumbstick   | Move backward      || LT             | Block              |
| L Thumbstick   | Slide right        || N/A            | Quicksave          |
| Y              | Jump               || N/A            | Quickload          |
| Click R Analog | Switch view        || A              | Activate           |
| Back           | Wait               || RT             | Attack             |
| X              | Toggle weapon      || LT             | Block              |
| LB             | Grab               || Click R Analog | Change view        |
| RB             | Cast magic         || N/A            | Zoom in / out      |

--- Sections 0 through 10 were written by Alex Eagleson (A I e x) -----------

| || 00.00 ||                 System Requirements                || 00.00 || |

As you are undoubtedly aware, Oblivion is one of the most graphically 
intensive games to be released in quite some time, and there are a certain 
number of hardware "requirements" that you should meet before you attempt to 
play this game.  You should also be aware that there are many settings in the 
game that can be tweaked in order to let you play with some pretty 
ridiculously old machines assuming you don't mind having the game look like 
Daggerfall.  We'll begin with the basic manufacturer requirements. 


Windows XP 
512 MB System RAM
2 Ghz Intel Pentium Processor (or Equivalent)
128MB Direct3D Compatible Video Card DirectX 9.0 Compatible Driver
8x DVD ROM Drive
4.6 GB Free Hard Drive Space
DirectX 8.1 Compatible Sound Card


Windows XP (with Service Pack 2)
1 GB System RAM
3 Ghz Intel Pentium Processor (or Equivalent)
ATI X800 Series, Nvidia Geforce 6800 Series or Higher Video Card
8x DVD ROM Drive
4.6 GB Free Hard Drive Space
DirectX 8.1 Compatible Sound Card

When it comes to upgrading your system for performance (assuming you at least 
meet the minimum requirements) then upgrading the video card will usually be 
the best option for maximum performance and quality increase.  Upgrading your 
RAM will typically get your a decent performance and framerate increase to a 
point while as long as you meet the recommended requirements for your 
processor, you should be fine in that category.  Now we'll assume that you 
have the game and have it installed and want to start getting better quality, 
with better performance.  Believe it or not, even after you set the game up to 
fit your computer, there are advanced tweaks you can do outside of the game's 
video menu that can increase graphical quality AND performance if done right.  

| || 01.00 ||                   Basic Tweaking                   || 01.00 || |

       /(,  )
      /    /
     /    /
+-- (___ / UT-OF-GAME SETTINGS ------------------------------------- 01.01 --+

This means that for now, we'll look at changing the game's various in-game 
settings for better performance while staying away from system files and mods 
for the time being.  I'll outline what each of the settings does and how it 
affects performance so you'll have a better idea what to change to get your 
game running well.  We'll begin before you even go into the game.  When you 
click the desktop icon it will bring up a little mini menu with options like 
"Play", "Data Files," "," etc.  There should be an option 
there called "Options."  Click that tab first before you play the game.

Click the "Reset to Defaults" button at the bottom which will automatically 
detect the hardware you have installed, and change the game's defaults based 
on that.  For the typical player that will be enough, and they can play the 
game using these default settings.  These defaults however are far from 
perfect and you can undoubtedly get the game working a lot better.  The first 
option "Adapter" shows your video card after auto-detecting.  If that's not 
your video card, or you have more than one, then select yours from the drop 
down menu.  If it's not there then it probably isn't installed correctly.

Resolution is arguably the most important setting when it comes to making the 
game look nice.  The higher the resolution, the more pixels are displayed and 
therefore the more detail can be shown.  For this reason it's also one of the 
more performance intensive settings.  TO be honest your should almost 
certainly base this setting entirely around the monitor you are using unless 
your hardware really sucks.  If you think you can handle the game pretty well, 
then match the resolution to your monitor's highest possible setting.  You can 
turn down other things later to get it to run well.  If you have a widescreen 
monitor make sure you select one of the widescreen resolutions.  Usually the 
maximum resolution option you see if based on your monitor's maximum, so if 
you don't know your monitor's highest resolution then just click the biggest 
one and give it a try.  If it doesn't work, then scale it down a little.

Antialiasing is another important one, especially for people with lower 
resolutions.  It works as follows (here's a bit of a technical lesson to help 
you understand, feel free to skip to the next paragraph.)  The idea is that 
sometimes on a pixel-sized level there is some overlap between objects as to 
what colour to display on a pixel.  Usually it will decide between one or the 
other and display that colour.  Antialiasing means that rather than making 
this decision, it blends the two colours and then displays it giving 
everything a more detailed and less jagged look.  To put it less technically, 
the more antialiasing you have the less jagged edges you have.

Turning antialiasing up higher will smooth the edges between objects and give 
everything a nicer, smoother look.  I recommend antialiasing for people who 
have good hardware systems, but crappy monitors that can only support lower 
resolutions.  Since lower resolutions cannot display unique colours in smaller 
areas as well as higher resolutions, blending becomes a better option.  For 
example, my monitor handles up to 1680 x 1050 resolution which is extremely 
detailed, and the minor difference antialiasing makes does not make up for its 
hit to performance, so I keep it turned off.  For someone with a powerful 
video card who is only able to handle 1024x768, or 1280x1024 then antialiasing 
will be a good choice for them.  Just note that it is extremely performance 
intensive (compared to other settings) and I don't recommend anyone, 
regardless of system set it any higher than 4x.  You don't need any more.

Next we have windowed and full screen which is pretty self explanatory.  
People with weak systems who have to play on lower resolutions might prefer 
windowed mode so that it isn't stretched (but probably not).  The V.Sync 
option is a very important one below those two.  V. Sync is used to sync up 
refresh rates between your system and your monitor.  Its purpose is to prevent 
"tearing", which is what happens when pieces of two different frames are 
displayed at the same time.  Whether you should turn this on or off depends on 
the hardware you are running.  Personally I don't experience tearing whether 
the option is on or off, but since I take a minor performance hit when I turn 
it on, I keep the option off.  As I said you should try playing with this 
option on and off to see which works best for you, and if you start to see 
glitches with the frame display, it means you'll probably need this on.

Screen effects is an interesting one.  For a lot of people the option for HDR 
won't even be selectable.  This is because HDR (which stands for High Dynamic 
Range) is a feature only available on newer video cards.  It's basically a 
type of (arguably) more realistic lighting that is pretty performance 
intensive.  Bloom is another type of lighting that sort of emulates a 
realistic lighting effect, but less intensively.  Don't be too disappointed if 
you can't use HDR, there are a lot of people out there with massive video 
cards that prefer the look of Bloom light to HDR.  One drawback of HDR is that 
you cannot use it at the same time you're using antialiasing, so if you want 
AA then you are forced to stick with Bloom lighting for your game.

Distant rendering is pretty self-explanatory.  Turning on distant landscapes 
will eliminate the fogging effect that doesn't show distant terrains and 
actually show them (but not nearly as well rendered as the near stuff).  You 
can choose to show these landscapes but without any trees or building using 
the buttons below it (but not vice versa of course.)  This about does it for 
the out-of-game setting changes.  There are a lot of settings that you can't 
change in game without restarting so try to get them right here so that you 
don't have to keep quitting and restarting.  Some of them can only be changed 
in game however.  These include texture size, antialiasing, HDR/Bloom 
lighting, resolution, and possibly one or two others I'm forgetting.

        (, /
+-- (__ /    N-GAME SETTINGS --------------------------------------- 01.02 --+

Press Esc to open up the options menu and select video.  Here is where the 
mid-range tweaking begins.  We'll go through each setting one by one and 
determine how it should be changed to give best performance.

Resolution -------- As I mentioned before, resolution is one of the main
                    settings that you should change to get the game to 
                    look better.  Check "Out-of-game" settings to figure
                    out what you should set your resolution to.

Brightness -------- Only applies if you are playing the game in full screen
                    as opposed to windowed mode (windowed mode will default 
                    the brightness to whatever your desktop brightness is at.  
                    This will not affect performance in any way and depending 
                    on what your have your monitor set to, I typically like to 
                    set it about 75% across so that you can actually see where 
                    you're going in dark dungeons (still usually need a 

Texture Size ------ A very important one, and not "too" performance intensive 
                    compared to other ones.  Lower end machines will still 
                    want to turn this down.  You do get quite a bit of bang 
                    for your buck though.  What I mean is that it will make 
                    the game look a LOT better when maxed out.  All you have 
                    to do is head to any town, or look down at the ground 
                    below you.  If there's a sign hanging out front of a shop 
                    it probably says "Bob's Weapons" when textures are high, 
                    and "Blurry Smudge" if textures are low.  Higher textures 
                    are more detailed with fewer edges blurring together.  Set 
                    this to large if you can handle it.

Tree Fade --------- One of the numerous options relating to draw distance, 
                    specifically for trees.  Slide this all the way to the 
                    right and you will see miles of trees ahead of you.  Slide 
                    it all the way to the left and they'll be popping up 
                    directly in front of you every two seconds.  Even for low 
                    end machines you'll want to slide this a little to the 
                    right.  It does have a pretty heavy effect on performance.

Actor Fade -------- I'm not entirely positive, but I believe it has to do with 
                    NPC characters and creatures and how far it will render 
                    them before they disappear.  Has a minimal effect in the 
                    outside world and a makes a difference mainly when you're 
                    in towns.  You can probably set it around the middle on 
                    low-end machines, and max it out on high-end.

Item Fade --------- A relatively unimportant one that just judges how far in 
                    the distance to render items and such.  It's directly 
                    related to the next setting so you probably shouldn't 
                    really change this one much at all, just the next one.

Object Face ------- Determines how far ahead to render objects like rocks, 
                    flowers, buildings, and more.  Directly ties to the 
                    previous setting, when you turn this down then Item Fade 
                    goes down automatically as well.  It's not heavily 
                    performance intensive, slide it all the way right for 
                    high-end machines, otherwise make a judgment call.

Grass Distance ---- One of the most important settings in the game, period.  
                    In Oblivion, rather than using green textures everywhere, 
                    the developers have opted to place tall grass all over the 
                    place which is rendered in full 3D and makes everything 
                    look that much more beautiful.  It's also one of the most 
                    performance intensive options you can select.  People with 
                    weak machines should slide this down to almost 0 (left) if 
                    not all the way.  If you can live without the grass (the 
                    ground textures still look quite good) then you will have 
                    an extraordinary performance boost.  There are actually 
                    people out there with high-end machines who slide it all 
                    the way left for one of two reasons: to get a huge 
                    performance boost since it still looks really good, and 
                    second (to a lesser extent) because sometimes items and 
                    objects get lost in the tall grass.  

                    Make sure you select the right option to match your 
                    computer with the grass.  You can slide it pretty far left 
                    and get a lot of grass pop-up, but if you kind of look 
                    down while you run it's not all that bad for lower-end 
                    machines.  You should be aware that in the advanced 
                    tweaking section, I'll tell you how to change an option so 
                    that the grass is still there but not quite as dense (in a 
                    path of five grass stalks, it might only display three) 
                    but still render it for the same distance.  

View Distance ----- An important one for most people because turning it all 
                    the way down really uglifies the game, but increases 
                    performance.  If you have a mid to high range PC then I 
                    would recommend maxing this out.  Only turn it down if 
                    you're desperate for better performance.  The options 
                    below it only apply if you have it maxed.  You don't 
                    necessarily have to show that poorly rendered distant land 
                    if you don't want to by turning these off.  Some people 
                    think it makes the game look more realistic (foggy 
                    distance rather than blocky green hills).  I don't agree 
                    personally, but to each his own.  Be aware that there are 
                    settings in the advanced tweaking section that allow you 
                    to increase the amount of rendering on distant textures 
                    (to add realism) at a minor performance hit, so you might 
                    want to check those out.

Int. Shadows ------ I'm not too familiar with the various shadow effects in 
                    these games, but I do believe this is the setting for 
                    interior shadow detail (shadows indoors.)  Turning it up 
                    should increase either the shadow detail, number of 
                    shadows or both.  Personally I don't find it makes much of 
                    a difference and even on a high-end machines I keep it low 
                    to increase performance.

Ext. Shadows ------ The external shadows this time, a little more important 
                    than the previous setting but still not too important.  
                    I'd set it around the same setting as you used for Int. 
                    Shadows which can be as low as just a little right of the 
                    far left.  

Self Shadows ------ You'll have to forgive me for not being a big shadow 
                    expert.  To be honest I can't really see much of a 
                    difference at all when this is on.  Some people actually 
                    claim it makes the game look worse (just a rumour).  I 
                    have a high-end machine, but I leave it off.

                    It was poitned out to me recently that self-shadows means: 
                    shadows cast on an object, by an object.  To use a 
                    character for example, self-shadows would display shadows 
                    cast by his / her body, on his / her body.  Supposedly 
                    this option is actually a little glitched at the moment, 
                    weird shadows being cast where they shouldn't, so you 
                    should almost certainly turn it off for now and wait to 
                    see if maybe a patch is released.

Shadows on Grass -- This setting is only for the most powerful computers out 
                    there who just like to max everything.  It is totally 
                    unnecessary to show shadows on grass, you take a 
                    performance hit, and you'll barely notice it.  Turn this 
                    setting off.

Tree Canopy Shadows One of the few really important shadow settings, this 
                    actually makes a big difference.  You'll get a pretty 
                    heavy performance hit for this one so I only recommend it 
                    for high-end cards, but I think it looks quite a bit 
                    better and a lot more realistic.  What it means basically 
                    is that trees will cast shadows on the ground.  Turn this 
                    off and they won't.  Go into a forest and turn it on 
                    there, you'll definitely see a difference.

Specular Dist ----- We're out of shadows now and into lighting effects.  From 
                    what I'm told (though I don't see a huge difference) this 
                    increases the crispness of light on objects (or the 
                    "shine") which is already pretty high with HDR by default.  
                    A lot of users won't notice a difference when they turn 
                    this on.  I recommend you find something shiny (like a 
                    suit of armour) and look at it with this setting on min 
                    and max, then judge where you want it.  If you don't 
                    notice a difference, you're probably not alone.  In many 
                    cases I'd say just dump this all the way left.

HDR Lighting ------ This was covered fully in the "Out-of-Game Settings"
                    in the section above.  Look there for more info.

Bloom Lighting ---- This was covered fully in the "Out-of-Game Settings"
                    in the section above.  Look there for more info.

Water Detail ------ A judgment call here.  95% of the time you're playing you 
                    probably won't be looking at water, but there are nice 
                    rivers, streams and lakes here and there that will 
                    probably look better if you turn this on high for a minor 
                    performance hit.  Unless your hardware is really weak, I'd 
                    say leave it on high.  No big difference, and there isn't 
                    a low setting anyway.

Water Reflections - Again, I don't notice much of a performance hit and it 
                    does look a fair bit better with this on than off.  I 
                    would say turn it on if you're using anything but a low-
                    end machine.

Water Ripples ----- Even with this setting off the water kind of still 
                    ripples, but this will make it ripplier.  Barely 
                    noticeable quality difference, barely noticeable 
                    performance difference.  Whatever.

Window Reflections  I've made it a point to try and remember to look in a 
                    window sometime to see this setting in action, but still 
                    haven't done it.  Same as above.  Makes very little 
                    difference either way.

Blood Decals ------ These make virtually no performance difference at all, 
                    it's more of a "censoring" thing.  If you want blood all 
                    over your hands after you bludgeon a wolf to death, then 
                    turn this on.  It takes no computing power at all.

Anti-aliasing ----- Covered above in the "Out-of-game" settings.

| || 02.00 ||                  Advanced Tweaking                 || 02.00 || |

      (, /   )
        /__ /
     ) /   \_
+-- (_/       EAD THIS FIRST! -------------------------------------- 02.01 --+

Here we will go beyond the limits of the in-game graphics menu and start 
changing some settings that we "may or may" not be changing.  I'll begin with 
a few important points to note before we get started.  We're going to be 
editing an INI file, which stores various different game configuration 
settings (a hell of a lot of them), but since we're going to be editing this 
file and we want to make sure we don't screw up, we'll need to make a backup.  
Here's what to do before proceeding at all with this section of the guide:

Open up My Documents\My Games\Oblivion folder on your computer.  If you don't 
know how to do that then you're in way over your head already and you 
shouldn't try any of this under any circumstance.  See a file there called 
"Oblivion.ini"?  Well you had better.  Make a new folder called "Backup file" 
then copy and paste Oblivion.ini and put it in that folder.  Now anytime you 
screw something up you can replace the file you edit with that backup.

Also note that while I did just tell you to make a backup, and there's 
virtually no way you can screw anything up that can't be fixed in two seconds 
by replacing it with the backup, I'm still going to point out that I am in no 
way responsible if you completely fuck something up.  Remember that's it's 
pretty much impossible to do that in this case, I'm just saying is all.  Some 
people do crazy stuff to their computer sometimes, and it's not my problem.  
The worst thing that can happen with the following tweaks is that your game 
performance starts lagging or glitching.  Replacing Oblivion.ini with your 
backup will ALWAYS fix that and put you back where you started.  Lastly I 
would like to say that most of these tweaks are a combination of, and my own 
personal interpretation of, a lot of word-of-mouth suggestions, forum posts, 
rumours, and other wacky stuff.  For a list of the base sources and where you 
can find more information, check out the credits section of the guide.

Here's how you do it: open up Oblivion.ini in Notepad and you will see a whole 
lot of weird settings with equals signs and numbers beside them.  This is 
where it all begins.  I'm going to outline as many different changes you can 
make as I can, it's up to you to decide which ones are best for you.  DO NOT 
CHANGE ALL OF THEM THAT I LIST.  Read the description first and then decide 
for yourself.  I also recommend making only one or two changes at a time, then 
running the game and seeing if you like the results.  

The best way to test the results of a tweak is to judge framerate (how fast 
and smooth the game runs.)  While playing the game press the ~ button (usually 
above Tab) and type in "tdt" and press enter.  This will bring up the little 
debug information window which shows how many frames per second you are 
getting.  Anything above 20 is good, above 30 is great, more is fantastic.

Finally, before we go into any of the INI tweaks there are a couple 
miscellaneous things that most people recommend you do to increase 
performance.  After installing Oblivion which has quite a few extremely large 
files, it is recommended that you defragment your hard drive (Start -> All 
Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter.)  The second 
thing is that you upgrade all the drivers for your graphics card.  For example 
if you're using an ATI X800 (or higher) then don't user the drivers that come 
on the CD with it, go to and click on the "Drivers & Software" 
tab.  Download the drivers from there to get better game performance.

        (, /
+-- (__ /    NI PERFORMANCE TWEAKS --------------------------------- 02.02 --+

So open the file My Documents\My Games\Oblivion\Oblivion.ini right now and get 
ready to tweak!  Use Ctrl + f to find each one rather than manual searching.

Also, reader Kang has pointed out that the lower case letter in front of most 
options refers to what type of input it takes.  For example "bAllow30Shaders" 
the b stands for Boolen, true/false, 0 or 1.  "i" stands for integer, "f" for 
float, "u" for unsigned number, and "s" for String.

This is a pretty harmless one if you've got the hardware to support it.  Newer 
video cards will have support for 3.0 Shaders, just check the specs.  If yours 
does then changing this from 0 to 1 will give better performance with no hit 
at all whatever to graphical quality.

This is a controversial one going around right now that seems to help some 
people a lot, and others not at all.  It's a real "trial and error" setting.  
Make sure you test the game after changing this one.  As far as I know it 
changes the amount of system memory Oblivion can use to preload stuff for you.  
The higher RAM you have, the higher you set it.  It defaults to 26214400 (the 
value in bytes).  If you have 512 MB of RAM then leave it there.  If you have 
a gig you might want to boost it to 100000000.  2 gigs to 200000000.  As I 
said some people love it, and others (myself included) see no difference.  
This can increase the amount of time it takes to load an area, but while in 
that area it should ideally give you smoother play and better framerate.

ooooo    o o o  A very important one with a very real effect on performance.  
ooooo -> o o o  I mention this in the basic tweaking section as well.  It 
ooooo    o o o  determines the density of the grass (not the grass stalks), 
                but rather how dense grass patches.  The diagram on the left 
illustrates the difference.  Imagine each letter O is a patch of grass.  The 
ground on the left would be with it set to the default, 80.  The one on the 
right would look more like a setting of 150.  Changing this setting allows 
users to still have grass, but not so much so that they don't take as big of a 
performance hit.  It also lets people set huge grass draw distances (another 
setting listed below) but make it so you don't have to render as much.  This 
is an important one for people with low-end computers who like having grass.

Grass looks the exact same with 1 type (default 2) and you get a performance 
boost from it.  Lower this setting down to 1.

As far as I know this will cache some of the textures and whatnot onto your 
hard drive from the game disk so that in the future when you load an area, it 
should go faster and performance should be increased.  More of a "long run" 
kind of thing than something you'd notice, but it's harmless to turn on.  It 
defaults to 0 (which means off) so set it to 1.

This has a direct effect on how detailed distant textures are.  About as much 
of a performance hit as you'd expect from something like this.  Nothing too 
heavy.  It defaults to 5.  If you want more detail then set it to 7, and if 
you want a lot more detail then set it to 9.  No higher.

Similar to the previous one, it increases detail in the distance.  Basically 
the more you turn it up, the more of a performance hit you take.

The same as "Tree Fade" in the game settings, except here you aren't limited 
by the slider.  Set it as high as you want based on your hardware.

The same as the grass draw distance in the in-game video settings, except once 
again you can set it a lot higher.  Even on max in-game you still get grass 
pop up in the distance, turn this up to get rid of that.

Supposedly sets the distance at which grass starts to fade out.  I'm not quite 
sure how it's any different from the previous one.  Most people turn this up 
as well when they turn up the end distance, so it's a judgment call.

More realistic grass lighting if you set it to 1.  Not really necessary but if 
you have the hardware to back it up, it will look better.

More detailed shadows.  Higher for quality, lower for performance.

One of those settings that's kind of up in the air right now.  Some people say 
you get better performance if you change it from 3 to 10.  Others say it makes 
absolutely no difference.  It's up to you.

One of those settings that's kind of up in the air right now.  Some people say 
you get better performance if you change it from 10 to 20.  Others say it 
makes absolutely no difference.  It's up to you.

This is a good one.  LOD stands for "level of detail" which forces the game to 
show maximum detail on nearby objects.  Barely any hit to performance and it 
should make things look a little better overall.  Edit: It has been suggested 
that this will actually force the game to load more than is necessary, and 
perhaps should not actually be turned on.

uExterior Cell Buffer
What does this setting do?  Who knows.  Why do people suggest changing it from 
36 to 72 or 128?  Still don't know, but feel free to try it.

Supposedly it will force the game to play at whatever frames per second you 
set it to.  The game will slow down in order to meet that requirement.  If you 
seem to be able to play the game at a stable 25 FPS, changing this to 25 might 
actually give you an even more stable framerate.  Try it out.

Some say that along with the iThreads tweaks mentioned just above, these one 
being set to the values I listed will also help overall performance.  This one 
is a real toss up, save before you change these.

This is only for people whose graphics cards suck ten kinds of ass, and 
they're desperate for a way to play this game no matter how it looks.  Change 
all three of those values to zero and your game will look like crap, but 
you'll get an enormous increase in performance.

This is a pretty popular one out there right now.  Supposedly it makes water 
look a lot better than it does by default.  I've seen comparison screenshots 
that would seem to suggest these people are right.  Minor performance hit.

        (, /
+-- (__ /    NI MISC. TWEAKS --------------------------------------- 02.03 --+

Here's a neat one.  By default it equals a whole bunch of crazy stuff.  Delete 
all that stuff and set it equal to nothing "SIntroSequence=" and now when you 
boot up the game it will go directly to the main menu, skipping the opening.

Just like it sounds, gives shadows to torches and has pretty much no effect 
whatsoever on framerate or anything like that.

Shows a typical health bar.  Want to see health bars?  Set it to 1.

The water transparency value.  Experiment with it and set it to your liking.

Changes the game speed.  Make it higher to speed things up to crazy amounts, 
make it lower to play the game in slow motion.

Basically sets the curve of grass.  A value of 1 gives you straight grass 
while a value of 10 would give you slightly curved grass.

Change this to 1 and every time you get a level up, you should be able to 
distribute stats right there without having to rest.

This one is neat.  If it's set to 1 then whenever an important character dies 
then you get game over so that it never becomes impossible to progress.

The violence setting!  The first two determine how long each splatter of blood 
lasts on an object, and how many splatters there can be at once respectively.  
No performance issues with this at all.  The last one supposedly (I haven't 
tried it) determines the amount of blood you get.  Raise it from one to 
something like four or five to get a hell of a lot more blood.  Hooray!

Field of Vision
This isn't an INI tweak but it doesn't really belong anywhere else.  Press the 
~ key while playing and type "fov (number)" to change your view degrees.  A 
maximum of 180 shows everything in 180 degrees from you and skews the world to 
hell.  FOV 90 is actually half decent.  FOV 30 is hilarious, everything seems 
so... significant.  I find it oddly more immersive in a way.

The following tweaks were contributed via email by David:

bAllowScreenShot=0 (default)
is a good thing to mention changing to 1, so people can take pictures of their 
beautiful settings.

bUseEyeEnvMapping=1 (Default)
is a silly little bit of thing...  You can
squeeze some extra performance out of the game by turning this off,
-HOWEVER-, the eyes in every face may look somewhat odd.

fGlobalTimeMultiplier=1.0000 (Default)
Think things run too slow or too fast?  You can tweak this and change the flow 
of time.  Be aware that this changes _ALL_ time, not just how quickly time 
passes.  Everything will move slower or faster, combat will change speed, etc.

Ever been sad that an Autosave erased another Autosave that you realize
you really wanted?  The game normally keeps -ONE- backup autosave, however,
if you need more, increase this.

Want the world to keep moving while you're in the menu?  Change
bStaticMenuBackground to 0.

       __     __)
      (, /|  /
        / | /
     ) /  |/
+-- (_/   ' VIDIA COOLBITS TWEAK ----------------------------------- 02.04 --+

One of the best performance enhancers out there is exclusive to Nvidia users.  
Supposedly this tweak can almost double your framerate with absolutely no 
graphical hit whatsoever.  Easily one of the best tweaks available.  

Personally I don't have an Nvidia card so I can't use it, but the steps aren't 
too difficult.  Make sure your video card drivers are up to date, then search 
Google for the Coolbits registry tweak.  Once you have it installed on your 
system then go to Control Panel, Display, Settings, Advanced, then click on 
your video card in there.  Under "Performance & Quality" settings there should 
be an option "Additional Direct3D Settings".  

Under this heading is where you will find what you are looking for.  The 
ultimate tweak is right there: "Max Frames to Render Ahead."  Change that from 
3 to 0 and bam, apply it and you're set.  Hopefully the actual results you get 
on your card live up to the hype created by this particular tweak.

| || 03.00 ||                  Gameplay Mechanics                || 03.00 || |

     )   ___     
+-- (______) OMBAT ------------------------------------------------- 03.01 --+

While the general design of Oblivion does allow for all types of characters 
can be played, the world does seem to reward those players with an ability to 
destroy everything in their path.  Combat can be separated into three types 
based on the three types of character classes, those three types are melee 
combat, magic combat, and ranged combat.  Each are discussed in detail below:

Melee Combat

For the warrior in all of use who choose a physically powerful class, this is 
where it's at.  Skills like Blade, Blunt and Hand-to-Hand comprise the melee 
combat category.  Your weapon should reflect what type you are specializing 
in.  For example, a character skilled in Blade would want to be using either a 
one or two handed sword, while a Blunt specialist would prefer a club, and a 
Hand-to-Hand specialist would wield no weapon at all.  Oftentimes you will 
find enemies who are strong against a particular type of melee combat and weak 
against others, that's just the way the game is designed.  The basics of 
combat are quite simple.  When you have your weapon equipped, click the left 
mouse button to attack with your weapon while aiming 
at the target.

Magic Combat

More applicable to the mage classes, the school of magic associated primarily 
with combat is Destruction, but skills like Conjuration could also apply.  
Destruction magic is cast by pressing the C button by default.  If you're 
playing a solely magic character, I find that mapping the casting button to 
right mouse button works better since you don't block nearly as much as a 
mage.  To learn new spells all you have to do is go to a Mage Guild in 
virtually any town.  They will teach you new spells and sell them like 
equipment.  Different cities have different kinds of spells for you to learn 
so make sure you do lots of exploring.  

Ranged Combat

The practice of attacking with stealth from a distance, with the hope of 
catching your enemy by surprise and avoiding damage yourself.  Even a ranged 
attacker should have some specialization in melee combat as the enemies they 
attack will often come charging.  That first shot is almost always the most 
important.  As a Marksman increases his skill, his arrows will have a better 
effect on the target often paralyzing them.  Keep in mind however that you 
must keep a reserve stock of arrows at all times, and you don't have an 
infinite number of those.

        (, /
+-- (__ /    NTERACTION -------------------------------------------- 03.02 --+

The opposite of combat is of course verbal interaction.  There are hundreds of 
NPCs to interact with around the world, and with over 50 hours of dialogue 
recorded for the game (which incidentally fills half the game DVD) they've 
probably got quite a bit to say.  When you speak to someone you'll usually get 
a number of options to ask them about.  Only relevant topics will appear so 
usually if you can ask about something, it means they probably have something 
to say about that topic (unlike other similar games where you can ask about 
everything, and always get the same generic response every time.)

Options which have been grayed out means you have already asked about them.  
The "Rumors" option which often appears is an important one which will often 
yield new information or locations on your map from people who have heard this 
or that from so-and-so.  When you speak to someone about something but the 
option does not get grayed out, it means they're holding something back and 
that's when the persuasion option comes in handy.  To learn more about this 
option and how to get people to talk, scroll down to the section that covers 
all the skills in detail and look up the skill "Speechcraft."

      (, /       
     ) /         
+-- (_/   REEDOM --------------------------------------------------- 03.03 --+

In such an open ended game, there is no end to the amount of things you can do 
just for the sake of... doing them.  With a completely non-linear storyline 
that allows you to do whatever, whenever you feel like it, then sometimes 
those feelings are bound to manifest themselves in a way that's less than... 
legal.  But we'll get to that.  Let us first discuss the various choices you 
have that don't involve breaking the law (and of course, being punished.)

There is a "main quest" so to speak and the game will guide you along it from 
right when you exit the sewer.  What happens if you decide to ignore the main 
quest and go exploring for hours?  Not besides whatever you find on your 
adventure.  You could come across a woman who lost her cat, find it for her, 
and the same man you're supposed to speak to will still be waiting for you 
back in his house with his arms crossed.  Doesn't matter how long it takes.

But what happens if you happen to kill the man who is waiting for you, to tell 
you where you need to go next?  Well as both raders Lassie and Veritas have 
reminded me, I made the error of stating that these people could be killed 
making it impossible to progress with the main story.  The fact is that in 
reaity, the worst that you can ever do is knock them unconscious (from which 
they will eventually wake.)  It is not physically possible to do enough damage 
to kill these characters, this way they make sure that you cannot get yourself 
in permanent trouble.  There are still some characters of some importance that 
can be killed, but not if it hinders your main quest progress.

     )   ___     
+-- (______) RIME -------------------------------------------------- 03.04 --+

Committing Crimes
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  In this game you have 
the power to sneak into an old woman's house and take her spoon.  You also 
have the power to kill her.  There has to be some kind of punishment for this 
right?  Well there is, and I'll explain how it works in this section.  Each 
crime has a certain "value" to it if you will depending on its severity.  The 
severity of these crimes is approximately ranked as follows: entering a 
restricted area, stealing, violence, and murder.  Let's look at each one:

Entering a restricted area means unlocking a door when the crosshairs is red.  
This means the lock is one the door for a reason.  In a dungeon you might find 
a locked door, and no one cares if you open it or not.  When you're in 
someone's house and a the door to their bedroom is locked, breaking the lock 
is going to get your in a bit of trouble.  Sometimes you can even find 
yourself in a restricted area without braking locks, but you'll usually be 
told to leave and only get in trouble if you don't.

Stealing means one of two things, taking items that someone owns from their 
dwelling, or their person (pickpocketing.)  Stealing from someone's house or 
business is easy, just hover your crosshairs over and item and press the space 
bar to take it.  If the hand symbol is red, this means the item belongs to 
someone else and if you take it you're going to get in trouble.  TO pickpocket 
someone you need to activate sneak mode, and then come up on them without 
being seen.  Instead of talking to them you'll pick their pocket and have a 
chance of being caught based on your sneak skill.  Stealing is slightly more 
illegal than entering a restricted area, but not as illegal as...

Violence!  Run up to someone and punch them in the face?  Suddenly you're the 
bad guy in this situation.  Fortunately there are some ground rules here since 
violence can occur accidentally sometimes.  If you attack someone by accident, 
try holding the block button constantly and sometimes they will realize your 
pacifist nature.  While you are in combat with friendly NPCs helping you, you 
can usually hit them once, or twice, or thrice and they'll call out angrily, 
but not hold it against you unless you just don't stop.  This is more of a 
crime than either of the aforementioned ones, but not even close to...

Murder.  When you kill an innocent person, and it's not out of self defense 
then you are a murderer.  No doubt about it.  Run up to someone in their house 
and punch them, that's violence.  Keep punching and punching and don't stop 
until they are a bloody heap on the floor, that's murder and you're going away 
for a long time.  Top of the crime chain right there.  Now that we've looked 
at all the various crimes, we'll see how the punishment system works.

First I really want to stress this fact, it's only a crime if you get caught.  
There are issues with stolen items and vendors who won't buy them, but other 
than that you're pretty clean.  It's when you do get caught that the law comes 
into play and they're pretty relentless.  Being caught for a crime will 
trigger one thing: the person who witnessed it (or was victimized by it) will 
report it immediately to a nearby guard.  This isn't a completely scripted 
happenstance, depending on what kind of person they are they may be more or 
less likely to report you, but for the most part you'll be getting in trouble.  
Especially for shop owners, they love to really stick it to you.

Once a guard has been made aware of your crime, he or she will hunt you down 
relentlessly.  When they finally catch up, you'll have three options: Go to 
jail, resist arrest, or pay a fine.  Resisting arrest means the guard will 
attack you, and a whole lot of other guards, and no matter what level you are 
guards are always at a higher level.  It's basically the "kill me" option.

Going to jail is an interesting, albeit non-preferable option.  All of your 
things will be confiscated when you are taken for the, the one exception being 
a single lockpick if you have one.  You have two options when in jail, waiting 
it out or breaking out.  To wait it out simply examine the bed and choose to 
do so.  You will have to wait one day for every 100 gold of bounty on your 
head (bounty is discussed in the next paragraph) and for each one of these 
days one skill will be decreased (tells you which ones after you get out.)  
The exception to this rule are sneak and security which will get increased if 
chosen, but since it's random it's a lot more likely to decrease something.  
If you use your one lockpick to break out of jail, you'll have to sneak past 
the many guards and find your equipment in the evidence chest.  Breaking out 
of jail will increase the bounty on your head as well.  Not a good idea.

Finally you have the best option (aside from not committing a crime at all) 
and that is to pay a fine if you can afford it.  Nothing bad will happen if 
you do this besides having the stuff you stole taken back.  The amount you 
have to pay is based on your bounty, which is approximately equal to the value 
of the item you stole, based on the level of the person you attacked, and 1000 
or more gold if you actually do kill someone.  If you can't back away from a 
crime this is the best option you have for making up for it.

+-- (_____) EVERYTHING ELSE ---------------------------------------- 03.05 --+

Like most open-ended RPGs, Oblivion uses a quest-based gameplay system to 
allow users to complete the game at their leisure.  There are quests that fall 
under various categories like "main game" and some that are simply 
miscellaneous, while others are guild quests.  Quests usually take the form of 
"this needs to be done" and a location is marked on your compass.  You go 
there, do whatever needs to be done and come back for your reward and next 
quest.  Many of these quests progress the main story and many do not.

They're like factions, or groups of similar people who come together with a 
common interest.  There are three main guilds in this game that you can join, 
but are not necessarily connected to the main story and they are: The Fighters 
Guild, The Mage Guild and The Thieves Guild.  Most guilds have locations in 
each of the cities, with the Thieves Guild being the exception to that rule.

Typically to join a guild you simply enter the guild headquarters and ask to 
become a member.  The exceptions to this rule are the Thieves Guild, and the 
Dark Brotherhood which I have no yet mentioned.  In order to get into these 
guilds you must follow a different path, and usually that path involves 
committing some crimes.  TO learn more about how to join these guilds then 
simply scroll down to the section that covers the quests for that specific 
guild.  The rewards for being in a guild are various, but for the most part 
worthwhile and you'll miss out on tons of unique quests if you don't join.

Persuasion, Lockpicking & Haggling
To learn more about these three particular topics, check out the skills 
section.  Everything you need to know about Lockpicking is under the security 
skill.  Everything you need to know about Persuasion is covered in the 
Speechcraft skill and everything you need to know about buying and selling is 
covered under the Mercantile skill since that is directly what they apply to.

Leveling Up
To level up in this game, similar to Morrowind but unlike most other RPGs, 
instead of fighting enemies and gaining EXP or getting it from quests, you 
must simply increase any combination of your major skills a total of ten times 
for one level.  For example, increasing five of your major skills two times 
apiece would give your character a level up.  When you gain a level you must 
find a bed to rest in (waiting doesn't count).  At that point you will have 
the chance to increase three attributes of your choice.  The more they apply 
to the skills you increased, the more you can increase them.  For example, 
increasing Blade five times and Athletics five times would probably mean you 
can get a +5 bonus to strength and speed when you level up.

Health, Magicka & Fatigue
The game's basic stat values are pretty self-explanatory with the one 
exception being fatigue.  Health is the amount of damage you can take before 
you die.  Magicka is the amount of magic you can cast before you need to 
recharge.  Magicka and fatigue recharge automatically, health does not.  
Fatigue affects most of the stuff you do, primarily melee combat damage.  As 
you jump and attack your fatigue will drain.  When it's maxed you will do 
maximum damage and as it drains you will do less and less damage each time 
making it so that the more you fight without resting, the weaker your attacks 
get.  There are potions which restore each of these stats.

When you are fighting vampires you might contract a condition known as 
Polyphyric Hemophilia.  This is a pretty harmless... that is as long as you 
cure it within 72 hours or so.  After that point you might notice that you're 
beginning to change physically.  Suddenly your face is a little more pale, but 
that's okay because a lot of your stats and skills just got a +5 boost.  You 
also have some new abilities, this might just be the greatest thing ever.

That's how it starts of course.  You are now a vampire.  You can no longer use 
a cure disease potion to get rid of it.  There is a quest to remove the 
vampire curse, but it's a lot easier to just avoid contracting vampirism in 
the first place if you don't want it.  Basically I'll just outline what it's 
like to be a vampire, as well as the pros and cons associated with it.

In the first stage of vampirism you will look pretty normal and people will 
treat you normally.  You can go out during the day and everything is fine.  
You've got stat boosts and a couple new abilities.  The next time you go to 
sleep after more than 24 hours have passed you will progress to the next 
stage.  New weaknesses and new abilities appear.  Suddenly you can't go out in 
the sun without taking a bit of damage for every second you spend.  You look 
more like a vampire and people with low disposition don't want to talk to you 
anymore.  There is a solution, it's not pretty, but it's what vampires do.

You must suck the blood of a human.  To do this, find someone who is sleeping 
and make sure no one is around.  Now you can simply suck their blood the same 
way you would talk to them.  This will revert you back to the original vampire 
stage where you look pretty normal and don't really take sun damage.  The main 
weakness you have in the first stage is increase damage taken from fire.  Note 
that there are three or four stages you can progress though.  You move between 
stages by going more than 24 hours without feeding on someone and then taking 
a nap.  At the final stage you pretty much can't go out in daylight at all, 
you can't talk to anyone unless their disposition is maxed, BUT you have a 
huge arsenal of great powers you can use over and over again.  As I have 
shown, there are great advantages and disadvantages.  It's not really 
recommended that you play the whole game as a vampire, but when you're looking 
for something fun to do then maybe vampirism is right for you!

| || 04.00 ||                       Skills                       || 04.00 || |

      (, /    )
        /    /
      _/___ /_
+-- (_/___ /   ESCRIPTIONS ----------------------------------------- 04.01 --+

Acrobatics -------- Acrobatics is a great sill for those players who really 
                    want to be agile and... jumpy.  Useful?  Absolutely not.  
                    There are very few cases where this would actually help 
                    aside from letting you fall greater distance for less 
                    damage.  I would highly recommend you do not select this 
                    skill as a major skill unless you want to level up 
                    quickly, but poorly.  Too many of the skills upgraded each 
                    level will inevitably be acrobatic and you'll find 
                    yourself falling behind when it actually comes to combat.  
                    The plus side of this perk though is the fun factor.  
                    Being able to jump huge distances and great heights when 
                    it's almost maxed out and you're wearing very little is 
                    always a plus.

Alchemy ----------- This skill is really good if you know how to use it well.  
                    Put all of those various pointless ingredients you find in 
                    flowers all over the world to good use by turning them 
                    into potions.  In order to create potions you must first 
                    have a Mortar and Pestle which you should be able to 
                    acquire in stores.  From there you can move onto things 
                    which will improve the power and effectiveness of your 
                    creations like the Retort, Alembic and Calcinator.  The 
                    menu for creating something through alchemy is brought up 
                    by selecting your alchemical apparatus in the menu and 
                    then choosing your ingredients.  From here it's mostly 
                    based on your Alchemy skill.

Alteration -------- These will alter the physical property of... things.  
                    People for example, or objects.  You can alter your stats, 
                    or you can alter a lock to swap it from the "locked" to 
                    "unlocked" state.  It's not exactly the most useful skill 
                    out there, but it can come in handy when the time is 

Armorer ----------- This dictates your ability to fix equipment rather than 
                    having to pay someone else to do it for you.  As you wear 
                    your equipment and use it to either beat enemies with, or 
                    to wear while being beaten, then it's going to wear down 
                    and become less effective / valuable.  What you need to 
                    purchase are items called Repair Hammers which repair your 
                    equipment.  The better your skill, the more you can use 
                    them without breaking them.

Athletics --------- This includes a number of things like your movement speed 
                    on both land and water, as well as the amount of fatigue 
                    that depletes and how fast it recovers.  Basically the 
                    more athletic you are, the better shape you are in.  The 
                    skill is leveled up simply by running so like Acrobatics, 
                    it can be leveled pretty easily.  More useful than 
                    Acrobatics since the higher the skill, the faster you get 
                    fatigue back.

Blade ------------- Your skill with a sharp weapon like a sword or a knife.  
                    Of the three possible melee combat skills, this one is 
                    arguably the best overall as there are so many good bladed 
                    weapons out there to choose from.  All you have to do is 
                    attack more with Bladed weapons to level up this skill.  
                    There are three primary melee combat skills, Blade, Blunt 
                    and Hand-to-Hand.  Of the three you should only choose one 
                    as a major skill; trying to focus on more than one will 
                    simply make you weaker in the long run.

Block ------------- This is a great and often underestimated skill that will 
                    become better the more you use it.  The right mouse button 
                    allows you to block and reduce the damage of an enemy 
                    attack.  It has an added bonus of doing more than that as 
                    you level it up.  Proper timing when blocking can make the 
                    difference between winning and losing in a difficult 

Blunt ------------- Blunt is another melee combat skill that you would choose 
                    if you plan to use large weapons like clubs and maces.  
                    The higher the skill level the better you are at pounding 
                    enemies with these weighty weapons.  The more you use them 
                    the more this skill will increase.  There are three 
                    primary melee combat skills, Blade, Blunt and Hand-to-
                    Hand.  Of the three you should only choose one as a major 
                    skill; trying to focus on more than one will simply make 
                    you weaker in the long run.

Conjuration ------- Basically this is the "summoning" category.  Whether it be 
                    creatures or equipment, Conjuration does it all.  
                    Sometimes the creatures you summon aren't all that great 
                    at fighting, but they sure work well as distractions.  Not 
                    only that you can summon them, beat up on them and 
                    increase other skills!  The magical soulbound weapons you 
                    create aren't half bad either.

Destruction ------- This is the primary school of magic for a mage.  Spells in 
                    this category will be used to make it so your enemies are 
                    no longer alive any more.  Fire magic, frost magic, shock 
                    magic and more all fall under this category.  Utilization 
                    of the Destruction skill is an absolute necessity for 
                    anyone who wishes to become a powerful mage.

Hand-to-Hand ------ This particular skill gets to be fleshed out even more 
                    than any other skill, and why is that?  Because it's my 
                    favourite skill in the game.  I don't think I could bring 
                    myself to play any other kind of melee character.  For the 
                    record, this entire guide was written while playing as a 
                    Redguard Pugilist character named "Truck Badass" who 
                    utilized not but his fists and the power of the special 
                    Adrenaline Rush to bludgeon the shit out of any enemies 
                    that pissed him off.  I can't even begin to describe how 
                    cool this character is.  The lack of any powerful weapons 
                    is of course the main drawback to this skill.  I can't 
                    even think of any noteworthy advantages.  To be honest the 
                    only reason I can possibly see to playing a H2H character 
                    is just that it's tens of thousands of times more badass 
                    than any other character type.  A stealthy assassin comes 
                    close, but the competition is frankly dominated.  This one 
                    aspect of the game will probably keep me playing forever.

Heavy Armor ------- Your ability to wear and be less encumbered by heavy 
                    armour like iron armour, dwarven armour etc.  The more you 
                    get attacked while wearing it, the more your skill will 
                    increase and the more bonuses you will get.

Illusion ---------- Magic that involves the art of illusion, deception and 
                    control.  Allows you to screw around with the minds of 
                    creatures, to create light where there is no light, and 

Light Armor ------- Unlike the skill of heavy armor, armour that is not so 
                    heavy gets the advantage here.  Fur armour, or cloth 
                    armour, robes and the like will all give bonuses when 
                    worn and your skill is at a higher level.  The only way to 
                    level it of course is to be attacked while wearing light 

Marksman ---------- This is the primary skill of a ranged attacker.  It 
                    directly affects how much damage you do with a bow, how 
                    accurate you are and how likely your arrows are to cause 
                    additional negative effects to your target.  A skilled 
                    marksman can have his enemy down and incapacitated before 
                    the enemy even has a chance to react.

Mercantile -------- Directly associated with buying and selling.  This 
                    determines your ability to Haggle.  When you go to a shop 
                    there will be an option to Haggle.  When you slide the bar 
                    to the right you are trying to get a better deal, but when 
                    you try to sell or purchase an item the shopkeeper might 
                    not accept your offer and you might have to slide it back 
                    left in order to make the deal.  The shopkeeper's decision 
                    as to whether or not to accept your offer is based on 
                    three things.  Your Mercantile skill, their Mercantile 
                    skill, and their disposition toward you (increased through 
                    persuasion.)  It's a trial and error process.  Every time 
                    you buy or sell and it works disposition goes up 
                    (especially for expensive stuff.)  Having your offer 
                    refused lowers disposition.

Mysticism --------- A semi-useful school of magic that is focusing on both 
                    protection and detecting.  You've got your protection 
                    against diseases and draining effects as well as the bonus 
                    of being able to detect life and more.  Not exactly all 
                    that useful, but it has its moments.

Restoration ------- One of the most important schools of magic for a mage, 
                    this is directly connected to your ability to heal lost 
                    health.  A higher Restoration skill will allow you to 
                    learn more restoration magic and have it heal more health 
                    for the same amount of Magicka.  A necessity for all mages 
                    and sometimes a good skill to major in for other classes.

Security ---------- This skill is directly associated with your ability to 
                    lockpick.  Sometimes (well, really often) you will find 
                    locked doors and chests in the world of Cyrodiil and 
                    you'll want to be able to open them without a key.  That's 
                    what the security skill is for.  Fortunately (or 
                    unfortunately depending on how you look at it) the game is 
                    designed so that if you're good you can pretty much open 
                    any lock regardless of difficulty, at any skill level.  
                    The Security skill should only be selected as a major 
                    skill if you're playing a stealthy thief who does a LOT 
                    of Lockpicking.

                    As for Lockpicking itself, it's not too complicated.  When 
                    you examine a locked object you'll get an inside view of 
                    the lock.  Position the pick under any one of the tumblers 
                    that is done, and most the mouse up.  This will knock the 
                    tumbler upward, then it will fall back down.  The speed at 
                    which it falls is pretty random.  The difficulty of the 
                    lock is based on how many tumblers are in the "down" as 
                    opposed to the "up" position.  When all the tumblers are 
                    up then the door / chest is unlocked and you may proceed.

                    To keep a tumbler up you must move the mouse up to knock 
                    it upward, then click the mouse after it stops but before 
                    it falls to lock it in place.  If the timing is off on 
                    your click then the lockpick will break and every one of 
                    the tumblers will fall back down that you have already 
                    locked into place (but not the ones that were up when you 
                    started.)  The Security skill affects two things: tumblers 
                    fall back down slower, and not all of the tumblers come 
                    loose again if you break a lockpick.  Slower and fewer as 
                    you level the skill up (level it up by clicking tumblers 
                    into place.)  Basically you should quicksave every time 
                    before you try a lock, and if you break too many picks 
                    then load and try again.

                    Tip submitted by SadBunny:

                    I was exploring some mine/dungeon/kind of thing, don't 
                    remember which one but I can find out if you need to know. 
                    There I found this book"Advances on Lockpicking". The book 
                    is very short (only 2 pages), very funny and quite useful. 
                    It contains a wonderful hint for more successful 
                    lockpicking attempts.

                    Anyway, the hint is to hold your torch to the lock you 
                    want to pick so it heats up. This will make the tumblers 
                    in the lock behave much more similar to eachother and less 
                    random, thus making it easier to click at exactly the 
                    right time. Just wielding the torch while attempting to 
                    pick a lock will do.

Sneak ------------- Sneak is the primary skill of a stealthy character and it 
                    comes in handy for all sorts of situations.  When you 
                    activate sneak mode with the Ctrl button, an eyeball will 
                    appear on your crosshairs.  When this eyeball is dark then 
                    you cannot be seen or heard by anyone.  When it's bright 
                    then someone detects you.  While you are not detected 
                    there are a number of things you can do.  Stealing items 
                    is possible if you do it without being detected and you 
                    won't get in trouble for it.  Even killing can be done 
                    undetected as long as its fast and not messy.  When you 
                    sneak up behind a friendly target you can press the space 
                    bar to pick their pocket.  The higher your sneak skill the 
                    less likely they will be to notice you took something.  
                    Also the weight of the item makes a difference too.  The 
                    same applies for sneaking in general, the higher your 
                    skill the less noticeable you are.  It also helps for 
                    combat.  Sneaking up behind someone and using a charged 
                    attack will give you a bonus of up to 6x as much damage 
                    for the hit.  This helps for characters that don't even 
                    specialize in sneak.  Your ability to sneak also depends 
                    on the boots you are wearing at lower skill levels.

Speechcraft ------- Finally we come to Speechcraft and the art of persuasion.  
                    For the record this is one of the most useless skills 
                    there is, but no matter.  When you talk to someone you 
                    should see an option at the bottom beside the X.  Unless 
                    this person is a shopkeeper or trainer, then this is 
                    probably the persuasion button which appears for almost 
                    everyone.  Persuading people to like you increases their 
                    disposition and makes them more likely to give you 
                    information.  For example, if you ask about something and 
                    the subject you ask about does not get grayed out after 
                    asking, then they are holding something back that they 
                    might tell you if their disposition is higher.

                    When you click the persuade button it brings up a weird 
                    wheel, with the options "Start" and "Bribe."  We'll leave 
                    bribe for now.  When you click start you'll see four 
                    different sized cones over top of four different options: 
                    coerce, boast, admire and joke.  When you click on each of 
                    these you will perform that action, it will then be 
                    blocked and the cones will rotate once to the left.  You 
                    must click all four of these in any order to finish the 
                    session.  Clicking them will have either a positive effect 
                    or negative effect on the person's disposition.  There are 
                    a total of four options as I mentioned, two of them will 
                    always decrease disposition and two will always decrease.  
                    Which are dependent on the person, but they never change.

                    So how do you use this information to your advantage?  
                    Well it's basic strategy.  Let's say when you click on 
                    admire and joke, disposition goes up, and it goes down for 
                    boast and coerce.  The size of the cone on each topic 
                    affects the change.  A big cone on admire in this case 
                    means disposition goes up a lot while a big cone on coerce 
                    means it goes down a lot.  Small cone on admire means it 
                    goes up a little etc.  Each time you click one they rotate 
                    and you can't click that option again.  The basic idea is 
                    that you always click the big cone when it's on a good 
                    option, and the small cone when it's on a bad one so that 
                    the disposition increase is bigger than the decrease.  The 
                    problem is that with the rotate and the blanking out of 
                    options, you are often forced to choose between the lesser 
                    of two evils.  The "less bad" of two bad choices.  

                    After a bit of practice you should be able to get a 
                    strategy down pretty easily.  Maybe clicking a small cone 
                    on a bad option you can see will move a big cone to a good 
                    option.  When you're planning ahead then that's when 
                    you'll do best.  Even if you keep screwing up there's 
                    nothing that stops you from doing it over and over again 
                    until it gets maxed out.  A person's maximum disposition 
                    is based on your Speechcraft skill.  The higher it is the 
                    higher you can go.  As for the "Bribe" option it actually 
                    lets you pay money to increase disposition beyond the 
                    maximum.  ONLY USE THIS OPTION when you max disposition 
                    first, otherwise you're paying money for something you 
                    could do by just using the wheel.  Most times you don't 
                    need to bribe though, the max disposition you can hit is 
                    sufficient to get them to talk about whatever it is that 
                    they're holding back from you.

      (__/  ) 
     ) /      
+-- (_/ TATISTICS -------------------------------------------------- 04.02 --+

| Acrobatics          | Governing Attribute: Speed                           |
| Novice              | Cannot attack while jumping / falling                |
| Apprentice          | Can use normal attacks while jumping / falling       |
| Journeyman          | Dodge ability and Block + jump to roll               |
| Expert              | 50% fatigue loss for jumping                         |
| Master              | Jump on the surface of water                         |
| Alchemy             | Governing Attribute: Intelligence                    |
| Novice              | Recognizes the first of four ingredients             |
| Apprentice          | Recognizes the first two of four ingredients         |
| Journeyman          | Recognizes the first three of four ingredients       |
| Expert              | Recognizes all four ingredients                      |
| Master              | Can make potions from a single ingredient            |
| Alteration          | Governing Attribute: Willpower                       |
| Armorer             | Governing Attribute: Endurance                       |
| Novice              | Cannot repair magic items                            |
| Apprentice          | Repair hammers last twice as long                    |
| Journeyman          | Repair magic items                                   |
| Expert              | Repair items beyond 100% to 125%                     |
| Master              | Cannot break repair hammers                          |
| Athletics           | Governing Attribute: Speed                           |
| Novice              | Restore fatigue while running                        |
| Apprentice          | Restore fatigue 25% faster while running             |
| Journeyman          | Restore fatigue 50% faster while running             |
| Expert              | Restore fatigue 75% faster while running             |
| Master              | Restore fatigue at 100% while running                |
| Blade               | Governing Attribute: Strength                        |
| Novice              | Basic power attack                                   |
| Apprentice          | Damage bonus to power attack                         |
| Journeyman          | Disarming side power attack                          |
| Expert              | Knockback backward power attack                      |
| Master              | Paralyzing forward attack                            |
| Block               | Governing Attribute: Agility                         |
| Novice              | Fatigued by blocking, H2H block against weapons bad  |
| Apprentice          | No longer fatigued by blocking                       |
| Journeyman          | Blocking weapon not damaged, H2H block gives recoil  |
| Expert              | Counterattack with shield                            |
| Master              | Disarm with shield                                   |
| Blunt               | Governing Attribute: Strength                        |
| Novice              | Basic power attack                                   |
| Apprentice          | Damage bonus to power attack                         |
| Journeyman          | Disarming side power attack                          |
| Expert              | Knockback backward power attack                      |
| Master              | Paralyzing forward attack                            |
| Conjuration         | Governing Attribute: Intelligence                    |
| Destruction         | Governing Attribute: Willpower                       |
| Hand-to-Hand        | Governing Attribute: Strength                        |
| Novice              | Basic power attack                                   |
| Apprentice          | Damage bonus to power attack                         |
| Journeyman          | Disarming side power attack                          |
| Expert              | Knockback backward power attack, block knockback     |
| Master              | Paralyzing forward attack, block knockback           |
| Heavy Armor         | Governing Attribute: Endurance                       |
| Novice              | Heavy armor degrades rapidly                         |
| Apprentice          | Heavy armor degrades at normal rate                  |
| Journeyman          | Heavy armor degrades slower                          |
| Expert              | Heavy armor encumbers only 50%                       |
| Master              | Heavy armor does not encumber                        |
| Illusion            | Governing Attribute: Personality                     |
| Light Armor         | Governing Attribute: Speed                           |
| Novice              | Light armor degrades rapidly                         |
| Apprentice          | Light armor degrades at normal rate                  |
| Journeyman          | Light armor degrades slower                          |
| Expert              | Light armor does not encumber                        |
| Master              | Light armor gets 50% armor bonus                     |
| Marksman            | Governing Attribute: Agility                         |
| Novice              | Pulling bow fatigues                                 |
| Apprentice          | No bow fatigue penalty                               |
| Journeyman          | Can zoom with bow using block button                 |
| Expert              | Arrows can knock down target                         |
| Master              | Arrows can paralyze                                  |
| Mercantile          | Governing Attribute: Personality                     |
| Novice              | Worn items sell for less                             |
| Apprentice          | Worn items sell for same value                       |
| Journeyman          | Sell any types of items to any vendor                |
| Expert              | Can invest in shop to give 500 more gold             |
| Master              | All shops have 500 more gold                         |
| Mysticism           | Governing Attribute: Intelligence                    |
| Restoration         | Governing Attribute: Willpower                       |
| Security            | Governing Attribute: Agility                         |
| Novice              | Four tumblers fall on broken pick                    |
| Apprentice          | Three tumblers fall on broken pick                   |
| Journeyman          | Two tumblers fall on broken pick                     |
| Expert              | One tumbler falls on broken pick                     |
| Master              | No tumblers fall on broken pick                      |
| Sneak               | Governing Attribute: Agility                         |
| Novice              | 4x/2x melee/ranged damage bonuses                    |
| Apprentice          | 6x/3x melee/ranged damage bonuses                    |
| Journeyman          | Boots make no difference while sneaking              |
| Expert              | Moving makes no difference while sneaking            |
| Master              | Sneak attack ignores armor rating                    |
| Speechcraft         | Governing Attribute: Personality                     |
| Novice              | Can bribe to increase disposition                    |
| Apprentice          | Can rotate the persuasion wedge once for free        |
| Journeyman          | Disposition counter decreases 50% slower             |
| Expert              | Disposition does not decrease much with bad option   |
| Master              | Bribes cost half the price                           |

| || 05.00 ||                  Character Creation                || 05.00 || |

     )   ___     
+-- (______) HOOSING THE RIGHT CHARACTER --------------------------- 05.01 --+

Oblivion allows you to build the character you want almost from the ground up.  
While it does offer a large amount of freedom there are still three "base" 
types for which each customization is a slight variation from.  Those three 
types are a warrior (combatant), mage (magic user) and stealth (typically a 
ranged attacker.)  unless you plan on trying to specialize a hybrid of any two 
it's usually best to decide which of these three types you would like to focus 
on and then build your character from there.  Each of these three main types 
is discussed in the following sections followed along with many more other 
tips regarding the build of a new character.  It is recommended that you read 
everything before you begin, once you have completed the initial dungeon there 
is no way to go back and edit any of your characters attributes.

      (, /   )
        /__ /
     ) /   \_
+-- (_/       ACE & APPEARANCE ------------------------------------- 05.02 --+

The very first screen you see after the game's cinematic opening sequence is 
the interface to design the appearance and select the race of your character.  
Of your numerous options here, choosing your race is the most important so we 
will begin with that one.  Along with race is an option to select the gender 
of your character.  Obviously the majority of players will select their own 
gender, however there are subtle differences between the two.  Put in general 
terms the male is typically the better choice in for most races, though the 
advantage is marginal at best.  Males excel a little more in combat roles 
while females often excel in magic roles. 

Race is where the differences begin to get a little more pronounced.  Again 
you may wish to play a race solely based on how much you like their physical 
appearances, just keep in mind that a High Elf really does make a poor 
physical fighter and it's in your best interests to choose your race based on 
the type of character you wish to play.  (Again I will remind you that despite 
these recommendations, you should feel free to play any character of any race 
you choose for any reason you wish.  You've got that kind of freedom.)

The following is a list of each race along with the skill bonuses they receive 
and the special abilities they will start with at the beginning.

| Skill               | Argonian | Breton   | Dark Elf | High Elf | Imperial |
| Acrobatics          |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Alchemy             |    +5    |    +5    |    --    |    +5    |    --    |
| Alteration          |    --    |    +5    |    --    |    +10   |    --    |
| Armorer             |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Athletics           |    +10   |    --    |    +5    |    --    |    --    |
| Blade               |    +5    |    --    |    +10   |    --    |    +5    |
| Block               |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Blunt               |    --    |    --    |    +5    |    --    |    +5    |
| Conjuration         |    --    |    +10   |    --    |    +5    |    --    |
| Destruction         |    --    |    +10   |    +10   |    +10   |    --    |
| Hand-to-Hand        |    +5    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +5    |
| Heavy Armor         |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +10   |
| Illusion            |    +5    |    +5    |    --    |    +5    |    --    |
| Light Armor         |    --    |    --    |    +5    |    --    |    --    |
| Marksman            |    --    |    --    |    +5    |    --    |    --    |
| Mercantile          |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +10   |
| Mysticism           |    +5    |    +10   |    +5    |    +10   |    --    |
| Restoration         |    --    |    +10   |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Security            |    +10   |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Sneak               |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Speechcraft         |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +10   |
| Skill               | Khajiit  | Nord     | Orc      | Redguard | Wood Elf |
| Acrobatics          |    +10   |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +5    |
| Alchemy             |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +10   |
| Alteration          |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +5    |
| Armorer             |    --    |    +5    |    +10   |    --    |    --    |
| Athletics           |    +5    |    --    |    --    |    +10   |    --    |
| Blade               |    +5    |    +10   |    --    |    +10   |    --    |
| Block               |    --    |    +5    |    +10   |    --    |    --    |
| Blunt               |    --    |    +10   |    +10   |    +10   |    --    |
| Conjuration         |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Destruction         |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Hand-to-Hand        |    +10   |    --    |    +5    |    --    |    --    |
| Heavy Armor         |    --    |    +10   |    +10   |    +5    |    --    |
| Illusion            |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Light Armor         |    +5    |    --    |    --    |    +5    |    +5    |
| Marksman            |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +10   |
| Mercantile          |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +5    |    --    |
| Mysticism           |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Restoration         |    --    |    +5    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Security            |    +5    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |
| Sneak               |    +5    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    +10   |
| Speechcraft         |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |    --    |

| Race                | Special Abilities                                    |
| Argonian            | Water breathing, Resist Disease, Resist Poison       |
| Breton              | Fortified Maximum Magicka, Shield, Resist Magicka    |
| Dark Elf            | Summon Ghost, Resist Fire                            |
| High Elf            | Fortified Max Magicka, Resist Disease, Magic Weaknes |
| Imperial            | Charm, Absorb Fatigue                                |
| Khajiit             | Demoralize, Night-Eye                                |
| Nord                | Frost Damage, Resist Frost, Shield                   |
| Orc                 | Drain Agility, Fortify Str, Fortify Fatigue, Berserk |
| Redguard            | Adrenaline, Fort. Health/Strength/Endurance, Resist  |
| Wood Elf            | Command Creature, Resist Disease                     |

As you can see there are some classes that just seem naturally suited to their 
roles.  For example, those looking for a powerful melee fighting class would 
be best to select the Redguard based on the above values.  One wishing to be a 
stealthy character would likely choose the Wood Elf and a Mage would best be 
played as a Breton or High Elf.  Keep these statistics in mind when selecting 
your character, they aren't quite as important as the skills you actually 
select, but they still factor in quite heavily. 

We now move onto the less important physical characteristics of your 
character.  I'm referring specifically to their appearance.  before altering 
this you will first want to enter their name by clicking "Enter character 
name" at the top of the window.  Obviously this can be whatever you wish.  You 
can choose which order to alter the features of your character but I'll 
outline them in a top to bottom fashion.  The top and most complex option is 
the face.  Given that there are more options that you could ever possibly 
want, the game does give you a "Random" option which will screw around with 
all the settings and spit out a randomly generated face for your character.  
This face can then be modified to your liking.  Sometimes the random face is 
actually good enough to use without any modification at all.

The shape allows you to alter the, well, the shape of the face while the tone 
is more focused on minor adjustments, colours and whatnot.  Outside of this 
detailed menu back at the main character creation window is also an option to 
change both your hairstyle, hair colour and hair length.  Finally the age and 
complexion bars both do exactly what you would imagine they do when you slide 
them from left to right.  Age your character with ease!  Upon completing the 
final design of your character, proceed when you are ready.  Note that this is 
not a finalization stage and you will have one more chance to alter everything 
you just did.  The very first area in the game is like a training dungeon 
which allows you to get a little experience in combat and exploring and judge 
whether you like the character or not.  Following that you will have another 
chance to edit your attributes and then after that, you're stick with it.

      (, /    )
     ) / ____)
+-- (_/ (      IRTHSIGNS ------------------------------------------- 05.03 --+

When you reach the Imperial Subterrane and find the emperor again, one of the 
first things he will do is ask you your birthsign.  The following is a quick 
and easily accessible list that shows each birthsign bonus, and below the list 
an explanation of which birthsign you might want for your character.

| Birthsign           | Bonuses                                              |
| The Apprentice      | Magicka + 100, 100% Magicka Weakness                 |
| The Lady            | Willpower + 10, Endurance + 10                       |
| The Mage            | Magicka + 50                                         |
| The Thief           | Agility + 10, Speed + 10, Luck + 10                  |
| The Atronach        | Magicka + 150, Spell Absorption 50%, no Magicka Reg. |
| The Lord            | Restore Health, 25% Fire Weakness                    |
| The Lover           | Paralyze Touch 120 Fatigue Cost                      |
| The Ritual          | Restore Health, Turn Undead                          |
| The Serpent         | Damage Health, Dispel, Cure Poison, Damage Fatigue   |
| The Shadow          | Invisibility                                         |
| The Steed           | Speed + 20                                           |
| The Tower           | Open Lock, Reflect Damage                            |
| The Warrior         | Strength + 10, Endurance + 10                        |

Some of them are pretty obvious that you would want to choose for your type of 
character.  For example, someone playing a powerful melee fighter would most 
certainly choose to be born under The Warrior birthsign.  For a mage he/she 
would either choose The Mage birthsign, or if he/she was willing to choose the 
more aggressive option, go for The Apprentice which despite the weakness is 
worth it for the extra bonus.  I would not personally recommend The Atronach 
for a mage but it's your decision.  For a stealthy thief character you have a 
couple of options.  The best one is of course The Thief which comes with a few 
great bonuses, however The Shadow also has its merits.  Being able to turn 
invisible will really come in handy despite only being able to do it once a 
day.  The rest of them can just be chosen for special interest, or if you see 
some great advantage to them which I have overlooked.

     )   ___     
+-- (______) HARACTER CLASS ---------------------------------------- 05.04 --+

Upon speaking to the guard after you acquire the Amulet of Kings, that is when 
you will be able to choose your character class.  There are a fair number of 
pre-made classes available to you, so if you wish to just select something 
that sounds like it would apply then that is always an option.  The best 
option of course is to choose the "Custom Class" option and build a class 
specifically tailored to the kind of character that you want. Let's begin by 
looking at the three options you have for a primary character type.

Each character type comes with seven skills that you don't have to choose, but 
if you do select they will get a "+5" bonus at the beginning and increase 
faster throughout, the game.  I put this value in quotes because it was kindly 
pointed out to me by PapaGamer (author of the character build guide on 
GameFAQs) that in fact both the insctruction manual and game are incorrect, 
you actually only get a +5 bonus to these skills and not a +10 bonus as it 
says you receive.  Anyway, the Combat character is a warrior, a melee fighter 
who specializes in the skills Armorer, Athletics, Blade, Block, Blunt, Hand-
to-Hand, and Heavy Armor.  The Magic type is obviously more of a mage 
character which specializes in Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Mysticism, 
Destruction, Illusion, Mysticism and Restoration.  Finally the Stealth 
character, a thief or ranged attacker, specializes in Acrobatics, Light Armor, 
Marksman, Mercantile, Security, Sneak and Speechcraft.  Choose whichever of 
the three you think best fits the character you wish to create here.

Next we will have to two of the eight primary attributes for a character.  
These are different that skills in that they sort of "govern" you use of 
skills among other things.  Your magic power for example, or your physical 
strength.  It's all outlined below in the chart to help you decide.

| Attribute           | Affects:                                             |
| Strength            | Maximum Weight, Fatigue, Melee Damage                |
| Intelligence        | Total Magicka and Magic Use                          |
| Willpower           | Magicka Regeneration, Fatigue                        |
| Agility             | Maneuverability, Fatigue, Bow Damage                 |
| Speed               | Movement Speed                                       |
| Endurance           | Fatigue, Max Health, Health Bonus                    |
| Personality         | How Much People Like You                             |

| Luck                | Everything You Do                                    |
| Attribute           | Governs the Skills:                                  |
| Strength            | Blunt, Blade, Hand-to-Hand                           |
| Intelligence        | Alchemy, Conjuration, Mysticism                      |
| Willpower           | Destruction, Alteration, Restoration                 |
| Agility             | Security, Sneak, Marksman                            |
| Speed               | Athletics, Light Armor, Acrobatics                   |
| Endurance           | Block, Armoror, Heavy Armor                          |
| Personality         | Speechcraft, Mercantile, Illusion                    |
| Luck                | None                                                 |

There are some that are obvious choices for each class, and some that are next 
to worthless.  If you're playing a combatant melee character you should choose 
Strength and Endurance.  A Mage is designed to use both Intelligence and 
Willpower.  A Stealth character definitely needs Agility and to a lesser 
extent, Speed.  The other characteristic Personality is next to useless (in 
comparison) while Luck should be used more for fun than anything else.

Now we move on to the seven major skills.  As was said before, every time you 
choose a skill that applies to your class you get a big bonus in that skill.  
You can choose a total of seven and each class has seven class-specific 
skills.  Those skills along with the skills themselves in the tables below:

| Specialization      | Skills that Yield Bonuses:                           |
| Combat              | Armorer, Athletics, Blade, Block, Blunt              |
|                     | Hand-to-Hand, Heavy Armor                            |
| Mage                | Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction,       |
|                     | Illusion, Mysticism, Restoration                     |
| Stealth             | Acrobatics, Light Armor, Marksman, Mercantile,       |
|                     | Security, Sneak, Speechcraft                         |

| Skill               | Effect                                               |
| Acrobatics          | Jump long distances and avoid fall damage            |
| Alchemy             | Create potions and gain benefits from alchemy items  |
| Alteration          | Cast magic to altar physical properties              |
| Armorer             | Maintain weapons and armor at top efficiency         |
| Athletics           | Run and swim faster, regenerate fatigue faster       |
| Blade               | Swords and sharp weapons more effective              |
| Block               | Reduce damage while blocking                         |
| Blunt               | Blunt weapons do more damage                         |
| Conjuration         | Magic to summon creatures and equipment              |
| Destruction         | Cast powerful damage or resistance magic             |
| Hand-to-Hand        | Both damage and fatigue enemies with fists           |
| Heavy Armor         | Use Iron, Steel, Dwarven, Orcish, etc. Armor         |
| Illusion            | Magic to charm, create light, hide, etc.             |
| Light Armor         | Use Fur, Leather, Chainmail, Mithril, Elven Armor    |
| Marksman            | More powerful attacks with a bow                     |
| Mercantile          | Get better deals when buying / selling               |
| Mysticism           | Magic to absorb, reflect, dispel, sense etc.         |
| Restoration         | Magic to heal damage, cure disease etc.              |
| Security            | Use lockpicks to unlock doors and chests             |
| Sneak               | Pickpocketing and move unseen                        |
| Speechcraft         | Persuade people to like and trust you                |

You might just want to choose the seven skills that apply to your character as 
listed above however do note that while most are useful, not all of them are 
really necessary.  For example, if you are using a melee character you will 
probably wish to specialize in one type of attacking.  That may be Blade 
weapons, Blunt weapons or Hand-to-Hand.  Whichever one you choose you really 
don't need to specialize in the other two which leaves you open to two skills 
from other fields.  Mages would probably be best to select every skill from 
their field.  Stealth characters have little use for Acrobatics, and even less 
use for Mercantile and Speechcraft.  You may want to select them anyway for 
the bonuses, but if you have your eye on something else then these three 
skills are probably the ones to drop before any others.  Actually the Illusion 
magic ability might come in handy for a stealth character.  It might probably 
be worth sacrificing the Mercantile skill to specialize in that.  Finally we 
get to name the custom class.  Choose something appropriate to the kind of 
character you wish to be.  The name will not affect any aspects of the game.

| || 06.00 ||              Introduction: The Prison              || 06.00 || |

      (, /
     ) /
+-- (_/ HE PRISON -------------------------------------------------- 06.01 --+

After you have created your character, you will find yourself inside of a jail 
cell.  How you arrived in such a place is anyone's guess, however as you will 
soon learn that question is somewhat irrelevant in the big scheme of things.  
Take a couple of moments to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.  Using 
the left mouse button you can attack with your fists, and holding the right 
mouse button allows you to block.  Blocking will reduce but not eliminate some 
of the damage you take.  The mouse wheel lets you zoom out and cycle from 
first to third person mode.  How you choose to play is up to you, but do note 
that the game was designed specifically with the first person perspective in 
mind.  The next button you will want to get familiar with is the Z button.  
Target some of the objects on the ground or the table and hold the Z button, 
then move your mouse.  You can see that you have the ability to carry and move 
objects around.  Try this on those chains hanging from the ceiling to really 
get a good impression of the game's fancy physics.

Using the space bar while targeting objects in a similar way allows you to 
actually place them into your inventory directly.  Feel free to take the 
objects you see here in the cell even if they are of little value (you will 
find many items of little value to you on your quests.)  For the most part 
just about any item in the world of Cyrodiil can be taken but beware!  Many 
items are the property of others, this is indicated by a red hand symbol when 
you target an object.  If you pick up one of these objects and are caught 
doing it, your crime will most likely be reported.  You can learn more about 
crimes elsewhere in this guide, but we're still getting used to the controls.

The tab button is an important one which allows you to open up the game's main 
menu.  Click on the various buttons along the bottom to cycle between various 
stats and item menus for your character.  Make sure you know where to go to 
find your items, magic etc.  Now onto the more minor things.  The T button 
allows you to wait for a certain amount of time assuming you are not in a 
dangerous area (Oblivion like Morrowind runs in real time so this feature will 
come in handy)  The C button lets you cast spells while holding the shift 
button allows you to run.  Press caps lock to cycle between walk and auto-run.  
Hold down the left mouse button to execute a more powerful melee attack.  This 
attack uses fatigue which is the green bar at the bottom of the screen.  The 
more fatigue you have the more active you are, and the more damage your melee 
attacks will do.  Stop for a moment to rest and it will recover quickly.

That just about covers the basics, anything else I'm sure you will pick up as 
you go.  What you want to do now is proceed forward to the gate of your cell 
and listen in to the conversation.  Once again I'm sure you will be thrilled 
as I was to hear the voice of Patrick Stewart who plays Emperor Uriel.  When 
you are told to stand back and wait by the window, that is exactly what you 
should do.  When Emperor Uriel begins talking to you, you will have a number 
of options for things to ask him.  The order in which you select them makes no 
difference.  Upon gaining control of your character again you may be overcome 
by the urge to attack these people simply because you have the freedom to do 
so.  Try to resist this urge, it is possible of course though they will not 
hesitate to retaliate and the guards are much stronger than you.

      (, /
     ) /
+-- (_/ HE IMPERIAL SUBSTRUCTURE ----------------------------------- 06.02 --+

As you proceed down into the catacombs, do your best to stay close to the 
Emperor and his guards.  At your current level and abilities you could easily 
find yourself overwhelmed (and killed) by some of the assassins that you find 
along the way.  Feel free to jump in and help if you wish, but for the most 
part the guards are perfectly capable of taking care of things themselves.

When the first battle comes around, things will pretty much occur under a set 
script.  No matter what you do one of the guards (Captain Renault) will be 
killed.  Her body along with the bodies of the assassins can be looted by 
pressing the space bar.  Feel free to take everything you see.  Also make sure 
to pick up Renault's Akaviri Katana which should fall down somewhere near her 
body.  Equip the katana for now regardless of your class to better protect 
yourself.  You can also put on the robes that you rook from the assassins.

Just up ahead you'll find the first enemies you need to defeat yourself: a 
couple of rats.  Simply swing your katana or whatever else you have equipped 
to make quick rat meat out of them.  The door up ahead is locked so turn right 
and proceed through the crack in the wall.  There's at least one rat in this 
room you'll have to clear out.  Make sure to explore every inch.  First locate 
the chest in the light beside the skeleton corpse. The chest is locked, but if 
you examine the skeleton you should be able to find a lockpick.  Also collect 
the quiver (arrows) and the bow off of the skeleton.  Now if you are planning 
on being a ranged Marksman you can start to get some practice with the bow.  
In order to use the bow equip both the bow and the arrows in your inventory.

As for that locked chest, it's your first chance to use a lockpick.  While the 
chest is locked with a "very easy" lock you might still want to quicksave your 
game (F5) before trying.  The lockpick system works as follows: you can press 
the auto attempt button to try and open it automatically based on your 
lockpicking ability or you can try it manually which is usually the best 
choice.  What you need to do is position your lockpick under one of the locks 
that is hanging down and move the mouse up to knock it in the air.  Click the 
left mouse button to unlock the lock before it falls back down again.  You can 
find more information on lockpicking elsewhere in the guide but that's pretty 
much all there is to it. If you keep screwing up then simply reload your game.

Take whatever you find in the chest and move on.  There should be a barrel 
somewhat hidden in the dark nearby with some decent items inside.  Look around 
you to try and find a locked door.  If you have any lockpicks this door can be 
picked as well, but there is a better method.  Just a few steps from the door 
is the body of a goblin shaman who not only has the key, but also quite a few 
other items worth taking as well.  Get the key and unlock the door 
automatically.  There is a chest on your right when you enter this room with a 
number of good items and pieces of equipment inside.  As the game suggests, 
try setting a magic spell in your inventory and using it with the C button.  
If you are planning on making your character a Mage then there is no better 
time to start practicing.  If you want you can hotkey your magic (or items) by 
holding the numbers 1 to 8 and clocking on a spell.  Very helpful stuff.

Head down the slope and eliminate your first non-rat enemy (the zombie.)  
Continue onward and open the chest on your right.  Soon you will reach a 
lighted room with pillars (and rats) aplenty.  There's some decent stuff on 
the floor in the middle of the room but at this point you might have to start 
watching what you carry.  If you become over-encumbered simply hold shift and 
click on an item in your inventory to drop it.  The number under the feather 
symbol indicates its weight.  Continue now onward further through the dungeon.  
Before entering the tunnel in the wall down the hall take a look around for a 
cracked wall in this room to find a barrel filled with Ale.  Proceed on 
through the door at the end of the tunnel near the hanging skulls.

At the bottom of the slope there are some items in the box and barrel on your 
right, a pickaxe among other things.  As you go around the corner the game 
gives you a brief tutorial on sneaking.  Press the Ctrl button to go into 
sneaking mode, you can tell you are in sneaking mode because you move slower 
and the crosshair changes to an eye.  If the eye is dark then you have not 
been detected, if it turns yellow it means you are detectable.  While 
sneaking, if you can manage to attack an enemy without being detected (sneak 
up behind) then you will get a 4x damage bonus.  Sneak up behind the goblin 
near the fire and hold the left mouse button to do an extremely powerful 
charge attack.  This should almost kill the enemy in a single hit.

Now save your game and head around the corner.  Contrary to what you just 
learned, there will be no sneaking here.  You're going to rush this guy (make 
sure to save first.)  The reason for this is as follows: he is standing near a 
wire trap.  Run up to the goblin just out of the tunnel so you hit the wire, 
and then stop.  Some large swinging spike traps will come down and ideally 
pound the goblin from behind for a one hit kill.  No problem.

Make a left turn down the next hall at the fork and look for a well hidden 
chest in the darkness.  Break the lock and take the items from inside.  Now 
here's another fun part.  You should see a large pile of logs at the top of 
the hill and two goblins at the bottom.  You know what to do.  Push the logs 
with the space bar and take those goblins out without any effort at all.  
Don't forget to loot their corpses for lockpicks aplenty.  You can never have 
enough of those.  Two chests to open at the bottom of the hill, one unlocked 
and one with an easy lock to pick.  Heal up and proceed.

You might want to try sneaking into the next room and attacking the goblin 
from behind, that usually works quite well but it may well alert some of the 
other goblins in the room.  Just because one of them sees you however doesn't 
mean they all do, try to sneak up on any other enemies that don't seem to 
notice your presence.  There is a goblin shaman in here carrying a neat staff 
so if you're a magic user that might be something worth picking up.  Up the 
slope at the end here is a treasure chest with a few lockpicks in it as well 
as a door that leads up into the Imperial Subterrane.

      (, /
     ) /
+-- (_/ HE IMPERIAL SUBTERRANE ------------------------------------- 06.03 --+

Hop down through the hole in the wall to find Emperor Uriel Septim once again 
with his guards.  Allow them to defeat the assassins that appear and then loot 
their bodies for whatever they have on them.  The emperor will speak to you 
and ask about your birthsign.  At this point you will be able to select one 
from a number of different birthsigns.  Scroll up in the guide a little and 
look in the character creation section for more information.

One of the guards will give you a torch, something which you probably already 
have but it might be a good idea to equip one anyway.  Follow them through the 
door and turn right to find an unlocked treasure chest with some iron arrows 
and lockpicks inside of it.  Keep following the guards to reach The Sanctum.  
Stay behind them until you come to what seems like a dead end and you are told 
to protect the emperor while they run off and start fighting.  Emperor Uriel 
will turn to you and give you the Amulet of Kings the next scene unfolds you 
will finally learn of what you are to do when you leave this place.  Your 
destination is a place called Weynon Priory where you must seek out a man 
named Jauffre.  The guard gives you the key to the sewers so you may escape.

Now you finally get to choose the class for your character which is the meat 
and potatoes of determining how your character will act and what they will 
specialize in.  I highly recommend you scroll up to read about classes in the 
section above on character creation.  There's a fair bit you need to take into 
consideration.  After you have completed this you will finally be given your 
first quest, the quest to "Deliver the Amulet."  At this point the tutorial is 
just about over and you should know the ropes by now.  In case you can't 
figure out where to see your active quests, open the menu and click one the 
map tab at the lower right.  Quests are under that heading.

| || 07.00 ||                    The Main Quest                  || 07.00 || |

      (, /    )
        /    /
      _/___ /_
+-- (_/___ /   ELIVER THE AMULET ----------------------------------- 07.01 --+

Our first real quest is well underway, yet we find ourselves still stuck in 
these underground catacombs.  The first goal of this quest is to escape to the 
outside world.  Proceed down the tunnel which opened up to reveal Emperor 
Uriel's assassin.  When you reach the door turn left to find a treasure chest 
sitting just inside the wall.  Unlock the chest and take all of the potions.  
Through the door is the entrance to the sewers.  Make sure you are still 
holding that torch, it can get pretty dark in here.  As you head into the main 
room you'll be attacked by two rats, followed by two very dangerous Goblin 
Berserkers.  Now that you've finally specialized to a specific class perhaps 
those talents will come in handy here.  There are two exits to this room on 
the northeast wall, one on the left and one on the right.  Take the left 
tunnel first to find a treasure chest at the end with some lockpicks and 
arrows inside.  Turn around and take the other tunnel, it leads to a set of 
stairs going up.  This then leads to a bridge and a gate you can open.

The final stretch of the sewer is relatively short.  It leads into a 
cylindrical tunnel and a "Gate to the City Isle."  Before you open this gate 
what you want to do is press F5 to quicksave your game, then open the Esc menu 
and do a main save, then open it up and make another main save on a separate 
file.  The reason for this is as follows: when you examine the gate you will 
have the option to customize everything about your character's appearance and 
race again, his/her birthsign and his/her class.  Now that you have been 
through the initial training dungeon the game gives you the option of making 
corrections, or changing something that you don't like.  Note that after this 
point you will NEVER be able to change these things about your character 
again.  The reason I suggest you make so many saves is so that every time you 
want to start a new character you just load this file, build your new 
character from the menu when you open the gate, and then go from there without 
having to play through the whole introduction sequence again.  When you're 
ready, and everything's okay, open the gate and proceed out into the world.

Now that you're outside on the map, one of the first things you might want to 
do is adjust your graphics settings (unless you're playing the Xbox 360 
version).  Indoors was a different story but now in the enormous outside world 
things might get a little choppy depending on your hardware.  If you're having 
problems deciding what to change and what not to, or just looking for general 
tips on how to improve performance, check out the computer hardware and 
recommendations section of this guide for more information.

There are two primary ways of traveling in this game, you can do it manually 
on foot or you can do it automatically via your map.  There are advantages to 
both, and disadvantages.  Running too your destination allows you to increase 
your skills along the way, Athletics, Acrobatics and combat skills.  Anything 
that you would use along the way.  It allows you to better experience the 
beautiful world of Cyrodiil without just skipping past it.  The advantages of 
fast travel are primarily just that you will be able to progress through the 
game and complete it faster, which isn't necessarily a good thing.  Personally 
I would say that if it's your first character then it's recommended that you 
make the trip yourself.  After you've experienced the world and are ready to 
play a new character, you might opt to simply skip the trip to save time.  
Once again, the decision is yours.  If you decide to use fast travel, open up 
the tab menu and select the world map.  You can click on any destination to 
warp there automatically (though time will still pass.)  Your destination is 
the Weynon Priory to the west.  If you choose to walk / run there yourself, 
use the red flag on your compass to indicate the direction you need to go (in 
this case that direction is west.)  Remember also that not every location is 
available to your with fast travel, often you must first find it yourself 
before you can warp there.  For this reason the use of slow travel now will 
actually make fast travel a more viable option later.

When you arrive at your destination you want to look for a large building 
called the Weynon House.  That will be the location of Jauffre the vast 
majority of the time, but keep in mind that characters in this game unlike 
most games, do not always remain in one place.  Much of it is based on the 
time of the day so in a case like this if you know he is supposed to be here 
and he isn't, you can either go searching for him elsewhere in the area or 
simply use the wait command (T button) for a time when he has returned.  

Enter the house and speak to Maborel.  Ask him about all of the options you 
have and listen to what he has to say.  If this is your first visit to someone 
else's house there are a few ground rules to set down.  Obviously do not 
attack any of these people, doing so will put a bounty on your head and you'll 
likely be thrown into jail and perhaps not welcomed back.  The same applies 
for stealing anything in the house, you will note that when you hover the 
crosshairs over an item in here the hand is red.  That means don't touch.  If 
you're a stealth character you can try to sneak around and take things, but 
there's always risk involved.  Never do anything risky without first saving.

Note that a few items such as the documents on the take have a different icon, 
a red book..  This means the items don't belong to you, but if you press Space 
you can read them without getting in trouble.  If you choose the "take" option 
while reading that's where the trouble begins.  You can open the cupboards, 
but if you take anything they'll come after you.  Note that sometimes people 
don't even like you looking inside their drawers even if you take nothing.  
You can pick up items using the Z button without getting in too much trouble, 
but if you start hanging onto them, taking them away, or even throwing them 
around it might anger the people around you.  Anyway, enough of this aside.  
What you want to do now is go upstairs and see if you can find Jauffre.

He should be sitting at his desk, minding his own business.  Speak to him and 
tell him about the Amulet.  When he asks for it make sure you give it to him.  
Here you will learn a little more about the world known as Oblivion, and the 
gates which have appeared around this world.  Jauffre will tell you about the 
Emperor's only living son, whose name is Martin.  You are told that he serves 
Akatosh in the Chapel in the city of Kvatch.  After he is done talking to you, 
and your quests have been updated, ask him about assistance.  He will offer 
you the items that he has stored in the chest.  There are quite a few nice 
items in there, possibly more than you can carry depending on your class.  If 
you need to unload some of the items that you're carrying for money rather 
than just throwing them on the ground, you might have to look elsewhere.  I'm 
not certain there are any merchants in this small area here.

You will notice now that your first quest, Deliver the Amulet, has been 
completed.  You now have a new quest to "Find the Heir."  Most of this guide 
works on a simple quest-based system.  Simply look up the section based on the 
quest you are currently working on.  At times you might find a quest that is 
not part of the "main quest" line at which point you would need to deviate 
elsewhere in the guide to find it.  It's not entirely linear (much like the 
game) but it should not be difficult at any point to find what you need.

      (, /       
     ) /         
+-- (_/   IND THE HEIR --------------------------------------------- 07.02 --+

After leaving the Weynon Priory and giving Jauffre the Amulet, your new quest 
is to locate Martin, the son of the late Emperor Uriel.  From what you are 
told he is working as a priest in Kvatch which is south of here, so turn your 
compass to face south and move toward the red flag icon.  You've got an option 
aside from walking there and fast travel.  Speak to Maborel downstairs in the 
house and he will offer you the use of his horse.  Around back there is a 
stable with three horses, get on the one which reads as Maborel's horse when 
you hover your crosshairs over it.  You travel quite a bit faster on horseback 
than you do on foot so not only will you be able to make it there much 
quicker, you will also now have a horse you can use whenever you want.

Kvatch is the large city located quite far away up on the top of a hill.  You 
may have to run around the large hill almost entirely until you find a way up.  
If you take the proper way up you will find a camp of refugees along the way 
and realize that things are pretty bad up there.  If you cannot find the camp 
then simply use fast travel to Kvatch and you will be brought there 
automatically.  Make sure you speak to Hirtel (although it's pretty much 
impossible to avoid.)  After you've done what you need to and perhaps rested 
in the beds here then you need to start making tracks for Kvatch up the hill.

Speak to Savlian Matius when you reach the gate of Oblivion in front of the 
city of Kvatch and ask him what's going on.  He tells you that there are still 
survivors of the massacre up in the Chapel, and others in the castle.  Ask 
about Martin to get an update on your quest to find him and then choose the 
option to help.  This will give you a new quest "Breaking the Siege of 
Kvatch" which doesn't actually end your quest to find Martin.  There will be 
times of course when you are working on more than one quest at a time.  If you 
want information relevant to each specific quest, then just go to that section 
in the guide.  For example, despite not having completed this quest it may be 
a good idea to skip ahead to the section on "Breaking the Siege at Kvatch" 
because as of this moment, that's what you're going to do next.

The next time you make any progress in this quest is after you've gone through 
the gates of Oblivion for the quest "Breaking the Siege at Kvatch."  You will 
find Martin inside the Chapel in Kvatch and this quest will be updated when 
you speak to him.  Leave the chapel and exit the city along with Martin.  
Speak to him when you get outside and ask him to accompany you to Weynon 
Priory.  This is a good time to use fast travel just to simplify things.  
You've already been there and Martin will still be with you when you do that.  
Just as a quick warning however, make sure you are well equipped and well 
rested before you make the trip.  Be ready for combat almost immediately.

Upon arrival you will find a group of mysterious assassins killing everyone 
they can at Weynon Priory.  You can get most of the information you need from 
the first person you see.  After speaking to him you will get a new quest, 
"Weynon Priory."  Just like before this quest takes immediate priority over 
the one you are currently working on.  Scroll down to the "Weynon Priory" 
quest for more information on how to proceed from this point on.

This quest will automatically be completed as you progress through the next 
quest "Weynon Priory."  You can essentially consider it done at this point.

      (, /    )
     ) / ____)
+-- (_/ (      REAKING THE SIEGE AT KVATCH ------------------------- 07.03 --+

Your goal is to enter the portal of Oblivion and see what you can do to help 
hold off the forces of evil.  As you approach the portal, you and the guards 
following you will be attacked by a number of enemies that should not be 
difficult to eliminate (you'll be fighting a lot more inside the portal.)  
When you're ready, approach the portal and use the door icon to go inside.  

When you enter the gate there will be two enemies off in the distance directly 
in front of you that charge and attack.  Use the guards to help you fend off 
these enemies.  Approach the large gate directly ahead and try to open it.  
You can't, but this will trigger the appearance of another guard who is 
willing to help.  You can either have him follow you or send him back to the 
camp.  Head back a little bit and then turn and proceed northeast across the 
bridge.  Look for some kind of "fleshy pod" hanging down from above and 
examine it to find some valuable items.  Turn around again and this time 
proceed in the west direction.  The bridge is broken so make a right at the 
fork and follow the ground. Turn right at the end of this path and head north.

Another fleshy pod hangs down here just before a trap of falling rocks, so 
make sure you slow your progress just a little bit.  Watch out for the falling 
rocks on the bridge as well.  When you come to another turn make sure to open 
the fleshy pods on the ground on your left for some more valuable items.  East 
is your direction of choice this time as you proceed further into Oblivion.  
Make a quick right turn and head down the south path where you'll encounter a 
few more enemies.  Watch out for the traps in the ground at the end of the 
path.  Turn left and go northeast through the arch and then left again to 
reach the doors of a large tower called the Tower Portal to Blood Feast.

This place can get complicated, I won't try and direct you through every 
specific room one by one, just know that it is your goal to get to the top of 
the tower.  Make your way into one of the reading halls and then up from there 
into the Citadel Hall where two enemies will be waiting.  Examine the Blood 
Fountain to restore a large portion of your health (but it only works once and 
then it needs to recharge.)  Take the door to the Blood Feast and then up the 
slope to the Corridors of Salvation.  Keep going up and you should find a room 
with a couple of enemies and a bunch of locked doors.  One door is not locked 
and it leads to another tower.  When you enter the next tower be careful not 
to fall down the middle.  Proceed up the slope to find a man in a cage. 

After speaking to him a more difficult enemy attacks.  Eliminate this creature 
and then examine his body to get the Sigil Keep Key.  Once you have this key 
go back through the door and across to the previous tower.  Use the key on the 
locked door on your left.  As you head up the hallway watch out for spike 
traps in the wall that will kill you in almost a single strike.  Take the door 
to the Blood Feast and go up the ramp.  Kill the demon here before he runs 
away and loot his corpse for some nice items.  The device beside his is a warp 
portal, examine it to use it.  Take one of the doors at the top and use both 
the Blood Fountain and Magicka Essence fountains if you need them.

Be careful because there are some difficult enemies in this area.  Keep making 
your way up and eventually you will find what is known as a Sigil Stone at the 
very top of the tower.  The instant you take the Sigil Stone there will be a 
bright flash of light and suddenly you will find yourself outside of the gate, 
which is now closed.  This is how portals of Oblivion are closed, the taking 
of the Sigil Stone.  Now head back to the guards who are waiting to talk to 
you and speak with Matius.  If you are ready to begin the attack tell him so, 
however if you're anything like me you probably gained a level while fighting 
through Oblivion.  Remember that there are beds you can use to rest and level 
up back at the camp so it might be a good idea to stop there first.

When you're ready to proceed with the quest, speak to Matius.  Your quest will 
be updated and the guards will begin their attack.  Enter the city with them 
and get ready to fight.  Do everything you can to help out the guards.  If you 
don't help them enough, at least one or two of them are sure to die, but they 
don't have to.  If you want to keep them alive it might be a good idea to save 
before the battle (well it's a good idea anyway) just to make sure.  Once 
every single enemy has been defeated you will get a message on the screen 
saying so.  With all of the enemies dead take a moment to check inside some of 
the various boxes and barrels in the area.  Be sure to check the ruined 
buildings on your left, the first one has a locked chest with an Iron 
Longsword and some arrows inside of it.  In the neighboring building drop down 
into the small little hut to the north for another treasure chest.

Approach the door to the Chapel of Akatosh and go inside.  Speak to Martin and 
tell him everything you know, about how he is the son of Uriel Septim.  You'll 
get an update on your prior quest after you talk to him, but he says that he 
refuses to go anywhere until the entire group can leave together.  If you 
haven't talked to Matius outside, do so and he will say it's time to bring 
everyone out.  Now talk to Matius one more time to complete this quest.  This 
quest actually transforms into a new quest called "The Battle for Castle 
Kvatch."  That quest is actually not part of the main quest line, it's one of 
the game's many optional quests.  You may do it now, later, or even never, 
it's up to you.  You need to decide now whether you want to start this new 
quest, or focus your energy on helping to rescue Martin.  If you choose the 
latter please scroll back up and continue the quest "Find the Heir."

  __       __)
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    | /| /
    |/ |/
+-- /  | EYNON PRIORY ---------------------------------------------- 07.04 --+

Defeat the assassins that you find outside before anything else, and then 
enter Weynon Priory (the church-looking building, not Jauffre's house.)  You 
must be ready to fight two more when you go in there at close range to keep 
Jauffre alive.  Agree to go and check on the Amulet, and Jauffre will go with 
you.  Return to his house and check upstairs along with him.  Alas, the worst 
has happened and the Amulet of Kings has been stolen.  Tell Jauffre that at 
the very least you have found and brought Martin back with you.  Jauffre 
explains that the only place even remotely safe right now for Martin would be 
Cloud Ruler Temple up in the mountains.  With this, the quest "Find the Heir" 
is complete.  You now only have this quest on the main line to worry about.

Martin and Jauffre will go around behind the house and get on the horses.  You 
do the same and climb onto the back of the one that remains unoccupied.  Now 
this is very important, make sure to set Weynon Priory as your active quest in 
the journal so that the flag on your compass is pointing to Cloud Ruler Temple 
and not Kvatch again.