The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Hints and Tips - Set 3

Tips, Tricks, Glitches and Strategies for Oblivion on PC and Xbox 360

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Oblivion Tips and Hints

The following tips and hints have been submitted from various Oblivion players from around the world. Many of them are quite useful and can help you on the PC or Xbox 360 version of the game.

This is the third set of Oblivion hints, see the first set and the second set if you have not already.

Oblivion Character Creation

One of the most important parts of the game is overlooked by many players.

The selection of your character - its race, class, and sign - will affect you for the rest of the game and is probably the most important decision you will make. Don't be lured into making hasty and unthoughtful decisions by your urge to get playing quickly. Before you pick your character to do some research and decide what you want to do in the game.

If you are not sure to browse the many forums and fan sites for information on the different playing styles. Once you have your playing style selected you can then decide how you want to make your character. Online character creation tools found on the web are great to determine whether your ideas will work well. In general, it is not good practice to pick a premade class. They often have overlapping skills such as blade and blunt that waste a major skill spot.

Also, some skills can easily become useless either later game or with certain items.

Security, for example, is useless if you get the Skeleton Key, which can be acquired early at level 2. Similarly, some races have redundant skill bonuses. For example, some races such as Redguard have bonuses to both blade and blunt, which is, in the case of Reguards, a waste of +10 skill bonus. Similarly, some signs are either weaker and less useful than others.

The tower, for example, allows the player to open one average lock a day and reflect 5% damage for 2 minutes.

While it could have uses, it is far less useful than other either magicka or stat boosting signs. However, stat boosting signs can become less useful late in the game — if played right an attribute can be raised by +5 per level. To do this you need to level up the abilities that are governed by the attribute 10 times. For every 2 levels of skills under the attribute, you gain +1 to the bonus when leveling up. This also factors into a strategy for picking skills, as a player might want to leave at least one skill in each attribute minor to allow for this leveling up. (Once you increase the major skills 10 times you can no longer continue to add to attribute bonuses.)

While Oblivion is a great game and the urge to play it can be overwhelming not thinking through a character can lead to much frustation later in the game as you discover that some choices were not good. You will be that character for a long time, put the time in early to make sure the time later is enjoyable.
Submitted by: Dan Pasowicz

The Blackrock Caverns

In short, the dungeon does a good job appearing to be fancy-pants and then being very, how do you say, sub-par in its core.

This dungeon perfects the double-bluff, needless to say.

Hidden behind a waterfall in a calm little pond in the western parts of Cyrodiil, near Chorrol. The entrance area is a Kodak moment in and of itself. Inside, you'll find a handful of bandits and a nasty trap waiting to fill your face with a log as big as you (Bigger if your a Bosmer, heh.)

After you kill the bandits in the second level, you'll likely wonder if your missing something. You are.

Look for a switch in the southern area of the second level (it's a turnable switch.) Activate it and it'll glow, make a weird chime, and vanish. One entrance has been blocked by a bolder, the other door leading back to the first level has a surprise in wait on the other side.

Undead Pirates! Yay!

Kill the Blackrock Pirates and take their stuff. Then look around for another magic switch where they had appeared. Activate it, and head back to the second level.

No Pirates, but look almost directly ahead of you and you'll find a trap door leading to the dungeon's main event.

Follow the tunnel until you get to the rock door. Activate the switch on the right, and you'll find yourself facing the earthly remains of a Pirate Ship, plus more Pirates. Kill them, and the place is yours to plunder. You'll find Septims, Weapons, and some potions.
Submitted by: Kyle B.

Trouble Getting Through Doors - No Problem!

If you experience the Iron Door Problem, where you can't walk through doors in Alyeid Ruins because "this door is opened remotely" and the pushblocks / pressureplates / levers don't work or you can't find them because they aren't there... go to the console and type TCL, which enables No-Collision aka NOCLIP mode, so fly through the doors. (see Oblivion PC codes for reference)

Type it again in the console to disable it. If you need an NPC to follow you, they cannot travel through walls, however, if you have their NPC item code (which can be found here at the greatest oblivion site of all time =) then you will be fine). Just simply walk through the door, and spawn that NPC on the other side with you and all will be well.
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Hidden Quest for Treasure

There is a little side quest that doesn't show up in your quest log but leads to a pretty awesome ring. From the tower that contains the entrance to the Ruined Pale Pass Fort, descend the path to the frozen lake. Rather than following the path as it continues to the south, turn north. Climb over the rocks, and walk around the debris of the fortress; up against the rocks, next to a big mushroom, you'll find a barrel containing a crumpled note and a rusty key. Do you see the second tower west of the one we've just visited, somewhat higher on the mountainside? Climb up and enter it. Now, see the bush below and ahead of you? The chest is under it. It contains and an old key.

The next container is near the path. From the statues, follow the path up the hill to the southeast. Where the path turns straight south, you'll see, off to your left, a curving section of stone wall and some large gray rocks. The chest containing a forgotten key is behind the rocks.

The last one is tricky. Its high up in the mountains at the south end of the vale, and its not near the path. Return to the door to the Serpents Trail and head southwest. Initially, you'll find the slope too steep to climb, but further west it becomes more gradual and you'll be able to make your way south to a great gray outcropping; the chest is half buried in the ground in front of the outcropping. Inside you'll find the Circlet of Omnipotence, one bad ass ring.
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Have the Imperial Guards Jack the Pirates

If you simply don't like the pirate's attitude towards you in the Imperial City, talk to all of them including the first mate while the siege on the waterfront is active and Imperial Guards are everywhere, especially near the pirate ship. From there, run onto the ship and the pirates will pull out their swords and try to attack you, but here's the Elite Imperial Guard to the rescue.

They slaughter every single pirate there without taking a loss, giving you the freedom to raid their ship for all its worth without worrying about pirates attacking you. This will, however, make it impossible to receive a quest to save the bloated float from the pirate attack because the pirates will, in fact, be dead. The quest isn't all that great anyway, I'd much rather see the pirates get jacked by Imperial Guards any day.
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Get Recruited into the Dark Brotherhood without a Murder Charge

Get recruited into the Dark Brotherhood without getting caught by the Imperial Guard for murder. Wait for the Umbacanno quest called "Secrets of the Alyeids" where you have to travel to a distant ruin and help Umbacanno reach the Throne Room. Anyway, as you get there, there will be a visual disturbance relatively near to Umbacanno outside the ruin. Umbacanno will actually talk to somebody and that will give away this Chameleon person's location, its the ambushing bastard Claude Maric.

Talk to him and he says "no hard feelings, it was only business" after he tried to have you killed by 3 heavily armed cronies. Waste no time taking sweet vengeance, carve him up like a succulent turkey and take his belongings, and of course this "murder" will be watched by an unknown force. The Imperial Guard doesn't do anything to you, but when you fall asleep, you get a visit from the Dark Brotherhood. Vengeance, no fines, and a new quest line, you cant beat it!
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Explore the Bodies of Water

If you want to see the entire contents of a body of water (lakes, steams, etc), jump into the water and descend down very slowly and incrementally while looking forward and slightly down. If done correctly, you can see the water separate from your view, and instantly, everything in the water beneath you is 100% lit up and visible. Very useful for treasure hunting or killing those damn fish.
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Avoid In-game Bugs

To avoid any irreversible main quest bugs, complete all side quests/guild quests/etc that you have going first. Make sure that all loose ends are tied up and then proceed with the main quest. Also, don't do any dark brotherhood quests before you beat the main quest as the dark brotherhood will raise your infamy...greatly.

But after the main quest is complete, you can purge anyone the dark brotherhood seeks fit and when guards come running (their disposition should be 100 after you complete the main quest), hold block and click on them to *yield*. They will talk to you and say "because your such a friend I'll just look the other way" or something of the sort. This makes looting, pillaging, and killing all the easier without worrying about arrest warrants, fines, and resisting arrest.
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Repent Your Sins Wicked One Bug Fix

To fix the "Repent your Sins Wicked One" bug at the chapels when you try to use the alter, there is a short process to follow. First, commit a crime...just go whack someone with your sword. Pay the fine, and you'll lose any stolen merchandise on you and your bounty goes to zero.

From there, seek out a thieves guild member who can pay off your fines and bounty. Pay them the 50% cost, and then sleep for at least 1 hour. Pray at a chapel and all of a sudden you're no longer wicked. I've tried other combinations, but this seems to be the only method that works 100% of the time in correcting the bug.
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Picking Locks is Easy Business

It took me a few days to really get the hang of it, but I found that listening for the famous *PLINK PLINK* is not the best way to pick locks. There are several speeds for which the pins move on the lock. There's very fast, fast, medium, slow, and very slow. Depending on your security level, you can click and lock the pins with any of these speeds, the faster the speed the harder.

The easiest method is to grasp the mouse with your finger poised. Play around with the first pin for a while (or any pin, the order doesn't matter), watch for the different speeds. When your eye has determined the different speeds, and you can calculate when the pin is moving up at the very slow speed, click the mouse immediately. No matter how fast you think your reaction is, you won't click it in time unless you do it in literally .250 of a second after the pin hits the top of the tumbler.

If you click the moment you see it going up slowly, the time it takes the brain to send the neural signal to the fingers to click the button, the pin is already at the top and you have .249 seconds. If you hesitate for even a nanosecond, just keep playing around and timing it again. Fewer lockpicks is good, and constantly locking the pins in place improves your security at a fast pace. Once you hit 40+ security, you can start aiming for the very slow, slow, and even medium speeds.

The medium is very hard to hit, but with finesse, you can nab those also. The higher the security level the more reaction time you are given. It is also a proven fact that visualization stimulates faster tactile response than auditory processing. Meaning, most people react to things faster if they see them rather than hear them.
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Quick Tip for Good Money

A quick tip for some good money (if you don't use cheats or the vampire potion reward exploit. Wait for after 9 pm and pick the lock on the chest by the arena. There's 500 gold in there, and it replenishes randomly. I found that the gold replenished in 52 hours oblivion time and with 8 hours of player sleep...but it probably varies per player.
Submitted by: Wilhelm (cashmoney)

Join the Guilds

For quick and easy cash for your new character, join the Guilds - the Mages and Fighters Guild in particular. You can then go to the different Guild Halls and all the items that are on shelves or chests you can take and sell! This provides some easy gold, as well as basic weapons and potions/poisons when you are starting out.
Submitted by: Blake Bolt

Easy Money

The Wizard's Tower download gives you a new merchant to barter with at The Mystic Emporium in the Market District of Imperial City. She has 2000 gold to barter with and she sells a Strong Potion of Absorption for 2000+ gold. Buy the Strong Potion of Absorption and then use the Arrow Clone trick to clone it as many times as you want. Then, you just turn around and sell the potions right back to her for massive cash. Cloning stuff and selling it back isn't a new trick, but this is an easy way to make a ton of money right at the start of the game (provided you have enough cash to buy the potion in the first place). Tested on Xbox 360.
Submitted by: Eric Qualls

Easy Level Up

In Leyawiin you get a quest called "Whom Gods Annoy" about a woman (Rosentia Gallenus) who has an item called the Staff of the Everscamp. It causes 4 scamps to follow her around constantly. The game repeatedly tells you to not kill them because it is pointless (they keep respawning) but that just means you can keep killing them and leveling up your attacks. You can also cast a low level destruction spell (3 damage is the sweet spot) or Soul Trap on them which causes them to attack you. They are so weak that you can just stand there and let them hit you in order to build up your Light/Heavy Armor, Block, and your Armorer since you'll have to repair your stuff every minute or so. You'll have to heal every now and then, but the scamps are pretty wimpy. Tested on Xbox 360.
Submitted by: Eric Qualls

Fun With Corpses

Everyone laughs about how when you kill something it can roll down a hill forever. But what I like to do is cast a lightning spell on my fallen enemies. If you hit the right spot it will send them flying high into the air. This way you can put dead bodies on rooftops and get them stuck in trees and all sorts of funny stuff. Tested on Xbox 360.
Submitted by: Eric Qualls

The Frostcrag Tower Upgrade

Tons of cool stuff here, but I suggest you check out your vault. Look around at the back wall, you'll find two tombstones that are very useful. One gives a bottle of Daedra Lava Ale, it catches you on fire, heals you, and summons a Daedra Lord. The other gives a once a day use spell that gives you +15 mercantile, speechcraft, personality. Great for when you're going to go sell or need to do a quest that involves raising someone's disposition! Good Luck.
Submitted by: Kory Lauver

Quick and Easy Sneak Skills

When starting the quest for Armond accept the quest than simply go behind him, go into sneak mode and loot him. This does not give you a bounty and Armond does not care, he simply replies take it I don't need it.
Submitted by: John Doe

Easy Gold and Merchant Skills

For easy gold and merchant skills simply get on a horse and go Kvatch. Get on the horse and equip a fairly decent weapon, then go to the orc with cornrows and sell the sword, it will not sell the sword but it will give you the 200 gold each time (depending on if its worth 200). Do this over and over again for easy gold and easy merchant skills. As far as I know you can do this as many times as you want.
Submitted by: John Doe

Sneak Attack Enemies more than once

You can sneak attack enemies more than once even when they are alarmed. Just get out of their sight and don't make noise. Most easily it is accomplished when attacking from a large distance with a bow. Chameleon and invisibility spells are also very useful for this purpose but don't rely fully on them, because you can be detected even when you are invisible.
Submitted by: Alexey K.

Collect Ninroot and go to the Elven Ruins

After escaping from the prison sewers cross the lake, there you will find the Elven Ruins, somewhere near them you will find a plant called 'nirnroot'. Collect it and you will receive a new quest, which will require you to travel to the city of Skingrad to the southwest, east of Kvatch where the Oblivion Gates have opened. After collecting the nirnroot don't pursue this quest at once, rather go into the Elven Ruins.

In their depths, you will find Ayleid statue. Sell it and you will have a chance to receive a quest. A courier will go looking for you with an invitation to visit a collector of such statues in the Imperial City. If you manage to meet with the courier you will receive this quest. I met him near Weynon Priory after I sold the statue in Chorrol.
Submitted by: Alexey K.

Grab a Magic Sword

In Grey Mare Tavern in Chorrol overhear as an old man talks with a bartender about some creatures threatening his farm and that the guards don't want to help. New dialogue topic will become available to you. Talk to that old man about it and you will receive a quest to defend his farm from goblins. Go to Weynon Priory, near it, you will meet his two sons. Speak to them and go with them to the farm.

You will need to fight off three waves of goblins. Goblins in helms are tough ones, they are goblin skirmishers. Goblins without helms are very weak and can be killed with one or two power blows. I suppose killing the weakest first would be the best strategy. Make sure that both brothers survive so you will receive a magical sword when you return to the old man in Grey Mare.
Submitted by: Alexey K.

Bring a Magical Weapon to Fish

If you decide to go 'fishing' in Lake Rumare (there is a quest for it) make sure you have a magical weapon with you. It is a very hard work to kill Rumare Slaughterfish with a non-magical weapon. Though if you manage to catch it near a shore you can sneak attack it with a bow. This way is much more fun, though such occasions are rare. I didn't try to use magic for fishing, I'm a Khajiiti Assassin and magic is not my style, though I suspect magic fishing might be very much fun.
Submitted by: Alexey K.

Use Filled Soul Gems

When you find filled soul gems don't sell them, they can be used to recharge magic weapons. Magic weapons don't restore their charges as time passes.
Submitted by: Alexey K.

About Stolen Horses

If you steal a horse, when you release it, it will return to where you stole it from. Also if you get off the stolen horse and then need to get on it again, make sure no one sees you because it will be as if you are stealing it again.
Submitted by: Alexey K.

Khajiit's Eye of Fear

If you are playing a khajiit, don't forget about your 'Eye of Fear' power. It can spook even a Daedra, very useful.
Submitted by: Alexey K.

More Oblivion Tips

The fourth set of Oblivion hints and tips is here: Oblivion Hints and Tips - set 4.

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