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    Character Creation Guide by Haeravon

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    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |		      The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion		       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    Version 1.03
    Written by: Nathan Garvin
    Email: Theendbringer (at) Hotmail (dot) com.
    If you're going to email me about this guide, make sure you put
    "OBLIVION" in the title, or I'll probably end up deleting it as junk.
    
    Guide Information
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    This FAQ was made in Notepad, and is best viewed in a simple text
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    Legal
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    I have no affiliation with Bethesda, Zenimax, or any other parties 
    involved with this game. This is a not-for-profit fan-made guide. If 
    you wish to post, mirror, or quote this guide, feel free to do so. 
    Credit would make me happy, an email would make me feel good. Let your 
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    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
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    Table of Contents
    o======================================================================o
    I. Introduction				{INT001}
    II. Race/Gender				{RNG001}
    III. Birthsigns				{BRT001}
    IV. Class				{CLS001}
    V. Leveling Up				{LVL001}
    VI. Attributes				{ATT001}
    VII. Derived Attributes			{DAT001}
    VIII. Skills				{SKL001|
    IX. Trainers				{TRN001}
    X. Sample Character			{CHR001}
    XI. Updates/Thanks			{UPD001}	
    		
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			Introduction {INT001}			       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o	
    My Fallout 3 FAQ got quite a few hits, and a number of people e-mailed
    me about it.. generally with helpful and positive feedback. I even got
    a question asking if I would expand the FAQ to include the expansion(s).
    Since Bethesda made both Fallout 3 and Oblivion, and I spent just about
    as much time on one as the other, I decided I'd write another FAQ for
    Oblivion. I have my own opinions about the game.. obviously.. and I
    wont dig quite as deep into the game mechanics as other FAQs might, but
    I will tell you how I create characters, my thoughts on the attributes,
    skills, birthsigns, and what-not. This is a somewhat completionist FAQ.
    I'm incorrigible about min-maxing my stats, so I'll be taking that frame
    of mind when writing this FAQ. This is not really for casual gamers,
    although I'm confident what I have to say might be helpful to anyone
    looking for help. I will order the guide in the same order as options
    become available to your in the game.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			Race and Gender {RNG001}		       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    Okay, now for the fun part of actually making your character. You'll
    have a number of races to choose from, each with different abilities,
    skill bonuses, and starting attributes. You'll also get to be either
    male or female.. although the NPC interactions in this game aren't
    really too diverse either way, so don't pick for role-playing options..
    Ugh.. Know that it hurt me to type that.. But it's true..
    
    Rating:	*	Playing this race will actually make the game harder.
    Rating: **	This race has abilities that become obsolete.
    Rating: ***	You will have abilities that are useful once in a while.
    Rating: ****	You will have abilities that are actually boons.
    Rating: *****	Constantly useful abilities throughout the whole game.
    
    Which is the "Best"?
    o======================================================================o
    I hate this term, and I've seen it in too many FAQs, and on too many
    boards. Some people call Orcs/Reguards the "best" melee fighters, and
    some call Bretons the "best" mages. This is moot. Your starting
    attributes and skill bonuses only matter insomuch as they affect
    leveling. I do blame Bethesda somewhat for this nuisance, in so much as
    they say "such and such tends to favor the warrior class" or "blah blah
    make excellent thieves due to their natural agility." Yeah. At level 1,
    the playing field is far from level. At level 50..? All classes and 
    races and genders can max out all attributes at 100. All characters can 
    reach up to a score 100 in all skills. What's the difference between a 
    Breton with 100 Strength and Blade fighting a Redguard with 100 Strength 
    and Blade? Nothing. What does matter then? The following.
    
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your starting Endurance will determine your maximum Health. A character
    who starts with 50 Endurance as compared to a character with 30 will 
    gain 2 extra Health per level. which is a fairly big deal. Keep that in 
    mind when looking at the classes, as the 'invisible' Health maximum is 
    attached to those who start with higher Endurance.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Racial Abilities. These matter. While I find attributes to be mostly
    level footing, and skills to be a non-issue except for the convenience
    of leveling, your racial ability sticks with you. Picking a race with
    a good one matters, and is probably the most important, if not the
    sole consideration to be made when choosing a race.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Character Model. Seriously, this can be a long game. Even longer if you
    want to min-max. Make a character you like, and one that wont make you
    nauseous every time you open your inventory. Pick what you want to play
    by your avatar.. and use your imagination. The story of Oblivion is 
    sadly irrelevant when it comes to your other choices.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    
    The fact that I don't think any race is really much 'better' at any
    activity in the long run than any other race doesn't mean that,
    objectively, there aren't some bonuses that make certain races better
    than others. That doesn't mean I'm contradicting myself. Make an Orc,
    make an Orc mage in fact, it doesn't really matter. Hell, make an Orc
    who can use all weapons, sneak, haggle, and cast all spells with a
    skill of 100. But keep in mind the various abilities of each class, 
    which no amount of attribute/skill maxing can overcome.
    
    The Races
    o======================================================================o
    Below I will list the starting attributes of each race by gender.
    Following that, I will denote the skill bonuses each race gains, and
    after than the special abilities of each race. Finally, I will give my
    opinion of the race, and give it an entirely subjective score based
    mostly upon their abilities, with bonus points for having high starting
    Endurance.
    
    Argonian
    o======================================================================o
    This reptilian race, well-suited for the treacherous swamps of its
    homelands, has developed natural immunities to diseases and poisons.
    They can breathe water and are good at picking locks.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	50	40	40	40	30	30	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	40	30	50	50	30	30	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Alchemy +5, Athletics +10, Blade +5, Hand to Hand +5, Illusion +5,
    Mysticism +5, Security +10.
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Resist Disease
    Ability: Argonian Disease Resistance (75)
    
    Immune to Poison
    Ability: Argonian Poison Immunity (100)
    
    Water Breathing
    Ability: Argonian Water Breathing
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Argonians are a rare breed in that they have three abilities that are
    actually okay. A high disease resistance will help ignore some 
    annoyances as you play the game, and poison comes up more than you'd
    think. Certainly the best disease/poison set out there. Also, water
    breathing is a cheap spell, and it can be found on an item fairly
    easily, but having it all the time prevents you from ever needing to
    worry in the first place. They are, at the least, some abilities you
    will get some use out of. The only real downside to the Argonian is
    their poor Endurance, which will set them back in the Health 
    department, and the fact that they really don't have any combat
    oriented abilities.
    
    Rating: ***
    
    Breton
    o======================================================================o
    In addition to their quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, even the
    humblest of Bretons can boast a resistance to magical energies. They
    particularly skilled at summoning and healing magic.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    30	50	50	30	40	30	40	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	50	50	30	30	30	40	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Alchemy +5, Alteration +5, Conjuration +10, Illusion +5, Mysticism +10,
    Restoration +10
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Dragon Skin
    Shield 50% for 60 seconds on Self
    
    Fortify Magicka
    Ability: Breton Enhanced Magicka (50)
    
    Resist Magic
    Ability: Breton Magic Resistance (50)
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Somebody at Bethesda must love Bretons. Really. These are your premier
    mages in Oblivion, as they have the second highest Magicka total with
    no downside. In fact, they have the best magical resistance as well, 
    Better yet, they also have the best shielding ability in the game, much 
    better than the Nordic ability. Undoubtedly the best set of abilities in 
    the game.
    
    Rating: *****
    
    Dark Elf
    o======================================================================o
    Also known as "Dunmer" in their homeland of Morrowind, the Dark Elves
    are noted for their skilled and balanced integration of the sword, the
    bow, and destruction magic. They are resistant to fire and can summon
    an ancestral ghost for aid.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	40	30	40	50	30	40	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	40	30	40	50	40	30	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Athletics +5, Blade +10, Blunt +5, Destruction +10, Mysticism +5,
    Light Armor +5, Marksman +5
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Ancestor Guardian
    Summon Ancestor Guardian for 60 seconds on Self
    
    Resist Fire
    Ability: Dark Elf Fire Resistance (75)
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Dark Elves in Oblivion sure aren't like what they are in most other
    fantasy settings. Still, that's not entirely a bad thing. Darks Elves
    have two abilities that don't explicitly suck. Firstly, they have the
    equivalent of a low-level summoning spell. Nothing too special. 
    Secondly they are 75% resistant to fire damage, by far the most common
    element you'll have thrown at you. This makes them an entirely playable
    class, with no real downside.
    
    Rating: ***
    
    High Elf
    o======================================================================o
    Also known as "Altmer" in their homeland of Summerset Isle, the High
    Elves are the most strongly gifted in the arcane arts of all the races.
    However, they are also somewhat vulnerable to fire, frost, and shock.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    30	50	40	40	40	30	40	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    30	50	40	40	30	40	40	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Alchemy +5, Alteration +10, Conjuration +5, Destruction +10, 
    Illusion +5, Mysticism +10.
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Weakness to Fire
    Ability: High Elf Elemental Weakness (25)
    
    Weakness to Frost
    Ability: High Elf Elemental Weakness (25)
    
    Weakness to shock
    Ability: High Elf Elemental Weakness (25)
    
    Fortify Magicka
    Ability: High Elf Enhanced Magicka (100)
    
    Resist Disease
    Ability: High Elf Disease Resistance (75)
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Basically your mages in Oblivion, High Elves gain a whopping 100 points
    to their Magicka. The maximum Magicka boost is something that really 
    can't be replicated, because your maximum Magicka determines the 
    potential potency of any spell you cast (more Magicka = more potent 
    spells). The disease resistance on the other hand, is very paltry. You 
    can get Cure Disease spells fairly easily, or potions, or just eat raw 
    reagents, so there's really not much to celebrate here. On the other 
    side, they take 25% more damage from ALL elements. I'm not sold on their 
    positive perks, and they get a massive negative perk? Shouldn't highly 
    magickal beings be resistant to magic, if anything? After seeing the 
    Breton, this penalty is harsh, even ridiculous, and completely makes 
    them redundant as a PC race.
    
    Rating: *
    
    Imperial
    o======================================================================o
    Natives of the civilized, cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil, they have
    proved to be shrewd diplomats and traders. They are skilled with
    heavy armor and in the social skills and tend to favor the warrior
    classes.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	40	40	30	30	40	50	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	40	30	30	40	40	50	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Blade +5, Blunt +5, Hand to Hand +5, Heavy Armor +10, Mercantile +10,
    Speechcraft +10
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Star of the West
    Absorb Fatigue 100 points on Touch.
    
    Voice of the Emperor
    Charm 30 points for 30 seconds on Target.
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Imperials are supposed to be the Elder Scrolls version of Romans,
    conquering imperials with combat savvy and a penchant for diplomacy.
    They are about as boring of a race as you can make, but everybody must
    have their niche, eh? Their Endurance is fair, but their special
    abilities are frankly ass. Charm and Absorb Fatigue are both pretty
    useless, especially Charm since you can either a) use Speechcraft to 
    improve someone's disposition. b) bribe somebody to improve their 
    disposition. Or c) get a spell that does the same thing! And draining 
    Fatigue? Fatigue regenerates, and all draining it will do is make the 
    enemies deal less damage. Maybe if you could use it multiple times.. to 
    keep an enemy drained of fatigue, but it's a once per day thing. It's 
    not going to change the tide of a single battle. If it has any impact 
    whatsoever, you used it against an enemy that could not hope to beat you
    anyhow. The only reason I can see to play them is if you want to
    aesthetically play a generic character. Granted, their features are
    some of the least fugly in Oblivion, but is that a good enough reason to
    settle? At least they don't have any negatives to them.
    
    Rating:	**
    
    Khajiit
    o======================================================================o
    Hailing from the province of Elsweyr, they are intelligent, quick, and
    agile. They make excellent thieves due to their natural agility and
    unmatched acrobatics skill. All Khajiit can see in the dark.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    39	40	30	50	40	40	40	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	40	30	50	40	30	40	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Athletics +5, Blade +5, Hand to Hand +10, Acrobatics +10, 
    Light Armor +5, Security +5, Sneak +5.
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Eye of Fear
    Demoralize up to level 25 for 30 seconds on Target
    
    Eye of Night
    Night-Eye for 30 seconds on Self
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Originally I didn't think much of the 'cat-people', in fact, teenage
    bias at one point kept me from playing Morrowind due to the 
    'cat-people' in the Elder Scrolls game. It is a choice I regret, as now
    I just can't get into the game, when I probably could have during its
    height. What can I say? I was a fairly asininely-biased little guy.
    Anyhow, they aren't very good from a gameplay standpoint. Their
    abilities are pretty lame. At least Eye of Fear might help out in a
    fight once in a while, but their 'ability to see in the dark' is the 
    equivalent of a low level illusion spell that can be purchased from the 
    get-go by any other race. At least you can use it as often as you 
    please, which makes them have some useful abilities, if not any great 
    ones. Making this ability a toggle ability instead of an activated one
    would have been nice, Bethesda.
    
    Rating: **
    
    Nord
    o======================================================================o
    Citizens of Skyrim, they are a tall and fair-haired people. Strong and
    hardy, Nords are famous for their resistance to cold. They are highly
    talented warriors.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    50	30	40	40	40	40	30	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    50	30	30	40	40	50	30	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Armorer +5, Blade +10, Block +5, Blunt +10, Heavy Armor +10,
    Restoration +5
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Nordic Frost
    Frost Damage 50 points on Touch
    
    Woad
    Shield 30% for 60 seconds on Self
    
    Resist Frost
    Ability: Nord Frost Immunity (50)
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Vikings of the Elder Scrolls, Nords are supposed to be good 
    warriors, and their high starting Endurance certainly means they'll have 
    plenty of Health. Their abilities.. eh.. 50 damage is alright, but doing 
    frost damage once per day isn't fantastic. Also, they are 50% resistant 
    to frost damage. Not too many things use frost, and fire would have been 
    better since it is by far the most common element, but still, a
    resistance to anything is not bad. Woad is pretty nice too. 30% damage 
    resistance for a full minute can really help you weather some tougher 
    melees, and even taken once per day, it is still a good ability. They 
    are certainly an interesting-if not overwhelmingly powerful-race.
    
    Rating: ****
    
    Orc
    o======================================================================o
    The people of the Wrothgarian and Dragontail Mountains, Orcish armorers
    are prized for their craftmsanship. Orc troops in heavy armor are among
    the finest in the Empire, and are fearsome when using their berserker
    rage.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    45	40	45	35	30	50	25	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    45	30	50	35	30	50	30	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Armorer +10, Block +10, Blunt +10, Hand to Hand +5, Heavy Armor +10
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Berserk
    Fortify Health 20 points for 60 seconds on Self
    Fortify Fatigue 200 points for 60 seconds on Self
    Drain Agility 100 points for 60 seconds on Self
    Fortify Strength 50 points for 60 seconds on Self
    
    Resist Magic
    Ability: Orc Magic Resistance (25)
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Orcs are your berserkers.. a staple of any fantasy genre. Of course,
    in Oblivion they appear in a fairly unusual role: that of an integrated
    and mostly-civilized (if unkempt, unruly, horse-eating) members of
    society. Berserk is an interesting ability. The Health bonus is paltry,
    but the massive Strength bonus is pretty nice.. if you can manage to
    hit things without getting knocked around yourself (the Agility hit
    hurts.) Resist Magic is less of a mixed bag, 25% magic resistance is a
    very good thing.
    
    Rating: ****
    
    Redguard
    o======================================================================o
    The most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel. In addition to their
    cultural affinities for many weapon and armor styles, they also have a
    hardy constitution and a natural resistance to disease and poison.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    40	30	30	40	40	50	40	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    50	30	30	40	40	50	30	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Athletics +10, Blade +10, Blunt +10, Light Armor +5, Heavy Armor +5,
    Mercantile +5
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Adrenaline Rush
    Fortify Agility 50 points for 60 seconds on Self
    Fortify Strength 50 points for 60 seconds on Self
    Fortify Speed 50 points for 60 seconds on Self
    Fortify Endurance 50 points for 60 seconds on Self
    Fortify Health 25 points for 60 seconds on Self
    
    Resist Poison
    Ability: Redguard Poison Resistance (75)
    
    Resist Disease
    Ability: Redguard Disease Resistance (75)
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    If you thought the Orc was nice, behold the Redguard. While 25% magic
    resistance is undeniably a good thing, 75% disease and poison resistance
    is a healthy bonus, too. But the real winner is Adrenaline Rush, which
    significantly raises all the Redguard's combat stats for a full minute
    with no downside. This is much better than the Berserk ability of the
    Orc, and both genders have a health Endurance to keep them up with the
    Nord and Orc in overall Health. Of course, all the Redguards abilities
    are significantly less useful if you prefer to stay out of direct
    combat, but if you want to mix things up, there's good incentive to play
    a Redguard.
    
    Rating: *****
    
    Wood Elf
    o======================================================================o
    The clanfolk of the Western Valenwood forests, also known as "Bosmer."
    Wood Elves are nimble and quick, making them good scouts and thieves,
    and there are no finer archers in all of Tamriel. Their ability to
    command simple creatures is well-known.
    
    Attributes, Female
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    30	40	30	50	50	30	40	50	320
    
    Attributes, Male
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    STR	INT	WIL	AGI	SPD	END	PER	LCK	TOT
    30	40	30	50	50	40	30	50	320
    
    Skill Bonuses
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Acrobatics +5, Alchemy +10, Alteration +5, Light Armor +5, Marksman +10,
    Sneak +10
    
    Abilities
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Beast Tongue
    Command Creature up to level 5 for 60 seconds on Target
    
    Resist Disease
    Ability: Wood Elf Disease Resistance (75)
    
    Opinion
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Okay, if you looked at those abilities, then you should know where this
    is going. Wood Elves suck on the ability end. The disease resistance is
    nice, but considering that Redguards have that and then some, it comes
    hard to recommend. And then the Beast Tongue ability. I don't know why
    Bethesda plays favorites with races, but a level 5 command effect?
    Care to guess when that becomes useless? How about, level 6? By all
    means, amassing a horde-of-one mudcrab and rat appeals to you, then go
    for it. The real animals that you could have at your side are
    too high of a level, for one, and not in Oblivion, where you might
    actually need the help, for two. Still, they have no downside, so they
    aren't completely useless.
    
    Rating: **
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			   Birthsigns {BRT001}			       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    You'll get the chance to pick a birthsign fairly early into the game.
    This will improve some attributes, and perhaps give you an extra
    ability to use. It's a somewhat important decision, but it wont change
    the game dramatically.. unless you choose the Atronach, that is.
    
    Rating: *	Does more harm than good
    Rating: **	Beneficial, but becomes obsolete
    Rating: ***	Mildly useful over the course of the game.
    Rating: ****	Very useful over the course of the game.
    Rating: *****	Makes you a phenom.
    
    The Signs
    o======================================================================o
    The Apprentice
    
    The Apprentice ability confers a 100-point bonus to your Magicka
    attribute, but gives you a 100% Weakness to Magic.
    
    That's a good bit of Magicka, but it also makes you take twice as
    affected by all hostile spells. In a word, that sucks. It's like 
    choosing to get coated in vomit in exchange for a mint. You're better
    off with nothing.
    
    Rating: *
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Lady
    
    The Lady's Blessing confers bonuses of 10 points to your Willpower and
    Endurance attributes.
    
    Willpower is pointless, but the Endurance boost is pretty nice. This
    is an okay birthsign.
    
    Rating: ***
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Mage
    
    The Mage ability confers a permanent bonus of 50 points to your Magicka.
    
    Instead of the Apprentice, you should choose this, if you really must.
    It gives you a 50 point bonus to Magicka (one quarter the maximum you
    can get from Intelligence) with no downside.
    
    Rating: ***
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Thief
    
    The Thief ability grants a 10-point bonus to your Agility, Speed, and
    Luck attributes.
    
    If you're making a level conservative character, this birthsign is the
    way to go, allowing you to gain 10 points of Luck right off the bat,
    thus shaving 10 levels off of what you'd need. Plus, 30 points isn't
    bad in any event.
    
    Rating: ****
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Atronach
    
    With the Atronach ability you don't regain Magicka over time. Instead
    you have a 50% Spell Absorption to recharge your Magicka. Your base
    Magicka is also increased by 150 points.
    
    150 points is a stupendous, whopping amount of Magicka, offset by the
    fact that you'll never naturally regenerate magicka. Some people don't
    find this to be a significant handicap, as they'll be perfectly happy
    brewing themselves potions and finding other ways to recharge their 
    Magicka. One popular method is to summon a creature that only attacks 
    with spells and turning it hostile, ensuring that you'll absorb at least
    some of the damage as Magicka. In any event, I find this birthsign to be
    more of a burden than anything else. I don't play a full mage, so when
    I do use spells I use them as support.. and I really don't want to have
    to think about where the Magicka is going to come from the next time I
    cast a spell. As for full-blown mages, your Magicka regeneration rate in
    a fight is usually so poor that this isn't a significant handicap, and
    instead of resting between battles you may as well just summon a 
    creature to recharge your mana. It's a good trade off for the boost to
    Magicka it gives, although it is a lot more work than picking a birth
    sign like the Mage.
    
    Rating: ****
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Lord
    
    Being born under the Lord gives you the Blood of the North less power to
    regenerate up to 90 points of Health. However, you also gain the
    Trollkin curse, a permanent 25% Weakness to Fire.
    
    You can simply use potions, magic, or rest to heal. The 90 point Health
    regeration is simply not worth the permanent fire vulnerability, 
    especially as it's the most common element in the game.
    
    Rating: *
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Lover
    
    Use the Lover's Kiss power once a day to paralyze an opponent for 10
    seconds at the cost of 120 points of Fatigue.
    
    Or just get a spell that does it. 10 seconds is a long time, but there
    are better birthsigns.
    
    Rating: **
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Ritual
    
    Those born under the Ritual use the Mara's Gift power once a day as a
    powerful Restore Health spell. The Blessed Word can turn the undead.
    
    A powerful healing spell indeed, Mara's Gift restores 200 Health! And
    Blessed word turns up to level 25 undead for 30 seconds. Both are
    replicable-but good-abilities. 
    
    Rating: **
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Serpent
    
    Gain the Serpent spell to cause a slow but potent poison on touch, while
    simultaneously curing yourself and dispelling magic on yourself.
    Casting this spell costs 100 points of Fatigue.
    
    Using this ability on an enemy cures poison on yourself, dispels 90
    points, and deals 3 points of damage for 20 seconds on the enemy you
    touch. It's interesting, but the 60 points of damage isn't terribly
    powerful, and poisons tend to deal their damage immediately, or end
    fairly quickly. It's hard to see this coming in handy often.
    
    Rating: **
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Shadow
    
    Use the Moonshadow power once a day to become Invisible for 60 seconds.
    
    This is a mid-level Illusions spell. You can pick better.
    
    Rating: **
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Steed
    
    The Steed ability grants a bonus of 20 points to you Speed attribute.
    
    You can level Speed up just fine without the 20 point boost.
    
    Rating: **
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Tower
    
    With the Tower Key power, once a day open a door or container of average
    lock level or less. The Tower Warden reflects five points of damage
    for 120 seconds once a day.
    
    Average locks are nothing. That's a mid-level spell, or one lockpick if
    you're clumsy. The reflect damage is decent, especially the duration,
    but you can get spells and gear that do the same thing.
    
    Rating: **
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The Warrior
    
    The Warrior ability grants a bonus of 10 points to your Strength and
    Endurance.
    
    Hit things harder at the word go, and add a permanent boost to your
    Endurance-and thus your Health-while you're at it. What's not to like?
    
    Rating: ***
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			      Class {CLS001}			       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    The game throws you into picking a class rather abruptly, and will even
    offer you a class based on your play style up until this point.
    Unfortunately, you've just started, you hardly know the ropes, and you
    are really in no position to pick what you want to do the rest of the
    game based upon what you've been doing in this dungeon. I know my first
    run through consisted mostly of getting used to the control scheme (I
    was a legacy control user) and trial-and-error. Instead of picking what
    the game offers you, custom-make your own. It's worth it.
    
    Major and Minor Skills
    o======================================================================o
    When creating your character's class (which you should do, as opposed to
    picking a pre-built class) you must pick seven Major skills. These
    skills are the skills that determine when you level up, anytime you gain
    10 skill points into any of your seven major skills (spread across all
    skills) you increase in level. Controlling when you level up is very
    important.. if you level up too soon, you might not be able to get the
    bonuses to your attributes that you want and need. Instead of picking
    'class skills' that you want to define your character, you should pick
    ones you can control.
    
    For example, if you pick Athletics as a major skill, you'll make
    progress towards your level level up by simply walking. You could always
    not move, but you wouldn't make very much progress then, would you?
    Picking major skills you can unerringly control the use of is a huge
    part of character creation. You also don't want to pick skills that are
    hard to improve, like Mercantile, Speechcraft, Security, or 
    Restoration. Last but not least, you don't want to pick skills you plan
    to use constantly. If you just love swinging a sword, you probably
    don't want to pick Blade as a major skill, as you'll only be able to
    use it at will when you're trying to level it up.. or when you reach
    level 100 in that skill, in which case you can use it as much as you
    please. Below are the following skills I typically select for major
    skills, and why. (Keep in mind, I tend to play a Breton, so I ignore
    a slew of potentially good spell skills in order to reach the highest
    level possible.)
    
    Armorer		You only need this when you're repairing stuff, and if
    		you get a few levels in it here or there it will only
    		supplement the Endurance I tend to be going for with
    		Heavy Armor anyways.
    
    Blunt		I prefer Blade to Blunt.
    
    Hand to Hand	You don't need a weapon for it, when you want to level
    		Strength, just set the difficulty to highest and go
    		beat up some Mud Crabs.
    
    Heavy Armor	You only level up Heavy Armor when you wear Heavy Armor.
    		It's a quick and easy way to get Endurance levels, and
    		when it hits 100, I can wear all the armor I want. A
    		priority skill for me.
    
    Light Armor	Just like Heavy Armor, but Speed can wait, Endurance
    		cannot, so it gets delayed in favor of Heavy Armor.
    
    Marksman	Again, a weapon, there's no way you're accidentally
    		going to level it.
    	
    Sneak		Sneak isn't very useful early on as the enemies just
    		aren't strong, and at low skill levels it rarely works.
    		After Heavy Armor I tend to focus on Sneak.
    
    Any Spell	Spells are easy to level for the most part, and only	
    (Besides	increase when you cast them. 
    Restoration)	
    
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Pick seven skills that are easy to level up, and most importantly,
    that you can control.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    If going for an absolute build, don't pick racial skills, or skills that
    are part of your class specialization. For example, if you pick Magic
    as your class  specialization, don't pick any spells as major skills.
    This will help maximize your leveling.
    
    Class Specializations
    o======================================================================o
    When you pick your class (which is just a selection of seven major
    skills) you also get to pick an area of specialization for that class.
    This is essentially a gameplay style you want to focus on, and it 
    includes combat arts, magic arts, and stealth arts. Specialized skills
    increase faster, and gain a +10 bonus right off the bat.. these are not
    skills you want as Major skills if you're making an absolute build. You
    also get to pick two attributes, which are the focus of said class and
    recieve a flat +5 bonus. These can be any two attributes, and do not
    have to be in any way related to your skills. Luck and Endurance are
    easily the best two-Endurance because it is the only attribute whose
    benefits are not retroactive-and Luck because it's just slow to level.
    
    Combat Skills: Armorer, Athletics, Blade, Block, Blunt, Hand To Hand,
    	       Heavy Armor.
    
    Magic Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion,
    	      Mysticism, Restoration.
    
    Stealth Skills: Acrobatics, Light Armor, Marksman, Mercantile, Security,
    		Sneak, Speechcraft.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			Leveling Up {LVL001}			       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    Leveling in Oblivion is a bit awkward, the mechanics of which have been
    enough to scare my fiance away from all but the most casual of gaming.
    I'll try to explain the leveling system as simply and matter of factly
    as I can. I feel it is apt to talk about the leveling system early,
    since you'll be building your character around this system. I'll have to
    talk about skills, attributes, and various other items that I'll
    eventually go over later.. but it needs to be done, so ignore the
    redundancy. It's not as complicated as it sounds.
    
    Leveling Up
    o======================================================================o
    Simply put, out of all the skills you have, you pick seven to be major
    skills. These level up quicker than minor skills (all the rest of your
    skills count as minor) and when you get a total of 10 levels in any
    combination of major skills, you level up. You can level up one skill
    ten times, ten skills one time, or anywhere in between. Your minor
    skill don't matter when it comes to gaining a level, but they are still
    important when it comes to how much you gain from each level.. anyways
    more on that later. That's simple, now to complicate things a little 
    bit.
    
    Maximum Level
    o======================================================================o
    There are two ways to approach leveling up, the absolute method, and
    the relative method. I've made a character based around both, and I
    haven't really noticed a huge difference, but here we go.
    
    Absolute Build
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Every time you level up, you gain a bonus number of health equal to your 
    Endurance/10, so the more levels you gain, the more hitpoints you gain. 
    If you want more health, get more levels, period. Now, since you gain a 
    level every time you get 10 points in major skills, your maximum level 
    is the number of times you can gain ten points in your major skills. All 
    your major skills are set to a minimum of 25 (Novice level), higher if 
    your class focus is the same as any of your skills (more on this later), 
    and if your race gets a bonus to those skills (again, later.) So if you 
    want to max your levels all you have to do is pick major skills that are 
    different from your class focus, and your racial skills (harder than it 
    sounds..)
    
    Now for the math, calculate the maximum level you can reach with your
    build by doing the following: (The example will show the maximum level
    you can attain in Oblivion, naturally.)
    
    Add up your starting ranks in your major skills. (25 x 7 = 175)
    
    Subtract the total from the maximum level you can reach in each skill.
    (700 - 175 = 525)
    
    Divide the total number of points left over by 10 to determine how many
    times you can level up.
    (525 / 10 = 52.5 = 52)
    
    Using this min-maxing build, you can see that this character can gain a
    total of 52 level-ups. Starting at level 1, this makes the maximum level
    in Oblivion 53.
    
    Relative Build
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    In opposition to the absolute method, which produces the highest leveled
    characters with the most health is the relative build. As you level up,
    so do the monsters in Oblivion, some of which gain considerably more
    health per level than you do. The goal of the relative build therefor
    is to max your character out at fast as possible in order to make the
    most powerful character (relatively). Get it? No matter your race,
    specializtion, or major/minor skill concentrations, the most hampering
    obstacle to leveling up quickly is your Luck. The base luck for all
    characters is 50. You can raise your Luck by 10 points with The Thief
    birthsign, but that's still only 60. The maximum level (for a power
    build where all your attributes are 100) is therefore 40 for the
    relative build. The relative build is a little more constrictive than
    the absolute build as you have less levels to play around with. Still,
    I reccommend the same kind of build for both. The only difference is
    you'll want to max all your attributes out at 100 as soon as possible
    to finish the relative build, whereas with the absolute build you want
    to maximize your attributes only upon attaining your ultimate level.
    
    Of course, if you were to let Luck slide you could probably max out all
    your other attributes sooner, but there's nothing like a fat list of
    three digit numbers on you attribute sheet to say 'power gamer.'
    
    Attribute Increase by Level
    o======================================================================o
    Every time you level up you can improve three different attributes. Each
    attribute you select gains one point, but may potentially gain more.. 
    Each of your skills is tied to an attribute (except Luck, which has no 
    skills tied to it.) When you increase a skill, the attribute tied to 
    that skill gains bonuses that can increase the number of points you 
    raise an attribute when you level up.
    
    For example, if you get points in Armorer, and select to increase 
    Endurance next level, you may gain +2, +3, +4, or +5 to Endurance
    instead of the normal +1, depending on how many skill increases you got
    in Endurance-related skills.
    
    Of course, you're going to want the +5 attribute points in each of the
    three attributes you get to select each level, right? Right. Now keep a
    few things in mind..
    
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Getting 10 points in any skills that are related to the same attribute
    will get you a bonus of +5 to that attribute when you level up if you
    select it. Getting more will not get you a higher bonus than +5, so
    there's no point in it.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    These attribute point modifiers DO NOT carry over different levels. If
    you get 10 skill increases in Speechcraft at level 2, and don't improve
    Personality when you level up, the next level you will not receive any
    modifiers to Personality unless you gain more ranks in Personality
    related skills.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You need to plan what attributes you want to level up, and get ten
    skill increases per attribute each level. If you wanted to level up
    Strength, Endurance, and Speed for example, you'd want 10 skill
    increases in the following skills: Strength = Blade, Blunt, and Hand To
    Hand. Endurance = Armorer, Heavy Armor, Block. Speed = Light Armor,
    Acrobatics, Athletics. This is just like leveling up.. you need 10
    point total in the same attribute related skills. Whether that's ten in
    one skill, five in two skills, or three, three, and four, as long as it
    adds up to ten.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Since you gain Health at a rate of Endurance/10 per level, you want to
    raise Endurance by five points per level each of your early levels until
    you have 100 Endurance. This will maximize your Health gain overall.
    Once you have 100 Endurance, you no longer need to worry about what you
    level up, but you need to give Endurance priority treatment. Get your
    Endurance to 100 as fast as the game allows!!
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You can only increase your Luck by one point per level.. depending on
    your starting Luck, you may need to start putting points into Luck at
    different points to ensure you get it to 100. If you start out with
    50 Luck, you'll need to level up 50 times and select Luck to get it to
    100. Keep an eye on your Luck, and ensure that when you begin boosting
    it when appropriate.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    If you run out of attributes to increase, you will stop leveling up,
    regardless of how many major skills you have left to raise. If all your
    attributes are 100 at level 42, you will not increase beyond level 42!!
    Now that you have that in mind.. Luck is a great 'control' attribute.
    You can only increase it one point per level, so if you save it until
    you reach the last level you can possibly begin leveling it up and reach
    100 Luck, you'll ensure you can max your level. For example: If you
    begin play with 60 Luck, and have a build that lets you reach level 50,
    you need 40 level ups to max Luck at 100. So simple math 50 - 40 = 10.
    When you reach level 10 be ready to put a point into Luck on your next
    level up (from L.10 to L.11) so that on your 50th and final level, you
    get your Luck up from 99 to 100. Of course, if you're making a relative
    build, Luck is probably the attribute that will be holding you back.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Pretty obvious but.. if you run out of skills to increase for an
    attribute, you cannot increase that attribute more than +1 per level.
    So don't go maxing skills arbitrarily until you have their related
    attribute up to 100.
    
    Summary
    o======================================================================o
    So that's the goal of leveling, but to summarize by steps for your
    convenience:
    
    1) Pick three attributes each level to increase.
    2) One of those three should be Endurance if your Endurance is not 100.
    3) One of those three should be Luck if you are at a level at which
       you need to increase Luck to reach 100 when you reach you level cap.
    4) Level up skills related to those attributes by a cumulative total of
       10 points.
    5) Do not waste skill increases until the related attribute of said 
       skills is at level 100.
    
    That's an extremely power-gamey way to play the game, but if you want
    to play that hardcore, those are the mechanics of the game, to be
    nit-picked at your leisure. The REAL important steps are to raise
    Endurance to 100 ASAP and to ensure you begin leveling Luck before you
    get too high of a level to max it.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			  Attributes {ATT001}		 	       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    Your attributes affect your derived attributes, including Health
    Magicka, and Fatigue. They also affect a great number of things about
    you character, like how fast you move, how much damage you deal, and
    so on. Maxing all your attributes to 100 is the purpose of this guide.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			      Strength				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Related Skills:	Blade, Blunt, Hand to Hand
    
    Affects how much you can carry, how much Fatigue you have, and how
    much damage you can do with melee weapons such as swords and axes.
    Governs the skills of Blunt, Blade, and Hand to Hand.
    
    Strength will increase the melee damage of all your melee weapons,
    which is nice enough in itself. It also adds five points to your
    encumbrance maximum, which is good for all you folks who like to
    carry lots of stuff (I know I do!) And last and probably least,
    Strength will improve your Fatigue on a point-for-point basis.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    There's only one way to raise Strength.. go destroy things in melee
    combat. Whether you do it with your fists, swords, axes, or maces is
    irrelevant. Slide the difficulty slider up to the maximum and go
    slaughter Mud Crabs. Spread the leveling love around all three related
    skills, and you'll be on your way.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			    Intelligence			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Related Skills:	Alchemy, Conjuration, Mysticism
    
    Affects your total Magicka and magic use. Governs the skills of 
    Alchemy, Conjuration, and Mysticism.
    
    Intelligence also raises your Magicka total by two points per point of
    Intelligence.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You can improve your Intelligence by leveling your Alchemy, Conjuration,
    and Mysticism skills. Go pick flowers, mash them up with a mortar and
    pestle, and sell the potions you make, that way you're leveling up
    Mercantile too. Or summon things. Or cast Mysticism spells. Intelligence
    is easy to level up, but I never make it much of a priority, considering
    how little it does.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Willpower			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Related Skills:	Alteration, Destruction, Restoration
    
    Affects how quickly you regenerate Magicka, and how much Fatigue you
    have. Governs the skills of Destruction, Alteration, and Restoration.
    
    Willpower increases your Magicka regeneration, although how much so I'm
    not entirely sure. Also it improves Fatigue on a point-for-point basis.
    Naturally, a high Willpower goes hand in hand with a high Intelligence,
    although having a higher Magicka is better than having a faster
    regeneration rate any day.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Of the three spells that level Willpower, Alteration is probably your
    best bet. It's much easier to level than Destruction and especially
    Willpower. If you get access to the Arcane University, you can make
    spells that damage your own equipment to raise Destruction easily, but
    I generally prefer to wait until I have 100% chameleon gear to level
    Destruction more conventionally-by throwing fireballs at people.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				Agility				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Related Skills:	Marksman, Security, Sneak
    
    Affects your ability to maneuver and balance, your total Fatigue, and
    damage done by bows. Governs the skills of Security, Sneak, and
    Marksman.
    
    The more Agility you have, the less often you'll get knocked silly in
    combat, although I'm not sure exactly how much of an effect it has
    (except to say that it's noticable!) Agility also improves your damage
    with bows, and improves Fatigue on a point-for-point basis.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Of the three skills that level Agility, Sneak is by and far the easiest
    to increase. Security becomes a chore VERY quickly, and Marksman is
    always somewhat of a chore. I'd suggest you don't waste easy early
    levels in Marksman or Security, and boost your Agility with them. After
    I get 100% chameleon, I can level Marksman at will, but until then,
    Sneak is pretty much my go-to skill for Agility.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				  Speed				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Related Skills:	Acrobatics, Athletics, Light Armor
    
    Determines how fast you move. Governs the skills of Athletics, Light
    Armor, and Acrobatics.
    
    What the man says, it makes you move faster. Over the days you spend
    leveling Speed, you might not notice it, but get your Speed up to 100
    and start a new character, and it'll be agonizingly slow.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    When you level Acrobatics and Athletics, be ready to put points into
    Speed. Other than those two skills, Light Armor is the only skill that
    levels Speed, and thankfully Light Armor is pretty easy to improve.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				Endurance			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Related Skills:	Armorer, Block, Heavy Armor
    
    Affects how much Fatigue you have, your Health, and how much your Health
    will increase when you sleep and raise levels. Governs the skills of
    Block, Armorer, and Heavy Armor.
    
    Endurance is the only attribute in the game that has priority, like
    Intelligence in Fallout 3, none of the other attributes matter in terms
    of when you raise them. You gain Health equal to 1/10th of your 
    Endurance score per level. The higher your Endurance, the faster, the
    more Health you end up with. A character who starts with 30 Endurance
    will gain 2 less Health per level than a character who starts with 50.
    Considering it will take that character at least 14 levels to max out
    Endurance, that equates to 26 less Health, provided both characters
    focus on maxing their Endurance early. That's not a killer amount of
    Health, but keep in mind that if you DON'T get your Endurance to 100
    ASAP, that total difference could end up significantly higher. It's just
    free Health points you're throwing away when you ignore Endurance,
    simple as that.. and also, Endurance raises your Fatigue on a 
    point-for-point basis. But that's not important.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Block is pretty easy to level up to level 50, and in the process of
    leveling Block and Heavy Armor, you'll get plenty of chances to
    supplement a few ranks of Armorer. Heavy Armor is incredibly easy to
    level, and should probably be your vehicle of Endurance supremacy.
    
    o======================================================================o
    | 			    Personality				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Related Skills:	Illusion, Mercantile, Speechcraft
    
    Affects how much people like you, which leads to better information-
    gathering. Governs the skills of Speechcraft, Mercantile, and Illusion.
    
    Personality affects the disposition of others, and it will make getting
    quests, information, and cheaper prices easier. Fortunately, this is
    only much of a problem early on in the game, when money still matters,
    and when buying a house is a priority. There are other ways to improve
    dispositions, for that matter, which makes Personality nice to have,
    but not imperative to get.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Speechcraft is fairly easy until level 50, when it becomes a chore, so
    don't waste those levels. Mercantile is always a pain, and if you
    supplement your Mercantile with training sessions, make sure you don't
    waste those points. Other than those two skills Illusion makes your life
    pretty easy. 
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				Luck				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Luck has an effect on everything you do, but governs no skills.
    
    It has an effect on everything you do.. what effect, and how much? Hard
    to say. Maybe it affect critical hits, or damage rolls, or stun chances.
    Who knows? In any case, I'm too paranoid to ignore it!
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Luck can only be raised by one point per level, so make sure you start
    leveling it early, or else you wont be able to max it! It makes a very
    good attribute to pick as a class focus, considering how slowly it
    grows through leveling.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |		 	Derived Attributes {DAT001}		       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    These are derived from the primary attributes, and are affected by
    changes to your primary attributes. 
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				Health				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Health is the amount of damage you can take before you die. Your
    maximum Health increases every time you gain a level. Endurance affects
    how much Health you gain per level. Your starting Health is twice your
    Endurance. Sleeping, potions or spells can restore your Health.
    
    Health is pretty much the only attribute that varies permanently
    depending on how you level.. which pretty much determines the entire
    leveling build. The formula is as follows:
    
    Base Endurance x2 + 1/10 Endurance per level
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Magicka				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Magicka is used to cast spells. You start with Magicka equal to double
    your Intelligence. Choosing certain races and birthsigns will give you
    Magicka bonuses that increase your Maximum Magicka. Magicka regenerates
    based on your Willpower. Sleeping, potions or spells can restore your
    Magicka more quickly.
    
    It doesn't matter when or how you choose to deal with your Magicka, it
    will hit the same maximum, regardless. The only point to having a high
    Magicka-besides from being able to cast more spells, which is moot
    because you can just wait, or use a potion-is being able to cast more
    powerful spells. For example, one spell you can get in the game,
    Finger of the Mountain, has a Magicka cost of 710 with a Destruction
    score of 100. The only conceivable way to cast this spell is to pick
    a Magicka-rich race, a Magicka birthsign, and wear gear that improves
    your Magicka. Frankly, I just dont think it's worth the effort. I'd
    rather cast multiple weaker spells. The formula for Magicka is:
    
    Intelligence Score x2
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Fatigue				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Fatigue is how tired you are. Low Fatigue hurts your effectiveness,
    especially when doing melee attacks. Fighting hand-to-hand, swinging a
    weapon, or jumping may reduce your Fatigue. If your Fatigue falls below
    zero due to a spell or other special effect, you are knocked down.
    Walking, resting, waiting, potions, and spells can restore your Fatigue.
    Your Maximum Fatigue is the combined values of your Strength, Agility,
    and Willpower.
    
    Well, they left out Endurance, but who is keeping score? Fatigue isn't
    that big of a deal. The lower your Fatigue, the less damage you'll do
    with attacks. Still, when you're a higher level it becomes less
    important, as blocking and running won't fatigue you. At a lower level,
    you'll be out of Fatigue often in bigger fights.. but you're not really
    losing all that much damage anyways.
    
    Endurance Score + Strength Score + Agility Score + Willpower Score
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			      Encumbrance			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Encumbrance is the total weight of items you can carry. You cannot move
    at all when fully encumbered. Maximum Encumbrance is equal to five times
    your Strength.
    
    The higher your Encumbrance, the more stuff you can carry. Maximum of
    100 Strength equals a maximum of 500 Encumbrance. Sounds like a lot, but
    when some swords weigh 50 'pounds', and warhammers can approach 100,
    it's a rather low amount. Frankly, I prefer the Fallout 3 system, where
    you walk at snail speed. It forces you to engage the burden, not simply
    discard excess loot. Having 'feather' armor is nice, as it will let you
    carry all the goodies you could want.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			    Skills {SKL001}		 	       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    And finally, to your skills. Some skills are useful because they change
    the way the game works. Mastering Armorer allows you to repair without
    ever breaking a repair hammer, for instance. Most just give you special
    attacks or access to more powerful spells. In any case, the most
    important thing about skills is that they help raise your Attributes.
    Below I will talk about what the skills do, and how to level them.
    
    		o===============o===============o
    		|  Attribute	|Related Skills |
    		o===============o===============o
    		|		|   Marksman    |
    		|    Agility    |   Security    |
    		|		|     Sneak     |
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|		|    Armorer	|
    		|   Endurance   |     Block	|
    		|		|  Heavy Armor  |
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|		|    Alchemy    |
    		| Intelligence  |  Conjuration  |
    		|		|   Mysticism	|
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|     Luck      |      N/A	|
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|		|   Illusion    |
    		|  Personality	|  Mercantile	|
    		|		|  Speechcraft  |
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|		|  Acrobatics   |
    		|     Speed	|   Athletics	|
    		|		|  Light Armor	|
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|		|     Blade	|
    		|   Strength	|     Blunt	|
    		|		| Hand to Hand	|
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|		|  Alteration	|
    		|   Willpower	|  Destruction	|
    		|		|  Restoration	|
    		o===============o===============o
    
    	o===============o===============================o
    	|Specialization |            Skills		|
    	o===============o===============================o				
       	|    	        |   Athletics, Armorer, Blade,	|
    	|     Combat	|  Block, Blunt, Hand to Hand,  |	
    	|		|	    Heavy Armor		|
    	|---------------|-------------------------------|
    	|		|      Alchemy, Alteration,	|
    	|     Magic	|   Conjuration, Destruction,	|
    	|		|      Illusion, Mysticism,	|
    	|		|          Restoration		|
    	|---------------|-------------------------------|
    	|		|   Acrobatics, Light Armor,	|
    	|    Stealth	|Marksman, Mercantile, Security |
    	|		|     Speechcraft, Sneak	|
    	o===============o===============================o
    
    Skill Mastery Levels
    o======================================================================o
    Every 25 ranks in a skill, you will gain a new 'mastery level', as the
    book puts it. This typically gives you a passive benefit attached to
    the skill, or allows you to use it in a different way. Just keep these
    plateaus in mind as you level up your skills.
    		
    		o===============o===============o
    		| Mastery Level	| Skill Scores  |
    		o===============o===============o
    		|    Novice     |      0-24     |
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|  Apprentice   |     25-49	|
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|  Journeyman   |     50-74	|
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|    Expert     |     75-99	|
    		|---------------|---------------|
    		|    Master	|      100	|
    		o===============o===============o
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			     Acrobatics				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Speed
    Specialization: Stealth
    
    Jump long distances and avoid damage when falling great distances.
    
    The higher your Acrobatics, the farther you can jump. The father you
    can jump, the better you can reach high ground, which stumps the 
    computer AI a bit. It also allows you to reach higher objects and take
    alternative routes. The 'take less damage' thing is a little misleading.
    You might take less damage from falling, but since you can jump higher..
    you'll fall further, taking more damage. In the end, it evens out. As
    you level Acrobatics you'll be able to do defensive rolls, perform jump
    attacks, and jump off the surface of water (or lava).
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    After long, arduous hours of practicing jumping and controlling your
    falls, you have become an Apprentice of Acrobatics. You can now attack
    while jumping or falling. However, you cannot use power attacks while in
    mid-jump or mid-fall, only regular attacks.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    After long, arduous hours of practicing jumping and controlling your
    falls, you have become a Journeyman of Acrobatics. You now have the
    Dodge ability. Blocking while jumping makes you dodge in the direction
    of the jump. You will do a tumbling roll and possibly avoid an attack.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    After long, arduous hours of practicing jumping and controlling your
    falls, you have become a Journeyman of Acrobatics. Now it costs half as
    much fatigue to jump.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have become a Master of Acrobatics. You gain the Water Jump ability.
    Jump just as you touch the water, and you can jump again just as if it
    were a solid surface. Miss your timing.. and fall into the water. With
    practice, you can jump several times in a row all the way across a body
    of water.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Acrobatics is a bit faster than Athletics, as you get progress every
    time you jump. Mind you, the distance of the jump does matter, and if
    you just jump in place, you're not going to be leveling much (so no
    jumping into a wall.) The real kicker is, if you take damage from a
    jump, you level up more! Yep, fall distance counts towards leveling your
    Acrobatics. You'd think that being, I don't know, graceful would matter,
    but that's besides the point. One fun-if inefficient-way to level is to
    jump off bridges (into the water, of course, you don't level very well
    if you splatter.) The best method of leveling I've found is to go Sercen
    north of the Imperial City and jump up the hills there to Agna. From
    Agna, I jump down the hills (trying to maximize my fall distance each
    jump) and eventually jump down to the Roxey Inn. There is a ravine east
    of Agna that will facilitate your suicidal ambitions. As I level more,
    I cut the trip back up and just fast-travel back to Agna. You can get to
    level 70 fairly easily this way, and higher if you're patient, but I
    generally choose to train the last 20 levels or so. Note that if you're
    trying to level Restoration, you can do that while you level Acrobatics.
    Since you're going to be taking damage anyways, why not heal in between
    jumps to boost your Restoration?
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Alchemy				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Intelligence
    Specialization:	Magic
    
    Create potions and gain benefits from alchemical ingredients more
    effectively.
    
    This skill is useful as it not only provides you with useful items, but 
    selling potions is a great way to make money early on.. if you spend the 
    time gather ingredients and are willing to raise Intelligence early.
    This skill is especially useful for those who have the Atronach birth-
    sign, as Magicka potions are going to be valuable. The higher you get
    in the Alchemy skill, the more potential properties you will be able
    to 'recognize'. This will make your alchemy skill more versatile. Once
    you master it, you can make potions from a single ingredient, which
    will double your productivity.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your stained fingers attest to your diligence in mixing potions and
    learning their secrets. You are now an Apprentice of Alchemy. All potion
    ingredients have four potential effects. You can now automatically
    identify the first two effects.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your stained fingers attest to your diligence in mixing potions and
    learning their secrets. You are now an Journeyman of Alchemy. All potion
    ingredients have four potential effects. You can now automatically
    identify the first three effects.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your stained fingers attest to your diligence in mixing potions and
    learning their secrets. You are now an Expert of Alchemy. All potion
    ingredients have four potential effects. You can now automatically
    identify all of the effects.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your stained fingers attest to your diligence in mixing potions and
    learning their secrets. You are now a Master of Alchemy. Normally it
    takes two or more ingredients to make a potion. As a master Alchemist,
    you can create a potion from a single ingredient.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Get food, flowers, mushrooms, anything that can be made into a potion,
    and a mortar and pestle. Once done, create potions. As with most
    Oblivion skills, it's the quantity, not the quality that matters. Going
    from a skill level of 11 to 100 required 2036 potions.. which means I
    had to gather 4062 ingredients. Alchemy was not a specialized skill, or
    a major skill, so for most characters, you can ballpark a safe figure of
    2000 potions to max-give or take a hundred, depending on your starting
    level and all that. On the plus side, when I sold those 2036 potions, I
    made a tidy profit of 95704 gold.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Alteration			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Willpower
    Specialization:	Magic
    
    Cast spells to breathe or walk on water, open locks, shield from
    physical and magical damage, and alter encumbrance.
    
    This spell school contains a number of useful, if not essential spells.
    Water breathing is always nice to have, just in case, and opening locks
    magically spares you the hassle of using lockpicks. Shielding physical
    and magical damage are obvious pluses, and the feather spell effect is
    fun for the pack rat in.. well, in me.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have unlocked more arcane secrets of Altering the fabric of reality.
    You can now cast Apprentice level Alteration spells.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have unlocked more arcane secrets of Altering the fabric of reality.
    You can now cast Journeyman level Alteration spells.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have unlocked more arcane secrets of Altering the fabric of reality.
    You can now cast Expert level Alteration spells.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have unlocked more arcane secrets of Altering the fabric of reality.
    You can now cast Master level Alteration spells.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Get a shield or feather spell and cast it repeatedly. It's a fairly easy
    skill to level, just like conjuration and illusion. The best trick is to
    weigh down your 'cast' button, and your 'block' button. If you have a
    weapon readied (even your fists) and you block and cast at the same
    time, you'll cast spells significantly faster. Useful for all spell-
    leveling excursions.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Armorer				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Endurance
    Specialization: Combat
    
    Maintain weapons and armor at top efficiency. Worn weapons and armor are
    less effective.
    
    You should use Armorer all the time, if you're wearing any kind of armor
    or wielding any sort of weapon. Repairing your gear yourself is much
    cheaper than paying somebody to do it for you, especially with magical
    items. And once you can repair to 125%, you'll be able to over-condition
    weapons and armor to make them that much more effective. Needless to
    say, this is a good skill for any armor or weapon, and for those who 
    ;ike money and convenience. At the master rank you can repair
    indefinitely with one repair hammer. This is definitely a money-saver
    here, and worth paying attention to.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Long days and nights at the forge make you strong and tough. You are now
    an Apprentice of Armorer. Your repair hammers now last twice as long.
    You cannot repair magical items yet.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Long days and nights at the forge make you strong and tough. You are now
    an Journeyman of Armorer. Using repair hammers, you can now fully repair
    magic weapons and armor.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Long days and nights at the forge make you strong and tough. You are now
    an Expert Armorer. Using repair hammers, you can repair items up to 125%
    of their normal health. Weapons with health above 100% do extra damage.
    Armor with health above 100% provides extra protection.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Long days and nights at the forge make you strong and tough. You are now
    a Master Armorer. A Master Armorer does not wear out repair hammers 
    while repairing weapons and armor. One repair hammer lasts you a
    lifetime.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Repair stuff as you level up Light and Heavy Armor, Block, and Blade,
    Blunt, and Marksman. Save all the loot you get from foes so that when
    you hit level 75 you can repair it all to 125%, and give yourself a good
    boost. Kill enemies, repair their stuff, and leave it or sell it. Repair
    everything you can get your little paws on! Or, if that's too much,
    create a spell at the Arcane University that damages your own armor or
    weapons, and repair them. It might help if you hotkey a repair hammer.
    That way, you can repair on the fly. Personally, I have quick save at
    F5, quick load at F9, and my repair hammer keyed at 7. I save, repair,
    and if I broke too many hammers, I reload.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			     Athletics				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Speed
    Specialization: Combat
    
    Run and swim faster, and regenerate lost fatigue faster.
    
    Run and swim speed are nice, and if you slouch, you'll be surprised by
    some of those arena contestants in the Imperial City who didn't (I know 
    I was!) Other than that.. it just reduces your fatigue regeneration
    penalty when running, which is a petty consideration. You'll level
    Athletics because you really can't avoid it more than for any other
    reason.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    'Why walk when you can run' has always been your motto. Now the miles of
    running and hours of swimming have paid off. You are an Apprentice of
    Athletics. Your rate of fatigue regeneration when running is increased
    by 25%
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    'Why walk when you can run' has always been your motto. Now the miles of
    running and hours of swimming have paid off. You are a Journeyman of
    Athletics. Your rate of fatigue regeneration when running is increased
    by 50%.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    'Why walk when you can run' has always been your motto. Now the miles of
    running and hours of swimming have paid off. You are a Expert of
    Athletics. Your rate of fatigue regeneration when running is increased
    by 75%.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    'Why walk when you can run' has always been your motto. Now the miles of
    running and hours of swimming have paid off. You are a Master of
    Athletics. Running never reduces your rate of fatigue regeneration.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Athletics can be slow.. very slow.. as in, it'll take days of continuous
    leveling (real time) to max it. Do you hear that..? Trainer! But the
    first 50-60 levels aren't bad, and you shouldn't waste them. Because
    you'll level Athletics without intending to, especially at first, you
    might as well make Speed one of your initial attributes to raise.
    Athletics levels faster when you run as opposed to walking, and faster
    still when you swim. The best thing to do is tie down your controller
    or hit auto-walk and swim into a bridge post (I tend to do this right
    outside of the Imperial City, at the bridge that connects Weye to the
    Imperial City isle. Once done, go to work, school, sleep.. something.
    It'll be a while. The problem with these methods? I've had this game
    installed on four computers, and not one of them would play for hours on
    end without crashing at some point-crashes are infrequent, and when
    you're playing if the game crashes once every several hours-well, that's
    to be expected with PC games, but when you're sleep-grinding, it's a
    bother. On the Xbox 360, the controller will shut itself off if idle too
    long, limiting the duration you can do this. Maybe on the PS3 it's more
    feasible?
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				Blade				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Strength
    Specialization:	Combat
    Deliver the slashing and thrusting attacks of dagger and sword weapons
    more effectively.
    
    My favorite weapons in the game, they're faster, just about as powerful 
    as blunt weapons and, they've got the best reach. Swords anyways,
    daggers kinda suck.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The cuts and nicks from long practice sessions with all manner of blades
    has its benefits. You are now an Apprentice with Blade weapons. You have
    a new Standing power attack, which does extra damage. Press and hold
    Attack to use this power attack.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The cuts and nicks from long practice sessions with all manner of blades
    has its benefits. You are now a Journeyman with Blade weapons. Your
    Sidestep power attack now has a chance to disarm your opponent. Press
    and hold Attack while moving left or right to use this power attack.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The cuts and nicks from long practice sessions with all manner of blades
    has its benefits. You are now an Expert with Blade weapons. Your
    sweeping power attack now has a chance to knock down your opponent.
    Press and hold Attack while moving backwards to use this power attack.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The cuts and nicks from long practice sessions with all manner of blades
    has its benefits. You are now a Master with Blade weapons. Your Rushing
    power attack now has a chance to paralyze your opponent. Press and hold
    Attack while moving forward to use this power attack.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    These tips apply to all melee skills, and thus to all Strength-related
    skills. You level up based on the number of hits you score, not the
    damage inflicted. The best way to level this skill up early is to set
    the difficulty meter up to the highest and attack mud crabs by the
    shores. Boars also work too, anything that is slow and has a limited
    attack range. Using weaker weapons also speeds things up. When you get
    100% chameleon, you can go around striking enemies at the highest
    difficulty at your leisure, making attaining level 100 much, much
    easier.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				Block				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Endurance
    Specialization:	Combat
    
    Parry melee attacks with shields and weapons. Successful blocks reduce
    damage.
    
    If you want to have any success in melee combat without a) reducing the
    difficulty, b) using 100% chameleon, c) sneak attacking, then you'll
    need to block from time to time. Blocking reduces the damage you take,
    but more importantly it'll break up the attacks of an enemy, giving you
    time to go on the offensive. As you level up block you'll eventually
    get access to a shield-bash move that randomly (but frequently) occurs
    when you block, giving you extra time to counter-attack. Eventually
    you'll even be able to disarm opponents with this shield-bash, which
    makes using shield a very worthy consideration, indeed.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The truly skillful fighter learns to block with both shield and weapon.
    Diligent practice has made you an Apprentice at Blocking. Blocking with
    your shield or weapon no longer drains fatigue.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The truly skillful fighter learns to block with both shield and weapon.
    Diligent practice has made you a Journeyman at Blocking. Blocking no
    longer damages your weapon or shield. Blocking with your bare hands will
    cause enemies to recoil a bit, although you take full damage from the
    attack.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The truly skillful fighter learns to block with both shield and weapon.
    Diligent practice has made you an Expert at Blocking. Blocking with a
    shield can now be used like an attack to knock back and stagger your
    opponent.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The truly skillful fighter learns to block with both shield and weapon.
    Diligent practice has made you a Master at Blocking. Blocking with a
    shield now has a chance to disarm your opponent.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Like with Heavy Armor and Light Armor, decrease the difficulty and find
    a bowman to provoke. Get them to dagger you up, and you're all set. This
    goes even faster if you block with your fists. You won't stop any 
    damage, but you wont knock them back, either. This will speed up the
    process IMMENSELY until level 50, when you start actually deflecting
    when unarmed. Afterwards, this skill goes pretty slow.. so slow, that
    the last 30 levels or so are probably better spent with a trainer.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				Blunt				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Strength
    Specialization:	Combat
    
    Deliver the crushing blows of mace and axe weapons more effectively.
    
    You know.. making axes 'blunt' weapons.. Just.. It's wrong, lets leave
    it at that. If you like axes, hammers, and maces, go blunt.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have lumps and bruises from long practices sessions with all kinds
    of maces and axes. You are now an Apprentice with Blunt weapons. You are
    now an Apprentice with Blade weapons. You have a new Standing power
    attack, which does extra damage. Press and hold Attack to use this
    power attack.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have lumps and bruises from long practices sessions with all kinds
    of maces and axes. You are now a Journeyman with Blunt weapons. Your
    Sidestep power attack now has a chance to disarm your opponent. Press
    and hold Attack while moving left or right to use this power attack.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have lumps and bruises from long practices sessions with all kinds
    of maces and axes. You are now an Expert with Blunt weapons. Your
    sweeping power attack now has a chance to knock down your opponent.
    Press and hold Attack while moving backwards to use this power attack.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You have lumps and bruises from long practices sessions with all kinds
    of maces and axes. You are now a Master with Blunt weapons. Your
    Rushing power attack now has a chance to paralyze your opponent. Press
    and hold Attack while moving forward to use this power attack.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Same as with blade, and hand to hand. For up to level 50 set the
    difficulty slider on the highest setting and beat up mud crabs. Once you
    get 100% chameleon, go do that trick with everything.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			     Conjuration		               |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Intelligence
    Specialization:	Magic
    
    Cast spells to summon otherworldly creatures, summon magical weapons and
    armor, and turn the undead.
    
    Summoning is useful when you need a distraction for your enemies, or
    when you want to beat up on/soul trap enemies without the bother of
    finding one. You need a Xivilai to fill up a Grand Soul Gem? Summon it.
    Bound weapons and armor are useful.. mostly because they are weightless.
    They'd be more useful if they were all light or heavy armor. You can
    make Bound items permanent by repairing them to 125% and dropping them.
    Leave them until their duration wears out, and ta-da, a very powerful,
    bound daedric claymore with no weight. Turning the undead.. well, it's 
    not an entirely useful school.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Through steady practice you have discovered more creatures to summon
    from the planes of Oblivion. You are now an Apprentice of Conjuration
    magic and can cast Apprentice level Conjuration spells.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Through steady practice you have discovered more creatures to summon
    from the planes of Oblivion. You are now an Journeyman of Conjuration
    magic and can cast Journeyman level Conjuration spells.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Through steady practice you have discovered more creatures to summon
    from the planes of Oblivion. You are now an Expert in Conjuration magic
    and can cast Expert level Conjuration spells.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Through steady practice you have discovered more creatures to summon
    from the planes of Oblivion. You are now a Master of Conjuration magic
    and can cast Master level Conjuration spells.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Summon scamps, or skeletons. A lot. Rest, repeat. Any summon with a
    (relatively) low Magicka cost. You won't get as many reps out of this
    skill as many other skills, but fortunately, you wont need them.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			     Destruction			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Willpower
    Specialization:	Magic
    
    Cast spells to inflict magical fire, frost, and shock damage, or
    reduce resistances to magic attacks.
    
    If you're a magey-type, and like to hurt things, this is the skill to
    consult. It's got all your fireballs, your harm, disintegrate, and
    reduce-resistances-so-all-the-other-stuff-hurts-them-more spells.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Fire, frost, and lightning have flowed from your fingertips. You are now
    a Apprentice in Destruction magic and can cast Apprentice level
    Destruction spells.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Fire, frost, and lightning have flowed from your fingertips. You are now
    a Journeyman in Destruction magic and can cast Journeyman level
    Destruction spells.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Fire, frost, and lightning have flowed from your fingertips. You are now
    a Expert in Destruction magic and can cast Expert level Destruction
    spells.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Fire, frost, and lightning have flowed from your fingertips. You are now
    a Master of Destruction magic and can cast Master level Destruction
    spells.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Unlike most spells, you actually have to affect something with
    destruction spells. Having a self-targeting Destruction spell isn't
    terribly healthy, either. Find an enemy and blast them.. especially with
    100% chameleon. There's a cave south of the Imperial City on the way to
    Bravil known as 'Robber's Glen Cave'. Inside you'll find a minotaur
    (or minotaur lord, depending on your level) inside a room it's too
    large to fit out of. You can use that as target practice.. but be wary,
    as it will occasionally 'clip' through the wall and teleport to you.
    When that happens, just run to the other side of the cave entrance, and
    repeat. Or failing that, go to the Arcane University and make a self
    targeting disintegrate spell that damages your gear. cast it repeatedly
    and repair your damaged equipment. This will level up Armorer, too,
    although it isn't very cost-effective if you aren't already a master of
    Armorer and have to provide repair hammers.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			      Hand to Hand			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Strength
    Specialization: Combat
    Attack without weapons to damage and fatigue opponents.
    
    The more skill you have with Hand to Hand, the more melee damage you
    will do. In any event, you'll never be able to reach the same damage
    with Hand to Hand as with the other skills. For one, you can't improve
    the condition of your fists to 125%, and you wont get magical properties
    to add. Still, it doesn't cost anything to whack enemies with your 
    fists, so that's good.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Thick calluses cover your knuckles and joints from long hours of
    punching and kicking. At long last you are an Apprentice in Hand to
    Hand fighting. You have a new Standing power attack, which does extra
    damage. Press and hold the attack button to use this power attack.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Thick calluses cover your knuckles and joints from long hours of
    punching and kicking. At long last you are a Journeyman in Hand to Hand
    fighting. Your Sidestep power attack now has a chance to disarm your
    opponent. Press and hold Attack while moving left or right to use this
    power attack.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    You are an Expert in Hand to Hand combat. Your sweeping power attack now
    has a chance to knock down your opponent. Press and hold Attack while
    moving backwards to use this power attack.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    At long last you are a Master in Hand to Hand fighting. You now have the
    Rushing power attack, which has a chance to paralyze your opponent.
    Press and hold Attack while moving forward to use this power attack.
    Blocking has a chance to disarm your opponent.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Same as with Blade and Blunt, pick on mud crabs at a high difficulty
    setting. Hand to Hand works well with leveling because, well, it deals
    little damage, and repetition is the key.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			      Heavy Armor			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Endurance
    Specialization:	Combat
    
    Make more effective use of Iron, Steel, Dwarven, Orcish, Ebony, and
    Daedric armors.
    
    Heavy armor is good stuff. For one, it prevents an incredible amount of
    damage. For two, it looks cools. What more are you looking for? It's
    armor. I tend to raise it as soon as I get out of the sewers, and
    continue improving it in order to max my Endurance at 100. Also, if I
    get Heavy Armor up to 100, I can wear it all the time without it
    weighing a thing. As you level, you'll also have it take less damage.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Days and weeks of constant use make wearing heavy armor tolerable, but
    not comfortable. You have learned to adapt to its weight and use it in
    combat. As an Apprentice of Heavy Armor, your plate mail is no longer
    damaged as swiftly from combat.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Days and weeks of constant use make wearing heavy armor tolerable, but
    not comfortable. You have learned to adapt to its weight and use it in
    combat. As a Journeyman of Heavy Armor, your plate mail is no longer
    damaged as swiftly from combat.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Days and weeks of constant use make wearing heavy armor tolerable, but
    not comfortable. You have learned to adapt to its weight and use it in
    combat. As an Expert of Heavy Armor, your plate mail no longer
    encumbers you as much when you are running or swimming.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Days and weeks of constant use make wearing heavy armor tolerable, but
    not comfortable. You have learned to adapt to its weight and use it in
    combat. As an Master of Heavy Armor, your plate mail no longer
    encumbers you at all when you are running or swimming.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Like leveling weapons, but the opposite. The more hits you take while
    wearing heavy armor the faster it will level. Also, the more pieces of
    armor you have on, the faster you'll level. So get any old shield,
    helmet, boots, gloves, greaves, and cuirass, set the difficulty slider
    all the way to the easiest level, and go find something to hit you.
    Bandits and Marauders, especially ones with bows, make great grinding
    buddies. Get up to them in close combat until they draw their daggers
    and let them carve you up. Keep in mind, this is also the best way to
    level Block and Light Armor. You don't need to keep your armor repaired
    while doing this, either.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			      Illusion				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Personality
    Specialization:	Magic
    
    Cast spells to charm, conceal, create light, silence, paralyze, command
    or affect morale or aggressiveness.
    
    Illusion contains a variety of good spells, and early on, the ability
    to create light with magic is a decent enough way to use the skill.
    Later on, invisibility and especially chameleon spells become 
    available. If you've ever played D&D, you'll understand how 
    invisibility works all too well. Nothing can see you until you attack,
    cast a spell, or something of the sort.. Chameleon on the other hand,
    doesn't go away when you act. Chameleon comes in percentages, and
    ideally makes you harder to detect (in conjunction with Sneak). However,
    if you get 100% chameleon, it counts as invisibility.. except you can
    act and not lose your cover. The ultimate goal? Create an outfit with
    chameleon pieces totalling up to 100+%. As long as you wear gear
    providing you with 100% chameleon, you'll be completely invisible,
    and able to attack and cast spells at will. Enemies wont be able to
    detect you, and the AI doesn't know what to do. If you start doing
    this, you can basically kill enemies at your leisure. Particularly
    handy for leveling up Blade, Blunt, Destruction, Hand to Hand, and
    Marksman.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    As a new Journeyman of Illusion, you know what is and isn't real, and
    how to fool the minds of your opponents. You can now cast Apprentice
    level Illusion spells.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    As a new Journeyman of Illusion, you know what is and isn't real, and
    how to fool the minds of your opponents. You can now cast Journeyman
    level Illusion spells.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    As a new Expert of Illusion, you know what is and isn't real, and how to
    fool the minds of your opponents. You can now cast Expert level Illusion
    spells.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    As a new Master of Illusion, you know what is and isn't real, and how to
    fool the minds of your opponents. You can now cast Master level Illusion
    spells.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Illusion levels pretty quickly. Just get a low-level light generating
    spell, and cast it repeatedly. Moonlight is a good example, and it can
    be purchased in the Imperial City.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			      Light Armor 			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Speed
    Specialization:	Stealth
    
    Make more effective use of Fur, Leather, Chainmail, Mithril, Elven, and
    Glass armors.
    
    Like Heavy Armor, Light Armor improves your defense and your aesthetics.
    At least, as long as it's not Fur or Leather. It get similar bonuses
    as it goes up in rank, but it's not the equal of Heavy Armor until it
    reaches master rank. At which time you'll gain a 50% bonus to the
    defensive stats of your armor, making the difference between Light and
    Heavy Armor a matter of preference, so long as you go fully heavy or
    fully light. Since Heavy Armor raises the ultra-important Endurance
    attribute, it gets the nod.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your light armor is like a second skin after all those days and weeks
    wearing it. As an Apprentice of Light Armor, your gear is no longer
    damaged as swiftly from combat.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your light armor is like a second skin after all those days and weeks
    wearing it. You have learned to move easily with it in combat. As a
    Journeyman of Light Armor, your gear is no longer damaged as swiftly
    from combat.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your light armor is like a second skin after all those days and weeks
    wearing it. You have learned to move easily with it in combat. As an
    Expert of Light Armor, your gear no longer encumbers you.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Your light armor is like a second skin after all those days and weeks
    wearing it. You have learned to move easily with it in combat. As a
    Master of Light Armor, your gain a 50% increase in protection if wearing
    all light armor.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Just like Heavy Armor, set the difficulty down and go get attacked by an
    archer (make them use their dagger.)
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			      Marksman				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Agility
    Specialization:	Stealth
    
    Deliver more deadly ranged attacks with bow and arrow weapons.
    
    You deal more damage as you level up Marksman, simply put. You also
    get the ability to zoom with your bow (which significantly improves
    the range of your arrows.) Unfortunately, arrows just don't do enough
    damage by themselves, and even if you're a good shot from far away,
    you only get off a handful of shots before the enemy closes. Using
    poison and Sneak helps matters a bit, but bows still feel under-powered.
    You also gain the ability to knock down and paralyze enemies with
    arrows as you improve your skill. Holding the bow drawn back increases
    the damage the shot will deal.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The twang of the bow and the scraping of arrow fletchings are quite
    familiar to you. As a new Apprentice of Marksman, holding the bowstring
    with a knocked arrow no longer fatigues you.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The twang of the bow and the scraping of arrow fletchings are quite
    familiar to you. As a new Journeyman of Marksman, your vision focuses
    in on the target if you hold block with an arrow nocked.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The twang of the bow and the scraping of arrow fletchings are quite
    familiar to you. As a new Expert of Marksman, your arrows now have a
    chance to knock down your opponent.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The twang of the bow and the scraping of arrow fletchings are quite
    familiar to you. As a new Master Marksman, your arrows now have a
    chance to paralyze your opponent.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Leveling Marksman can be a real chore.. not only do bows have wear and
    tear to deal with, but they also have ammunition. And since they attack
    much slower than melee weapons, it's going to take that much longer to
    raise it. Get what you can out of it, and if you get to level 90, you're
    a trooper. Keep in mind that it takes about 150 arrows or so to go from
    level 87 to 88. The process becomes simpler when you hit level 75, as
    your arrows gain the ability to knock down enemies. Once down, if you
    immediately shoot them again they will stay down, and remain as long as
    you keep shooting them. 100% chameleon helps, and picking on the
    minotaur in Robber's Glen Cave works too. Frankly though, I end up
    training the last 10-20 levels of Marksman on any typical play-through.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			     Mercantile				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Personality
    Specialization:	Stealth
    
    Mercantile affects your ability to buy and sell things.
    
    The higher your Mercantile skill, the better you can haggle, and the
    higher prices you can get for your ill-gotten gains. Most importantly
    though, you'll be able to invest in a shop, and at master rank you'll
    get a flat 500gp bonus to the amount stores are willing to sell you.
    Mix this with the fact that as you progress shops will stop caring what
    items you're selling and buy anything (non-stolen) from you, and the
    condition of items won't matter, and this becomes a fairly lucrative
    skill. Being able to sell that Daedric Cuirass for 2200gp is much better
    than settling for 1200gp.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Negotiation, bargaining, dickering, haggling, they're all means to an
    end... getting the best price for your goods. You are now an Apprentice
    of Mercantile. The damaged condition of an item is no longer a factor
    when you sell it.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Negotiation, bargaining, dickering, haggling, they're all means to an
    end... getting the best price for your goods. You are now a Journeyman
    of Mercantile. You can buy and sell any object to any vendor, even if
    they normally do not deal in that type of wares.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Negotiation, bargaining, dickering, haggling, they're all means to an
    end... getting the best price for your goods. You are now a Expert
    of Mercantile. Give the merchant money to permanently increase his
    shop's available gold by 500.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Negotiation, bargaining, dickering, haggling, they're all means to an
    end... getting the best price for your goods. You are now a Master
    of Mercantile. All shops in the world now have 500 more gold available
    for barter.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Unfortunately the only way to level this skill naturally is to buy and
    sell items. It doesn't matter how much money it's worth, or how many you
    sell at once, what matters is how many transactions you make. With that
    in mind, the most efficient way to level up this skill is to sell cheap,
    easy to find objects one at a time. Arrows are good candidates because
    they're cheap to buy and common. When you hit around level 30 in this
    skill, you'll realise that this approach will take quite a while. I
    seriously suggest training this skill higher if you're going to use it
    at all. Fortunately, it's easy to get the first trainer, as Seed-Neeus
    is easy to get to and doesn't require you to go on a quest.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Mysticism			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Intelligence
    Specialization:	Magic
    
    Cast spells that absorb, reflect, and dispel magic, move objects, sense
    life, and bind souls.
    
    I never used mysticism much, except for Soul Trap, which in conjunction
    with Azura's Star lets you recharge your magical items on your own.
    Even then, I rarely used magical items with charges. Other than that,
    Detect Life can allow you to see where enemies are ahead of time, even
    through walls, provided you have enough range on the spell.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The mysteries of magic are slowly revealing themselves to you. You are
    now an Apprentice of Mysticism and can now cast Apprentice level
    Mysticism spells.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The mysteries of magic are slowly revealing themselves to you. You are
    now an Journeyman of Mysticism and can now cast Journeyman level
    Mysticism spells.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The mysteries of magic are slowly revealing themselves to you. You are
    now an Expert of Mysticism and can now cast Expert level Mysticism
    spells.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The mysteries of magic are slowly revealing themselves to you. You are
    now a Master of Mysticism and can now cast Master level Mysticism
    spells.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Another spell that levels fairly fast, just spam a low level detect life
    spell to improve your skill.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Restoration			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Willpower
    Specialization:	Magic
    
    Cast spells to restore, fortify, or absorb physical and magical
    attributes, cure disease, and resist magical attacks.
    
    This is obviously a useful spell school, as curing diseases, poisons,
    restoring health and damage attributes are all good things. Doing so
    with spells is significantly simpler than finding/making potions.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The secret energies of the human body have not surrendered their
    energies easily to you. You are now an Apprentice of Restoration and can
    cast Apprentice level Restoration spells.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The secret energies of the human body have not surrendered their
    energies easily to you. You are now an Journeyman of Restoration and can
    cast Journeyman level Restoration spells.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The secret energies of the human body have not surrendered their
    energies easily to you. You are now an Expert with Restoration and can
    cast Expert level Restoration spells.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The secret energies of the human body have not surrendered their
    energies easily to you. You are now a Master of Restoration and can
    cast Master level Restoration spells.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Restoration levels like most of the other spell schools. Pick a simple
    healing spell, and abuse it, using the block/cast method. There's only
    one difference.. Restoration levels slower. If you're on the PC you can
    still brute level it with the block/cast method, but on consoles, you
    may want to get a trainer for the last 20-30 levels. Since the trainer
    involves Kvatch though.. Yeah, I wait a while before bothering with
    Restoration, and it doesn't really fit into my attribute-leveling plans
    too much. Healing seems to level Restoration faster if you are actually
    restoring some Health. It's worth-while to consider leveling Restoration
    in tandem with Acrobatics. If it help anybody out, on my most recent
    playthrough I leveled Restoration manually up to 100. I can't account
    for how long it took me to reach level 60, but to go from level 60 to
    100 took about eight hours.. weighing down the 'C' button with an XBox
    controller, and the block button on my mouse with a box of dice (does
    it get any more nerdy than that?) It was not part of a specialization,
    nor was it a major skill, so this is as long as it should possibly take.
    Set up your PC before you go to work or school or something, and let it
    go.. or better yet, let it level itself up while you play another game.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			       Security				       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Agility
    Specialization:	Stealth
    
    Use lockpicks to open locked doors and containers.
    
    Simple enough. When you interact with locked objects, you'll prompt a
    mini-game to start where you have to raise a number of tumblers with
    your lockpick and secure them into place. The process is MUCH more
    intuitive on consoles than on the PC, but it's a minor gripe. If you
    break into the Armory near the prisons in the Imperial City, you can
    get your hands on some Steel and Legion gear pretty early. Your only
    other option is using Alteration, so you might as well become good at
    this mini-game.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The subtle rattle of lockpicks and falling lock tumblers is music to
    your ears. Your increased skills have made you an Apprentice of
    Security. When you pick locks, only three tumblers will fall when you
    break a pick.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The subtle rattle of lockpicks and falling lock tumblers is music to
    your ears. Your increased skills have made you a Journeyman of Security.
    When you pick locks, only two tumblers will fall when you break a pick.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The subtle rattle of lockpicks and falling lock tumblers is music to
    your ears. Your increased skills have made you an Expert of Security.
    When you pick locks, only one tumbler will fall when you break a pick.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    The subtle rattle of lockpicks and falling lock tumblers is music to
    your ears. Your increased skills have made you a Master of Security.
    When you pick a lock, no tumblers will fall when you break a pick.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Security levels SLOW. You make progress towards the next level every
    time you successfully engage a tumbler, and the easiest way to improve
    (for me) has been to find very hard locks and keep picking the first
    four. Leave, and repeat. Still, I only tend to have the patience to
    reach level 30-40. There are other options though. Training, for one,
    and obtaining the Skeleton Key, for two. Do Nocturnal's quest 
    (the shrine is north-east of Leyawiin, and you must be level 10) for
    the Skeleton Key. This gives you an unbreakable lock pick, which you
    can use to auto-attempt all the locks you come across. You'll succeed..
    eventually, and you'll never have to worry about lock picking again.
    You can also level up Security while doing this.. on the Xbox 360
    version I swear it didn't level up, but on the PC (with a newer patch)
    the Skeleton Key does indeed level up Security, so I don't know. The
    only catch? It improves your Security skill by 40 points, so the
    process will be slow-if mindless. You can always level this skill by
    visiting cities at night and picking locked doors at random, but there
    is a quicker method. In the Castle Skingrad Dungeon, there is a locked
    door leading to the cells. You can pick this locked door, head to the
    end of the hallway and activate the 'Strange Candle' on the wall. Every
    time you do this the locked door closes and relocks, allowing you to
    go pick that lock again, repeat as necessary. If you've got plenty of
    lockpicks you can just auto-attempt the lock as often as you please.
    It's much simpler than walking around looking for locks to pick.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |				Sneak				       |	
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Agility
    Specialization:	Stealth
    
    Pick pockets and move unseen and unheard by observers.
    
    Picking pockets will come into play once in a while, but the real
    treat is avoiding conflict (which is difficult) or better yet, getting
    the drop on enemies. It's not as powerful as on, say, Fallout 3, where
    stealth was the way I played, but damage multipliers are a great way
    to begin a fight. Especially with a bow. A poisoned bow. As you become
    more sneaky you'll eliminate running and encumbrance penalties, and
    gain sneak attack damage bonuses.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Stepping softly, hiding in the shadows, you do everything in your power
    to remain undetected. You have become an Apprentice of Sneaking. When
    you are sneaking, you now do extra damage while attacking a character
    that does not detect you.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Stepping softly, hiding in the shadows, you do everything in your power
    to remain undetected. You have become a Journeyman of Sneaking. The
    weight of your boots no longer affects your ability to remain
    undetected.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Stepping softly, hiding in the shadows, you do everything in your power
    to remain undetected. You have become an Expert of Sneaking. You can now
    move silently. Running or walking no longer affects your ability to
    remain undetected.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Stepping softly, hiding in the shadows, you do everything in your power
    to remain undetected. You have become a Master at Sneaking. While
    sneaking, any attack on an opponent that does not detect you ignores
    their armor.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Sneak is also easy to level, which is good news for Agility. All you
    have to do is go around NPCs (hostile or friendly) and sneak around
    without being observed. This is fairly hard if you start out with a
    Sneak skill of 25, and you'll need to go about fairly unladen (wearing
    boots is a no-no at early levels, as it makes you less stealthy.) Stay
    out of lights, don't cast spells, avoid their field of view, and move
    slowly. My personal technique? At the Imperial City Waterfront, by the
    wall there will be two bedrolls, one Amusei will use, and another will
    belong to a beggar named Puny Ancus. During the night, Ancus will sleep
    in his bedroll, while Amusei will go play with the thieves. While Ancus
    is sleeping, you can sneak next to him, running into the wall. As he is
    alone and sleeping it'll be very hard for him to detect you, and since
    he wont move around at all, you can do this for hours (game time). If
    you're on the PS3 or Xbox 360, get a rubber band and engage the joystick
    so that you keep running into the wall. If you're on the PC, just hit
    the 'autowalk' button. Easy as pie.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |			      Speechcraft			       |
    o======================================================================o
    Attribute:	Personality
    Specialization:	Stealth
    
    If you want to raise an NPC's disposition towards you without using
    magic or bribing them, Speechcraft is the way to go. When you start up
    a Speechcraft attempt, you'll be given a circle with four wedges, 
    each of which are filled a certain amount. These wedges are labeled
    'Admire', 'Boast', 'Coerce', and 'Joke', and represent various ways
    to communicate with that NPC. All you do is slide the cursor over the
    four wedges and look at their facial reactions (which are sometimes
    rather hilarious) to determine what they like and don't like. To improve
    their disposition of you you try and pick the wedges they like when they
    are more filled, and the wedges they dislike when they are less filled.
    After each selection, the wedges shift clockwise. It's simple, and
    silly, but it gets the job done. As you level the skill, you will be
    able to slide the 'wedges' without picking a choice, lose less
    disposition over time while performing Speechcraft, lose less 
    disposition when you pick bad options, and cut down the cost of bribing.
    
    Apprentice
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Persuasion, wheedling, cajoling, and coercing are all tools of
    Speechcraft. They are tools you seek to excel in. You are now an
    Apprentice of Speechcraft. When persuading a character, you now get one
    chance to rotate the response wedges without having to select an action.
    
    Journeyman
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Persuasion, wheedling, cajoling, and coercing are all tools of
    Speechcraft. They are tools you seek to excel in. You are now a
    Journeyman of Speechcraft. When trying to persuading a character, his or
    her disposition now decreases much slower.
    
    Expert
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Persuasion, wheedling, cajoling, and coercing are all tools of
    Speechcraft. They are tools you seek to excel in. You are now an Expert
    of Speechcraft. When trying to persuade a character, you suffer less
    disposition penalty from the most disliked action.
    
    Master
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Persuasion, wheedling, cajoling, and coercing are all tools of
    Speechcraft. They are tools you seek to excel in. You are now a Master
    of Speechcraft. When trying to persuade a character, bribery costs half
    of what it normally would.
    
    Leveling Tips
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Improving this skill is as simple as repeatedly using it  on an NPC, for
    better or worse. It doesn't matter how low their disposition drops
    during the process either, as you can always simply raise it to a
    suitable level when you're done. It levels relatively quickly at first,
    but becomes a real chore around level 50, and might be worth training
    in should you wish to max it. Frankly, your personality score is good
    enough to get the NPC's disposition high, so you don't need a stellar
    Speechcraft, and later on you can always bribe the NPCs when it really
    matters.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			   Trainers {TRN001}			       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    Since I mention the use of trainers so much, it would be irresponsible
    of me to not include a list of them in my FAQ. There are five trainers
    per skill, two of which can raise your skills to level 40, two who can
    raise them to level 70, and one who can take you all the way up to 100.
    I will only include the level 40+ trainers, since you should be able to
    get your skill up to the minimum level required to train with them on
    your own. Remember, this is a character build FAQ, it's wasteful to
    train at lower levels, since it's often fairly easy to just do it 
    yourself. I also wont include trainers for every skill. It might be
    lazy, but some skills just don't need to be trained. If you need a
    trainer to improve your Illusion skill, you're just wasting a training
    opportunity.
    
    In order to train with the level 100 trainers, you'll usually
    need to do some simple quest or another, which I will also include. To
    even get the dialogue for most of the master trainers, you'll have to
    ask an intermediate trainer about 'Training'. They'll only tell you
    about the master trainer when you've reached the maximum skill level
    they can teach you. Training costs 10 gold per level. So being trained
    to go from level 54 to 55 costs 540 gold. Make sure you've got the cash. 
    For more information, check out Eldin2003's Trainer FAQ, which is much 
    more detailed than the information I'll be giving you. 
    
    Acrobatics
    o======================================================================o
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Ganredhel (Cheydinhal)
    
    An elf lady with blonde hair wearing a burlap vest and sack cloth pants.
    You can find her wandering near the west gate at about 12:00 to 1:00
    in the afternoon, or at her house in the south-eastern part of the city
    from 8:00am onwards.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Tsrava (Leyawiin)
    
    A Khajiit wearing a blue & green outfit, she lives in J'Bari's house
    near the center of Leyawiin.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 70-100 Trainer
    Torbern (Aerin's Camp)
    
    You'll find Torbern in Aerin's Camp (Aerin is who everybody tells you to
    talk to for master training.) Aerin's Camp is north and slightly east
    of Cheydinahal, or due east of Azura's Shrine. He's a Nord wearing fur
    armor, and he doesn't require you to perform a quest to receive training.
    
    Athletics
    o======================================================================o
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Hauls-Ropes-Faster (Anvil)
    
    You'll find this half-naked Argonian either in his room in the Fo'c'sle,
    or out on the road besides the docks. I've never gotten him to train me,
    the best he'll do is refer you to the master trainer.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Honditar (Chorrol)
    
    A blonde elf wearing a dark green shirt and huntsman leather pants. He
    lives around Chorrol, and you can find him at his home or hunting deer
    outside. The best place to find him is outside the Mage's Guild in
    Chorrol during the day.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 70-100 Trainer
    Rusia Bradus (Anvil)
    
    A brunette imperial lady wearing a burgundy linen shirt and burgandy
    linens. She lives lives in Silgor Bradus' house west of the Mage's
    Guild in Anvil, and tends to come out of the house at about 4:00pm,
    so just wait until then. You have to find 30 locations on the world
    map before she'll train you, so get marching!
    
    Block
    o======================================================================o
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Lum gro-Baroth (Chorrol)
    
    A shirtless Orc who spends his time in and around the Fighter's Guild
    in Chorrol. You can find him in the basement on his bedroll at night,
    or behind the guild shooting at targets during the day.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Ambroise Canne (Skingrad)
    
    A brown-haired man wearing a coarse linen shirt and huntsman leather 
    pants, you can typically find him in his house in the south western part 
    of Skingrad after noon.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 70-100 Trainer
    Adragail (Bravil)
    
    An elf in a brown shirt and tan linens.. with a big hammer across her
    back. She stays in her house in Bravil across from the Fighter's Guild.
    You'll have to endure a beating from her before she'll train you. Set
    the difficulty level down if she deals too much damage.
    
    Marksman
    o======================================================================o
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Reman Broder (Skingrad)
    
    A balding Imperial man wearing a collared shirt and coarse linens. You
    can find him at his home in the south western part of Skingrad, right
    next door to Ambroise Canne. A marksman trainer and a block trainer
    living next door? I wonder if they get along..
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Pinarus Inventius (Anvil)
    
    Am Imperial man in leveled Heavy Armor, he lives next to Silgor Bradus
    in Anvil.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 70-100 Trainer
    Alawen (Troll Candle Camp)
    
    You can find this auburn haired elf in leather armor east of Anvil in
    Troll Candle Camp. Get her the bow she wants, and she'll train you.
    You can find an elven bow in the Archer's Paradox store in Bravil.. or
    from appropriately leveled bandits and Marauders.
    
    Mercantile
    o======================================================================o
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Margarte (Leyawiin)
    
    Margarte is a grey-haired woman whose house is right across from the
    Great Temple of Zenithar in Leyawiin.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Seed-Neeus (Chorrol)
    
    Seed-Neeus is an Argonian who runs Northern Goods and Trade near the
    Chorrol south gate. She's the trainer I go to from level 1 until I hit
    rank 70 in Mercantile.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 70-100 Trainer
    Palonirya (Imperial City, Market District)
    
    She runs the Divine Elegance shop in the Imperial city. She'll train you
    if you get 10,000 gold together, which is no easy task at lower levels.
    
    Restoration
    o======================================================================o
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Marz (Bravil)
    
    An Argonian in a blue & green outfit who lives at the Great Temple of
    Mara in Bravil.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Ohtesse (Cheydinhal)
    
    A brunette elf who wears a quilted doublet and light brown linens and
    lives in the Great Chapel of Arkay.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 70-100 Trainer
    Oleta (Kvatch)
    
    This Redguard lady wears a Russet Felt Outfit, and can be found in the
    Great Chapel of Akatosh in Kvatch. The only problem is that.. well..
    lets just say it's not the nicest of places. She wont train you until
    you complete the quest "The Battle for Castle Kvatch."
    
    Security
    o======================================================================o
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Dro'Shanji (Bravil)
    
    A Khajit who has a house in Bravil, across from the Fighter's Guild,
    under Andragail's house. He'll leave his house around 9:00am, after
    which he'll go stand outside the entrance to Castle Bravil until about
    noon before heading to Silverhome on the Water. After spending an hour
    or two there he'll head back to the Castle again. He'll head home for
    the night around 7:00.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Mandil (Imperial City, Elven Garden District)
    
    This blonde elf wears a brown shirt and light brown linens and lives in
    Othrelos' House in the Imperial City Elven Gardens District. You'll be
    able to enter the house to chat with her at about 8:00 in the morning.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 70-100 Trainer
    J'Baana (Imperial City, Prison District)
    
    You'll find this Khajit male on the business side of the Prison 
    District. In order to gain training from him, you'll have to go to
    Bravil and talk to S'krivva, and then deliver her message to him.
    
    Speechcraft
    o======================================================================o
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Varon Vamori (Bravil)
    
    This dark elf lives north east of the Great Chapel of Mara in Bravil,
    and wears a burgandy linen shirt and burgundy linens. You can find him
    in his house after 10:00pm.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 40-70 Trainer
    Gruiand Garrana (Cheydinhal)
    
    You'll find this brunette Imperial in the Great Chapel of Arkay in
    Cheydinhal, wearing a black and burgundy outfit. You can find her pretty
    much any time during the day (roughly between 8:00am and 5:00pm.)
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Level 70-100 Trainer
    Tandilwe (Imperial City, Temple District)
    
    You can find Tandilwe in the Imperial City Temple District, in the
    Temple of the One. She's a blonde elf wearing a blue and green outfit.
    She will only train you when you have talked to the 19 beggars around
    Cyrodiil, which I have included in the list below.
    
    ---------Anvil---------
    Imus the Dull
    Penniless Olvus
    
    ---------Bravil---------
    Cosmus the Cheat
    Wretched Aia
    
    ---------Bruma----------
    Fetid Jofnhild
    Jorck the Outcast
    
    -------Cheydinhal-------
    Bruccius the Orphan
    Luckless Lucina
    
    --------Chorrol---------
    Lazy Kaslowyn
    Nermus the Mooch
    
    -----Imperial City------
    (Talos Plaza District)
    No-Coins Draninus
    
    (Elven Gardens District)
    Fralav the Faker
    
    (Market District)
    Simplicia the Slow
    
    (Temple District)
    Ragbag Buntara
    
    --------Leyawiin--------
    Deeh the Scalawag
    Rancid Ra'dirsha
    
    --------Skingrad--------
    Foul Fagus
    Nigidius the Needy
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |		        Sample Character {CHR001} 		       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    This is the last character I played through Oblivion with, the one I
    based this guide around. Following (most) of my own suggestions and
    ratings, this is what I consider to be a 'power game' character. Of
    course, this is without using any mods, exploits, hacks, or anything
    that otherwise breaks the 'rules' of the game.
    
    Absolute Build
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Race:		Breton
    Sign:		The Lady*
    Max Level:	53
    
    Derived Statistics
    Health:		690
    Magicka:	250
    Fatigue:	400
    
    Attributes
    Strength:	100
    Intelligence:	100
    Willpower:	100
    Agility:	100
    Speed:		100
    Endurance:	100
    Personality:	100
    Luck:		100
    
    Major Skills	Level	Trained
    Armorer:	100	No
    Blunt:		100	No
    Hand to Hand:	100	No
    Heavy Armor:	100	No
    Light Armor:	100	No
    Marksman:	100	Yes, 20
    Sneak:		100	No
    
    Minor Skills
    Athletics:	100	Yes, 40
    Blade:		100	No
    Block:		100	Yes, 20
    Alchemy:	100	No
    Alteration:	100	No
    Conjuration:	100	No
    Destruction:	100	No
    Illusion:	100	No
    Mysticism:	100	No
    Restoration:	100	No
    Acrobatics:	100	Yes, 40
    Mercantile:	100	Yes, 70
    Security:	100	Yes, 25	
    Speechcraft	100	Yes, 50
    
    *The Warrior would work just fine as a substitute. The Thief would
    allow me to max out Luck easier for a more leisurely leveling pace,
    albeit at the cost of a few points of Health. The Mage would provide a
    significant bit of extra Magicka, but at the cost of some Health points
    and a slightly tighter leveling build.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |		           Hints/Tips {HNT001} 			       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    Here are just some hopefully helpful tips and hints that may help get
    you started.. or give you some idea of what to do in this big world
    you get to explore. Some of it might be repetition.. but.. well, just
    ignore it.
    
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Spend time PLANNING your characters before you actually make them. Use
    this guide, it's alright. I made spreadsheets for this game, myself.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Max out Endurance first. Your Health points will thank you later.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Make sure you begin leveling Luck early so you can max it.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Pick THREE attributes to raise each level, and focus on increasing
    the related skills of those attributes by TEN points. That's the way
    to power level on Oblivion.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Train 5 skill ranks a level. They are quick level ups without the 
    hassle. Pick difficult skills that you don't want to level. Level skills
    high enough to get to the hard levels, and then train them. I might be
    a bit neurotic..
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    If you find skill books, don't read them early. Leave them alone or
    store them away until that skill is a high level. It'll save you some
    aggravation.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Play with the difficulty slider. It'll make leveling easier if enemies
    do less damage, or have more Health. Don't listen to 'hardcore' players
    talk about beating the game on the highest difficulty. All they do is
    use summons and poison anyways.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Get gear totaling to 100% chameleon. This will let you kill enemies
    at your leisure. On higher difficulties, you can attack powerful foes
    with weapons and spells to level them with no fear of reprisal. It's not
    much of a way to get through the game, but it sure helps with leveling.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Get an armor skill to 100 fast, so you always have something protective
    to wear. Also, this makes that armor weightless when you have it
    equipped.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Join the Mage's Guild and Fighter's Guild early. Fighter's guild will
    get you access to weapons and armor you can use/sell. Rob the glass
    counters in Mage's Guild locations for valuable alchemy gear. Sell it,
    wait a couple of days, and repeat. It's a safe and easy way to get
    money early on.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Along the roads that ring the Imperial City isle you can find three
    great places to explore for arms and armor. Sercen contains bandits,
    which will drop you light armor. Fort Alessia and Fort Homestead both
    contain Marauders which drop heavy armor. Especially seek out Marauder
    Warlords and Bandit Ringleaders for top quality gear.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Robbers Glen Cave, along the road south of the Imperial City leading to
    Bravil contains a number of interesting and useful features. First,
    there are a number of chests that can contain very powerful gear. These
    are only guarded by imps, making their retrieval trivial. Second, there
    is a minotaur/minotaur lord in the cave in its own chamber that is too
    small for it to escape from. It makes for excellent target practice.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Don't complete any quests until you're a high level.. Some of the 
    rewards level with you. 
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Be careful around vampires. Curing Vampirism is no picnic, and you
    wont get rid of it with simple cure disease effects. If you want to be
    a vampire, be ready for how drastically the game will change, first.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Sigil Stones, attained from closing Oblivion gates can be used to
    enchant weapons and armor with modifiers higher than usual. Save the
    game before activating a Sigil Stone, and when it is added to your
    inventory, see if it provides bonuses you want. If not, reload until
    you get a good one. It's worth closing Oblivion gates just to load up
    on some of these stones.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Be a completionist. There's no reason to be a 'fighter', or a 'mage' or
    a 'thief'. Do it all, see everything there is to see. Roleplay, have
    fun.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Almost every supernatural creature and animal has a small chance to
    inflict your character with a disease of some sort or another. While
    individually your characes of contracting a disease are slim,
    considering the sheer number of creatures you'll face, it's inevitable
    that you'll contract Swamp Fever or Hell Join at some point. To a new
    gamer this can be obnoxious, since the game gives you no real clue how
    to cure such afflictions (speaking from experience, here.) Near Bravil
    you can find Mandrake plants just off the road, which cure disease if
    consumed. Now if you get diseased, you won't have to fret the way I did.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Attribute drain is another common, frustrating, effect that you'll
    certainly get afflicted with at some point. It most commonly occurs when
    you are poisoned (Bandits will coat their weapons from time to time),
    when affected by the magical properties of an enchanted weapon, or via
    the innate attacks of some creatures (most notoriously, the 
    Will'o'Wisp.) Many ingredients you'll find can restore lost attribute
    points if you consume them raw, although advanced alchemists will have
    an easy time making potions that restore attributes. Alternatively,
    picky eaters can purchase 'Restore [Attribute]' from priests at the
    various temples scattered throughout Tamriel.
    <---------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Don't be afraid to download and use custom mods, especially aesthetic
    ones. Oblivion made a wonderful game with hideous characters. Don't
    be afraid to get mods to make your character less fugly.
    
    o======================================================================o
    |								       |
    |			Updates/Thanks {UPD001}			       |
    |								       |
    o======================================================================o
    Version 1.00 to 1.01 changes:
    
    o=o 	Fixed the Magicka Resistance description error under the Breton 
    	and Orc racial descriptions.
    
    o=o	Included an alternative leveling method for relative power
    	levels. Thanks Alex. You know who you are.
    
    o=o	Fixed numerous typos. Forgive me folks, I work on Notepad, so I
    	don't get spellcheck. Still, thanks to blryans for checking this
    	FAQ for me. I really don't have any good excuse for not popping
    	these things on another program to spell check.
    o======================================================================o
    Version 1.01 to 1.02 changes:
    
    o=o	Fixed many problems with the description of the Breton's Magicka
    	Resistance and the Atronauch Birthsign's effects. I should have
    	really done more in-depth research here, but I stand well
    	corrected by my readers, whom as usual help make these guides
    	better for every one.
    
    o=o	Included an alternate low-level build character.
    o======================================================================o
    Version 1.02 to 1.03 changes (2/19/2012) (145,773 bytes)
    
    o=o	Made numerous aesthetic changes to the FAQ to make it more
    	readable.. and to make it look more like the rest of my FAQs.
    
    o=o	Reorganized the 'Skills' section of the guide and added the
    	in-game notices recieved at every level (i.e. Apprentice,
    	Journeyman, Expert, Master.)
    
    			   ***END OF FILE***