Thorough guide for custom class creation
For a much better and more modern playing experience, download and install Daggerfall Unity. There are many guides to do this on the internet. This guide is written with the assumption that you are using Unity but everything still applies if you are not. There are some exploits in character creation that Unity corrected which will be pointed out.
copying and pasting this from the Daggerfall Unity forum:
Argonian: half slower breath meter while swimming (on average), no swimming fatigue
Breton: +30 save vs magic element
Dark Elves: +(Level/4) damage modifier, +(Level/4) chance to hit modifier with weapons
High Elves: 100 base save vs paralysis
Khajit: +30 climbing
Nords: +30 save vs frost element
Redguard: +(Level/3) damage modifier, +(Level/3) chance to hit modifier with weapons
WoodElf: +(Level/3) damage modifier, +(Level/3) chance to hit modifier with bows
High Elf is the most popular choice simply because Paralysis happens often and is fatal. However it is extremely easy to manage between spells, potions, and magic items. The other advantages have no noticeable effect in the game. By the time you level up enough for the chance to hit bonuses to matter you’re not missing anyway. Any spellcasting ability means you’re not climbing at all or swimming without magically enhanced swim speed.
Just choose what you want to look at. It does not matter in the slightest what race you are when you are swinging a Daedric 2hander with 100 strength, 100 speed, and chose the maximum hitpoints per round at character creation.
Hit points per level
After race selection and getting to the main character creation screen you will see your hit points per level at the top right. This is the single most important attribute. 30 is the max, 25 matches the stock barbarian, 20 matches the stock warrior. 20 is enough but 30 makes you almost unkillable at higher levels. The default is 8 which will get you one-shotted at lot.
Every 10 points in Endurance past 50 adds a bonus hit point gained at level up. So that makes Endurance important to boost at the beginning. Bonuses are not retroactive if you raise Endurance as you level.
The difficulty dagger
Every class has a difficulty dagger which represents the sum total of your advantages and disadvantages. Getting the dagger as far down as possible makes all skills tremendously easier to level. Besides hit points per level this is the most important attribute of your character.
All advantages chosen will raise the difficulty dagger – the amount depending on the relative strength of the advantage. Immunity to fire is very strong – difficulty dagger goes up a lot. Choosing 3x int mana bonus is very strong – difficulty dagger goes up a lot.
Disadvantages work the same way in the opposite direction.
The key to choosing disadvantages is recognizing what you can ignore with game mechanics. For example Paralysis is easily managed with the cheapest free action spell, plus magic items and potions. So Critical Weakness to Paralysis is something we actually WANT just to drop the difficulty dagger. Another example is banning the use of any Silver items because its an incredibly rare material and not relevant past the first dungeon. So banning it doesn’t hurt you at all and drops the difficulty dagger a bit.
Strength – stat priority #3. Determines carrying capacity and gives you a slight bonus to damage per hit – 1 for every 10 points past 50. The damage is nice but dwarfed by the damage output that 100 speed gives you. Still important for everyone though.
Intelligence – stat priority #2. Determines maximum mana points. The default is 0.5 x int which is crap. You can choose 3x, 2x, 1.75x, 1.5x, or 1x int as advantages which are very important.
Willpower – gives you a slight magic resistance bonus. Not enough to level it. Not a priority.
Agility – gives you a slight bonus to hit and dodge as you level. Not enough to level it. Not a priority.
Endurance – gives you a hit point per level bonus for every 10 points past 50. Not retroactive if you increase it as you level. This is a priority only at character creation. Priority zero as you level unless you have like 57 and can make it 60 at level 2.
Speed – stat priority #1. Has a massive effect on movement speed and weapon attack speed.
Personality – dump stat #1. Does nothing but make generic townspeople npc’s more likely to be polite. At the most someone wont give you your quest location and the next person you talk to will. Doesn’t affect quest givers, guild officers or anyone important at all. Drop it to 10.
Luck – dump stat #2. Gives you a very slight bonus to hit and climbing. You can leave it alone or dump it all the way. Priority zero as you level.
Advantages that matter
Increased Magery – increases your max mana by 3x, 2x, 1.7x, 1.5x or 1x your INT score. 3x is the single most important advantage that can be chosen. 2x matches the stock Mage. Even 1.5 gives you something to work with.
Resistance/Immunity to Fire – Liches, Fire Daedra and Daedra lords will hit you like a truck with fireballs.
Resistance/Immunity to Shock – Vampire Ancients use touch Shock spells. *note* if you’re not using Unity Vampire Ancients will melt you in your boots with rapid-fire Shock spells. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Resistance/Immunity to Magic – covers Silence which is annoying and used constantly by ghosts/wraiths and Daedroths. Also covers damaging spells that use Magic as their element. *note* if you’re not using Unity this will also make you immune to paralysis, poison and disease! This exploit is corrected in Unity.
Resistance/Immunity to Poison – poisons are brutal and deadly in Unity. You’ll often try to rest and drop dead on the spot not even knowing you were poisoned.
Spell Absorption – lets you absorb the mana from hostile spells, even your own area of effect spells like Fireball. Overpowered.
Bonus to hit Undead – Skeletons and Zombies are the most dangerous foes you’ll face at low levels. Liches and Vampires (and their Ancient variants) are hard to hit and among your most dangerous enemies period. This gives you noticeable increase in your chance to hit.
Bonus to hit Daedra – All the high level Daedra are dangerous and hard hitting magic users. This gives you a noticeable increase in chance to hit.
Advantages that don’t matter
Resistance/Immunity to Paralysis – easily managed with the cheapest 5 point Free Action spell, plus items and potions.
Resistance/Immunity to Disease – diseases are very rare and easily managed with spells and potions.
Acute Hearing – this makes it harder to rest in dungeons because you can hear monsters from farther away. You DO NOT want this.
Adrenaline Rush – gives you a small boost to something at low health. Irrelevant.
Athleticism – gives a small bonus to fatigue loss while running around. Its noticeable but doesn’t matter when you can restore fatigue with a 5 point spell.
Bonus to hit Animals – Animals are no threat past the lowest levels unless you have no way of managing paralysis from scorpions and spiders.
Bonus to hit Humanoids – Humanoids are little threat past the lowest levels and easy to hit anyway.
Rapid Healing/Regenerate Health – this will make resting to regain health faster but there are so many ways to heal anyway its just not worth the difficulty dagger penalty.
Disadvantages that matter
Critical Weakness to Paralysis – easily managed and has a large effect on the difficulty dagger
Critical Weakness to Disease – rare, easily managed with potions and has a large effect on the difficulty dagger
Damage from Holy Places – assuming you’re not level 1 you can take the damage hit and it doesnt take longer than a few seconds to go in a temple, grab your quest and leave
Darkness Powered Magery – Unable to use Magic in Daylight/Lower Magic ability in Daylight – these can both be taken together and have a large effect on the difficulty dagger. You do almost all your combat and leveling in Dungeons which is considered “in Darkness” so this works for everyone.
Forbidden Armor type Leather/Chain – these have a small effect on the Difficulty dagger and don’t hurt you past the first dungeon.
Forbidden Armor type Plate – this hurts a lot more than the other two, while having a larger effect on the difficulty dagger. However you can enchant chain to be as good as dwarven plate and with 30 hit points per level that’s more than good enough.
Forbidden Shield type – these have a small effect on the difficulty dagger while not hurting you at all. Most people use 2h weapons since there is no attack speed difference compared to 1h weapons.
Forbidden Material – Steel/Elven/Dwarven/Mithril/Adamantium – these have a large effect on the difficulty dagger. Can make things a little harder at low levels. Keep in mind you can start with an Ebony dagger and can wear chain indefinitely so all of these materials eventually become irrelevant.
Forbidden Material- Iron/Silver/Ebony/Orcish – these have a small effect on the difficulty dagger. Would recommend leaving Ebony alone. Iron and Silver never matter even in the first dungeon. Orcish is literally 10 times rarer than Daedric.
Phobia – Animals/Humans – they’re easy enough to kill anyway
Disadvantages that suck
Takes damage from sunlight – hell no
Light powered Magery – you don’t want these because most of the game is in dungeons which is “in darkness”. The exception is if you take all magic related disadvantages at once as well as forsaking any mana bonus – the total effect on the difficulty dagger is tremendous and can be traded for multiple immunities.
Inability to regen spell points – see above, otherwise this is crippling
Phobia Undead/Daedra – these are your tough enemies so no
Low tolerance – Fire/Frost/Shock/Magic/Poison/Paralysis/Disease – go all the way and take critical weakness to paralysis/disease, you don’t want weakness to the others unless you like dying.
Critical weakness – same as above
Long blade – chance to hit with all swords. Includes the widest variety of weapons as well as the best single weapon (daikatana). Used by Fighters Guild and all Knightly orders.
Blunt weapon – chance to hit with maces, hammers, staves and flails. Used by Fighters Guild and a lot of temples.
Axe – there are only two types, a 1handed and 2handed version. Used by Fighters Guild and several temples.
Short blade – daggers, short swords, wakizashis, tantos. All 1handed and damage per hit is relatively low. Levels up quickly. Very lightweight. Also used by the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, and Temple of Julianos if you want access to those guilds. Not as good as long blade/blunt/axe.
Archery – use of bows. Ammunition is limited and has to be bought. Can be very strong. Used by Fighters Guild and Dark Brotherhood. Slow to level.
Hand to hand – requires no weapon and can hit all enemies that require a minimum material to hit. Damage is significantly lower than the other melee skills. Can rapidly swap to a bow and vice versa. Levels up quickly.
Critical strike – small increase to chance of hit. Slowly levels up on its own. Good choice for a minor skill.
Dodging – small chance to dodge blows. Slowly levels up on its own. Good choice for a minor skill.
Destruction – damage spells like Fireball. At higher levels the damage can grow far beyond weapons.
Restoration – healing and restoring fatigue. Very important for all characters.
Alteration – utility spells like Water Breathing and shield spells. Very important.
Thaumaturgy – movement spells like Levitate and Water Walking. Very important.
Illusion – Light, Shadow, Invisibility spells. Less important.
Mysticism – includes Open and Recall. Some very important spell effects but not used often.
Running – affects running speed. Will gradually level over time. Good to put in your template since its going to raise anyway. Easy to level if difficulty dagger is low.
Jumping – what it says. Irrelevant if you have any magic ability. Levels up quickly if your difficulty dagger is low.
Climbing – climbing walls. Irrelevant if you have any magic ability. Easier to level than weapon skills.
Swimming – swimming speed. Irrelevant if you have any magic ability.
Stealth – chance to have enemies turned away from you as you approach, setting up a backstab. Levels up on its own slowly.
Backstabbing – Hit an unaware enemy from behind after passing a stealth check. Really slow to level because you have to pass a stealth check just to get the opportunity to use it once. You don’t get one hit kills like Skyrim, still have to hit them a few times.
Lockpicking – All pickable locks can be bashed open. Miserable to level up. Cant open magic locks. Really sucks.
Pickpocketing – Gets you a tiny amount of gold while pissing off the town guards. Miserable to level up. Really sucks. *note* Levels up really fast if you’re not using Unity – can just hammer it on the same person 50 times.
Etiquette – can speak politely to a generic text dispenser townsperson and he might be nicer. Who cares. Miserable to level up. Really sucks. Doesn’t affect any npc that matters. Worst skill in the history of video games.
Streetwise – can speak bluntly to a generic text dispenser townsperson and he might be nicer. Who cares. Miserable to level up. Really sucks. Doesn’t affect any npc that matters. Tied for worst skill in the history of video games.
Mercantile – small effect on shop prices. You’ll be done with the game long before you level this enough to have any noticeable effect.
Dragonish/Giantish/Orcish/Spriggan/whatever Slight chance to pacify the related creature. Who cares, kill it. All miserable to level and utterly useless.
You gain a level by gaining a total of 15 points between your 3 Primary, 2 highest Major and highest Minor skill.
All skills are gained by sheer repetition. To raise Restoration from 50 to 51 you’re going to cast a spell that uses Restoration approximately 50 times (not the exact formula but you get the idea) also 9 hours has to pass since your last skill gain.
Skills should be chosen by usefulness, ease of leveling, and guilds you want to join.
Magic skills are by far the easiest to level. You can create cheap practice spells at the Mages Guild and sit at the Fighters Guild and spam them to increase your level. You can even combine effects – for example combining heal fatigue, water walking and water breathing into one spell will raise Restoration, Thaumaturgy and Alteration. If your difficulty dagger is low your level will fly up in minutes. This also works for stock classes with magic ability it just takes longer.
Weapon skills are very slow to level unless your difficulty dagger is very low because you can only use one at a time. You might want to focus on only one or even use a weaker weapon just to get more hits in. If your difficulty dagger is in the middle or higher its very likely you’ll only master one weapon skill before you finish the game. Hand to hand and short blade level quicker because of the lower damage per hit and more hits landed per kill.
Movement skills like Jumping are very easy to level if your difficulty dagger is low, very slow otherwise.
All the thieving and speech skills are miserable to level as well as being useless.
1. basic Battlemage
30hp per level
increased magery 3x int
disadvantages of choice to bring down difficulty dagger
Pump your level up easily with cheap practice spells.
30 hp per level
increased magery 1.5x int
expertise in short blade
ban plate armor
ban chain armor
ban tower shield
other disadvantages of choice to bring down difficulty dagger
hand to hand
30 hp per level
increased magery 2x int bonus
bonus to hit undead
disadvantages of choice
4. Juggernaught (overpowered lol)
25 hp per level
immunity to fire
immunity to shock
immunity to magic
immunity to paralysis
immunity to poison
frost resist (nord)
inability to regen spell points
all light powered magery/darkness powered magery disadvantages
dump int since you cant cast anyway
dump willpower since you’re immune to everything anyway
dump personality and luck since they suck anyway
max out strength, speed, endurance and agility at character creation
join Julianos to get magic items
roflstomp the game being immune to everything and unkillable – enjoy!
25 hp per level
expertise in hand to hand
increased magery 2x int
ban all armor
whatever other disadvantages you want
hand to hand
The final part of character creation is a series of questions. You can let the game decide for you (don’t do that) or answer them yourself.
Most of the questions will give you a minor skill or reputation bonus. These are pretty obvious. If you want to use Blunt choose that when you’re asked what is your favorite weapon.
There are 3 questions that are very important. If you have Blunt as a primary skill you might get an option to start with an Elven Flail. Definitely do that, it will get you through the first few levels.
Most characters will get an option to receive an Ebony Dagger as a reward. This is incredibly important. Your other starting weapons are likely to be iron and you won’t even be able to kill the 2nd enemy in the game. (an imp) The Ebony Dagger and a minor in short blade makes the first few levels a lot smoother.
One of the final questions is to give you a disadvantage. You don’t want to be weaker to magic or disease or poison. You definitely don’t want to be easily tired – I made that mistake once and I was constantly running out of stamina. Choose the one where you don’t get along well with others. Who cares. You don’t need to get along with anyone. That doesn’t affect anyone or anything that matters.
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