The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, is perhaps one of the largest games in history. Sure, there is the massive playable game area, but the largest part of the game is its character creation process. People commonly become overwhelmed by the seemingly endless choices and options laid out before them as they embark on their journey into Tamriel. I hope that I can help you limit those choices and produce a character that speaks true to your personality, abilities, and overall gaming interest with this article.
The first and most important decision you will make when creating your character will be your race. As you know, there are ten different races in Oblivion, and each of them have their own unique powers and statistics. Let me tell you now; as much as I dislike stereotypes, particularly those involving race, each race has a certain specialization that it is understood to be used for. It is not possible to create a character that is good at what he or she does unless that character’s race fits it.
Argonian- The Argonian is commonly believed to be a “jack of all trades”, but it has a few flaws that bump it away from that title. The Argonian starts out with low health, average strength, but very high speed and agility scores. The Argonian has its largest stat bonus in lockpicking. It is pretty clear that the Argonian is meant to be a thief or Assassin.
Breton- The Breton is a magical race. Really, that is pretty much all you can do with it. The Breton starts out with poor health and poor agility, a rare combonation, average strength and speed, and the highest Intelligence and Willpower. It also has a +50 to its already large Magicka pool.
Dark elf- The Dark elf is the most balanced race in Oblivion. The birthsign you choose for it will determine what class it belongs to, but there are some things you should pay attention to. First of all, the Dunmer has a high speed score and average agility. This helps for a thief character. The Dunmer also has average strength and endurance; with the Warrior sign, that could make a mean fighter class. The Dunmer has average intelligence backed up by low willpower. By choosing the Lady birthsign to raise willpower, you will lose the magic bonus that could be gained from the Mage, Apprentice, or Atronach. The Dark elf will have to choose between Magicka and willpower to be a mage, which is not something a good mage will do. The Dark Elf is more suited for a stealth/combat role.
High elf- The High elf is the most powerful magic race. The Altmer starts out with high intelligence and +100 to its Magicka, giving it the base value of any other race’s (except for Bretons) maximum Magicka. Yes, the Altmer starts out with 200 magicka without a birthsign. Any other race that did not use a magic birthsign would have a maximum Magicka of 200. The Altmer has low speed, low strength, but an O.K agility and endurance score. The Altmer fits the Witchhunter class very nicely, using the Thief as a birthsign. The Altmer can be a magic character, possibly a stealth if you choose the right birthsign. The elemental weaknesses are almost nothing because the Altmer has good health and good magic.
Imperial- The Imperial is not a balanced race. The Imperial has heavy combat bonuses and average combat stats. The Imperial has a high personality, seemingly making it a good stealth character with what the high Mercantile and Speechcraft bonuses, but a low agility score counters that. The Imperial has average intelligence and low willpower, like the Dunmer, making it a not so great mage. The Imperial, if used at all, is best used as a fighter/haggler class.
Khajit- The Khajit is a very effective stealth race. It has low health, high agility, high Acrobatics, good sneak and security, and the Hand to Hand bonus can be very valuable for a thief type character. The Eye of Night allows it to see in the dark, i.e breaking into someone’s house, and the Eye of Fear repels enemies that are often stronger that the Khajit. Once again, average intelligence and low willpower hurt any magic class used by the Khajit. The Khajit could be a good monk coupled with the Lord birthsign.
Nord- The Nord is a heavy fighter race. It has high strength and endurance, average agility, low intelligence and willpower, and high combat bonuses. The Nord has a small Restoration bonus, which any fighter will appreaciate during a long battle.
The Orc- The Orc at first glance is a “fighter-only race”, like the Nord. Even though it has high strength and endurance, good combat bonuses, odd agility, and low intelligence, the Orc is one of two races to have a 50 in willpower. Coupled with a magic birthsign such as the Apprentice or Atronach, the Orc can be a very effective combat/ magic hybrid, or even a pure mage. A magic character will be hard, but the Orc is suited for a magic or combat role, and should never even think about picking up that bow for a stealthy mission.
The Redguard- The Redguard is a perfect fighter. It has high strength and endurance, good speed, and very good combat bonuses. Do not even think about making a mage with a Redguard. A theif could work well given the right birthsign, but the Redguard is more suited for a warrior class.
Wood elf- The Bosmer is the best stealth race in the game. It has high speed and agility, poor strength, poor willpower, and average health. It has very good Marksman and Security bonuses, completing a pure-stealth role very nicely.
As you can see, the race often affects what the class should be. As far as birthsgins go, choose whatever you want. The birthsign is a large advantage over the AI(the AI has no birthsgin), and some of the Greater Powers, Magicka bonuses, and attribute bonuses are very helpful to give your character an edge over the competition. The next important part of the process is choosing your skills.
There are 21 skills in Oblivion, each assigned to a specialization. Here are some tips:
For a fighter, only pick one weapon skill, Blade or Blunt. Not both. If you level both Blade and Blunt by 20 points, you have advanced 4 levels. Then you will be facing level 4 monsters, but each of your combat skills is ready to only face a level 2 monster. Now, if you leveled your Blunt skill by 40 points, it would take the same time as raising Blade and Blunt, you woiuld achieve the same level at 4, but be able to easily kill level 4 monsters.
For a mage, go with all of the magic skills. You can always wear armor and become comfortable in it while it is a minor skill. You may want to swap out Restoration for Blade, though. Note: Do not forget Alchemy. It is very useful for making money and raising intelligence.
For stealth, make sure you have Security and Sneak. Other that that, choose whatever skills you want. Don’t like the stealthy bow? Choose hand to hand instead, it works just as well.
It is possible to make a character that can complete all of the guilds, that is, a character balanced in stealth, combat, and magic. I have the formual below;
Attributes: Endurance, Luck
Skills: Weapon(Blade or Blunt), Block, Security, Sneak, Range(Marksman or Destruction) Armor(Heavy Armor or Light Armor), and Illusion.
If you use the formula listed above, once you exit the tutorial sewers, you will be able to do anything you want as long as your birthsign fits your race. for example, give the Khajit the Lord, or the High elf the Warrior(to boost the low strength score.) Luck helps with everything, and you will always need more health.
I hope that this tutorial was helpful to you. Please email me if you have any questions regarding The Elder Scrolls!