New Daggerfall playing style

Tired of playing Daggerfall anymore? Do you think there should be roleplaying elements in the game? Then go on reading... what you see here is a new Daggerfall playing style that was developed and written by Craig.

PART I:Explanation and character history of "Daemona"
Starting stats
Explanation of the starting stats
Ad- and disadvantages
PART II:Guidelines
Guild skills/advantages
Armor imcumbrance

Like with Eric Pilchers Eldrick character, "I liked the general idea behind TES' Spellsword concept, but felt they were shafted on armor use." I couldn't have said it better. I most enjoyed Arena when I was playing Lost Prophet as a spellsword... With this thought, I (and I'm sure many other players) have felt that Daggerfall is lacking in many an area. Especially once you get DF running well enough to discover what I'm writing about. I have continuously thought things like; "How could a starting character have a bonus to hit undead if he/she can't stay alive against a Rat?" How many low level undead have you found in DF that a level 1 character could practice on long enough to achieve bonus and expert skill abilities. It just doesn't make sense. I have similar thoughts about Immunities. How can a high level H. Elf be immune to disease and all prerolled Knights be immune to Poison, when through game play there is no way to achieve any immunities? So, I figured out a way to get full roll playing benefits by changing my play style to include hacking my characters. Now, I'm having MUCH more fun, less desire to cheat and my characters start weaker and much more realistically. I recommend these suggestion to only experienced DF players. This article is simply being written to share how I get more enjoyment from Daggerfall. Use what you like and discard the rest. 8) One last point, it goes without saying that this system totally relies on hacking. Anyone can hack a file and turn their characters into the closest thing to a demigod the game will allow. It can be fun, at first, but you'll never be able to fully enjoy and appreciate the vastness of Daggerfall. If you use my guidelines, I think you will have more enjoyment by keep yourself in check. Continually ask yourself "What's the likelihood of my character being allowed or capable of doing this, now?" I don't recommend becoming a member of the Mage's Guild and granting your character immunity to everything. I do recommend becoming a member of the Mage's Guild and granting your character with something basic, like 1X magery. Wait until you reach Archmaster to grant an immunity, spell absorption or 3X magery. And then only grant one. Each time you achieve Archmaster in the guild or for each game year your character is an Archmaster, grant another major Advantage. Also, don't forget about the Disadvantages either. Use them, have fun with them, because you are in full control. Think about things while you are playing. If you join the temple of Mara or Kynareth, it would be appropriate to make Light Powered Magery available at some point, especially if your character is a warrior type ill equipped for magica. If your character joins the Temple of Akatosh, consider bestowing Darkness Powered Magery. Start your character with daedra and undead phobias. Its only natural! How would you feel if you met one of those baddys? I doubt I'd be sticking out my hand and saying "Hi! Nice to meet you. My name is Craig. What's yours?" The point to all this is to have fun! This, I present to you, is how I have my most fun with Daggerfall. Use it and enjoy!

The following has two parts. I'm first going to give a little more history and profile of my current character, Daemona. This will help me use her for examples when explaining my play style suggestions in the 2nd part. (HINT: Skip on down to PART II to skip my character profile)

PART I: Explanation and Character History

Daemona, as with most all my RPG characters in any RPG, is a combination of two people, herself and Lost Prophet. Again, with these new characters, they don't know/remember the Lost Prophet aspect of their persona until they reach some critical mass or level growth. Now, Daemona is a bit of an Idiot Savant. She has the potential to "do it all" and can't do much of anything, yet. She has an affinity for magic, but doesn't know it. As you can see, from her Skills section, it will come in time. Then, she will start to grow into power.

To repeat a few of Daemona's starting stats:

All Ability Stats: 50 All Skills at or below: 10
Primary skills: 3 magic schools Advantages: None
Major skills: 2 magic schools and hand 2 hand Disadvantages: Unable to regenerate spell points; general.
Minor skills: Restoration, backstabbing, dodging, critical strike, medical, etiquette

When Daemona starts in Privateers Hold, all she really knows is that she is in a strange place and has vague unclear half memories of a Dark Elf past, an Emperor and... something or someone else. Now, because Daemona doesn't know she is potentially powerful mage. She is simply doing whatever it takes to get by and survive. So, she isn't "acting" like a mage. She is basically acting like a neutral monk who thieves and has very limited magic ability. She is simply "doing as she pleases."

As you can probably see, these starting states translate into pretty quickdeath. But, luckily for Daemona, she was infected with lycanthropy from a Werewolf attack. This has saved her skin, literally... Because of the bite, her STR, SPD, END and AGL went to 90! She also became very able in many of her other skills, like; Running, Jumping and H2H, the standard wolfy stuff. Currently Daemona has the following advantages and disadvantages, which I am going to list here again. They will show how all this fits together in Part II.

1x magery - Granted by Mages guild upon membership
Resistant to disease - Granted by Lycanthropy (Immunity didn't seem to be working, if supposed to be immune to Disease and Paralysis)
Resistant to poison - Granted by Dark Brotherhood upon membership
Acute hearing - Granted by lycrantopy (only logical)
Dark Powered Magery/Decreased SP in daylight - Part of Lycanthropy from infected pack (see Part II)
Forbidden Material/Silver - Part of Lycanthropy. (Yipe! It burns!)
So, due to Lycanthropy, this very weak character now has a surviving chance and is rather powerful in a few limited areas. If she is ever cured, its going to be painful, for me 8).

PART II: The guidelines

This article should be read as; "Do what makes the most sense to you." Since I'm not a programmer, I manually hack, as I go. I can recommend the program Dfhack or Gamehack Pro by, Mariusz Jurgielewicz.

Since my characters do not start with advantages or many disadvantages, they have to be learned or bestowed through general gameplay, obviously. This is how I distribute many of the Advantages and disadvantages through game play:

You figure out which skill/advantage is available at what level(s) in each guild. I'm working this out as I go...

Dark Brotherhood Thieves guild
-Resistant to poison -Acute hearing
-Immune to poison -Adrenalin rush
-Expertise in "short blade" -Resitant to paralyse
-Expertise in "hand to hand" -Expertise in "short blade"
-Expertise in "archery" -Bonus to hit animals (guard dogs, tigers)
-Acute hearing
-Rapid healing (darkness)
-Regenerate health (darkness, water)
Fighters guild Knightly orders
-Expertise in (all weapons) -Expertise in (all weapons)
-Rapid healing (light or dark) -Rapid healing general
-Bonus to hit (all) -Regenerate health (all)
-Athleticism -Increase magery (1x INT or 1,5x INT)
-Adrenaline rush -Acute hearing
-Resist to (all)
-Immune to (disease or paralyse)
Temples (god/worship dependent) Mages guild
-Expertise in "blunt weapons" -Expertise in "short blade" and "hand to hand"
-Resistant to (all) -Increase magery (all)
-Immunity to disease -Resistant to (all)
-Rapid healing (all) -Immunity to (all)
-Regenerate health (all) -Adrenaline rush
-Bonus to hit (undead or daedra) -Bonus to hit (daedra or humanoid)
-Increase magery (1x, 1,5x or 2x INT)) -Rapid healing (all)
-Regenerate health (all) -Spell absorption (all)

** (all) = All available choices, not "you get all of 'em".


Like the Vampire Clans, I think in terms of Lycanthropy Packs. Each pack (or province) that infects your character bestows slightly different effects. You decide what works best for you.

For example, Daemona got Resistant to Disease and Dark Powered Magery. Perhaps one of the Northern Provs/Packs would bestow Res to Magic or Cold. A wereboar might bestow the Disadvantage, Critical Weakness to Poison.


I haven't worked it out yet. Probably will add "#x Magery" and possibly Darkness/Light Powered Magery, Immunities and Resistances. Critical Weakness to Fire (think about it, shouldn't everyone have it?)

I you have an idea for "Vampirism", please let me know!


(This section is still being figured out and will be updated. Feel free to use what is here.) Simply put, my characters strength determine what armors can be worn without penalty to agility and speed. A weak character with 50 strength would take 25point hit to agility AND speed if daedric armor was worn (and not enchanted with Featherweight). This system only takes armor components into account, as of this writing. I plan on adding encumbrance values for shields. If you come up with any and you would like them added here, send them to me. When you look at the tables, you may wonder about the weight issues and encumbrance of a claymore or other heavy weapons. I feel this is handled just fine by the longsword skill and other weapons skills. As you increase your skill with longswords, you learn to handle the encumbrance issues. Fortunately, DF takes care of all the fatigue issues, thank God.

The following two tables show my rough calculations to figure out armor encumbrance as I play. Calculations are made with the following formula: ((EC + EV) X 10)/2.
TABLE I: Strenght
TABLE II: Material weight
10-29: EC= -1 Leather: EV= -1 (-1) Helm: C1= 1,5
30-49 EC= 0 Chain: EV= -2 (-2) Right pauldron: C2= 1
50-59 EC= 1 Iron: EV= -2 (-4) Left Pauldron: C3= 1
60-69 EC= 2 Steel: EV= -2,5 (-3) Gauntlets: C4= 0.5
70-79 EC= 3 Silver: EV= -2,5 (-3) Cuirass: C5= 5
80-89 EC= 4 Elven: EV= -2 (-2) Greaves: C6= 3
90-99 EC= 5 Dwarven: EV= -1,5 (-3) Boots: C7= 1
100 EC= 6 Mithril: EV= -2 (-4)
Adamantium: EV= -2 (-5)
Ebony: EV= -1 (-4,5)
Orcish: EV= -2 (-5)
Daedric: EV= -2,5 (-6)
* I have not bothered to get actual numbers for the weight of each armor piece. I'm totally winging this. From what I have read, the numbers listed in table 2 that are NOT in ( ) are the actual multiplier numbers DF uses to calculate weight ratio differences between materials. So, this means an armor component made of daedric, admantium, mithril, silver or steel, all weigh the same. This also means that elven gauntlets would weigh twice as much as Ebony Gauntlets. Well, "Homey don't play dat!" I don't like this and this is the reason I have provided numbers in the ( )s. If you want to pretend, with me, that the bracketed numbers are reality, then kudos to you.

EC = An arbitrary number series assigned to strength value.

EV = An arbitrary number series assigned to armor materials. EV is based assuming you have a full set of armor of the same material. So, EV may = something like (C1+C2...+C7)/7. I dunno yet.

C(n) = An number assigned to compare the relative weight difference ratio of armor components created of the same material. Ex: An orcish cuirass would be approximately 5 times heavier than a pair of orcish boots. (By my unverified system).

The number you get from the formula (EC+EV)*10, you then divide by 2 and add to Agl and Spd. The value you get is only useable if its a negative number. If you don't get a negative number, there is no encumbrance penalty.

Ex. 1: By the luck of the Gods, Daemona found an Elven cuirass hidden on a small dead naked imp. Then, to her surprise, she finds the rest of the suite behind some bookcases. Since her Str was 50, she had to take a 5 point hit to agility and speed.

Ex 2: After she caught lycanthropy, her str jumped to 90. Daemona realizes she can were armor suits up to orcish, without penalty.

I want this system to work so that only a character with 100 Str can wear a complete set of daedric armor without penalty. Use your best judgment and hopefully I'll have this system worked out within a few days.

So, that's pretty much it. This is where I've taken my Daggerfalling. I'm sure I'll add more as the weeks and months pass. Daggerfall will be around for awhile longer and this will allow me to work out more DF problems/bugs/features into my play style. I'll probably end up doing something with the Daedra Princes... maybe.

Let me know what you think, suggestions you may have and your own style of play.