Daggerfall FAQ

Version 1.1

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This FAQ assumes that you are playing Daggerfall ver. 1.07.213. The latest patch is available from the Daggerfall Embassy. If you choose to play without the latest patch, it will be very difficult to help you.

Table of Contents

  1. General Starting tips
  2. Guilds, Reputation and Larceny
  3. Ships and Houses
  4. Lycanthropy/Vampirism
  5. Cheatmode and Magic Item Repair
  6. Miscellany
  7. Technical Stuff
  8. Beyond Daggerfall
  9. Websites
  10. Credits and Thanks

Section 1: General Starting tips

  1. Any words of advice for a beginner?
  2. Help! I'm getting killed in the wimpy starter dungeon!
  3. I keep hitting the imp in the first dungeon, but nothing is happening. What's up with that?
  4. The tutorial doesn't seem to be working after I leave the starter dungeon. Am I doing something wrong?
  5. I just got out of the starter dungeon (Privateer's Hold) and nothing is happening with the story. What should I do?
  6. How do I exit a dungeon?
  7. How do I enter a dungeon?
  8. How do I increase my level?
  9. I'm stuck in a dungeon and can't find the quest monster/item. Can anybody help me?
  10. I don't want to do the main quest right now, but might do it later. What should I do?
  11. What is the best class?

1.1 Any words of advice for a beginner?

Maybe the best advice for Daggerfall is, save early, save often. Many experienced players save before asking for a quest. It's also a good idea to keep a couple of the six save game slots as long term retreat saves in case something goes really wrong, the effects of which aren't immediately apparent. The judicious use of saved games can save you a lot of grief.

Make sure you have installed the latest patch (213). It is impossible to put too much emphasis on this point.

If you are not ready to tackle the main story line, do not talk to anybody in the castles of Daggerfall, Wayrest and Sentinel. Doing so and turning down quests may result in your never being able to complete the game! This has happened to more than one poor soul, so beware!

Be careful of your reputation. When your reputation in the eyes of the law in a province falls to criminal or below, you may experience problems getting people to talk to you. This will make it difficult if not impossible to fulfill some quests, since you can't ask for directions. Your reputation in one province does not affect your reputation in another, so you really must only guard your rep in spots like Daggerfall, Sentinel and Wayrest. Other provinces may be plundered at will without having any effect on your ability to complete the main story line.

1.2 ††Help! I'm getting killed in the wimpy starter dungeon!

Some basic tips:

1.3†I keep hitting the imp in the first dungeon, but nothing is happening. What's up with that?

You should be getting the message "the material you are using is ineffective". To hit certain monsters requires special materials. When you try and attack such a monster with an inferior metal, such as using iron against an imp, you will receive the above message. In the case of an imp, steel will suffice.

1.4†The tutorial doesn't seem to be working after I leave the starter dungeon. Am I doing something wrong?

No. Although the tutorial does state that it continues after you exit the first dungeon, this is not in fact the case.

1.5 I just got out of the starter dungeon (Privateer's Hold) and nothing is happening with the story. What should I do?

The main quest will come to the player. Join a guild (the mages guild is the most useful) and run a few quests for them. As you advance in level, the plot will reveal itself.

1.6 †How do I exit a dungeon?

Exits are simple stone arches, with a black interior, and a skull at the base. Just click on it and you're outta there.

1.7 †How do I enter a dungeon?

This can be tricky at first. Entrances are doors, which you must click on. The trick is finding the door. The dungeon entrance is more or less in front of the character after he fast travels. Walking straight forward will usually will get him there. Most of the time, the entrance is a little green hillock with a door on one side, although it can also be found in a castle, fort or ruins.

The direction you are facing when you finish your fast travel is the direction you should move to find the dungeon entrance. When you arrive, the entrance should either be straight ahead or inside a 10 degree cone to either side. † †

\ ___/ 

\ . / 
You start at the dot. The entrance should lie on the ___ part.

Note that castles have multiple entrances but they all start you at the same place inside the dungeon.

1.8 †How do I increase my level?

Your level increases, not by how many monsters you kill, but by how much you use your skills. The specific skills that apply to leveling are all Primary skills, the highest two major skills, and the highest minor skill.

To increase skills, just use them. For instance, weapon skills are used in battle. Magic skills are used when you cast spells of a particular school. Mercantile is used when you buy or sell, Streetwise and Etiquette each time you speak using the "blunt" or "polite" tone, respectively; Dodging each time a monster attempts to hit you, etc. etc. Another way to increase is through training at guilds or temples.

1.9 †I'm stuck in a dungeon and can't find the quest monster/item. Can anybody help me?

There are many websites with walkthroughs for the main story line dungeons.

As to the random dungeons, it's very difficult to offer advice on random quests, since the layout of these dungeons varies from install to install. No one can help you with that. But don't despair. Even if there is no other way, you can almost always finish the dungeon if you don't mind enabling cheatmode. (See section 5.)

But let's explore other options first. I assume you have been using some organized way of exploring the dungeon, like the right wall technique. Even if you have been, this will not always reveal the quest item. Look on the automap to see if there are any hidden doors you missed or areas left unexplored. This will usually prove to be the case. It's hard to say you've been everywhere in one of these labyrinths. Keep your head up. Sometimes there are teleporters in the rafters. Sometimes the quest item lies underwater or in an area that can only be accessed by going through a flooded area.

If cheatmode isn't your bag, don't worry. Unless this is a main story line quest or your first quest for the thieves or assassins, it's really not a big deal to fail. You lose two rep points with the guild that sent you, as opposed to the 5 you gain every time you successfully complete a quest.

1.10 †I don't want to do the main quest right now, but might do it later. What should I do?

Be sure to visit Lady Brisienna when she sends you a letter. This will usually be the first message you receive in the game. You can safely ignore the rest of the main quest and do it whenever you wish. Avoid talking to people in the castles of Daggerfall, Wayrest, and Sentinel.

1.11 What is the best class?

IMHO, the best of the standard classes is the healer. Not everyone shares this opinion, but few disagree that the healer is one of the better standard class characters.

Section 2: Guilds, Reputation, and Larceny

  1. The BLANK guild won't let me join. Why not?
  2. How do I join the thieves guild / Dark Brotherhood?
  3. How do I rob the banks?
  4. I'm revered but everybody hates me. No one will talk to me. What's going on?
  5. How do I raise my legal reputation?
  6. I am stuck with the initial thieves guild quest. I stole the shirt and there was a piece of paper in it with three words on it. what do I do with that?

2.1 †The BLANK guild won't let me join. Why not?

There are several things the guilds look at when deciding whether to promote you or not. Each guild has skills that it values. As an example, for the mages guild, they are, destruction, mysticism, restoration, thaumaturgy, alteration and illusion. (Do not confuse this set of skills with the skills the guild offers training in. They are similar but not the same.) You need minimum scores in two of these skills, the requirements increasing with each rank. Minimum requirements for joining a guild are a reputation of zero or higher, one guild valued skill of 22 and a second at four. Practice and training can remedy the skill problem, and doing quests for them can deal with the bad rep.

Note that the knightly orders will not allow you to join or keep you as a member if your reputation with the law in their province is lower than common citizen.

2.2 ††How do I join the thieves guild / Dark Brotherhood?

According to tradition, thieves tend to contact those that operate on their turf without guild sanction. This is confirmed in the book, "Confessions of a Thief." Just pick pockets and shoplift, 10 times to be exact, and you should be getting a letter from them in a few days.

The Dark Brotherhood are people who kill for both business and pleasure. Murdering guards will attract their attention. Wanton killing of peasants will get it even quicker. They'll contact you by letter.

2.3 †How do I rob the banks?

The best you can do is steal from the bookshelves. The vault has no physical presence. If you want a quick, illegal chunk of cash, take out a loan and skip town, though I advise against doing this in a region you'll be spending a significant amount of time, unless you like being chased by guards 24 hrs a day.

2.4 †I'm revered but everybody hates me. No one will talk to me. What's going on?

There is a display problem in operation here. You are not well liked. Your reputation is closer to hated than revered.

2.5 †How do I raise my legal reputation?

The worst spots to have a bad rep are Daggerfall, Sentinel and Wayrest. There are many backwater provinces (like Ykalon) where your reputation doesn't affect your ability to finish the game. Try to contain your nefarious activities to these places.

There are 6 ratings ranging from undependable to hated. The further down the ladder you are, the harder it is to repair your rep. Pond scum and hated are the two lowest ratings.

If you have recently started the game, it would probably be easier to start over than to try to fix a character with a really black reputation. If you are of middle or high level, it might be worth the effort.

Travelling to burn time definitely works to restore reputation. ("What have you done to me lately?") Each month, your negative rep will recover by one point, the same way your good rep will drop one point each month. (Neutral reps remain the same.) Just remember that while your legal rep is going up, your positive rep with any guilds is going down. Two or three quests a year should fix this. By travelling back and forth, cautiously, from Daggerfall to the far side of Wayrest and back, I managed to get back from scoundrel to common citizen in three years (game time :-). So I moved up a bit more than one rung in three years. If you were hated, I estimate it would take something like 15 years to return to respectability.

If you want to raise your rep, there are a very few quests that may help, and only one of them is reliable. Even with that, your chance of success is only 1 in 3.†The one we recommend is a merchant quest that involves turning the merchant you're supposed to be guarding over to the guards. The big problem with this quest is that there are several different groups that might be after this guy and you can't tell before they show up to take him away which group it is.

Failing all this, there is a rep editor you can use to erase past mistakes.

2.6 † I am stuck with the initial thieves guild quest. I stole the shirt and there was a piece of paper in it with three words on it. what do I do with that?

The three words are a place and the name of the person you need to contact there. Sometimes there are only two words on the paper. In this case, the person has a one word name. The place you need to go to is always in the same province as the town you stole the shirt (or whatever random item of clothing you were asked to steal).

Section 3: Ships and Houses

  1. What good is a house?
  2. What good is a ship?
  3. I put my things into my cupboard and now they've vanished!

3.1 †What good is a house?

At the most technical, it's a place to store spare stuff. You can drop it in the floor, and it'll be there when you get back. Other than that, it doesn't have much game use. See ships for something more technically useful. For us hardcore fanatics, a house is more than just a place to store our stuff. A house is where our alternate identity LIVES. It's nice to finish up a quest, and come home, take off your adamantium boots, and chill for a bit. It adds to the ambiance of the game.

3.2 †What good is a ship?

Like a house, a ship is a good place to store stuff. However, it also allows for zero cost for traveling by ship. It can also be accessed from anywhere, simply by changing travel mode to "Ship". This makes it much more useful in a house.

However, in the opinion of many hardcore fanatics, a ship takes away from the ability to suspend disbelief. The ability to board it with the click of a button, the fact that you can't go into port and see your ship among others, etc. takes away from the ambiance, IMHO.

3.3 †I put my things into my cupboard and now they've vanished!

Things in the cupboard just vanish. The latest patch doesn't fix this, it just denies access to the cupboard. Advice: just leave stuff on the floor.

Section 4: Vampires and Werewolves

  1. How do I become a werewolf/vampire?
  2. Why do I just die instead of becoming undead?
  3. Where do I find these weres/vamps?
  4. How do I get Hircine's Ring to work?
  5. Being a vamp/lycanthrope is too boring/easy. How do I get cured?

4.1 †How do I become a werewolf/vampire?

Just as the legends state, to become either one, you have to get bit. Every time one of these successfully hits you, there is a small chance of contracting the disease. So, just find one, save your game and take the punishment for as long as you can take it, heal, take it some more, and then rest. You'll see a video if you've got it. Within days, you'll have all the advantages and disadvantages of being a were or a vamp. If this fails, just reload before you took the beating, and do it again.

4.2 † Why do I just die instead of becoming undead?

Besides bestowing vampirism, vampires can also transmit a fatal disease. Sometimes you'll get both. This will kill you even if you have successfully contracted vampirism. You'll have to either reload and try again, or get cured and try again.

4.3 † Where do I find these weres/vamps?

The fighters guild has a quest asking you to hunt down a were, though it could be either a wolf or a boar. There's a main quest in which a maid in Castle Daggerfall sends you to a dungeon, where there is always at least one werewolf. There is also a wereboar in the quest for the Hircine Ring.

Scourg Barrow, which you'll be sent to during a quest for Princess Morgiah of Wayrest, has a few vamps. Other than that, you basically will see these monsters randomly as befits your level.

4.4 † How do I get Hircine's Ring to work?

The purpose of Hircine's ring is to remove the disadvantages of being a were. If you are a were, and you equip it, you'll never feel the need to hunt the innocent, nor will you change against your will when at the full moon. You can also change as many times a day as you wish.

If you are not a were, it will do absolutely nothing.

4.5 † Being a vamp/lycanthrope is too boring/easy. How do I get cured?

There are several ways to go about this. One way is to wait for the letter from the hunters for directions on how to do this. About a year after you are infected, hunters of vampires or lycanthropes will contact you. They will tell you how to get cured. Alternately, there are covens in towns that can send you on a quest to deliver a potion to a mages guild. Drinking the potion will cure you of the curses of lycanthropy or vampirism. There is one such coven in Gothway Gardens, South of Gondyn's Supply Store and one in Daggerfall just across from the thieves guild. All covens found in towns are associated with Glenmoril Wyrd.

Section 5: Cheatmode and Magic Item Repair

  1. How do I enable and employ cheatmode?
  2. I've got a broken magic item and I'm wondering where could I go to have it repaired?

5.1 †How do I enable and employ cheatmode?

First you need to have patch 213 in place. You should be using this latest (and apparently last) patch even if you never enable any cheats. It will save you a lot of grief. You can get it as well as a utility called fixsave, which you will probably need sooner or later, at Bethesda's website.

Once you have patch 213 in place, you need to create a new variable, cheatmode and set it to one. To enable cheatmode add the line "cheatmode 1" to your z.cfg file. Instructions on how to do this are included with the patch. †(Note - be careful to make a copy of your z.cfg file before changing anything. Also, when changing this file, be sure to save it as an plain text file ie: using notepad or saving as an ascii file.)

The patch enables some great cheats. There is a list of them somewhere in the doc, as well as a description of the hot keys that enable them. The one that cycles you through the spots where the quest monster/item might be is perhaps the most useful, but I also like the "cheat" that lets you move at superspeed through towns, something I found rather tedious at normal speed. There another "cheat" that teleports you out of the void. Sometimes you die upon return, but casting slowfalling prior to pressing alt-F11 will prevent this. Frankly, the cheats are essential if you plan to win the game, or at the very least enjoy it.

Discovered by TM the DM is an alternate use for alt-F11. When not in the void, and just after restoring a save, alt-F11 will teleport you to the entrance of any dungeon. Certainly one of the most useful of the "cheats" and an immense boon to daggerfallers everywhere, particularly those who play characters without magic or with limited spell points who don't have the ability to cast a recall spell.

Once you have cheatmode installed, just hit one of the bracket keys, [ or ], to move around in the dungeon. Wherever you need to go, you'll be sent to that location, as well as several others. Since it's a random choice between spots, the cheat just sends you to all of them, one at a time of course.

Note: This refers to an American keyboard. The [ and ] keys are the rightmost ones in the first row of letters, to the right of P. They are probably used for different characters in every language, on a German keyboard, they are and +, on a French (AZERTY) keyboard they are ^ and $.
5.2 †I've got a broken magic item and I'm wondering where could I go to have it repaired?

There is nowhere that will repair such items. If you want something done right, you'll have to do it yourself. First, you need to create a new variable, magicrepair and set it to one. Add the line "magicrepair 1" to your z.cfg file.

Now you will need to be 5th rank in either the mages guild or temple Julianos. (5th rank in the guild, not 5th level as a character.) At this exalted rank, you will be able to fashion magic items using the guild's item maker. (Note - this is not cheap.) Create two items with the power 'repairs objects' and after that any time you rest, your magic items will automatically be repaired. Note that fast travel does not count in this regard.

WARNING - the game designers never intended for magic items to be in use all the time. They were intended only as emergency items to enable the character to survive fights he otherwise couldn't. So keeping magic items in constant use may destroy game balance by making the game too easy.

Section 6: Miscellany

  1. How do I use torches?
  2. How do you buy things in the stores? When I click on the storekeeper nothing happens.

6.1 †How do I use torches?

There are some items that do nothing in the game. These include torches, bandages, oil, lanterns, parchment, holy daggers, holy tomes, prayer beads, holy symbols. Most of these items can be sold at pawn shops. Holy tomes and daggers in particular are worth a lot of gold.

6.2 †How do you buy things in the stores? When I click on the storekeeper nothing happens.

To buy items you click on the shelves and not the storekeeper. Remember that each set of shelves is different. If you only click on one, you might miss some interesting items.

Section 7: Technical Stuff

  1. What's the best setting for my Windows Daggerfall shortcut?
  2. What's the best install size?
  3. How do I play without the CD?

7.1 †What's the best setting for my Windows Daggerfall shortcut?

You need to turn off write behind Caching:

To turn off write caching, right click on MY COMPUTER, select properties, then select file performance. From the performance options selection file system, then the troubleshooting tab. On the Troubleshooting options make sure you check "disable write behind caching for all drives" (Right-click on game icon) Select PROPERTIES - Under memory set EMS to NONE, XMS and CONVENTION to AUTO, SET DPMI to 24MB. Set Initial Environment to 2048.

Also under its "Properties" set:

Make sure that you UNCHECK CLOSE ON EXIT.


DO NOT attempt to run the game form the AUTORUN.

Have a small 2 line CONFIG.SYS on your C root directory:

7.2 †What's the best install size?

So far as I know, the "Average" install size should be adequate, particularly if you have a fast CD ROM. Higher sizes will continue to improve the smoothness of play. A "Huge" install size is necessary to pull off the playing without the CD trick (which, from what I hear, is as smooth as it gets).

7.3 †How do I play without the CD?
  1. Install daggerfall with the largest install size (about 450Mb).
  2. Copy all the files from the arena2 directory on the cd into arena2 on your hard disk. There should only be a few that aren't already on there, mainly the sky##.dat files and the movies. The latter are optional.
  3. Install the CompUSA patch.
  4. Install patch 213.
  5. Install the latest version of Fixsave (v1.75).
  6. Change the setting in z.cfg that shows where the cd path is to the arena2 directory on hard disk, e.g. pathcd=c:\dagger\arena2
  7. Make a batch file that reads as follows:-
    @echo off 
    set dos4gvm=@dagger.vmc 
    fall.exe z.cfg
    Name this something other than dagger.bat if you are running DF from DOS. If you just key in dagger, it will run dagger.exe instead.

Section 8: Beyond Daggerfall

8.1 †What's the latest news on the sequel to Daggerfall? What about Battlespire, Redguard, etc…

Ok. Let me explain how Bethesda does this. Unlike most companies, Bethesda doesn't operate a particular world in strictly one genre. The TES series is the freeform roleplaying Daggerfall is so well known for. This includes Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind and Oblivion.

Battlespire also takes place in the same world (Empire of Tamriel), but is more of a single dungeon crawl, in the tradition of Doom, Hexen, Heretic, etc. Many complain how it's nowhere near as good as Daggerfall, but it's just plain not supposed to be. It's an entirely different game.

Redguard is an adventure game, in the tradition of Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, the Zelda series, and other more rigid "RPG's" which include cutscenes, cinematics, etc. Like Battlespire, it's not meant as a sequel to Daggerfall, and should not be compared to it.

Section 9: Websites

9.1 †Where can I get more info about Daggerfall? How about utilities?

We heartily recommend:

Section 0: Credits and Thanks

compiled by Tarvok and George IV

Special thanks to:
Brute Dragon
Jeff Sandmeier
Jeroen Vermeulen
The one and only Magnus Itland
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