A very useful guide for the world of Daggerfall, with useful tips and tricks for your roguelike adventure
Daggerfall is an old game which has stood the test of time – while many other CRPGs of it’s nature like Ultima and Arena fell out of favor for later games, Daggerfall has persevered due to the legacy of the Elder Scrolls franchise and the sheer depth of the game’s content. First and Foremost, this game is not easy at first; you will struggle through the first dungeon if you do not know what you’re doing, and you will possibly die many, many times if you don’t understand your character strengths well.
This guide attempts to cover the basic tips of gameplay, and then attempts to give a walkthrough of the various types of quests, finally delving into the nature of dungeons. Yes, Dungeons are a large part of this game and will be the bread and butter of your playthrough, so it is easy to understand what you are getting into. This guide will be regularly updated, and remember to notify me for any mistakes or content to add.
Now, my champion, rest well this night, for tomorrow you sail for the kingdom…
Important Resources and Links:
Here is a list of resources for Daggerfall which you might find useful. Please notify me for any errors or website outages.
Daggerfall Wiki: https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Daggerfall – [uesp.net]
Manual: https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Books:Daggerfall_User%27s_Guide#Links – [uesp.net]
Andyfall: https://en.uesp.net/file.shtml?dagger/files/andyfall.zip – [uesp.net]
Daedrafall: https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall_Mod:Daedrafall – [uesp.net]
Eye of Argonia: https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall_Mod:Eye_of_Argonia – [uesp.net]
Important Patches: https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Files#Official_Patches_and_Utilities – [uesp.net]
Daggerfall Unity Nexus: https://www.nexusmods.com/daggerfallunity – [nexusmods.com]
DaggerXL (now Abandoned): https://github.com/luciusDXL/XL-Engine – [github.com]
Daggerfall Unity (RECOMMENDED): https://www.dfworkshop.net/ – [dfworkshop.net]
Daggerfall Setup: https://wiwiki.wiwiland.net/index.php?title=Daggerfall_:_DaggerfallSetup_EN – [wiwiland.net]
DFU Fan-Discord server: https://discord.gg/W4gbuqyf6N – [discord.gg]
DFU Forums: https://forums.dfworkshop.net/ – [dfworkshop.net]
USEP Forums: https://forums.uesp.net/viewforum.php?f=2 – [uesp.net]
Tips and Tricks
Before we delve deep into this guide, here is a list of tips and tricks you can use to help lighten your experience:
1) To use mouselook, you can pause the game, go to controls, and then select the small mouse tab at the bottom. There, you can switch between cursor-based movement (i.e Ultima-styled movement), or a more modernized “mouselook” style. Mouselook is well suited for this game, and does not warp when you attempt to look up, therefore making it optimal for gameplay.
2) In the event you want to use cursor-based movement, then holding ALT will allow you to mouselook and check your surroundings.
-Always remember to save often. remember, have one quicksave for each particular scenario:
- For when you are exploring the overworld with no quests being done
- For when you are within a quest which has alot of steps
- For when you are in a dungeon
-If you use weapons which are not suited towards your primary skills, then you will most certainly hit far less effectively with them. To maximize your damage, always use the weapons which your character is suited towards.
-If you need extra money, you can sell off armor and useless items you find to a pawnbroker. Pawnbrokers are found in most major cities in the lilac bay, and they accept nearly anything.
-The first investment you will buy is a horse, then a cart. Always save up for a horse so you can move faster through towns, and then buy a cart for storing extra junk you don’t need.
-When generating a character where you’re asked different questions, make sure you select the ebony dagger option to get it in your inventory when you start your playthrough. This Item is notoriously overpowered, and can deal damage against magical enemies. It makes a great weapon for assasins.
-For dialogue, always stick towards using the “Normal” option. “Polite” and “Blunt” are only reserved for particular individuals of a higher ranking, and when used on commoners will lead to sarcastic replies.
-Stuff like Talismans, Holy Tomes, and Lanterns are completely worthless gameplay-wise (unless you use daggerfall unity, which then lanterns do indeed work), and can be sold for a reasonable price. It can be implied that Bethesda wanted Lanterns to be used for actual lighting, but due to deadlines this was never implemented.
-Books, when you have them on your starting character, can be sold for a generous amount – besides this, alot of the books are long-standing in the elder scrolls lore and have been canonized over the decades of related installments. Therefore, If you want to know where the lore stems from, then read the books.
-When Entering a dungeon, make sure you save at the start, and if your character is magic-based, then place an “anchor” spell to make sure you can quickly exit.
-Always be wary of underwater regions in a dungeon, as they are notoriously difficult due to containing creatures like . Make sure you save before diving in, and remember, your armor will encumber you.
-Dungeons are the hardest areas in the entire game, requiring concise exploration and spelunking to completely conquer them. Many were simply randomly generated via presets and therefore can have a pattern, but such a pattern is extremely hard to find. Just remember a few things:
- Even if dungeons are multi-block structures with no coherent structure, you can still attempt to use the “left hand technique” in maze-solving to find what you’re looking for. But be careful, as you will probably get stuck one way or the other.
- Each dungeon reuses the same prefabricated rooms, then generated in a room complex known as a block. You can actually view these blocks individually within the game files, thus giving a general idea as to what most dungeons can look. All dungeons have a 2d matrix of blocks, with no vertical ones appearing, and each block contains 2 exits.
- Most blocks tend to have a general theme within them. Some are massive rooms with setpieces like an underground cavern, or are mazes of caves with underwater segments. The key here is that almost always, a block has a theme which can vary from level to level.
- All main-quest dungeons are entirely handcrafted. You can easily find what you’re looking for by searching a walkthrough, which makes the entire process a breather. Some, like privateers cove, are actually contained within one custom block as they don’t need random level generation.
-Some dungeons have secret doors which are otherwise completely hidden – you can find these either through the minimap (which they show up as a door), or through blind clicking.
-Some more “magical” dungeons have strange candles or altars which you can click on – as said, these allow you to teleport to different areas of the complex. Additionally, some dungeons have doorways with walled-in bricks which act as portals.
-All dungeons are classified by their type, which determines which enemy spawns are used. For instance, a Crypt will contain Animals and Undead enemies, while a Laboratory will contain Atronarchs and Daedra. However, this doesn’t determine the appearance of a dungeon, meaning that a dungeon labeled as a “cave” will contain castle-styled blocks.
-You can tell dungeon types by their name (The Agryn Prison, Bedard Laboratory, etc), and their enter messages when you fast travel to the location. However, these messages are hard to read as they vanish for a few seconds.
-PLAY. THE. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. TUTORIAL.
Understanding the Gameplay Loop
Daggerfall has a quest-based gameplay loop which is driven by player independence and stat boosting. We can divide the quests into different “phases”:
For most quests (Unless they’re temple quests), you have a very basic loop which can be divided into 4 bullet points:
- Go to NPC of Guild/Random
- Get Quest, go to X location to kill Y enemy, or find X artifact in Y location alternatively
- Enter said location and find artifact / kill monster
- Go back to NPC and get quest reward – this entirely depends.
Essentially, all your quests will revolve around this loop, meaning that the majority of your player characters journey will be through these mechanics. So without further ado, let’s talk about a few of these systems, starting with guilds.
All about guilds:
Within guilds, you do these sorts of quests alot and then wait to advance a level within the guild, which allows you to get:
- Better prestige among other members of the guild/temple
- Special magical items like potions, soulgems, enchanted items, and spells.
- Summoning Daedra (Temples and Mages guild only, and yes you can meet sheogorath)
- Get special rewards like houses to buy
It’s important to also note that all guilds allow you to repair items and sleep for free, while temples allow you to be cured freely. You can additionally make donations to the temples which can increase your rank within their society – but this is pretty worthless as a feature.
All About Ranking:
Player ranking is done whenever you rest and your primary skills increase, from then which then the game notifies you of your level and sends you to the character screen. Once there, you are given 5-10 more points and can spend them on your character attributes. It can be very useful for starting characters to get a few levels off of them in the first dungeon by grinding enemies, which can make it easier.
As you rank up, you gain more experience in your primary and secondary skills, making it easier to kill enemies and complete jobs. The catch being that you will also face deadlier enemies, which can range from the more tankier atronarchs to the deadly and cunning daedra.
Don’t fit a square peg into a round hole:
For some final wisdom: if your character is a thief then don’t try to be a warrior or mage, and vice versa. You should always try to roleplay to the best to your ability, and I make this a piece of advice because games like Skyrim encourage you to juggle different playstyles to succeed – while this is fine for Skyrim (and it’s not bad as an RPG mechanic), it will get you absolutely nowhere in Daggerfall.
For instance, if your character doesn’t have the proper class/skills for archery, then you will not hit your targets whatsoever. Similarly, the game already restricts armors to certain classes, so you must keep this in mind when playing, and some weapons will suit your character better than others. Always keep this in mind, and sell off extra items you don’t need.
In summary, you’ll find that Daggerfall has a very freeform gameplay loop – you will need to find your own fun within the systems the game provides. But, to keep it simple, we can divide it into 3 main steps:
- Join guild
- Complete Quests of Guild
- Level up and become more powerful
Hope you enjoy the Guide about The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall – Adventure Guide + Tips & Tricks – Wiki, if you think we should add extra information or forget something, please let us know via comment below, and we will do our best to fix or update as soon as possible!
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