The Elder Scrolls

Elder Scrolls 6: My Ideal Skill System – Thief Archetype

TheElderScrolls9 - Elder Scrolls 6: My Ideal Skill System - Thief Archetype


Thief skills are the ones with the most revisions as noted above. Some of them will take some explaining, so please bear with me as they fold a number of new or altered concepts into the game.


Exploration is a new skill (inspired by wayfinder in PerMa) which delves into location hunting, creature knowledge, and secret finding. In my idea of TES VI, there are secrets galore: secret doors, secret chests, secret loot, secret locations, secret anything. Finding these is going to be harder than just poking around the map and as such for people who want a little more heads up that idea is folded into the Explorer skill.

Detection Radius refers to the range at which you have locations pop up on your compass bar. Locations first show up as question marks (?) from max detection radius to 50% detection radius. They gain their location type icon at 49% radius and are named within 10% radius. Detection radius also detects creatures: Grey blips at 30% range and hostility red or passive blue blips at 20% range. Creature detection begins very imprecise and moves to pinpoint as you get into 10% range.

The perk tree looks like two mountains with a river running between them.

Exploration Skill: Increase Detection radius by (EXPLORATION/2)%, Increase plant harvest success chance by EXPLORATION%, Lore: bonus to Damage and Armor Reduction against animals and monsters by (EXPLORATION/20)%

Level Name Prerequisite Effect
1 Pioneer n/a Increase detection range by (EXPLORATION/2)%
15 Safe Passage Pioneer Enable Safe Passage between two discovered points with (Skill/1.1)% accuracy.
25 Practical Knowledge Pioneer Improve plant harvest success chance by EXPLORATION%. Apply 3/4 plant harvest success chance to animals and monsters.
35 Gold Digger Pioneer Chests have an additional EXPLORATION% gold
45 Unnatural Knowledge Practical Knowledge Apply Lore to Undead and Automatons. Increase Lore Bonus by (EXPLORER/20)%
50 Lightfoot Gold Digger Traps have a (25+(EXPLORATION/2))% chance of not triggering against you and your followers.
65 Intuition Safe Passage Extend creature detection range by EXPLORATION%.
75 Lost Knowledge Unnatural Knowledge OR Historian Apply Lore to daedra. Increase natural creature bonuses by (EXPLORATION/20)%
85 Historian Intuition Mark all overt locations on map. Secret locations become marks on compass within ((EXPLORATION/10)+5)% detection radius
100 Hidden Compartment Historian OR Lightfoot 25% for a chest to be lootable twice, with 25% higher loot roll.


Light armor is very different from heavy and medium armor with the skill tree. It's about dodging and countering, while negating the occasional hit. Getting hit over and over will destroy a light armor user, but being hit once in a while will mitigate the damage.

Dodge: Dodging is a short step about the same distance as about 1.5x the character's width. It is almost instant and is meant to avoid hits. Dodging is done by tapping the space bar and a direction, as opposed to jumping which is done by holding down the space bar.

The light armor tree resembles a sleeveless chain shirt with Swift Dodge and Riposte as 'buttons'

Light Armor Skill:

Level Name Prerequisite Effect
1 Light Armor Training Increase Stamina regeneration in by (LIGHT ARMOR/3)%
15 Evasive Attack Light Armor Training After dodging an attack, gain, (5+(LIGHT ARMOR/10))% attack speed and move speed for 5 seconds.
25 Weightless Light Armor Training Reduce MSR by LIGHT ARMOR%. Reduce worn armor weight by (LIGHT ARMOR/2)%.
35 Swift Dodge Evasive Attack OR Weightless When you dodge, dodge LIGHT ARMOR% farther.
40 Attack of Opportunity Swift Dodge or Evasive Attack When you dodge an attack, ignore (5+(LIGHT ARMOR/5))% AR for 5 seconds.
50 Flexible Knees Weightless OR Swift Dodge Reduce SSC by LIGHT ARMOR%
60 Riposte Flexible Knees OR Attack of Opportunity Perks that trigger on dodging an attack also trigger on timed blocking an attack.
75 Flexible Elbows Flexible Knees OR Riposte Reduce PAC by (LIGHT ARMOR/2)%.
85 Clever Counter Attack of Opportunity OR Riposte When you dodge an attack, gain (LIGHT ARMOR/4)% damage and crit chance for 5 seconds.
100 Light Armor Mastery Flexible Elbows or Clever Counter After not being hit for 30 seconds, triple your AR, DR, CR, and CER against the next attack that hits you. Perks that trigger on dodging attacks grant buffs for 3 times longer.


The marksman skill is exactly what it used to be, but the addition of common throwing weapons allows it a little more versatility. Weapons covered under marksman include: Bows, Crossbows, Javelins, Throwing Axes, Throwing Stars, and Knives. These weapons offer different focuses. Bows and crossbows are excellent at long range, but are difficult to reload in short range where they are easily interrupted by melee attacks and spells. Javelins and throwing axes are excellent medium range weapons, with no reload to interrupt. At short range throwing stars and knives are very quick to throw and come in large batches. Some perks refer to being fully drawn, this means a fully drawn bow, fully aimed crossbow, and fully "pulled back" throwing weapon.

Like one handed weapons they have combat effect profiles (CEP) as well. Javelins and Crossbows ignore a percentage of AR, Axes and bows are likely to injure, and knives and throwing stars are likely to cause bleeds.

The Marksman Tree resembles a fully drawn bow aiming at a star. (Arcane Archer is the star)

Marksman Skill: Increase damage by (MARKSMAN/2)%, Increase reload speed and draw speed by (MARKSMAN/5)%, Increase thrown weapon range by MARKSMAN%

Level Name Prerequisite Effect
1 Full Draw n/a Increase damage by (MARKSMAN/2)%.
15 Scavenger Full Draw Collect loose (unowned unstacked) ammunition and thrown weapons within (2+(MARKSMAN/25)) meters.
25 Eagle Eye Full Draw Zoom in (3 x MARKSMAN)% over 3 seconds by blocking while ranged weapon is full drawn.
35 Venomous Scavenger Apply poisons to ammunition, thrown knives, and throwing stars in batches of (5+(MARKSMAN/5)). Apply poison to Javelins and Axes in batches of (2+(MARKSMAN/20)).
40 Blood Trail Venomous Damaged targets are visible as outlines for (5+(MARKSMAN/4)) seconds.
50 Power Shot Eagle Eye OR Blood Trail (MARKSMAN/3)% chance to stagger a target when fully drawn. A staggered target loses 50% stagger resistance for 5 seconds.
55 Arcane Archer n/a You may use magicka to produce ammunition when none is equipped. Each shot costs magicka and is worth (MARKSMAN-10)% of daedric ammunition.
75 Weapon Training Power Shot Increase CEP of all weapons by (50+(MARKSMAN/2))% or One category (Bows, Crossbows, Javelins and Axes, Knives and Throwing Stars) to increase the CEP by (50+MARKSMAN)%.
90 Pin Cushion Venomous When you hit a target, their move speed and CER is reduced by (MARKSMAN/20)%.
100 Bullseye Weapon Training OR Pin Cushion Increase reload and draw speed by 80% and thrown weapon range by 100%. Increase crit chance by 25%.


Speechcraft in my system revolves around two separate sorts of actions: Mercantile and Persuasion. Mercantile actions are buying, selling, and haggling, bringing back the old system of a sliding bar for price negotiation. Interacting with shopkeeps is straight forward, they have standard pricing and restocking goods. But, you can barter with other NPCs for their worldly possessions, however their pricing is far more random to represent how different things are worth more to certain people

Persuasion actions are used to convince NPCs to do things they don't already want to do, or are afraid to do. This includes the surrender function, which causes NPCs at low health to beg for quarter or allows players at low health to offer coin and goods for their life (% required reduced with Bribe skill). The other persuasion actions include: Bribing others (high skills mean less coin), Intimidate (easier to do to weak NPCs but will drop favor), Bluff (lie to people, drop in favor if the truth is revealed generally plot related), and Beg (just asking, a low likelihood without high favor.)

Favor, a thing mentioned a couple times, is the mechanic rating how much an NPC likes your character. High favor is good, low favor is bad, unless you want a fight.

The Speechcraft tree looks like the optical illusions
Rubin vase - Elder Scrolls 6: My Ideal Skill System - Thief Archetype
of two people talking or a chalice

Speechcraft Skill: (SPEECHCRAFT/2)% higher haggle success, (SPEECHCRAFT/2)% easier persuasion actions.

Level Name Prerequisite Effect
1 Likable n/a (SPEECHCRAFT/4)% higher initial favor.
15 Hard Bargain Likable (SPEECHCRAFT/2)% higher haggle success chance.
25 Mercy Likable Opponents are (5+(SPEECHCRAFT/4)) more likely to demand surrender. Animals can be bribed with food.
35 Investor Hard Bargain Invest (SPEECHCRAFT x 10) coins into any vendor, permanently increasing their available gold.
40 Modus Operandi Mercy Persuasion actions are (10+(SPEECHCRAFT/10))% more effective OR select one Persuasion action (Bribe, Beg, Bluff, or Intimidate) with a (20+(SPEECHCRAFT/5))% bonus.
50 Grey Market Investor May Sell stolen goods and access the expanded inventory of vendors you have invested in. Stolen goods start at (SPEECHCRAFT/110)% value.
65 Friendly Face Modus Operandi The range at which hostile creatures engage in combat is reduced by (5+(SPEECHCRAFT/2))%.
75 Targeted Buyer Investor Items can be set aside at invested vendors for 1 to 8 days to be bought at (SPEECHCRAFT+50)% price.
90 Loyalty Friendly Face Unnamed NPCs can be hired as a bodyguard. Increase combat performance by (SPEECHCRAFT/5)%.
100 Silver Tongue Loyalty OR Targeted Buyer No maximum success chance for Persuasion Actions, all vendors gain 1000 coin.



The stealth tree focuses on not being seen and capitalizing on actions while unseen. Unlike in previous games, sneaking is not required to avoid detection for a crime, although blatant crime is immediately noticed, with a low enough suspicion meter (explained in Thievery) even stealing goods can be accomplished without sneak. Thus, sneak is for evading detection and surprise attacks. This includes the use of new thieves tools, an assemblage of low weight items that allow you to play like a stealth game, including: Noise Makers, Torch Dousers, and Glitter Powder (makes footprints and tripwires easier to see).

I do not know what the tree should look like, I'm thinking a downwards pointed dagger, where Serpents Fang and Hunter form the guard.

Stealth Skill: (STEALTH/2)% harder to detect.

Level Name Prerequisite Effect
1 Hide n/a (STEALTH/2)% harder to detect.
15 Timing Hide When moving from low light to higher light, retain benefit of lower light for (1+(STEALTH/25)) seconds.
25 Sneak Attack Hide Attacks on targets that do not detect you deal (2 x STEALTH)% more damage before power attack multipliers.
35 Lightfoot Timing You move STEALTH% more quietly and (2 x STEALTH)% more quietly when sneaking.
40 Serpent's Fang Sneak Attack Daggers and Throwing Knives gain 5 times the benefit from any sneak attack perks. Arrows, bolts, and Throwing Stars gain 2 times the benefit.
50 Shank Sneak Attack Sneak Attacks have a (1.5 x STEALTH)% chance to inflict a bleed on their target. For 5 seconds thereafter, attacks against the target have a (STEALTH/2)% chance to inflict bleed.
65 Hunter Lightfoot You have a STEALTH% chance to crit targets within line of sight that have not detected you for 10 seconds.
75 Hobble Shank Sneak Attacks have a (1.5 x STEALTH)% chance to injure their target. There is a (STEALTH/4)% chance that the injured limb is crippled instead.
90 Swoop Lightfoot While undetected, you may sprint for (1+(STEALTH/33)) seconds without sneak penalties to sprint.
100 Grey Shadow Swoop OR Hobble When you would kill a target with a sneak attack, the target remains standing for 5 seconds and the murder is not detected until they fall. Opponents that would detect you take 3 seconds longer to detect you.


Thievery is, as stated above, a conglomeration of Lockpicking, Pickpocketing, and the new function Mugging, which is an aspect of the surrender system. As previously noted, injured enemies who are facing defeat will surrender (like in Skyrim) except they will remain surrendered (unlike in Skyrim) and can be either spared, extorted for goods, or slain outright. Animals will flee instead of surrendering.

Mugging takes the surrender system and applies your Thievery skill against the target instead of requiring damage dealt. In doing so you can extort targets for goods without engaging in combat, or engaging just a little fisticuffs. Most non-combatant NPCs will surrender relatively easily, though they may not carry much coin or goods. You can attempt to do this to shop keeps, but be aware they will be more resistant and will refuse to trade with you in the future. Some will also hire guards to protect their wares. Mugging is still a crime, and so shortly after your encounter targets will seek guards or stronger NPCs to arrest, mug, or kill you. It is a good idea to disappear after a mugging.

A note on locks: The Lock Difficulties (Master, Expert, etc) are not set values (100, 75, etc). Rather they are a range. So Novice locks are between 1-25, Adept locks between (26-50), Journeyman locks between (51-75), Expert Locks are between (76-100), and Master locks are between (101-125). How much damage it deals to picks and how small the sweet spot is is based on that number, not the lock title.

Lockpicking is somewhat enhanced by the addition of special lock subtypes. All locks use the skyrim lock picking minigame and about a third of the locks will be just like that. Then there are the subtypes, locks with unique modifiers. Some locks are obvious (rusty locks are rusted, double locks have to locks), locks are not labeled differently. Note that regular special locks can be combined with magical subtypes as well as Dwemer or other 'cultural' subtypes. So you can have a Magic – Cursed, toothed, dwemer lock for a total of 150% damage to non dwemer picks that curses one pickbreak, lock picking is more challenging than in skyrim. Some are listed here.

Lock Type Change Locations
Rusty Sweetspot 10% larger, pick frequently sticks, +25% suspicion growth due to noise. Near water or very old locations
Double Chest/Door has two locks which must be picked one after the other. Wealthy NPCs, locations of high value.
Toothed Lock deals 50% more damage to lockpicks, breaking them faster. Wealthy NPCs, secret locations
Trapped Lock deals damage to the PC on pick breakage. Anywhere traps are found.
Dwemer +100% pick damage and must be picked three times consecutively unless using Dwemer lockpicks. Dwemer ruins, dwemer enthusiasts.
Magic – Screaming Lets out a loud wail on pick break, alerting nearby creatures. Magic Lock picks negate this effect. Mages chests or doors, ancient ruins, some forts.
Magic – Summon Casts a conjuration summons spell on pick break. Conjuration skill equal to lock difficulty. Magic Lock picks negate this effect. Mages chests, daedra ruins, daedric cultist shrines or houses.
Magic – Cursed Curses PC on pick break, using Mysticism skill equal to lock difficulty. Magic Lock picks negate this effect. Mages chests, witch caves, homes, and shrines, ancient ruins.

Thievery related actions (picking pockets, locks, and mugging) do not stop time. As such you can be caught while lock picking even if you waited for the exact second no one is watching to start the lock pick minigame. However, instead of being caught outright, there is a Suspicion Meter. This meter grows until someone finds your actions suspicious enough to alert the guards, challenge you on your behavior, or (if a guard) attempt to arrest you. This meter growth is not static however. Guards are more suspicious than townsfolk, who are more suspicious than beggars and children. If no one can see or witness you (animals are not included) then the suspicion meter will not grow or may shrink. Certain actions: Failing a pickpocket, snapping a lock pick, or failing to mug a target, will cause a large jump in the suspicion meter. Actively hostile targets cause much higher suspicion meter growth whereas if you are in stealth mode and undetected there will be no growth of the suspicion meter, but upon detection it will jump to near 100%.

Pickpocketing is done by the pickpocket keybind which displays the inventory of the target as long as they're close enough. While engaged in pick pocketing the player will automatically follow the target, but this will raise their suspicion. Each item will display the % chance to be caught, which will cause a large jump in the suspicion meter but not necessarily get you caught. The longer the player follows the target the faster the suspicion bar will fill. Pickpocket auto follow will not enter new loading zones but will walk through non loading zone doors.

The thievery tree looks like a marquise cut gem pinched between the forefinger and thumb.

Thievery Skill: Reduce Suspicion meter growth by (THIEVERY/4)%. Find (THIEVERY/10)% more coins.

Level Name Prerequisite Effect
1 Subtlety n/a Reduce Suspicion Meter growth by (THIEVERY/4)%. You may mug targets without entering combat.
15 Grifter Subtlety Can pickpocket targets in conversation with the pickpocket key at a -(75-THIEVERY)% success chance.
25 Practiced Subtlety Increase the lock sweet spot size by (THIEVERY/2)%
40 Bad Reputation Subtlety Increase mugging success chance by THIEVERY%. Mugged targets offer (THIEVERY/4)% more coin.
50 Quick Thinking Subtlety When you would be caught committing a crime, there is a (5+(THIEVERY/20))% chance you are not caught.
55 Poisoneer Grifter Adding poisons to targets while pickpocketing induces the poison. Increase the chance to be caught by (100-THIEVERY)%
65 Studied Practiced Picker Automatically identify special locks. Reduce the penalty of special locks by (THIEVERY/2)% and the chance of triggering magical locks by (THIEVERY/4)%.
75 Misdirection Opportunist Can pickpocket equipped items at (110-THIEVERY)% reduced success chance.
85 Meticulous Studied (THIEVERY/2)% chance to save a pick that would otherwise break, returning it to full health.
100 Master Fox Meticulous, Misdirection, Bad Reputation, OR Quick Thinking No maximum success chance for pickpocketing or mugging. Time slows 25% when picking locks. Every week, one NPC per city has an extremely high value item in their inventory.


I… I have no idea. I'm sorry. I've never really done Alchemy in any of my playthroughs so I'm just at a blank for what to put here.

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