In Tamriel, birthsigns correspond to the thirteen constellations under which a person is born.
Twelve of the thirteen constellations are classified under three archetypes. The Warrior, the Mage, and the Thief. Each of them appear as guardians against the thirteenth sign: The Serpent. Each individual sign bestows unique magical bonuses, that can either be passive or active. They act in a way that may be perceived as a 'blessing' or a 'curse'. Selecting a birthsign is an important facet of Character Creation in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
The main birthsigns of Tamriel are:
|The Apprentice||Magicka attribute, but also gives a Weakness to Magic.|
|The Atronach||Magicka through resting, but instead confers a Spell Absorption to recharge Magicka. The base Magicka is also increased.|
|The Lady||Personality and Endurance attributes.|
|The Lord||Health and a permanent Weakness to Fire.|
|The Lover||paralyze an opponent at the cost of Fatigue. And forify Agility|
|The Ritual||Restore Health spell and the ability to turn the undead.|
|The Serpent||poison on touch, while simultaneously curing the caster and dispelling magic. Casting this spell costs Fatigue.|
|The Steed||Speed attribute.|
|The Thief||Agility, Speed, and Luck attributes.|
|The Tower||containers of "Average" lock level or less once a day. Also grants the power to reflect damage once a day.|
|The Warrior||Strength and Endurance attributes.|
In Skyrim, birthsigns are not present, instead they are replaced by two different gameplay systems:
- Thirteen Standing Stones to chose from, which affect the character's abilities or confer unique powers. Only one stone can be active at a time (without the Aetherial Crown). Unlike Morrowind, and similarly to Oblivion's Doomstones, the Hero can choose a different Standing Stone blessing at any time.
- Perks, birthsigns appear in the user interface to represent the 18 different skill trees available to the character, and the individual stars of the birth sign represent the various perks available for each skill. Details concerning each sign can be read in The Firmament.