Standard Character classes
(As described in the game manual)
Crime most certainly pays. Ask any thief. The thief is the most versatile criminal class, capable of any skulduggery and sham. For thiefly skills, a high Agility is essential, and Intelligence and Speed are also very important. A freelance thief may find the tide of the law overwhelming, but a member of the Thieves Guild will have evened the odds. Of course, working against the odds is often the very spice the thief desires.
A good burglar can strip a palace to its foundations without waking a soul. Let the vulgar delinquents mug and kill for their gold - the burglar is agile, silent, and curious as a cat. Sometimes it is the challenge of a supposedly insurmountable lock or a tireless guard that sets their blood to burn. More often, it is simple greed. High Agility, sharp Intelligence, and Speed mark the successful Burglar
This is the business-like attitude of the assassin: we are the merchants whose commodity is death. Cold-blooded and efficient, the assassin is trained to find weakness and to commit murder for a profit. The Dark Brotherhood is largely composed of assassins, and casts a hostile eye on freelancers in the field. Still, a strong, agile, and quickfooted solo assassin can have a long, bloody, and lucrative career.
- Primary Skills: Critical Striking, Backstabbing, Stealth
- Major Skills: Short Blade, Long Blade, Blunt Weapon
Equal parts thief and warrior, rogues do not avoid combat like most other thiefly classes. After all, it is often efficacious to beat a few heads to get to the gold. To this end, rogues are trained in a variety of weapons in addition to their thiefly skills. A strong arm is as important as nimble fingers to a rogue, and speedy feet may be most important of all. No one gets in and out of as much trouble as a rogue.
An experienced acrobat is as difficult to hit or hold as a drop of quicksilver. Dexterous to a superhuman degree, acrobats are remarkable leapers, climbers and dodgers, runners and tumblers. Not surprisingly, Agility and Speed are the most important attributes for acrobats.
The common bard seen entertaining in taverns is a wandering storyteller, a singer, a dancer, an all-around performer. Some who have mastered these diverse skills have taken to enterprises other than amusement. The bard may be considered a "jack of all trades," for, in addition to the traditional thiefly skills, bards are trained in social and magical skills. Agility and Intelligence are essential for all bards.
- Primary Skills: Streetwise, Etiquette, Pickpocketing
- Major Skills: Stealth, Backstabbing, Critical Striking
In a sense, the warrior is the standard against which all classes are judged in terms of strength and versatility. As the name suggests, the warrior's milieu is physical combat. They are the ultimate fighters - capable of using any weapon, any armor, and any shield. Strength and Endurance are the most essential attributes for warriors, though agility is also an important factor in combat.
Knights are the warriors elite, but their sphere is not warfare alone. They are men and women of honor and breeding, the force of chivalry in a savage land. Like warriors, knights have high Strength and Endurance, but they rely on their high personalities in social situations.
Even as civilization slowly wins its battle with the wilderness, the woodland warriors of Tamriel, the rangers, are unchallenged in their environment. Rangers are hardy savages. They are supremely adaptive fighting men and women, sometimes guardians of the forest, sometimes protectors of travelers. Whatever the individual goal, it behooves a ranger to have great Strength and Endurance.
Archers are specialist warriors whose weapon of choice is the bow. Warriors who prefer close melee have called the archer's long-distance attack dishonorable, but to the archer, efficiency is most important. They cannot waste their arrow shots as conventional warriors can waste their strikes. High strength gives arrows more power, but high agility is even more important for the archer.
Monks owe their martial artistry to their superhuman mental discipline. Their bodies and the weapons they wield are one, and such confining annoyances as shields and armor merely get in the way. Many monks even choose to reject conventional weapons, relying on their hands and feet alone to devastating effect. Strength, Endurance, and Willpower are important attributes for monks.
- Primary Skills: Hand-to-Hand, Critical Striking, Dodging
- Major Skills: Swimming, Medical, Blunt Weapon
The true savage warriors of Tamriel, barbarians hail from the wastelands, where only the strongest and hardiest survive. What they may be lacking in social finesse, barbarians more than counterbalance with their battle prowess. Barbarians have very high Strength and Endurance, and the highest starting health bonus of any standard character class.
Thaumaturgists, Mystics, Enchanters, Conjurers - all great specialist spellcasteres are, at their core, Mages. Mages spend years studying the six schools of magicka, combining and juxtaposing them to create effects beyond the ken. Intelligence is important for mages, as their spells are powered by magicka "pools" based on intelligence. A high Willpower is necessary for spells to be successfully cast.
Sorcerers are much like Mages, but with important differences. They do not regenerate magicka naturally within their bodies, but absorb it from the spells of other. Their total magicka "pool" is greater than the mage's - indeed, they have the greatest magical potential of the standard character classes. Like their brother mages, sorcerers must have high Intelligence and a high Willpower.
A sub-set of Mages, healers are specialists in the School of Restoration. Their powers tend to be very strong for defense, but weaker in offense. High Intelligence and Willpower are essential for healers, as they are for all spellcasters.
The antithesis of the healer is the Battlemage, whose credo comes form the School of Destruction. Offensive spells come naturally to battlemages, as defensive spells come to healers. Intelligence and Willpower are important attributes for battlemages.
Spellswords are the warrior-mages of Tamriel, a powerful class able to draw on both the inexplicable forces of magicka and the less exotic, more dependable weaponry. There are few men and women more versatile than spellswords. The class demands are not only high Intelligence and Willpower, but high Strength and Endurance.
Possibly the most feared class of all is the nightblade. They possess many of the skills and philosophy of the thiefly classes, combined with the powers of the mage. Their natural agility and stealth, and their mastery of the School of Illusion, means nightblades are seldom seen, though their hand is certainly felt. Effective nightblades have high agility as well as high Intelligence and Willpower.
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall User's Guide (pages 13– 17)