In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the class system may be more appropriately called a classless system, as players are not required to select classes during character creation.
Starting skills by race
The following table shows the starting Skill statistics for each Race. The higher the number (over the base level of 15) the better. Values of 20 indicate this is a favored skill of the race. Values of 25 indicate this is a Primary Skill of the Race. Skills can be improved to a primary group - Skyrim strategy guide
Every race has their own unique skill which they excel at and will start at level 25 with that particular skill. For Example: Bretons start at level 25 Conjuration as they are naturally skilled at it.
Starting spells by race
The following table holds all of the basic spells for each race.
|Race / Spell||Altmer||Argonian||Bosmer||Breton||Dunmer||Imperial||Khajiit||Nord||Orsimer||Redguard|
Unique Race Power
These powers can be used only once per day, unless otherwise specified.
|Altmer||Highborn||Regenerate magicka 10 times faster for 60 seconds.|
|Argonian||Histskin||Invoke the power of the Hist to recover health 10 times faster for 60 seconds.|
|Bosmer||Command Animal||Make all surrounding animals your allies for 60 seconds|
|Breton||Dragonskin||Absorb 50% of magicka from all incoming spells for 60 seconds.|
Surrounds the Dunmer in fire for 60 seconds.
|Imperial||Voice of the Emperor||Nearby people are Calmed for 30 seconds.|
|Khajiit||Night-Eye||Improved Night Vision for 60 seconds (can be toggled multiple times per day.)|
|Nord||Battle Cry||Nearby enemies are Feared for 30 seconds.|
|Orsimer||Berserker Rage||Take half damage and do double physical damage for 60 seconds.|
|Redguard||Adrenaline Rush||Stamina regenerates 10 times faster for 60 seconds.|
|Vampire||Embrace of Shadows||Become invisible and gain improved vision for 180 seconds.|
|Werewolf||Beast Form||Take on the form of a werewolf. 100% immune to all diseases|
Unique race perks
- Altmer: +50 Magicka
- Argonian: 50% Disease Resistance, Waterbreathing
- Bosmer: 50% Resistance to both Poison and Disease
- Breton: 25% Resistance to Magic
- Dunmer: 50% Resistance to Fire Damage
- Nord: 50% Resistance to Frost Damage
- Redguard: 50% Resistance to Poison
- Khajiit: +15 Base Unarmed Damage
- Imperial: Find more gold than usual
Stats affected by character size
Characters' races impact their jump height and run speed. Physically taller races can cover more ground while running and have a greater vertical jump height.
Melee damageUsing the console command
player.setscaleto change the height of the character will increase the size of a character in addition to increasing their movement speed, jump height, and damage output. Because changing the player scale in the console increases and decreases melee damage accordingly, there is a misconception that taller races do more base melee damage. Without console modification, however, the default scale of all races in the console is 1.00, regardless of physical height. Therefore, all races do the same melee damage at the time of character creation. For further explanation, see the screenshot displaying the actual player scale (1.00) used in calculations and the base scale. [The base scale is a purely, completely cosmetic scale in which the character's height is adjusted accordingly. Orcs and High Elves have both got equally, the highest cosmetic height in the game, in which both of the races cosmetic scale is 1.10. This means that an Orc has a cosmetic scale of 1.10 as does a High Elf, but like mentioned above, ALL races in the game use a scale of 1.00 for every single calculation including Damage Output, Damage Resistance, Run Speed, and Jump Height etc. For example: The shortest race in the game: The Bosmer or Wood Elf, will deal the EXACTLY/PERFECTLY the same amount of Damage and be EXACTLY/PERFECTLY as Damage Resistant and be EXACTLY/PERFECTLY equal to that of an Orc and High Elf: The tallest races in the game, in every aspect possible.] In the screen-shot the scale: 1.03, is a cosmetic height, and does not affect any aspects, view, forms etc. Of the game. For more information, read the text between the brackets.
Changes from previous games
Character creation has been dramatically changed in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Previous games had the player choose from a list of classes that would determine the starting skills for the player's character and in some cases, how the player's character would level. The player also had the option of creating a custom class, selecting each skill individually. This system had a very large impact on player effectiveness in the beginning of the game, though Oblivion's system was able to lessen that impact. A player could spend hours working out the most effective way to build a character.
In Skyrim, however, that system has been removed, meaning that though the player will still select a race, the player no longer has to select a class. Skill set specialization is still possible in Skyrim, but instead of permanently selecting this during character creation, this is now done using the skill perks earned by leveling up (both skills and player level, as perks are earned by overall level while skill level is required to select any but the most basic perks). The birth sign system has been replaced completely with guardian stones, which can be changed at any time by visiting and activating a new stone.
Level 81 is the highest, meaning there are 80 (no perk can be chosen at level 1) possible perk points to choose from (out of over 250 possible places to spend them) however a typical player will not max out all skills to 100, and will instead reach only around level 50 or so. A character designed around 30 perk points is a reasonable build that can be reached in-game fairly quickly and is a great starting point for those who want to design the character before playing.
Skyrim has a new skill growth mechanic and perk system. This system allows the player to focus on a certain play style, it has the potential to allow more of the player to shine through than ever before. Some critics complained that the game was "dumbed down" mechanically because it lacked attribute stats. Most RPG games today have attribute stats, though some like the Fable series also don't. Most precursor games like the old school table top games such as Shadowrun, which had similarly featured skill buying, included attribute stats. It is unclear if games are trending away from attribute stats, but the Elder Scroll series seems to be.
The removal of primary stats means that characters of high level typically won't be relatively weak due to getting bad stat selections. Characters will continually grow into their fighting style. With the new system, character's still can get an advantage by remaining low level and training skill sets the same as in previous games.
The mechanical controversy was causal of a roleplaying controversy. Without attributes there are fewer ways to differentiate between characters. For example, a Wizard who trains with a sword in his spare time and who has equal skill with the Warrior should not be as strong as him. Some critics say that the strength stat is crucial. From another perspective the warrior will have a higher weapon skill which allows for more perks from those trees. The wizard will skill into the various schools or magicka. The warrior will have more points in health and stamina, while the wizard would likely be focusing on magicka.
The Luck attribute has also been removed and is therefore impossible to increase. Skills have been further reduced from a total of 21 to 18. There are no acrobatics/athletics or speed attributes so it is not possible to increase your jump height or your character's running speed through stats (however, Altmer for example, have a naturally faster running speed than the other races).
Another controversy is that a player can only advance so many levels based on the way they want to play and would have to delve into other skills if they want to advance up a level. For example, a person wanting to play as a strictly Warrior-type class cannot reach higher levels without building up stats in Thief or Mage skills, areas the player is not devoted to. The player can choose not to advance these other skills and level up but loses the opportunity to gain more perks, which offer major and unique advantages throught the game. Due to this, the battle-thirsty Nord hero that you've envision charging into battle dual wielding Deadric War Axes he has smithed himself now has to drop his heroic feats, which he spent a lot of time and energy on learning, and now has to learn a multitude of spells and sneak tricks if he wants to be able to continue his advancement up the perk tree.