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- Note: this is not a list of the random loot in Oblivion, although it may contain examples of random loot.
Looting in Oblivion is defined as taking equipment or items that are not owned (such as items marked with a red hand icon, which would be considered stolen). Random Loot is generally defined as valuable items found in chests or other containers, or taken from defeated enemies. Most of it is leveled, meaning that gold stacks get bigger, equipment becomes higher-level, and otherwise rare or powerful items become more common as the player reaches a higher level.
The most common sources of random loot in Oblivion are caves, forts, mines, and Ayleid Ruins, which very rarely have owned items or friendly NPCs. These areas usually reset every three days and can be looted again (aside from Welkynd Stones and Varla Stones, found in limited non-respawning supply in Ayleid ruins), and will yield better finds as the player character increases in level. Oblivion Gates are also good sources of rare loot, such as bloodgrass and Daedra Hearts, and a random Sigil Stone, but they disappear once completed and will eventually run out if the player continues to close them.
Places like NPC dwellings, campsites, or other settlements are generally poor sources of random loot; they usually have few items of value, taking most items found there is considered stealing, and/or most items do not respawn or level with the player.
When attempting to carry a large amount of loot, a good way to bolster carrying capacity is a Fortify Strength effect, which increases the maximum amount of weight the player can carry. It can be achieved with a spell (purchased or customized using an Altar of Spellmaking), enchanted equipment, or a player-brewed potion. Another possibility is Feather, which has a similar effect. While less expensive, Feather does not have the additional bonuses of enhancing fatigue or melee damage, so Strength is generally considered a better option.
If the player cannot carry all the loot found in a certain area, it is possible to collect the items and store them in an accessible place to be carried away in multiple trips. They can be put in a standard container, or body of an enemy (which carries the added benefit of being movable to a more convenient location). However, they must be retrieved before the area resets or the enemy respawns (typically 73 hours later). Players should also be aware that living NPCs may take certain items, particularly food, if they happen across a stash that the player left behind.