Stealth in Oblivion, like in most games, can be used to sneak past enemies undetected, steal objects of value, murder the not-so-innocent (or the innocent) without ever being caught or just give you a buzz of adrenaline. There is also a Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood for those who would like to put their skills in sneaking to a good personal use.
- Also keep in mind that to complete missions for these Guilds, you may need to keep raising your sneak level. Above Journeyman is recommended.
There are several uses for stealth.
When in stealth mode you can steal goods from an NPCs body by selecting them. Note that this doesn't mean nobody can see you. Note also that the heavier and more numerous (especially in the case of gold) the item is that you are trying to steal, the higher the chance is that you will be detected and a small bounty will be placed on your head. Stealing will also lower the disposition towards you in the victim.
Weightless items can be placed in the inventory of NPCs via "reverse-pickpocketing."
When you pickpocket from someone who is already hostile towards you, the items you steal do not seem to be categorized as stolen.
Note that whilst in stealth you cannot talk to NPCs. Try not to accidentally pick one's pockets while just trying to engage smalltalk.
A good tactic is to wait until your target is asleep and then you can pickpocket items without worrying about your target moving. Another tactic to getting decent cash through pickpocketing is to steal their house key. That way you don't have to use lockpicks to get into their house and then you have a larger inventory to steal from.
- Main article: Sneak (Oblivion)
Move undetected while trespassing, stay in the shadows - that's the best cover! Also, good old-fashioned hiding-behind-stuff works just as well and of course you can always move along behind someone, just take care they don't turn around and spot you. A combination of these three methods is even better. Be aware that until you hit a certain level the weight of your boots will affect your sneaking ability. Of course, this can easily be avoided by simply taking off your boots to sneak. Jumping can also draw unwanted attention to yourself. Make sure you always know where the person you're sneaking past is so that you don't have to deal with unexpected surprises, say that NPC showing up behind you with a brandished sword.
- Main article: Stealing
Any item that belongs to another NPC that you cannot take for free will have a red hand icon (). If taken, such items can only be sold to fences of the Thieves Guild. Also, if a guard or NPC sees you stealing something, you will have officially committed a crime and will have to flee, be imprisoned, or pay a fine. In the case of the latter two, all stolen possessions (except gold and quest items) will be taken from you. So, be careful of getting caught "red-handed." Some items (usually unimportant ones, such as silverware) will lose their "stolen" status over time. This is represented by a partially-faded red hand icon on the item's icon in the inventory menu.
- Main article: Lockpicking (Oblivion)
Although stealth itself is not required to pick a lock, if you are being watched while lock picking a chest marked as someone else's property or a door to a forbidden area, you may be reported and receive a small bounty. It is only necessary to be unseen at the exact time that you begin lockpicking; time stops when the mini-game begins.
There are various tactics for a person looking into a stealth player. The one most prefer is the sneak, shoot, and shank. The object of this tactic is to sneak around until you find your enemy. Then, making sure you are not seen, sneak as far away as you think you can go and still get an accurate shot. Let your arrow fly, and hope it hits (remember that, if it misses, the enemy could be alerted of your presence.). As the enemy races to you, send more and more arrows at him until he gets to you. By now, at least half his health should be gone. Now, pull out your blade and show him why he should have never come (it may help to jump and run around to confuse them)! I normally use this in chambers in caves or ruins. This is the tactic of a well balanced character using most of the stealth battle abilities.
Another tactic is the poisoned dart. In this strategy, a person will use poisoned arrows, and normally an enchanted bow (you may need to gather a lot of ingredients for this and spent some money on a good bow). Normally, the person doing this will sneak slowly, making sure that they will have the maximum distance possible before they have to confront their enemies. Once an enemy is spotted, they will normally look for a platform, or some cover to hide from the enemy. Then, poisoning the arrow, they launch the arrow into their enemy. If the enchantment and poison doesn't kill it on the spot, maybe another poisoned arrow will. The player keeps this up until the enemy is dead. This is best used in large corridors or huge chambers where there is a lot of cover. The upside is that you don't lose much health or ammo and that this is the perfect way to pick off an enemy quietly. The bad news is that you have to make or buy the poison, and buy a good enchanted bow. Also, if you DO by any chance miss or don't instantly kill an enemy while they are in a group, get ready to run and shoot for your life. Some useful attributes are alchemy so that you can make the poisons, marksman (add two plus two), and sneak so that your enemies won't see you before you strike. Now, just in case the enemy DOES see you, you should have a decent weapon and armour skill so that you can hold your own.
The hardest tactic is the shadow step. The player that uses this has a very high sneak skill and may or may not have chameleon on his or her armour. This person will stay in sneak almost always. If they are not in a shadow, they are either moving to another or about to ambush the person in front of him. Now, you can either; move and try not to be seen at all, or sneak and try to kill. the first is EXTREMELY hard, unless you are just amazing. The latter is a bit easier, but you have to have a good weapon. if you choose to use this form, night eye and detect life are your best friends. That way, you can see people coming and hide respectively. This is best used in cramped corridors, or shadowy caves. A poisoned blade wouldn't be bad either. Get your weapon and sneak level up if you want to play this. You need to be able to deal with these enemies quickly and without a sound. Alchemy and light armor can be used for protecting yourself and poisons. These are only some of the many ways to kill someone in stealth.
Be aware that the weight of your footwear modifies you stealth negatively until you are a Journeyman of stealth. Until you are a Journeyman, it is advisable for your character to be barefoot when utilizing stealth.
If you want to steal from a merchant or house, a great way is to stake out the place and see how the owner reacts, like for example if they follow you or not.(if they do not follow you there is no need to come back during the night as they won't constantly follow you about folling your plans) You will also want know if they have a dog or not as these can blow your whole plan as they bark or attack you, making noise and arousing the owner, usually earning you a bounty on your head.