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Got bored with Oblivion, great starter info here though for anyone still playing the game as an Argonian.

Argonians make convenient vampire characters, they can receive more natural constant immunity effects at level 1 (Day 4) than any other race in the game. They also dominate Underwater Locations as Hand to Hand combatants, and the amount of gold you gain by selling off items with Water Breathing can buy you a few houses or one of the unique items sold by some vendors in the cities.

Which Gender To Pick?

All attributes below assume only 25% vampire. At each stage of vampirism the total bonuses to the attributes of Speed, Strength, and Willpower increase by another +5 to a maximum of +20 when you become a monstrous vampire(100%). Females have more fatigue, and magicka while the males are better in combat early in the game and move much quicker.

If using Hand to Hand though, it doesn't really matter which you use because of the gear listed a bit lower.

Male Argonian Vampire

Female Argonian Vampire

Skill Bonuses

All skills below assume only 25% vampire status. The skills of Acrobatics, Athletics, Destruction, Hand to Hand, Illusion, Mysticism, and Sneak all gain an additional +5 at each stage up to a maximum of +20 when becoming a monstrous vampire(100%). Starting minor skills are always 5 (Novice), while major starting skills begin the game at 25 (Apprentice).

Argonian Vampire Special Abilities & Weaknesses

At each stage of vampirism the weakness to fire increases by 10%, to a maximum of 50% while resist normal weapons increases by +5% at each stage to a maximum of +20% when becoming a monstrous vampire(100%). Spell Absorption can be boosted to 100% through spells, or items making you completely immune to magic attacks (this includes the fireball towers through many Oblivion Gates). This immunity renders the weakness to fire almost entirely moot, all you need worry about is fire damage on weapons which you can counter with potions, or items that grant +20% or more resistance to fire damage.

Stunted magicka is not as bad as it sounds later in the game (though it can be hard to deal with early in the game), the Telekinesis spell can be used at Master Mysticism levels to regenerate magicka faster than a mage that is not using The Atronach Birthsign.

What birthsign, skill focus, primary attributes, and major skills should I pick?

The Atronach gives a nice 50% spell absorption and is required to easily reach 100%. Strength and endurance are both important attributes for fatigue, carry weight, melee damage and health you won't use much magic and what is used can be restored very quickly. The skills are not the skills you will be using the most often, so that you can slow down level progression and control your attribute bonuses at each level more precisely (this is why you take a major skill in every attribute (except Luck) category as well).

You will want to focus on endurance, strength, and luck first and foremost out of the attributes at each level-up. To increase health, fatigue, melee damage, and carrying weight. Each level up it's best to always put 1 point in luck, and then one point in attributes that have +5 beside them. Controlling which attributes gain the +5 bonus each level up is pretty simple once you familiarize yourself with the process.

Blunt: I prefer hand to hand not blade, or blunt for reasons explained further down this guide.
Heavy Armor: You'll naturally want to block, or parry in melee combat which will result in easier endurance gains without leveling up.
Acrobatics: You don't have to jump or fall far often. The other speed skills are easier to gain skill in with less work.
Restoration: You can use potions to achieve similar effects while destruction is open to offset excessive melee combat without leveling up.
Marksman: Easiest agility skill to control, but one of the slowest to gain skill points in even set as major.
Illusion: One of the easiest personality skills to control gains in, as you use speechcraft and mercantile often as it is.
Conjuration: The easiest skill associated with intelligence to control gains in, but very useful for filling soul gems later in the game.

Your real skills that you will use most often are Hand to Hand, Blade (Umbra), Armorer, Block (You can work on this while trying to catch vampirism in the Barren Cave), Athletics, Destruction, Alteration, Alchemy, Mysticism, Sneak, Security, Light Armor, Mercantile, Speechcraft.

Early gear I should acquire?

All equipment has constant effects and is easy to acquire on Day 1-4 if you also grab Fin Gleam and Jewel of the Rumare to generate early starting cash. Furthermore this combination of items will give you 35 in Hand to Hand (40 for Khajiit), even without it as a major skill. Were you to start the game with it as a major skill you'd be able to reach 55 in Hand to Hand at level 1 (Day 4) after becoming a vampire (Khajiit would be able to hit 60), or wait a few more days to become a monstrous vampire to boost it all the way up to 70 (75 for Khajiit) as a level 1 character. From there you'd be able to boost it up to 80 (85 for Khajiit) as a level 2 character. Acquiring the Ring of the Iron Fist (or x2 rings) will let a vampire character have 100 in Hand to Hand easily at level 1-2, if it is a major skill.

  • Veil of the Seer - +5 Willpower, Detect Life 60ft (more than Fin Gleam). This helmet with vampirism completely offsets the -10 willpower penalty male argonians suffer (and gives females +10 willpower), while blocking some sun damage due to it being a hood.
  • Bands of Kwang Lao - +20 Hand to Hand, save the game before you attempt to get into the "very hard" chest so you don't use up any lockpicks. This requires you be good at free hand lockpicking in order to acquire it early.
  • Ring of Nighteye - It's randomly generated loot, but is fairly common despite this.
  • Wrist Irons - You start the game with these, they are weightless and can hold an enchantment placed on them at an Altar of Enchanting or through the use of a Sigil Stone.
  • Ring of the Iron Fist (x1-2) - +25 Hand to Hand, +33% Reflect Damage. While it is randomized, the article claims it can be forced to appear by killing a particular enemy repeatedly.

Higher level gear I should acquire?

You'll want to acquire this gear after reaching level 25 or higher as it is leveled with the player character.

Special random gear to watch out for?

Because these items are randomly generated (yet uncommon, unlike the Ring of Nighteye) they are listed here. Not guaranteed to show up in the game with 100% certainty, yet if they do they are extremely powerful for this particular build or add even more immunities.