Unlike quests, favors, and objectives, which typically involve a specific person or location, World Interactions and Encounters occur randomly, and they almost never occur in the same place.
World Interactions are random and usually very small-scale events that occur in populated areas, such as settlements, towns, or cities. They require the player to perform an action, and the consequences are then detailed. The dragonborn has very little control over when World Interactions appear. The following tables show all the World Interactions available across Skyrim. These are split up based on the actions needed to get a reaction.
These are listed in the following tables, along with a description of the interaction and any prerequisites (such as completing quests) need to have been accomplished.
Items of interestEdit
These Interactions may commence any time an item is added to your inventory.
|An Interested Party||You pick something up. A nearby resident runs up and asks, “Did you find anything good?”||Inside a city, settlement, or town, but not inside a building.|
|Watching the Rummager||You take something from a barrel, sack, crate, or container where “refuse” is usually placed. A nearby resident asks, “What’s he/she doing rummaging around in there?” A second resident (if there is one nearby) replies, “Perhaps he/she is looking for food?”||You are not inside a building.|
|Tailing the Thief||You steal an item. After a day or two, three thugs track you when you’re in the wilderness, tell you they’re here to punish you for stealing, and attack you. Search them for a note from the owner of the property you stole.||You must steal an item and not get caught.|
|Calcelmo’s Courier||After getting a dwarven item, you may receive a letter via courier (when you next visit a town or city) asking if you’ll bring the item to Calcelmo; he will pay dearly for it.||You must buy [any dwarven item] from a merchant.|
Assaults with ConsequencesEdit
These Interactions begin when the dragonborn assault someone. This means striking them and then stopping before killing them (brawls don’t count).
|It’s all Relative||After you assault someone within view of others, the crime may be reported. Sometime in the future, you’re stopped by a resident, a relative of the person you attacked. You can apologize (and the relative walks away) or remain unapologetic, resulting in an attack.||Attacking a resident of a town or city.|
|An Impressive Assault||After you assault someone within view of others, inside a settlement, town, or city, you receive a letter from a courier. A [randomly determined resident] with an enemy has seen your assault and wants you to rough someone up for them. Meet the impressed party, agree, and then find the [randomly determined foe], roughing them up (but not killing them).||Attacking a resident of a town or city.|
|A Memorable Assault||After you assault someone inside a settlement, town, or city, the next time you meet them, the victim remembers your assault and mentions this.||Attacking a resident of a town or city.|
These Interactions may begin once someone near to you witnesses you casting a magic spell.
|The Invisible Boy||
Once you’ve cast a spell, a young boy runs up and asks you to cast invisibility on him. You can agree or refuse, but you can’t really do this*. If you agree, the boy, thinking he’s invisible, heads off, sneaking up on people and trying to scare them.
*The original intent of this scene may not have been to lie to the child. There is a 'spell that was never made playable called Fade Other that can be used to turn NPCs invisible. Children even have unique, fully voiced dialog lines with conditions linked to this spell, which lends further evidence to this theory.
|Casting magic within the vicinity of child.|
|Lollygagging Looky-Loos||If you’re inside a settlement, town, or city with a spell effect that creates a dangerous “sheen” or effect around your person, such as Flame Cloak, bystanders will murmur in alarm, and a crowd may start to form around you until you’ve dispelled the effect or it wears off.||Casting magic with a “dangerous” effect around you.|
|Quiet, Please||Employ a Shout in a populated settlement, town, or city, and a nearby guard may run up and sternly warn you to stop, as it’s making the locals nervous.||Utilizing a Shout.|
|Quest, Please||Employ a Shout in a populated settlement, town, or city, and you may receive a Courier’s letter soon afterwards, from a mysterious “friend” who gives directions to a nearby [random dungeon] that contains a Word Wall inside.||Utilizing a Shout.|
These Interactions may begin when you enter a settlement, town, or city.
|Courier Catch-Up||As you enter, you may be greeted by a courier with a letter or multiple letters. These may invite you to begin quests, locate areas of interest, or follow up on rumors you’ve heard, or they simply update your objectives. Consult the individual prerequisites of quests you may be interested in to find out more.||Entering a location.|
|No Nudity||Enter a location without wearing any clothes, and the locals may comment on your appearance and ask you to put on some more appropriate attire. This may also happen if you have transformed into a werewolf, and a friendly NPC sees you.||Entering a location without clothing equipped.|
|Careful, Now||Enter a location brandishing a weapon, and you may find locals asking you about it. Innkeepers and merchants may tell you to be careful brandishing such an implement. Sheath your weapon to stop this talk.||Entering a location with weapons unsheathed.|
|The Enraged Mage||Enter a location, and a random wizard steps forward to challenge you to a duel. Kill the wizard (without accuring any Bounty, as you were challenged). You don’t have to use magic, although the wizard may protest at this.||Entering a location.|
|The Engaged Mage||Enter a location, and [a random student of magic] steps forward to ask you about learning ward spells. Oblige the student if you wish.||Entering a location.|
|Gift Giving||Enter a location, and a person you’ve befriended (e.g., by completing a Favor) hands you a gift. This won’t be the Jarl, though.||Entering a settlement, town, or city after befriending one or more of the population there|
|Games Without Frontiers||As you enter, you may see a group of children playing a game. Talk to them, and they may ask you to join them. The game will be either hide-and-seek or tag. Agree or decline. Play the game if you wish.||Entering a location, speaking to a child.|
|Dragon Attack!||Enter a different location once the dragons return to Skyrim, and the guards yell out a warning as the residents scatter. A dragon swoops down into the settlement and attacks! Flee or fight.||Entering a location after Dragon Rising is complete.|
|Other Talk||Merchants call out a greeting to you, as do friends welcoming you to your home if you own one. Those you haven’t befriended may speak to you with suspicion.||Entering a location.|
These Interactions may begin once you visit a different settlement, town, or city in a particular visual state. These can occur as overheard murmuring, or as part of conversations you may have.
|The Spellcaster||Residents comment on your flowing robes, sometimes with suspicion.||Wear College of Winterhold robes.|
|The Unclean One||Residents comment with disgust and sometimes sadness on your pox.||You have a disease|
|Pretty Colors||Residents are dazzled by the colorful aura you have surrounding your person.||Have a “colorful” magical effect.|
|Pretty Dangerous||Residents are somewhat alarmed by the dangerous area you have around you.||Have a “dangerous” magical effect, such as fire.|
|Hands of Fire||Residents are a little taken aback by your flaming hands.||Have a Flame spell equipped and “unsheathed.”|
|The Immodest Adventurer||Residents are quick to comment on your lack of proper modesty.||Have no clothing on.|
|On the Prowl||Residents aren’t impressed by your strange crouching stance.||The Dovahkiin is spotted while sneaking.|
These Interactions may begin when you attempt to create an item at a crafting location (Only happens once) if the person is near the player).
|Friend of the Forge||A blacksmith comments on the item you’re making (how rare it is, the type, or your competence).||You use a blacksmith’s workbench to make or improve an item.|
|Excellent Enchanting||A nearby Court Wizard comments on the item you’re enchanting, or on your competence as an enchanter.||You use an Arcane Enchanter to enchant an item.|
|Adept Alchemist||An apothecary merchant comments on the item you’re making (if it’s a poison or potion) or on your competence.||You use an Alchemy Lab to make an item.|
Dealing with the DeadEdit
These Interactions may begin when you or a nearby person sees or interacts with a corpse.
|Suspicious Behavior||Residents step up to the corpse and look at it. A soldier usually tells folks to disperse and begins to interrogate you. Residents begin to wonder out loud if you’re the murderer. You can protest your innocence (the guard leaves you alone) or offer an unpleasant response (which gets you arrested).||You’re near a dead body (optionally with weapons unsheathed), but no one saw you kill this person.|
|Dead Dragon||Residents step up to the remains of a dragon, remarking as you absorb the Dragon Soul.||You kill a dragon close to residents.|
These Interactions may begin when a nearby person is killed.
|A Friend’s Inheritance||When you return to a settlement where a friend of yours was slain, a courier greets you and says your friend left you an inheritance. Collect the gold from the Jarl’s Steward.||A friend of yours is killed|
|A Friend of Your Enemy||When you return to a settlement after you slay someone with a known enemy, a courier greets you to say the enemy of the deceased has a gift for you. Visit them to receive the reward (usually gold).||You kill a resident who has a known enemy.|
|Not Going Out||A bereaved friend of a slain resident runs to their home or dwelling and locks themselves inside, refusing to come out.||The bereaved’s friend was killed with them watching|
|Hired Muscle||A relative of the deceased hired thugs to attack you.||A resident is killed by you, you’re seen, and the deceased has a relative.|
|Grave Digging||Residents of city’s bodies may be disposed of, and any worldly goods you didn’t loot from their corpse show up in their coffin in the Hall of the Dead.||Leave a civilian’s corpse lying around a city and come back later.|
Items of DisinterestEdit
These Interactions may begin if you discard an item (by dropping it, selling it, or giving it away).
|Dropping a Weapon||A guard stops you and reprimands you for leaving dangerous weapons lying around. Walk away or apologize and the guard leaves you alone.||Converse and the guard asks for a fine (or bribe). If you refuse to pay, you’re attacked or arrested. Drop a weapon near a guard.|
|I Think You Dropped This (I)||A resident stops you after picking up the discarded item, and hands it back to you (it now appears in your inventory)||Drop an item near a resident.|
|Mine! Mine! Mine!||Two residents move to the item and begin to fight over whose it is. An audience may gather, commenting on the spectacle. The argument may escalate to a brawl (which you aren’t involved in)||Dropping an item near two or more residents.|
|No Littering, Please||A resident remarks with annoyance about your littering habits.||Dropping an item near a resident.|
|I Think You Dropped This (II)||A resident stops you after picking up the discarded armor and asks if you meant to discard the piece. They may also request if they may keep the item.||Drop a piece of armor near a resident.|
|A Man Walks Into a Bar... (I)||The innkeeper welcomes you to the place.||You enter a tavern or inn.|
|A Man Walks Into a Bar... (II)||The innkeeper yells for one of the waitstaff to serve you a drink.||You enter a tavern or inn and sit down.|
These interactions may begin if you enter a settlement and spot a thief.
|Caught Red-Handed||A Thieves Guild member attempts to flee if you (or another resident) approach them while they try to pick a door lock.||You see a thief try to pick a lock|