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Daggerfall "governing attributes" question

Arryosha

Learned
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Dec 16, 2019
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134
I am looking for information on the relationship between attributes and skills in Daggerfall. I have seen this question asked many times on other forums, but no one seems to have an answer. I am hoping against hope that someone here happens to know.

The the only thing the Daggerfall manual says about this relationship is "Each skill has a governing attribute which acts as the skill's upper limit and is factored into some equations when the skill is used." I assume this is accurate, but the second part is also pretty vague.

The UESP wiki on attributes says, "Most attributes are said to "govern" specific skills, although this relationship does not actually have any in-game effect. Attributes and skills fundamentally define a character's ability to perform any given action in the game." This is also vague and possibly self-contradictory. The wiki also says that the attribute determines "how easy" the governed skill levels. I take this to mean "how quickly," but, again, vague.

So, from what I can tell, attributes:
  1. act as a cap on skill level. In Morrowind, I think this means STR=X means governed skill cap=X, so I am assuming this is how it works in Daggerfall.
  2. have various in-game effects on how a skill is used (from the manual: "Intelligence...is a factor in intelligence-related skills such as negotiating and lockpicking")
  3. determine how quickly a skill levels, i.e. how many uses of the skill are required for the skill to go up a level.
The first is clear enough, but the other two are not. It would be nice to have actual numbers or even equations, since knowing only that an attribute has a positive effect on leveling speed or "is a factor" in skill use success does not help you figure out whether, for instance, it is worth putting more points in INT or whether to just ignore it.

If anyone happens to know of a resource, it would be greatly appreciated, and perhaps the wiki could then be made clearer.
 

Zed Duke of Banville

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I doubt that attributes have any actual effect on skills in Daggerfall. If you check the UESP pages on individual skills, there are fixed rates of increase that are not dependent on attributes, and similarly the effect of the skill increases with skill level but is not affected by attribute scores. :M
 

agris

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Arryosha i bet the daggerfall unity people know. If you get an answer, please let us know what it is!
 
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So, from what I can tell, attributes:
  1. act as a cap on skill level. In Morrowind, I think this means STR=X means governed skill cap=X, so I am assuming this is how it works in Daggerfall.
  2. have various in-game effects on how a skill is used (from the manual: "Intelligence...is a factor in intelligence-related skills such as negotiating and lockpicking")
  3. determine how quickly a skill levels, i.e. how many uses of the skill are required for the skill to go up a level.

Skill usage and growth seems to be determined solely by this mechanic

Daggerfall: ClassMaker - The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages (UESP)

Skill Advancement For Class
This indicates the speed at which you will level up. Having the bar at 3.0x means that you will need 3 times the normal skill checks to advance the skill. Having the bar at 0.3x means that you will need 0.3 times the normal skill checks to advance. This bar is changed by any advantages and/or disadvantages, maximum hit points per level, and your game speed.

Daggerfall: Unofficial Newbie FAQ - The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages (UESP)

Each skill has a tally counter. Each time you use the skill the tally counter is increased by 1. When the tally counter exceeds the difficulty factor times the skill value and it has been at least 6 hours since the skill was last increased, the skill value is increased by 1 and the tally is reset to 0. Training adds a random number between 10 and 20 to the tally counter. The difficulty factor for standard classes is 1. For custom classes it's between 0.3 and 3.

According to their pages, attributes just affect stats through formulas and skills are situational checks, and manual/hintbook bits saying otherwise are to be ignored. There are incorrect skill descriptions and displays in-game as well.

Daggerfall: Unofficial Newbie FAQ - The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages (UESP)

The manual/hintbook was printed before the game was finished with alpha and beta testing. Some of its contents are inaccurate.

Skill caps are 95%, except for the first skill to reach 96% which will be allowed to reach 100%.

Daggerfall: Skills - The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages (UESP)

Usually, you can only master one skill to 100%, with all others capped to a natural maximum of 95% (their values can still be increased by enchanted items, however). This can be circumvented by enchanting an item to boost your mastered skill beyond 100%, which will remove the limit. However, this exploit is not possible in Daggerfall Unity.
 

Funposter

Arcane
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Oct 19, 2018
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1,767
Location
Australia
FYI, the Morrowind attribute/skill cap only applied to levelling skills at a trainer. Natural skill progression wasn't tied to governing attribute. For some info on the mechanics, a quick google search pulled up this topic on the Daggerfall Unity workshop forum. It seems like the statement "is factored into some equations when the skill is used" is vague on purpose, because it actually varies by skill. So for instance, for the Medical skill, we can see how it varies the rate of healing while resting:

Healing rate: Specific numbers on healing per rest. Endurance, Regeneration, and Rapid Healing are known factors. Medical possible. Strength? Luck? I pastebinned a lot of the research here, for documentation purposes. It was too big for this post. You can ignore tests 1-9 for the most part, they're pretty contaminated since I was using 1 endurance instead of 50. They at least demonstrate the effects of reduced endurance. I could've made this a lot simpler starting from there, but it's over now. I'm also attaching my spreadsheet. Results: Healing Rate = ((Medical/10)+6)% of max health +- endurance modifier (as corrected by R.D.). Endurance modifier appears to be (modifier + 1) when endurance is <50. Rapid Healing adds 4% of max health per hour rested. Regeneration adds 15 health per hour. I just tested luck as well, and 1 and 100 luck each provide no change to healing rate. Additional credit due to Narf the Mouse in this matter.

The "endurance modifier" here is the player's Endurance attribute divided by 10, I believe. For other skills, it's not so much a case of the governing attribute having a direct effect, but more that it's used in the same overall formula. Both Agility and Dodge are used to determine whether an attack will hit or not, but they are separate parts of the overall formula. Critical Strike involves a skill check and then adds a bonus to hit chance if that check is passed, so its governing attribute is Agility because they end up being used at the same time. It's also worth remembering that any information provided to us is potentially junk anyway, because it's Daggerfall and nothing works properly.
 

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