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As part of the Hearthfire DLC, you are able to select a steward to help manage your new house(s). There are 34 followers to choose from.

Among these are some important followers from the main questline. Many of the NPCs listed are eligible bachelors/bachelorettes. Each Housecarl (both from the main game, and Hearthfire) is available as well.

With so many options, and only a maximum of three steward positions to fill, I'm left wondering if there's any particular reason I should choose one over the others. This breaks down to a few questions:

  • Are there any particular disadvantages to turning a follower into a steward?
    • For example, will they no longer follow or train you?
    • Does it render potential marriage candidates ineligible?
  • Do any of the eligible candidates bring something special to the position?
    • Particularly, anything they would not normally do for you as a follower.
  • Does it really matter at all who I choose?
    • Would I be just as well off assigning my Housecarls, as I would anyone else?
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Can you please also check the comments the answer to this question –  ヴァイシャリ Feb 1 '13 at 16:16

5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

None of the characters make a "better" steward; they all behave exactly the same in that role. They also still work as followers: you can still ask them to follow you again, marry them, etc.

The only thing that changes when you make a follower a steward is where they hang out when they stop following you. Like the housecarl for the appropriate hold, your steward will wander around the inside and outside of your house when idle. This means they'll be hanging around when your house inevitably gets attacked by bandits, giants, or whatever else. This brings up a couple of mostly minor considerations:

  • Your steward is often the first line of defense from attacks; they'll jump into combat as soon as you get within range of the house, often before you've even noticed the enemies.
  • If you pick someone other than the assigned housecarl to be steward, you'll have two people hanging around guarding your house instead of just one.
  • If you pick a housecarl from another hold as your steward, they leave the original house empty. This has no effect at all on gameplay but it bothered me in a slightly OCD way.

I have found a good pattern is to pick up a mercenary, get them to the level cap, then leave them as steward. I also take the housecarl out until they hit their cap and let them go again, giving you a lvl 40 and lvl 50 character hanging around your house to help fend off bandits.

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I did not realize you could get two people to hang around. Thanks for the tip. +1 –  ヴァイシャリ Jan 31 '13 at 3:05
    
Nice point about stewards also being guards. Taking that into consideration, I think there actually is an ideal steward (if a character fitting this profile exists): A non-Housecarl, essential follower. –  Iszi Jan 31 '13 at 4:08
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Just did a cross-reference between eligible stewards and essential NPCs. The only overlap is Aela and Vilkas, and that's only good until completing the Glory of the Dead quest. –  Iszi Jan 31 '13 at 4:14
    
true but there aren't many essential followers: Serana, and the Companions, if you don't finish their quest line, and I don't think Serana can be a steward; plus I'd rather keep her with me :) –  Michael Edenfield Jan 31 '13 at 4:14
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@desaivv I've seen that question and it's true that nothing will attack your house when you're not nearby, but things will spawn immediately when you fast-travel there, or even if you happen to get "close enough"; your steward & housecarl will usually join combat before you even notice it's happening. –  Michael Edenfield Feb 1 '13 at 16:53

I like to pick followers who are otherwise in inconvenient locations (e.g. Eola, who hangs out in a cave far off to the west end of Skyrim). Then I don't have to go out of my way when I want to get them as followers.

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I think it'd be a good combo to have a Mage and a warrior like person for stewards/guards. Like Marcurio and Aela or such.

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For my main house i usually go with marcurio since hes a mage and the house carl is a warrior at least for the house in falkreth which add a good combo havent tried anyone from the college though so might try that

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Some stewards are better then others, especially when you look at their stats. For example, Roggi Knot-Beard, his combat skills are low but his skills are high in enchanting, alchemy and a few other magic skills. But that doesn't really help you defend your house from dragons and that's why I wouldn't pick him as a steward. If you pick someone from the college they have high magic skills but low hand to hand combat skills.

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So, what're saying is both these followers would get destroyed by a dragon, so they're not good stewards in the case that your house is attacked by dragons? –  Lyrical Nov 20 '13 at 16:15

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