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How does a Black Soul Gem differ from any other soul gem? I have one with a grand soul in it, so clearly it can take Grand souls. And because soul gems can take souls that are smaller than the container, what is the classification "Black" for?

share|improve this question Wiki shows that it is only soul gem to absorb souls of humans. – Domocus Nov 17 '11 at 5:18
The tag is already present below the text and in the page title: you don't need to add it to the question title. See this answer from Jeff Atwood for more information. – user3389 Nov 17 '11 at 5:53
It may show up in the page title after you load it, but from the question title alone (which is more attention grabbing than the tags) it's not always obvious what the question is pertaining too. So, in order to make sifting through a list of questions easier, I'm appending the main "tag" to the question. – Pithlit Nov 17 '11 at 6:06
On second thought, this could use a community discussion. I've opened a question on Meta Gaming about it. – user3389 Nov 17 '11 at 11:09
Please stop editing the title in this question. (You're not going to get your way through brute force --badp) – juan Nov 17 '11 at 15:06
up vote 30 down vote accepted

Black Soul Gems are exactly like Grand Soul Gems - with one significant perk:

They can trap humanoid souls.

Regular soul gems are restricted to creatures and undead only.

But black soul gems?

Tired of the blacksmith sending out hits on you? Kill him, trap him in a black soul gem, enchant him into a ring, and then sell the ring back to his wife. Justice is served!

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can black soul gems still trap non-humanoid souls too? – Pithlit Nov 17 '11 at 5:43
@pithlit: Yes, but that would be an enormous waste. – LessPop_MoreFizz Nov 17 '11 at 6:42
That is delightfully evil. Some might say excessively so, but those people don't have a shelf full of soul rings in their house... – Ragnar Nov 17 '11 at 12:10
That is so... evil. I like you. – juan Nov 17 '11 at 12:34
One of the options for flagging answers: "This answer contains content that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech." – Arkive Nov 17 '11 at 15:52

Black soul gems are essentially grand soul gems that can trap or store the souls of humanoid (player) races. If you dont have an empty black soul gem in your inventory when you kill a humanoid NPC (like a bandit or imperial soldier) that you have applied the soul trap effect on, you get the "you don't have a soul gem in your inventory capable of holding such a soul" (or equivallent) message. When you have an empty black soul gem in your inventory you capture the soul instead.

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They can be used at an Atronach Forge to make Daedric weapons and armor.

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