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I just did a quest in Skyrim (might have been a random one) and I got no benefit from the quest itself. (No gold reward, and no plot advancement)

Was there something I gained that I'm not aware of?

Did my skills go up a bit or anything like that?

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You get good karma for your deeds ;-) –  Joachim Sauer Nov 21 '11 at 7:25
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If the quest doesn't provide an outright reward, are you sure none of the following are true?

  • Did the quest pave the way for another quest?
  • Does the quest-giver NPC like you enough now to follow you or marry you (disposition raised)?
  • Fun loot somewhere in the quest-related area?
  • If NPCs died, did they drop any keys to doors or buildings?

Some quests are just there to be tasks, not all have awesome rewards. Some might be tutorial-like quests (especially if you got it in a town).

Also keep in mind that there are two quest-related achievements beyond the main quest and faction-related achievements:

  • Sideways: Complete 10 side quests
  • Hero of the People: Complete 50 miscellaneous objectives
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Now that I think about, in the College and Bard area, do you know what those side quests do? They don't seem to be registered as "miscellaneous" but they also seem to have dubious rewards. Does that fall under the 'disposition raised' category? –  GmNoob Nov 21 '11 at 7:43
    
@GmNoob Completing a quest for an NPC usually raises their disposition, no matter if it affects anything or not. I would say the Bards fall under "not all rewards are awesome", as you can't marry any of them. The Bards are a game faction, but with no achievements, so I don't know if it qualifies as a 'side quest'. –  Corey Csuhta Nov 26 '11 at 3:33
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Aside from the actual skill points you gain by "acting" out the skills, nope.

You generally find a chest with gold, a word wall or a neat weapon though on most quests so the appeal really lies within those realms.

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bummer, the quest I had asked me to bring the person some item from the market. –  GmNoob Nov 21 '11 at 7:18
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The achievement and minor rewards answers are covered, but there's another major possibility, given the additional context you've provided...

You're required to help the people of Haafingar in order to become a Thane in Solitude. Since you mentioned the Bard's College area, it's possible that your good deeds will count toward something later, if you haven't spoken to the jarl yet. It also, of course, raises disposition. If it's a real garbage quest* in Solitude, that's what they're for: karma for dealing with the Jarl.

Two ones off the top of my head are where you get some spices through customs or ask the commander about the whereabouts of some lady's daughter (both of which, at best, only raise your Speech skill a tidbit).

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Thanks Bryan, so that basically falls under the 'disposition' aspect of @Corey Csuhta's answer, correct? Also, can you edit your answer so it doesn't give away spoilers? :) –  GmNoob Nov 21 '11 at 11:11
    
@GmNoob, kind of. This is an actual quest she gives you. I marked the answer with spoiler tags, but honestly, these are extremely minor, just please-talk-to-this-person-for-me quests within the city. It's really not even a major part of becoming a Thane there (which you can become in every city). –  brymck Nov 22 '11 at 4:59
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bummer, the quest I had asked me to bring the person some item from the market. – GmNoob 2 days ago

This leads to a new "quest", in which you have to bring her Tree Saplings(?) in return for more gold then you would normally gain from the shop.

Although, this next quest is activated by reading a note in a giant camp near Whiterun (in the cave next to it).

The giant camp is noted by a kinda purplish/pink tree in the center of a purplish pool.

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