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It's said that carrying a two-handed weapon increases your chances of being spotted when trying to sneak.

Does it penalize Sneaking to have a weapon merely drawn, or only when you attack? Does the size/weight of the weapon make a difference?

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possible duplicate of Am I more easily detected while sneaking with a spell equipped? –  Ivo Flipse Nov 27 '11 at 10:16
    
@Ivo Flipse — That question addresses spells quite well, but not weapons. I've editied this question to focus on weapons. –  Ben Blank Nov 27 '11 at 10:56
    
No problem, just wanted to point it out :-) –  Ivo Flipse Nov 27 '11 at 11:12
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2 Answers 2

yup i'm pretty sure it's based on weapon size. Back when I was raising sneak by sneak attacking the greybeards (hehe) they would immediatly detect me if it hit them with a sword, but not with a dagger.

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I think the bigger the weapon, the less stealthy you are, though I have not tested this. You could give it a go yourself: Save it at a point, and have in your inventory, a dagger, a sword, axe, warhammer etc. and give them all a go. Sneak up on people or a person.

You might just surprise yourself and have fun at the same time

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