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I was having a conversation with my friend about character selection in Skyrim. I was going to pick a Dark Elf seeing as they are a stealthy magician character (my fave combo!^_^). But he said that dark elves suck but with the right lveling( and some other stuff I didn't quite catch) I could make a Breton have a stealthy magician type and be more powerful than a dark elf. So is this true, and if so how do I do it?

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I have a dark elf as character, going for a destruction mage. My impression is that it's quite a fragile "build". So your friend might be right... It's getting better and better though (currently around level 14). – bummzack Dec 25 '11 at 22:06
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Any race makes about an equally good stealthy wizard. Unlike many RPGs, elves in Skyrim are not physically weaker than humans. The only significant differences between the Breton and the dark elf are:

  • The Breton resists magic (25%), while the dark elf resists fire (50%)
  • They start with different skill bonuses, but you can raise these skills quite quickly and make up for the difference within a few levels.
    • Breton starts with +10 Conjuration, +5 Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Restoration, Speech
    • Dark elf starts with +10 Destruction, +5 Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Light Armor and Sneak
  • The Breton has the power to absorb 50% Magicka from spells once per day, while the dark elf can surround himself with fire once per day. You'll get better spells later in the game.
  • The Breton starts knowing Summon Familiar, while the dark elf starts knowing Sparks. Both also start with Flames and Healing, and you'll be able to pick up both Summon Familiar and Sparks early in the game anyway.

Overall, the dark elf has a slight starting advantage as he begins with 5 extra levels in Sneak and 10 in Destruction, but you can raise these skills easily with regular use so the racial bonus isn't very important.

The high elf is even better at magic than either of these races. They start with +50 Magicka and have the racial ability to increase Magicka regeneration rate once per day.

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Okay I think I'm gonna go with dark elf (I just need to get past the weird face, lol). I wanted to have a more destruction based character. I only played for like a minute after character customization, so I was wondering: where is the summon familiar skill? I only know where shock is from seeing a few let's plays. – Jonny Dec 26 '11 at 1:42
@JonnyB You can post that as a new question. (I think the answer is that you can buy it from Farengar Secret-Fire in Dragonreach in Whiterun.) Also bear in mind that if you don't like the look of the dark elf, it's not difficult to get 10 levels in Destruction by using destruction magic a lot. – Joe Dovahkiin Dec 26 '11 at 12:19
You might want to note that, while High Elf (Altmer) have even more magic-based benefits, they have some painful magical weaknesses rather than resistances. It makes for a real glass-cannon approach to playing a mage, particularly vs. other mages. – Andy_Vulhop Dec 27 '11 at 15:12
@Andy_Vulhop The Altmer had those weaknesses in Oblivion, but no longer in Skyrim. – Joe Dovahkiin Dec 27 '11 at 15:14
@JonathanDrain Ah, it appears you are right. My mistake. – Andy_Vulhop Dec 27 '11 at 15:35

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