If you pickpocket a named NPC in Skyrim, stealing their gold and jewelry, will that NPC ever get new gold and jewelry for you to steal again?

Also, the same question for the same situation in Oblivion.

I'm confused about the issue. Personally I've never seen it happen in Skyrim as of yet. In Oblivion I never noticed a NPC regain inventory items/gold to be stolen again, except for one case: taking multiple Debaser swords from Agarmir in the Imperial City.

  • 6
    This is asking about the behaviour of two different games. You might consider breaking it into two separate questions, each about a different game, or you might not. Since they are sequential in the same series, it might be okay to ask this way, but trying to lump questions about multiple games into one is generally not the best for clarity so I thought I'd bring this up seeing how this has come up in some edits made to your question.
    – skovacs1
    Sep 11, 2013 at 6:19
  • Certainly I've pick-pocketed guards and come back much later and they are still without items? But I haven't tested this properly. (In Skyrim) Sep 11, 2013 at 8:15
  • I have only played skyrim so cannot answer this question, but in that game guards and the like will (normally) regain most common items you pick pocket such as arrows, armor etc. if you wait a few days. There are a few that do not however and I am not sure why this is. Sep 11, 2013 at 14:01
  • @Orwell Most guards aren't named, so they are respawning with fresh inventories. Sep 11, 2013 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


One of the best ways to get daedric arrows is to pickpocket Karliah every three days. Other than her though I have not seen any respawning inventories on npc's with names. I am currently running shill and fishing jobs to get the safe in the cistern and the targets I have cleared of valuables on previous fishing jobs only have the item spawned for the quest months later.

  • Inventories managed by a quest will, of course, only change according to the needs of the quest. That doesn't help to know how inventories work normally. Sep 14, 2013 at 18:25
  • Considering that regular items have not respawned, only quest items, it suggests npc inventories do not reset. Though taking perfect touch can let the op steal equipped items from previously emptied npcs. Sep 16, 2013 at 17:37
  • That might seem like the case, but it doesn't actually necessarily follow. Quest NPCs are treated specially by the game, so how their inventories work doesn't say anything about how non-quest NPCs' inventories work. The fact that Karliah's inventory respawns actually does suggest that inventories normally respawn. Sep 16, 2013 at 17:43
  • Another way to get any specific arrow restocked over time is to give one arrow to your follower, removing all other arrows in their inventory. Your follower will fire that type of arrow and you will start to recover them from battles. I sell off the extras fairly regularly. Not that this answers the respawn question.
    – Vanzanz
    Oct 14, 2013 at 11:30

For oblivion the respawn rate of dungeons is 72 hours, 3 days. You need to leave the area/dungeon and do not enter it for this time span in order to have the mobs respawn. The complete dungeon will reset so not just the items mobs hold.

For Skyrim most dungeons will reset in 10 days, 240 hours in game hours. Some dungeons will only reset after 30 days. Some dungeons or interiors however will never reset, most (if not all) of these are quest related and obviously your houses.

Next time, better ask two questions then the same question for two different games.

  • I believe they're asking about non-hostile NPCs, such as in the Imperial City districts. Oct 30, 2013 at 15:31

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