I've tried several times to live and not contract Sanguinare Vampiris (although, I've only been using Lifeblood, my dwarven warhammer enchanted with the health-point-steal and not the Flames spell, or any of my Shouts... for all my wishes to be a Pagan IRL, I'm terrible at remembering my in-game magic. Blame my ADHD and mid-battle panic). I'm in daedric plate armor, the set you can get off that bandit for the Death of a Crimson Dirk quest. I've had it for long enough that it's at 167 for armor. Lifeblood deals about 50 damage and steals 7 health points per hit. I'm at level 17 and well on my way to level 18. I think my two-handed skill is at 60, and my heavy armor is at 34-36. Can anyone help?

EDIT: Checked and my heavy armor skill is at 60. Two-handed is at 66. I don't know if that changes anyone's answers... sorry lol.

UPDATES: I'm now at level 24. My health isn't much better (170), and my daedric plate is now at 334. Two-handed is 78 and heavy armor is about 66. One-handed is 35, since I now have the Dawnbreaker swords, and I have the Shield of Ysgramor. I have a necklace of eminent health (giving me 40 HP) and a ring of minor health (20 HP), plus the daedric plate armor (50 HP), which adds up to 300 HP. I'm also a werewolf now, which should negate Sanguinare Vampiris. What are my odds? Bluntly, please; I'm not about to yell at you if you tell me 1-100 in favor of the vampires.

  • Have you done the Dawnguard questline jn Riften yet? (Starts at level 20)? You can get this if you really struggle : elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Dawnguard_Armor it's highly situational armor and useles for most of the game but if you struggle this much against vampires you might need it... also this site is for asking precise questions, not for chance calculations (just warning you, you might get downvotes for it).
    – A.bakker
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 8:16

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, I don't think you're ready for this, at least not if you want to have a direct confrontation.

The waiter is level sixty-five, and has over 1,200 health. Your Lifeblood does 57 damage per hit, but let's round that up to an even 60. To my understanding, the numbers displayed in the UI are inclusive of any skill perks, so we don't have to account for those, and I don't believe the waiter is wearing armor. So you need to hit him over 20 times to kill, not accounting for his use of Drain Life. Drain Life does 3 points of damage per second and heals him for the same amount.

At level 17, your health can be no higher than 270, and is probably lower if you've invested in stamina or magicka. Armor does not prevent magical damage, so we can mostly ignore your plate armor (except for the gargoyles' physical attacks). Warhammers are relatively slow and take multiple seconds between hits (on average, allowing for you and the enemy maneuvering, etc.), so at best your health-siphon enchantment is (not quite) cancelling out his Drain Life spell, but going by UESP's description of other vampires, I am assuming that he knows other spells which do more damage than that, plus we have gargoyle damage on top. To add insult to injury, the fight will almost surely go on long enough that you contract Sanguinare Vampiris, which applies a flat -25 maximum health penalty, which is probably around 10% of your health (higher if you've significantly improved your magicka or stamina). So you are taking quite a lot of damage, for not very much health, and I simply do not see any realistic way that you can beat this guy in a straight-up fight.

Can we improve your character enough to win? Maybe:

  • Argonians may be able to use Histskin here (10x healing for 60 seconds), but by itself, I think this is probably not enough. It might combine well with some of the other strategies listed below.
  • Bretons can use Dragonskin and the Atronach Stone to become temporarily immune to magic damage (for 60 seconds). This reduces magicka regeneration (and takes away the benefits of other standing stones!) but you probably still need to improve your armor rating. Bretons also have passive 25% magic resistance, which stacks with absorption (absorption is probabilistic - X% absorption is an X% chance to completely negate one spell hit).
  • Orcs and Dark Elves also have useful greater powers, but they are very unlikely to do enough by themselves in my opinion.
  • The Lord Stone, combined with completing The Book of Love, gives a total of 40% passive magic resistance. You can enchant or use alchemy to get another 40%, but 80% is the cap. This is probably not enough by itself, given your health is so low. The Lord Stone also provides an armor bonus, which may help with the gargoyles.
  • Flames is probably not going to do enough damage by itself, even with the vampire's weakness to fire. Higher-level destruction spells may be viable; Incinerate's base damage slightly exceeds the actual damage of your Warhammer, and then the vampires are weak to fire. If you are short on magicka, I would recommend siding with the Dawnguard, leveling Restoration, and then picking up Vampire's Bane from Florentius, as the sun damage spells are much cheaper per unit of damage. However, even then it might not be enough, as Skyrim's offensive spells are generally underpowered above level 40-ish.
  • As a secondary issue, 167 armor rating is rather low for a full set of Daedric plate. Improve it further at a workbench to resist physical attacks from the gargoyles. You may need to improve Smithing in order to do that. This process will level several different skills at once, including Smithing. If you already know how to smith Dwarven stuff, then it may be more efficient to just smith a whole bunch of Dwarven arrows instead, because Dwarven materials are ridiculously abundant if you bother to pick them up.
    • The Heavy Armor perk tree will also improve your armor rating, once you level it up some more. This will happen naturally as you play the game "normally"; the skill improves when you take damage while wearing heavy armor. Don't forget to spend perk points on the first perk in the tree (Juggernaut), because that perk is really five perks displayed as one (i.e. you can buy an improved version of it once your Heavy Armor is high enough by selecting the perk again).
    • Also, you probably want to improve the warhammer further, or upgrade to a better weapon.

The bottom line: You either need to cheese the encounter somehow (i.e. avoid a direct fight and kill him using stealth archery, or something like that), or else you need to greatly improve your character, before you will be ready for this fight. I think it's unlikely that you can do this at your current level, but with enough min-maxing (see above), I suppose it might be possible? But you will probably enjoy the game more if you just go do some other quests and get back to this one once you're significantly higher level.


You can cure vampirism easily with a simple potion or going to a healer... other than that your only option is to simply get better weapons and armor, seeing that is what scales the most in the game (alternatively, you can reduce the difficulty).

Also Daedric plate means nothing, with the right combination of enchanting, alchemy and blacksmithing, you can make Iron armor that is stronger. So it would be more useful to post those stats then the armor type. But by the sounds of how weak your hammer is those skills are not that high... and maybe you should do something else first, the big advantage of an open world game.

The weapon comparison from the comments (This is without chats/exploits, with a higher number can of course be achieved) enter image description here

Seeing the OP still has issues, i would suggest doing the Dawnguard questline in riften that you can start at level 20. It provides you with a set of Dawnguard Armor which reduces vampire attacks by 25% and makes you immune against their life drain.

I must add that this armor is highly situational and due to its poor enchantments i would ussualy not advice people to go out of their way to get it seeing a better result can be achieved if you just level up your blacksmithing and enchanting a bit.


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