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Making Money Without Crafting, Cheating, Or Exploits

Discussion in 'Skyrim Guides and Tutorials' started by Squirrel_killer-, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Squirrel_killer-

    Squirrel_killer- The blade in the dark and the hand at your throat

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    Before we begin:

    I wrote this guide because the only ways I’ve seen to make money in guides involve crafting. I hate these guides they all are the same. Get Alchemy, Enchanting, and/or Smithing to level 100 and then make the most expensive stuff you can and sell it. This to me feels cheap. As well it causes you to hit burnout on a character a lot faster due to them being so rich so fast. I decided it was time to address other money making means. I will cover things like dungeon diving, thieving for profit, odd jobs, bounty hunting, and other money making opportunities.

    Dungeon Diving:

    The number one thing you will do in Skyrim is explore dungeons. So let’s talk about maximizing your income per dungeon. The best pay off comes from dwemer ruins and draugr crypts which are normally packed with chests, soul gems, and coins. When delving for money, avoid animal dens and bandit camps without a bounty. Forsworn camps tend to have a decent amount of jewelry, gems and enchanted weapons and Forsworn Brairhearts tend to carry staffs. While vampire lairs seem to always be full of ingredients, jewelry, and gems.

    When picking what items to take use the weight/value ratio formula to calculate what to leave behind if you start to get weighed down.
    The formula is:
    Value = Base Value / Weight

    Light armor tends to be more valuable than heavy armor when you are applying the ratio. Jewelry, gems, ingredients, potions, and skill books have amazing values here. Weapons tend to be less valuable and should be ignored when approaching your carry limit unless enchanted.

    Thieving for profit:

    Thieving can be profitable even if you aren’t doing jobs for the Guild. There are two types of thieving: breaking and entering, and pickpocketing.

    Breaking and entering requires a little bit of planning. First of all figure out who’s rich, where they live, and how many occupants their house has. The figure out when they sleep or if they leave, and for how long. Robbing them as they sleep will require stealth as you move through their house taking anything of value without waking them up, while doing so while they are gone requires speed. Whichever you choose try to steal a key or bring some lockpicks to gain entrance. Pickpocketing the occupants of the house hold while they for their gold and other items is always suggested, but leave this until last so you don’t wake them up before you can collect all their valuables. Always search every container and take anything that has a value to it so long as you can carry it all, even plates can pay off in quantity, and make sure to get all their jewelry. While a shop can pay off even more due to all the displayed merchandise all laid out at in one place easy access for a cleaver thief.

    Pickpocketing can be done anywhere so long as you don’t get caught in your attempt. Try to wear as much fortify pickpocketing gear as you can, and avoid pickpocketing things with a success rate below 75%. Calm spells can be used if you are caught to get out of a tight place.

    Odd jobs:

    There are a lot of people who will offer you work or ask for help around Skyrim. Farms need harvesting help, smiths need ore, and lumber mill workers need firewood. These jobs are relatively easy, if small, pay at the lower levels.

    Bounty hunting:

    Bounty hunting is easy. Just walk into a tavern and ask for work. Complete your bounty, while collecting loot along the way, and claim your reward. Nothing complicated.

    Miscellaneous quests:

    These quests involve just some odd job for some citizen or another. Not a full blown quest, normally just fetching an item from a dangerous ruin or delivering something for someone. Sometimes you need to collect a stack of items. Do it and collect your reward.

    Faction side-quests:

    Every faction has repeatable side-quests to do. These are randomly generated radiant quests that can take you almost anywhere. Each faction has its own type of side-quest. Do whichever side-quest you like most and collect your, often 100-1000 gold, reward.

    Dragon hunting:

    Dragon hunting is a great way to make money (and collect a few souls while you’re at it). The average dragon yields a few hundred gold minimum, normally giving over a thousand gold each. Making money of dragons primarily comes from selling the loot they drop. The bones and scales have a 100% drop rate and sell pretty good a piece. Dragons are scaled enemies so they always provide a fun challenge, but at higher levels can prove to be difficult. The best tools for dragon slaying are:
    • A means to do damage.
    • Dragonrend.
    • A ranged attack to strike flying dragons.
    • Shadowmere to distract the dragon.
    • Call Dragon to call in Odahviing, who cannot die.
    • Resist fire/frost potions, enchantments, and/or abilities.
    • Health, stamina, and magicka potions as needed.




    Once you are suited up to fight dragons just start walking in the wilderness until one decides the show itself to you, then get its attention.

    Where to sell:

    When you are selling loot from a dungeon or dragon, selling to any general goods merchant will do, but if you have a lot of stuff or it's mostly high value items then you may need to go to multiple merchants to sell everything, and remember all shops refresh their stock of items and gold every 48 hours. If you have the investor perk you can invest in the Riverwood Trader for 10,000+ gold to buy your goods per 48 hour period.

    If you don’t have the Fence perk you can only sell stolen goods to designated fences of the Thieves’ Guild. Each fence starts with 1000 gold and gains more as you restore the guild, ending with a total of 4000 gold once the Guild is fully restored.

    If you have the Master Trader perk every merchant in Skyrim gains 1000 gold.

    Before I go:

    I know I missed a lot here so please give me suggestions and I’ll try to update this. I always want your feedback so give it!
     
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    Latest Given Reputation Points:
    Clau: 3 Points (You just made me filthy rich in just three days.) Sep 14, 2012
  2. Jaeger

    Jaeger Active Member

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    Pickpocketing gear is broke, according to personal experience and the UESP. Had 2 pickpocketing magical items (+20 on both) with 4/5 on the bottom and cutpurse. I took one off and my chance to pick went down 20. Took the other one off, another 20. Is that so hard to patch? Don't know about potions.
     
  3. Squirrel_killer-

    Squirrel_killer- The blade in the dark and the hand at your throat

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    It is a flawed formula. I don't have the formula memorized and I am pre-occupied but I will explain the issue later. Thanks for the reminder.
     
  4. SilverSorcerer

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    Pickpocketing isn't the most efficient way to get rich from a purely profit perspective, but it sure does help you find some good enchants sometimes without having to drop 1-2k on an item a merchant carries.

    And I 100% agree with the OP, just getting crafting skills to 100% and making a bunch of expensive gear really hurts your experience. I think those people are usually the ones who spend 100-200 hours playing skyrim and then move onto other games, and those who spend 10x as much time playing the game.
     
  5. Ebonyflesh

    Ebonyflesh Three Dog

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    This is a really, really good tip. I've never thought about using this ratio to find out what I should take/leave.
     
  6. Squirrel_killer-

    Squirrel_killer- The blade in the dark and the hand at your throat

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  7. Squirrel_killer-

    Squirrel_killer- The blade in the dark and the hand at your throat

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  8. Squirrel_killer-

    Squirrel_killer- The blade in the dark and the hand at your throat

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  9. Squirrel_killer-

    Squirrel_killer- The blade in the dark and the hand at your throat

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