So I recently started myself a Mage character and while it's still very early days yet, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Primarily, the most joyous moments seem to be coming from lurking in doorways and throwing Calm spells and Fury spells onto people in the next room and watching them either stand there gormlessly or all kill each other in what, when you think about it from their view, must be some kind of Nightmare Fuel scenario. Anyway. When I told a Skyrim-playing friend of mine (oddly despite being friends with total nerds I only seem to have one of those) about the fun of this, he threw out a suggestion: The 'Nightblade' playstyle. Unfortunately, while his suggestion was intriguing he himself didn't have much in the way of more practical advice. He pretty much just sticks to "run in like a rampaging elephant and hit all the things until they stop moving" characters, which is a style I've never played and find too dull, personally. So, since asking for advice on how to better play my Mage (and that advice working out fantastically so far) I thought I'd come back for some inquiries into this particular blend of Magic and Stealth. Though given I've still got a low-level Mage, most of this will be a "for future reference" deal. Though knowing me I'll probably get impatient and make this character sometime tonight because Skyrim's addictive and I can just never stop myself. Question 1: Perks - In short, I'm not sure what Perks to narrow it down to. I want all the typical Thief things (Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocket and Speech), but on top of that I'll need Illusion and Conjuration, and then there's One-Handed on top of that, not to mention Enchanting for awesome buffs and extra effects and what-have-you. Also the possibility of Smithing too, for making better armour and stuff. Basically, there's just too many perks that seem really important that I don't know which ones to cut out. Question 2: Point allocation - Primarily the Health, Magicka and Stamina points. I know how to divide them two ways (Health and Magicka on my Mage, for example) but three ways... I'm worried I'll end up woefully inadequate in one of them. Question 3: Actual weapons or Bound Sword? This isn't one that needs explanation, I'm just not sure which to go with. Question 4: Does casting Calming spells on non-hostile NPCs get you a bounty? Yeah this is a minor one, but I'm just curious about it. Because if it doesn't that will make thieving stuff from people so much easier. Question 5: Race/political allegiance - This is a big one. I didn't roleplay on my old Stealth Archer character (who is no longer with us due to careless stupidity) and just did everything, but from now on I really want to roleplay this game. And basically put, given I want to roleplay it, I'm not sure what race to go with or whether to go with the Stormcloaks or the Imperials. Going with the Stormcloaks only seems to make sense if you're a Nord and that's one race I just don't want to be, because it seems too ordinary. But on the other hand, I can't see a Thief who willingly messes with dude's free will and raises the dead to fight for him being the kind of honourably fight for the Empire. I could just play it as a Thief who's only in it for their own gain, be it financial or status, but then I'd need to figure out which side offers the best financial advantage if you side with them. I did also briefly think about playing a High Elf, but playing him as being loyal to the Aldmeri Dominion, have him build up status in Skyrim and bring in the Stormcloaks as the rulers of Skyrim, under the logic that doing so would destabilise the Empire and let the Thalmor roll in and take control. Though that seems kind of an evil character... plus a High Elf Thief just seems somehow wrong to me. Can't explain why, it just does. So, yeah... not really sure how to end this post. Just... there it is.