Originally Posted by RedHawke
Ok thanks stoffe I'll go back and re assign my skills... what I'm looking for is someone who can hold off levelling until I get my 'other' skills up then level like crazy when I am ready.
Spells that target yourself allows you to train any magic-related skills quickly (since unlike Morrowind it's not enough to just cast magic to increase the related skill, it has to actually hit something. Your own character is a valid target though.) You can do that with pretty much any spell school, even destruction if you make a cheap spell that do 1 damage to yourself.
Conjuration is the school that levels up fastest of them all, you don't need very many castings for it to increase, and since you don't have to wait until your current summon "expires" you can train with some cheap summon spell like Summon Scamp or Summon Skeleton to increase that quickly when you want. Which type of spells you'd want to hold off using actively until later in the game depends on your playing style, and what magic effects you rely on items to provide rather than spells.
Using the Armor type (Heavy/Light) that you don't plan on using normally as a major skill can also be used as a good control skill. If you plan to be a light armor wearer, donning a (heavy) suit of Iron armor and parking yourself where some relatively harmless opponent can hit you when you want to level up can make you go up quickly as well, since your armor skill increases every time they hit you when you wear that type of armor. It doesn't matter if your armor is broken and provides no defense, the skill still increases if you are hit while wearing it.
Skills I prefer not
to use as major skills:
- Mercantile - You will be selling a lot of things throughout the game which you don't really want to actively avoid, and particularily early on this will cause you to level up like crazy (though the mercantile progression slows down considerably at higher skill levels).
- Sneak - Whenever I'm in a ruin, cave or basically any hostile indoors location I'm sneaking. As long as you move while in sneak mode and remain undetected your sneak skill increases. Thus this skill goes up fairly quick to me, and I want it to go up fairly quick since I want the higher sneak attack damage bonuses ASAP.
- Athletics - I run everywhere, so this skill in increasing steadily. While it is somewhat slow in gaining skill levels you can't control when it happens unless you walk all the time. I also prefer getting this high as early as possible, so it's better to have as a minor skill.
- Acrobatics - Same here, I jump often, and want this high as soon as possible to get those nice avoidance rolls. I like characters who can do nice acrobatic moves, and that's as acrobatic as it gets in Oblivion. Plus being able to jump high is very useful for avoiding enemies and exploring the mountains.
- Alchemy - Making potions can be very useful, and your alchemy skill increases fairly quickly when you do. Self-made potions are usually more powerful than anything you can buy, and cheaper to make since you can collect the ingredients yourself. Self-made poisons can be quite deadly as well.