Weapons and plate armor come in ten different materials in Daggerfall. Eight have been taken over (with some changes) from Arena, two more have been added.

Material Bonus Weight EP Price Needed for Level
Iron –2 100 75 1 N/A 1
Steel 0 125 100 2 Imps
Silver 0 100 175 308 4 Werewolves, wearboars,
wraiths, ghosts, nymphs,
mummies, vampires
Elven 2 100 125 8
Dwarven 4 75 150 16 Harpies
Mithril 6 100 125 32 Vampire ancients,
lichs, ancient lichs,
any daedra,
Adamantium 6 100 175 64 5
Ebony 8 50 200 128 6
Orcish 10 100 250 256 7
Daedric 12 125 300 512
Sources: Beginner's Guide, Enthusiast's Guide, Newbie FAQ


Hardly better than chain, but a lot heavier, and of a dull gray, iron armor is not very attractive. Iron weapons can not even hurt an imp, and there are at least two imps in the Privateer's Hold. If in character creation you get the choice of a cuirass, or of a set of armor, these items will be iron.
You will probably walk out of the Privater's Hold with one or two pieces of steel armor. Along with daedric, steel is the heaviest material.
Weapons are rarer than most other materials, armor is nearly unfindable. While as strong as steel, silver weighs less, and silver weapons can kill werewolves and vampires. But the biggest advantage of silver is its high enchantability. For armor, it's the highest of all materials.
Weapons are pretty common, armor comparatively rare. With some luck you will find some elven weapon in the Privateer's Hold, I even found a helmet once! The palette is exactly the same as for silver, some items like boots and gauntlets look the same as their chain counterparts, too. For humans (at least human females) this palette is a little bit inconsistent, for a way to amend this see Polish that Silver.
This seems to be the best material a level 1 character can get hold of. Its lower weight makes this material very useful for low-level characters. The enchantability of dwarven items is pretty high, too.
Stronger than dwarven, but lower on enchant points and heavier, mithril is the lowest material that can hurt any creature in Daggerfall. It is also the lowest material you can only get at a certain level. For armor, it is better to stick to dwarven until you can get ebony, because of the weight.
Apart from its higher enchantability, this material is practically the same as mithril, it only costs twice as much. In Arena, adamantium was some sort of purple. You will still find this color in the Daggerfall palette (30–3F), but it is not used for a specific material. Maybe this was changed later in development.
In Arena, ebony was the best material available. In the various books in Daggerfall, it is still treated as such. Orcish and daedric were added as an afterthought, it seems. With its incredible low weight ebony armor can still be regarded the best. And it looks real good.
Comparatively rare, especially (as usual) the armor. Except as a collector's item this material is not very attractive, since the small bonus compared with ebony (17 or 19 does not make all that much difference any more) hardly justifies the double weight.
The absolute high-end material. At higher levels, it gets pretty common, though some armor parts remain rare. In spite of its high weight you will probably wear it; once you have daedric armor, there is very little worth taking in a dungeon anyhow.

About Levels

I am currently investigating how your level effects what equipment you can find. What I could establish so far is:

  1. There is no minimum level for finding equipment up to and including dwarven. I have been playing a level 1 character for quite a while now. Meanwhile, she is clad nearly completely in dwarven armor (boots and gauntlets are still missing), and dwarven daikatanas and longbows are quite common.
  2. There is a minimum level for everything higher. For details, see the table above.
  3. What you actually find is determined by something else. When you play a character that does not level up you will still find better and better equipment over time, within the limits of your level.

Obviously, every item has a kind of value of which material is only a part. Enchant points might be an important part in this. That would explain why silver armor is so rare.

Every character, I suppose, can only obtain items up to a certain value, independent of level. It might be the sum of gained skill points (regardless in what category) that determines this.

2003-09-29, last modified 2004-10-30