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The Speech skill allows you to more effectively persuade people and to barter with shopkeepers. Perks in this skill allow you to get better deals when trading, buy and sell any kind of item to any merchant, and make it more likely for a persuasion or intimidation attempt to succeed. The Speech skill tree has a total of 9 perks, requiring a total of 13 perk points to fill.
In-game Description: The skill of persuasion can be used to get better prices from merchants, and persuade others to do as you ask.
|Perk||Rank||Description||ID||Skill Req.||Perk Req.|
|Haggling||1||Buying and selling prices are 10% better.||000be128|
|2||Buying and selling prices are 15% better.||000c07ce||20 Speech|
|3||Buying and selling prices are 20% better.||000c07cf||40 Speech|
|4||Buying and selling prices are 25% better.||000c07d0||60 Speech|
|5||Buying and selling prices are 30% better.||000c07d1||80 Speech|
|Allure||10% better prices with the opposite sex.||00058f75||30 Speech||Haggling|
|Merchant||Can sell any type of item to any kind of merchant.†||00058f7a||50 Speech||Allure|
|Investor||Can invest 500 gold with a shopkeeper to increase his available gold permanently.‡||00058f7b||70 Speech||Merchant|
|Fence||Can barter stolen goods with any merchant you have invested in.||00058f79||90 Speech||Investor|
|Master Trader||Every merchant in the world gains 1000 gold for bartering.¥||001090a5||100 Speech||Fence|
|Bribery||Can bribe guards to ignore crimes.||00058f72||30 Speech||Haggling|
|Persuasion||Persuasion attempts are 30% easier.||001090a2||50 Speech||Bribery|
|Intimidation||Intimidation is twice as likely to be successful.||00105f29||70 Speech||Persuasion|
† The Merchant perk also allows you to buy any item from a merchant's inventory. One implication is that various bugged alchemy ingredients that normally cannot be purchased become available, making some ingredients much easier to find.
‡ Some merchants have the dialogue allowing you to Invest with them, but doing so does not result in any permanent change in the merchant's available gold. This bug is noted on the pages of individual merchants for whom it applies.
¥ The Master Trader perk increases nearly all merchants' gold by 1000. Some merchants are not affected by this perk.
Your Speech skill determines the chance of successfully being able to get information out of an NPC using intimidation or persuasion. These Speech Challenges will be provided as options during certain dialogues.
Special dialogue options include:
- Persuade: influence someone by reasoning with them. Chances of success depend solely upon your Speech skill.
- Intimidate: influence someone by threatening them. Chances of success depend upon your Speech skill and your overall level.
- Bribe: influence someone by giving them money. Factors influencing chance of success are unknown.
Your Speech skill also affects merchant prices; prices can be further improved using some of the Speech skill perks, barter potions or enchanted equipment.
The base rate for buying/selling is based solely on your Speech skill and any perks or Fortify Barter effects are applied to prices afterwards.
What follows is a list of all persuasion attempts that can be made in Skyrim. Spoilers in this list are intentionally kept very minor. All speech challenges fall into one of five categories: Very Easy, Easy, Average, Hard, and Very Hard. Their skill requirements to pass are 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100, respectively. Possessing the Persuasion perk reduces the requirements on all but Very Easy challenges by 30%, dropping them to 10, 18, 35, 53, and 70, respectively. Wearing the Amulet of Articulation allows you to succeed at any persuasion check in the game regardless of skill.
Very Easy (10)†
- Persuading a shakedown bandit to leave you alone for 50 gold.
- During The Forsworn Conspiracy, getting Margret to reveal information.
- Getting a free sample from the attendant at Redwater Den.DG
- Persuading Lorius to help Cicero during Delayed Burial.
- Getting Lod to pay you 25 gold before searching for the dog during A Daedra's Best Friend.
Very Hard (100/70)
Prices are computed by the following:
The Base Price Factor is calculated by your skill level (fBarterMax default is 3.3, fBarterMin default is 2.0):
price factor = (fBarterMax * (100 - skill) + fBarterMin * skill)/100
The Modified Price Factor depends on perks and Fortify Barter bonus:
sell price modifier = (1 + Haggling %) * (1 + Allure %) * (1 + Fortify Barter from potion) * (1 + the sum of Fortify Barter from equipment + Fortify Barter from Blessing of Zenithar) buy price modifier = (1 / (1 + Haggling %)) * (1 / (1 + Allure %)) * (1 - Fortify Barter from potion) * (1 - the sum of Fortify Barter from equipment - Fortify Barter from Blessing of Zenithar)
The final price combines the two Price Factors and rounds to the nearest whole number:
sell price = ([ value of item ] / base price factor) * sell price modifier buy price = [ value of item ] * base price factor * buy price modifier
- At 0 skill and no perks, the final price factor is 3.3.
- At 100 skill and no perks, the final price factor is 2.
- At 100 skill and all perks the final price factor is 1.42857.
- Trade price cap: (max sell price = value * 1.00), (min buy price = value * 1.05).
Skill levels over 100 have no effect.
Investing 500 gold into a business with the Investor perk immediately increases their current gold by 500. Investing is as simple as speaking to a merchant NPC and selecting the 'I want to invest in your business' option. This can only be done at the same time of day as they would normally allow sales.
All merchants who are available for investments are identified in the notes column on the Merchants article.
The following races have an initial skill bonus to Speech:
- Dro'marash with the Khajiit Caravans (Common)
- Revyn Sadri in Windhelm (Common)
- RonthilDG in Volkihar Keep (Common)
- Ogmund in Markarth (Expert)
- Giraud Gemane of the Bards College in Solitude (Master)
- 2920, Second Seed, v5
- A Dance in Fire, v6
- A Dance in Fire, v7
- Biography of the Wolf Queen
- The Buying Game
- +1 Speech reward (as well as +1 to all other Stealth skills) from Inge Six Fingers (Bards College) for completing the quest Finn's Lute.
- +1 Speech reward from Malur Seloth (Winterhold) for completing the quest Some Light Theft
- +1 Speech reward from Ysolda (Whiterun) for completing the quest Rare Gifts
- +2 Speech reward from Azzadal for jumping off of Bard's Leap Summit. Jump from opposite the Word Wall in Lost Valley Redoubt off the bridge that extends over the waterfall for Azzadal to appear.
- +5 Speech reward (as well as +5 to all other stealth skills) by selecting "The Path of Shadow" from the Oghma Infinium after completing the quest Discerning the Transmundane.
Gaining Skill XP
- Trading with merchants will increase the Speech skill. The amount of skill progress gained is based on the base value of the item being bought/sold and is not limited by the merchant's available gold. However, if you trade multiple units of an item in one transaction, you will only gain experience equivalent to trading a single unit; for optimal leveling, sell each item one at a time, and sell expensive items.
- Successful Persuade, Intimidate, and Bribe attempts in conversations will also increase the skill.
- Barter with skill trainers that sell items (trainer-merchants). At higher levels (51 and up) buying 5 training sessions from a trainer-merchant will cost a minimum 8,200 gold. This will temporarily buff the amount of gold that the trainer-merchant has on hand by the amount of gold used for training sessions. Then the player can sell items to the trainer-merchant. At the highest levels the player can trade 28,000 worth of items in a single visit if they have saved a level up prior to training (this allows 5 training sessions, a level up, then another immediate 5 sessions). This can require a lot of gold on hand and the player should avoid allowing the trainer-merchant to accumulate more than 32,767 gold due to a bug with merchant banks.
- One method for those who have a very large amount of money is to don your best haggling apparel (e.g. Guild Master's Hood and a Necklace of Haggling), go to the local fence and sell/rebuy your most expensive weapons (e.g. a pair of Legendary Blades of Woe) repeatedly until your skill increases to the desired level.[verification needed — see ] As you will lose money (the amount varies based on perks and equipment) with every sell/buy cycle, the merchant will end up with a vast quantity of gold if you continue the exercise for long enough. At this point you can sell all your more expensive items (i.e. those items which will normally cost the merchant most of their gold) as well as any others to the merchant until they are back down to 0 gold, or you have run out of items to sell.
- One way to train this skill without spending money is to commit a crime with a very low bounty, such as trying to pick a lock one time or stealing an item with a value of less than 10 gold. When your bounty is 5 gold or less, guards may ignore such crimes unless you speak to them. In dialogue, you may get a Persuasion option for the guard to overlook your crime. If you fail the persuasion check with such a low bounty, the guard may ignore the crime anyway. By speaking with and persuading every guard you encounter (except the one who witnessed the crime), your Speech will go from 50 to 100 in 10-15 visits to the town. A bounty of 10 gold may be too high to use this technique. Take note, however: this requires at least 53 Speech (with the Persuade perk) to work; alternately, if you have the gold to spare, you can bribe the guards repeatedly for the same benefit. [verification needed]
- If you are trying to level Speech as quickly as possible, do not use magic items or potions which fortify Speech, and do not give money to beggars. Anything which boosts your Speech skill directly will make your progress slower. Fortify Barter effects do not have this effect. [verification needed — see ]
- The Fortify Restoration or Fortify Alchemy/Enchanting exploit can be used to acquire items of extremely high value, which when sold will grant immense boosts to the Speech skill.
- Speech is one of two skills which has a different console ID than the name, the other being Archery. The actual console ID for Speech is "speechcraft". For example, the console code for improving Speech is AdvancePCskill Speechcraft <#>.
Achievements related to the Speech skill are:
When you reach a high level in this skill, guards will sometimes comment:
- "Don't think you can barter with me like I'm one of those damned shopkeepers."
- "Heard about you and your honeyed words."
- If you raise a merchant's gold to 32,768 it will freeze. It will continue to allow you to sell your items, but you will not receive any gold.
- To reset, wait the 48 hours for an inventory refresh. You can also save, attack the merchant, and load; this refreshes their inventory, and is much faster.
- Some of the merchants may "forget" that you invested in their shop and lose the option for having extra buying gold. This appears to affect female alchemy merchants much more than male merchants or merchants of general goods stores (e.g. Angeline's Aromatics in Solitude will never remember an investment).
- This bug is fixed by version 1.1 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Selecting the Fence perk may allow you to sell stolen goods to any merchant, not just those you have invested in as the perk description states.
- When resetting your Speech skill, you still retain your ability to invest in merchants, without having to have that perk or having a speech skill high enough to be able to get this perk. This is also true for Master Trader—all related merchants will still have 1000 more gold even after you lose the perk.
- During Stabilized, Sapphire has speech options, but none of them perform the proper checks to see if the player could succeed. This makes persuading her always succeed by default; no matter what level of Speech the player has.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.0.4 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.