This is a guide on how to acquire City Guard uniforms without receiving a large bounty.
Imperial Legion Uniform
There are multiple ways to acquire an Imperial Legion uniform. The most straight-forward is simply to kill a patrolling Legion horseman, either through direct methods (which will probably get you a bounty), or by surreptitiously luring monsters back to him. Additionally Imperial Legion Foresters may be found at various locations in the wilderness, and they have a tendency to attack one another and fight to the death; one pair is frequently found fighting outside Bruma. All of the foresters wear at least one piece of legion armor, although which piece(s) depends upon the specific forester. There are also various quests where Imperial Legionaries may die, leaving their armor free to loot. These include:
- The Battle for Castle Kvatch. Three legionaries will assist you in this quest, and are generally quite good at getting themselves killed.
- The Attack on Fort Sutch. Again, Legionaries fighting Daedra. Like their compatriots, they are equally capable of getting themselves killed.
- Whodunit?. The former soldier Neville keeps a suit of legion armor in a chest in his room.
- Light the Dragonfires. Several dead Legionaries can be found during this quest, as well as several living Legionaries.
It is also possible, but difficult, to steal a guard's set of armor off of him while he is sleeping, as guards generally change into regular clothes then.
The armory in the Imperial City Prison is not illegal to enter, though taking the armor pieces within is. It contains several helmets and a shield, which Foresters rarely carry.
Wait until about 9:00 AM to make sure the Anvil North Gate guard shows up at his post. From here, you're searching for a nearby creature capable of taking down a guard. Help is most easily found at a nearby Oblivion Gate directly west of Whitmond Farm, the stable just outside Anvil.
Also, it is possible to lure one or two of the Spectral Sailors out of the Serpents Wake during The Ghost Ship of Anvil quest. Run quickly away from the ghosts, and the townspeople, as well as a guard or two, will defend themselves against the attacking spirits. If a guard dies, you can freely loot his corpse for the armor and shield.
It is also an option to attack the burglars outside Norbert Lelle's Shop during The Unfortunate Shopkeeper quest before they break in. After attacking, run to the dock gate and let the guard(s) deal with them. Most likely, they will kill at least one guard whose corpse you will hereafter be free to loot.
This method uses a Mythic Dawn agent and requires completion of the Dagon Shrine quest. Before going too far into Bravil, wait until midnight. Now, travel to Castle Bravil. Immediately upon entering, ascend the stairs on the right side of the throne room. You should now be near the Wooden Door to Private Quarters East Wing, and two guards should be on the breezeway nearby. Go ahead and stuff yourself into the corner right next to that door and begin sneaking to ensure the guards cannot see you. Pick the lock, and the hard part's over! Now, you'll be in a long hallway with one guard. Exit sneak-mode and begin running straight down this hallway, continuing straight through two or three doors (the solitary guard should notice you and chase you). You'll end up in Hans Black-Nail's room. Now is a great time to save. Once you've done that, wake Hans up by speaking to him.
At this point, the goal is for Hans to get stuck between the table and cabinet of this room. While he dukes it out with the doomed guard you can hop onto the table and Convalesce him from there! As soon as the guard dies, finish Hans off, dust your shoulders off, and stroll out of the castle wearing your newly-acquired Bravil Guard's Uniform.
There is also an isolated guard just as you leave the city, over the bridge. Putting on the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal and killing him is quite easy and bears no complications since he is so isolated, at least at night. If you haven't finished the Main Quest, Daedra from the nearby gate can easily be led to him.
First, make sure it's no later than noon. Now, just east of Bruma and the Silver Road is the Plundered Mine. Unless you've killed them recently, there should be two leveled goblins guarding the mine. Go ahead and lead these goblins back to the Bruma East Gate; even if you run into a civilian or two on the way these goblins may survive, depending on your level. Just make sure not to attack anything (including the goblins) because they won't forget it. With your help in the form of Convalescence the goblins should mow down the East Gate Guard quickly, and snag you both the Bruma Cuirass and Shield!
Another method can be utilized during the A Plot Revealed quest. Once inside the Mages Guild, you may exit the building with the undead in tow and lead them towards the nearest guards. Be careful with this approach though, as several citizens may also be killed.
Another, similar method can be used during the Bruma Gate quest: just wait for Burd and the other guards to be engaged into battle, as at least one of them should die. Then simply loot the corpse for a free Bruma armor without any bounty being placed on your head.
It is also possible to simply steal a Bruma Cuirass from the castle barracks. On the right side of the barrack room, there is a shelf with several pieces of leather armor and the guard uniforms. Usually, as long as you are sneaking, you will incur no bounty and can simply walk out with your new cuirass. A shield can be found in the Bruma Dungeon. Enter from the barracks and head forward into a common area. The shield is resting against the north wall.
The easiest method to gain a cuirass is from the body of Ulrich Leland at one of the possible conclusions of Corruption and Conscience. If you agree to Llevana Nedaren's scheme to lure Ulrich to his death by her hands, you can loot the corpse without a bounty or even a fair fight. Bear in mind, Ulrich doesn't carry a shield, though.
If you have completed the Cheydinhal Recommendation for the Mages Guild, you can get yourself a guard uniform by smacking a guard and then (making sure he is following you) running to the well where our friend Vidkun is at rest. The guard will keep trying to kill you for a bit before he drowns. Sometimes when you emerge with your shining new armor, you get fined for assault and other times no one even notices.
During the quest The Purification, attack the Brotherhood members and lure them out into the city. They'll come out one at a time, so go back and lure them all out, including the skeleton. When you're done, they'll fight the guards, and at least one or two will die. Plus, you'll complete the quest, which is also good.
Chorrol's Uniform may be difficult to get. Eugal Belette, the only Mythic Dawn agent in Chorrol, is an old man who seems to stay exclusively right near the central statue of Chorrol during the night and in his bed at home during the day. Depending on the time of night you two meet up, you may actually get him to chase you, although, he may get into a frenzied fight with the nearby Argonian and killed by the guards.
The South Gate guard is able to get Eugal's attention before the Argonian some of the time. This is followed by a frantic attempt to keep Eugal healed while many city guards and citizens flock him.
On the other hand, if you're interested in attempting a daytime shimmy, Eugal Belette's house is quite easy to get into. It's locked but not illegal to enter, so just walk upstairs and speak to Mr. Belette. He'll be glad to chase you out into the streets, but where to go from here? If you find a guard, the battle ends in almost the exact same way a nighttime shimmy does.
During the portion of the main quest Breaking the Siege of Kvatch, many guards can be found dead inside Oblivion, more will die in the city itself unless you work very hard to keep them alive. You can easily loot their bodies and take their armor. It is also possible to kill Ilend Vonius, whom you meet upon entering the Oblivion Gate. There is no-one to report the murder, he has no escape, and he is also an easy way into the Dark Brotherhood. You also get a free (enchanted) Kvatch Cuirass as a reward for completing The Battle for Castle Kvatch quest. A Kvatch shield can also be found in Savlian Matius' tent. (Although taking it will count as stealing)
Obtaining this uniform can be somewhat tricky:
If you complete the quest Knights of the White Stallion, Count Marius Caro will reward you with a Leyawiin shield. Alternatively there is also a shield located in Deepscorn Hollow if you have the Official Vile Lair Plug-in.
As for the cuirass; after completing the Dagon Shrine quest of the Main Quest, there will be a Gate to Oblivion near Leyawiin. Near this gate you will see a dead Leyawiin city guard wearing the cuirass. Other than this, the only way to obtain this cuirass is to kill a guard.
This is relatively easy, but it involves stealing. In the Skingrad guard house, there is a shelf near the bedroom with several Skingrad uniforms and Guard Helmets. Be sure no one sees you stealing it, because since it's in a guardhouse, if someone sees you stealing, you'll immediately be confronted by a guard, and you'll either have your newly stolen uniform taken from you or end up being attacked by every guard in the guardhouse.
The simplest, most straight forward method is simply to kill a guard. This may be somewhat difficult due to the fact that guards are at a considerably higher level than you, and it will likely cause a brawl with many of the city watch. You can also head to the castle (or in the Imperial City, guard tower), and steal the armor while the guards are sleeping.
An alternative to killing a guard yourself is to let something else kill them.
- You can lure enemies towards guards and wait till the enemies kill them. This is done easily near chapel undercroft, Oblivion gates, bandit camps and caves.
- Use Frenzy spell and summoning magic (You need to be an Apprentice or higher in Conjuration). Due to the unique nature of guards' AI, Frenzy alone won't set them off; there must be something hostile nearby for them to go into combat. Short of luring a hostile NPC or creature, you can summon a creature to get them into combat. As long as one or more guards are frenzied, there's a fair chance they will fight and kill each other. You can also try using frenzy on any guard captains marked essential.
- You can also loot their armor if they die during the Defense of Bruma portion of the main quest. The guards present will depend on your success with the Allies for Bruma quest. From this, it is possible to obtain a complete set of guard armor from all the cities except for Bravil; Viera Lerus opts to bring a claymore to battle in lieu of a Bravil shield.
- Poisoned Apples are an alternative method of separating the armor from the guard wearing it. Guards typically eat in their respective guard barracks, or watch tower in the Imperial City. Poisoned apples can be obtained once you start the Dark Brotherhood quest The Purification, or you can buy them from M'raaj-Dar in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. If you don't want to join the Dark Brotherhood, you can find ten poisoned apples in Fort Farragut, inside a barrel in Lucien Lachance's room. The lock is hard to pick, though.
- If you have completed the Thieves Guild quest line, you can use The Gray Cowl and simply kill the first guard you meet, and remove the Cowl to escape arrest. It is not advised to try this in the presence of other Thieves Guild members, as they will come to your aid, and will not leave combat with the guards when you remove the Cowl.
Cursed Enchantments can also be used to kill guards. Note however, that guards generally wear a full suit of armor; as such, they will generally not equip a cursed item unless their corresponding piece of armor is stolen beforehand. One way of getting around this problem is to reverse pickpocket the item onto a sleeping guard. Wake the guard, and he will talk to you. When he returns to bed, he will equip the item. Wait until he is dead, and all of his equipment may be looted safely. All barracks can be entered without trespassing, except for the Imperial Watch quarters in the Imperial City, and the Leyawiin Barracks.
It is also possible to drown guards, with Water Breathing and a relatively small bounty. To accomplish this, it is important to find a body of water with an obstruction directly above it, such as a dock in the Bravil Canals, or the Mage's Guild Well in Cheydinhal. Strike a guard, prompting them to follow you underwater. When the guard runs out of Breath, he will be unable to surface due to the obstruction directly above him, and will drown.
Types of Guard Armor
|Anvil Cuirass||0002766D||9||240||90||7.5||Light||Worn by guards in Anvil|
|Bravil Cuirass||00027673||9||240||90||7.5||Light||Worn by guards in Bravil|
|Bruma Cuirass||00027677||9||240||90||7.5||Light||Worn by guards in Bruma|
|Cheydinhal Cuirass||00027678||9||240||90||7.5||Light||Worn by guards in Cheydinhal|
|Chorrol Cuirass||00027679||9||240||90||7.5||Light||Worn by guards in Chorrol|
|Guard Helmet||0002767C||1.8||120||25||3||Light||Worn by guards in all major cities (except the Imperial City.)|
|Imperial Horseman Helmet||0009416A||7||200||60||4.5||Heavy||NOT worn by horsemen. Only worn by the main guards in the Imperial City|
|Imperial Palace Cuirass||00064F75||35||400||200||11.25||Heavy||Worn only by the quest-specific Palace Guards seen during The Ultimate Heist and Light the Dragonfires quests.|
|Imperial Watch Boots||0018AE4B||10.5||200||60||4.5||Heavy||Worn by all Imperial Palace Guards.
Except for the shield, all of the Imperial Watch Armor is marked as not playable which means that the armor cannot be looted and cannot be equipped by the player.
|Imperial Watch Cuirass||0018AE4C||35||400||200||11.25||Heavy|
|Imperial Watch Gauntlets||0018AE4D||7||200||60||4.5||Heavy|
|Imperial Watch Greaves||0018AE4E||21||300||120||6.75||Heavy|
|Imperial Watch Helmet||0018AE4F||7||200||60||4.5||Heavy|
|Imperial Watch Shield||000653F7||14||300||120||13.5||Heavy|
|Kvatch Cuirass||0002767A||9||240||90||7.5||Light||Worn by guards in Kvatch.
Note: there is also an enchanted Kvatch Cuirass that can be obtained as a quest reward.
|Legion Boots||00028ADE||10.5||200||50||4.5||Heavy||Worn by all Imperial soldiers, both in the Imperial City, and patrolling the main roads.|
|Legion Helmet||00028AE2||7||200||50||4.5||Heavy||Worn by all Imperial Legion soldiers except for those in the Imperial City|
|Leyawiin Cuirass||0002767B||9||240||90||7.5||Light||Worn by guards in Leyawiin, Shield in Deepscorn Hollow|
|Skingrad Cuirass||0001DC4B||9||240||90||7.5||Light||Worn by guards in Skingrad|