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This is a list of NPCs and creatures that will at some point or another follow you and may fight at your side. These actors follow you, rather than you following them. Thus, you may be able to use them as allies outside of the quests they are supposed to be involved with. Some of them are essential, some are not and their death may prevent you from successfully completing their related quest. By equipping them you can increase their usefulness. Some of these actors respawn, so you do not have to be careful about them getting killed while fighting at your side. However, respawning characters have their inventories reset and cannot be equipped reliably, as the equipment will disappear.
Characters marked with a yellow check mark are essential at some times but not others.
These characters are usually named and do not respawn. Some NPCs can be commanded to wait or follow. This can be very important as some quests require you to solo or can be failed due to aggressive NPCs. The Command column will identify which NPCs can be commanded.
|Adoring Fan||Appears after completing the Arena quests. He is not generally useful in combat because he runs away.||Yes|
|Avita Vesnia||Umaril the Unfeathered
Appears in the Priory of the Nine after completing Nature's Fury. She follows you during Umaril the Unfeathered and after it as well , but is no longer essential at this point.
(Ajum-Kajin will only fight on rare occasions, if killed you will not receive a reward for his quest, but he will not be targeted often since he is not hostile to enemies.)
|Castellan Athon||Battlehorn Castle
After purchasing the Battlehorn Barracks upgrade, you can ask Athon to follow you.
|Claude Maric||Secrets of the Ayleids
Claude Maric follows Umbacano, who then follows you. If Umbacano falls behind for whatever reason, Claude Maric will stay with him.
Runs away when badly injured. In some cases he may run out of view and continue to run while being pursued by an attacker. This can lead to Erthor glitching and never being found again.
|Francois Motierre||The Assassinated Man. Quest will end if he dies and he will leave if you go into the Grey Mare in Chorrol.|
|Guilbert Jemane||Legacy Lost||Yes|
|Jauffre||Light the Dragonfires, Weynon Priory. Jauffre follows Martin who follows you.|
|Maglir||Den of Thieves
You must cover for Maglir in the previous quest Unfinished Business or else he will not follow you in Den of Thieves.
|Brother Martin||Find the Heir, Weynon Priory
(He uses an area of effect frost spell, which can cause problems if you have other followers. He will also follow you during Light the Dragonfires, but he is no longer an essential NPC. And since the game is over if he dies, he is no longer a helpful follower.)
|Mazoga the Orc||Mazoga the Orc
Knights of the White Stallion
|Modryn Oreyn||Azani Blackheart||No|
|Reynald Jemane||Legacy Lost||Yes|
|Lady Rogbut gra-Shurgak||The Noble's Daughter|
|Ulrich Leland||Corruption and Conscience||No|
|Umbacano||Secrets of the Ayleids
(Umbacano ceases to be essential when you meet him outside Nenalata, i.e., when he starts following you)
|Velwyn Benirus||Where Spirits Have Lease||No|
|Viranus Donton||The Master's Son||No|
These characters are usually generic respawning.
|Battlehorn Castellan||After purchasing the Battlehorn Barracks upgrade. If Castellan Athon dies this character can be purchased to replace him. This character must be re-purchased if killed.|
|Battlehorn Men-at-Arms||After completing the Battlehorn Castle quest, you can ask one of the men-at-arms to follow you.|
|Dark Brotherhood Murderer||Available after completing the Dark Brotherhood quests. Only one of the three will follow you at a time.|
|Knight of the Nine||After completing the quests for the Knights of the Nine official plug-in, you can ask one Knight to follow you. If a named original Knight dies in your service, he will be replaced with a weaker generic "Knight of the Nine" who will respawn.|
|Mage Apprentice||Available after completing the Mages Guild quests|
These are people who may follow you during the listed quests, but they can not be used to help you with other quests or tasks, for the reasons provided in the table.
(He will stop following you as soon as you are away from the castle, so cannot be used for other quests.)
|Baurus||Light the Dragonfires
(He will only follow you in the Oblivion-invaded version of the Imperial City, and cannot be brought out of it while he is following you.)
|Bremman Senyan||The Wayward Knight
(Bremman will only follow you until he returns from the Oblivion world if you speak to Farwil)
(Burd only follows you while in Oblivion during the Bruma Gate quest)
|Dar-Ma||A Shadow Over Hackdirt
(Dar-Ma will not reliably follow you, is not much of a fighter, and if she dies you will not get any reward for this quest)
(Eldamil will not follow you outside of Paradise)
|Farwil Indarys||The Wayward Knight
(Farwil will only follow you until he returns from the Oblivion world and you speak to him afterwards; if he dies you will not get the full quest reward; can be exploited as a follower)
(Harrow only follows you once you join the Mythic Dawn, and you must kill him to retrieve your loot and complete the quest)
|High Chancellor Ocato||Light the Dragonfires
(Ocato will only follow you on his related quest, and cannot be used on other quests)
|Ilend Vonius||Breaking the Siege of Kvatch
(Ilend will only follow you in the plane of Oblivion)
|Imperial Legion Archer||The Battle for Castle Kvatch
(Will only follow you as far as the exit of Kvatch; if you try to leave, they will wait near the camp and patrol the perimeter.)
|Imperial Legion Soldier x2||The Battle for Castle Kvatch
|Jesan Rilian||The Battle for Castle Kvatch
|Jirolin Doran||(unfinished, unnamed quest - not in game)|
(Orthe will only follow you during this quest in Paradise, so can not be usefully used outside of this quest)
|Rona Benanius||Battlehorn Castle
(Rona Benanius is a servant in the castle, and can be asked for food or drinks, or to follow you, she will not fight, and will randomly disappear, only to come back later)
|Selene||An Unexpected Voyage
(Selene will only follow you while you are on the ship itself, and since it is impossible to escape back to the Waterfront until you have escorted her to imprisonment, she cannot be exploited as an ally.)
|S'razirr||Nothing You Can Possess
(S'razirr will only follow you if you refuse to pay him after recruiting him, and will attack you as soon as you are out of the Imperial City.)
|Captain Steffan||Light the Dragonfires
(Steffan will only follow you in the Oblivion-invaded version of the Imperial City.)
|Atronach Familiar||Can be summoned at the Atronach Altar if you have the Wizard's Tower official plug-in.|
|Everscamp||After acquiring the Staff of the Everscamp three Everscamps will follow you. They will not fight unless a Command Creature spell is cast on them, they respawn quickly and they mostly get in the way.|
One limitation of NPC followers is that they generally have mediocre equipment. And since NPCs never repair their equipment, it can become useless after a few fights. Most followers will pick up the best quality weapon available in the area when they start attacking, so all you need to do is drop a good weapon in front of them at the start of a fight.
You can add other items to your followers' inventory by reverse pickpocketing, but only if the item is zero weight. A few zero weight clothing items are available, and can be made more useful with enchantments. The best way to acquire armor, however, is by taking advantage of the permanent bound items glitch; a zero-weight version of any Bound Armor or weapon can be created this way. Enchant armor with effects like Fortify Attribute or Shield; add effects like Shock Damage or Absorb Health to a weapon. Your ally should automatically switch to the best quality item in their inventory, and will therefore equip your enchanted item. If not, fast travel or entering a new cell may be necessary.
Notes on Equipping Followers
- If the ally you want to equip sleeps, when they wake up they will put on their armor based on its placement in their inventory list alphabetically.
- PC users can use the additem and equipitem console commands to give their followers any piece of equipment and make them equip it.
- Respawning followers will lose their equipment under certain conditions.
- Of all the bound equipment, the bound weapons and shield deplete the slowest. They require much less repairing than other bound items.
- Two-handed NPCs still benefit from enchanted bound shields even though the shield is not visibly worn.
- A hood, wrist irons, bound weapon and bound shield is the optimal "low-maintenance" loadout for NPCs.
- NPCs will NOT choose zero-weight clothing over their own clothing or armor, even if the clothing is enchanted. If the NPC wears armor then the armor must be worn out (destroyed) before the NPC will select zero-weight clothing.
- To trick the NPC into wearing zero-weight clothing (enchanted or not), give the NPC both bound armor and the zero-weight clothing. Go to a new cell/zone to force a re-equip. Remove the default armor/clothing from the NPC. Take the NPC into battle so that the bound armor gets worn out (destroyed). The NPC will then select the zero-weight clothing (which will never require repairing).
- Here's a quicklist zero-weight clothing: Outfits - Black Robe (00064FE2), Child Overalls (000CAAA1), Shirts - Beggar's Shirt (00064F7E), Blue Collar Shirt (0000C59E), Dark Shirt (00064F7D), Ernest's Best Shirt (00064F76), Forester's Shirt (00064F79), Heinrich's Shirt (000CBD3F), Plaid Shirt (00064F78), Shirt with Suspenders (00064F77), Shop Keep's Shirt (000CBD33), Pants/Trousers - Black Wide Pants (00064F7B), Ernest's Fancy Pants (000CBD37), Rugged Pants (00064F7A), Short Britches (00064F7C), Hoods - Black Hood (00064FE3), Mage's Hood (00064FE1), Wrists - Wrist Irons (000BE335)
- If you have eight followers and try to acquire a ninth, a message will pop up saying "You have too many followers." This will continue to appear every so often, but does not actually affect your game.
- Maintaining a large entourage may cause problems in that followers can hit each other in combat and end up fighting one another.
- Due to the nature of their attacks, followers with ranged, or area of effect attacks appear to be particularly vulnerable to this sort of behavior. Like the player however, melee-based followers must strike each other 3 times before turning hostile to one another.
- 100% Chameleon will prevent this behavior, as followers are incapable of retaliating against invisible attackers.
- PC users may also use the Console to increase the Disposition between followers.
- Some followers can be given commands like Follow, Wait, or Go Away. These include most generic respawning followers. Others always follow you around, regardless if you want them to or not.
- Some followers will not follow if you are already being followed by someone in the same faction. Others will replace the current follower from that faction.
- Spells and effects like Command Creature, Command Humanoid, Reanimate and Summon spells technically make characters and creatures follow you for the duration of that effect.
- For a list of followers added by the Shivering Isles Expansion see Shivering:Followers.
- Some followers may unequip their weapon, and refuse to reequip it. This applies to the Knights of the Nine followers.