Skyrim talk:Hired Thug

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Random people, sometimes[edit]

I've had random people I've never even been near hire thugs to beat me up. Choice example is my non-thief, magey character. She hadn't ever been to the Temple of Talos, nor met Lortheim or stolen anything from him or his friends. That had me confused for days. Aresvallis 17:08, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Guy has a Grudge?[edit]

Well, the blacksmith's apprentice Asbjorn Fire-Tamer sent not just one, not just two, but FOUR friggen squads of Thugs after me. Is this some sort of bug because i thought its only one squad of thugs per crime commited...(I only stole 20 iron ingots from him twice)- Azurome 09:34, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Unless the ingots were stacked, that counted as twenty thefts, not two. The game probably calculates some random chance per item, not per occasion. EmmBee 18:30, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
The person who sends the thugs seems to be at least associated with the location. I have never stolen from Grelda, a servant in dragonsreach, but i have stolen the silver ingots in the jarls bedroom (while she was in the main hall). I think the person just has to belong to the locations faction ie. DragonsreachFaction. This has happened with other people. Also i stole from someone and then killed them after they detected me, and the Thugs for stealing and Assassin for killing were both sent after me (same name on contract).--The Silencer 16:23, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

make them stop[edit]

Illdi at the Bards college sent thugs after me for taking the alchemy book for the Marthal quest. Why can't I pay her off? Also, if no one was in the room, and I didn't get caught, how do they know who to beat up? — Unsigned comment by EwingNYK33 (talkcontribs) at 02:25 on 7 December 2011

This is just a way of adding realism to the game. You don't have to witness a crime to suspect the culprit. Other things can tip them off, like you were the only person around when it went missing, or you asked about it right before, etc. I don't think the game actually calculates any of that, I'm just pointing out how it mimics real life by making it so there's no such thing as the "perfect crime." EmmBee 18:30, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
The problem with your theory, EmmBee, is that in real life, sometimes people DO get away with crime. And it's ridiculous to speak of that kind of realism in a game where accidentally killing a chicken can get you arrested by a guard who magically knows what you did the instant it happened and wants to serve "justice" on you rather than let you finish battling the dragon that is currently killing townsfolk. 13:33, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

passive thugs[edit]

I recently had some thugs show up in riften. there was a random thief 'attack' that they joined in with. afterwards they started following me, but didnt do anything else. I couldnt talk to them either. eventually, I just went to the throat of the world and shouted them off. 16:57, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Additional note[edit]

Should it be noted that these thugs are actually really tough if you're a lower level? They seem to be set... And encountering them in my teen levels, I have to do a lot of hit-and-running. On Novice.-Zydrate[][] 02:22, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

I would appreciate a note about that. My little thief is level 12 now, and they spawn in steel and orc items. ATM there is no chance to beat them (except exploiting/kiting maybe) they are ridiculous hard (at master) and couldn't be approached in stealth (what is essential anyways for a dagger-thief/assassine build). I'm not a native speaker, and unsure how to build correct english sentences, therefore it would be nice if someone else could write something about that. -- 00:17, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

From... No one?[edit]

Found it interesting that I had one that just had the name as [...] Which I assume means whoever I stole from either was generic (like a guard), or didn't even exist. 22:27, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

I just had a guard send some after me & it said "whiterun guard" on the contract, so who knows. I was in Morthal at the time and the Morthal guards were happy to watch me get killed repeatedly until the AI finally failed completely and all 3 thugs just stood still while I shot them with a couple dozen iron arrows. -- 16:58, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

I just had this happen to me; my character is level 6 so blatantly unable to handle a group of 3 level 6 thugs which much better equipment, and they've been sent after me apparently by no-one for stealing, which is interesting since I haven't stolen anything in the game at all. Really annoyed by this as until I deal with them it seems they are going to appear every time I attempt to leave Whiterun through the main gate. Sometimes I really hate Skyrim's absurdly varying enemy difficulty -- Haravikk (talk) 13:53, 1 December 2012 (GMT)

Combat Style of Thugs[edit]

hidden text moved from article:

Are they always two melee fighters and one archer? Is there ever a mage in the group? What weapon loadouts do they have? — 04:39, 22 November 2011

Stealing and Murdering[edit]

I think that if you steal from someone and then murder them, sometimes the thugs will still be sent after you by the npc. I stole from Anise, then murdered her and was accosted by thugs about a day later with a bounty from her.

Also, if you kill an NPC with no ingame family, will no thugs be sent after you? And what counts as family, is it known whether say I murdered someone, would his roomate send thugs after me?--Anil 20:16, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

No contract[edit]

I got just one of them after me, and he did not carry a contract. 22:51, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

It's probable that if you only got one, you just missed the other two somehow (they come in a group of three), and one of the other two was carrying the contract. ABCface 05:59, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Convert to NPC article[edit]

IMO I think this article can be converted to an NPC article, something similar to Skyrim:Black-Briar Mercenary or Skyrim:Nord (dead). According to CSList, I saw 3 different BaseIDs for 'Hired Thug'. So far, this article only describes the encounters with hired thugs. More info can be added, such as race, class, gender, level, health (pretty much everything in NPC summary lol), as well as their inventory; I doubt such info is documented elsewhere on the site. So, what do you people think? ~ Psylocke 16:00, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd say go for it. There's no reason not to. Vely►t►e 16:19, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Multiple Occurrences?[edit]

Ok so can you really have thugs come after you more then once if you've kill all 3? Cause I've never had thugs occur more then once assuming I've killed them. Lord Eydvar Talk | Contribs 01:40, 1 October 2012 (GMT)


Okay so according the the CSlist these NPCs are all essentially Bandit Chiefs with unique dialogue, as such all their stats, levels and items are the same as what a similar level bandit chief would have. Can someone who knows how to do the stat tables get this entered? Lord Eydvar Talk | Contribs 11:26, 4 October 2012 (GMT)

Currently working on it. — ABCface 19:03, 4 October 2012 (GMT)
Done. — ABCface 20:05, 4 October 2012 (GMT)

Shouls all hired thugs have a contract if it is murder?[edit]

This has been marked as a question that needs to be answered.

Just wondering about this. Idolif Battle Born told me he should bash my face in, not a good idea when talking to a wood elf assassin. After his death one of the Battle Borns sent hired thugs after me, strange thing was all three thugs carried a copy of the contract, they are quite good to loot if you are near a blaksmith as their steel armour gets an alright price near the beginning. It was the same when Nazeem sent them to avenge his wife(I was hoping he would) All three hada contract. On the other hand when it is theft only one of the three has a contract. Should all three have it when it is murder? Another thing, I once started a new game and decided it would be a good idea to steal the elven sword in the Jarl's Chamber at Whiterun. A reasonable sword at the very beginning, can't go wrong. I was still Level one, had enough experience but chose not to level up, was waiting for a big fight given the level up would replenish my health. Anyway Gelda took out a hit on me, funny thing was only one hired thug came after me. I thought they always came in groups of three. If you are level one is it always just one lone hired thug? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 13:58 on 27 December 2012

weird passive thugs[edit]

So this started with a dead dragon randomly appearing in riften, several times over, and then suddenly it starded following me, along with two (not three) thugs who are passive and just follow me and kill enemies for me. Even if they help me, they are really annyoing and does it count as murder if I kill them? (my character is not very sneaky) 23:57, 12 August 2013 (GMT)

thugs inside walled city[edit]

The article says they will not follow you into walled cities, but three of these guys appeared inside Whiterun while I was doing the Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloak side). They just stood around the Gildergleam area passively, not attacking me or anyone. Later on in the game they respawned somewhere else and tried to kill me as normal (it had to be the same group, because this character only ever stole exactly 1 item). Probably just some weirdness related to how the game cleans up NPCs during a siege, but I thought it might be worth noting. 23:29, 12 November 2013 (GMT)

I have also had them show up in dungeons. In one case they fought many of the Dragur for me but lost in the end. Philbert (talk) 04:48, 22 January 2015 (GMT)
I was going to make a new section, but this could be what's happening in this case here. If this is related to the Siege of Whiterun, it probably could be noted somehow as an exception after more testing. However, the part about not following into dungeons on the page conflicts with Philbert's experience which could mean the note isn't true. •WoahBro►talk 16:55, 15 April 2015 (GMT)

Spawn point[edit]

What is their spawn point when they are "enabled" (i.e., from day one, when they first appear and look for you)? Dragon Guard  (talk) 18:14, 10 February 2015 (GMT)

It appears they actually spawn right next to the person hiring them. The Steal, thugs hunt player quest spawns thugs at the "owner" ~ Dwarfmp (talk) 18:42, 10 February 2015 (GMT)
Can confirm. I went to sleep in the wilderness, at a bedroll, and when I woke up they were standing around me in a circle. However, it still took them the regular amount of time to become hostile. -- 23:18, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Will they keep coming?[edit]

Minor Spoilers Ahead

After some difficulties with my heroic goody two-shoes character who had only stolen one item: a key needed to stop a vampire plot and who committed only one "assault" to prevent the murder of an innocent victim, I decided to start a new character and play as a thief. After all, the game does everything conceivable to lure, trap, and prod players into committing crimes. Then the Hired Thugs showed up, even though I was never detected, because Bethesda wanted to punish me for being successful at what they had lured, trapped, and prodded me into doing. Now I'm having a tough time surviving the encounter, and I haven't even had a chance to look for a fence! I was headed for the khajit outside Whiterun to see if they would fence stolen goods when the Hired Thugs showed up and proceeded to wreck me repeatedly.

My question is: if I manage to kill these unfairly tough opponents, will that be the end of it if I don't commit any more crimes or are Hired Thugs going to pop up randomly for this character from now on no matter what I do or don't do? Or am I subject to a possible Hired Thug attack for each and every item I stole and then it ends? Because constant Hired Thug attacks to go along with the endless dragon attacks that can kill NPCs before I even have a chance to speak to them, the endless vampire ambushes that can kill NPCs before I even have a chance to speak to them and can do so out of sight so I never even know until it's too late, the absurdly tough bandit chiefs constantly attacking Lakeview Manor, the giant that insists on trying to kill my cow and chicken, the idiotic cultists telling me I can't possibly be Dragonborn even after I Fus-Ro-Da their <bleep>s, not to mention all the regular critters and random encounters roaming the map and the glitches all impeding my progress to the next quest goal -- all that adds up to no longer playing this stupid game.

No wonder most players never finish the main story. No wonder most people never choose a side in the civil war. In three different attempts to play through this game, I've never managed to make it to the Thalmor embassy, never got through more than the first Companions quest, never got married, never managed to finish building a house with all three wings, never did more than the first Mage College quest, never started the Bards College quests, never got to the thieves guild questline, never got to the assassins guild questline, never found the person who can appraise that stupid unusual gem, never … You know what? I don't have time to list all the stuff I never got to do because I was fighting off endless attacks from dragons, vampires, cultists, bandits at my home, and giants getting angry at me for using MY OWN FRONT DOOR. My second attempt at this game reached level 36 even though I wasn't power levelling and had barely started the main story! I'm really hating Bethesda right now. And their elves are butt ugly. 14:21, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Each and every item you steal has a chance to trigger the Hired Thugs encounter, though it appears that once they are triggered and before they are encountered you are free to steal more things. It doesn't matter how successful the theft was, or even if you kill all the witnesses, it is triggered when you steal something. They will keep coming at you until you deal with them, at which point you have a clean slate until you steal something else. The endless attacks introduced with Hearthfire and Dawnguard can be frustrating, even for veterans. Using a city house can stem the flow of attacks as you become more familiar, and avoiding the triggers for the Dawnguard quest after reaching level 10 will prevent the vampire attacks starting, and isn't too hard to do (avoid talking to guards and avoid the enlister). Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 17:54, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the info about the Hired Thugs. I still hate the mechanic enough that I no longer want to play the little thief I thought would be so much fun. Way to bleed all the joy out of your game, Bethesda.
If by talking to the guards, you mean coming close enough to one to trigger one of their random comments, that's pretty much unavoidable when you use Whiterun as your home base. I never saw what I would call a Dawnguard enlister, but there's no way to prevent the guards from commenting about Dawnguard no matter how you enter Whiterun. They're right there at all the entry points. And my little khajit had just purchased Breezehome.  :-/ But honestly, I've been playing the game for weeks if not months and don't see how to avoid it for long no matter where you make your home base. Guards are everywhere. Besides, my little khajit hadn't even gotten to level 10. Skyrim hates me.
Did you know? I never even made it to Markarth, never got into an orc settlement, never explored a dwarven ruin, and never got three words for any shout except Fus-Ro-Dah.
Right now, I can't think of a single game I have played since Riven that wasn't a disappointment. Maybe it's time to just give up on video games. 18:39, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
By the way, the info in your reply would be a good addition to the article. 18:59, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Possible bug?[edit]

I was in Gloombound Mine and accidently stole some worthless item. I paid off the bounty-all good. However, when I went outside, 3 hired thugs immediately attacked near the Orc Smith. Here is where things got strange. The thugs were aggro to the orc smith. With them focusing the orc, I was able to defeat all three with little trouble. However, when I was leaving the stronghold, I came across the bodies of Uraq and Bolar, evidently killed by the same three thugs. Who hired them? Yatul. Unsure if this is an actual bug, or the result of mods installed. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 03:14 on 29 September 2017

There is no bug. The thugs are sent at the point of stealing, paying off the bounty will not do anything to prevent them being sent. They are sent by anyone in the same faction as the owner(s) of the object, and can be sent even if you are not witnessed. They are always hostile, therefore are hostile to everyone around them, including civilians and guards. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 17:43, 29 September 2017 (UTC)