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OB-icon-Paralyze.png Paralyze
School Illusion
Type Offensive
(No enchanting)
Effect ID PARA
Base Cost 475
Barter Factor 0
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Custom Potions
Built-In Potions

Paralyze for D seconds

Paralyze immobilizes the target for D seconds. The target becomes stiff and resistant to movement, and usually falls down (though some targets, such as wraiths, will not), so the target is out of action for a couple of additional seconds while they get back to their feet. The biggest drawback with Paralyze is its cost: it is the most expensive offensive spell effect in Oblivion. Therefore, Paralyze effects usually only last for a few seconds in order to reduce the casting cost of the spell.


  • This effect can be gained for spell making via spells, choosing the Lover Birthsign, or the Serpent Stone Doomstone.
  • Paralyze has no magnitude, only a duration. Therefore, Weakness to Magic and Resist Magic effects change the duration of a Paralyze effect; casting a 100% Weakness to Magic spell causes the duration of a subsequent Paralyze effect to be doubled. Similarly, Spell Effectiveness decreases the Paralyze duration -- even 95% Spell Effectiveness will make the Paralyze effect last at least one second less.
  • Paralyzed targets are still aware of their surroundings, so sneak attacks against them are not automatic. However, they cannot report crimes, so if you kill them before the enchantment wears off, you will get away with any crimes you commit, so long as no one else sees you.
  • When you are paralyzed, the view will shift to third-person and you get to watch yourself fall down (and usually be attacked mercilessly by your opponent). You are still able to open your inventory and use any items within it, including drinking a Cure Paralysis potion; however, you can't cast spells. If you have no potions or ingredients that can dispel or cure paralysis, or cure poison (depending on how you became paralyzed), your only option is to wait out the duration of the spell.
  • The Master level perk of several combat skills (Blade, Blunt, Hand to Hand, and Marksman) provides the ability to paralyze opponents; this paralysis is treated by the game as an Enchantment which bypasses Resist Magic or Resist Paralysis. Otherwise, it behaves like a Paralysis effect.
  • Paralyze is one of the enchantments available for making a custom mage's staff (it is also found on random generic staves). However, it is not possible to make enchanted weapons with Paralyze at the Enchanting Altar.
  • If the paralysis effect wears off while the target is still falling, they still fall to the ground and have to pick themselves up before they resume fighting; thus, even a one second paralyze spell can be useful.
  • If an enemy is paralyzed while blocking, they may still sometimes block your attacks while paralyzed.
  • Underwater enemies will float to the water's surface when paralyzed.
  • Paralyzed NPCs or creatures can be moved by hitting them with area-effect destruction spells such as Weak Fireball or Shocking Burst. This means little in most situations, but it is possible to blast them over cliffs or into lava.
  • While most paralyzed NPCs can be pickpocketed, essential NPCs cannot be pickpocketed while paralyzed. Instead, they still talk even as they fall which can lead to humorous instances if you zoom in as they fall.
  • If an NPC is paralyzed when their fatigue goes below 0, they will remain paralyzed until their fatigue regenerates. If they run out of health through effects such as poison or fire while in this state, the corpse will retain the paralysis effect indefinitely. This allows you to turn NPCs into statues. It's important to note that if the killing blow is struck by a weapon such as a blade or blunt weapon, the paralysis effect will not be applied to the corpse. It will only be applied if the NPC's health bleeds out through magical or poison based effects.
  • Although the spell itself causes no damage to the target it still registers as an attack, unlike other non-damage spells.

See also

Related effects:

Alchemy Ingredients

The following alchemy ingredients can be used to create a poison of Paralyze: