Player Character and Growth
 The Player Character
As in previous Elder Scrolls titles, players will create a avatar from one of the 10 Races of Tamriel to represent them as the Dragonborn in Skyrim. This avatar is customizable in terms of physical appearance. Outside of race and appearance, the player character is further defined by his/her Attributes (Health, Magicka and Stamina) and 18 different Skills.
An important measure of the player character's progress in a strict sense is his/her character level, which is representative of how much experience they have managed to gain at any given point in the game. To grow in level, characters must earn this experience through completing quests objectives, and usage of Skills. Unlike Oblivion, there is no planned maximum level cap for player characters in Skyrim.
 Growing Skills, and growth through Skills
Actions which player characters can make in Skyrim can directly influence the growth of one or more of 18 different Skills, which they will build proficiency in as they continue to peform relevant actions. Stronger Skills will not only help player characters achieve better results in applicable actions, but also help player characters level up faster when leveraged in comparison to their weaker, less proficient Skills. In this manner, Skyrim will continue to reward players who plan their characters around "builds" designed to excel at certain types of situations, like ranged combat.
 Developing Perks
In addition to Skills which measure a character's proficiency in actions, players may also actively work to develop Perks, which correlate the actual abilities. The Perks menu is represented graphically in the game as constellation signs, a nod to the notion that a character "looks to the stars" to discover themselves. Perks are chosen when a character gains levels, like in the Fallout series of RPGs; many Perks will have several different pre-requisites.
Many Perks will be designed around combat, including Perks to slow the action while players aim with a bow for a called shot, and Perks to bypass protection otherwise offered by armor with blunt weapons.