Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Experimental Subject.

Experimental Subject is a side quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn in which the Dragonborn must assist Neloth in conducting his experiments by being a subject for his spells


I let Neloth cast an experimental spell on me. If I discover any side effects, I should tell him right away.


  1. Watch for side effects
  2. Talk to Neloth


Upon entering Tel Mithryn, Neloth will ask "Say, how would you like to help advance the art of magic?". Ask him if he needs any help:

Do you need help with your research? "I suppose that depends. Are you willing to be an experimental subject?"

What kind of experiment do you want to do on me? "Oh, nothing too dangerous. It should provide an additional spectral tether from your own lifespark to the aedric realm. You would experience it as a sort of... increased vigor. You would fight longer, feel stronger, that sort of thing. At least I think it will. Probably. Almost certainly. Of course, you never can tell."
No thanks. That sounds like a bad idea. "Seems like nobody is willing to put their life on the line for research any more. I'm sure Talvas won't mind being my test subject again."
I'd be glad to help. "Now stand still... it's my first time casting this spell, and I don't need any additional distractions."

After agreeing to help him, Neloth begins casting the experimental spell and remarks: "You won't feel a thing. But if you do, try not to scream too loudly. My ears are sensitive."

Once it takes effect, the "Neloth's Health Boost" ability will be added, which increases health by 25 points. He then parts with: "Off you go. If you discover any side effects, come back and tell me straight away."

Side effects[]

The side effect for this spell is activated with water. Swimming in water or getting wet from rain will change the effects of the spell. Rather than a boost, it reduces health permanently by 25 points. Once this occurs, return to Neloth and inform him of the side effects:

Your spell made me weaker once I got wet! "Wet, you say? I suppose... yes, I can see how that would have inverted the tether. Unfortunate. Couldn't you simply avoid water? No, no, that won't do. Can't have you forgo bathing... The ashlands can leave one a bit pungent and it's, eh, obvious you've been through them. Here, I'll just remove it. Here's a bit of coin. Should help mitigate your inconvenience."

Once he reverses the effects, he grants a sum of 250 Gold as a reward and this completes the quest.


Experimental Subject – DLC2TTR4a
ID Journal Entry
100 I let Neloth cast an experimental spell on me. If I discover any side effects, I should tell him right away.
  • Objective 100: Watch for side effects
200 I let Neloth cast an experimental spell on me. I've discovered a potentially dangerous side effect. Normally it boosts my health, but if I am in the rain or swim, it reduces my health.
  • Objective 200: Talk to Neloth
  • Quest complete
400 Neloth asked me to be a test subject for one of his experiments. I refused.
  • Quest failed


  • Having the Necromage perk while being a vampire has effect both on the boost and reduction, as these values will be 31 instead of 25.
  • Walking on water with the "Waterwalking" active effect does not change the effects of the spell.


This section contains bugs related to Experimental Subject (Neloth's Health Boost). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • Sometimes, when asking Neloth if he needs help with his research, he responds with his usual, "I suppose that depends. Are you willing to be an experimental subject?" and then the conversation ends, as if the player had exited.
  • The spell could not actually be given to the player when Neloth casts it.
    • A fix for this is to type player.setstage dlc2ttr4a 200 into the console. It will advance the quest to the point where the player must report back to Neloth.
    • Additionally, the player may be absorbing the spell. Miraak's Robes, if worn, should be removed, and The Atronach Stone should not be active. If a perk is causing the issue, then using Black Book: Waking Dreams to remove the perk is recommended.
    • Another solution is to continue with the quest. Behind Tel Mithryn there will be a group of netch in the water. Swimming with them for a while will advance the quest, as the side effect is not called on the spell changing, but with water.