I'm level 10 with a slowing mod, these are all conjured armor (I'm a mage)
Now I just need to make a custom spell that summon all of them in one shot cause its long to conjure them all before a fight.
Alchemy is quite simple, the first thing you need is a Mortar and Pestle, there was one in the training cave close of the first goblin, if you missed it not a problem any alchemist shop sell some. There are also other apparatus; the retort, which increase the positive effects of a potion (no effect on poison), the alembic; reduce the negatives effect of a potion (no effect on poison) and the calcinator which increase the potency of all potions effect. Each of these tools have "quality" level which improve the bonus effect they give.
Now once you have your Mortar and pestle, you need some ingredient, ingredient are everywhere, from the rat meat to the mushroom passing by fruits, each ingredient can have 4 different effect, but you wont be able to know them all until you are at higher level in alchemy, when you're a novice you can only do potion/poison using the first effect of ingredient. To create a potion just go in your inventory in the Potion tab and clic on any of the appartus, this will bring up the Alchemy window, just clic Add Ingredient this will show all available ingredient you have, choose one of them, now to make a potion/poison you need to select another ingredient which have the same effect then your first one, when you are in the select second ingredient the game by default will hide any ingredient that dont have anything in comon with the first one to make it easier for you to know what you can take. Choose the second ingredient and you'll see the resulting effect the potion will have in the right side of the window, choose to make the potion and voila you get a new potion. If the resulting potion have any "self" effect such as cure poison or restore health for exemple it will be a potion, if its effect are only negative such as Damage Health, it will be a poison that you can now use on any weapon. If a potion have both positive effect and negative effect it will ALWAY be a potion, whenever there is a positive effect its a potion that mean when you'll drink a potion you'll have both the positive and negative effect (exemple a health potion that hurt your fatigue)
Once you are higher level in alchemy you have access to the second effect of all ingredient, then the 3rd and finaly the 4th, this can act both as a blessing and a curse as some ingredient effect might come to your advantage but some of these new effect can also screw up your early receipe since they might add negative effect, you have to jogle between all your ingredient to find the best receipe to fit you.
Also you can create potion with more then 2 ingredient to lets say give you more then one positive effect. To do so you might have to clic on the "Filter" button when you select an ingredient to see ALL the other ingredient, not only the compatible with the first one. By doing this you could create potion that lets say Restore health of 30 instant, Restore Health of 5 per/sec for 20s and give you Fire Resist for 30 sec for example. Or a poison that does 10damage per second, burden the ennemy and reduce their endurance making an efficient poison for long range attack! But watch out when you add more ingredient to not add the less possible negative effect, you dont want to cast burden on yourself each time you want to heal yourself do you?
You can also rename any potion in the higher part of the window. Also remember that a potion is ligher then the ingredient, some like watermeloon are quite heavy so if you are over-encumber, try to make potion out of your ingredient.
And finaly Greatness no there is no level for such thing, everything grow of level in same time as you do, including guard. You cant be god sorry
... unless you cheat... shame on you if you do
ps: also for alchemy I suggest you go take a mod like mine (this mod : http://www.elderscrolls.com/forums/i...ic=300177&st=0 , you also need to use http://www34.brinkster.com/ghostwheel/ to unpack the Oblivion - Misc.bsa to change the interface ) to allow you to see more ingredient at once, the interface of the game have this stupid console stench about it, with a mod you can at least see more of the items in same time and have a much bigger map, lets just hope that Bethesda will release a patch that will allow us to use shortcut to open menu... I mean come on... I use a freaking keyboard I want to be able to go in the Inventory if I press "I" and do as many HotKey as I want... we're not asking much...