Morrowind: A Beginner’s Guide To Character Creation

Character creation starts as you step off the boat in Morrowind. The process is fairly long and complicated, consisting of 10 possible races, 13 star signs to be born under, and 22 available classes to choose from, including a completely custom class you can build from scratch. And that’s not even delving into the slew of character skills and attributes that will come into play.

If you need help sorting out your identity before embarking on your adventures as the Nerevarine across Morrowind, we’ve got you covered with lists and explanations of all the character-building elements.

The Races

As soon as you set foot on the docks in Morrowind, you will be asked about your race and gender. Your race will determine any special skills and class predilections you may inherit, along with inborn attributes and skill bonuses.

While you’ll likely choose whichever gender you wish regardless, it’s important to keep in mind that the genders differ in their attribute values with some races. As a precedent, each attribute’s median value for a given race is 40, so attribute deficiencies are considered to be anything below the 40 mark. At the same time, proficiencies are deemed as anything higher than that mark.

Altmer (High Elf)

Proficiencies:

  • +10 Alchemy
  • +10 Enchant
  • +10 Destruction
  • +5 Alteration
  • +5 Conjuration
  • +5 Illusion
  • 50 Intelligence
  • 150% bonus Magicka
  • 75% resistance to common diseases

Deficiencies

  • 30 Strength
  • 30 Speed for males
  • 30 Endurance for females
  • 50% weakness to incoming magical attacks
  • 50% weakness to fire damage
  • 25% weakness to frost damage
  • 25% weakness to shock damage

Special Abilities

None

Bosmer (Wood Elf)

Proficiencies

  • +15 Marksman
  • +10 Light Armor
  • +10 Sneak
  • +5 Acrobatics
  • +5 Alchemy
  • 50 Agility
  • 50 Speed
  • 75% resistance to common diseases

Deficiencies

  • 30 Willpower
  • 30 Endurance
  • 30 Strength

Special Abilities

  • The “Beast Tongue” power enables them to command creatures for 10 minutes at a time.

Dunmer (Dark Elf)

Proficiencies

  • +10 Destruction
  • +10 Short Blade
  • +5 Marksman
  • +5 Light Armor
  • +5 Athletics
  • +5 Mysticism
  • 75% resistance to fire

Deficiencies

  • 30 Personality
  • 30 Willpower
  • 30 Endurance for females

Special Abilities

  • The “Ancestor Guardian” power grants +50 points of Sanctuary for 1 minute.

Orsimer (Orc)

Proficiencies

  • +10 Block
  • +10 Armorer
  • +10 Medium Armor
  • +10 Heavy Armor
  • +5 Axe
  • 50 Endurance
  • 50 Willpower for females
  • 45 Willpower for males
  • 45 Strength
  • 25% resistance against magical attacks

Deficiencies

  • 35 Agility
  • 30 Speed
  • 30 Intelligence for males
  • 30 Personality for males
  • 25 Personality for females

Special Abilities

  • The “Berserk” power fortifies 20 points of health, 200 points of fatigue, and 100 points of attack at the cost of draining 100 points of Agility. These effects last for 1 minute.

Argonian

Proficiencies

  • +15 Athletics
  • +5 Spear
  • +5 Medium Armor
  • +5 Unarmored
  • +5 Alchemy
  • +5 Illusion
  • +5 Mysticism
  • 50 Agility for males
  • 50 Speed for males
  • 50 Intelligence for females
  • 100% Poison resistance
  • 75% resistance to common diseases

Deficiencies

  • 30 Willpower for males
  • 30 Personality
  • 30 Endurance

Special Abilities

  • Argonians can breathe underwater for two minutes by casting a spell costing only 5 Magicka.

Argonians cannot equip footwear or the majority of headwear found in Morrowind.

Khajiit

Proficiencies

  • +15 Acrobatics
  • +5 Athletics
  • +5 Light Armor
  • +5 Short Blade
  • +5 Hand-to-Hand
  • +5 Security
  • +5 Sneak

Deficiencies

  • 30 Willpower
  • 30 Strength for females
  • 30 Endurance for males

Special Abilities

  • The “Eye of Fear” power causes 100 points of demoralization to humanoid targets for 30 seconds.
  • The “Eye of Night” spell grants them 50 additional Night Eye points to see in the dark for 30 seconds.

Like Argonians, Khajiit cannot wear footwear or most pieces of headwear due to their beastly features.

Breton

Proficiencies

  • +10 Conjuration
  • +10 Restoration
  • +10 Mysticism
  • +5 Illusion
  • +5 Alteration
  • +5 Alchemy
  • 50 Willpower
  • 50 Intelligence
  • 50% bonus Magicka
  • 50% resistance against magical attacks

Deficiencies

  • 30 Endurance
  • 30 Strength for females
  • 30 Agility
  • 30 Speed for males

Special Abilities

  • The “Dragonskin” power acts as a +50 point shield for 1 minute.

Imperial

Proficiencies

  • +10 Long Blade
  • +10 Speechcraft
  • +10 Mercantile
  • +5 Light Armor
  • +5 Hand-to-Hand
  • +5 Blunt Weapon
  • 50 Personality

Deficiencies

  • 30 Agility
  • 30 Speed
  • 30 Willpower for males

Special Abilities

  • The “Star of the West” power absorbs 200 points of fatigue from targets.
  • The “Voice of the Emporer” power subjects targets to 25-50 points of Charm for 50 seconds.

Nord

Proficiencies

  • +10 Medium Armor
  • +10 Axe
  • +10 Blunt Weapon
  • +5 Spear
  • +5 Long Blade
  • +5 Heavy Armor
  • 50 Strength
  • 50 Endurance for males
  • 50 Willpower for females
  • 100% resistance to frost damage
  • 50% resistance to shock damage

Deficiencies

  • 30 Agility
  • 30 Personality
  • 30 Intelligence

Special Abilities

  • The “Thunder Fist” power inflicts a target with 25 points of frost damage upon touch.
  • The “Woad” power creates a 30 point shield for 1 minute.

Redguard

Proficiencies

  • +15 Long Blade
  • +5 Axe
  • +5 Blunt Weapon
  • +5 Heavy Armor
  • +5 Medium Armor
  • +5 Athletics
  • +5 Short Blade
  • 50 Endurance
  • 50 Strength for males
  • 75% resistance to Poison Damage
  • 75% resistance to common diseases

Deficiencies

  • 30 Willpower
  • 30 Intelligence
  • 30 Personality

Special Abilities

  • The “Adrenaline Rush” power fortifies 50 points of Agility, Endurance, Speed, Strength, and 25 points of Health for 1 minute.

Classes

Classes determine further specializations for your character and truly begin to hone in on your preferred playstyle, so choose wisely. Classes are made up of different major and minor skills, which set them apart from the other classes and decide your character’s core skillset. The important difference between major and minor skills is major skills progress faster than minor skills, making them easier to level up and thus making their corresponding attributes and the character themselves level up quicker. If a skill isn’t labeled as major or minor, it is considered a miscellaneous skill. Leveling up those skills will not count towards the 10 skill points required to level up your character.

Acrobat

Major Skills

  • Acrobatics
  • Athletics
  • Sneak
  • Marksman
  • Unarmored

Minor Skills

  • Speechcraft
  • Light Armor
  • Hand-To-Hand
  • Spear
  • Alteration

Agent

Major Skills

  • Acrobatics
  • Speechcraft
  • Sneak
  • Light Armor
  • Short Blade

Minor Skills

  • Block
  • Mercantile
  • Unarmored
  • Conjuration
  • Illusion

Archer

Major Skills

  • Athletics
  • Block
  • Light Armor
  • Marksman
  • Long Blade

Minor Skills

  • Sneak
  • Restoration
  • Unarmored
  • Medium Armor
  • Spear

Assassin

Major Skills

  • Acrobatics
  • Sneak
  • Short Blade
  • Marksman
  • Light Armor

Minor Skills

  • Athletics
  • Block
  • Long Blade
  • Security
  • Alchemy

Barbarian

Major Skills

  • Axe
  • Blunt Weapon
  • Block
  • Medium Armor
  • Athletics

Minor Skills

  • Acrobatics
  • Light Armor
  • Unarmored
  • Marksman
  • Armorer

Bard

Major Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Acrobatics
  • Speechcraft
  • Block
  • Long Blade

Minor Skills

  • Mercantile
  • Security
  • Medium Armor
  • Enchant
  • Illusion

Battlemage

Major Skills

  • Alteration
  • Conjuration
  • Destruction
  • Axe
  • Heavy Armor

Minor Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Enchant
  • Mysticism
  • Marksman
  • Long Blade

Spells

  • “Bound Dagger” – Conjuration spell, binding a dagger to your character for 1 minute.
  • “Shield” – Alteration spell, activating a shield around your character for 30 seconds.
  • “Summon Ancestral Ghost” – Conjuration spell, summoning a ghost to fight assailants for 1 minute.
  • “Fire Bite” – Destruction spell, inflicting target with fire damage for 15-30 seconds upon touch.
  • “Water Walking” – Alteration spell, enabling your character to walk, run, and jump on water.

Crusader

Major Skills

  • Destruction
  • Block
  • Heavy Armor
  • Blunt Weapon
  • Long Blade

Minor Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Restoration
  • Hand-to-Hand
  • Armorer
  • Medium Armor

Spell

  • “Fire Bite” – Destruction spell, inflicting target with fire damage for 15-30 seconds upon touch.

Healer

Major Skills

  • Alteration
  • Restoration
  • Mysticism
  • Speechcraft
  • Hand-to-Hand

Minor Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Illusion
  • Unarmored
  • Light Armor
  • Blunt Weapon

Spells

  • “Hearth Heal” – Restoration spell, restoring your character’s health by 20-80 points.
  • “Water Walking” – Alteration spell, enabling your character to walk, run, and jump on water.
  • “Detect Creature” – Mysticism spell, enabling your character to detect all beings with a spirit up to 50-150 feet from the character for 5 seconds.
  • “Shield” – Alteration spell, activating a shield around your character for 30 seconds.

Knight

Major Skills

  • Speechcraft
  • Block
  • Heavy Armor
  • Axe
  • Long Blade

Minor Skills

  • Armorer
  • Medium Armor
  • Enchant
  • Mercantile
  • Restoration

Mage

Major Skills

  • Alteration
  • Destruction
  • Restoration
  • Illusion
  • Mysticism

Minor Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Enchant
  • Unarmored
  • Conjuration
  • Short Blade

Spells

  • “Hearth Heal” – Restoration spell, restoring your character’s health by 20-80 points.
  • “Shield” – Alteration spell, activating a shield around your character for 30 seconds.
  • “Sanctuary” – Illusion spell, granting a 10 point increase to evasion of all attack types save magic for 30 seconds.
  • “Chameleon” – Illusion spell, making your character invisible for 30 seconds.
  • “Detect Creature” – Mysticism spell, enabling your character to detect all beings with a spirit up to 50-150 feet from the character for 5 seconds.
  • “Water Walking” – Alteration spell, enabling your character to walk, run, and jump on water.
  • “Fire Bite” – Destruction spell, inflicting target with fire damage for 15-30 seconds upon touch.

Monk

Major Skills

  • Acrobatics
  • Athletics
  • Sneak
  • Hand-to-Hand
  • Unarmored

Minor Skills

  • Restoration
  • Light Armor
  • Marksman
  • Blunt Weapon
  • Block

Night Blade

Major Skills

  • Sneak
  • Short Blade
  • Alteration
  • Mysticism
  • Illusion

Minor Skills

  • Security
  • Marksman
  • Light Armor
  • Unarmored
  • Destruction

Spells

  • “Chameleon” – Illusion spell, making your character invisible for 30 seconds.
  • “Detect Creature” – Mysticism spell, enabling your character to detect all beings with a spirit up to 50-150 feet from the character for 5 seconds.
  • “Water Walking” – Alteration spell, enabling your character to walk, run, and jump on water.
  • “Sanctuary”  – Illusion spell, granting a 10 point increase to evasion of all attack types save magic for 30 seconds.
  • “Shield” – Alteration spell, activating a shield around your character for 30 seconds.
  • “Fire Bite” – Destruction spell, inflicting target with fire damage for 15-30 seconds upon touch.

Pilgrim

Major Skills

  • Speechcraft
  • Mercantile
  • Marksman
  • Medium Armor
  • Restoration

Minor Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Illusion
  • Hand-to-Hand
  • Short Blade
  • Block

Rogue

Major Skills

  • Mercantile
  • Short Blade
  • Hand-to-Hand
  • Light Armor
  • Axe

Minor Skills

  • Athletics
  • Speechcraft
  • Medium Armor
  • Block
  • Long Blade

Scout

Major Skills

  • Athletics
  • Sneak
  • Block
  • Medium Armor
  • Long Blade

Minor Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Alteration
  • Unarmored
  • Light Armor
  • Marksman

Sorcerer

Major Skills

  • Alteration
  • Conjuration
  • Destruction
  • Mysticism
  • Enchant

Minor Skills

  • Illusion
  • Marksman
  • Short Blade
  • Medium Armor
  • Heavy Armor

Spells

  • “Water Walking” – Alteration spell, enabling your character to walk, run, and jump on water.
  • “Detect Creature” – Mysticism spell, enabling your character to detect all beings with a spirit up to 50-150 feet from the character for 5 seconds.
  • “Shield” – Alteration spell, activating a shield around your character for 30 seconds.
  • “Summon Ancestral Ghost” – Conjuration spell, summoning a ghost to fight assailants for 1 minute.
  • “Bound Dagger” – Conjuration spell, binding a dagger to your character for 1 minute.
  • “Fire Bite” – Destruction spell, inflicting target with fire damage for 15-30 seconds upon touch.

Spellsword

Major Skills

  • Alteration
  • Destruction
  • Restoration
  • Block
  • Long Blade

Minor Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Enchant
  • Medium Armor
  • Axe
  • Blunt Weapon

Spells

  • “Water Walking” – Alteration spell, enabling your character to walk, run, and jump on water.
  • “Hearth Heal” – Restoration spell, restoring your character’s health by 20-80 points.
  • “Shield” – Alteration spell, activating a shield around your character for 30 seconds.
  • “Fire Bite” – Destruction spell, inflicting target with fire damage for 15-30 seconds upon touch.

Thief

Major Skills

  • Acrobatics
  • Sneak
  • Security
  • Light Armor
  • Short Blade

Minor Skills

  • Athletics
  • Hand-to-Hand
  • Marksman
  • Mercantile
  • Speechcraft

Warrior

Major Skills

  • Athletics
  • Block
  • Medium Armor
  • Heavy Armor
  • Long Blade

Minor Skills

  • Armorer
  • Axe
  • Blunt Weapon
  • Marksman
  • Spear

Witchhunter

Major Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Enchant
  • Conjuration
  • Light Armor
  • Marksman

Minor Skills

  • Unarmored
  • Mysticism
  • Sneak
  • Block
  • Blunt Weapon

Spells

  • “Summon Ancestral Ghost” – Conjuration spell, summoning a ghost to fight assailants for 1 minute.
  • “Bound Dagger” – Conjuration spell, binding a dagger to your character for 1 minute.

The Adventurer

This is the game’s custom class in which you get to hand-select each major and minor skill, guiding attributes, and a specialization in combat, magic, or stealth.

Class Selection methods

You can choose between three methods to select a class.

  1. Take a short quiz to generate a pre-set Class based on your answers.
  2. Give the notary your information, which allows you to select one of the pre-set classes yourself.
  3. “Fill out forms” yourself to make a custom class.

Birthsigns

The stars guide the citizens of Tamriel just as much as their racial origins and chosen paths of expertise. We’ve compiled the entire lineup and some quick tips below, but for a more detailed rundown, be sure to scope out our explanation of every birthsign and their recommended builds.

The Apprentice and The Atronach are powerful magic signs, though they have some severe setbacks when not used properly. While The Apprentice has a strong aptitude for the arcane arts, those born under this sign are also extremely susceptible to magical attacks, making it suitable for a glass cannon playstyle. Similarly, The Atronach has a vast Magicka reserve but cannot restore that deep pool of power on its own. While both of these signs can be incredibly powerful with shortcomings that can be easily compensated, they’re probably not for beginners.

The Mage or The Ritual signs are recommended for those magically inclined who are new to Morrowind or The Elder Scrolls franchise in general. The Mage is a cut and dry magical sign that bestows a 50% multiplier to the Magicka stoors of those born under it. The Ritual specializes more on the side of necromancy with perks that boost the player’s ability to turn the undead. They can also easily replenish their own vitality.

The Lord and The Tower are more battle-prone mage signs. Though it can’t compare with the magicka stores of The Atronach, those born under The Lord would make good Sorcerers or Battlemages with the Willpower attribute egging them towards destruction magic and an inborn ability for self-restoration. The Tower is a more opportunistic sign, though still magically inclined. With a nose that can sniff out enchantments, keys, and anything with a spirit coupled with a masterful pick locking ability, these individuals make adept Sorcerers or Nightblades.

The Lady, The Lover, and The Thief are all attuned for the more covert or wily classes such as Thieves, Bards, Agents, or even Healers. The Thief and The Lady are governed by Personality, meaning they rely heavily on charm and wit as their means to an end. The difference is that The Thief has a special tenacity for evading attacks, making it slightly more adept in combat if a scheme goes wrong. The Lover is governed by Agility, which makes these individuals natural escape artists as well, though it gives them a predilection for Marksmanship too.

Those born under The Serpent sign would make deft Nightblades or Spellswords with their poison ability governed by the magically inclined Willpower attribute. Those with the birthsign of The Steed would also make for apt Nightblades, but any class relying on speed is a good fit as well, such as the Thief, Scout, or Assassin. Additionally, they could serve as a more agile breed of Warrior.

The Shadow is a beneficial generalist sign, aiding a wide array of classes in their endeavors to keep out of sight with its invisibility perk. Paths including Thieves, Nightblades, Archers, Acrobats, or even Monks can benefit from the impenetrable stealth abilities of The Shadow birthsign.

The Warrior is another multifaceted birthsign that bestows an extra 10 points of attack power to those born under it. Aside from the obvious pairing with the Warrior class, this sign could bolster several others such as Crusaders, Knights, Healers, Pilgrims, and more. Really, any class outside of the arcane arts you want to make a more heavy-hitting build for can benefit from The Warrior birthsign.

Skills and Attributes

Skills and Attributes are an important part of creating your character, especially if you’ve chosen the path of an Adventurer and are assembling all of your abilities from scratch. However, this convoluted ability system takes a great deal of explanation within itself and is an ongoing building process as you level up. Because of this, we have crafted a separate Beginners Guide To The Skills And Attributes System to suit your needs better.

If you just need a quick refresher, then here you go. Attributes are divided into primary and secondary attributes. Secondary attributes mainly apply across the board, while primary attributes are more build-specific by enhancing and being enhanced by different skillsets and classes. Skills are governed by certain primary attributes and are split up into major, minor, and miscellaneous roles, depending on which class you choose. The three major gameplay styles further classify them: Warrior, Mage, and Thief, though these are primarily to hint at what classes they are best suited for.

Below is a list of the primary and secondary attributes, with a sublist of skills under the primary attributes they are governed by and organized by their best-used playstyle.

Primary Attributes

Strength assists with a character’s general fitness, boosting health, encumbrance, and fatigue, along with making them heavier hitters with melee and ranged assaults. It’s primarily an attribute of the combative classes such as Warriors, Knights, and Crusaders. It holds sway over Acrobatics as well, which is a skill honed by many stealth classes.

Governed Skills:

  • Long Blade (Combat)
  • Blunt Weapons (Combat)
  • Armorer (Combat)
  • Acrobatics (Stealth)

Intelligence is largely interconnected with the magic classes, boosting the character’s Magicka reserves. But it has its purposes amongst the stealthier bunch and it’s a good hybrid attribute to pair with birthsigns like The Lady, Lover, or Thief.

Governed Skills:

  • Alchemy (Magic)
  • Enchant (Magic)
  • Conjuration (Magic)
  • Security (Stealth)

Endurance solely governs combative skills, though its health-boosting and fatigue perks are great for any class.

Governed Skills

  • Medium Armor (Combat)
  • Heavy Armor (Combat)
  • Spear (Combat)

Willpower is a solely magic-based attribute. It bolsters magical prowess in all schools of magic, regardless of whether Willpower governs them. It also makes a character more adept at guarding against magical attacks and plays into their Fatigue threshold.

Governed Skills

  • Alteration (Magic)
  • Mysticism (Magic)
  • Destruction (Magic)
  • Restoration (Magic)

Agility is primarily a stealth-based skill. In addition to all of the athletic feats you would assume require agility, such as running, jumping, and the like, it also helps with dodging and landing attacks. It’s important for blocking attacks with a shield as well, making it a key attribute amongst the more combative classes.

Governed Skills

  • Sneak (Stealth)
  • Light Armor (Stealth)
  • Marksman (Stealth)
  • Block (Combat)

Personality is a big factor for the social and deceptive classes such as Healers, Bards, Agents, and Thieves. It’s primarily built for stealth work, but it also governs Illusion-based magic, making it a great pairing for birthsigns like the Lady, Lover, or Thief.

Governed Skills

  • Mercantile (Stealth)
  • Speechcraft (Stealth)
  • Illusion (Magic)

Speed plays a role in every major playstyle. It impacts all movement speed and allows you to cover more distance while jumping.

Governed Skills

  • Short Blade (Stealth)
  • Hand-to-Hand (Stealth)
  • Unarmored (Magic)
  • Athletics (Combat)

Luck is the only primary attribute not to govern a single skill. Instead, it meddles with nearly every action your character makes, either increasing or decreasing the odds for favorable results. To avoid the bad luck of many off-target attacks and other aggravating if not lethal mishaps, you should always level this attribute up to a base of at least 50.

Secondary Attributes

  • Encumbrance is your character’s maximum carrying weight equal to five times their Strength. Actions such as running speeds and jumping become impaired as the character becomes more over-encumbered.
  • Fatigue is the calculated sum of Willpower, Agility, Strength, and Endurance. Fatigue determines how far you can push your character in strenuous activities such as running and all forms of combat.
  • Health is half the total value of your character’s Strength and Endurance. Naturally, when the health bar is fully depleted, you die.
  • Magicka is the arcane power you pull from to cast spells. Its base value is equal to Intelligence but can be additionally affected by various multipliers.

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Kim is a freelance writer for TheGamer. She recently began writing online articles in the summer of 2019 when she was approached on Discord to contribute some articles and guides for Wizards Unite World. Kim is a fan of fantastical genres, some of her favorite titles including Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and The Witcher. She’s a bookish Ravenclaw eccentric, with an inquisitive sense for adventure. Kim seeks to use her writing as a means to travel and explore, hoping to share her findings and spread curiosity.

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