Creating your character is the most important decision you must make during the opening sequence in Seyda Neen, as it affects the entire game.
Character creation takes three steps: Race selection, Birthsign selection, Class selection, and appearance. The opening sequence of Morrowind, like that of Oblivion, is finely crafted to engage the player in the game experience and lead smoothly into character creation, but unlike the later Oblivion, does not give players an opportunity to test their skills before choosing them, so the facts below are of even greater importance.
There is no one "correct" way to make your character. Your choices will be determined by your personal role-playing preferences. Morrowind offers opportunities to engage in many different types of gameplay, which are much affected by character creation. Combat characters can charge into dungeons; stealth characters explore more slowly and stealthily, for example; Alchemy can make for a more self-sufficient character, where other characters would return to cities for supplies; Destruction magic can be used from the safety of long range, but its power source regenerates much more slowly in Morrowind than Oblivion, and players used to mages in other games may find them harder to play. In general, though, there are few choices at character creation that are not more than a temporary inconvenience, so long as the player pays attention to advancement through the course of the game.
Choosing a race
- Main article: Race
Race determines Attributes, skill bonuses, and special abilities (greater powers, lesser powers, constant effects). Each of the ten races has one or more racial special abilities, and each also excels in certain skills. The racial special abilities can either be passive, which are inherent effects, or an active spell that can be limitedly cast, such as Voice of the Emperor. Passive abilities are typically resistances or vulnerabilities to spells or illness, or are bonuses of increased magicka.
Choosing a birthsign
- Main article: Birthsign
Each of the thirteen birthsigns add additional unique bonuses to your character, some passive and some active. Some are pure bonuses, while others are trade-offs in which one powerful bonus is countered with one or more negative effects. Most active skills granted by a birthsign can only be used once a day.
Classes are composed of a series of distinctions; the distinctions added together make subgroups; when all the distinctions are applied, the list of individual combinations are the Standard Classes. Specializations make characters (officially) Combat, Mage, or Stealth characters. Players choose from the list of skills, five Major and five Minor skills for their Characters. Finally, the player selects primary attributes.
The player can do this automatically, by choosing a Standard class with an already created skillset, or customize their own class for complete control over how they wish their character to begin the game. This control extends throughout the game
Major and Minor Skills Edit
Major skills level up with fewer uses than other skills. minor skills. The use of Major and Minor skills is the only requirement for levelling up; after 10 increases of any combination of major and minor skills, the character gains a Level. Major skills start at 25 (Apprentice level) as opposed to 5, and then racial bonuses are added on top.
Standard Classes Edit
Custom Classes Edit
A few great names are Archon, Templar, Centurian. Aceon 18:12, March 25, 2011 (UTC)
Custom Class Skills Edit
The most important part of creating a custom class is choosing the seven major skills. These major skills start out at values of 25 instead of 5 (before any racial or specialization bonuses). Major skills also increase more rapidly than other skills (the most rapid advancement is in skills that are both major skills and in the class specialization).
The other aspect of major skills is that advances in major skills determine when your character's level increases. Whenever your major skills have improved by a total of 10 points, your character levels up. This one feature singlehandedly makes character creation difficult: depending upon whether you like to level up quickly or whether you prefer to control your character's level, your custom class will be fundamentally different.
A secondary consideration is that starting spells are made available for any magical skill that is chosen to be a major skill. These spells are summarized on the individual skill pages, and also are noted on the Spells page. These spells are in all cases standard spells that can be bought from spell vendors. However, being given them for free saves some money and bother in tracking down spells before you can even start training the skill.
Most Used SkillsEdit
The first step in deciding which skills should be major skills is determining which skills your character is likely to use the most often. (Whether the most-used skills should be major skills or minor skills depends upon your style of play, as discussed in Custom Classes, but in either case identifying the most-used skills is a necessary step). The most-used skills will largely be determined by what overall type of character you choose to play. Some suggestions on sets of skills are provided in the next section.
Skills are not restricted, other than the cap of 100. Any character can develop any skill to 100 given enough time and effort. Therefore, selecting your character's most-used skills does not imply that the other skills will not or cannot be used. However, the strongest characters will start by focusing on a few skills and developing those skills the most rapidly. For example, a character with 100 in one combat skill (e.g., Blade) will be a much more powerful opponent than one that has developed five different combat skills equally, since each will only have skill levels of 50 at the same point in the game.
- Offensive melee skills, that disable enemies directly, at close range: Blade, Blunt, Hand to Hand. The evasion behaviour and long range attacks of enemies such as Conjurers make the Speed attribute desirable for melee characters.
- Offensive ranged skills, that disable enemies from a distance: Destruction,Marksman.
- Defensive skills, that prevent damage from enemies: Light Armor, Heavy Armor, Block. Alteration's Shield spells and Mysticism Reflect and Absorb spells can be used at the same time as or in lieu of light or heavy armor.
- Restoration spells can be either a replacement for or merely an addition to damage prevention; such healing spells are not cheaper than Potions of Healing, if the player uses Potions of Sorcery to cast them, unless they are spells that heal over time.
- Evading attacks is the penultimate damage reduction: a missed attack equals no damage at all. Morrowind is fairly generous to the player with the range of enemy melee attacks, although not so much as Oblivion; the animation of attacks and the actual distance within which enemies can do damage are closely synchronized, so dodging attacks is an option for the casual player. The Speed attribute, and to a lesser extent the Athletics skill increase movement speed, and Acrobatics increases the height and distance of jumps; both aid in dodging attacks.
- The ultimate damage prevention is to not be attacked in the first place: Conjuration spells summon creatures to take damage instead of you; the Illusion effect of Invisibility ensures that enemies can only attack the summoned creature. A character of a given Conjuration level will summon creatures that are weaker than a character of the same level of combat skills, so this approach requires patience and preparation.
There are some other game abilities where there are two different skills that can be used to provide that ability; it is worthwhile to choose which skill your character will rely on.
- Opening locks: lockpicking or Open spells (Alteration) can both be used.
- Open spells do not require mastery of any mini-games, but the level of lock you can open is strictly controlled by your Alteration skill.
- Open spells do not work underwater, so being able to fall back on lockpicking is necessary in a small number of cases.
- At level 10 and above, the player can obtain the Skeleton Key, at which point lockpicking skills are not required at all, other than to speed up the lockpicking process. The player can decide whether this removes challenge from their game overly much.
- Increasing NPC Disposition: Speechcraft or Charm spells (Illusion) can both be used.
- Speechcraft is overall a less useful skill than others. The maximum disposition available via Speechcraft is limited. There are no additional effects outside of maxing disposition and changing NPC behaviour. Many alternatives and enhancements are available, notably Illusion's Charm, Command and Frenzy spells.
- Illusion, by contrast, also has combat (e.g. Paralyze) and stealth (e.g. Chameleon) effects. Its spells affecting NPC behaviour can be tailored with Spell Making to fit the requirements of the situation.
Another factor in selecting skills is whether or not it is easy to control when and where your character uses a skill. In particular if you are interested in efficient leveling, it is important to not accidentally level up because your character is forced to use a skill. Enchanted items can be used in many cases to replace skills; however, using them levels Enchanting, where it does not in Oblivion. Scrolls used to cast spells also do not level their associated skills.
Athletics is the least controllable of the skills; it is gained whenever you move anywhere on foot, so it goes up continuously. Compared with Oblivion, there are no horses to ride, but there are more ways in total (Silt Striders, Alsimvi Intervention, Propylon Chambers etc) to get around without going on foot. Acrobatics experience is gained whenever you jump and fall; in large amounts for falling, in a direct ratio to the height that your character falls. Even for characters who don't rely upon spells for healing, there can be times when you really need to cast a Restoration spell.
Skills that are not used in combat (in other words, that you will not need to count on for character survival) are typically easier to control.
Below is the list of skills, and counterindications and replacements; enchanted items can replace most skills; skills they cannot replace are listed
- Alchemy. Like many of the controllable skills, this usually only becomes a problem when both Alchemy and the skill it would replace, for example Restoration, need to not be levelled. Enchanted items can often be a replacement
- Alteration. Some Alchemy replacements
- Armorer. Armorer NPCs can repair items
- Axe, Blade, Blunt, Destruction, Hand to Hand, Marksman, Short Sword or Spear; one can be used in place of the others. Evading opponents with Levitation, Invisibility, or Sneak can replace these if need be
- Block use is optional, in that you can choose to not wear a shield. However, once a shield is equipped, blocking is automatic, where it is optional in Oblivion
- Conjuration. Avoidable but not replaceable
- Enchantment. Just as Enchanted items are a replacement for almost all other skills, so all other skills are a replacement for their enchanted item counterparts
- Heavy Armor, Medium Armor, Light Armor or Unarmored, for the same reason as the damage-dealing skills.
- Illusion. Some Alchemy replacements
- Mysticism. Some Alchemy replacements
- Mercantile. Avoidable but not replaceable, even with enchanted items
- Security can be replaced by Unlock spells
- Sneak. Alchemy and Illusion replacements
- Speechcraft. Illusion and Alchemy can gain favor with NPCs in most cases
If you plan to use training to increase skills (although remember that at most 5 skill training sessions can be used per level), you may also want to take into account how easy it is to obtain training in various skills. The Trainers page lists who the trainers are for each skill; note that some of the trainers have bugs that limits their availability. For training past skill level 70, only one master trainer is available in each skill, and a mini-quest must be completed (some of which are more taxing than others).
See Class Corresponding to the three specializations, there are three prototypes for character roleplaying: fighter, mage, and thief. The most important difference between these three character types is the style of combat, but there are also some secondary differences generally associated with each of these characters. This section provides some guidelines on key characteristics of each of these prototypes, and recommendations for the races, birthsigns, and classes that are best aligned with each one. These recommendations are intended primarily as guidelines for players starting out; as you play the game you are likely to develop personal preferences that differ from these guidelines.
However, you do not need to choose a character that strictly falls into one of these three categories. Most people will want to create a hybrid character that combines aspects of the various prototypes.
Your character creation choices will have an influence throughout the entire game. This section summarizes some of the different points in the game at which your initial character creation will make a difference.
Your character creation choices obviously have an immediate effect upon the starting values of your character's skills. Skills that you choose as a major skill will start at Apprentice level (with any apprentice level mastery perks) instead of Novice level. Your ability to perform those skills will be noticeably better. By combining racial bonuses and specialization bonuses, it is possible to start some major skills at 40, so relatively little training will be necessary to reach Journeyman level and acquire the Journeyman level mastery perk.
As you use your major skills, those skills will improve and contribute towards leveling up your character. If you choose major skills that you use a lot, your character will increase rapidly in level. On the other hand, if you choose major skills that you rarely use (or can control the use of), your character will increase more slowly in level. This choice between fast leveling and slow leveling represents a choice between two fundamentally different ways of playing the game.
Maximum Character LevelEdit
There is a maximum character level which is directly determined by the initial values of your major skills. Once your major skills all reach 100, you reach your final level; no more increases are possible (with the exception of going to jail and other such tricks). Character Creation Tools can be used to determine your character's maximum level.
To maximize your character's final level, you want to avoid any initial skill bonuses to your major skills: make sure that all specialization skills are minor skills, and make sure that racial bonuses all apply to minor skills. In other words, make your major skills all start with a value of 25 (you can actually allow one of the seven major skills to start at 30 without decreasing your maximum level). In that case, your character's maximum level will be 53. At the other extreme, if all skill bonuses are applied to your major skills, your character's maximum level will be 45.
Some ways to increase your character's maximum level include:
- Going to jail and losing skill points in major skills (one in three or lower chance) allows your character to train those skills again and gain extra levels.
- Get quest skill bonuses "quest reward" skill point bonuses when your skill is already at 100. The reward will make your skill go over 100; although this has no effect in most formulas (e.g., damage calculation), you will get extra "level" points.
- Any skill can be trained again once it is drained below 100 by a spell. This can theoretically be used to level any skill up to 200 using a master trainer.
On the other hand, you may reach an earlier maximum level if you are able to get all eight attributes to 100 before reaching the skill-based maximum level. Once your attributes are all maximized, no more level-ups will occur. On the PC, a workaround is to use the Console to decrease one of your attributes, for example by entering modpca personality -1. If you can anticipate that this is going to occur, a more general workaround is to avoid +5 attribute bonuses on the last couple attributes that need to be increased (e.g., Personality).
For many players, the character's maximum level will not be a significant factor. A level 45 maxed-out character is almost as strong as a level 53 maxed-out character; the main difference will be total Health.
Most Used Skills as Major SkillsEdit
The most obvious way to set up a custom class is to set the major skills to be your character's most used skills. This is how the developers intended classes to be designed, based on the descriptions of the standard classes. The official game guide also proposes custom classes based on this assumption.
There are several advantages to choosing major skills that are frequently used:
- Those skills start at apprentice level, and can even be nearly at journeyman level
- Your character will rapidly gain experience in those skills, and will quickly acquire access to the higher skill perks
- Your character will level up more rapidly, gaining access to higher health, better equipment, more gold, and all the other bonuses that come with leveling
- Leveling up occurs without any special effort
The major disadvantage of this approach is that it increases the likelihood of inefficient levelling, and Attributes may fall behind the capacity of levels to obtain them.
Least Used Skills as Major SkillsEdit
Gaining the maximum attribute bonus from each level ensures that characters are ready to face the more powerful monsters in the game as following the storyline brings the character to them. Leveling at will, rather than by accident facilitates gaining the maximum attributes, and is facilitated by intentionally avoiding Major skills that are uncontrollably levelled, such as Athletics, and choosing substitutes.
Even Long Blade, for example, can be a 'Least Used Skill', because Axe, Blunt, Destruction, Hand to Hand, Marksman, Short Blade, Spear or even Restoration's Absorb Health can be used instead, to avoid level-up. The skills most likely to level up out of control, gaining the tenth Major skill increase before the ten Major/Minor increases in each of the attributes of choice, are the afore-mentioned Athletics, and Restoration. Mercantile is entirely controllable in Morrowind (it only levels when the player modifies the buying or selling price, where in Oblivion it does so whenever the player makes a transaction). Major skills that are crucial to the completion of quests can require being ready with a substitute, e.g., Alteration unlocking spells can be used instead of Security, to get past locks that block critical paths in quests or irreplacable loot, and Charm spells or scrolls can be used instead of Persuasion, when quests require soft-talking a NPC, or taking time out from quests to level up. For more on the importance of gaining maximum attribute bonuses and the means to achieve them, (see Levelling, particularly the section The Leveling Problem). Keeping level low while exploring Cyrodiil also maximizes opportunities to obtain the best available equipment.
Drawbacks of this strategy include: it is time consuming at low levels (although this is to be weighed against the savings in time of easier fights at higher level), and your character's key survival skills all start at novice level, making for a steeper learning curve (to be weighed against the benefits of an easier mid- and late-game).
One Major Skill for each AttributeEdit
Another strategy used to design a custom class is to choose one and only one major skill that is governed by each of the seven attributes (other than luck, which governs no skills). This enables maximum control over the attribute bonuses that you gain each level; it minimizes over-levelling of skills, as part of the ten major skills levelled can always be in a desired attribute or attributes.
- One option is to choose the least important of an attribute's skills and make that a major skill. That one skill tends to dictate when your character levels up, but leveling will still be relatively slow and controllable.
- Another option is to keep all the most used skills as minor skills, and instead choose two major skills associated with an attribute, such as personality, that less often comes into play.
- The disadvantage in this case is that because 2/3 of the available skills for that attribute are major ones, obtaining +5 attribute bonuses for the doubled-up attribute are more likely to interfere with, or be interfered with by, gaining the full attribute bonuses of other major skills.
- For example, if both mercantile and speechcraft are chosen as major skills, to get +5 bonuses in personality requires one major skill point in mercantile or speechcraft for every point less than ten in Illusion. Every point in mercantile and speechcraft is, in turn, preventing a point in other, more crucial major skills. This is not likely to be, in itself, a problem, but it can exacerbate other problems. For example, a player with Athletics, Restoration, and their preferred weapon as major skills, can all too easily get three points in each. If the player also has Sneak and Marksman as majors, then to get a +5 Agility bonus, they would then be stuck with having to get nine points in Security, which might well be impossible without getting a point in Athletics, Restoration, or the weapon skill first.
Race and Gender Edit
Gender is a choice that is likely to be made based upon personal preference (if and how the player prefers to roleplay, character appearance).
However, there are objective considerations also; characters' attributes are modified by both race and gender. Female characters frequently have higher Personality or Willpower and lower Strength or Endurance, with some exceptions.
- Races have different initial Skill bonuses (for a total of +45 to all races equally, distributed among different skills)
- Races have unique special abilities, including greater powers usable once per day, multiple-use lesser powers, and/or passive characteristics, which are not used but always active, for example resistances to fire or magic, a larger magicka supply, or even weaknesses to certain damage
- Each race/gender combination has a different height; height affects movement speed to a small extent.
Most of the races have a combination of attributes, skills, and special abilities that make the race naturally slightly more able in performing as a certain character class (as detailed under Character Types).
- The Orc Berserk power includes a Drain Attribute (specifically, Agility) effect.
- Several races include a constant Resist Disease effect: Altmer, Argonian, Bosmer, and Redguard.
- Argonians can breathe underwater.
- Two races include a constant Resist Element effect: Dunmer (Resist Fire) and Nord (Resist Frost).
- Two races include a constant Resist Poison effect: Argonian and Redguard.
Generally, the benefit conferred from access to these spell effects is not significant enough for these racial powers to be dominant factors in choosing your character's race.
• The Warrior • The Mage • The Thief • The Serpent • The Lady • The Steed • The Lord • The Apprentice • The Atronach • The Lover • The Shadow • The Tower
There are twelve possible birthsigns, each of which bestows a special ability. There are three main types of birthsigns: those that provide constant-effect Attribute bonuses; those that provide constant-effect Magicka bonuses; and, those that provide powers, which can be used once per day. Not all the signs are equally balanced; there is enough disparity between them to indicate that the developers concentrated on making them different, and felt that variety in roleplaying could be gained by playing characters with a challenge.
The birthsigns that provide constant effect Attribute bonuses are: Lady, Steed, and Lover. Because you do not have to remember to use these constant-effect bonuses, they require the least effort to be made useful. With The Lady's +25 bonus to Endurance, and one of the four race/gender combinations that give 50 Endurance, and Endurance as a Preferred Attribute (+10), and Efficient Leveling, Endurance can be at 100 by level Five (it would be Three but there is a quirk that stops characters getting the maximum bonus up to 100); Endurance of 100 gives the maximum 10 HP per level thereafter.
Passive Magicka bonuses (in order of increasing bonus) are provided by: Mage, Apprentice, and Atronach. The higher Magicka bonuses are balanced by weaknesses, making them less conservative choices. As with the attribute bonuses, little effort is needed to take advantage of these birthsigns. The extra Magicka bonuses are useful throughout the game, even for high-level characters. It is worth noting that even the smallest Magicka bonus (Mage, +50) is equivalent to +25 Intelligence, more than the +20 Intelligence given by the Preferred Attributes.
The birthsigns that provide once-per-day greater powers are:Lover, Ritual, Serpent, Shadow, and Tower. These powers are most useful early in the game; later, characters can generally learn spells or make potions at least as powerful as the powers. Another potential pitfall of birthsign powers is forgetting to take advantage of them, and/or always keeping them in reserve, in case of need later in the day.