I love Morrowind; I love it so much I have multiple installs of it.
One of these is for my permadeath runs, so unlike the others that I have for a specific purpose or character, this one is a fit-them-all kind of install, one that will let me role-play a variety of characters.
Below you will find mods that greatly contribute to that effect.
- Texafornian's Chargen Revamped: Expanded Lands: This is a quick start mod, but also one that will let you customise or randomise your attributes, your skill values, your spells, your inventory, your starting location, your first faction and even if you are a werewolf or a vampire.
- Class Abilities by Balathustrius: Gives you items and/or powers based on a class (called profession) you choose. It can very well be your actual class, but you can pick any that you want. This allows you to have more detailed back story: a battlemage with the priest profession could be a former member of the Imperial Cult who decided to deal with enemies rather than treat the wounds of allies, for example.
- Spuzzum Starting Equipment: This one does nothing for role-playing per se, but since it will give you basic items based on your skills, your level 1 character is a little more prepared to face the world without having to get all the starting gear you find around Seyda Neen. This way, you can get on with your story and adventures as soon as you are off the boat.
- Merlord’s Character background: if you have played Arcanum and enjoyed picking a background, you’ll love this too. Most of the effects are either buff or debuff skills and attributes but a good number of them have a twist: they will be triggered at different times, at different places for example. One of my favourites is the Rat King where rats love you and join you: perfect for a pied piper bard!
- Scruggs' Morrowind Inhabitant Freeform: This mod adds 5 types of radiant quests: bounty on creatures, Sacred Oath, item acquisition, experimental alchemy and arena fights. The quests take you to random places, sometimes with a random handicap.
- Sveng's Journal Search and Edit: Not for everyone, but this mod gives your character a “voice” in the way that you can modify or even add entries to your journal.
- The Definitive Birthsigns Pack by Doy & IceNine0 + Pluto's update and Cael_Aurion's Expanded Birthsigns for purists. The Definitive pack adds two dozen birthsigns with interesting powers and role-playing suggestions. Birthsigns for purists gives each vanilla birthsign 2 aspects (Masser and Secunda) they are balanced and give a bit more freedom.
- Antares' big mod: Do yourself a favour and get this mod, regardless of what character you play. With Bigmod, you will be able to teach disciplines to fellow guild members, recruit mercenaries, send guild members on missions, order armour from smiths, have a potion made by alchemists, hire a scout to take you to a specific place (tombs, caves, etc).
- Gavrilo93's Main Quest Overhaul: The main quest is... well, let's just say that having variations to it based on how your character feels about the Empire is a great relief.
- Give a Gift by Nullcascade and Danjb's Advanced Persuasion: More ways to make use of your speechcraft skill.
- CM Partners 2.9: You don’t always need or want a companion, but when you do, it doesn’t hurt to have the choice of races and gender as well as speciality. As for role-playing, being able to pick an alignment (and a handy book describing them) really helps define your character.
- Greatness7's MWSE Containers and Melchior Dahrkk’s Super-Sized Storage: With these you can move in where-ever you please, a cave, a tomb, a ruin, an empty house, the sewers, etc. If you don't want a crafting mod, then install a furniture mod such as Dave Humphrey's Furniture Store by Dave Humphrey & Erstam.
Immersion and Realism
Crafting, survival, and realism mods are not to everyone’s taste: the balance between realism and just plain annoying in particular is different for everyone. Here are my go-to mods for realism:
Crafting and Survival
- Ashfall by Merlord: Another mod I love to pieces. Like Necessities of Morrowind but sexier. Still in development, check the Morrowind Modding discord for discussion, progress and available beta.
- Morrowind Crafting by Drac and Toccatta: As the name indicates you will be able to craft pretty much everything, from clothes to candles, furniture, or weapons. You have a number of skills to harvest materials and a set of skills to craft. A must if you want to role-play any sort of regular Joe with a job in Vvardenfell.
- Go Fletch by Merlord: Make arrows, bolts and darts.
- Realistic repairs by Merlord: You will need to find an anvil or a forge to use your hammers. You'll also want Get Sharp by Rubberman that adds 2 gorgeous forges to the game with tools to sharpen your weapons and repair them. Before: Find a hammer while sneaking about in a tomb, use it up (noisily I expect) to repair your gear, sitting between two urns. Now: make sure your gear is in good condition before you set out. Train your Armorer skill to be able to get a little more out of your weapons. Personally, if my character has Armorer as a major skill, I use the blacksmith's vice that has unlimited repair uses but force other characters to use hammers. A new alternative: 4NM_Armorer let's you improve your weapons beyond simple repairs, effectively sharpening or hardening them.
- Immersive Mining by Merlord: No pickaxe, no mining.
- Light Decay by Melchior Dahrk and Greatness7: As time passes, your torch does not shine as bright.
- Bed Buddies by Merlord: In Morrowind, most beds are owned, but if no one can see you, you can spend the night safely. With Bed Buddies, sneak-sleep is not possible anymore. However, if you raise the disposition of the bed owner, you will be allowed to use the bed freely.
- Immersive Alcohol by Merlord (yes, Merlord's thing is realism, immersion, and gameplay mods): Sure you can drink, but you'll also have a headache (lowered attributes).
- Nighttime Door Lock by LDones: NPCs now lock their doors at night. Can you blame them? Fun especially if you role-play a thief/burglar.
- There are a couple of mods that give NPCs a schedule:
- Bodily Injuries OR Apoapse's MNEM - Combat: Dynamically reduces your attributes as you sustain heavy damage. A newer option that I enjoy: Realistic Healing and Injuries by Aracelliy.
- Controlled Consumption by NullCascade: Reduces how often you can drink a potion (every 5 seconds, like vanilla NPCs, or like in Oblivion). Newer option and my favourite one for now: Anti-witcher by Archimag.
- Gaius Atrius and Grvulture's The Bathing Mod: bathe regularly or be prepared to be shunned.
- Illiterate: A simple mod by Petethegoat. Under a certain value of intelligence, you cannot read books and scrolls, well, unless you fluently read Daedric. Perfect with a Needs mod: when I am too tired (my intelligence is drained) I can’t concentrate enough to read.
- While more about immersion that realism, Glow in the Dahrk is just too sexy to not have in every game.
- Morrowind Code Patch: Specifically the enchant item cooldown.
In the coming weeks, I will add guides specific to each class. I may not mention the mods above in all of them, it certainly doesn't mean you shouldn't use them!
Things you can expect:
- Role-playing suggestions for a given class; it certainly won’t be an exhaustive list because your imagination is the limit.
- Mods to enhance gameplay specific to each class. For example, the Acrobat will have mod suggestions for throwing items while the Archer will have a more complete overhaul of the marksman skill. The Sorcerer will have conjuration and Enchant mods, while the Mage will deal with destruction. The Barbarian will have a combat enhanced mod, the Warrior a different one, etc. The point is to try different mods for different classes.
- Graphic replacers: with a war machine of a PC you are probably replacing everything to HD already; however, with slower computers, I like to replace things relevant to my character. For example, with a Barbarian, I’ll have some gorgeous Blood, for my Alchemist, some lovely potion replacers, for the Pilgrim, improved shrines, frescoes and tapestries, etc.
- Mods to look the part (armour, clothes, weapons, and accessories).
- When relevant, a house mod, a companion mod...
To conclude, I want to thank Bethesda for making a great game and the Morrowind Modding Community for making it greater. Heartfelt thanks to Aurel, ProfArmitage, Lighsourced and Gavrilo who read a lot of these guides, made corrections and suggested mods I had overlooked.