For those who watch my let's plays and livestreams, you'll know that we're all about role-playing and not at all about min-maxing. This series is not about the ultimate [insert class] build, let's face it, sooner or later your character will be a god-killer whether you min-max or not. In addition we tend to always want to play the same way, with the same style, the same weapons, the same game play. So instead, I want to suggest ways to play a class and mods that can make the experience fresh and more unique. For more general role-playing mod recommendations, you can check this guide.
Skills, Race, and Birthsign
While the class description says that Strength and Agility are the main attributes. I'd like to point out that the only Strength skill is Long Blade so going full range will add an extra challenge: you strength (carry capacity, 1/2 HP) won't improve.
What can I say, the Bosmers are born Marksmen, they have the Agility, +15 to Marksman, and since they start with only 30 hp, they are super squishy so you'll really want to stay out of reach of your enemies. Luckily, Bosmers also have the Speed to keep their distance.
Birthsigns will be similar to those of the Acrobat, I like the Thief for Sanctuary and the Shadow to get out of Dodge with Invisibility. The Steed with a speed buff might make the difference between life and death.
Gameplay and Mods
Looking The Part
- All you need is Weapon Sheathing a very sexy mod by Greatness7 that will make every weapon, shield, quiver apparent on you and all other npcs.
- If you do not use MWSE, the good old pauldron/quiver models from WanderRA, Simple backpack and quiver mod.
- Falconer Leather by Korana, both male and female armour includes a quiver and a shield
- Female Ranger Armor by Plangkye, also with a quiver and a bow.
Fletching and Enchanting Arrows
To be an archer, you will want to craft your arrows, especially enchanted ones. There are a few good fletching mods out there you can choose from:
- Morrowind Code Patch: has an option to let you enchant basic arrows with the enchant skill (nice with Merlord's artificer background).
- Arcane Archers: puts your spellcasting skills to good use.
- Poison Crafting: using your alchemy, you can create poison and apply them to weapons. Great if you want to be a woodsy druid-y archer (Bosmers have +5 alchemy).
- Go Fletch by Merlord: lets you craft arrows, bolts and darts, plain or enchanted. Fletching is a skill that contributes to your level. I find the recipes balanced. My favourite.
- FletcherMod: the classic mod, and probably the best if you don't used MWSE.
- Morrowind Crafting: this mod lets you craft, well... everything. It is heavily scripted and includes various skills allowing you to gather raw material and then craft items. It will take time and practice to reliably be able to chop wood, stitch pants, etc. Great if your archer is more of a hunter.
- Cast on strike bows: because bows can also be enchanted
- Marksman rebalanced by Merlord: do more damage while sneaking, hit chance based on your marksman skill and distance from target. Fully customisable in-game. OR...
- Projectile Overhaul - Modular.
- Automated ammo equip by Merlord: just get this one, the Nerevarine has no time to waste looking for his next arrow.
Bows and Arrows Mods
If you don't feel like crafting your gear, try one of these:
- Suran Archery Tradehouse: The classic, great choice.
- Hunter's mark - a marksman mod by Remiros: gorgeous models for bows, crossbows, and throwing knives.
- Arrow Diversity by Turelek: because the more the better.
- Helluva: wicked weapons, bows and crossbows. Huge collection, balance not guaranteed.
- Area Effect Arrows Plugin Offical Bethesda plugin.
- Skyrim Crosshair: Don't get me wrong, I like my moon and star crosshair but when shooting an arrow, I want to see where I am aiming at.
- pincushion : We don't have kill cams (yet...) but we get to see the bodies of our enemies riddled with arrows. Good times.
- Animated Targets and Practice Dummies by Stuportsar, because practice makes less dead.
- LGNPC - secret masters Do a quest for the Marskman Secret Master.
- The Stormwall Archer by Gavrilo93 adds a book with valuable lore for the archer.
- Ascadian Tree House by Kursan
You may know a few of the chargen mods I recommend already: Class Abilities, Starting Equipment, Personal Possessions, Merlord's Character Backgrounds. Feel free to use these! A warning though, Class Abilities is quite generous with the archer profession: the bow you receive has a constant +10 buff to your Marksman skill.
Since I don't have a narrative in mind for the Archer, go crazy, pick a mod with a random start location. CREL (Chargen Revamped: Expanded Lands) is a must-have in any modlist. Use it to create your character quickly, start with a faction, start as a vampire, spawn in Tamriel Rebuilt... full video review here.
Alternatively, and even more full of surprises, try Abot's MWSE quicktart. Run a little bat file before you launch Morrowind so the mod can detect all the cells in your game (including modded cells) and find yourself... well somewhere! Make that the beginning of your story and the source of your motivation: The first creature / npc race that (nearly) kills you becomes you mortal enemy, the first valuable miscellaneous items you find becomes you lucky charm...
Handicaps and Goals
- An obvious one: no melee weapons (build your Endurance with Medium Armor, and Strength with Acrobatics). Not because archers don't use melee, but because you want to play differently.
The Archer class is more about how you play than your motivations, so think of handicaps that fit your character:
- Are you part of the Legion? Be lawful and try The Bounty Hunter Bundle to bring criminals to justice, Census and Excise Office Faction and/or Imperial Contraband to turn in illegal goods you’ve confiscated. If you want to arrest NPCs who violate the law put Archimaestro Antares' Big mod to use! For a bunch of Imperial faction mods, check The Agent Guide.
- Are you more of a ranger? Try survival mods like Ashfall, beta available on the MW modding discord, Bare Necessities - WanderRA edit or Necessities of Morrowind - WanderRA edit
- Are you a Bosmer? Follow the Green Pact and only eat the flesh of your prey. Add Cannibals of Morrowind to always have a tasty morsel of choice.
Hunt Cliff racers down to extinction!
A noble goal with any class, mind you! With Jaxalot's mod, Hunt Cliff racers down to extinction, you'll need to kill 200 cliffies (the script is easily editable if you want to change it up) or use my own mod Cliff Racers that introduces a greater variety of racers (not more of them!) and also lets you slowly drive them to extinction (you'll need to kill between 20-50 of each variant).
If you want more ideas for random handicaps and goals, check this blog entry with wheels to click, you can find my permadeath modlist (and all the others, actually) here and if you'd like to see many new characters created, join us on Twitch every Sunday for our permadeath runs ;)
As ever, do let me know how you like your archers best, and happy Morrowinding!
Next week: The Barbarian!