Morrowind Character Guide Series: The Battlemage

Morrowind Character Guide Series: The Battlemage


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

The main attributes of the Battlemage are Intelligence and Strength.
The Battlemage's skills improve mostly Willpower and Intelligence (3 skills each), followed by Strength (weapon skills).
There isn't one race that stands out to be honest. It all comes down to whether you want a good spellcaster with some average combat/defence to begin with, or the other way around.
Altmers will do great with all skills apart from Heavy Armour, Axe and Long Sword.
I prefer, by far, the female Orc who scores 45 in Strength and Willpower, an honourable 40 Intelligence, and a whopping 50 Endurance. The skill synergy is very good with axe and heavy armour in particular.
There is a strong connection between Battlemages and the Empire (remember Battlespire that takes place in the Imperial Battle College?) so I am drawn towards an Imperial Battlemage. Preferably female, with 40 Strength, Willpower, Intelligence, and Endurance. With an Imperial, you'll probably want to stick to Long Blades.
For Birthsigns, if you picked an Altmer, go with the Warrior sign. If you chose the Orc or Imperial, the Mage sign is good for the extra Magicka. We basically want to try to balance might and magic.

Gameplay and Mods

Looking the Part

I know the Battlemage doesn't have Block as a skill and they can probably cast Light easily enough, but I need them to have some landmarks of the mage and dual wielding with a staff looks badass.

  • CM Battle Skirt mod by Cutthroat mods.
  • Helluva - Long Blades and Axes: you’ve probably already heard of Helluva, it boasts one of the largest collection of weapons created by dozens of modders over the years. The only downside is that balance is not a strong suit of the mod.

In the Legion

Assuming you choose to be part of the Imperial Legion, there's so much for you to do!

  • CREL: Start the game as a Legionnaire in Gnisis.
  • Gavrilo93's Imperial Legion Expansion 1.5: Adds new quests as well as the usual Imperial Legion fixes: better rewards, a place to stay, "You're out of your uniform!" dialogue and the absence of a supply chest.
  • Gnisis Docks by Gavrilo93 as well: Gives the Widow quest a fitting end.
  • Publius Claudius Follower (also by Gavrilo93): has his own quest line intertwined with the Imperial Legion.
  • Always install Archimaestro Antares' BigMod, it makes factions SO MUCH more interesting. With this mod installed, if you are a part of the Imperial Legion, you can arrest people and request a guard mercenary.
  • Also grab Imperial Leader, by William Chesterton Picker, that lets you order around legionnaires when your rank is high enough.
  • Imperial Contraband to confiscate illegal goods and turn them in for a profit.
  • Imperials Go Home lets you remove visible signs of discontent of the locals.
  • Danjb's Standard Bearer lets you represent the Empire and make a bit of gold as the same time.

What about magic?

  • Purist Friendly Magicka Regen by Greatness7 and Remiros is a good mod to have in any setup.
  • Magic Diversity -COMPLETE-: A complete overhaul of your spell effects and spell sounds. Makes your spell effects look very sexy. The sounds are not to everyone's taste but they are optional.
  • Spell Sounds Enhanced: Using the vanilla spell sounds as a base, this mod makes them sound a little more magical.
  • Elemental Magicka by NMZMaster: These scripted spells add a tactical dimension to your destruction spells and go really well with melee fighting.
  • And of course, Magicka Expanded by OperatorJack: teleportation, summons, mind reading, weather control, etc. You can't go wrong.

Spelled Swords (ideal for the Spellsword)

You deserve your own very magical sword!


  • Xanterra Keep by Korana. A house mod in the Imperial style that also caters to the spellcaster's needs. Or, if you prefer something cozier, try Tizzo's Pelagiad Guard Tower.
  • Advantages and Disadvantages in case you need a little more might or a little more magic.
  • Useful Starting Spells by Tizzo: because the spells you'd normally start with (not even sure the Orc would get any) don't scream Battlemage (Water walking, Summon Dagger, Summon Ghost...)


Goals and Handicaps


  • As a Legionnaire, you are the embodiment of the law. Forgo any quest with shady dealings, grey areas, and dubious motivations.
  • Limit your spells to:
    - On target for damage. Then, once your enemy is upon you, you have an axe/sword.
    - Defensive spells: Shield and Elemental Shields from Alteration, Spell Absorption and Reflect from Mysticism.
    - Summon Blade as a backup. Summoned creatures are cool, but the Battlemage already has high defence, offensive weapons, and spell skills. He doesn't need summons to do the killing or tanking.
    - You have both Restoration and Alchemy at your disposal. I would restrict using restoration spells until after the fight and drink potions during. Your magic is meant to hurt first.
  • Battle is your thing, right? Let's see how well you fare when you cannot pause in the middle of one. Try Merlord's No Combat Menus; guaranteed to make fights 200% more intense. Be sure to have your potions hot-keyed!


  • Complete the Imperial Legion quests above.
  • Complete the main quest, possibly with Imperialist Nerevarine.
  • If you started with poor combat skills, become a great warrior. If you think that's too easy, install Bodily Injuries by Ian or the newer Realistic Healing and Injuries by Aracelliy.
  • If you started with poor spell casting skills, because a great mage. If you think that's easy, install Miscast Mods by Magius & Huskobar. When you fail to cast a spell, there is a high chance the spell misfires.

Final words

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 ;)
Is you battlemage very different from mine? let me know!
Happy Morrowinding!