Morrowind Character Guide Series: The Monk

Morrowind Character Guide Series: The Monk


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 Monk's attributes are Willpower and Agility. Looking at all the skills, Speed and Agility followed by Strength will improve the fastest. Willpower comes into play for Restoration.
The Monk is fairly versatile and based on your choice of skills, your gameplay could be akin to the assassin (Sneak, Light Armor, and Short Blade) or the acrobat (Marksman, Unarmored, and Acrobatics).
There isn't a race that stands out:

  • The Dunmer have good Speed, Agility and Strength, but low Willpower. +10 Short Blade AND Light Armor is their redeeming feature for a Monk that makes use of these skills.
  • The Bosmer rocks both Agility and Speed but have low strength and Willpower. Good for a Monk that intends to use Marksman.
  • The male Khajjit also has great Speed and Agility but low Willpower. +5 Hand-to-Hand AND Light Armor are good for a more classic Monk.
  • Alternatively, try Westly's Exiles of Akavir race with good stats, Hand-to-Hand bonus and an Asian inspired look.

The Thief is an obvious choice (+10 sanctuary) but the Steed is great as well, your enemies will have a hard time catching a break between your punches or stabs.

Gameplay and mods

Looking the Part


At first, it feels like Hand-to-Hand is a weak skill, however, it levels up VERY quickly and can become easily OP. Most mods available for Hand-To-Hand make it more powerful: you want to be careful with balance, maybe even install a couple of mods to make combat more challenging

  • Morrowind Code Patch : make the damage dealt by hand-to-hand depend on strength and fixes Unarmored. Quite frankly, that could be enough.
  • Monk Focus by XeroDeath. Gives your Monk a focus power every 5 levels. This one is fun because you get to progress but a little OP.
  • Fliggerty's Improved Hand to Hand adds interesting mechanics to the skill: punching actually deals damage and you may hurt your hands and be unable to fight until you heal them.
  • Dodge 3.0 by kid1293 based on the work of Aragon, Horatio and LDones. This mod grants the player a sanctuary bonus based on their Unarmored skill. Wearing armour will reduce or even nullify the sanctuary bonus.
  • Combat Enhanced adds combos to Morrowind, including with Hand-To-Hand. It also adds the trance ability that lets you slow down time. Perfect for a Monk. You will need to run the third-party program Morrowind Enhanced. Both mods by Aerelorn.
  • Next Generation Combat by Aracelliy is very new and still being developped but extremely promising. Hand-to-hand in particular gives you a chance to knock out your opponent. You can also configure in-game the hit and dodge chances.


The Monk is very spiritual and uses his mind to strengthen his body. They are aslo often religious. I am not implying that Monks are all Daedric worshippers but these guides aim to give you role-playing options.

Temple and Imperial Cult

Check the Crusader Guide for Temple and Imperial Cult mods.
With Texafornian's Chargen Revamped: Expanded Lands, you can even start your game in Holamayan Monastery.

The Daedric Prince

The following Princes have a quest in vanilla Morrowind: Azura, Boethiah, Mehrunes Dagon, Malakath, Mephala and Sheogorath.

Graphic replacers


  • The Demon of Knowledge by Corsair83, Darknut, Merlord and myself, is a large quest mod centered on the Daedric Prince Hemameus Mora.
  • The Battle Rite of Mephala by Enclavekiller, Lady Phoenix Fire Rose, mortimermcmire and PikachunoTM. This quest mods promises lots of fighting and the possibility to please Mephala.
  • The Shine of Mephala by Westly, only accessible via the Morag Tong. Compatible with the previous mod.
  • The Doors of Oblivion by Ashstaar, lets you travel to multiple planes of Oblivion. Very large landmass mod with new models and quests. Check out this video showcase from DarkElfGuy.
  • Immersive Madness by Rotat, time to worship Sheogorath.
  • The Sanguine Rose by Melchior Dahrk. Worship Lord Sanguine, drink, party and reap the rewards.
  • The Forgotten by Enclavekiller and Caeris is a quest mod featuring Namira.


Handicaps and Goals

  • Role-play a truly spiritual Monk: nothing matters more than the sanctity of your mind and self-discipline. That puts you above politics and faction competition.
  • Live a simple life, eat wholesome food, travel light, and find beautiful spots to meditate and/or train. Don't be attached to money or possessions. Never have more than a couple hundred septims.
  • Restrict your weapon use: use nothing, a simple staff or an exotic martial weapon.
  • Restrict your armour: keep it light (like really: cloth, flexible leather) and localised (bracers and cuirasses only). A Monk clad in glass armour is not very credible.
  • Don't seek out enemies. No taunting.
  • Use the Drunken Style Kung Fu! Have a drink before each fight, much better with Merlord's Immersive Alcohol. Some monasteries are famous for their alcohol, you could be a Brewmaster by Merlord.

To win the game as a Monk: become enlightened! Max out Willpower, Personality, and Endurance. Or if attributes and skills are uncapped, reach 100.

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 ;)
Be sure to share how you like to role-play an acrobat, what story you came up with, what mods you used, etc...
Happy Morrowinding!