All right, the Barabarian! The Nord and the Orc seem logical choices for the Barbarian class, if not cliché.
In my first Barbarian Guide I suggested an Argonian and while I still like that option, we've already done an Argonian character in The Shadowscale Assassin a couple of weeks ago.
So we're going with the Nord Barbarian, think Conan meets Skaal.
By now, you should have a fairly good idea of the face replacers we have out there and the ones that appear to you the most.
If you want a change and a blast from the past, you can always use THE Facepack compilation. The author has compiled every face and hairstyles released until 2008 and merged them. On the plus side, you'll see faces you have never seen before, or haven't seen in a very long time. The down side is that a few faces are a bit ages for today's standards. However, I appreciate that each face and hair was chosen very carefully for each npc.
As for Birthsigns, the Warrior is a fine choice, though, the Lord also has its place, especially with a Nord, making you highly resistant to frost but very vulnerable to fire, making combat and survival with Ashfall more unique.
Alternatively, you can use The Definitive Birthsigns Pack and Pluto's Patch for it. Pick the Icicle.
With Merlord's Character Background I'd say have fun with it, embrace your inner (shirtless) Conan and pick the Bodybuilder: as long as you are topless, you have +10 personality. Easy when you don't fear the cold. Of course the bully for extra strength or large frame for extra size also work, they're just less fun.
The Nordic Pantheon is quite interesting, prominent deities include Shor (Nordic version of Lorkhan), Kyne (Shor's widow, goddess of the Storm, Nordic version of Kynareth), and the All-Maker, especially worshipped on Solstheim.
"Oneness" with the land is considered crucial to pleasing the All-Maker. The Skaal practice this concept by seeking harmony with their surroundings. For example, firewood is collected from dead trees. Hunting is for subsistence, not sport. The sanctity of life demands that violence only be used as a last resort. The Skaal draw power from the natural order (the harmony, or balance, of the land); when they are in harmony with the land, they are joined with it through the grace of the All-Maker, and when this harmony is upset, so is the All-Maker, and their power dwindles.
It's believed the All-Maker cursed ancient warriors with undeath for committing acts of cannibalism, thus creating the draugr. Another legend says that when the All-Maker breathed life into the creatures of the land, his "Breath" blew through the trees as well. Some of these trees kept a part of this life, creating the spriggans. In times of great need, the Skaal perform a ritualistic hunt of blessing and cleansing that they call the Ristaag in order to demonstrate their gratitude to, and hopefully please, the All-Maker. They also practice the Ritual of the Gifts, a pilgrimage to perform certain rituals at each of the All-Maker Stones to restore Oneness with the land. Skaal often accredit the All-Maker with greater wisdom and power than deities which are part of polytheistic traditions. Extract from UESP
As with previous characters, you can install MTR's By the Divines to pick a deity and receive a power.
The barbarian way?
Looking the part
- There's actually a good amount of Nord armour in the game, fur, mail, trollbone, wolf, bear, etc. But here are a few more suggestions:
- Not afraid to go all the way? Loinclothes and tops by Dereko.
- Mohawks by Roberberbil & Korana for all vanilla races.
- If you prefer to mix and match pieces of armour making use of Unarmoured, Light, and Medium Armour, try Aoimevello's Ashlander Rebels, which features a nice mix and match of leather, chitin, bonemold, and cloth. Only one problem: you'll have to get it from the corpses of the rebels… eh, not really a problem, right? (For a review of Aiomevello's NPC/armour mod, take a look at this video review on Youtube.)
- Stormkiss Reforged by Enclavekiller and Gervlat, improves the Olmgerd the Outlaw quest, includes a gorgeous armour for your Barbarian.
- Helluva - axes and blunt weapons: for a very large collection of weapons. Usual warning, some weapons are rather ugly recolours, some or completely OP. I recommend my remake of Helluva where I have removed the ugliest pieces but you get all weapons types and armour as opposed to Axes only.
With fighting being, pretty much, the only thing the Barbarian is good at, we have to make that fun and preferably spectacular:
Note: both Blood and Gore and Combat Advanced are older, heavily scripted mods, right at the top of my MWSE/LUA-remake wishlist. I recommend you use them on a reasonably modded install.
- Blood and Gore by TheLys: adds more visual (and gory) cues during combat. Not only will you see the blood splatter from the enemies that you see normally, said splatters will stay on the ground, with the occasional chunk of flesh.
- Blood and Gore - Retextured by Corsair: makes the blood splatters from blood and gore look good; gross… but you know, good!
- Diverse Blood by Spacedevo: replaces textures for each and every blood type in the game. There is a newer MWSE option now: MWSE Blood Diversity, directly inspired from Spacedevo's mod.
- BattleCry One of Fliggerty's less known mods but perfect for the Barbarian, shout before attacking and enjoy a buff to your stats for a minute, followed by some fatigue.
- Combat Advanced: this is an old mod but we haven't come up with anything better so far. With this, your character can perform combo attacks (chop-chop-thrust, for example) with devastating effects: decapitate, chop an arm off...! Even better for the Barbarian, you can enter a rage state and even have dynamic blocking. To use this mod, you need a third-party program: Morrowind Enhanced. Some players have reported their game to be less stable – but, just give it a go, when it works, it's bloody brilliant (pun intended).
- The latest combat mod: Next Gen Combat by Aracelliy. Sure, you won't get to decapitate your enemies but each weapon type has a special perk, blocking can be an active skill and your attack won't miss even if they connect if you pick that option). A word of caution though: when fighting with an Axe, you may inflict belleing damage (yay!) but the npc will continue grunting for a while even after they're dead.
- The Brew Master by Merlord because you cannot always get back to Skaal or Thirsk for a pint. Buy the brewing station in Suran, make your booze if you have a bottle and relevant ingredients.
- LUA Lock Bashing by OEA, based on greatness7's older MWSE Lock Bashing, lets us smash those doors and chests open. Warning: always carry a spare weapon or a bunch of hammers. Even better, use a Bound Axe.
- Morrowind Code Patch: edible ingredients patch. While the Barbarian will never be an alchemist (precision and patience, pah!) consider getting your alchemy to 15 so your Barbarian knows the first effect of ingredients and can eat them safely. For example, Marshmerrow will restore a small amount of health, and Saltrice will restore some fatigue.
- You know I like Class Abilities. Well, it just so happens that it’s perfect for the no-magic Barbarian (they would in fact be wary of spells, if mainstream fantasy is to be believed). Not only is this mod great as a chargen mod, but as you level up (at level 5, 10, 15, and 20) you get to pick an ability (constant buff), or better still, a power (once a day). Perfect for the spell-less Barbarian. With the same logic in mind, try Master of Abilities where you get powers and abilities as quest rewards.
- Even if you are not a fan of companion mods, you really have to take Spot the wolf companion with you. You get to pick what Spot looks like: white, brown or red.
- If you like survival mods, grab Ashfall: camping, cooking, chopping trees... getting food poisoning, all of it a part of the Barbarian's daily life in the great outdoors. Bare Necessities, Frostwind and Necessties of Morrowind are good alternatives.
Once again, my article with in-depth compatison of major needs mods.
- Petethegoat's Illiterate so that all your Barbarian can do is look at the picture. In-game config to decide what intelligence is required to be able to read.
- Interiors of Soltheim by Kalian, gives some much needed attention to ... interiors of Solstheim.
- Steinthor Hall: a rather masculine lodge close to Fort Frostmoth if camping is not your thing. See DarkElfGuy's showcase of this mod:
- Solstheim Tomb of the Snow Prince by Wolli et al. Your one stop shop for the glorious Solstheim overhaul. Only one downside: since it moved the whole island, many Solstheim mods are not compatible. More recent mods tend to have a patch, and you can find some patches for older mods right here as well as here. Alternatively, you can ONLY use the replacer (better trees, rocks, plants, etc), Soltheim will look better but not glorious.
- Thirsk Expanded a version of Princess Stomper's mod, made comptible with TOTSP by Lucevar.
- Wanderers of Solstheim adds a few npcs in on the island, so it is not just you, Bersekers and wolves. A very quick showcase right here (you will need a patch linked above):
Handicaps and goals
- Magic is eeeevil. Refuse to cast spells or have spells cast on you (including shrine mumbo-jumbo-fishy-spooky spells) and rely on raw ingredients to cure yourself as well as potions from the apothecary (man of plants, not magic).
- Magic is reeeeeally eeevil: refuse to use on-cast items or on-hit weapons unless they are of divine origin (the Barbarian doesn't trust the magic of men but won't argue with the gods).
- Completely renounce the comforts of city life: no soft bed at the inn.
- Reject consumer society, only equip what you find, or craft with Morrowind Crafting. head up, it will take a while to improve your skills: mining, smelting and smithing before you can make armour, bit it is extremely rewarding. Unless you are using OpenMW, grab the Morrowind Crafting 3.0 alpha from the Morrowind Modding Community Discord.
- Consider making aliving out of your craft with PC_Smithy
- Complete the Bloodmoon quest line siding with the Skaal.
- Complete The Whote Wolf of Lokken quest.
- Travel to Soltheim to become a true Barbarian/Skaal Chieftain. Better yet, become the Jarl of Solstheim
- Fight Vvardenfell strongest fighters and defeat them honourably: Umbra (more fun with Wandering Umbra by Mort and Melchior's Umbra - Blademaster)
... other warriors to challenge include: Thauraver, Dandras Vules, Yarnar, Karrod, Gaenor...
- Become the Grand Champion of the Arena using Welcome to the Arena by Kalamestari_69.
- For a more lightly scripted but fun mod, try Enderek's Gladiators