Character Creation Made Simple (and spoiler-free) v1.1
*******************************************************

for THE ELDER SCROLLS III: MORROWIND

by Bethesda Softworks

Version 1.1 - 2/26/05 (only updated my email address, and briefly considered
adding in some user comments before I got lazy and went off to drink coffee
instead)


INDEX
********

1. My Spiel
2. The Races
3. The Classes (or "Building A Good Custom Class")
4. The Signs
5. The Skills
6. Final Thoughts on Character Creation
7. A Few Good (and mostly painless) Ways To Make Easy Money
8. Contact Information & Disclaimer

1. My Spiel
***********

Okay, so you purchased your copy of Morrowind, popped it into your Xbox or PC,
loaded it, and promptly got tossed into the character creation walkthrough. You
looked at your included game guide, made a few choices about race, skills and
class, and walked out naked and clueless into the enormous and mostly
unfriendly world. You made a few choices, probably died or got arrested, and
soon enough you noticed that you weren't happy with what you had made for
yourself.

And that's why you're here.

If you're like me, you're pretty anal about how you make a character for these
huge games. Nothing ticks you off more than dumping two hours into a character
before realizing that you picked a useless skill, or make a dumb race choice.
Now you have to start over, because you want your character - whom you'll be
spending possibly hundreds of hours with - to be perfect.

And that's why I'm here.

I'm the kind of guy that likes input. I like lots of people to give me their
insights, so I can mesh them all together into one big "suggestion file" for
games like these. There are many, many FAQs for Morrowind, and many of them are
good (others are incomplete or badly organized). I heartily suggest you read a
few of those other FAQs, particularly the "beginner FAQs", because they offer a
lot of good commentary.

So what the hell am I writing this for, then?

Well, I noticed that many of these guides were walkthroughs. And when you're
just starting out, you don't always need a walkthrough. And I noticed that the
one guide that deals exclusively with character creation (a well-done if
somewhat incomplete guide written by "gritta") had left out skills entirely,
and approached character creation from a fairly different perspective than my
own (I suspect he's much more of a power gamer than I am). So I decided that I
had nothing better to do one afternoon, and with my brain chock-full of helpful
suggestions I sat down to pen my own character creation guide.

Now, a brief mention of what this FAQ is not:

- It is not a walkthrough
- It does not contain spoilers
- It does not contain cheats or bugs
- It is not a "go here and do this for the MOST POWERFUL SWORD IN THE GAME"
primer

My guide is designed for people that want to take the time and effort to
explore the world on their own terms, and just want an experienced (and
laid-back) gamer's input on the aspects of character creation that are not
well-covered in the game book. And although I do offer some suggestions for
making early money in the game, my suggestions are by no means exclusive, nor
are they the only (or best) way to make a buck. They're just suggestions which
are usually fairly easy for a new character to accomplish without undue risk.


2. The Races
**************

So you've got a name, and now you're faced with choosing a race. Realize that
the #1 reason for choosing a race should be based on what you want your
character to look like. Sure, they all get different skill bonuses and inborn
abilities, but nothing you gain from a given race is so stupendous that it
should absolutely drive the choice. Granted that the Breton make good mages,
and a Redguard is a good choice for a fighter, but that doesn't mean you can't
go against the mold when picking a race (and it might even make for an
interesting character). The races seem to divide up among four categories:
"Magic Users", "Warriors", "Thieves" and "Generalists", defined by their skill
bonuses, relative use of their Specials, and how their stats are arranged.
Below, stats for races are split by male and female values (male first), and
all races (and genders) start with a value of 40 for Luck.

Argonian:

Strength:      40 / 40   Skill Bonuses: Alchemy +5, Athletics +15, Illusion
Intelligence:  40 / 50                  +5, Medium Armor +5, Mysticism +5,
Willpower:     30 / 40                  Spear +5, Unarmored +5
Agility:       50 / 40
Speed:         50 / 40   Specials: Resist Disease, Immune to Poison, Water
Endurance:     30 / 30             Breathing
Personality:   30 / 30

Commentary: With a fairly good mix of stats and skills, the Argonians are a
generalist race. They are also one of two "beast races", along with the
Khajiit. Beast races, for your information, cannot wear boots or closed-face
helms, which limits your armor choices somewhat (and you'll probably want
Unarmored as a major or minor skill if you play a beast race). Argonian
specials are pretty good: immunity to poison will help often throughout the
game (poison sucks), and the water breathing spell lasts two minutes (and
you'll be underwater in this game, let me tell you!). Resist Disease, on the
other hand, is less useful. I didn't run into disease much in the game, and
(*very, very minor spoiler alert*) you end up with 100% disease immunity later
in the game. Argonian game use is pretty varied, with females making decent
mages or thieves, and males making good thieves or fighters.


Breton:

Strength:      40 / 30   Skill Bonuses: Conjuration +10, Mysticism +10,
Intelligence:  50 / 50                  Restoration +10, Alchemy +5,
Willpower:     50 / 50                  Alteration +5, Illusion +5
Agility:       30 / 30
Speed:         30 / 40   Specials: Fortified Maximum Magicka, Dragon Skin,
Endurance:     30 / 30             Resist Magicka
Personality:   40 / 40

Commentary: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Bretons are
one of the two "magic user" races. While they can, of course, tank around as
fighters they are better suited to focusing on spells. This goes double for a
female Breton, who has lower Strength. Their specials are all gems, with a 0.5x
INT magicka multiplier, 50% magicka resistance, and a 50 point Shield power.
(Okay, maybe Dragon Skin isn't all that great). If you're planning on using
magic in this game, I strongly recommend this class (over the broken High
Elves, certainly).


Dark Elf (Dunmer):

Strength:      40 / 40   Skill Bonuses: Long Blade +5, Destruction +10, Light
Intelligence:  40 / 40                  Armor +5, Athletics +5, Mysticism +5,
Willpower:     30 / 30                  Marksman +5, Short Blade +10
Agility:       40 / 40
Speed:         50 / 50   Specials: Ancestor Guardian, Resistant to Fire
Endurance:     40 / 30
Personality:   30 / 40

Commentary: Dunmer are another generalist class, and (I suspect) the class that
Bethesda Softworks kind of expects most players to play. They have twice as
many facial choices (to reflect Ashlanders as well as "civilized" Dunmer), and
their skill set lends itself to many skills you'll find useful in the game.
Their specials are solid: Ancestor Guardian is a 50 point, 60 second Sanctuary
power, and Resist Fire is at 75%. There is one additional benefit to playing a
Dark Elf: they're everywhere. Most of the NPCs you'll encounter in Vvardenfell
are Dunmer, which means you'll get a slight reaction bonus when you deal with
them. (Particularly helpful when dealing with Ashlanders, who don't tend to
like anyone, much less outsiders.)


High Elf (Altmer):

Strength:      30 / 30   Skill Bonuses: Destruction +10, Enchant +10, Alchemy
Intelligence:  50 / 50                  +10, Alteration +5, Conjuration +5,
Illusion +5
Willpower:     40 / 40
Agility:       40 / 40   Specials: Fortified Maximum Magicka, Weakness to
Speed:         30 / 40             Magicka, Fire, Frost and Shock, Resistant
Endurance:     40 / 30             to Disease
Personality:   40 / 40

Commentary: Yuck. Even with the 1.5x INT magicka multiplier and the 75% disease
resistance, having a 50% magicka weakness, and 25% weakness toward fire, frost
and shock means always being afraid of magic (until you build yourself up some
enchanted immunities). They're pretty clearly designed to be mages, and
combined with the Atronach star sign (more on that later) can start with an
insanely high magicka pool. (Up to 270 at first level; most characters start
with about 40, by comparison.) However, no amount of free magicka could get me
to saddle a character of mine with those kinds of weaknesses.


Imperial:

Strength:      40 / 40   Skill Bonuses: Speechcraft +10, Mercantile +10, Long
Intelligence:  40 / 40                  Blade +10, Blunt Weapon +5, Light
Willpower:     30 / 40                  Armor +5, Hand to Hand +5
Agility:       30 / 30
Speed:         40 / 30   Specials: Star of the West, Voice of the Emperor
Endurance:     40 / 40
Personality:   50 / 50

Commentary: White bread, thy name is Imperial. Thinly veiled copies of ancient
Roman types (right down to their NPC names), the Imperials are a generalist
class with a focus on being social. Their specials are, well, nothing special
(one saps 200 fatigue from an enemy, the other is a minor charm effect), but
their skill bonuses are great for a starting player that doesn't really know
what s/he wants to do in the game. A good weapon bonus (Long Blade), plus
Speechcraft, Mercantile and Light Armor bonuses mean that you'll be pretty
balanced in being able to deal with enemies, be they at sword point, or across
the bargaining table. For generalists, this class is right up there with the
Dark Elves.


Kajiit:

Strength:      40 / 30   Skill Bonuses: Acrobatics +15, Athletics +5, Hand to
Intelligence:  40 / 40                  Hand +5, Light Armor +5, Security +5,
Willpower:     30 / 30                  Short Blade +5, Sneak +5
Agility:       50 / 50
Speed:         40 / 40   Specials: Eye of Fear, Eye of Night
Endurance:     30 / 40
Personality:   40 / 40

Commentary: There is a reason that many of the thieves you'll meet in this game
are Khajiit - they're damn good at it. All of their skills (save Athletics)
come out of the "stealth" category, and their two specials both adapt well to
thieving. (The Eye of Fear power causes humanoids to flee from you, while the
Eye of Night spell helps you see in the dark). Don't look for this race to make
great leaps at wizardry, and they don't lend themselves to hack-and-slash
fighting (not having armored feet will always leave you with a lower average
armor class). Khajjit are also a beast race, meaning no shoes or closed helms
for you, snout-boy.


Nord:

Strength:      50 / 50   Skill Bonuses: Axe +10, Blunt Weapon +10, Medium
Intelligence:  30 / 30                  Armor +10, Long Blade +5, Spear +5,
Willpower:     40 / 50                  Heavy Armor +5
Agility:       30 / 30
Speed:         40 / 40   Specials: Thunder Fist, Woad, Resist Shock, Immune to
Endurance:     50 / 40             Frost
Personality:   30 / 30

Commentary: They're big, strong, and dumb. That'd make them fighters. Having
100% immunity to frost and 50% resistance to shock is a nice touch, but their
other specials are only so-so at best (25 point frost touch and 50 point shield
power, respectively). If you just want to pound the hell out of stuff, or have
a thing for tall, leggy blondes, this is a decent racial choice. However, on a
side note: I don't like classes that have multiple weapon and armor bonuses.
Throughout the game you'll mostly use one type of weapon and one type of armor,
so having multiple skill bonuses for these skill types is usually just wasted
points.


Orc:

Strength:      45 / 45   Skill Bonuses: Armorer +10, Axe +5, Heavy Armor +10,
Intelligence:  30 / 40                  Medium Armor +10, Block +10
Willpower:     50 / 45
Agility:       35 / 35   Specials: Berserk, Resistant to Magicka
Speed:         30 / 30
Endurance:     50 / 50
Personality:   30 / 25

Commentary: Surprisingly (despite popular legend to the contrary) Orcs are not
quite as big nor dumb as Nords, Vvardenfell's version of Vikings. They have
good skill bonuses (you'll only waste one armor bonus), and their specials are
respectable (magicka resistance is at 25%, while Berserk raises health, fatigue
and attack while lowering agility). They are, however, butt-ugly, so if you're
a vain player you might want to play a Redguard instead (unless you're a vain,
racist player, in which case play a Nord, and get some therapy.) Orcs are
versatile, useful characters to play, and even if you choose not to use axes,
their other skills will come in handy throughout the game. Unless you want to
be an orc mage, which is a sad creature indeed. (Sad, and angry, and violent.)


Redguard:

Strength:      50 / 40   Skill Bonuses: Long Blade +15, Short Blade +5, Heavy
Intelligence:  30 / 30                  Armor +5, Axe +5, Blunt Weapon +5,
Willpower:     30 / 30                  Medium Armor +5, Athletics +5
Agility:       40 / 40
Speed:         40 / 40   Specials: Adrenalin Rush, Resist Poison, Resist
Endurance:     50 / 50             Disease
Personality:   30 / 40

Commentary: With practically every combat skill in the game in their bonus
column, saying that Redguards make decent fighters is like saying that oceans
are slightly wet. Their 75% poison and disease resistance isn't bad (more so
for poison, less so for disease), and the Adrenaline Rush power fortifies all
of your combat-related stats for 60 seconds. Their biggest selling point,
ultimately, is their +15 Long Blade bonus, which gives them (if you pick it as
a major or minor skill) a head start over any other melee class in the "hitting
and killing things" category. Their only downside is that the majority of their
bonuses are weapons, which means you'll be wasting several points in unused
skills.


Wood Elf (Bosmer):

Strength:      30 / 30   Skill Bonuses: Marksman +15, Sneak +10, Light Armor
Intelligence:  40 / 40                  +10, Alchemy +5, Acrobatics +5
Willpower:     30 / 30
Agility:       50 / 50   Specials: Beast Tongue, Resist Disease
Speed:         50 / 50
Endurance:     30 / 30
Personality:   40 / 40

Commentary: Bosmer are thieves on a par with Khajiit, though perhaps more
inclined to sneaking and fighting than straight stealing. Beast Tongue is a
junk special (Command 5 creature-levels for ten minutes? Fly, my monkeys!
Fly!), and Resist Disease has been adequately mentioned previously. Their skill
bonuses are noteworthy, however, in that they are designed to make you very
good at three important stealth abilities: sneaking, shooting things far away,
and wearing light armor. In addition, they're very short, which makes dealing
with Altmer and Nords pretty funny. (They're probably 4-5 feet tall in the
game.)


3. The Classes (or, "Building a Good Custom Class")
*********************************************************

So you know your name, and what you look like. You next step into the Census &
Excise office, and this old joe wants to know what class you are. While you
could certainly just pick a class (or let the game pick one for you, based on a
short "personality quiz"), you really get the most mileage out of your
character by making your own class.

Now, this is perhaps the most contentious section of any given FAQ. Everyone
has their own style of play, and everyone has an opinion on which skills are
most vital to success. And truthfully, most everyone is right. The beauty of
this game is that there are as many different ways to beat it as their are ways
to play it (although combat figures largely into the game, obviously). You can
beat it with magic, combat or stealth (I beat the last enemy of the game
without landing a blow), or a mixture of all three. So *your mileage will vary*
when designing a class. Chances are, you'll screw up a few times before you get
your perfect mixture down.

However, everyone can suggest a good skill set, and you can take all of our
opinions and use them for what they're worth. Many of my suggestions are along
the lines of those you'll find in other FAQs, and they are based solely on my
own experiences in the game (which should go without saying). Lastly, know that
I prefer a generalist approach to this game (and most games, really), so
understand that my choices come from that perspective.

Your major skills are not necessarily the skills you intend to use most often.
Rather, they should be skills that immediately need high values. Any armor
skill you pick (and you should really pick only one) should go here, because a
higher skill means that the protective value of a given piece of armor is
higher. Any magic skills you decide you want (spell-based skills only; Alchemy
and Enchant can be minor skills, and Unarmored should be considered an "armor"
skill) should be major picks, simply because you start out with free spells in
those skills you pick as major. Other skills that should go here would be
skills like Security (which benefits greatly from the higher value because most
locks you'll run into have a value of 25 - 50, and having the skill in the
major column means a starting value of at least 30), Speechcraft (helpful for
bribing and socializing with NPCs, which occurs very, very often in the game),
Mercantile (saves money in the long run, and very helpful to new characters,
whom are usually broke), and Block (a skill that helps you negate physical
attacks, and no one could say that's useless!). I would strongly recommend
against placing your weapon skill here, or the skills Acrobatics and Athletics.
All three of these skills will raise quickly in the game (they are used often),
and you'll actually get more out of their point increases if you make them
minor abilities.

Minor skills. I would place your weapon skill here (and only one weapon, unless
you want to be a pugilist and include Hand to Hand as a skill, or you want
Marksman to give you a ranged option), along with other valuable but less
important skills like Armorer, Sneak, and Enchant. Contrary to what most other
FAQs recommend, I often put Athletics in as a minor skill; I find the rate of
increase isn't that rapid, and having 15 points added to my skill total means I
move quicker across the land (a very valuable thing, indeed).

There isn't really a science to picking favored stats; just read the game book
and decide which stats could stand the most boosting. I usually always pick
Luck as one favored stat, simply because it's the only stat that can never get
an increase multiplier.

Specialization, of course, should favor whichever category the majority of your
skills fall under.

I will include here two sample templates, which while both generalists with
similar skills, favor different themes and approaches to the game. I usually
draw half my skills from my Specialization list, and sprinkle from the other
lists to taste.

*The Ranger*

Specialization: Combat
Favored Attributes: Strength and Luck

Major Skills                  Minor Skills
   Alteration or Mysticism       Armorer
   Block                         Athletics
   Enchant                       Long Blade
   Marksman                      Mercantile
   Heavy Armor                   Speechcraft

This character favors straightforward combat with long blades, heavy armor and
a shield. Armorer keeps the gear in top shape, while Speechcraft and Mercantile
help deal with non-combatants and merchants (who charge a lot for good weapons
and heavy armor). Enchant will make you a more efficient user of magical items
with charges (which you'll be using often, since you're not much of a spell
caster), while Marksman is favored over Destruction magic because you'll not
only have the Strength to carry bows and arrows, but the higher Agility to use
them efficiently. Lastly, Alteration or Mystical magic is included because they
include spells you'll be using most often (Levitate, Mark, Recall, Telekinesis,
Shield spells, etc). Most of the money you make will come from looting corpses,
rather than breaking into houses. A Redguard, Orc or Imperial would do well in
this class.


*The Bandit*

Specialization: Stealth
Favored Attributes: Agility and Luck

Major Skills                   Minor Skills
   Block                          Acrobatics
   Light Armor                    Alchemy
   Marksman                       Mercantile
   Mysticism                      Short Blade
   Security                       Speechcraft

This class will be spending a lot of time stealing from people and places,
which is actually pretty fun. Security and Acrobatics will help in this regard,
and Mercantile will ensure you get the best value for your loot. Marksman and
Short Blade skills, along with Light Armor and Block mean you'll be more
accustomed to hit-and-run fighting than straight confrontation. Mysticism is
chosen again for the Mark and Recall spells, which you'll be using a lot when
hauling plunder from distant locations, as well as the Almsivi and Divine
Intervention spells, which you'll need to pull your bacon out of the fryer.
Alchemy seems a strange choice, until you consider that you'll probably have a
pretty high Intelligence attribute (from using Security all the time), and
Alchemy can actually help a non-magic user out a great deal by providing much
needed magical boosts like healing, telekinesis, stat gains, and levitation.
Plus, since you're going to be thieving often, you're going to come across lots
and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of alchemy ingredients, so you'll
always have a steady supply. On top of that, as you get better at it you can
use Alchemy to make potions which you can sell off for a few extra bucks.
(Probably the only skill that pays for itself as you exercise it.) Lastly,
Speechcraft is again included to help out with those people you can't rob or
kill. This class fits in nicely with Khajiit or Dark Elves, and is custom fit
for a Wood Elf.


4. The Signs
**************

Okay, so you've got a face and a job. Now, your interrogator feeds you that
classic pick-up line: "what's your sign?" Those crazy Imperials... always
looking for a booty call. But he does want an answer, and you probably want
input from me. (Otherwise, go read someone else's FAQ. I guarantee, however,
that mine has better spelling and a mintier aftertaste.)

The Apprentice

Ability: (Elfborn) - Fortify Maximum Magicka 1.5x INT
                     Weakness to Magicka 50%

Commentary: The fat magicka bonus is nice, but I tend to shy away from star
signs that penalize the character unduly (a statement I'm about to refute
below). I wouldn't recommend this as a starting sign simply because A) there
are better choices to be made, and B) as a new player, you don't want to worry
about getting whomped by magic-using foes more easily than necessary. If you're
going as a straight magic using class this might be a decent sign for you to
use, but a fair warning: straight magic-using classes can be a bitch to play,
and if you're starting out from that direction you might be asking for trouble.
(That's just my opinion, of course)


The Atronach

Ability: (Wombburn) - Spell Absorption 50 points
                      Fortify Maximum Magicka 2.0x INT
                      Stunted Magicka

Commentary: Ahh... The Atronach. There are some who suggest players avoid this
sign since "Stunted Magicka" means "you can't rest to gain back magicka". Let
me tell you now that taking this sign more often than not means the difference
between getting your ass handed to you up and down Vvardenfell, and laughing
off the pitiful efforts of powerful mages and magic-using creatures (and there
are many, especially at higher levels). With 50 points of spell absorption, you
essentially throw off and suck up half of all magic attacks thrown at you. I
don't mean "you ignore 50% of the damage done". I mean "50% of all magic
attacks simply don't work on you." What's more, those deflected attacks
actually refuel your magicka pool. My first character had this attribute, and
it wasn't until I made my second character (who didn't have this sign) that I
realized how amazingly useful it can be to ignore half of everything magical
that opposes you. Lots of things toss magic effects your way. This refuels your
magicka. Truthfully, I never rested much in-game anyway (I only really did so
to level my character), and I found with subsequent characters that I only
needed to rest to refuel my magicka pool! So I highly recommend this sign to
start with - doubly so if you don't intend to use much magic (or only use it
secondary to weapons).


The Lady

Ability: (Lady's Favor) - Fortify Personality 25 points
Ability: (Lady's Grace) - Fortify Endurance 25 points

Commentary: This is a really strong sign. Endurance and Personality are fairly
important attributes, and they aren't always the easiest to raise (both only
have three skills associated with their leveling). Having a high starting
Endurance means more initial hit points at those weaker, earlier levels; while
a higher Personality means NPCs tend to interact more favorably with you. (An
Imperial with this sign and Personality as a favored attribute can start with
an 85 Personality, making him or her only slightly less popular than a plate
full of cookies at fat camp.)

I would only offer two caveats against this sign: one, taking this means you
can't take The Atronach (and monsters mostly don't care how charming you are),
and two involves managing your stat leveling bonuses. Many other guides will
detail at length exactly how you can get those amazing 5x stat multipliers when
you gain levels, and explain how important it is to make sure you exercise the
right skills to get that bonus every time. I myself didn't want to spend that
much time carefully leveling (I'm anal only to a point), so I just leveled
willy-nilly. If you plan to carefully level your attributes, then getting
initial fat stat bonuses may end up being wasted in the long run (as you could
easily level these two stats with a little time and care). Otherwise, this is a
very strong star sign to consider.


The Lord

Ability: (Trollkin) - Weakness to Fire 100%
Spell: (Blood of the North) - Restore Health 2 points for 30 seconds on Self

Commentary: I think this sign's full name is "Good Lord You're GOT To Be
Kidding Me!" Weakness to Fire 100%?! That makes you only slightly less
flammable than gunpowder. And what do you get in return? A crappy, weak healing
spell that you could just as easily buy from practically any magic merchant in
the game. Hooray for you. Of course you might argue that this spell has a 100%
success rate, whereas a non-Restoration magic user could struggle with a
comparative spell. My response: shut up or I'll flick my cigarette at you.
You're essentially accepting a spell that heals 60 health in return for bathing
in lighter fluid. Buy a few healing potions, choose another sign, and smoke 'em
if you've got 'em.

Last note: I heard someone suggest combining this sign with a Dark Elf racial
pick, thereby mostly negating the fire penalty (Dunmer have 75% fire
resistance.) I have a response to this, too: don't be an idiot. Trade away one
of your racial bonuses, still have a slight weakness to fire, and leave
yourself with nothing to show for it but the powers of a weak healing potion!
While you're at it, why not choose The Apprentice star sign and play a High
Elf? Incredible starting Magicka, and 100% weakness to it, too. Good for those
bipolar players ("I love magic, and yet I fear it, too").


The Lover

Ability: (Mooncalf) - Fortify Agility 25 points
Power: (Lover's Kiss) - Paralyze for 60 seconds on Target
                        Damage Fatigue 200 points on Self

Commentary: Most of my comments about the Lady apply here to the Mooncalf
ability. A higher Agility means you hit things more often early on, but careful
stat selection can negate this at higher levels. The Lover's Kiss is pretty
much a waste; Paralyze can be really useful throughout the game, but there are
better ways to get this power. (Jinkblades, which paralyze on contact with an
opponent, are as common as flies in this game.) Not the worst sign, but not the
best, either.


The Mage

Ability: (Fay) - Fortify Maximum Magicka 0.5x INT

Commentary: This sign doesn't offer much, but it doesn't penalize you, either.
If you don't want stat bonuses, and you plan to use magic heavily in the game,
then this is probably a reasonable pick. (More adventurous players might want
to pick The Apprentice instead.)


The Ritual

Spell: (Blessed Word) - Turn Undead 100 points for 30 seconds on Target
Spell: (Blessed Touch) - Turn Undead 100 points for 30 seconds on Touch
Power: (Mara's Gift) - Restore Health 100 points on Self

Comments: Let's just mention right off that you can buy Blessed Touch for less
than 50 gold in a town next door to where you start the game. (And I'm going to
bet you can buy Blessed Word somewhere, too). And truthfully, I prefer the
spell "Turn Undead... to Bonedust" (material compontent: honkin' big weapon and
strong sword arm). And while Mara's Gift is a really good power, you only get
to use it once per day. That doesn't go far, and if you've gotten to the point
when your only healing option left is a once-a-day effect, then you made a bad
choice somewhere earlier in your adventures. I heartily suggest not choosing a
sign that doesn't grant at least one permanent effect, which would put this
sign in the doghouse.


The Serpent

Spell: (Star-Curse) - Poison 3 points for 30 seconds on Touch
                      Damage Health 1 point for 30 seconds on Self

Commentary: Next! I think Bethesda Softworks put in this sign simply to see if
anyone was dumb enough to choose it. If you select this for your character,
your computer or Xbox sends out a signal to the government to let them know
that you're probably too dumb to drive, vote, or carry sharp objects. Poison is
definitely good stuff to use on bad guys, but you can enchant or acquire a
better effect on a weapon, and it won't damage you. Granted, the damage isn't
severe, but it sure as hell isn't worth the effect it deals to the enemy.


The Shadow

Power: (Moonshadow) - Invisibility for 60 seconds on Self

Commentary: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The answer: not
people with this sign. While choosing this doesn't put you in the same category
as people who went with The Serpent, you're still taking a sign that doesn't
really offer you any benefit. Powers only work once per day, and Invisibility
only works as long as you don't do anything other than move. (Attacking or
picking up something deactivates the effect, so don't think you'll be sneaking
through lairs looting and pillaging unseen. *That* power is called "Chameleon",
and it's a different spell altogether.) This sign essentially duplicates the
effects of an 80 gold piece potion. Get my point?


The Steed

Ability: (Charioteer) - Fortify Speed 25 points

Commentary: Same as for other stat increasing signs, but this one will make you
move a little faster (and improve your functional Unarmored ability somewhat).


The Thief

Ability: (Akaviri Danger-Sense) - Sanctuary 10 points

Commentary: You dodge better. That's about it. Sanctuary is a very common spell
to find enchanted on items, and while those spells aren't constant effects, you
don't really need a defense bonus when you're not fighting, do you? I'd steer
clear of this sign.


The Tower

Spell: (Beggar's Nose) - Detect Animal 200 feet for 60 seconds on Self
                         Detect Enchantment 200 feet for 60 seconds on Self
                         Detect Key 200 feet for 60 seconds on Self
Power: (Tower Key) - Open 50 points on touch

Commentary: If Tower Key were a spell instead of a once-a-day power, I'd highly
recommend this sign. But it isn't, so I don't. Beggar's Nose may seem like a
solid spell (and it is, I suppose), but in my experience the little on-screen
map is so small that by the time this spell would "detect" anything, you could
probably see the object or enchantment in question. I rate this alongside The
Thief, which means just say no.


The Warrior

Ability: (Waywyrd) - Fortify Attack 10 points

Commentary: This gives you a 10% better chance (I believe) to hit things with
weapons. If you plan to be a fairly straight-forward hack-and-slash player, and
you don't want stat increases, then this is probably a decent choice for a
sign. (It's about as useful as The Mage is for spell users.)


5. Skills
*********

It's just not enough to look good and have a cool job title (just ask a sports
anchor) - you need to have skills to get ahead in the world. And in Morrowind
having the right skills can make the difference between inheriting your destiny
forty hours into the game, and restarting six times in a row because you keep
finding out your character is pathetically unprepared for the multitudinous
challenges this game has to offer. So believe me, you want to make as many good
choices as you can before you start, because you don't want to have to train up
a non-class skill to a decent level because you realized twenty hours into
playing that you can't survive without it. So we'll run through the skills, and
I'll offer my commentary on each. First, a disclaimer: these are only my
opinions. As I mentioned earlier in this FAQ I tend to take a "generalist"
approach, and people who play with a very narrowly focused type of play (or
character) are going to shake their heads in disgust at my suggestions. So take
whatever I (or anyone else) says with a grain of salt.


*Combat Arts*

<Block>: A pretty useful skill, unless you use spells or two-handed weapons. If
you successfully block an attack, you completely negate the damage. If you
intend to wade into melee range often this is a good choice for a skill - but
put it in as a major rather than minor skill, because as a minor skill it will
probably be too low initially to train via use. (By which I mean you won't
block much, which means it won't raise much, which means it won't be much use
to you until you pay trainers to make you better. Go major, or go elsewhere.)

<Armorer>: If you're a spellcaster, you can take a pass on this skill. If
you're a thief-type, and wear light armor this skill's value is debatable. But
if you wear medium or heavy armor this is probably a good skill to take. It can
cost a hell of a lot to repair pricey armor after it takes a beating, and since
Armorer is associated with Strength, training it means you're exercising that
stat (which you're going to want if you wear the heavier armor types). But even
if you deck out in heavy armor, I would still only put this in as a minor skill.

<Medium Armor>: The bastard stepchild of heavy and light armor types, medium
mostly benefits from being ridiculously friggin' common. Bonemold armor (a
decent medium armor) is worn by all Dunmer guards, and you can find it for sale
in practically every town, and laying around all over Vvardenfell. However, its
protective value is not exceptionally higher than light armor, and on average
it weighs only slightly less than your average heavy armor, so the value of
this skill is debatable. I'd probably only recommend taking this skill if you
want to be a warrior, but don't plan on focusing on your strength attribute
(like a fighter/spellcaster mix).

<Heavy Armor>: The best protection in the game, the highest enchantment value,
and it weighs a ton. High-end cuirasses weigh around 90lbs - whole suits chime
in at several hundred pounds easily. However, by the time you find this kind of
gear you'll be more than strong enough to schlep it around. If you're going to
be a fighter, this is the armor type you should take, and like any armor
choice, it should be a major skill.

<Blunt Weapon>: One of the two most important story weapons you'll find in this
game is a blunt object, but don't let that influence your decision. Blunt
weapons have their place, being neither great nor useless. They're one-handed,
and do respectable damage, but aren't exceptionally common throughout the game.

<Long Blade>: By and large, this is your first choice for a weapon skill. There
are a wide variety of weapon types that fall under the long blade category
(both one and two-handed), and they're probably the second-most common weapon
in the game (after short blades). Unless you have some burning desire to take a
specific weapon type, I'd recommend putting this into a minor skill slot.

<Axe>: Axes are slightly more common than blunt weapons, but in my opinion
slightly less useful. If you're playing an Orc or Nord you might want to use
axes only to capitalize on their racial skill bonuses.

<Spear>: Why the hell would anyone use a spear? It's two-handed, so no shields
(so no blocking, and lower overall character armor rating). They have no
versatility in their attacking (thrust, thrust, thrust, repeat), and they are
fairly uncommon and underpowered in damage delivery. And none of the high-end
magical weapons are spears (excepting one gift you can pick up in the Mournhold
expansion, and even that one isn't much to write home about). Maybe fanatical
Argonians will play with spears, but I wouldn't recommend anyone else try.

<Athletics>: This skill determines how fast and efficiently you run, walk and
swim, which means it's a pretty fundamental skill. Most FAQs will suggest you
not pick this skill as a major or minor skill because of how easily it raises.
But then, most FAQs suggest you tie a rubber band around your controller and
leave it on for several hours to cheaply raise this skill without effort, so
there you go. Personally, I think this skill makes a good choice for a minor
slot (don't waste a major pick) if you've got the room, and don't have anything
else you want.


*Magic Arts*

<Destruction>: If you want to blow crap up, this is the skill for you. There
are a variety of other effects (weapon and armor corrosion, fatigue draining,
and damage vulnerability) that are encompassed within this skill, but at its
heart this skill is about collateral damage. If you intend to be a straight
mage, or battlemage combo, then this is a skill you should take (and place it
in a major slot). If you don't intend to be a spellcaster, then this is
probably not going to be a useful skill for you. Some Dunmer players will take
it for their fighter or thief types and use it in place of Marksman (since they
get a +10 racial skill bonus to Destruction), but it won't see much use later
on when you have more powerful weapons you're better trained in using.

<Alteration>: This is a great skill for people who want a little magic for
their character. Including such valuable (and needed) spells as Open, Water
Breathing, Water Walking, Levitate, and Shield, this skill gives characters a
wide selection of spells that offer effects often used in the game. Straight
mages can benefit from this skill as well, although they will probably take
Enchant instead, and craft these effects into items. Alteration also trains
Willpower, an attribute that most fighter or thief skills don't train (but is
valuable nonetheless).

<Illusion>: This skill can either be critical or useless, depending on how you
play. In addition to the expected Invisibility, Chameleon and Paralyze spells
this class offers, it also includes defense and charm spells. While these are
all useful effects, they generally duplicate skills a character might have
otherwise taken. A high personality and Speechcraft negate a need for charm
magic, while a good rating in Sneak makes Chameleon less useful. Paralyze, of
course, is better suited to weapons than straight spells. Generally I would
restrict Illusion to people planning to play straight mage-types, as they will
benefit most from the variety of protective and interactive magic this skill
offers. Other character types will have much less use for the effects this
skill offers.

<Conjuration>: This skill offers four effects: Turning Undead (useless - kill
them instead), Summon Creature (summoned creatures are generally stupid and
useless, with badly designed A.I.s), Command (might have its uses), and Bound
Item. Only the last effect has any real value in my opinion, and even then is
most useful for a mage who wants to permanently enchant himself some weightless
Daedric equipment. Normal fighter and thief types can find and use better gear
than this spell can summon - with one exception. If you're a Marksman, purchase
Bound Longbow (buy it at the Balmora Mage Guild from the Guild Guide), and get
it enchanted into an item. Good magical bows are very, very uncommon, and the
longbow summoned by this effect is as good as any you'll find. You'll have a
weightless, powerful bow at your disposal (that will fortify your skill 10
points), and all you'll have to do is supply the arrows.

<Mysticism>: Like Alteration, this skill offers spells representing several
highly-used effects, such as Mark & Recall, the two Intervention spells,
Telekinesis, and Soul Trap. I find this skill to be slightly more useful than
Alteration only because many of the Alteration effects I like to use are better
as enchantments than spells, whereas all of the spells in this group make
better spells than enchantments. If you're only planning to take one spell
skill, than I suggest you make it this one, and place it in a major slot (to
reduce spell costs and increase successful casting probability).

<Restoration>: This skill, to me, is a tricky one. Most, if not all of the
spells in this group (healing, poison and disease removal, attribute restoring)
are extremely handy and valuable effects to have access to. However, you can
readily buy potions that duplicate all of these effects (like you can for most
any other skill), and these potions are very common, inexpensive, and easy to
come by. In addition, when you're neck-deep in combat, taking the time to
switch to a healing spell usually means death, whereas with a potion you simply
pause, and activate it from the item menu. Healing magic is critical to
survival in this game, but I personally feel you can get access to that healing
more efficiently with Alchemy (or just buying potions and scrolls outright).

<Enchant>: Great to have, damn near impossible to train. Even if you don't
intend to craft your own magic items in this game (and it's not usually worth
it, as the really cool items you want are generally too difficult for an
Enchant skill of less than 80-90) this skill has other uses. In addition to
enchanting it also makes you a more efficient user of charged items, which
means you squeeze more power from a given item. Also, it makes you better at
recharging items from a Soul Gem (the only way to do so other than waiting for
charges to come back naturally). I generally toss this skill in a minor skill
slot, and only leave it out if I desperately need room for something else.
Believe me, when your favorite health-draining magic weapon runs dry in
Ghostgate, you're going to wish you were good enough to suck a few more charges
out of it.

<Alchemy>: Like Enchant, only much easier to train. This skill is exercised
merely by eating potion ingredients, as well as making the potions themselves.
If you decide to take no other magical skills I would suggest you at least take
this one, since potions can duplicate the effects of practically every other
spell available (including some that have no business being potions, like Mark
and Recall). Ingredients for most potions are so common they literally grow on
the trees in this game, although materials for the more esoteric effects are
slightly harder to find. (Daedra Hearts don't, unfortunately, grow on trees.)
Later on, when you're shamefully wealthy you may just decide to buy your
potions rather than home-grow them, but even at that certain potions are
actually easier to make than track down and buy (good restore magicka potions,
for example, are hard to locate).

<Unarmored>: Unless you're a beast race, I can't imagine why you'd take this
over another armor skill. The benefit of this skill at high levels does not
negate the actual superior protection of wearing even light armor, and even
mages are better served donning something other than robes. Still, I guess if
you're going for a monkish "walks-the-Earth-like-Kain-in-Kung-Fu" type, then
this would the skill for you.


*Stealth Arts*

<Security>: I'm hard-pressed to find a reason not to take this skill. Sure, you
could just enchant a 100 point Open spell on an amulet and let the magic do the
talking, or carry Ondusi's Unhinging and Ekash's Locksplitter scrolls around
with you, but just taking Security is a heck of a lot more efficient. Scrolls
run out, enchantments run dry, magicka depletes. But lockpicks are cheap, carry
25 "charges" each, and most locks in the game have less than a score of 50,
which means with even a little practice (or a good pick) you'll pop through 70%
of the locks in this game without even trying. If you do take this skill, I
suggest putting it in a major slot, to ensure you have a much better chance at
picking locks right from the get-go.

<Sneak>: Useful if you want to pick people's pockets (which really isn't as
easy to succeed at as it should be), or sneak around without being seen. This
is one of those few instances where I actually think a spell works better than
a skill. I played a thief and still never used this skill much - it doesn't
train very rapidly (it doesn't train just by going into "sneak mode"; you have
to be actively moving around and near someone who could possibly see you), I
never had much cause to pick people's pockets, and if I absolutely had to sneak
by someone, I used Invisibility (or more commonly) Chameleon.

<Acrobatics>: Like Athletics, this skill helps determine how you move; in this
case, vertically rather than horizontally. High levels in this skill make for
some pretty spectacular leaps and falls, and many people find they move faster
jumping than they do walking. Unlike Athletics, however, I don't normally
recommend giving this skill a skill slot, simply because it actually trains
faster than Athletics (even though you spend more time walking than jumping),
and I feel that Athletics needs the bigger initial point boost. For thief
types, however, this is a useful skill to have (for jumping from roof to roof,
escaping danger, and reaching items in high places), and they alone might want
to give it a minor skill slot (in place of Athletics).

<Light Armor>: More common that either of the other two armor types, Light
Armor is also the weakest, cheapest, and has the least enchantment points.
However, one of the best cuirasses in the game is Light Armor, and Stealth or
Magic focused players will find Light Armor best suited to their style of play.
More combat-oriented players should go for heavier armor; otherwise, Light
Armor is a solid skill to pick. Light Armor does have one additional downside;
unlike Medium and Heavy Armor types there is really only one kind of Light
Armor that is worth having, and that is Glass armor. Most of the other more
commonly found Light Armor types are useless after the earliest stages of the
game. Luckily, Glass armor isn't impossible to find, and it enchants well.

<Short Blade>: Easily the most common weapon in the game, and also the weapon
type of the other legendary weapon you find in the end game. Short Blade is
probably the best weapon choice after Long Blade, and Stealth types should pick
this and never look back.

<Marksman>: Marksman weapons are a mixed bag; on the one hand, they give you an
option for distance attacking, but on the other hand they aren't very powerful,
and bows attack fairly slowly. Still, there are times when a tough opponent is
best killed by someone standing very high up and out of reach, and generally
you can carry much more ammo for a bow than magicka for an attack spell.

<Mercantile>: Many FAQs suggest taking a pass on this skill, but I disagree.
Money makes the world go 'round, and people with high scores in this skill are
masters at getting the best bang for their buck. It's just not possible to go
through this game without at some point shopping, and a high Mercantile skill
gives you the ability to buy low and sell high. No character in this game will
avoid dealing with merchants, and therefore no player should pass on this
skill. (Unless you like getting ripped off, in which case please email me - I
have prime real estate in Iraq to sell you.)

<Speechcraft>: Another skill that people debate over, I also suggest players
consider including this skill in their skill set. There are many times in the
game you will need people to like you enough to divulge a secret, and this
skill makes getting people to like you much easier. Granted, you could just
bribe the hell out of someone until their disposition is high enough, but this
skill makes that cost you tens of gold, not thousands (and with successful
"admire" attempts, it can cost you nothing). Unless you really want to focus
exclusively on beating things up, toss this skill in a major or minor skill
slot.

<Hand to Hand>: I never use this skill, so I can't really comment on its use.
It does have the one benefit of being about to incapacitate someone without
killing them, but I have rarely (if ever) seen the need to do this. Taking a
swing at someone is still a crime, whether you do it with a fist or a sword,
and if someone hits you first you can kill them without repercussion. Plus,
knocking someone out via fists takes forever, and you're sure as heck not going
to be using this against monsters. I don't see any real use for this skill.


6. Final Thoughts on Character Creation
***************************************

So far, I've tried to maintain a fairly balanced opinion on creating a
character. I've based skills on their (in my estimate) relative use, and tried
to maintain a perspective of "all types of characters have value". Now,
however, I'm going to be damned blunt about what I think, what I've seen work,
and what I've seen fail.

A) Forget combat magic. This game is not very magic friendly, at least as far
as combat magic is concerned. The most powerful spell you could build (and
successfully cast) is not really equal to the most powerful weapon you could
haul around and swing. In addition, casting spells drains Magicka, whereas
swinging weapons only drains Fatigue. Weapons drain very little Fatigue, and
you are likely to have two or three times as much Fatigue as you are Magicka.
Also, casting magic is slow, prevents the use of a shield, and can be
reflected, absorbed, or ablated by spell shields, whereas weapons can only be
blocked (and not usually with 100% effectiveness, like spells). Your main
method of attack in this game should be with a weapon, relegating magic to a
secondary role as a ranged weapon or support magic. Personally, if I know I'm
going to need a magical attack effect, I just buy a few scrolls or enchant an
item, and leave it at that.

B) Just take Long Blade. You want to. Bethesda wants you to. All of the best
weapons in this game are long blades almost to a fault, and you can find very
powerful long blades long, long before you can find even halfway decent weapons
of any other variety (save short blades). Only thief types should consider
another weapon type (not that they have to), and for them the best choice is
Short Blade (because of their specialization bonus).

C) You need social skills, you maladjusted little twerp. If you're just
planning on building an ass-kicking warrior with all combat skills, and don't
intend to talk much to the natives, then why the hell are you playing
Morrowind? Go play a first-person shooter or D&D emulator. The heart of this
games lies not only in exploration of the massive world, but in interacting
with the many characters within it. Skills like Mercantile and Speechcraft,
along with a strong Personality score make doing the latter much, much easier.
Otherwise, be prepared to shell out 1000 gold bribes just to get people to tell
you the time of day.

D) Beast races walk funny. This isn't really a character creation rule, merely
an observation. Khajiit are cat-like, so wouldn't you presume they should move
with grace and nimbleness? They waddle, people. They freakin' waddle! When they
walk they lean side to side to compensate for their goofy, huge-looking feet.
That's just sad.

E) Go Heavy or go home. Medium Armor just doesn't have much going for it.
Generally, if you're not planning on fighting much Light Armor is the better
choice, but if you plan on fighting a lot (and you WILL be fighting a lot),
you'll certainly have the Strength to wear Heavy Armor. Granted, a full suit of
Ebony Armor can weigh in at about 250lbs, but my 46th level Thiefly type has an
adjusted Strength attribute of about 125, which grants him a carrying capacity
of 590lbs. Plus, practically all of the best armor pieces (Oren Bearclaw's
helm, Masque of Clavicus Vile, Fists of Radagalf, Dragonbane Cuirass, etc) are
from the heavy category. Heavy Armor is like Long Blade - even if you don't
start out using it, you'll end up training in it before you're done. So start
early.

F) If I had to lay down what I thought would be the character best suited to
dealing with as many different choices as you get faced with in this game, I
would make someone that looked like this:

Race: Dark Elf or Imperial
Class: Adventurer
Specialization: Stealth
Favored Attributes: Strength and Luck
Star Sign: The Atronach

Major Skills                   Minor Skills
   Block                          Armorer
   Heavy Armor                    Athletics
   Marksman                       Long Blade
   Mysticism                      Mercantile
   Security                       Speechcraft

A good mix of Combat and Stealth skills with Mysticism thrown in, the
Adventurer should have no problem with practically anything he or she will face
in Vvardenfell. Were I to make this class I would be sure to train (via
trainers) my Enchant skill up whenever I had the money to do so: it's not
really worth using in a skill slot (because you won't use it very often), but
you'll still want it at a respectable level to help reduce charge usage in
magic items, and to increase recharge amounts from soul gems.

Ultimately, the best advice I can give you (on top of all the other crap I just
dished), is to look at what Bethesda built right into the game. Morrowind is
ultimately a story about two races: the Dark Elves native to Vvardenfell, and
the Imperials who have conquered it. Everyone else is basically window
dressing. So, that being the case, the two races of Dark Elf and Imperial are
probably best suited to playing this game. (Not the only races, merely the best
in my opinion.) And even if you don't choose to play either of those races,
look at the skills they have been given bonuses in: Long Blade, Destruction,
Light Armor, Athletics, Mysticism, Marksman, Shortblade, Speechcraft,
Mercantile, Blunt Weapon and Hand to Hand. Tossing out a few (Blunt and HtH),
you can see many of the skills that you will be using over and over again
throughout the game. Let that serve as a suggestion guide when you're building
the character you intend to play.


7. A Few Good (and mostly painless) Ways To Make Easy Money

So the character's done and you're standing in a room with two Imperials, and
nothing in your pockets except lint. Out there in that big world there are
many, many things you are going to want to buy. This will require money, and
right now you have less disposable income than an Enron janitor. Unfortunately
for you, most of the best ways to get lots of money involve a significant
chance of you dying, and there's no profit in that. Fortunately for you, there
are many opportunities to earn painless cash that take nothing more than a
small amount of patience, and an even smaller amount of luck. Here are a few
below. (Note that I have excluded anything that might actually endanger your
character, anything related to quests, or items you find placed out in the
wilderness. What I list is things you can find in towns, and require little if
no personal danger. Perfect for beginning characters.)

First, a (very) quick primer on thievery. Very simply - if you're caught, not
only do you have to pay in gold the face value of the stolen goods, you lose
*everything* in your possession that you've ever stolen. Therefore, if you are
about to get caught by a guard, it would be in your best interest to make sure
that there is nothing on your person they might want to reclaim. Make sure you
immediately sell off stolen goods, or drop them when you're attempting thievery.

A second note on thievery: unfortunately, the game seems to have a bit of a
glitch in that once you have stolen a given item type (examples: iron cuirass,
glass longsword), the game seems to forevermore assume that *any* of that item
type you are carrying is stolen. You could sell that item, and then buy a
completely different one in a new town from a new person, and yet if you're
caught by a guard for anything, he'll take that item away from you. So just be
sure that the majority of the things you steal are for the sake of cash only,
and just buy (or win in combat) the items you intend to regularly use.

Or just don't get caught. And now, the easy money:

A) "Oops! I'm Sorry Officer, That Platter Must Have Fallen Into My Pocket By
Mistake": The first place you'll want to look for money is right in the room
you're in. To your immediate right, on a bookshelf to the left of the fireplace
is a Limeware Platter. This is worth 650 gold, and is easily stolen. However,
it does take a small amount of deftness. As soon as you pick it up, enter your
inventory screen ("B" button on the Xbox) and drop it to the ground. After the
guard chastises you, pick it up off the ground and it's yours.

B) "How Nice Of Them To Put Everything Worth Stealing in One Room": As you move
through the Census office, you'll notice that there are a plethora of items
just laying about. Leave them laying there for now, and head through the door
into the next room, where you'll meet yet another smarmy Imperial. On the shelf
behind the Imperial (roughly at eye level on the far right side of the
bookshelf to his left) is a small key called the "warehouse key". This key
opens the building right outside the one you are currently in, and has several
thousand gold worth of plunder just waiting for your greedy mitts to thieve.
However - be warned! The Imperial is *very* close to that key, and if you're
not quick he'll catch you and confiscate it. And since you can't save yet you
only get one chance at grabbing and dropping it. I suggest you drop your
Limeware Platter (and anything else you've stolen) before you try for it. If
you do steal it, it opens the warehouse right across from the Census office.
All of the crates and barrels inside the warehouse are on the left side. Happy
looting.

C) The Sword of White Whoa!": Before you're finished in Seyda Neen you'll
probably (if you ransacked the warehouse) have a bunch of Moon Sugar and Skooma
that Arille won't touch. Don't worry, Ajira at the Balmora Mage's Guild will
happily buy it all. Eventually you have to head there anyway, so why not pay
her a visit? And while you're there, check out the East Guard Tower, second
floor. On top of the closet is an excellent long blade worth 17000 gold. Way
too much to sell off now, but a good weapon to hang on to and use if you're the
Long Blade type. Also in that closet is a set of Bonemold armor just asking to
be pilfered. The key to getting this stuff (if you don't just use telekinesis),
is to creep slowly forward in Stealth mode until you can open the closet, but
before the guard sees you. This is easy to do (I've done it with a 5 in my
Stealth skill).

D) "A Real Fix-It Deal": In Suron the Pawnbroker is selling a Glass Dagger
(normally retails at 4,000 gold) for less than 25 gold. Why? Because its
Condition rating is non-existant (items at their full Condition sell for more
than damaged items). Buy this blade, then buy a few hammers from the smith next
door (or just pay him to fix it, but that's lazy and wasteful, especially if
you have the Armorer skill). Use the hammers to repair it and bingo! You've
turned 25 gold into 4000. If you're *really* cheap, join the Fighter's Guild in
Balmora and just take repair hammers out of their community equipment chest.

E) "Redoran Garage Sale": In both Ald'ruhn and Maar Gan there are guard towers,
easily recognized as being long, phallic spikes poking high into the air. There
are two in Ald'ruhn (by the entrance to town, just to the right of the Silt
Strider), and three in Maar Gan (around the temple). Inside these two-floor
buildings are one restless guard and many crates. These crates usually have
randomly placed alchemical supplies and weapons, but *every* tower has at least
one set of Bonemold armor. Considering that Bonemold suits retail for around
1200-1500 gold each (modified by your Personality and Mercantile skill), that's
a nice wad of dough. The trick to getting these things is pathetically simple:
the guard wanders around constantly. Click into Stealth mode, and the icon will
activate when the guard is not in your line of sight. Position yourself next to
a crate you want to loot, and when you see the icon, steal like a bandit. There
are armorers in both towns that have plenty of money to buy these suits off you
(and thoughtfully won't alert the guards you've stolen from them).

F) "Sure, I'll House-Sit For You, Mr. Tax-Fattened Noble": For a steady supply
of small income items (10-100 gold stuff) pay visits to peoples' houses,
particularly the noble houses in Balmora, Ald'ruhn and Vivec. These people tend
to have unlocked closets and drawers with expensive clothing and jewelry in
them. And oftentimes, those people aren't even in the same room as their stuff.

G) "Caldera Meth Lab": In the Caldera Mages Guild there is a door on the first
floor behind the Bosmer merchant. Inside are many crates filled with loot. Even
better, up the stairs there is a complete set of Master's Alchemy equipment.
Best of all, there's no one in the tower to notice you liberating it. If you're
an Alchemist, this is the second-best set of equipment you could own. If you're
a scummy-criminal, the Alchemist in Balmora will gladly pay you several
thousand gold for these items. Note of Warning: don't try to sell this stuff to
the Bosmer in Caldera. It's his.

H) "Leading a Better Life By Stealing Office Supplies": By joining the Mage's
and Fighter's Guilds you gain access to their community equipment chests.
Inside are various valuables you can take and resell. They eventually restock
as well, and there are three "branch offices" for each guild (Balmora, Ald'ruhn
and Vivec), so visit often.


8. Contact Information & Disclaimer
***********************************

My email address is dao_jones@hotmail.com. At least, that's the one I'm giving
you. Be sure to mention the Morrowind FAQ in the email header, since that
account gets a lot of spam. I can't imagine a reason anyone would want to
contact me, but if you have a burning need - there you go. Suggestions are
welcome, but I probably won't add them to the FAQ unless I incorrectly stated
something, and I need to correct it. Submitted opinions on skills or races, etc
won't be included here (go write your own damn FAQ). Flames (why would anyone
flame a FAQ writer?) will be lightly skimmed, and dismissed as the pathetic
ranting of an undersexed teenage mongoloid. I've been online for over a decade
- I've flamed with the best of them, and I've seen it all.

Now, here's my disclaimer: nothing mentioned in this FAQ is a trademark
challenge to the rightful owner of anything contained within the game, any
other FAQ, or the universe at large. As far as *this* FAQ is concerned - do
what you want with it. Read it, use it, include it into your own FAQ, cut it,
paste it, publish it in a book and make a mint - I don't care. I'm not selling
trade secrets here, and if you can get rich publishing my opinions and game
suggestions, then more power to you. However, if you do decide to reuse,
reprint or redistribute this humble little game guide, I would appreciate it if
you emailed me to let me know - that way I can gloat about my 1337 FAQ-writing
skillz, and mock all of you non-FAQ writin' peons as being inferior to me.

Well, maybe not for that reason. But I would feel pretty pleased if someone
decided the stuff I hammered out here merited inclusion or posting anywhere
other than in my own head. Thanks.