Morrowind:Starting Out

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This is a list of hints to help you start your adventures in Vvardenfell on a good note. For more tips, see any of the following:

  • Cheats - Various cheats to modify and manipulate your game.
  • Glitches - A list of known glitches that appear in Morrowind.
  • Hints - A list of hints to help you on your further adventures in Vvardenfell.
  • Houses - Places to call home in Vvardenfell.
  • Making Money - Tips on how to earn a few extra coins on your travels.
  • Quest Timing - Suggestions on what quests to do early, and which to save for later.


Make good use of the difficulty slider; for a first-time player, it is a good idea to start out low and increase it every few levels, maxing out at +100 around level 35. You can find your own comfort zone where the game is still challenging, but not frustrating. The slider affects how much damage you deal to enemies along with how much damage you take from their attacks.

It is more than possible, however, to start out with the default difficulty settings and make good. The most important thing is to realize that many challenges do not scale to player level. Initially, there are some places it is dangerous to go, and some foes that it is best to run from.

Easily Obtainable Items[edit]

Census and Excise Office[edit]

After you finish talking to Socucius Ergalla, but before you give your release papers to Sellus Gravius, there are a few opportunities to make extra money before you officially begin. While you can always safely steal anything you wish from unguarded rooms, it is also possible to steal items in the guarded areas. To accomplish this, simply pick up an item and immediately drop it on the floor. The Limeware Platter on the shelf next to Socucius Ergalla is recommended. If you open the menu first, then you can move many items to the floor without getting caught. The guard will rush over and reprimand you, but will not issue you a bounty. After saying goodbye, simply pick the item back up. You can do this with multiple items at a time by entering the menu screen. This technique is also useful for the warehouse key in the room with Sellus Gravius.

In the rest of the rooms, there are a lot of low-value items, but you can sell it all for up to around 1,000 gold. Notice however, that whenever you do this quick-drop "trick" and get caught, all previously stolen items will be confiscated, even if you are not arrested. The silverware and other items picked in the unguarded rooms may be affected, but not the stolen gold. To avoid this, either take the limeware and the key before picking the items in the unguarded rooms, or perform the same trick with all of them (drop and pick up from the floor).

Note: If you are caught stealing too many of the items within the guarded area of the Census and Excise Office using the quick-drop method, the game displays a warning message and forbids you from stealing items again, which may force a reload of a previous save, or more likely a restart of your game. After you leave the Census and Excise Office for Seyda Neen proper, returning to try this quick-drop trick will result in arrest; if you do not have the gold to pay the fine, you'll do jail time, which will harm your stats. If you got the platter but not the key, or vice versa, sell your initial loot at Arrille's Tradehouse first so you can pay the fine.

Census and Excise Office Warehouse[edit]

Right outside the Census and Excise Office is a door that leads into its warehouse, and there is another door to it downstairs in the office of Sellus Gravius. Use the warehouse key to open either door and help yourself to the stash of weapons, armor and alchemical ingredients inside. Be aware that an Imperial guard patrols this entire indoor area. An NPC trainer can be found upstairs.

Around and Inside the Lighthouse[edit]

Scattered in and around the lighthouse of Seyda Neen are numerous items that can be taken and sold to increase the amount of money your character has early on in the game. For example, the unarmored skill book The Wraith's Wedding Dowry can be found in the top level of the lighthouse. You are also able to loot the sacks and steal the lanterns and sell them to Arrille at his tradehouse for a small profit.

There are two rotting tree trunks around the lighthouse. Note that these tree stumps are not containers, so you will have to be standing on top of them to reach the items inside. The one closest to the lighthouse entryway can be reached by jumping down from the wooden walkway leading up to the entrance; it contains 25 gold pieces and a silverware cup worth 13 gold. The second trunk can be reached by climbing the stones beside the Lighthouse entryway and jumping off towards the trunk, which contains an Iron Shardaxe worth 100 gold.

Free Guild Supplies[edit]

If you are a member of the Fighters Guild or Mages Guild, you gain access to supply chests in each guild hall. For example, the Balmora Fighters Guild equipment chest contains 100 iron arrows, 100 iron bolts,10 cheap restore health potions, 10 cheap restore fatigue potions, 5 (very useful) standard potions of restore health and 10 journeyman's armorer's hammers.


If you are looking for full sets of medium armor, you can find crates full of the stuff in the top levels of Redoran guard towers in Ald'ruhn. Each tower only has one guard, and he patrols up and down the stairs. You'll have a moment or two to loot the crates each time he disappears to the lower floor.

Nice Light Armor[edit]

If you have the Tribunal expansion enabled, a Dark Brotherhood assassin will attack you when you rest (see the quest page for details). He will be wearing Dark Brotherhood Armor, which is extremely strong for low-level characters. The assassin can be difficult to kill, however, so try not to rest until you are strong enough to make the attempt.

Free Steel Armor[edit]

Go to Hla Oad, to Fatleg's Drop Off and take the trap door to the Cammona Tong underground hideout. If you swim down into the sunken tunnel and climb up on the wooden platforms, you will find three crates with a partial set of steel armor (helm, cuirass, boots, shield, right pauldron and right gauntlet), along with several random pieces of steel weapons and armor.

Sword of White Woe[edit]

In Balmora's Eastern Guard tower, you can find a Sword of White Woe on top of a closet, on the top floor. You don't have to fight the guard there to get the items as there is a blind spot. If you are by the foot of the bunk beds or on top of the jars beside the closet, you can take the sword and not be noticed, although you might need to jump or levitate to see the sword.

Free Master's Alchemy Set[edit]

You can get a free set of Master's Alchemy Apparatus in the Caldera Mages Guild without getting caught or expelled. You can also steal some ingredients. Use a guild guide to teleport to Caldera. Head downstairs and look for a wooden door leading to a spiral staircase. Make sure you shut the door or someone might come in. Go up the spiral staircase, steal what you want and you're done.

If you're a member of the Mages Guild, then most items will not be marked as stolen if you take them, but not all.

An additional set can be stolen from Nalcarya of White Haven if you hide next to the pillar near the entrance and access the crate in the corner. If you've already stolen the set from Caldera then you should sell this to her first.

Expensive Soul Gems[edit]

During the Fake Soul Gem quest for the Mages Guild in Balmora, you can steal all of the soul gems off Galbedir's desk, including a particularly valuable Winged Twilight, if you do it before she returns. However, any soul gems of these types (including ones you have filled) will be marked as stolen, so you will not be able to sell them to Galbedir in the future.

The Redoran Vault[edit]

During the quest for Ahnassi, she will tip you off about a key to the vaults in the Redoran Canton of Vivec. Note that the key is present whether or not you have started Ahnassi's quest. The key is located in a set of dressers in the Dralor Manor in the Redoran Canton. The key allows you to legally unlock the lower gate of the vault. Once inside, you can wait for the guards to cycle out of the room and then take many valuable high-level items. Pieces of ebony and glass armor, as well as gems and gold, are stored in the room.

Other Easily Found, Useful Items[edit]

Early Traveling[edit]

Exploiting the Early Quests[edit]

Three quests starting in Seyda Neen can all be exploited for a little extra cash early in the game.

First and most obvious is the Fargoth's Ring quest. You could keep the ring, but it's much more profitable to return it to him, since you can get it back in a later quest (see below). Also, returning the ring rewards you with an instant Disposition boost with Arrille, the only trader in town, making this perfect for selling the items you stole from the Census and Excise office above.

Another quest you can exploit is the Death of a Taxman quest. Find Processus Vitellius' corpse just outside the town; he will have 200 gold on him. If you report his murder to Socucius Ergalla, he will ask if there was any cash on the body. If you turn in the money you will be promised a higher reward for executing the murderer. However, if you find the murderer and kill him before reporting to Socucius Ergalla, then you will get the reward for him and still get to keep the tax money, effectively earning 700 gold from this quest instead of 500. When you find Processus Vitellius' Ring during this quest, you may enchant it as it is an Exquisite Ring, the highest quality ring for enchantment. You may also sell it for profit, since it is worth far more than the healing potions you'll receive if you return it. Another option is to return the ring to Thavere Vedrano, take the healing potions, then kill her and take the ring off of her corpse. Your crime will not be reported and you get both the ring and the healing potions. Both the killer's home and the lighthouse may also be used as player houses.

The third exploitable quest is Fargoth's Hiding Place. Not only do you get back his ring during this quest, but you get a nice pile of gold. While you were told to return two thirds of this gold to Hrisskar Flat-Foot, there are no negative consequences if you just keep it. Again, you can always give it back to him later when you're not desperate for money.

The Road to Balmora[edit]

If you plan on continuing the main quest, your first destination after leaving Seyda Neen will be Balmora. There are several ways to get there. The easiest way is certainly to take the Silt Strider. A more lucrative way is to walk. There is one path in particular on which the new adventurer can find many stashes of loot along the way.

As you exit Seyda Neen, you will see a road ahead that splits—you can go to the right and follow the path up to the Silt Strider, or you can go straight ahead and pass over a little bridge. The second swamp-like pond on your right-hand side contains a rotting tree trunk with three stumps—one of them contains two piles of 25 gold pieces and a Firebite dagger worth 7 gold.

Continue following the path and an unfortunate Bosmer will fall out of the sky to land just in front of you. The corpse can be looted for three Scrolls of Icarian Flight worth 119 gold each; for details and safety tips, see this page.

If you walk along the coast, you will find some tombs and a shipwreck with plenty of desirable loot in them.

Also, under some trees right on the coast half-way between Seyda Neen and Hla Oad, right away from Samarys Ancestral Tomb and Unexplored Shipwreck, search for a tree stump with a Cloth Sack within. There is 100 gold inside.

Completing Report to Caius Cosades[edit]

Try to deliver the package to Caius Cosades before you reach level 4. He will hand you 200 gold if you've come to him while below that level. He will also give you directions to the other members of The Blades, who will give you information and items that you can sell for gold or keep.


A good beginner dungeon foray involves clearing out a nearby cave of smugglers. From Seyda Neen, turn right and approach the Silt Strider. As you get closer, there will be a path going left and downhill. Take that path to the door covering the Addamasartus entrance.

The smugglers here aren't especially tough, but a new character fresh off the boat will face quite a challenge. Free the slaves to get a quest later on. You can also pick up their slave bracers and sell them to a merchant. Don't forget to loot the smugglers' bodies and all the containers. There is a Thief Ring down the path near the caged slave area, in a corner full of coins, bones, mushrooms and a piece of armor; it may be hard to see due to its size. There are also a few pieces of light armor lying around, and there is a good sword next to a skeleton, in a pool of water.

Spears to Improve Your Endurance[edit]

Since Heavy Armor is, well, heavy, and Medium Armor has limited uses in later levels, Spears are the best way to increase your character's Endurance. Also, it might be a good idea to make endurance one of your favored attributes so you can max it out as quickly as possible. Also note that spear has a longer reach, helping you to keep critters at bay. Arrille has two Iron Spears for sale. The Conjuration spell Bound Spear is helpful, cheap and weightless. The trader Ra'Virr in Balmora also has a cheap Devil Spear for sale, if you don't want to solely rely on spells. Also, the first quest Caius Cosades gives you leads to Arkngthand, where a Dwarven Spear is located in the first room, near the door to the boss room.

Early Quests with Great Rewards[edit]

This is a section of quests that have fantastic rewards, and can be done by any player.

Auriel's Bow - Reward of an enchanted Daedric Cuirass and Daedric Greaves (note that while this is a House Telvanni quest, anyone can do it).

Pilgrimages of the Seven Graces - Easily obtainable Dreugh Cuirass, which can be received over and over again.

Vassir-Didanat Ebony Mine - Only requires you to discover the mine, and turning it in rewards 2000 gold or a choice of daedric weapons. Can be completed at any level at any time.

Boots of Blinding Speed - Pemenie can be killed at early level. The Boots give a 200 Point Speed Bonus and are great to get around. Read the Wearing the Boots section for tips on how to counter the 100% Blindness. Note that Argonians and Khajiit cannot wear boots of any kind!

Useful Spells[edit]

Starting out, a super powered spell isn't necessarily what you need. Going to a Spellmaker and making a custom one magicka point version of a spell is often a better choice as you're more likely to succeed casting it and making repetitive casts will help raise the respective skill spell. Also, several effects have better utility with a short duration version. For example if you're exploring along a coast using a long duration Water Walking spell and you spot an underwater wreck you'd like to explore or a cluster of Kollops that may hold valuable Pearls then you may have to wait for the effect to wear off while a one magicka point 11 second spell won't hold you up so long. Similarly a long duration Levitation spell can keep you from being able to sneak to avoid enemies or rest to regain health and magicka.

  • Absorb Health - tops off your health while damaging your foe.
  • Restore Strength - to deal with Greater Bonewalkers
  • Turn Undead - for tomb raiding.
  • Almsivi Intervention and Divine Intervention, as well as Mark and Recall - Spell or Scroll, for a quick retreat when you're out-matched. Also good for getting around.
    • A Potion of Recall can be used even if you've been knocked down. Other Recall or Intervention methods require you to be on your feet, and if you've been knocked down you may not have a chance to get back up before the enemy that did it finishes you off. Nalcarya of White Haven in Balmora restocks Potions of Recall, as well as Potions of Marking.
  • Light or Night Eye - To help you see in the dark.
  • Water Breathing - Many caves contain treasure or passages underwater, and this will also help you dive for pearls off the coast.
  • Water Walking - Allows you to cross water much faster than by swimming or levitating. Standing on water is also quite safe, as creatures of both the land and sea cannot reach you.
  • Levitation - There are are many hills on Vvardenfell which are unscaleable without a high Acrobatics skill. Levitating over them will save you the time and effort of having to go around them.
  • A Summon spell to distract your foe.
  • A Bound Weapon or Armor spell to help with fighting hard foes.