The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is the third chapter in The Elder Scrolls series of role-playing games (RPG) developed and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is set in and around the province of Morrowind, in particular the island of Vvardenfell.
The game was released for PC on May 1, 2002 in North America and May 2, 2002 in Europe. The Xbox version was released on June 6, 2002 in North America and November 22 in Europe. It is available for the PC and Xbox. It is backwards compatible on the Xbox 360.
In the opening cinematic scene Azura explains to the dreaming Nerevarine that they have been taken from the Imperial City's prison to Morrowind. Azura gives only a reassurance, with no explanation as to why you have been chosen or even for what exactly you've been chosen. As this scene is playing out there are runes scrolling faintly in the background and as Azura finishes speaking one line becomes readable. "Many fall, but one remains."
The next voice heard is that of a concerned Dunmer prisoner named Jiub who wakes you from the dream and asks for your name. This is where the character creation begins and the game opens up. Once freed, the game world becomes an incredibly interactive environment filled with opportunities for fun and adventure. Even though the main quest centers on the player being the Nerevarine of prophecy, it is an open-play style role-playing game, meaning you can do what you want and be who you wish. Prowl the streets as a nimble thief picking pockets and fencing ill-gotten treasure, join the Mages Guild and rise to the rank of Arch-Mage, be an assassin stalking targets in the shadows, become a noble member of one of the Great Houses, and even explore "life" as a vampire or a werewolf.
There are thirteen birthsigns to choose from in Morrowind to have the hero be born under, each with its own special abilities and sometimes spells.
They are divided into three categories: Charges, Guardians, and the Serpent, which stands alone.
- The Serpent: Grants the spell Star-Curse. Poison 3 points for 30 seconds on touch, damage health 1 point for 30 seconds.
- The Apprentice: The Apprentice ability gives the character 50% Weakness to Magicka. Base Magicka is also increased by 150%.
- The Atronach (also known as the Golem): With the Atronach ability, Magicka doesn't recharge over time. Instead, a 50% Spell Absorption ability recharges Magicka. Base Magicka is also increased by 200%.
- The Lady: The Lady's Blessing confers bonuses of 25 points to the Personality and Endurance attributes.
- The Steed: Speed is increased by 25 points.
- The Lover: The Lover's ability, Mooncalf, fortifies the users speed by 25, also grants the power Lover's Kiss - Paralyze 60 seconds on touch, damage fatigue 200 points on self.
- The Shadow: Grants spell, Moonshadow-Invisibility 60 seconds on self.
- The Tower: Grants the hero the spell Beggar's Nose- detect key/enchantment/animal 60ft 200 seconds on self and the power Tower Key-open 50pts on touch.
- The Ritual: Grants the spells Blessed Word- Turn undead 100 points 30 seconds on target, Blessed Touch- Turn undead 100 points 30 seconds on touch, and the power Mara's Gift- heal 100 points on self.
- The Lord: The character is inflicted with a 25% Weakness to Fire, but receives access to a powerful Restore Health spell.
- The Thief: Grants the character Sanctuary by 10 points as a Constant Effect.
- The Warrior: Fortifies Attack by 10 points, increasing the odds of successfully hitting a target with a weapon.
- The Mage: Increases Magicka reserves by an additional fifty percent of the character's Intelligence score.
There are ten distinct races that you can choose for your character to be born as. These races are broken up into three different categories: Men, Mer, and Beast Races.
- Nords: The people of Skyrim. The Nords are excellent warriors proficient in the use of Heavy and Medium Armor and Axes, as well as Long Blades and Spears. They also have a great resistance to frost.
- Imperials: Natives of the civilized, cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil. The Imperials are well-educated and well-spoken. Imperials are also known for the discipline and training of their citizen armies. Imperials have proved to be shrewd diplomats and traders, and these traits, along with their remarkable skill and training as light infantry, have enabled them to subdue all the other nations and races, and to have erected the monument to peace and prosperity that comprises the Glorious Empire.
- Bretons: Bretons are the human descendants who hail from the province of High Rock. They are pure spell weavers and are advanced in all the Arcane arts. While lacking in physical skill, they make up for it with their ability for both resisting and casting spells that overwhelm most enemies.
- Redguards: Natives of the arid Hammerfell. Dark skinned and agile, Redguards are proficient with most warrior skills, including the use of Armor, heavy or light, and melee weapons of all types. They consider themselves the best warriors in all of Tamriel, and maybe Nirn.
- Altmer: The haughty, tall, golden-skinned peoples of Summerset Isle are called High Elves. The Ayleid referred to them as Salache, but they call themselves Altmer, or the "Cultured People". Altmer are adept spellcasters.
- Bosmer: The Bosmer are the various barbarian Elven clan-folk of Valenwood, a forested province in southwestern Tamriel. In the Empire, they are often collectively referred to as Wood Elves. Bosmer prefer Archery and sneaking, making them good thieves, rangers, and assassins.
- Dunmer: The dark-skinned, red-eyed natives of Morrowind, often called Dark Elves, are diverse and talented in their skills, ranging from adept mages, to accurate archers, even dabbling in swordcraft. Dunmer make good Spellswords and Nightblades for this reason.
- Orcs: The green-skinned "barbarians" also known as the "Corrupt Elves", hailing from the city of Orsinium in High Rock. Axes and heavy armor encompass the primary battle-skills of the Orcs.
Beast Races cannot wear shoes, boots or full helmets; specializing in Heavy Armor is not for them.
- Khajiit: The Khajiit are a race of feline humanoids hailing from the province of Elsweyr, well known for their keen Intelligence and Agility. Clever and stealthy, Khajiit make excellent assassins and thieves.
- Argonians: Reptilian denizens of Black Marsh that call themselves the Saxheel (People of the Root), known as Argonians in the Empire. Little is known and less is understood about the Argonians. except that they can breathe underwater. Both male and female Argonians, like the Khajiit, make skilled assassins due to their proficiency with blades, sneaking, lockpicking, and alchemy. More intelligent than their male counterparts, female Argonians can also be adequate mages.
When building a character, skills are assigned as being major, miscellaneous, and minor. Raising major skills and minor skills, by doing the activity, levels up the character. Ten points increase in major skills levels one up by one level.
- Morrowind was first teased during the opening cinematic in The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard in 1998. Several books on a shelf can be seen in the background: The Elder Scrolls: Arena, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and finally The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.