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There are 27 skills in Morrowind, each of which determines how well you can perform various tasks. Each skill is governed by an attribute; there are three to five skills governed by each attribute (except Luck). Each class has five major skills, five minor skills, and seventeen miscellaneous skills. Each time your character increases any combination of major or minor skills ten times, they become eligible to gain a level. Each skill also belongs to one of three specializations. The numbers in parentheses are what the game uses to identify the skill. Skills are raised by using them, by paying for trainers, by reading skill books, and occasionally as quest rewards. Skills can be permanently damaged (though retrainable) by jail time, and – in theory – by the Damage Skill effect, though the latter is not encountered as an effect used against the player character except in early, unpatched versions of the game.

The base starting value of each skill is 5, but player choices regarding race and class modify those starting values. Each of the five major skills receive +25, and each of the five minor skills receive +10. Each skill governed by the character's chosen Specialization receives an additional +5. Each Race receives additional bonuses to starting skill levels. The highest possible starting value for a skill is 50.

Attribute Skills Governed by Attribute
Endurance Heavy Armor Heavy Armor (3) Medium Armor Medium Armor (2) Spear Spear (7)
Strength Acrobatics Acrobatics (20) Armorer Armorer (1) Axe Axe (6) Blunt Weapon Blunt Weapon (4) Long Blade Long Blade (5)
Agility Block Block (0) Light Armor Light Armor (21) Marksman Marksman (23) Sneak Sneak (19)
Speed Athletics Athletics (8) Hand-to-hand Hand-to-hand (26) Short Blade Short Blade (22) Unarmored Unarmored (17)
Personality Illusion Illusion (12) Mercantile Mercantile (24) Speechcraft Speechcraft (25)
Intelligence Alchemy Alchemy (16) Conjuration Conjuration (13) Enchant Enchant (9) Security Security (18)
Willpower Alteration Alteration (11) Destruction Destruction (10) Mysticism Mysticism (14) Restoration Restoration (15)
Luck (none)


  • Backstabbing: Replaced with a flat sneak attack damage bonus
  • Climbing: Characters can no longer climb, but higher Acrobatics allows ascending steeper slopes
  • Creature language skills: The sole instance where your character knowing another language is important is decided by a simple Intelligence check.
  • Critical Strike: No longer occur randomly in battle, although sneak attacks grant damage multipliers
  • Dodging: Superseded by Unarmored and Agility
  • Etiquette: Merged into Speechcraft
  • Medical: Diseases are now automatically diagnosed
  • Pickpocket: Subsumed by Sneak
  • Lockpicking: Merged into Security
  • Running: Merged into Athletics
  • Jumping: Merged into Acrobatics
  • Stealth: Merged into Sneak
  • Streetwise: Merged into Speechcraft
  • Swimming: Merged into Athletics
  • Thaumaturgy: Spells shifted to other schools