Skip navigation

Vampire Q&A #1

Librarian Comment: 

This interview, conducted by Morrowind After Dark, took place sometime in early 2002, prior to Morrowind's release. Though it mostly covers gameplay, there are a few interesting lore takeaways as well, and the historical context is worth preserving. You can see a backup of it here.

A second follow up interview also exists, and can be found here. 

Here it is folks, my official Q&A exclusive with the Morrowind devs regarding Vampirism. I would like to thanks to Pete Hines and Mark Nelson for all their time, and for providing this brief glimpse into the world of Morrowind's vampires. Enjoy!

Q: Are the vampires going to look "normal" or will they be "Morrowind" versions? all abstract and drinking souls or have 3 fingers like the Raziel dork from the Legacy of Kain spin offs.

A: [Mark Nelson] I suppose "normal" is all relative when discussing vampires. Morrowind vampires are fairly traditional looking.

Q: Will the same clans be in Morrowind as were in Daggerfall? you know,the Anthotis and such.Will they have clan specific powers like Daggerfall?

A: [Mark Nelson]  There are three vampire clans in Morrowind: Aundae, Berne, and Quarra. While they share many of the same abilities, each has a specific set of powers and abilities that will differentiate them. The Quarra, for example, are much more a warrior caste, while the Aundae are more interested in domination through magical means.

Q: Will the vampires have their own guild houses/clan houses? I know they offer quests in Morrowind,I was just wondering if the vamps will train you in your vamp powers/skills.

A: [Mark Nelson] The clans are secretive and xenophobic. They don't want new members, and to them, you will be a rogue vampire, an accident. It's possible they'll have some dealings with you if you happen to be in their bloodline, but you'll be an abomination by their standards. You might be able to prove yourself to them enough that they won't kill you on sight.

Q: Will the vampires have better looking portraits? The ones in Daggerfall most didn't care for.

A: [Mark Nelson] You'll see your character's face change when he becomes a vampire. Each race and sex has a different model that's used. Hopefully, you'll all like them.

Q: Will vampires be able to pass for human/elf? In Daggerfall this was how they "infiltrated" society to suit their needs according to those "Vampires of the Illiac bay"novels you'd find/buy.

A: [Mark Nelson] As a rule, the Dunmer hate vampires, as they do all things that have the hint of necromancy about them. They, and the other residents of Vvardenfell, will always recognize a vampire, and will react accordingly.

Q: What sort of innate powers will vampires have? Can they turn to mist/bat/wolf? Can we expect the same huge stat/skill boosts from Daggerfall?

A: [Mark Nelson] There won't be any shape-changing for vampires. There will however, be stat increases and other abilities. These will differ depending on which bloodline the player is infected with.

Q: Will they be unharmed by weapons that aren't silver or better?

A: [Mark Nelson] Wouldn't be fair to the vampires if we told you all of their weaknesses, now would it?

Q: List one new strength,one new weakness,one clan name,one clan rank,and describe one potential "vamp quest" -Dalinn

A: [Mark Nelson] Potential vamp will be tough to get quests as a vampire. You'll be hated by most of the people of Morrowind. Many will attack you on sight. Your own bloodline considers you a monster, and the other two-thirds of the vampires want you dead because of that bloodline. However, there will be things to do, if you find the people who will talk to you.

Q: Can you become an ancient vampire? -Lucan

A: [Mark Nelson] No. As I mentioned, you won't really even be accepted by the clan yet.

Q: Can you cure yourself of vampirism in Morrowind? -Ultimate

A: [Mark Nelson] As most Morrowind residents will tell you, there is no known cure. There are stories, though, of a Bouyant Armiger who was cured, but this has never been verified.

Q: Will vampires be immune to disease/paralysis/anything that'd affect someone who was alive? Since they're dead I'm sure some things wouldn't affect them,for example,they shouldn't need to breathe at all underwater while swimming.

A: [Mark Nelson] The vampires in Morrowind are not dead, but they are not exactly alive, either. So, there is a balance between what normal mortal things will still harm them and what won't.

Q: How will sunlight affect gameplay for the vampires?

A: [Mark Nelson] It'll hurt. A lot.

Q: Will Vampipres have an attack and technique to bite and drink blood. Or do you just attack with your sword and absorb blood splatter through your skin?? -WeaponX

A: [Mark Nelson] Vampires in Morrowind can absorb the blood through their own Vampiric Touch. It's a handy ability that will drain the health of your target while adding health to you.

Q: Will there be another dream sequence/cinematic to herald the onset of vampirism like Daggerfall had in it?

A: [Mark Nelson] No comment.

Q: Will contracting vampirism in Morrowind be hard like it was in Daggerfall? I thought that was one of the cool aspects of it. You had to work hard to get it,and when you did it was awesome.Will one have to get it by accident or will you have to perform quests/missions for the vampires to prove yourself worthy of their clan?

A: [Mark Nelson] It isn't easy to become a vampire, but with all of the blood flying around during a battle, it can happen. As for proving yourself worthy to a clan, it won't happen. They're involved in their own intrigues, and don't have time for mortals, except as a snack.

Post Q&A; follow-up - Mark addressed a few concerns after the Q&A; went live.

Lemme do some 'splaining before this turns into a flame session (directed at me):

1) No, you won't be able to join the vampire clans. While it would have been nice to include full vampire faction gameplay, there wasn't enough time to devote to it. Knowing this, one of my goals was to design vampire play that could be expanded upon in the future, but would still be fun for this game. So, in some respects my answer was a bit of a cop-out. Wasn't really intended to be, but I can see what you mean.

However, it's simply wrong to say that the actual gameplay that is included is a cop-out. There is no one standard reaction from NPCs when you're a vampire. They will vary based upon a number of different elements--NPC race, class, faction, level, there is no "smashing the AI to very aggressive man." Trust me--I've actually played as a vampire.

2) This isn't Vampire: The Masquerade. There is very little that is dashing, romantic, or sexy about vampires in Morrowind. They're animals that prey on man and mer. People, for the most part, hate them. The Dunmer especially hate them. That doesn't mean that no one will talk to you. There are certain groups that don't really care if you're a vampire. Seek them out.

3) Playing a vampire will be difficult. This was a conscious decision on our part. You'll get a whole lot of power being a vampire. Being despised is the tradeoff. Vampire roleplaying in Morrowind is probably more suited for the more hack 'n' slash types, not those interested in talking their way through problems (though I've written a ton of dialogue for the vamp quests). You can play through almost the entire game as a vampire, but it'll be tough. If it's not your thing, don't take that route.

4) Don't become a vampire if you don't want to. Yes, you can contract vampirism from other vampires, but it doesn't make you a vamp instantly. This was designed specifically for those who don't want to be vampires. If you hate the vampire gameplay, just skip it. My feelings won't be hurt.

I hope that clears things up a bit. While I would have loved to develop the entire faction gameplay for the vampires, that wasn't possible given the time and resources needed. And like I said, this isn't a Vampire Roleplaying Game. However, we've tried to incorporate a number of quests (or "Things to Do in Vvardenfell When You're Dead") to give you a taste of vampire life, and hopefully we'll be able to devote a lot more time to the vampire clans in the future.