Mages Guild Review by Patrograd
Mages Guild Rewards (2003) Review by Patrograd
I am not much of a fan of house mods (which is what this basically is). I have difficulty with the concept that the player can get off the boat as a penniless convict and walk straight into a comfortable residence like a castle or a manor somewhere and live like a king. As a result, i have generally avoided such mods such like the plague. I'd much rather do what my chracter would do....break into someones house or shop, kill any occupants and use it for my base.
This particular house mod is out of the ordinary though, because although I'd rather, as a low level character, live something of a hand to mouth existence as described above, there comes a time when I seek more comfort in my existence.
Lets say, for example, that I was a Grand Wizard in the vvardenfell Guild of Mages. This is no longer the penniless convict we met before, this is a powerful and influential person, famed throughout the land, one of the most powerful mages around. Why would such a person live as a squatter, when any jumped up Telvanni worth his salt lives in a grand tower with an army of retainers? Of course, he wouldnt, but the original game makes no allowance for your growing stature (except in the Great Houses), and this is whre this house mod comes into its own.
Suddenly, as Grand Wizard, I can finally get through that door in the mages Guild that has fascinated me since the early days when I was picking mushrooms and flowers for khajit junior mages. Now I have Morrowind's equivalent of the 'Executive Washroom key', Now I can finally see what lies behind that door through which the mysterious Guild big-wigs come and go.
So what does lie behind that door? A small room, but a small room with a difference. In this room are a series of other doors, each one of which connects magically to one of the mages guilds around Vvardenfell. Aha! That makes sense, this is how the higher ups travel quickly from place to place, plotting their political schemes, and now I can join them.
But wait, there is another door. Behind it lies a smallish but well appointed office, together with a guard in Akatosh armour and a Dunmer girl who likes me alot. Good I like people to like me now that I'm someone big. She buys and sells, enchants and sells spells. There is a little storage in this area, but not much. What thre is though is two more doors, doors which lead to the Arch Mage's private quarters. One day, one day soon..........
I am now the Arch mage of the Guild of Mages. All bow before me, the most powerful wizard in this part of the world. Time to see what that old goat has been keeping up his sleeve. For one thing, a very spacious and well appointed bedroom with plenty of well labelled storage and beautiful tapestries. The lighitng is subdued, the atmosphere peaceful. Under the pillow I find two rings and an amulet. They are not enchanted, but with my experience I can tell that they will hold a very large charge. I'll go and see that nice girl in the office and get it seen to. Hello, she seems different, more powerful somehow, and tells me that she has learnt how to fix armour recently. I'll have to keep an eye on that one. Across the way lies my new study. The bookcases are really the best thing I have seen in a while. Very clever idea, I can certainly store plenty of books on/in there. there is also a very nice little desk, the like of which I havent encountered before.
Hang on, there's another door.......
Well,well well. The next time you are caught in a blight storm, dont curse the gods, they dont care. No, you should curse me, the Arch mage of the Guild of Mages, for I have the power to alter the weather at my whim, and that whim depends on whether I plan being outside or inside. If I shall be outside, it shall be sunny, otherwise, not. For here, in the secret Archmages room where none may enter but me, is a secret kept through the ages by Arch mage after Arch Mage. Here there is a large glowing crystal, and If I lay hands upon it I can alter the weather. can you do that, you jumped up Telvanni in your tower? Can you? No, I can do what only the gods can (and the dwemer could). Ah, the wonders of power.
The mod loads clean, and there are no apparent scripting errors or bugs. Construction is flawless, and the concept is perfectly in tune with Morrowind Lore. There is nothing uber to be had (see later note), and the mod can be described as perfectly balanced and a suitable reward for high ranking mages.
Note: The author has included another esp in the package. In this esp the player may access, via a trapdoor in the Grand Wizard's office, a shack containing creeper. This creeper is very, very rich, and must be considered as a cheat. However, as the author very sensibly makes this aspect optional, it is impossible to really find fault.
In many ways, this is the concept that all house mods should follow. Make sure that the player has enough status to live somehwere like this. Make sure they have earned the right. Keep uber gifts as either optional or away altogether. I hope that the author takes the time to construct similar mods for other guilds, and if he does I will certainly download them and keep them as part fo my regular game package.