Morrowind Lockpicking by Fearabbit
Oblivion » Stealth
Added: 29/04/2010 - 08:08PM
Updated: 14/11/2010 - 12:36PM

229 Endorsements

3.0 Latest version

3,381 Unique D/Ls

4,902 Total D/Ls

50,835 Total Views

Uploaded by Fearabbit


Last updated at 12:36, 14 Nov 2010 Uploaded at 20:08, 29 Apr 2010


by Fearabbit

requires OBSE 0017 or newer!

1. Description
2. Installation
3. Uninstallation
4. Playing the mod / inner workings of the mod
- 4.1. Basic information
- 4.2. The Chance-to-break system
- 4.3. Lockpicks and Loot
- 4.4. Miscellaneous notes of possible interest
5. Credits
6. Changelog


Have you ever played Morrowind and thought "man, compared to Oblivion, this lockpicking system is much better!"? Or have you ever played Oblivion and thought "man, compared to Morrowind, this lockpicking system sucks!"?
Or have you never played Morrowind, but still want a better lockpicking system for Oblivion?

Then this mod is for you. It gets rid of the lockpicking minigame and introduces Morrowind's realtime lockpicking system to Oblivion. It also features lockpicks of different quality, each with a unique texture. They can be found in loot and for sale at certain vendors, just like the usual lockpicks (which get turned into the lowest quality lockpicks of my mod once they're in the player's inventory).
Unlike the vanilla lockpicks, my new lockpicks won't break if you fail to open a lock. Instead, every type of lockpick has an average lifespan of X uses. After every lockpicking attempt, there will be a calculation whether the lockpick breaks or not (and the closer you get to X, the more likely it will be). All of this can be adjusted in the INI file, so that you can reproduce Morrowind's system (each lockpick breaks after 25 uses) exactly, or take a completely different approach.
The formula for success is exactly the same as in Morrowind, and can be found further below in this readme.

Note: This mod is very similar to Zumbs Lockpicking Mod, and is in fact heavily inspired by it. However, there are many things that are done very differently. My aim is to get an even more seamless, immersive and intuitive implementation of the system, and also to offer the possibility to *completely* recreate Morrowind's lockpicking system - while Zumbs Lockpicking Mod is, apart from the realtime aspect, actually not very similar to Morrowind, especially if you look at its inner workings.
Another point is that Zumbs Lockpicking Mod has several bugs - not game-breaking or very noticable, but they can be avoided (for example, its crime detection system adds the bounty for lockpicking for each guard that sees you - if two guards see you, you get twice the bounty you'd normally get etc.).
So even if you love Zumbs Lockpicking Mod, you might still want to try this out; especially now that Morrowind Lockpicking is just as (or even more) customizable as Zumbs.


- Extract the archive to your Oblivion\Data folder and activate the plugin "Morrowind Lockpicking.esp". You can also choose to turn this into an omod, or to use BAIN - it's up to you.
- This mod adds its items to leveled lists! You should tag the mod as Relev and rebuild your Bashed Patch if you're using Wrye Bash (which you really should download if you haven't done that yet, even though it's not required for this mod).
- If you don't want to use Wrye Bash, then at least make sure that this mod loads after all the big overhauls you might have - otherwise you probably won't find the new lockpicks in the leveled lists. (If you use a Bashed Patch, you can put the mod wherever you want in your load order, as far as I know.)

- Do NOT use Zumbs Lockpicking Mod together with this one! You'll have to make a decision which one you want to use. (Psymon I'm looking at you)


- Remove all mod-added lockpicks from your inventory before uninstallation (if you DON'T open the inventory afterwards, you can also already add the same amount of normal lockpicks back to your character with a console command, see below).
- The easiest and cleanest way to uninstall this is to use BAIN or an Omod; that way all components are removed from your game.
- If you uninstall manually, be sure to remove the \menus\lockpick_menu.xml file, otherwise the lockpicking minigame will still be disabled. In order to keep your Data folder and the subfolders clean, you should of course remove the other files from this mod as well.
- After uninstalling, you won't have ANY vanilla lockpicks. It might be a good idea to check how many mod-added lockpicks you had, and add that amount via the console. Open the console and type "player.additem 0000000A X", where X is the amount of lockpicks you want to add.



All lockpicks added to your inventory can be found in the Weapons section of your inventory, because you will equip them in order to use them. There are 5 different lockpicks (the stats shown here are the *default* settings, which are the same as in Morrowind - Quality and Average Number of Uses can be customized, however!):

1. Apprentice's Lockpick: Quality 1.0, 25 Uses on average, Value 10 gold
2. Journeyman's Lockpick: Quality 1.1, 25 Uses on average, Value 50 gold
3. Master's Lockpick: Quality 1.3, 25 Uses on average, Value 100 gold
4. Grandmaster's Lockpick: Quality 1.4, 25 Uses on average, Value 200 gold
5. Skeleton Key: Quality 5.0, 50 Uses on average, Value 1000 gold

They can be found as loot wherever you can usually find vanilla lockpicks, and for sale at certain vendors. You will never find the Skeleton Key as generic loot or for sale. It will, however, not replace the vanilla Skeleton Key either. Currently you can find it somewhere in the game (the place is kinda obvious). I might add a quest for this in later versions. Ideas are welcome!

In order to make a lockpicking attempt, equip a lockpick and "attack" the container or door you want to open. If the container belongs to someone else, make sure that you aren't seen by any law-abiding NPCs within 1500 feet around you, otherwise they'll call the guards - yes, even your companions might do that (even though companion mods usually are set to have low responsibility for exactly those reasons).
The lockpicking attempt takes as long as the animation is playing - during that time, you can't move your character. The chance of success is calculated with this formula:

Chance = 1.25 * ( Security + Agility/5 + Luck/10 ) * LockpickQuality * ( 0.5 + FatiguePercentage * 0.5 ) - LockLevel

LockLevel is the normal lock level, which ranges from 1 to 99. (Depending on that value, the game shows the lock as being "Very Easy", "Easy" etc.) FatiguePercentage is your current Fatigue divided by your maximum Fatigue (which means that the effect of Fatigue ranges from 0.5 to 1.0.)
If your chance value is below or equal to 0, the message "Lock too complex" will appear - so unless you can still improve by regenerating your Fatigue, there's no point in even trying to open that lock any further if you see that message. Key-only locks will always be "too complex" to open, for balancing reasons.


Morrowind Lockpicking since v3.0 features a chance-to-break calculation which is notable for its many options of customization. Any parameter of the formula can be adjusted in the MorrowindLockpicking.ini file. It is possible to recreate Morrowind's system, or to do something entirely different. The formula it's all based on is:

Chance = BreakChanceMax * { [ PickEquippedUses - PickEquippedAvgUses - BreakChanceSecLuckEff * ( Security + Agility - 100 ) ] * BreakChanceAscent + 0.5 }

This Chance is capped with the values BreakChanceMax and BreakChanceMin. PickEquippedUses stands for the number of times you've already used your currently equipped lockpick, PickEquippedAvgUses stands for the average lifespan this type of lockpick has. BreakChanceSecLuckEff is a small number which handles the amount of influence Security + Luck has on the chance (which is a positive effect if the sum Security + Luck is higher than 100, and a negative effect if the sum is lower). BreakChanceAscent is the value that determines how much the chance of breaking increases each time you use the lockpick.
- Further information on this formula can be found in the MorrowindLockpicking.ini file. I recommend leaving it at its default values, but the choice is yours.
- On the TESNexus page of this mod, there are also images of graphs which show how changing the different parameters can have very different effects.


In the game, you can find lockpicks as loot - either in containers or on NPCs/creatures. Most of the time, these cases are handled separately, so there is a certain chance of finding a lockpick in a loot container (vanilla: 15%), and there's a certain chance of finding a lockpick on e.g. bandits or goblins (vanilla: 25%).
Morrowind Lockpicking offers you to change these chances of finding lockpicks to suit your needs. By default, they are already decreased, because one lockpick of this mod is more durable than one lockpick in vanilla, thus you don't need as many as before. In the MorrowindLockpicking.ini file, you can change them to your liking (this is explained in detail in the comments of the INI file).
However, these chances only tell you whether you find a lockpick or not - they don't tell you *which* type of lockpick you'll find. There's a separate calculation that decides which it will be, and you can adjust those values as well. For example, you can completely remove Grandmaster's Lockpicks from loot lists, or you can make their chance really low by increasing the chance of all other lockpicks, or something like that (again, more information in the INI file).


- How vanilla lockpicks are handled and how the new lockpicks are put into the game:
The mod will automatically check how many vanilla lockpicks are in your inventory, and then convert them to Apprentice's Lockpicks. (For immersion reasons, vanilla lockpicks are now called "Apprentice's Lockpicks" as well, but they haven't been changed other than that).
Likewise, because NPCs are not supposed to use the lockpicks as weapons, all lockpicks found in the game are actually misc items - they get turned into the corresponding weapon-type lockpicks after you've added them to your inventory.

- Experience:
In my mod, a successful lockpicking attempt gives you 2 experience points for Security, a failed attempt gives you 0.5 points.
In vanilla Oblivion's Auto-Attempt feature, each attempt gives you 1.5 experience points, whether you succeed or not; in the usual minigame, you get 1.5 points for every tumbler locked into position.
In Morrowind, a successful lockpicking attmept gives you 2 experience points for Security, while a failed one gives you none at all.
Make of that what you will; I think my experience points system is a good compromise.

- Notes about merchants who sell lockpicks (contains Thieves Guild spoilers):
1. I've removed the ridiculous amounts of lockpicks in all the merchant containers from the merchants I've added my new lockpicks to. TG fences always have 100 lockpicks... that's just not reasonable.
2. Generally all Thieves Guild fences will sell the new lockpicks to you. However, since it's not safe to add the lockpicks directly to the Merchant Containers, they can only sell them at predefined locations. They'll always sell the lockpicks when they're in their homes and offer services; Dar-Jee and Luciana will also sell them at the 5 Claws Lodge and the Lonely Suitor Inn, and Fathis Ules will also sell them when in Dareloth's Basement or Dareloth's House.
Since other merchants usually stick in one place to sell their items, I will not describe in detail who will sell lockpicks now; you can guess who the usual suspects are.

- Note about the vanilla Skeleton Key:
In vanilla, you get a Skeleton Key as reward for a quest from a Daedric Prince. That Skeleton Key increases your Security skill by 40. I decided to not touch that. Basically, having that Skeleton Key in your inventory improves your chances of opening a lock very much, but you'll still use the normal lockpicks.
I do have a version of the Skeleton Key, but I decided that it's best if I put that into the game world by some other means, because replacing the vanilla Skeleton Key might cause problems.

- Note about using this mod for an already existing character:
To make a wild estimation, one Apprentice's Lockpick from my mod is at least worth 10 vanilla lockpicks.This is why I suggest that if you have, say, more than 10 vanilla lockpicks when you first activate this mod, you should drop some of your newly-added Apprentice's Lockpicks so that you get 10 Apprentice's Lockpicks at most.
Or you can base it on the respective values; one vanilla lockpick is worth 3 gold, an Apprentice Lockpick is worth 10 gold, so you could divide your current amount by 3.
These are only suggestions so that activating this mod won't unbalance your game. Since you can actually repair your lockpicks from this mod (though you're not exactly supposed to do so), you might not need more than 1 lockpick at all, which is why reducing your number is a safe idea.


- Zumbs deserves credit for many things. First of all, he gave me the idea to do this. Second, I used his scripts as some sort of a manual (I didn't copy them, and in fact my scripts are much shorter, but for many problems I used his solutions). And then a lot of other aspects of his mod showed me how certain things should be done (how to set up the animations, how to make lockpick weapons, how to change the lockpick_menu.xml so that the minigame gets disabled, how to make NPCs call the guards etc.)

- UK47 deserves credit for making that awesome lockpicking animation which just looks so much better than the Sneak Staff Attack animation I've been using before :D

- Bethesda mainly deserve credit for making Morrowind, which is an awesome game that I love unconditionally. And hey, Oblivion is pretty cool, too!

- And many thanks to my betatesters for version 3: nottlong and Khettienna (especially nottlong). Also lots of thanks to TESAlliance's Betatesting Guild in general!

- new in version 3.0: Added MorrowindLockpicking.ini file with many customization options. The two separate scripts from version 2.1 have now been merged into one script again, because the choice between these two systems can now be made by changing the values in the INI file. Overhauled leveled lists and implemented customization of lockpick rarity.
- new in version 2.4: v2.3's features introduced some bugs that weren't there before (to be honest, I simply didn't think hard enough when I implemented them, and so bad things happened). These are now fixed. Most importantly, you won't start conversations if you're "lockpicking" NPCs anymore, and you won't open doors or enter them when you lockpick them even though they're already open.
- new in version 2.3: Making a lockpicking attempt now dispels invisibility effects on the player. OOO traps now work with the mod as well. Messages that you have no lockpicks etc. have been disabled.
- new in version 2.2: Crime detection has been changed to also include NPCs that follow the player. This means that responsible companions will now also raise an alarm (which I wanted to avoid). On the other hand, merchants will now call the guards too, as they are supposed to (even though they don't use any Follow-package, their behavior apparently also counts as a Follow-package... it is astonishing and annoying.)
- new in version 2.1: New and even better animation made by UK47. Also, script from alternative ESP file has been included in the ESP file, together with a menu to choose between the two systems. "Dummy items" made for the leveled lists are now made to remove themselves once a menu is opened, so that the player will never see them, even if he has a mod that makes all armor playable.
- new in version 2.0: The health of a lockpick isn't shown in its stats anymore. Instead, an internal variable counts your lockpicking attempts, and removes one lockpick of that type once it reaches 25. This also means you can't repair the lockpicks anymore. Once your current lockpick has only 5 uses left, the sound of a lockpicking attempt will change - it will be louder and have a different frequency. This will show you that your pick is about to break.