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About this mod

This mod makes a few changes to Velas Manor in the Godsreach section of Mournhold. There are two versions of the mod. The first version simply removes ownership from all of the containers, misc items, and beds in the manor. The second version does the same, and also adds enough new containers to more than triple the storage capacity of the manor. B

Permissions and credits
Vegtabill’s Velas Manor Improvements
- a mod for the Tribunal Expansion of TES3: Morrowind

Hello, and thank you for downloading my modest improvements to Velas Manor! In the following sections I’ll go over what this mod does and why I thought it needed doing, how to install the mod, any possible conflicts with the mod, and a little bit in the way of technical specifics for those interested. But if you really just want to get started with the mod, go right ahead and skip down to the INSTALLATION section. I tend to get a little long-winded, as I’m sure some of you well know!

Despite what I said above, I think it’s easier to talk about why I think this mod is needed -before- going into what it does, so I’m going to do that now…

I am by no means what you would think of as a “veteran” of Morrowind, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. I just picked it up for the first time about a year and a half ago (as of the time of this writing, which is 2014-03-25) after having played Oblivion and Skyrim, in that order, for many, many hours each. For the record, this is one TES4/TES5 player who agrees wholeheartedly that Morrowind is, to date, the best TES has to offer. It just is.

But I digress. Despite being relatively new to Morrowind I have logged well over 1000 hours in and around Vvardenfell, and in that time I have learned that, as wonderful as it is, it definitely has it’s problems. Many of those problems have been modded away by the amazing Morrowind Modding Community, but there are few that persist, largely due to hard-coded imperfections in the game’s engine. One of these “problems” is, of course, the stolen item bug.

I won’t spend a ton of time on this bug. For one thing, there are a number of ways to deal with it; it is by no means a game-breaker. For another thing, it seems that there is only a minority of Morrowind players concerned with the consequences of the bug; indeed, many players are completely unaware of it. But in order to describe 50% of what my mod does, I need to briefly explain a little of the stolen item bug, so I’m going to do that now…

The first relevant part of the bug has to do with item IDs. Basically, if any one item becomes flagged as “stolen”, then every single instance of the stolen item’s ID also becomes flagged stolen. So if you steal one diamond, every single diamond is also “stolen” whether you actually stole any of them or not. There is no in-game fix for this; the only recourse is to edit the save in the Construction Set (CS), Enchanted Editor (EE), or the like. So that’s the first part: once an item is stolen, all of them become stolen.

The second relevant part of the bug has to do with containers. Many of the containers in the game are owned by NPCs. You can see this yourself by opening the console and typing “TFH” (Toggle Full Help). Any items that are owned will list the owner(s) under the item names when you hover the crosshair over them. Of course if you pick up an owned item, it, and all items with its ID, becomes marked stolen. But containers are a little different. You can’t pick up containers and put them in your inventory, but you -can- put items in them, and take them back out… and therein lies the problem. When you place an item in an owned container, it become owned by the NPC who owned the container itself. Then, when you take it back out, the item, and all of the items with its ID, is flagged as “stolen”. So if you store a diamond you acquired legitimately in a chest owned by an NPC, and then you take the diamond back out again, every single diamond in the game will become flagged stolen as well, just as if you had stolen them yourself. And there’s the second part: owned containers change the ownership of items placed in them, and the items become stolen when you take them back out.

As some of you may know, this bug really bugs me! On the official Bethesda forums, I have written in a number of threads about it. I even wrote a couple of threads that discussed potential player homes in Vvardenfell where most, if not all of the storage containers found inside are not owned. (For anyone interested, the two locations I’m speaking of are the Dunmer Stronghold Hlormaren, and the Hlaalu Ancestral Vaults in Vivec.) To be sure, there are quite a few places in vanilla Morrowind where unowned storage is readily available. Unfortunately, few of them are traditional “homes”, but they do exist and some are in surprisingly convenient locations.

The city of Mournhold, added by the Tribunal expansion, sadly did not follow Vvardenfell’s lead. There is the Vacant Manor in Godsreach with some unowned storage and a quest that seems to leave it truly “vacant”. But the Vacant Manor isn’t much to look at, inside or out. Inside, the place is small, cramped, and in rough shape. It certainly isn’t the kind of place an experienced, well-off adventurer would choose to live in, assuming your character lives long enough to be experienced and well-off!

Velas Manor, on the other hand, is a true noble’s manor. It is large and spacious inside, with a big, open floor-plan complete with a master bedroom and two guest beds. And like the Vacant Manor, Velas Manor has a quest, a very easily acquired quest, that leaves the place truly vacant. It would be perfect! But alas, every single container in the vanilla manor is owned. Yep, every single one, including the harvestable flora, is owned by Gavis Velas, “The Summoner”.

After playing through pretty much all of Tribunal, it really started to bug me that I didn’t have a place to store stuff in Mournhold. I used the floorspace in Velas Manor as storage for a while, but if you’ve never done that before believe me, it gets old -fast-! Clearly, something needed to be done. I searched a good deal for any mods that dealt with Velas Manor, but I never found anything (much). So I decided: it’s time for me to make a mod, and this manor will be it. I decided to do two versions…

The first version would be for the purists: everything would remain -exactly- as it was except for the ownership. In this one, all I would do is edit out the ownership for all of the containers, misc items, and beds. The only thing left showing any ownership at all in-game would be the doors.

The second version was for me, but I figured others might like it, too: in addition to removing the ownership from the existing storage, I would -add- a number of containers to increase the total storage capacity of the manor. I tend to be a pack rat, and in every single player home I have used I have eventually run out of storage (kind of like my homes IRL). So adding a good amount of storage was important to me… but so was preserving the openness of the manor’s floorplan. I really wanted to strike a good balance between adding enough new storage to be meaningful and leaving the original atmosphere of the manor intact. So, while this mod more than -triples- the storage capacity of the vanilla manor, don’t expect to see nothing but piles of containers. I worked hard to avoid that; hopefully it shows!

Well, that pretty much wraps up my reasons for making this mod. With that all explained, I think this would be a good time to talk about what the mod actually does, so I’m going to do that now…

There are two versions of this mod: the “Ownership Fix Only” version, and the “Complete” version. You will hear it again, but this would be a good time to mention that you only use -one- of the two versions, not both. The Complete version is built using the Ownership Fix as a starting point, so I’ll cover the changes made by the Ownership Fix first.

“Ownership Fix ONLY” version changes:
This is the most basic form of the mod. It simply removes the ownership entry for every container, misc item, and bed found in Velas Manor. This solved the stolen item problem for anything stored in the manor, but to make it complete I needed to make the mod work with my existing saves. This was actually remarkably easy to accomplish, if a bit tedious.

Specifically, I literally duplicated in place every single container, misc item, and bed in the manor. I edited the duplicates to remove the ownership, and then deleted the originals. This effectively replaced every owned item with an exact duplicate in the exact same position as its original. Visually, the manor is identical to its vanilla version, but without ownership attached to its contents. It reminds me of an old Steven Wright joke: “The other day somebody stole everything in my apartment and replaced it with an exact replica”... Yeah, that would be Gavis Velas once my mod gets done with him!

NOTE: Because every container, misc item, and bed is technically deleted and replaced with a new copy, it is -imperative- that you remove any of your items from the containers in the manor before installing this mod! To be on the safe side, I completely removed everything from the manor, not just the containers. That is possibly overkill, but removing your items from the containers is not. If you do not do this, you -will- lose everything that was in them. Please take this seriously.

“Complete” version changes:
The Complete version of this mod uses the Ownership Fix version as a starting point and then adds to it. In some places, I simply added a crate here, a chest there, and called it done. In other places, I took a few more liberties and did some re-arranging. There are some “before and after” images online that demonstrate this fairly well.

In terms of sheer numbers, a total of 41 new containers were added, along with 4 new static items. The new containers are spread throughout the manor, though a fair amount of them are concentrated in two small storage areas. In all, the total storage capacity of the manor has been increased by 3650. The storage capacity of the vanilla manor was 1600. The new storage makes the total 5250, or just a little more than 3X the capacity of the unmodded manor.

The vast majority of the new containers are taken from the stock CS. I did create three unique sacks (two money sacks and one ingredient sack) but I used them sparingly, and they are stock in every way except for their contents and apparent size.

NOTE: Because the “Complete” version is built from the “Ownership Fix ONLY” version, the same precautions must be taken with this version of the mod before installing it. To repeat: Because every container, misc item, and bed is technically deleted and replaced with a new copy, it is -imperative- that you remove any of your items from the containers in the manor before installing this mod! To be on the safe side, I completely removed everything from the manor, not just the containers. That is possibly overkill, but removing your items from the containers is not. If you do not do this, you -will- lose everything that was in them. Please take this seriously.

The two plugin files provided contain many of the same edits. They are intended to be used independently of one another. Choose the version you want to play and install -only- that version. Do -not- install both plugins!

NOTE: (One more time!) Because every container, misc item, and bed is technically deleted and replaced with a new copy, it is -imperative- that you remove any of your items from the containers in the manor before installing either version of this mod! To be on the safe side, I completely removed everything from the manor, not just the containers. That is possibly overkill, but removing your items from the containers is not. If you do not do this, you -will- lose everything that was in them. Please take this seriously.

Load Order:
The plugins in this mod are dated 2011/11/11 for two reasons, neither of which being what you’re thinking! One, the date is significant to me; my lovely wife took my hand in marriage that day, making it the best day of my life. That’s reason enough for me! But the second reason is more practical: it should load well before your Mashed Lists file and/or any merged plugins you might be running. Some files just need to load late and I wanted mine to slip in snuggly without upsetting them, so I picked a date that’s not so recent. Still, I can’t think of any problems you might have if you needed to load it earlier. As long as it loads after Tribunal it should be fine, so feel free to play around with it as needed. Naturally, if you have a mod that -does- edit Velas Manor and you want to keep those changes, you’ll need to load my mod before yours, or merge them. (Thanks Logorouge, for reminding me that there -is- another reason 11/11/11 might be meaningful to TES players!)

Manual Installation:
1) Decide which version of the mod you want to play.
2) Extract the plugin you wish to play to your “Morrowind” > “Data Files” directory. Do -not- extract both files, only the version you want.
3) Start Morrowind and select “Data Files” from the menu.
4) Double-click the plugin you extracted to activate it.
5) Click “OK”, and you’re done!

Wrye Mash Installation (recommended):
1) Copy to the “Installers” directory in your Morrowind installation.
2) Start Wrye Mash and click on the “Installers” tab.
3) Select in the “Package” list.
4) Under the “Esp/m Filter”, select which of the two plugin files you wish to install. Do -not- select both.
5) In the “Package” list, right-click on and select “Install”.
6) Once complete, select the “Mods” tab.
7) In the “File” list, check the box for the plugin you wish to activate.
8) If you are starting a new game, you’re done!
Optional for existing saves:
9) Select the “Saves” tab.
10) In the “File” list, select the save you wish to update.
11) Right-click on the save and select “File” > “Duplicate”. Give the copy a name.
12) Select the new copy in the “File” list.
13) In Mash’s bottom-right corner, you will see your plugins listed under a “File” heading.
14) Right-click the “File” heading and select “Sync to Load List”, then click “Save”.
15) Right-click your new save and select “Repair All”. (Some references may be repaired.)
16) You’re done!

The extra, optional bit for existing saves is completely up to you. This is a procedure I follow religiously (with a very few exceptions), but it is in no way required. If you don’t do this you may get some warnings when you load an existing save, but they are resolved by saving, exiting, and then reloading. This is just an extra bit that takes advantage of Wrye Mash’s save file features.

This is my first publicly released mod. I have so many people to thank and recognize that I very well may forget someone… I’m just not used to this! But let me give it a try…

First and foremost, I have to thank my lovely wife, Carla. Without her, I wouldn’t be trying to do anything at all, let alone having any -fun- in life! Thanks for being the amazing person you are, and for letting me spend ridiculous amounts of time in Tamriel! xoxo

Next, to Logorouge... As I mentioned above, he helped me immensely when it came time to test this thing out, and even caught a major oversight that could have led to an embarrassing release! But before I even got to that point, he kind of lit the fire under me that got this whole ball rolling. I can’t thank you enough for the encouragement, insight, and inspiration you’ve given me during this process. Thanks for reminding me that, in Morrowind, you really -can- do anything you want!

Next up, you! Yes, you, the person who took a chance on my mod and downloaded it! You are the reason I made sure I got everything right when I made this mod, partly because I want you to really enjoy it, and partly because I don’t want to screw up your game. I am now very confident that pretty much anyone can install and run my mod without any trouble, but it’s only because I thought someone like yourself might actually try it. If it were only for me, I wouldn’t have been nearly as careful and thorough. So thank you! In a very real way, you helped to make my mod better.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the amazing Morrowind Modding Community, and everyone at the official forums, Great House Fliggerty, Morrowind Modding History, Wolflore, The Imperial Library, the UESP Wiki, and more. Almost everyone has been awesome since I first got involved with the TES Community, and it’s clearly impossible to name them all. But to name a -few-, in no particular order: Pluto, Spirithawke, Tomlong75210, BTB, Jac, abot, PeterBitt, Lopov, Rammsier, Archmagister Nelacayne, CCNA, Gra8efuldead, WH-Reaper, Shelly Mars, Pseron Wyrd, Leonardo, Melchior Dahrk, Kovacius, fragonard, hollaajith, broder_fisk, Turija, Vals_Fan, SOMEONE_reborn, Renix, Panda Claws, Envy123, Jaberkaty, JaberkatysHusband, Damon, Caroigne, TorbenC, Golden Sinner, Wyndfyre, Dorgon, JH2011, Undead Scamp… and many, many more, far too many to recall. (Please forgive my failing memory!) In one way or another, big or small, you have all been a part of my TES experience, and I am all the better for it!

Last but not least, thanks to Bethesda Softworks. Bethesda has been consistently cranking out great games for well over a decade now, and all along they way they have provided unprecedented support to their fans and to the modding community. Thanks, Beth, for Morrowind, and for the tools to make it even better. You guys rock!