Morrowind: Bribery and Barbarism

By Shamus Posted Sunday Mar 26, 2006

Filed under: Game Reviews 9 comments

In the game Morrowind, it’s possible to change the opinion an NPC has of you by insulting them, flattering them, or bribing them. If you want to pick a fight but don’t want to be the one to start it, you can goad them with insults. If you want them to give up some item or information, you can bribe or flatter.

All of this is done by simply hitting the button and watching the “how much they like you” meter go up or down. The thing is, you can keep this up all day if you want to exercise your skills at bribery and insults. If you want to improve these skills, just walk up to some poor shmuck and heap on equal measures of insults and bribery while the meter jumps up and down.

It’s sort of amusing to imagine how this conversation would actually sound:

Welcome to our fair city, stranger.

Hi there! Looks like you’re the man I’m looking for.

What do you mean?

I was told to report to the uglyiest, stupidest, most useless man in town, and clearly you’re the guy.

What? Who told you this?

I mean, you are clearly far more ugly and stupid than anyone else in town.

Silence! You anger me!

Heck I think you’re a shoe-in for most useless in the entire country.

That does it! You shall taste my steel!

What? I’m sorry, did I upset you? Here, maybe ten bucks will make it better.

I… I don’t know what to say. You’re very kind stranger.

Don’t mention it, you festering, vile heap of Orcish dung.


You putrid, slimy curse on the face of the world. You great towering heap of offal.

Do you wish to risk my wrath?

You make me want to puke all over you, if only to cover your smell.

Insolence! You shall die for that!

Oh geeze. Did I offend? My bad, my bad. How’s ten bucks sound?

Money? For me? Why, thank you outlander. You’re very generous.

So’s your mum.

My mother?

Yeah, the half-orc woman with the dirty moustache. Your mother.

WHAT did you just say about her?!?!

I said she’s the most generous woman in the whorehouse.


I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. Here you go. Buy yourself something nice.

I thank you for the coinage, kind stranger.

Sure thing. Maybe use it to buy something nice for your husband.


…and so on.


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9 thoughts on “Morrowind: Bribery and Barbarism

  1. ian says:

    this is brilliant and very true

  2. Louis says:

    that’s pretty much all the button smashing Morrowind can offer, on Xbox anyways.

  3. Bruce says:

    Aw, that one made my day… LOL!

  4. Jesus On Cannabis says:

    That’s funny as hell, but I fell I should point out that eventually the NPC will get pissed at you and just leave.

    Takes a while, tho.

  5. Dovyenda says:

    I love Morrowind. I have both the expansions for it and sadly the point you make remains true throughout the game. It is funny though. And scarily realistic if you think about it in this way. Celebraties and rich folks have tons of people around them that take just that kind of abuse, just to be near the money lol.

  6. Robel says:

    Well, not entirely true. Sometimes NPC`s are insulted if you offer them money and your standing with them still falls. I play every game on PC though…so I don`t know how the version for PS is…

  7. Tacoma says:

    Far more irritating to me was how they handled Mercantile for bartering. If the merchant likes you or if you have high mercantile, he offers you goods cheaper. But the value he places on his own goods is linked to how he values your goods. So merchants who like you will offer less for your junk. And if you’re the best barterer in the land they will offer less for your junk. It’s a game balance thing that makes no sense. Besides at 100 Mercantile and Personality you can buy and sell stuff from the shopkeeper over and over to drain him of cash anyway!

  8. Steve says:

    That’s great

    I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. Here you go. Buy yourself something nice.

    I thank you for the coinage, kind stranger.

    Sure thing. Maybe use it to buy something nice for your husband.


    Awesomeness :D

  9. decius says:

    … and in the end, you can goad them into attacking you, kill them, and get your money back.

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