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Race creation 101
This tutorial will explain how we can create a brand new race, complete with a new skin, special abilities and powers Im going to try a new twist on this tutorial, as i will explain how i made MY race, and at the same time explain how to generally do it..
Before you start: I started out by making a new directory in my morrowind folder, i called it MOD, so i had a place to put all the files i needed for my new race, this is very handy especially if you have other texture/model mods in morrowind
make a dir called recreate the basic directory tree you see in morrowind
MOD --Game Data ----Meshes ------A ----Textures
The idea and files
Before we start looking for the files we will be using, lets find out what kind of race we'll be making. in this example i will show how i made my D'ragh Khajiit..
My idea was a grey furred khajiit with red eyes, they look a bit like Dunmer so i decided they would be a cross between the two races. I thought of a little backstory while i collected the files i would be using.
Find out what original race you want to use to make your race. Now copy all your 'base race' meshes to the 'mod/meshes/b' folder, and all the Textures to 'mod/textures'.
Textures and meshes
Now that i had all the files i needed i sat down and started changing the names of the files. I Decided to use the same naming system as Bethesda used, and to make the hex editing for textures easyer i made sure i had the same number of letters in the file names. At this point i didnt have a name for my race, so i just named my files Khadunm (Khajiit + Dunmer :P)
Rename your files, the smartest thing to do is leave the pre and suffixes and just change the race name itself
Example: B_N_Khajiit_M_UA - B_N_Khadunm_M_UA
After the files have been renamed its time to do all the hex editing.. I started with the male models. I opened the meshes in a hex editor and changed the texture references to my renamed skins
NOTE: for info on hex editing .nif files check Hex Tutorial
Hex edit all the models to referr to the new textures - Hex Editing tutorial
Making the Race and adding Body parts
After i finished 'hexing' the models i copied the contents of my 'mod' folder into the 'morrowind' folder fired up TES CS (dont delete the mod folder we'll still be using it a bit later) I opened the Race options and created a new race. I left out the tweaking skills and adding powers bit for now, as i wanted to get the model together first I started creating the actual body parts that would come together to make my new race
Copy Contents of mod folder to your morrowind dir and start editor. Begin adding new bodyparts, and recreate how the other races are built up.
The needed parts are:
Remember that hands, feet, torso and tail are all found in 'skins.nif' Remember to tick the female button when adding the female models
NOTE: if you DO get a texture error you will get an option to 'Wish to continue running the editor' if you press no here.. the program will shut down without saving, so save often.. just in case, i've personally pressed the wrong buttond lots of times
This part can take a while, disregard texture errors when you add the body parts, but check wether the texture shows up on the model afterwards. If it doesn't you have a nicely hexed nif file that referrs to an unexisting texture.. if the model doesnt show at all, you need to redo the whole model as you probably have a hex bug.
After i removed some bugged texture references and eventually got the thing together, i decided to start editing the skin itself. I moved back to my MOD folder and opened up all the textures in Paint Shop Pro ( i dunno why, but i like it alot better than photoshop). I edited the textures to my liking. My D'ragh are dark grey with black stripes on their backs, and their undersides are allmost white, this includes the insides of their legs and arms. When i wanted to see how my models looked, i saved the files and copied the 'textures' folder back to the 'morrowind/gamedata/' dir
HINT: The textures will actually update "on the fly" when the game is running, so save your mod load up the mod and start a new char.. If you followed this guide precisely you wont have any heads yet but dont worry about that. Play through the character creation and go outside, press tab to look at your model.. behold your funky new, err, rather headless, skin! you can now alt-tab, edit some textures and alt-tab back to morrowind to see the changes ingame.
After alot of loading, editing, tweaking and changing i was generally happy with my skin i now decided to add a few heads..
I found the Khajiit heads and used the cheetah heads (since the others look like crap :P) i also wanted to give my D'ragh a more unique look, so i grabbed a couple of dark elf ears as well. I used the same technique as shown above when adding the heads. Since most khajiit look alike anyway, i made three faces, one plain and two with "war paint" for both sexes
NOTE: Not all hair models fit all heads, some raes are taller than other or have different shaped heads, The nord hair types tend to float above the heads of most of the other races for instance
Edit your textures to fit your race, use the editor or game to test textures. After you finished the body skin, start making the heads
Modifying the race stats
With The skin of my race done, i opened the races menu again. Time to decide how their skills should be set up. Now, seeming that the D'ragh are a cross between a Dark Elf and a Khajiit, they are kinda looked down upon, so i set their personality pretty low. They get alot of 'i dont like you enough' and 'i save that information to my FRIENDS' but thats the life of a social outcast eh.. 310 stat points and 45 skill points is the normal for all races. So I set my race to the same.
I used the spellmaker to add a new ability, that would give my race a permanent nightvision, adding new powers, abilities and innate spells are pretty simple, just drag and drop from the spellmaking menu to your races ability menu
Ability: Constant effect
Power: Once per 48hrs spell
Innate spell: (tick Player start spell box at the bottom) will not appear in spellmaking menu, won't gain magery from it
Open Race creation screen, modify your race, max stat points: 310 max skill points 45. Drag and drop from spellmaking to add abilities
Now this is the hard part. actually balancing your race alongside the others, my first few versions of D'ragh were very powerful, they were quick, strong, and had the same ancestral guardian as the dunmer. my latest version has some tweaked down stats, and use a less powerful version of the ancestral guardian. the only way to actually find the balance of your race is to play it, if it seems very powerful in the start, it probably is, so try to change some stats till its 'hard enough'
Start the game and play your race, tweak stats/skills if needed (and it probably is)
And thats that!
Can't wait to see a myriad of races oozing around the boards!
Please give feedback on this new tutorial to Tordstorlien@hotmail.com.
Was it easy to follow? hard? messy? please tell me so i can improve it!
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