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< Morrowind: Skills: Magic
Skill: Alchemy
Governing Attribute:
Create Potion: +2.0
Use Ingredient: +0.5

Alchemy allows you to identify magical properties in ingredients and create potions to generate useful temporary or one-time effects, such as healing, curing disease, water-walking, magical shielding, and fortifying bodily attributes. A higher Alchemy skill allows you to see more effects of ingredients when you hover over them with the cursor, and therefore allows you to put these effects to use in potion-making.

Alchemy in Morrowind is a potentially powerful tool if properly used. This page contains information and tips on getting the most from this skill. In a nutshell: The higher your skill, the greater the chance of success when creating potions, the higher chance of receiving the first effect when eating an ingredient and the higher the magnitude and duration granted of that effect. To maximize the potency of your potions, you'll need to use the highest-class apparatus you can get, and to increase or Fortify your Alchemy skill or Fortify Intelligence and/or Luck (all are contributing factors in effective Alchemy).

Character CreationEdit

The following races receive bonuses to their Alchemy skill:

The following classes have Alchemy as a Major skill:

The following classes have Alchemy as a Minor skill:


The following factions include Alchemy as one of their favored skills:


The Master Trainer of Alchemy is Abelle Chriditte, who lives in the Propylon Chamber at Valenvaryon.

There are very few other trainers of this skill, and no others of note.

See Alchemy Trainers for the complete list.

Apparatus ItemsEdit

Main article: Alchemy Apparatus

You don't necessarily need any tools at all to begin practicing Alchemy. Simply eating ingredients raw will improve your skill. (Though at 1/4 the rate of mixing potions.) Doing so will give you a (usually very weak and short-lasting) dose of the first listed effect of the ingredient. The other three effects can only be accessed by mixing a potion, and for that you will need at the very least a mortar and pestle.

The price of a potion is not affected by the presence or absence of additional equipment such as an alembic, retort, or calcinator. Nor does the price reflect the type of effects a potion has; alchemy for profit can be done equally well with potions of Drain Strength as with potions of Reflect. The weight of a potion is an average of the weight of the ingredients, rounded down.

Mortar and Pestle
This is the only tool that is required to create a potion. The quality of the Mortar and Pestle directly affects the quality of the potion produced.
Reduces the strength and duration of all negative effects. If the ingredients do not have any negative effects, then this apparatus will not be used.
Increases the strength and duration of both positive and negative effects.
Increases the strength and duration of all positive effects. If the ingredients do not have any positive effects, then this apparatus will not be used. (Since potions can only ever affect the player, there is little reason to create a potion without positive effects, other than to sell it for profit - though the apparatus itself does not have any effect on potion price).
Mortar and Pestle      
Apprentice's Mortar and Pestle
5 100 0.5
Journeyman's Mortar and Pestle
4 400 1
Master's Mortar and Pestle
3 2400 1.2
Grandmaster's Mortar and Pestle
2 4000 1.5
SecretMaster's Mortar and Pestle
1 6000 2
Apprentice's Alembic
10 50 0.5
Journeyman's Alembic
7 200 1
Master's Alembic
5 1200 1.2
Grandmaster's Alembic
3 4000 1.5
SecretMaster's Alembic
3 1600 2
Apprentice's Calcinator
25 10 0.5
Journeyman's Calcinator
18 40 1
Master's Calcinator
13 240 1.2
Grandmaster's Calcinator
8 4000 1.5
SecretMaster's Calcinator
6 3200 2
Apprentice's Retort
8 20 0.5
Journeyman's Retort
6 80 1
Master's Retort
4 480 1.2
Grandmaster's Retort
3 1600 1.5
SecretMaster's Retort
2 1000 2

Note that the SecretMaster apparatus items are only accessible on the PC version via the Console or the Construction Set mod.

Mixing PotionsEdit

In order to mix a potion, you will need at least a Mortar and Pestle as well as two ingredients that share at least 1 effect. You can use up to four ingredients in a potion. Any effects shared by two or more of these ingredients will be applied to the potion.

To begin the potion-mixing process, click and drop a Mortar and Pestle onto the character portrait. You will see a list of ingredients in the top section, and four boxes below for your apparatus, one of which will already contain your Mortar and Pestle. You can click these boxes to equip other apparatus, which will improve the quality of your potion in various ways (see "Tools" below). Below this is where the ingredients will appear, and to the right is a box showing you what the resulting effects (if any) of your potion will be. To add an ingredient, choose it from the top section. If you have a lot of ingredients, you may need to scroll the slider to see them all. You can also name your potion before mixing it. When you are ready to mix the potion, hit the "Create" button. The success chance of creating a potion is decided by the following formula:

SuccessChance = Alchemy + (Intelligence / 10) + (Luck / 10)

A successful process will create a potion, a failed process will waste the ingredients. If you have multiples of all ingredients involved, you can hit "Create" repeatedly until you run out to make many potions of the same type.


Effects are displayed in the alchemy ingredient item description. Each ingredient has up to four effects, but how many of the effects are displayed is dependent on Alchemy level:

  • 0-14: No effects visible
  • 15-29: 1 effect visible
  • 30-44: 2 effects visible
  • 45-59: 3 effects visible
  • 60-100: All 4 effects visible

Some ingredients have fewer than 4 effects, and you can always tell how many effects an ingredient has, because unknown effects will be listed simply as "?". However, while you may not see all the effects listed, you can still make potions with these effects (a marked difference from Oblivion). If two ingredients you have chosen share an effect, even one that is hidden to you, the Alchemy screen will still show you what that effect will be on your potion. (This is one way to learn the later effects of ingredients even if your skill is very low.)

Alchemy FormulasEdit

It is possible to determine the exact effects of the potion you are mixing by using the following formulas:

BasePotionStrength = (Alchemy + (Intelligence / 10) + (Luck / 10)) * MortarQuality / (3 * EffectBaseCost)
BasePotionDuration = BasePotionStrength * 3

The extra tools have various effects, depending on the combination of tools used and the type of potion being made. Retorts and Calcinators add a certain number of points of magnitude, and a certain number of seconds to the duration. Alembics reduce strength and duration by a percentage, and using an Alembic and Calcinator together significantly reduces the strength and duration of negative effects. To determine bonuses/penalties, use the following:

For positive effects, do the following with both BasePotionDuration and BasePotionStrength:

If using Retort or Calcinator, round the RetortQuality or CalcinatorQuality (as applicable) to the nearest whole number (minimum 1) and add it.
If using Retort and Calcinator, round both RetortQuality and CalcinatorQuality, then add CalcinatorQuality + (RetortQuality * 2).

Note that, because of the rounding of apparatus quality in these formulas, for positive effects there are only two effective RetortQuality and CalcinatorQuality values:

Apprentice, Journeyman, Master (all round to 1), and
Grandmaster and Secret Master (round to 2).

For negative effects, do the following to both BasePotionDuration and BasePotionStrength:

If using Alembic only, divide by (AlembicQuality + 1).
If using Calcinator only, round CalcinatorQuality to nearest whole number (minimum 1) and add it.
Using an Alembic and Calcinator together has somewhat unpredictable results, but it will reduce (instead of increasing like the Calcinator is supposed to) both the PotionStrength and PotionDuration by a certain amount. The exact formula involved is rather complex and frustrating, so use the table below, based on the in-game tool qualities (multiply PotionStrength and PotionDuration by said number)
App Calc Journ Calc Mast Calc GMast Calc SMast Calc
App Alem 48/120 30/120 26/120 22/120 17/120
Journ Alem 37/120 24/120 21/120 18/120 15/120
Mast Alem 31/120 22/120 20/120 17/120 14/120
GMast Alem 27/120 20/120 18/120 16/120 13/120
SMast Alem 22/120 17/120 16/120 14/120 12/120

Note: Some effects do not act like they're supposed to. For example, when making an invisibility potion, you'll receive a longer duration if you use either a Calcinator or Retort than if using both. The reasons for this are unknown.

Value: The nominal gold value of the resulting potion is

BasePotionValue = (Alchemy + (Intelligence / 10) + (Luck / 10)) * MortarQuality

Creating Super-potionsEdit

A pair of potion and spell related exploits (or a combination of them) make it possible to create incredibly powerful and long-lasting potions. These techniques – which may seriously unbalance the game and even crash it – are detailed at Cheats § Super-potions.

See AlsoEdit