Alchemy: What is it?

Alchemy in Morrowind is the combining of multiple ingredients to create potions. It's governed by the Magic skill set and is one of the more complex and involved skills in the game. At start, the aspiring Alchemist must boost his skill by performing Wortcraft, the tasting of ingredients to judge their effects.

As the Alchemist becomes more skilled in his trade, he will be able to glean knowledge of all effects on an ingredient and use various apparatuses to brew his potions. Potions can have both good an bad effects, and are rated on a five-point quality scale. Each potion can have up to four effects placed on it, good or bad.

Alchemy: How do I do it?
As stated above, Alchemy is, indeed, a skill just like Long Blades or Acrobatics. Thus, the only way to increase your understanding of the Alchemical way is to practice it. At the beginning this practice usually comes in the form of the aforementioned Wortcraft. With Wortcraft you are able to taste each ingredient and, if the ingredient successfully effects you, you will gain in Alchemy.

When the Alchemist gains in skill, he will be able to discover more of the effects (up to four) on the ingredients he tastes. This, along with the quality of the Alchemist's apparatus, will also determine just how successful he is at mixing the one to four of the hundred (approximate) ingredients in the game. The actual process of brewing a potion goes a little like this:
  1. Gather your four chosen ingredients. This is probably the most important step, as each ingredient has four effects on it. When the four ingredients are mixed, only the effects that match across all ingredients will be applied to the potion.

    Example: Say I have four ingredients that I know only one effect for (for each). These four effects are Drain Intelligence, Detect Key, Drain Personality, and Cure Common Disease. Well, if I were to combine these, the potion would fail because none of the known effects match. But if I replaced the ingredient with Drain Intelligence with another ingredient with Detect Key, then the potion would succeed and, if imbibed, cast the Detect Key effect on the person who drinks it.

  2. After you have gathered you're desired ingredients together, you must select an apparatus to mix them with. Certain ingredients require different apparatuses, though.

  3. Once the potion has been brewed, you should test it to make sure the recipe is correct and to make sure you didn't accidentally combine some undisireable effects (like making a potion of Water Walking that also has the unpleasent - and undocumented - sideffect of Paralyzation).
Alchemy: Miscellaneous
How many ingredients are there?
Around one hundred (100) or so.

At what skill level can you use apparatuses?
At any level, though at the lower levels you're more likely to fail in your brewing.

What are the quality grades and what are they applied to?
The quality grades exist for apparatuses and potions and are in place to judge the quality of the item in question. The scale for potions is cheap, bargain, standard, quality and exclusive. The quality of the potion is determined by how many of the effects of the ingredients match and the quality of the apparatus(es) used. The apparatus quality grades are unknown at this time.

How many effects can a potion have?
They can have up to four. However, this is very unlikely as all of the effects on all four ingredients must match, and you can't put more than one of each type of ingredient in a potion.

Is it possible to make explosive or poisonous potions to throw at an enemy?
No, you can only simulate that effect with the Enchant skill.

Do negative effects cross into the potion if they match on the ingredients?

Are some of the ingredients rare?
Of all the ingredients, most are common, some are uncommon, and even fewer than that are considered rare.

Can you purchase all of the ingredients?
You can buy most ingredients, but the rarest items you will have to find yourself, either out in the wilderness or on creatures.

Are all of the ingredients vegitation?
Most of the ingredients are some kind of vegitation, while some items you get off dead creatures, and still others are things like gems, ebony, and glass.

Will there be an Alchemist guild out of the box?