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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 provide temporary or one-use benefits, 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. The higher your skill, the greater the chance of success when creating potions and the higher chance of receiving the first effect when eating an ingredient.

Alchemy in Morrowind is a potentially powerful tool if properly used. This page contains information and tips on getting the most from this skill.

Character Creation

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 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.


The following books will increase your Alchemy skill:


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

Mixing Potions

In order to mix a potion, you will need at least a Mortar and Pestle, and two ingredients which 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 the Mortar and Pestle onto your 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. Depending on your skill, Intelligence, and a little bit of Luck, you will either successfully make a potion, or fail, wasting 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.


At first, you will only be able to see one or two effects listed in the stats of any given ingredient, depending on your starting skill. Each ingredient can have up to four effects. (See the charts listed in the links below for more specific information.) The number of effects you can see will depend on your skill, based on the following values:

  • 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.)


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 an alembic, retort, or calcinator or the effects, so alchemy for profit can be done equally well with potions of Drain Strength as it can 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 which is required to make a potion. The quality of the Mortar and Pestle directly affects the initial quality of the potion produced.
This will reduce the strength and duration of any negative effects produced by a given combination of ingredients as well as the weight of the resultant potion. If the ingredients you are mixing do not have any negative effects, you do not need to use an Alembic excepting the reduction of weight. (Note that Skooma Pipes actually function as Alembics, though they are so weak as to be not really worth using for the purpose.)
This will increase the strength and duration of all positive effects in the potion. If the potion has no positive effects, this will do nothing. (Of course, since there's no way to make a potion affect anyone but yourself in Morrowind, there is little reason to make such a potion, other than perhaps to sell for profit. Having a Retort will not change the price.)
This will increase the strength and duration of all effects, positive or negative.
Mortar and Pestle Weight Value Quality
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
Alembic Weight Value Quality
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
Retort Weight Value Quality
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
Calcinator Weight Value Quality
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

Note that Secret Master tools are only accessible on the PC version. Even then, they are only obtainable through using the console.

Creating Super Potions

To maximize the effect of your potions, you'll need to use the highest class apparatus you can get and fortify your intelligence or luck. Both intelligence and luck are a contributing factors in making effective potions. While this can be done through magic and enchantments, you can do this using alchemy itself. A potion to Fortify Intelligence can be made with ash yams, bloat, netch leather, and for Bloodmoon players, horker tusk. Aside from horker tusk, these should be easily bought from alchemists/apothecaries/etc. While your intelligence is fortified from such potions, go ahead and mix the other potions you originally wanted to make. You can even stack Fortify Intelligence potions, and since each potion will be made with ever increasing skill, the values for the potions will go up exponentially. It is possible to make incredibly powerful potions that last for weeks in this way.

Alchemy Merchants that restock ingredients for Fortify Intelligence are Aunius Autrus at Wolverine Hall, Imperial Shrine, Eldrilu Dalen at Vos Chapel and Mehra Drora at Gnisis Temple. Eldrilu Dalen can also be exploited to make super potions of Fortify Endurance and super potions of combined Restore Health, Restore Fatigue and Fortify Luck

Beware, however, that an excessive use of this technique (or just making a certain potion) can cause the game to glitch/crash, e.g. with intelligence 55000+ and luck of 3500+, a Fortify Speed/Levitate potion can cause you to run/fly through the ground, a wall, cliff, etc and freeze the game. If you are lucky, you will either re-appear where you left the game, or die and reload.

Something else to note is that canceling the effects of very-long-term potions can be problematic.

Lower effect, but still indecently powerful potions can be created by exploiting Spellmakers. Create a spell that has Fortify Alchemy 100 pts for 3 secs eight times (you can also repeat the same effect on Fortify Attribute spells). Now cast and immediately go into your inventory to create potions. You will create very powerful potions that are not obscenely powerful, anytime anywhere without the bother of getting a large number of ingredients and so forth. Duration of super powerful potions is not really a problem, just rest for 3 days and the potion effects are gone.

Alchemy Formulae

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 this to both the Strength and Duration:

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

Note that, because of the rounding of apparatus Quality in these formulas, for positive effects, there's only two effective Qualities of Calcinators and Retorts:

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

For negative effects, do the following:

If using Alembic only, divide by (AlembicQuality + 1)
If using Calcinator only, round CalcinatorQuality to nearest whole number (minimum 1) and add
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 as of yet unknown

Price: The price of the resulting potion is equal to the BasePotionStrength, and is not affected by any other tools, or by having multiple effects (the potion will cost the same whether it has 1 or 8 different effects)

See Also:

External Links