Removing Stolen Tags from Items

Removing Stolen Tags from Items

Postby Denina » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:35 pm

For those of you who might not be aware, the way Morrowind manages thieves is grossly unfair and disadvantageous for the player. What happens is that if you steal something in the game, every item with that same ID is marked as stolen. So, if you steal an item, sell it off and say later you buy or acquire another of the same item legally, that item is still marked as stolen, and the guards will take it away if you get caught committing a crime.

Toccatta explained a way to work around this, but I don’t know if it’s very common knowledge so this can be used as a cheat or helpful tip, depending on your character’s activities. This can be useful for those who are basically upstanding characters because even if you’re a good character, you will eventually acquire items that are owned by someone else. So, here is a step by step guide to removing stolen tags by using the construction set.

Before proceeding, make a backup copy of your save game incase A. You run Windows XP and the OS decides that it thinks you don't know what you're doing and changes things it shouldn't and B. you make a mistake.

1. Go to your Morrowind directory and find the folder marked “Saves.”

2. Find the save game that you want to remove stolen tags from.

3. Right click on the save and choose rename. change the .ess portion of the file name to .esp. You will get a prompt asking if you really want to do this. Yes you do.

4. Once the save game becomes an .esp file, move it to the Data Files directory of your Morrowind folder.

5. Open up the construction set, but do not load up any .esm or .esp files.

6. Click on open to get a list of .esm and .esp files. Find your save game plug in file. Left click on it once. To the bottom right will be a button called “Details.” Click that.

7. The details menu is a list of all changes made in your save game. You want to look for the 4 letter code on the left hand side that is marked STLN. They should all be grouped together. When you find the first one, left click on it, hold shift and then click on the very last one marked STLN. This should highlight all STLN tags.

8. Once the STLN tags are highlighted, press the Delete key on your keyboard. You should get a prompt saying that you have chosen to toggle the ‘Ignore’ feature, etc. You want to click ‘Yes’ you want to do that. Double check that only STLN tags are being ignored before you hit the delete key. You don’t want to mess something else up.

9. Once you have marked them as ignore, just close that window and hit ‘Cancel’ on the loading up of .esm and .esp files. You’re done. There’s nothing to save since you’ve already toggled the ignore. Just cancel out of it and close the construction set if you’re done with it.

10. Change the .esp file back into an .ess file by renaming it as you changed it before.

11. Make sure to move the .ess file back into the Saves folder.

12. Play your game as normal.

Removing stolen tags is something you may want to do fairly often depending on how often you acquire items belonging to someone else whether or not you got them by legal salvage (killing Foryn Gilnith and taking all the stuff in his house is but one example. Dura Gra-Bol’s house is another if you do that Fighters Guild quest). Just rinse and repeat for all save games that you want to clean of STLN tags. Now, if you’re caught committing a crime, the stolen items are no longer marked as such and the guards won’t take them if you’re caught committing a crime.

Please post if you find any discrepancies in this though I tried my best to be accurate. If you do, I will fix it and delete your post. I hope this helps.
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Re: Removing Stolen Tags from Items

Postby Rouncole » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:20 am

Hey, I havent tried this edit yet so I will get to it later. The problem that I am having is that when something is stolen from a merchant and I sell it to someone else. Then I get an item from half the island away and the merchant says 'hey! thats mine!' steals it from me, then the guard in the room attacks me...

And honestly the whole notion of guards taking stolen stuff from you... If they there wasnt a witness to the item being stolen then how the hell do they prove that it was stolen? I could go to Vivec, steal something then take it back to Balmora and get arrested. How the hell does the guard know that the item is stolen if there was no crime reported in Vivec and that the simple fact that it came from half way across the map? I would say if you cant make the rule that selective then just remove that rule all together...
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Re: Removing Stolen Tags from Items

Postby Toccatta » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:13 am

Two things:

1) Nirn is a world in which magic works. Who knows how the guards detect stolen items, but once you allow for the possibility of magic, the rules you think you know may no longer apply. Could something like that really happen in the real world? Not really, no. But there's no magic in our world either, so what you see as common sense HERE doesn't necessarily hold true THERE.
2) I feel the same way you do, and apparently so do many others. If you take a look at the Morrowind Code Patch, you'll see there's a fix which helps eliminate (or reduce) the type of problem you're talking about.

The problem is that once you steal something, the item itself isn't marked, it's the MASTER object that's marked. That means that ALL items of that type are considered stolen. Without MCP, those items will always remain marked, no matter what... and no matter how many times those items are confiscated by the guards. With MCP, the first time a stolen item is confiscated and you pay your fine (or do jail time if you can't afford the fine) the master object is no longer marked, and that item will never again be confiscated, nor will merchants accuse you of stealing it, unless you steal it again! There are several other fixes, including ways to reduce the near omniscience of the guards and merchants.
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Re: Removing Stolen Tags from Items

Postby Rouncole » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:42 am

Well, I would like to find a simple one time fix that I dont ever have to do again... Frankly the notion of not marking items as stolen at all would work for me as well...
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Re: Removing Stolen Tags from Items

Postby Arakhor » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:52 pm

When playing an active thief character, I would occasionally follow Denina's process to wipe out the STLN tags from my game. In fact, I was reminded about it just this week when watching a Morrowind Let's Play on YouTube. :)

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