The topic of mood and modality (MOD) is a difficult aspect of language description because, among other reasons, the inventory of modal meanings is not stable across languages, moods do not map neatly from one language to another, modality may be realised morphologically or by free-standing words, and modality interacts in complex ways with other modules of the grammar, like tense and aspect. Describing MOD is especially difficult if one attempts to develop a unified approach that not only provides cross-linguistic coverage, but is also useful in practical natural language processing systems. This article discusses an approach to MOD that was developed for and implemented in the Boas Knowledge-Elicitation (KE) system. Boas elicits knowledge about any language, L, from an informant who need not be a trained linguist. That knowledge then serves as the static resources for an L-to-English translation system. The KE methodology used throughout Boas is driven by a resident inventory of parameters, value sets, and means of their realisation for a wide range of language phenomena. MOD is one of those parameters, whose values are the inventory of attested and not yet attested moods (e.g. indicative, conditional, imperative), and whose realisations include flective morphology, agglutinating morphology, isolating morphology, words, phrases and constructions. Developing the MOD elicitation procedures for Boas amounted to wedding the extensive theoretical and descriptive research on MOD with practical approaches to guiding an untrained informant through this non-trivial task. We believe that our experience in building the MOD module of Boas offers insights not only into cross-linguistic aspects of MOD that have not previously been detailed in the natural language processing literature, but also into KE methodologies that could be applied more broadly.