FAQ/Walkthrough by MRadford

Version 0.30, Last Updated 2009-12-24

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    1. Introduction to the Guide
    2. Disclaimer
    3. Version History
    4. Contact Information
    5. SPOILER WARNING!
  2. The Basics
    1. Controls
    2. Game Menu
    3. System Menu
    4. Inventory
    5. Quests
    6. Codex
    7. Radial Menu
    8. Conversation
    9. Approval
    10. Gifts
  3. Combat
    1. How Combat Works
    2. Tank
    3. Damager
    4. Healer
    5. Aggro
    6. Buffs and Debuffs
    7. Levelling up
    8. Injuries
    9. Potions
  4. Skills
    1. Strength
    2. Dexterity
    3. Willpower
    4. Magic
    5. Cunning
    6. Constitution
  5. Weapon Types
    1. Sword and Shield
    2. Two Handed Weapon
    3. Duel Wield
    4. Bows / Crossbows
    5. Staff
  6. Spell Combinations
    1. About Spell Combinations
  7. Talents
    1. Warrior Talents
    2. Rogue Talants
    3. Duel Weapon
    4. Archery
    5. Sword and Shield
    6. Two Handed Weapons
  8. Spells
    1. Mage
    2. Primal
    3. Creation
    4. Spirit
    5. Entrophy
    6. Specializations
  9. Talent Builds
    1. Information on talent builds
    2. Damage Warrior
    3. Tank Warrior
    4. Damage Rouge
    5. Damage Mage
    6. Healing Mage
    7. Off Tank Warrior
  10. Classes and Specialisations
    1. Warrior
    2. Warrior: Berserker
    3. Warrior: Templar
    4. Warrior: Champion
    5. Warrior: Reaver
    6. Rogue
    7. Rogue: Assassin
    8. Rogue: Bard
    9. Rogue: Ranger
    10. Rogue: Duelist
    11. Mage
    12. Mage: Shapeshifter
    13. Mage: Spirit Healer
    14. Mage: Blood Mage
    15. Mage: Arcane Warrior
  11. The World and Organisations
    1. Thedas
    2. The Grey Wardens
    3. The Monercy and Denerim
    4. The Chantry
    5. Redcliffe
    6. Ostagar
    7. The Circle of Magi
    8. Templars
    9. Dalish Elves
    10. Orzammar
    11. Antivan Crows
  12. Characters
    1. Alistair
    2. Leliana
    3. Mabari
    4. Morrigan
    5. Oghren
    6. Shale
    7. Sten
    8. Wynne
    9. Zevran
    10. Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir
    11. Duncan
    12. Arl Howe
    13. Arl Eamon
    14. King Calian
    15. Flemeth
    16. Riordan
    17. Anora
  13. Setting Off
    1. Male or Female
    2. Race
    3. Class
    4. Background
    5. Appearance
    6. Attributes
    7. Skills
    8. Talents / Spells
    9. Difficulty
  14. Random Encounters
    1. Fereldan Encounters
    2. Denerim Encounters
    3. Deep Roads Encounters
    4. Reverant Encounters
  15. Origins
    1. Human Noble
    2. Magi
    3. City Elf
    4. Dalish Elf
    5. Dwarf Commoner
    6. Dwarf Noble
  16. Storyline Walkthrough
    1. Pre start advice
    2. Ostagar
    3. Post-Battle
    4. Lothering
    5. At Camp
    6. The Tower of Magi
    7. The Realm of Dreams
    8. Attack in the Glen
    9. Proving Round One
    10. Proving Round Two
    11. Proving Round Three
    12. Proving Round Four
    13. Proving Round Five
    14. Back in the City
    15. The Deep Roads
    16. Recruiting the Dalish
    17. To Redcliffe!
    18. The Undead Attack
    19. Castle Redcliffe
    20. Denerim (part one)
    21. Haven
    22. Fort Drakon
    23. Redcliffe part two
    24. The Battle of Denerim
  17. Ostagar Side Quests
    1. The Hungry Deserter
  18. Lothering Side Quests
    1. More then just Plants
    2. When Bears Attack
    3. A Poisonous Proposition
  19. Ostagar Side Quests
  20. Redcliffe Side Quests
  21. Circle Tower Side Quests
    1. Places of Power
    2. Careless Accusations
    3. Notice of Termination
    4. Thy Brother's Killer
    5. Herbal Magic
    6. The Mage's Library
  22. Orzammar Side Quests
    1. A Lost Nug
    2. A Mother's Hope
    3. An Unlikely Scholar
  23. Brecilian Side Quests
  24. Denerim Side Quests
  25. Blackstone Irregulars
    1. Dereliction of Duty
    2. Scraping the Barrel
  26. Companion Side Quests
    1. Oghren's Old Flame
    2. Flemeth's Grimoire
    3. The Sword of the Beresaad
  27. Optional Bosses
    1. Revernant
  28. Glossary of Terms
  29. FAQ
  30. Ending

Welcome to my DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS FAQ, before diving right into this FAQ, please give the SPOILER WARNING! page a quick read-through to make sure you aren't on the pointy end of anything that could ruin your experience of the game. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Introduction to the Guide

Welcome to my FAQ/Walkthrough for Dragon Age: Origins. As this is the first FAQ that I've written for a while (since Ghost Recon O_o) so bear with me while I work out all the proverbial cinks. The problem with writing a guide for a game such as this is there are a lot (and for Dragon Age I mean one hell of a LOT!) of different outcomes to quests, paticularly later on in the game, I'll do my best to cover them all but it may take a while to build up a full guide.

Please bear in mind that this guide is written for the Xbox 360 version of this game. Although there are few gameplay diffreneces between this and the other two versions and this guide should be perfectly usable for everyone, bear in mind that the PC version has some features that are not in the other two, and as such will not be mentioned here. Also, bear in mind things like the controls section are obviously going to differ:p

This guide is also written in the funky new formatting style which as of right now has only just been released so if you see any glaring sytax errors please feel free to gloat remorselessly. Oh and send me an email telling me too!

Disclaimer

This guide is copyright by MRadford and may appear on GameFAQs.com and its affiliate sites. If you are viewing this guide on another site, it's probably not supposed to be there, you can always get the latest version at GameFAQs.

Story Complete!
  • 24/12/2009
  • V 0.30

The story walkthrough has been completed! Next is to fill out Talant Builds, the Spells and abilities and a walkthrough of the DLC!

Lots of elves
  • 15/12/2009
  • V 0.20

The Dalish Elf section has been added, only Recliffe and the Finale and that's the lot main story part.

Typing, typing, typing
  • 15/12/2009
  • V 0.10

About halfway through with the main quest and most of the side quests along the way. I'd be suprisied if there's a paragraph without a spelling mistake or a mising word. The Dalish Elf section should be done ere too long and then the end will be in sight! Sort of!

Contact Information

If you wish to contact me in regards to anything in this guide then stop and ask yourself if the question that you're asking is already covered in this guide, because it probably is and if you don't feel like looking for it I might very well not feel like answering you. On the other hand, if your question isn't covered, or if you feel a part of the guide should be expanded, you have some information that isn't covered or for any other reason, please email me on mike8580@googlemail.com with the subject as something with Dragon Age in the subject. I'll try to get around to answering everything I get sent.

SPOILER WARNING!

For the entire of this guide onwards (including the character section below) there will be marked spoilers. When you see this it should go without saying that is you don't want the story ruined skip ahead until the spoilers end. The types that appear in this guide are (also, for the extremely cautious, the text below isn't a spoiler, just an example so feel free to read it):

MAJOR SPOILERS This section of the guide covers major aspects of the plot before you get up to them. Read at your own risk! END MAJOR SPOILERS

MINOR SPOILERS This section contains aspects of the plot which have already been revealed at the point in the same that you are in, or mention small but certianly not game ruining spoilers, most likely about items or codex entries. END MINOR SPOILERS

Controls

  • Left Analouge Stick
    • Movement
  • Right Analouge Stick
    • Rotate camera
  • D-pad
  • A Button
    • Interact with selected item (open chest, attack enemy etc)
  • X, Y, B Buttons
    • Hotkeys
  • LB Button
    • Cycle to last party member
  • RB Button
    • Cycle to next party member
  • LT Button
  • RB Button
    • Switch to second set of hotkeys
  • LB + RB Button
    • Select all party members
  • Back Button
    • Access Game menu
  • Start Button
    • Access System menu

Note on selection

The selection system is remarkable arkward at times, something might be staring right at your character and it will not select, the best thing to do if you run into this is to change to a close by party member and try your luck with a new angle. Also remember that you can use the up and down buttons on the D-pad as well as the left and right keys.

System Menu

The system menu is where you are going to find all of the options for the game including saving and loading, difficuly, sound, gamma options etc.

Quests

There are many, many quests throughout the game, some will further your path down the plot, whilst others are there to do as side quests, keep in mind many of the actions that you choose have impacts on the story including the ones made in side quests. If you are stuck on a quest, you can find it by searching for it's name, or by looking for it in the table of contents in the side quests sections.

Codex

A lot of lore has been created for Dragon Age, from letters and documents to out-of-world accounts telling the player more about the background of Thedas.

Radial Menu

The radial menu is accessed by holding down the left trigger in reguler game mode and provides you with all the information that you'll need, clockwise the menu icons represent:

Conversation

Throughout Dragon Age you'll be engaged in a lot of conversations. This system is very similar to the one used in Knights of the Old Republic, in that when spoken to, you are given various diffrent responses which are answered silently. There are also prefixed options that can help you 'influence' the outcome of a conversation (or at least try to!)

Pursuade

When you are presented with a pursuade option you can generally turn a situation to your advantage, such as getting items for free or a higher reward. Your sucess with be depended on your Coercion skill and your Cunning attribute.

Using your pursuade options will sometimes alter your approval rating with your present companions.

Intimidate

Intimidate works much the same way as Pursuade, only instead of checking your Cunning, it works with Strength.

Your intimidate options will also likely gain you approval or disapproval with your companions.

Approval

Your approval with your party members will alter as the game goes on and they observe your actions. It will increase when your actions follow their own set of morals, and decrease if they conflict. You can see where you stand with each member of your group in the character information screen and access them all from your camp.

There are many benefits to increasing your approval with your party, as the more they like you, the more they will tell you about themselves and sometimes reward you with specialisations.

Gifts

During the course of the game you will find items marked as gifts. You can give one to a party member to increase their approval rating of you. The more gifts that you give, the less effective gift giving becomes. Each character has their own preference to gifts, and some gifts are plot items that produce special rewards or information. If you give a character a preffered gift you will get a +10 reward to their reputation.

Alistair likes statues, giving him one of them will increase his approval of you.

Alistair's Mother's AmuletCastle Redcliffe
Duncan's ShieldArmor Stand, Market District

Your Dog has no quest gifts and since he come with almost full rep anyway there's not much point to extending it, however he likes hunches of meat and bones.

Leliana likes symbols of Andraste. There are two plot items for her:

Andraste's GraceA flower near the mill of in Redcliffe Village
Cute NugFrom the Idle Dwarf in Dust Tome

Morrigan has an eye for items that regard to her appearance, her quest items are

Black GrimoireIrving's Quarters in the Cirlce Tower
Flemeth's GrimoireInside Flemeth's hut

Oghren has no quest items, but any sort of alcohol is a good gift for the Dwarf.

Shale has no quest gift either, but likes remarkable stones.

Sten has a facination with paintings. His Sword is his only quest item

Sten's SwordFound after some wandering at Redcliffe Village

Wynne has no story gifts, but likes scrolls and history.

Zevran likes bars of metal, his story gifts are:

Antivan Leather BootsA chest in Haven's village store.
Dalish GlovesChest in the West Brecilian Forest.

How Combat Works

If you have ever played an MMORPG then the form of combat in Dragon Age will be instantly recongnisable. In battle you control a party of four which you can select individually. In combat you will need to assign party members to specific roles which are explained below, as well as the best classes and party members to do the job.

Tank

Most suitable class:Warrior
Most suitable weapon:Sword and Shield
Most suitable characters:Alister, Shale, (off-tank) Morrigan

The tank is the party member who is hopefully going to be taking the vast majority of the damage from enemies, they use modes and abilities like Taunt and Threaten, to gain attention of enemies and if available protection from their shield. Tanks tend not to do a lot of damage, but as a consequence have huge supplies of health.

What you'll need to make a tank is decide who you want to use and create a tactics build which includes using all of the high aggro moves such as Threaten.

You will only want one main tank in your party, however it can be prudent to have a few tank talents in another Damage Warrior in your party who can pick up any enemies that might be attacking the healer if your main tank is indisposed or at worse dead. For more please see Off Tank Warrior.

For more information on the best way to make a build, please refer to the Tank Warrior section.

Damager

Most suitable class:Warrior, Rogue, Mage
Most suitable weapon:Two Handed Weapon, Duel Wield
Most suitable characters:Any

Far and away the most accessible role and the one that you're probably going to want to play as on your first time through. A damager (sometimes known as DPS or Damage Per Second) will perhaps not suprisingly be the main damage dealing members of your party, for this role should be assigned to two party members, and can be from anyone.

Healer

Most suitable class:Mage
Most suitable weapon:Staff
Most suitable characters:Wynne, (off-heal) Morrigan

The most essential part of your party comes from the healer, without one you are going to be going through healing potions like they're going out of fashion.

Healers make use of instant heals such as the rather amply named Heal, as well as the Heal over Time (HoT) Rejuvenation, the death preventing Life Ward or the utterly godly in terms of rescuing everybody from death Mass Heal.

There should only be one healer in the group and they should try to spec at least three levels into the Mage: Spirit Healer tree.

Aggro

Aggro is a term used to descibe the target which an enemy NPC attacks.

Each enemy has its own aggro table on which all party member make up a percentage. Every action that each character preforms will alter their aggro with a certian enemy. For example, attacking an enemy with a reguler 'A' attack will slowly increase the ammount of aggro they have. Preforming a more powerful attack or ability will increase it a larger amount as does healing. There are various skills that you can use to decrease a chatacters aggro in the Warrior tree such as Disengage, as well as ways to raise very quickly such as Taunt.

The tank should always have the most aggro on as many enemies as possible to avoid them from hitting the rather more squishy damagers and healer.

If one of your characters should take the lead aggro on an enemy, the best thing to do is run to the tank and have him start attacking it or cast Taunt, another option is simply to use your most powerful spells to kill them to death before they do any real damage.

Buffs and Debuffs

Various skills and abilities will give you or your entire party a buff or debuff. These are temporary stat modifiers that will either help or harm your preformance in combat.

Levelling up

Levelling up increases your character's hit points, stamina and mana reserves and makes your character stronger. You know when it's time to level when you see a plus sign next to a party members portrait. Go to the stat screen in the back menu and press A to level them up. The level up itself is divided into 3 parts, 2 of which you will always access, the other is availible once every three levels for Warriors and Mages, two for Rogues.

For more information about the best things to spend them all on, see Talent Builds

Attributes=

Here you are alotted three points to spend altering a chatacter's base stats.

Skills

You won't see this page too often, it is only available every two levels for Rogues, three for Warriors and Mages. This page governs the speed at which your character can learn higher tier abilities, the number of tactic slots open to them as well as other skills.

Talents

The centre of your combat role, Talents provide new abilities as well as permanant or self-activated buffs for you and your party.

Injuries

When a character is reduced to zero health in combat, when they are raised at the end of battle they returned with injuries that effect their preformance. These can be healed either with injury kits, found from containers or bought from stores around the world. The can also be cured by the mage spell Cleansing Aura.

Potions

Potions are items that can be used inside or outside combat to improve your character's resistances to various types of attacks, or to restore their health or mana. The main types of consumables that you will find are as follows

Health Poultice

  • Lesser Health Poultice
  • Health Poultice
  • Greater Health Poultice
  • Potent Health Poultice

Restores a varing amount of health instanly.

Lyrium Poultice

  • Lesser Lyrium Poultice
  • Lyrium Poultice
  • Greater Lyrium Poultice
  • Potent Lyrium Poultice

Restores a varing amount of mana instanly.

Strength

Strength affects a characters ability to do damage with melee weapons and wear heavy armour, as well as improving your chances of sucess with the Coercion skill. Strength is the most important skill for Warriors, although, it is important to put some points in this skill for rogues too for them to be doing any real damage.

Dexterity

This skill prodomintally concerns dodging, and the use of duel wield and ranged weapons. It also affects the characters chances to critically hit. This skill is the most important for Rogues, who need to supliment their lower health pools with high dodge and hit rates. The skill is also important for Warriors who are duel wielding, but is almost completley useless to Mages.

Willpower

Willpower is the stat that decides a characters mana or stamina pool for the use of their special abilities. This skill while important for your healer, can be raised fairly slowly as you level thanks to the mage spell Rejuvination.

Magic

Obviously, it goes without saying that this skill is redundent for everyone but mages. Raising this is the equivilent of raising a Warrior's strength and will make all the spells you cast, healing or damaging, more effective.

Cunning

With high cunning, a character can identify weak points in an enemy's armour, allowing them to cause more damage. Cunning also improves a characters skill in Herblisim, Trap-making and Poisons. This skill is handy for all classes, but is essential for Rogues as their skills get substantial bounses from this skill

Constitution

Constitution affects a characters health pool, important for all classes to an extent but vital for your tank.

Sword and Shield

A character using a sword and shield has much better damage mitigation and avoidance, but as a trade-off does much less damage himself. The best choice of weapon for a tank, since they're going to spend much of their lives being hit by all manner of nasties.

Two Handed Weapon

Huge heavy weapons wielded rather unsuprisingly with two hands, using one of these will cause your character to attack slowly, but fairly accurately and with heafty power. This choice of weapon is a good choice for a Warrior not focusing on tanking

Duel Wield

Striking with a weapon in both hands is taxing, however the damage potential can be very beneficial. Rogues have a natural affinity with the art of duel wielding. Be prepared for more of your attacks to miss however, until you build up your talents.

Bows / Crossbows

Bows come in all manner of shapes and sizes (well sizes), for when running up to a Dragon and chopping at it's thigh just doesn't seem like a good idea. Bows have unlimited normal arrows, but can be upgraded to more damaging types like Fire and Ice shots.

Staff

The Staff is the weapon of Mages, used to focus their spells and give added power to their magic or mana reserves, as well as used as a ranged weapon in its own right, causing low but consistant damage to an enemy from "behind the lines".. hopefully.

Talents

Talents are powers drawn upon in lue of spells by Warriors and Rogues, draining their stamina.

Spells

Spells are the domain of mages and vary in their uses from damage to healing to aiding the party with helpful buffs and removing the debuffs enemies dish out.

Spells have various properies that should be kept in mind when casting, these are:

  • Type:
    • Activated: Once cast, the spell has come to an end
    • Sustained: A spell that remains active when cast in the form of a buff
      • '''Upkeep: The amount of mana permanatally deducted from your mana pool

for the time that the spell is kept active.'''

    • Passive: A permanant bouns to a character's stats.

Arcane

The Arcane tree is quite unfocused, providing a missile attack, shield and two buffs that empower your spell power, or damage with your staff.

Arcane Bolt

Type: Activate Range: Long Cost: 15 mana Cooldown: 6 sec Power: XX

A moderately powerful missle attack with a fast cooldown and very low mana cost. This spell is helpful for a healer to cast to do a bit of extra damage to a boss but overshadowed considerablly by spells in other trees.

Arcane Shield

Type: Sustained Upkeep: 30 mana Cooldown: 10 sec

A personal shield that absorbs damage. Handy for keeping a party member alive if they are incapacitated or your healing spells are on cooldown.

Staff Focus

Type: Passive Increases the level of damage caused by mages staffs.

Arcane Mastery

Type: Passive Increases the character's spellpower, giving a bonus to the majority of spells.

Fire

Like most spells in the Primal catagory, this tree has a cone attack, single target attack, weapon buff and large AoE. This is fairly powerful tree. The disadvantage is none of the spells make up a combo, which means it should really only be levelled after you fully gather the spells in other trees.

Flame Blast

Type: Activate Range: Short Cost: 20 mana Cooldown: 10 sec Power: XX

The mage spews flame in a cone, damaging all the targets within it for a moderate amount.

Flaming Weapons

Type: Sustained Upkeep: 50 mana Cooldown: 10 sec

The Mage engulfes all the parties weapons with fire, allowing additional damage to attacks.

Fireball

Type: Activate Range: Medium Cost: 40 mana Cooldown: 10 sec Power (single target): XXXX Power (AoE): XX

As you move forward Dragon Age you are going to be on the recieving end of this spell more than it takes to become annoying. The caster sends a fireball at the target, causing heavy damage to the targetted enemy and light damage to all others standing close by, knocking them off their feet.

Inferno

Type: Activate Range: Medium Cost: 70 mana Cooldown: 60 sec Power: XXX

A powerful AoE causing damage to every enemy in it's range for as long as they stay inside.

Earth

A tree mostly concerned with disabling enemies and well worth levelling to at least Stonefist to give access to the Shattering combo. However, if you are levelling Primal, it may be more Prudent to level Cold first as you get access to a powerful 'super' AoE from the one talent tree.

There is not a lot of point in levelling this tree up much past Stonefist as it's only really handy for Rock Armor and the second half of Shattering.

Rock Armor

Type: Sustained Upkeep: 40 mana Cooldown: 10 sec

Increses the defense of the character, allowing them to sustain considerably more damage then normal. A good first-tier spell which is best to cast on your tank.

Stonefist

Type: Activate Range: Medium Cost: 30 mana Cooldown: 15 sec Power: XX

Not overly powerful by itself, combine this spell with a target frozen by either Petrify or Winter's Grap to preform the instanta kill Shattering as long it hits with a critical hit.

Earthquake

Type: Activate Range: Medium Cost: 40 mana Cooldown: 40 sec Power: XX

An AoE that stands a good chance at knocking all the targets in the area off their feet, however paticulerly useful and superceeded by Cone of Cold, the first spell in the Cold tree.

Petrify

Type: Activate Range: Medium Cost: 40 mana Cooldown: 40 sec

AoE attack that causes all targets in the area to turn to stone unless they pass a physical resistance check. While it stands more of a chance to suceed than Cone of Cold, unless you have serious points to burn don't bother with this one.

Cold

The first spell in the Cold tree offers the first half of the Shattering combo and home to the the absolutly essential Frost Weapons, the final tier of this gives the first half of Storm of the Century, completed in the Electrical tree.

Winter's Grap

Type: Activate Range: Medium Cost: 20 mana Cooldown: 8 sec

Absolulty worth picking this spell up as soon as you can as it will freeze most enemies in its range and slow the others down, letting you focus on enemies while taking as little damage as possible, but more importantly gives you the Shattering combo when you get Stonefist.

Frost Weapons

Type: Sustained Upkeep: 50 mana Cooldown: 10 sec

Gives your parties weapons a bonus frost modifier, this spell will give you a very significant damage to Dragon bosses that you'll end up fighting as you move through the game.

Cone of Cold

Type: Activate Range: Medium Cost: 40 mana Cooldown: 10 sec

Gives a better freezing chance when using Shattering, however a lower range and spread makes this only a decent choice later on in the game when enemies start getting a bit harder to petrify.

Blizzard

Type: Activate Range: Medium Cost: 70 mana Cooldown: 60 sec

While it takes a while to get the required 34 magic for this spell it makes it worth it when you use Storm of the Century, which really is the only time that you are going to be using it as damage done isn't paticually phenomanal.

Alistair

Class: Warrior

A new recruit of the Grey Wardens Alistair has been responsible for some small errands for Duncan. He is placed in charge of the new Warden recruits as they venture into the Wilds to gather Darkspawn blood. A base-born son, Alistair was given to the Chantry at an early age where he trained to become a Templar, he hated his life until Duncan arrives to induct him into the Grey Wardens.

Alister is a natural follower, he is adamantly against being given responsibility of leadership and quickly defers to authority figures.

Leliana

Class: Rogue

Leliana has a sordid past, being involved in various beyond the law activities, she found refuse in the Chantry. An empathic and kind hearted woman, Leliana finds joy in music and stories of heroes.

Mabari

Class: Warrior / Dog

A fierce battle hound bred for war, the Mabari are extremely intelligent and will often "imprint" on people they respect, becoming their faithful companion for life.

Morrigan

Class: Mage

Raised in the Wilds as the daughter of the notorious witch Flemeth, Morrigan has spent her life avoiding the ever present threat of the Templars hunting them for their unsanctioned use of magic. Morrigan is not perturbed by the threat, viewing the Circle and the Templars with dismissal before disdain.

Oghren

Class: Warrior

A Berserker of Orzzamar and wife to famous paragon Branka, Oghren allows rage and power to overcome him in battle becoming a poweful and dangerous foe on the battlefield.

Shale

Class: Warrior Once Orzzamar and its empire had an army of Golems to protect itself from attack from the Darkspawn. Now, one of the few surviving Golems, Shale is trapped as a statue in the town of Honnleath for decades, colouring his personality to resent most humans, and especially birds.

Sten

Class: Warrior A strong and proud Qunari warrior of few words, Sten is imprisoned in Lothering after murdering a household of farmers. Sten is a force to be reckoned with in battle.

Setting Off

After the opening cut scene you are faced with the classic Bioware create your character sceen. The first and most important page esablishes some basic information about your character, as well as deciding which of the Origin stories you will play through at the start.

Male or Female

Ok, if you really need this one explaining then you are possiblly just a wee it young to be playing this kind of game :)

Race

Race is what governs your appearance and how others will interact with you, it is also part of which Origin you'll get as well as limit the class you can play as.

Men can be all three classes. Elves can be all three classes. Dwarfs can be Warriors and Rogues, but not Mages.

Class

Your class will affect affect your Origin only if you select Mage. This option will decide which of the three types of character you can play as, for more information on each, please click on the links.

Warrior - straight up hitter, a Warrior excels in both Sword and Shield, duel weilding (but is far insupirior to Rogues at it) and massive two handed weapons. Choose a warrior if you're not too concerned with the fine arts of backstabbing and flanking and just want to slice and enemy into a million tiny pieces. If you want your main character to be the party's tank, then this is the class you are going to want to select.

Mage - Primarily ranged Damage dealers a Mage uses mana instead of stamina to unleash their attacks. They also provide valuble support to the group with Hexes and Healing. Mages can provide the most damage to enemies, but will also go down the fastest if they start being on the recieving end of some blows.

Rogue - Rogues, like Warriors fight up-close and personal to an enemy, but also have more scope to engage from a distance with a bow and arrow where they can paralyse and disorientant enemies. In close quaters they whip around to a foe's vunrable weak point and preform crtitcal hitting backstaps.

Background

This is the final part of chosing your Origin story, there are six avalible, but depending on the choices that you have just made, only one or two will be open.

Dalish Elf Proud of your role as one of the few "true elves" you have always assumed you would spend your life with your tribe... until a chance encounter with a relic of your people's past threatens to tear you away from everything you have ever know.

All that is required for you to play as a Dalish Elf is, perhaps not suprisingly, picking your Race to be an elf.

Dwarf Commoner Born casteless in a land where rank is everything, bound as the lackey and thug of a local crime lord, you have spent your life invisible... until chance thrusts you into the spotlight, where you can finally provewhether you will be defined by the actions of your Birth.

City Elf You have always lived under the heavy thumb of your human overlords, but when a local lord claiming his "privilege" with the brride shatters your wedding day, the simmering racial tensions explode in a rain of vengeance.

Magi Wielding a power as dangerous as it is potent, you know that magic is a curse for those lacking the will yo control it. You anxiously await your Harrowing, the one chance to prove yourself against the demons lurking without and within. Succeed, or be slaughtered by the knights who ward against your kind.

Human Noble Born to wealth and power, second only to royalty, you find your training in both diplomacy and battle put to the test as your brother leads the bulk of your family's forces to war in the south.

Dwarf Noble As the favoured child of the dwarfen king, you proudly take up your first military command... only to learn that the deadly intrigues of family and sycophants may pose a greater danger than even the battlefield.

Appearance

This page allows you to choose from a wide range of alterations to make your character unique which are all stright forward. If you just want to get stuck into the game, there are also a number of presets that you can decide upon.

Attributes

This is an important section for your character as putting points in the wrong stat can make life significantly more arkward than it needs to be. For a lot more information of what each of the stats do, take a look at Character Stats.

At the start you will have 5 points to spend in these talants. For a recommendation of what to spend these points in, see below. Also make sure you check the Talent Builds section for the best (in my opinion) to add points in as you progess through the game.

Strength For a Damage Warrior this should be the highest statisic for the entire time you are playing. If you are playing a rogue who duel wields as his main attack then it's also important for keeping your damage up, playing a ranged rogue make this skill handy to fall back on if you get charged, but not too important. Mages should not invest anything in this skill.

Warrior (tank): 2 points
Warrior (damage) 3 points
Mage (healer) 0 points
Mage (damage) 0 points
Rogue (melee) 2 points
Rogue (ranged) 1 point

Dexterity Alters your chance of hitting with a critical hit, your ability to dodge and mitigate damage and the skill you use a bow and arrow. All classes should invest some in this skill, although Mages may want to put the extra points into Magic.

Warrior (tank): 0 points
Warrior (damage) 1 point
Mage (healer) 0 points
Mage (damage) 0 points
Rogue (melee) 3 points
Rogue (ranged) 3 points

Willpower This gives you more mana or stamina. Not as useful as you might expect, especially later on in the game when your mages get Rejuvination. If you're going to be playing as a Healer Mage however, then this is essential.

Warrior (tank): 0 points
Warrior (damage) 0 points
Mage (healer) 3 points
Mage (damage) 2 points
Rogue (melee) 0 points
Rogue (ranged) 0 points

Magic Makes your spells far more effective. Obviously all mages should invest heavily in this skill, everyone else can avoid it.

Warrior (tank): 0 points
Warrior (damage) 0 points
Mage (healer) 2 points
Mage (damage) 3 points
Rogue (melee) 0 points
Rogue (ranged) 0 points

Cunning Cunning is very important for Rouges later on in the game as they get substantial modifiers to their attacks. It will also allow you to create more traps, poisen and potions as well as increase your powers of pursuadsion. Make sure whatever your class your are slowly adding to this skill as the game goes on. For now though, it's not overly important as getting your damage output up.

Warrior (tank): 0 points
Warrior (damage) 0 points
Mage (healer) 0 points
Mage (damage) 0 points
Rogue (melee) 0 points
Rogue (ranged) 1 point

Constitution Your health. Obviously Tank Warriors will want to invest almost every skill point they get into this talant. Others should still put some in occasionally, especially Warriors, Mages can avoid this to some extent, but don't neglect it for too long.

Warrior (tank): 3 points
Warrior (damage) 1 point
Mage (healer) 0 points
Mage (damage) 0 points
Rogue (melee) 0 points
Rogue (ranged) 0 points

Skills

There may seem quite a mind boggling array of options here but there's only a few that will be relevant for your first playthough. You are given a skill point once every three level (two for rogues), so you are not going to be seeing this option very often.

You can more or less ignore the profession skills (Poison making, Trap making, Herbalism) and Survival. The important ones you are going to want to level up are Combat training, Coercion, Combat tactics. Keep going down that list adding skill points to level them up together. Since you start with some combat training we can leave that one alone for now, combat tactics are helpful later on (but you will have to start increasing it early) so for which ever class you are playing, add your starting skill point into Coercion.

Talents / Spells

Talants and spells are either abilites or temporary / permanant buffs that you will pick up as you level. There are far too many to explain in this secion.

For more information about them, for Mages see the Spells section, Warriors and Rogues the Talents section.

For talant builds for all classes to make the most from your characters, see the Talant Builds section.

Random Encounters

When traveling through an overworld map, you will occasionally (read: all the bloody time) be attacked by various nasties. It is always best to save before entering a world map it's best practice to save first as they can sometimes be quite difficult and not all of them give you a chance to save beforehand.

Wooded Glen

This encounter is only available when you have the quest Careless Accusations.

The Long Road

A woman from a caravan that has been attacked will lead you to Zevran. This Encounter will happen after the first of your allies have been gathered. For more information, see the main guide Attack in the Glen

Reverant Encounters

Ok these aren't exactly random. They are mini-boss fights that tend to be very difficult.

Human Noble

This Origin was played through as a male character, there will be some slight diffrences between this and the female version. I will try to get any chages documented before too long

Welcome to Dragon Age: Orgins. As a Human nobel you start out in Castle Cousland. You will be introduced to your father, Teyrn Bryce Cousland, Arl Howe and the Grey Warden Duncan. It seems everyone's off to war and leaving you behind in the castle, charming. Your first task is to find Fergus in his room.

Press the back button and the left trigger until you get to the map of the caste. Look for the large right arrow and start heading towards it, through the door immediatly ahead of you.

When you get outside you will bump into Ser Gilmore, apparently your dog's causing havok in the larder. Gilmore will also join your party, you can switch to him using the LB and RB buttons.

Head off to the kitchen by heading north from where you are and through the door on the left. After you enter head north to start a conversation with the cook and two elf servants.

It doesn't matter what you choose, you will be tasked with removing the offending mutt from the larder, open the door to start the cut-scene.

After a bit of dialouge you get to name your dog, don't forget to call it something fierce, like Huggles!

After the naming, you will be seiged upon by giant rats. Your dog joins the party and together you take the fight to them. These Rats do no damage, just target the one you want to hit and press A to attack them. After rats are dead Gilmore deserts you, head out of the larder and report the all clear to the cook.

Resume your path to your brother, on the way you will bumb into your mother, asking about the dog situation. You are introduced to Lady Landra and company, there seems to be no end of girls throwing themselves at you it seems.

When you finish the converstion you may want to make a trip back down the stairs and into the Libary where Aldous will tell you some information about your family, and it's history with the Howes giving a few codex entries. If you then go into the study you can examine a book to get a new codex entry The History of Fereldan.

Talk to Iona for a bit more information on the City Elves and where they live. If you select the option I think we should get to know each other a little better > Something more intimate, later on in my room then any of the last options to get the quest Sweet Iona. You can pull the same move on Darrian too if you like.

Head back up your brother's room, move through the options and select I bring a message from father: he want's you to leave without him when you want to move the topic along. The Teyrn and your mother arrive shortly after rather conveinetly and after some talk of the meaning of wenchs to children, you are told to go to bed for the evening.

If you examine the bookcase you can get the codex entry Politics of Ferelden.

Head outside the room to advance the scene Shenmue style to the nighttime. There's a banging at the door, move through the coveration as you like until you regain control of your character.

You'll find yourself fighting Howe's men. This is a bit more dangrous then fighting rats with a size complex. There are three swordsman and one archer, let the first man come at you and order your dog to attack him, circle around to the black mark at the back and hit him with your normal attack. After he's down, go after one of the other swordsman, use your special abilities (the 3 o'clock item on the radial menu) to get him down as fast a possible, order your dog to go for the archer while you take on the last swordsman. This is a very simple fight and the guards hit very lightly, when the battle is over, your mother will appear all uh.. geared up, joining your party.

Head through the dialouge and choose We should check on Oriana and Oren as well when it comes up, then go back into your brother's room across the hall.

Seems Howe's men aren't in a hostage taking mood, it's time for a bit or slaughterey vengence, head back into your room and collect your equipment from your chest.

With the fighting over for now you can level up, head to the character records page and press A on your character, for more information on what you should be levelling up refer to the Talent Builds section. Don't forget to level your dog too!

Before you go head into the north room and collect some of your father's equipment from the trunk. The locked one contains a Deep Mushroom that Rogues can get at with their lockpicking.

Head through the south door to come across more Howe men, make sure all of your party is attacking the same target by pressing both LB and RB at once to select everyone then choosing a target with the D-pad and pressing A.

Divert into the guest room on your left to discover that Lady Landra has been murdered.

Head further south until another coversation starts. Select Then we should take the fight to them > We can't just let Howe win! > We don't know that's true!

Keep moving towards the goal on your map, a man will run out, expressing his intention to save himself. If you can convice him to stay with [Persuade] Don't be a coward! Stand and fight! he will join you against the next wave of Howe's men. If not he'll just run off.

Take out the group of two on the right first, when they are dead kill the rest. Don't forget to use your special abilities (your cooldowns) whenever they become available and try to always attack an enemy from directly behind for maximum damage.

Head to the dining hall and take out the guards there, then fight your way back towards the guard post. You'll be set upon by some Mabari hounds, these are more dangerous then Howe's men and should be focused on first. Try to open the door to the guard house to get the key off Eleanor and pick up the quest The Cousland Treasury.

Head into the treasury to pick up some Scale armour, a shield that you can equip if you are a Warrior and a nice enchanted sword called Family Sword.

Exit the treasury, but head past the enterance to the Great Hall for the moment and go to the chapel, saving the guards and priests in there.

Keep checking the bodies for heath pots and money, when you're ready, go into the main hall. Ser Gilmore and a few guards in here who will take out most of Howe's men and the mage at the back should be your first target. When he's dead give the guards a hand killing the rest of the enemies.

Ser Gilmore points you in the direction of the kicthens, go through the other side of the hall. The game will auto-save at this point, keep moving through the halls to the Larder. On the way you will encounter your first Elite mob. A Howe Knight marked by his name in yellow. Set your Mabari on him when you see him and have Elenor attack from range, clear up the other enemies yourself and when they're dead, join in on damaging the knight if he has already been beaten. Then go into the larder.

Pre start advice

Dragon Age is not an easy game, and it will get progressivly more difficult if you make a mistake in the huge amount of customisation you get when you level your characters. See below for the best way to level them.

Morrigan - Morrigan is going to be your primary AoE (Area of Effect) handeller. While she can certainly deal a massive amount of single target damage, this is often overshadowed by the need to nuke down large groups of weaker mobs quickly.

When levelling Morrigan's Attributes, alternate between putting all 3 points in Magic, and 2 in Magic 1 in Willpower until her Magic skill hits 36, afterwards, for every level put 2 points in Willpower and 1 in Constitution.

For spells, it is imperitive that you level the Electrical tree to at least Tempest as fast as you can. When you have it, start levelling Cold until you have the required magic for Chain Lightning, get it, then go back to levelling Cold.

After those trees are fully filled you can go for a number of different routes. You could take her through the Creation trees, freeing up Wynne for another damager, level Waking Nightmare for another powerful AoE or if you have the levels, get Death Cloud + Death Hex for the ungodly hard hitting combo Entropic Death. You could also level her as an Arcane Warrior if you want to shift her to being a tank (yes it is possible!)

There are however some things that you shouldn't level. The Mage tree is all but useless except for the spellpower buff at the end, but it's certianly not worth the four points needed for it. Shapeshifter is also truly terrible and not worth a single point.

Ostagar

You've comepleted your Origin and now you've arrived at Ostagar with Duncan and ready to become a Grey Warden. The conversations you have at this point will vary depending on your background. When you gain control of your character again you will probably need to level up, refer to Talent Builds if you need more information on what you should be investing skill and talent/spell points in.

You will also pick up the quest Joining the Grey Warderns and be told to speek to Alistair in the Warden camp nearby. You'll also get the codex entries for Archdemon, The Grey Wardens, The Korcari Wilds, Darkspawn, King Cailan Theirin and Loghain Mac Tir.

Turn around and have a look at the Tower of Ishal, then head the way Duncan went and over the Bridge. If you ask the guard at the other side Tell me about Ostagar you will unlock the Codex entry Ostagar.

Go left when you enter the camp, talk to the King's guard for a bit more information about his relationship with Loghain. Then head over to the other tent and talk to Loghain's guard.

Talk to him a bit about his past, then Is the teyrn inside? What is he doing? followed by I would like an audience with the teyrn, please to have a brief chat with the teyrn of Nottingham himself.

Further north is Wynne, a mage of the Circle. Talk to her about Darkspawn and the Fade to recieve new codex entries Wynne and the The Fade (orginal, I know).

Head up to the infirmary and investige the scroll to update the codex with The Chant of Light: The Blight. Talk to the prisioner in the cage to get the quest The Hungry Deserter

Talk to the kennel master about the Mabari he has which is tainted by Darkspawn blood. Accept the quest The Mabari Hound. This quest will not be available to Human nobels since they already have a hound.

Head down the ramp and speak to the Tranquil for a bit more information on them in the codex, then head up to where Alistair is. Speak to him and when the dialouge finished he'll join your party.

On the right when you come down the ramp you'll see Daveth, speek to him, then head back to Duncan, when he's finished, turn right and head into the wilds.

Go forwards a bit and you'll be set upon by a pack of wolves, let your party attack they like and circle around to the back of an enemy to deal considrabally more damage to it.

Move forward along the path until you reach the Dying Solider and speak to him. Bandage him up and finish the dialouge with Ser Jory however you like, then

A bit further ahead you'll find the flower you need for the Mabari hound. Pick it to update the quest.

There's some darkspawn up ahead, give them a good killing and loot any blood that drops off their bodies. When you kill the archers on the hill, go back down and over the pool of water to run into a few more. Keep moving fowards fighting Darkspawn and the odd wolf as you go loot any blood that drops until you find the body of Missionary Rigby. Loot his body to start the side quest Last Will and Testemant.

Keep going south and find a bridge made of rubble, on the other side you will have to fight several wolves as well as a yellow alpha wolf which should be brought down first by having every party member attack it (LB + RB remember.)

Near two large statues you will find a chest with a personal letter from Rigby.

Head back over the bridge and keep heading south-east. There's a Elite Hurlock Emissary here with a semi-large collection of lesser spawn. This fight is one of the rarer times that you don't really want to kill the emissary first as when you chase him, he runs backward, pulling larger groups of spawn towards you. Instead kill the reguler enemies as they come to you. After you kill the elite there may still be a few more enemies up the hill to the right. Make sure that throughout this fight you are topping up people's heath with potions as losing a party member tends to make life a lot harder (or at least the fight slower).

After the fight ends, you can loot a dead solider for the codex entry A pinch of Ashes.

Keep moving to the quest symbol on your map, soon the game auto-saves and you are put into another fight with the Darkspawn. This one's quite a bit easier, just make sure that you have your entire party attacking the same enemy and kill the elite Hurlock Alpha first. When you are done, inspect the Warden's Chest.

Morrigan at this point pops up out of nowhere, contiune the conversation until you end up being taken to her mother, and after a plesant chin-wag are safely returned to Ostagar.

Speek to the Kenal Master and give the hound the flower to complete The Marabi Hound, then go to the crate outside the purple tent on the oppoiste side of the 'road' to get your reward for The Hungry Prisoner.

Return to Duncan and you can start the Joining. You can tell him about Morrigan if you like but it won't do anything special. The Joining plays out and you regain control of your character. That was a little extreme of Duncan wasn't it?

So you are now officially a Grey Warden, follow Duncan down the bridge to the King's camp where you will be brief on the stratagy for the upcoming battle. Seems striking a match is a task for the Grey Warderns, when you're done,level up Alistair and put a talant point into Threaten, make sure his stratagy is set to Defender. In this form he will attract more enemy attention, so keep an eye on his health. When you're done, head over to bridge to start a cut-scene.

Dramatic huh? The battle's started, move across the bridge and go to the enterance of the Tower of Ishal. Contry to what Duncan may have said before, there is no one hour time limit to do any of this.

Uh oh, looks like this isn't going to be a simple, strike the match job after all. You'll get two new recruits you your party (one if you're a noble), a mage and a warrior. You'll get a flaming weapon buff from the Mage which will increase your damage by quite a lot.

Kill the few spawn in this area, then you move closer to the tower there's a Hurlock Alpha that you should let live for too long. When you're done enter the Tower of Ishal.

There's not many enemies in this first room, but there are a few traps that you might end up triggering. If you set off the grease trap, the Emissary in the corner of the room with set it on fire with his flame spell casing a bit of burst damage and damage as long as you stay in the fire. If it happens just run through it.

When the enemies here are dead, go through the metal door in this room and kill the enemies here to. Keep going right, through the rooms until you come to a set of stairs. From here, go up onto the second floor.

Move forward through the circuler room, if you want the experience you can kill the mobs in the rooms through the doors to the right and left. As at the far end of the area, turn right and kill the few Darkspawn here. At the end of the hall open the doors to find the room going up to level three. There may seem like quite a few enemies in here, but they go down nice and quickly. If you're having problems, make sure all of your party is attacking the same target.

This next area is some more Genlocks. Make sure you attack from behind to get the most damage you can. Over near the door to the next area is a weapons rack where you can pick up a new bow if you're the archery sort.

There's an elite Genlock in this next room, clear the path up to him and focus your party's damage to get him down before he causes too much hell. In the hallway, open the first door you your left and kill the Darkspawn. You'll be attacked by two more in hall so kill them to death as well.

In these three rooms there's some injury kits and health potions in a number of the crates, they'll come in handy later on so make sure you pick them up.

When you're ready go through the metal door and chop up the token guard room at the end and go to the Top Floor.

Yeah, he's large. How did he fit through the door? Anywho, prepare for your first boss fight of the game. This is quite a bit diffrent to the killing of trash Darkspawn and requires a bit of planning.

BOSS: Orge

Difficulty: XX

The main problem you're going to have here is that the Orge hits pretty hard. He also has a grab attack which I'll explain in a moment. If you are playing a Warrior with a talant point in Shield Bash, I strongly reccomend equiping a shield for this fight.

When the fight starts, take control of Alistair, make sure Threaten is switched on in the Sustained Talants pane of the radial menu and give him a whack with every cooldown you have. By the time you're done your party should have caught you up. Circle your main character and Warrior (or Dog) to the back of the Orge. If you're playing as a warrior use every cooldown you have apart from Shield Bash, if not hit it with everything. If you're a Mage make sure you're standing well back.

Occasioanlly the Orge will grab a party member and cause heavy damage, when he does get Alistair (or your character if you are a warrior) to Shield Bash it to release the grabbed party member.

The Orge will also target a random party member in melee range and give them a backhand, knocking them back. It's not much of a problem but don't let your health fall to far below half in case you get grabbed and there's no Shield Bash availible to get you out of it.

Heal your party memebers with Health Pots until the Orge is dead. Congratulations, that was simple wasn't it? Don't worry it gets a lot (lot!) harder later on.


So, the Orge's dead, all you have to do now is light the beacon (it looks like it's in a fireplace) at the south part of the Tower. Inspect it to complete the Ostagar section of the game.

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