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I actually did this a few weeks ago and it worked fine. As long as it brings up the message saying you qualify for the bonuses, you should be able to just choose New Game from the menu and it will work.
Yes, you can. The key is to start a new game without loading your old game. Loading the old one first will import the bonus stuff into it. If you did load your old game and wish to start a new character with the bonuses then follow this procedure:
1: Delete your Dark Arisen Save data ( *not* the original vanilla Dragon's Dogma save; they are separate) 2: Restart the game 3: Start a new game without ever going to "Load Game"
More reading: http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps3/684236-dragons-dogma-dark-arisen/answers?qid=350195
Well, I have decided not to start over. I have been playing around with way lower level enemies (I am level 47) to get the hang of the combat again. Later this evening I am going to go through my inventory and storage and figure out what is going on there....... Not too, too bad and certainly not as overwhelming as starting up again with Skyrim.