Dragon Age Spoilers & Quest Discussion

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Warning! Here be spoilers!

I'll ask that spoilers still use the Spoiler button along with a brief idea of what the spoiler itself contains.

Can't they make swords that look like actual swords instead of action figure accessories?

Spoiler:

I put the ram in the ram-a-lama Ding Dong!!!

Bullion Cube wrote:
Spoiler:

I put the ram in the ram-a-lama Ding Dong!!!

...wait a minute...

Minarchist wrote:
Bullion Cube wrote:
Spoiler:

I put the ram in the ram-a-lama Ding Dong!!!

...wait a minute...

It's in the second zone. The ram is hiding in the woods to the east, and the ding dong is...well, it's rated mature for a reason.

Spoiler:

Thar be dragons in it.

Pretend spoilers in a spoiler thread is bad form, guys. Let's not congest this thread with it.

Tycho from Penny Arcade just released some lore about the Templars and magic in the world of Dragon Age. In case anyone wants to be surprised by the info in-game I'll put the spoiler tags around it.

Spoiler:

In the game, Lyrium Elixirs of various kinds act as your "Blue Potions," to leverage a bit of Diablo nomenclature. But Lyrium isn't just some word they throw out, some context-appropriate cipher for a gameplay necessity. Lyrium is fundamental to the way the gameworld works. Have you noticed that in the Dragon Age character builder (or Dragon Age: Journeys, for that matter) it's impossible to create a dwarven mage? This has to do with Lyrium.

An ore with mystical properties, trade between the Dwarven and Human kingdoms is practically based on it. Constant dwarven exposure to the substance - the mining, refining, and manufacture of magically augmented weapon, armor, and other goods - has given them a kind of immunity to magic. Not complete, of course - but enough to hinder their manipulation of it, even enough to offer some protection.

It is the charter of the Order of the Templars to police magic use, and containing some blood mage or recalcitrant "free wizard" is their purpose. Every Circle Mage undergoes a test called the Harrowing, which I'd rather not go into, but understand that Templars (multiple Templars) are present to kill these students at the first sign of trouble. As part of their initiation and ongoing rituals, Templars literally eat Lyrium in an effort to gain some measure of the dwarves' resistance. Addiction is the inevitable result - the lyrium isn't being consumed with magic use, and (as dwarves are rare in their ranks) they're not genetically predisposed to manage it. The addiction compounds the paranoia and obsession of a person drawn to the Order.

They're regular people, who with discipline and unswerving piety are charged with a more or less impossible task: to act as a bulwark between conscious beings and the demonic horde that roils in the Fade. They believe that any mage, at any time, could erupt in a fountain of blood and become host to a demon. They believe that people who are unwilling or unable to control their mystic connection to the Fade should have it forcibly stripped from them. They believe children who show even a glimmer of magic potential should be taken from their parents by force and handed over to the Circle. In many ways, in most ways, they are right. A Templar who stays his hand is not - strictly speaking - a Templar.

Thought it was pretty darn cool.

Okay for those who have read the book:

Spoiler:

Am I the only one that is disappointed with how Loghain looked? I had imagined him to look much different. Like the guy on the cover of the book.

Some guy: "You don't look like refugees."

Me in real life: "Really, what gave it away? The weapons? The armor? The snarling dog? Or was it the fact that we're all dripping with blood?"

Edit: Kind of a spoiler, but I'll block it out if you don't like reading the back of the instruction manual like I do. By the by, it's a music-related spoiler:

Spoiler:

30 Seconds to Mars? Jared Leto's band? Are you kidding me? Really? You know, I was warming up to the whole electric guitar in a fantasy RPG soundtrack thing, but these guys? Why didn't they put in Nickelback while they were at it? I'm hitting the mute button the minute the credits start.

My first "holy crap, they went there?" moment:

Spoiler:

Playing as an elven city rogue, got through the origin story, met the king at Ostagar. The following is a paraphrasing, I can't remember verbatim what the characters said.

King: "How are things in the alienage?"
Me: "Oh, I killed the son of an arl who raped and murdered elven women"

Farscry wrote:

My first "holy crap, they went there?" moment:

Spoiler:

Playing as an elven city rogue, got through the origin story, met the king at Ostagar. The following is a paraphrasing, I can't remember verbatim what the characters said.

King: "How are things in the alienage?"
Me: "Oh, I killed the son of an arl who raped and murdered elven women"

Just wait; that area only gets WTFier from there.

Ok then. Best part so far? Not the Darkspawn killing, or the story, but...

Spoiler:

The incredibly polite Highwaymen outside of the small town, after your get Morrigan. Never have I had so much fun in a conversation by taking the "nonviolent" route.

Farscry wrote:

My first "holy crap, they went there?" moment:

Spoiler:

Playing as an elven city rogue, got through the origin story, met the king at Ostagar. The following is a paraphrasing, I can't remember verbatim what the characters said.

King: "How are things in the alienage?"
Me: "Oh, I killed the son of an arl who raped and murdered elven women"

Heh yeah, I loved that too. I loved his expression in response. He was like, "oh, really? WTF".

I also played a noble dwarf origin. Thought it was well done. I loved that there was always a dialogue option to be completely snooty. "Jeeves, why is this peasant addressing me? Tell him to bring me peeled grapes, NOW!"

Do we need spoiler tags in a spoiler thread? Ah well, until told otherwise I guess:
Regarding the dwarf noble origin:

Spoiler:

I was pissed when I was betrayed by Bhelen and the scout and warrior. I was kind of playing along with the whole "trian is trying to kill me" thing, but I also kind of knew that it was really Bhelen, because of the way his character made a weird face during your first dialogue with him. Not sure if there's a better way out of the frame job, though. I was really, really pissed, though, because I fought in and won the Proving, and gifted the champion's helm to that last warrior you fight who shows up with you in the dark roads. I was sure after honoring him like that that he was going to tell the truth at the end, but that bastard betrayed me, too! Son of a ...
And, it kind of sucks that you lose all your items. Including all your pre-order/bonus items. Thanks! for nothing! sheesh :)

Yes, use spoiler tags and even indicating what "area" of the game the spoiler is from would be a good idea too. It's nice to be able to look in here without having finished the game yet.

From the whole becoming a Grey Warden ritual and being a Noble...

Spoiler:

"Oh, I guess you couldn't handle it. Whoops. Your turn. No? STAB STAB STAB. Now you."

"You were all warned there was no turning back!" and I'm thinking "you pressed me into service over the body of my dying father, you asshole."

From the Mage intro story line:

Spoiler:

While I was happy to have my first "real ethical dilemma" early on with the "Retrieve the Blood Vial for your friend" quest, and enjoyed the negative consequences of my actions afterwards, a part of me was fairly upset that they pulled the old switcheroo on me twice in a row. I can remember thinking when I accepted the blood vial quest "Well, he might be a blood mage, but the LAST mage I hung around with (The dude during the harrowing) turned out to be a filthy liar, so what are the odds that this guy is too?". Turns out? Good. Which is fine and all, but now the game basically has me in "trust no-one" mode. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I guess.

Certis wrote:

Yes, use spoiler tags and even indicating what "area" of the game the spoiler is from would be a good idea too. It's nice to be able to look in here without having finished the game yet.

From the whole becoming a Grey Warden ritual and being a Noble...

Spoiler:

"Oh, I guess you couldn't handle it. Whoops. Your turn. No? STAB STAB STAB. Now you."

"You were all warned there was no turning back!" and I'm thinking "you pressed me into service over the body of my dying father, you asshole."

Just...

Spoiler:

drink from the cup

...and quit whining!

What does everyone who played it think of the human noble origin, btw?

Spoiler:

I'll preface this by saying I'm an easy get, but I was surprised at how quickly they got me to care about the fate of my family. In these games your character almost always has some parental history to them, but it's almost always told as background story and not something you play out, which I found really affecting. I particularly like the voice acting from my character's mother and the fact that she was a useful party member for a short while. I found it a phenomenal way to start the game.

ubrakto wrote:

What does everyone who played it think of the human noble origin, btw?

My response on the human noble origin:

Spoiler:

The thing that really worked for me was the mother; Fighting alongside your mom seems lame if you take it out of context, but it was awesome seeing that you come from this family of strong-willed fighters. It gives you a sense of direction, like: I should act in such-and-such a way because I obviously got a lot of chutzpa from my folks.

Also, is it just me or is Alistair like one of the best-written/voice acted NPCs evar? I think I might care about him as much as I do Alyx Vance, which sucks because there's so much overlap between him mechanically and what I want my first main character to be like.

From the City Elven origin.

I was going to be a badass asshole. It lasted until

Spoiler:

Arl's son: You take 40 (florens?) and leave. Go wherever you like. Just go.
Me: And you'll release the women?
Soon to be dead Arl's son: The women stay. I'll return them tomorrow. A little.....worse for wear.
Shianni: Please, I just want to go home.
Me: I'm going to f*cking kill you.

Ok, I ad-libbed that last part, but I was pissed. And then I went good, albiet snarky good.

Certis wrote:

Yes, use spoiler tags and even indicating what "area" of the game the spoiler is from would be a good idea too. It's nice to be able to look in here without having finished the game yet.

From the whole becoming a Grey Warden ritual and being a Noble...

Spoiler:

"Oh, I guess you couldn't handle it. Whoops. Your turn. No? STAB STAB STAB. Now you."

"You were all warned there was no turning back!" and I'm thinking "you pressed me into service over the body of my dying father, you asshole."

Same reaction and...

Spoiler:

...the Grey Wardens make the Crips and the Bloods look like the Rotary Club and the Elks Lodge by comparison.

Oh, general hint (not really a spoiler, but it doesn't hurt):

Spoiler:

Don't ask random women to kiss you in front of the likes of Morrigan and Leiliana. Unlike the Asari Consort in Mass Effect, that really pisses them off.

And more specific to Morrigan:

Spoiler:

Does anything make her happy? She even out-bitchys Viconia from Baldur's Gate.

Michael Zenke wrote:
ubrakto wrote:

What does everyone who played it think of the human noble origin, btw?

My response on the human noble origin:

Spoiler:

The thing that really worked for me was the mother; Fighting alongside your mom seems lame if you take it out of context, but it was awesome seeing that you come from this family of strong-willed fighters. It gives you a sense of direction, like: I should act in such-and-such a way because I obviously got a lot of chutzpa from my folks.

Yes, absolutely.

Spoiler:

When she comes bursting out of her room in full armor and starts taking charge I was like, "You go, mom!"

Michael Zenke wrote:

Also, is it just me or is Alistair like one of the best-written/voice acted NPCs evar? I think I might care about him as much as I do Alyx Vance, which sucks because there's so much overlap between him mechanically and what I want my first main character to be like.

Alistair is great. He and Morrigan, in particular, play off each other incredibly well (IMO).

[quote=ubrakto]

Michael Zenke wrote:
ubrakto wrote:

What does everyone who played it think of the human noble origin, btw?

My response on the human noble origin:

Spoiler:

The thing that really worked for me was the mother; Fighting alongside your mom seems lame if you take it out of context, but it was awesome seeing that you come from this family of strong-willed fighters. It gives you a sense of direction, like: I should act in such-and-such a way because I obviously got a lot of chutzpa from my folks.

Yes, absolutely.

Spoiler:

When she comes bursting out of her room in full armor and starts taking charge I was like, "You go, mom!"

I really liked that section as well but

Spoiler:

then the writers kind of throw it all away in the last scene with your dad. They built up this whole feeling for your family and then, when they are all killed due to treachery, it's like "OK, join the Grey Wardens because what they are doing is REALLY important. Don't mind us all dying and stuff over here and leave vengeance to the king". I think the opening is powerful because they actually make me care for these people, but they could have done that section so much better, I think. Like maybe have some of the Darkspawn attack and your father come around on how important it is to let you become a Warden.

It is a testament to BioWare's writing that I care that much to be upset by what I consider to be a left turn on the narrative.

Rat Boy wrote:

Can't they make swords that look like actual swords instead of action figure accessories?

No doubt. The King's sword has like a seven foot long grip on it fer cryin out loud.

Khoram wrote:

Regarding the dwarf noble origin:

Spoiler:

I was pissed when I was betrayed by Bhelen and the scout and warrior. I was kind of playing along with the whole "trian is trying to kill me" thing, but I also kind of knew that it was really Bhelen, because of the way his character made a weird face during your first dialogue with him. Not sure if there's a better way out of the frame job, though. I was really, really pissed, though, because I fought in and won the Proving, and gifted the champion's helm to that last warrior you fight who shows up with you in the dark roads. I was sure after honoring him like that that he was going to tell the truth at the end, but that bastard betrayed me, too! Son of a ...
And, it kind of sucks that you lose all your items. Including all your pre-order/bonus items. Thanks! for nothing! sheesh :)

No doubt. I had the exact same experience, and thought the last guy would help out for the same reason.

Regarding your last sentence:

Spoiler:

Your pre-order stuff comes back. Not sure exactly when, but it is in my inventory now in the Gray Warden camp. I still can't wear it though...

Rat Boy wrote:

More specific to Morrigan:

Spoiler:

Does anything make her happy? She even out-bitchys Viconia from Baldur's Gate.

Spoiler:

So, Morry (she and I are friendly) is actually pretty easy to keep happy because she's kinda shallow. If you're trying to be even slightly good she'll bitch at you; like in Lothering if you talk down the merchant who's trying to drive off those protesting refugees. You solve that peaceably and she disapproves. Thankfully, almost every shiny bauble that comes along is something she'll like. All the stuff marked 'gift' that resembles jewelry or finery is right up her alley, and I've found I can offset almost all of my negative-from-nicey-nice just by giving her stuff.

Also: She has a hangup about her apostate status. If you're sympathetic to her 'non-traditional' magical tradition, she'll like you a lot better.

So, I hit my first game breaking bug last night. Towards the end of the human noble story, where you fight in the main great hall and have to go find your father. After the cut scene, the only way to go towards your father is through a door that was previously locked (and unpickable). In my game, the door never unlocked. On a positive note, loading a previous save and replaying that section fixed the problem and the door unlocked.

question re: mage origin

Spoiler:

Is there any way to suss out that your pal is a blood mage before going through with the break in? I had serious suspicions beforehand and felt a bit railroaded that there seemed to be no way to expose him without going through with it.

Dude.

When you get to Redcliffe:

Spoiler:

The quest to enter the castle and force the evil out takes an awesome 180, and it forces you to make a pretty tough decision. I know what I wanted to do in the situation, but I didn't want to face the consequences, I'm almost positive, it would have had on my party. Its a real "Twilight Zone" moment. The quests in this game are really well written and they give you a good sense of "anything can happen" to these people. I haven't played out my decision, yet, but am eager to find out if I made the right choice. Astounding.

juv3nal wrote:

question re: mage origin

Spoiler:

Is there any way to suss out that your pal is a blood mage before going through with the break in? I had serious suspicions beforehand and felt a bit railroaded that there seemed to be no way to expose him without going through with it.

Spoiler:

I thought the quest description said you could rat him out to the head mage. I didn't, but assumed that would have been possible.

I played through most of the Human Noble (rogue) origin last night and it came off as really, really generic. The part with your mom was okay since I played a female character and the resemblance was pretty strong, but other than that it was nothing that I haven't read in a dozen cheap sword-and-sorcery novels.

I'm going to try some other characters/origins tonight, I really had a hard time caring about the human noble one, though.

And why am I covered in blood 95% of the time? It's distracting. Is this "the new sh*t" I've been hearing about?

Dysplastic wrote:
Spoiler:

I thought the quest description said you could rat him out to the head mage. I didn't, but assumed that would have been possible.

Spoiler:

To be clear, I did go that route, but the head Mage makes you go along with the break-in so that they can be "caught red handed"

Turn off the "persistent gore" option or whatever its called to get rid of the Bloodstain crap.

Anyone notice that if you try to steal something, and fail..a guardwill walk over to Duncan and report you, but Duncan says he will talk the word of a Warden on the matter

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