After a very frustrating time in Redcliffe, which may not have been so bad if I'd visited there first as Alistair had suggested at Lothering (but which I forgot), I decided to take a break from the main campaign and try out some of the other origin stories. Unfortunately for me, there's really only one origin for mages, so this meant that to experience any of the other ones, I had to go as a rogue or a warrior. Since I've never liked warriors (and it's not like I didn't get a feel for what it was like to play one, since I have several warriors in the party), I went as a rogue.
I tried the dwarven noble origin first, which was pretty fun. I tried a couple of alternative courses of action with the "brother" plot, played to Ostagar, and stopped.
Next I tried the human noble origin (as a rogue again). This one was just excellent. It draws you in, and feels very rich and well-developed. You have a real past in this place, and a loving family (unless you choose to be a smart-mouthed brat, I suppose), and it involves you emotionally. Also nice is that you have a chance to talk a visiting noble and/or his handmaiden into bed.
The only thing that jarred me out of it was a certain heroic sacrifice that "had" to be made during a cutscene dialogue. "Go on without me," says gravely wounded Father. "I'll hold them off and give you time to escape." "No, come with us," says Mother. "We can get you healing magic!" He refuses, not wanting to slow us down. All the while, I'm carrying about 10 healing poultices, and my dialogue options are frustratingly mute on the issue. So mother decides to stay at his side and go down fighting, and here I am, unable to save them, and vowing revenge on the man who did this, when Duncan forcibly conscripts me! Duncan, you bastard, I'm glad you're dead, after this and what you did to Ser Jory.
I played a little longer with my noble, as far as going into the wilds for the darkspawn blood.
Next, I played the city elf origin (guess which class I picked?) Another great, emotionally compelling story, which rivaled the human noble! Once again, Duncan came to recruit me, but this time I played nicely, even though I could have simply killed the 5 guards that came to apprehend me, if the game would have allowed it. Hadn't I just slaughtered a whole castle full of soldiers? But yes, I know, the game is about being a Grey Warden, and that means going with Duncan, like it or not.
I played this one past the Tower of Ishal, all the way into Lothering, where I picked up Dog, Sten, and Leliana! I noticed that when playing as a mage, the two NPCs that joined my party at the Tower of Ishal were warrior and archer, whereas when I played as a rogue, the two NPCs were archer and mage of the Circle. Very handy!
I think my city elf rogue will be a nice alternate to my human mage. Maybe I'll play some of the DLC with the rogue, whenever I buy some, assuming I do.
I still haven't tried the Dalish elf or the dwarven commoner, but I feel like getting back to my mage now.
Important recent mods
Of the mods I've added lately, these are the ones I found most indispensable.
- Natural Bodies: A true nude mod. No more ridiculous underwear during those love scenes.
- Dexterity light armour: Light armour (what a rogue would wear) is changed to check your dexterity, not your strength, as a requirement for being able to wear it.
- DA Modder: A replacement for the DA Content Updater for installing .dazips, which also manages your core override mods.
- I'm also using a mod that makes arcane warriors able to cast without sheathing their weapons, but I can't find wherever I got it now.