DA3: some notes on playing and installing hair / outift mods.

I’ve just been replaying da3, my most favourite part of the Dragon Age Trilogy (Though I love DAO because beginnings are just so beautiful and exciting, and everything feels new, unknown and like a beginning of a fantastic story, which DA is!). I love it just as much as I did before, and having put in around 700 hours into this game alone, I think I can safely say it’s definitely on my top list. However, as it is an ambitious game, it can be no less overwhelming than Skyrim. The difference from Skyrim is that for me da3 is much better organised, which is why I had a problem getting into Skyrim; I much prefer what DA3 does.

Da3 has the plot, the straight gXB romance I love and many significant, beautiful areas to explore that don’t require any mods to make them look better. That can get overwhelming as each region has tons of stuff to do.

  1. Don’t try to do everything in one area one sitting. Some of them are huge, and some require you to return anyway, after you trigger subquests. You can explore the area later. I usually complete necessary quests, enjoy the view, leave to move the story forward and then return to finish at later dates, ESPECIALLY since some personal quests like Varric’s will bring you back to the regions you already visited. Just take it easy, and enjoy the views. The regions like the Hinterlands are gorgeous and detailed. Crestwood changes with the plot.
  2. Explore everything, everywhere. Quests and secrets can be found in unexpected places everywhere. I love that about these games. This game is one where you take things slow and enjoy views, collect all materials you can from each region. Unlock shards when you can in each part of the region, pick then as you run around, deal with astrariums as you find them. I usually leave mosaics to the last to find them in some order and make sure I pick them all. But I love picking up resource as I go along- herbs, especially the rare, pretty ones like Crystal Grace and pretty metal. But if you don’t like it, the resources are available at merchants, such as Black Emporium, Deep Roads and the common ones at nearly every merchant.
  3. Take a break in Skyhold every once in a while. Talk to characters in Haven and Skyhold
  4. Missions on the war table will complete even when you don’t play – use that. Long missions lasting 14-20 hours are best opened when you leave the game and don’t play for 14 hours. There ARE mods, apparently, that reduce it to 0 but I don’t see fun in that.
  5. Use Dragon Age Keep to customise your world – I love that and you can explore so many different narrative variants- this s why I love this game. My favourite romance is with Cullen, so my preferred state of the world is one where Hero of Ferelden was a female mage. The romance with Cullen feels very organic this way as they incorporated a lot of elements from the templar-mage and Cullen’s personal story, and he will have things to say about the mage Hero of Ferelden. Heck, when you talk to Josephine in Haven, you will her YOU had a crush on a templar. Such little things make all the difference for me.

Choosing specialisation

this is hair 052, by the way.

At one point, you will be able to pick a specialised class. I usually consider how I’m roleplaying my character. My current character, Eveline, is a mage with deep faith. I’m going to make her a Knight Enchanter, though I usually prefer Rift Mage because it really controls the field, and I love ranged magic. I would choose Rift Mage, especially if I was an elven mage romancing Solas, to have something in common with him. Have fun with this; it’s another reason why I love Dai.


Vivien’s armor can be crafted thanks to Standalone companion armors, use it with “remove class restrictions” mod. And my inquisitor feels much prettier now.

It’s not an easy game to mod, mainly because it seems you cannot add assets. I think it’s reasonable, it would, perhaps, bloat the game too much? I don’t really need mods in this game, because it’s perfect in pretty much all aspects for me, but I have become bored with hair and outfit options – I understand these options are in place in order not to make things too heavy. But still kinda fun to change the hairstyle and fashion for a bit Here’s some tips for a female character. Haven’t experimented with a male because I don’t play male characters – but some of these will still apply. Modders certainly did a phenomenal job, as always.

Look around Nexus for mods you like – hair, clothes. Some clothes are called pyjama replacers because they replace the outfits in the Inquitpr’s wardrobe.

Some of my favourites:

The key word is REPLACE. They cannot be added. Hair also replaces another existing hair in the game – but you can mix and match to an extent if you read the mod descriptions carefully. Remember, however, that if a hair file has CUSTOM TEXTURE – you can only add ONE of those, period. otherwise, there will be conflicts and result in blotchy/blocky hair with missing textures.

Download Frosty. Set it up. Link the game path to add the game to the manager.

Note: some daimod type files (mods that used dai mod manager) work in Frosty, You need to drag them from the opened archive for them to install correctly. Don’t drag the zipped file (Frosty will not read them), nor unzip the files into a folder and then drag. Drag a daimod file into Frosty straight from its archive.

Note 2: For the mods to save, you need to launch the gamer through Frosty. You can set up through which platform Frosty launches. I bought the game on both Origin and Steam – to support Bioware and DAI – but I use origin. You can go to Tools > Options > Launch options tab to set up through which platform the manager will run. In my case, I had to, as launching it without setting the platform caused steam to want to download the steam version.

Hair mods
aka how to have more variety of custom hair

  • pick ONE hair with “custom texture”. It can be that applies to all character races. For instance, I have a custom texture for human and elf female character that modifies hair type PC.
  • to display them correctly in CC, you will need Hair H and Hair texture slider from these files. It will add a hair stubble slider to enable you to preview custom hair correctly. Load it AFTER hair mods.
  • if some hair is giving you invisible arms, the “misc hairstyles” mod page has an optional file to fix this.
  • you can have more custom hair by replacing hair types one by one and ONLY if they use vanilla textures.

    See my screenshot – you can have this many hair, even mix them up for various races but only ONE custom texture. It works the same for males, except some mods modify simulatnously male and female hairstyles so you really have to read carefully and pick and choose.

I have hair that replace DB mesh , ponytail, Celene / Scout harding hair. You need to read mod descriptions. I downloaded all hair mods I liked into folders named according to the hair type they replace for convenience. Then you can carefully mix and match.

Added male hair to keep it, just in case. some of these hairstyles are REALLY nice. but I don’t know why I would want to play a male. I prefer playing females as a female myself and never even create male characters. Well, I might create one just to experiment with outfit mods and hairstyles and perhaps add to what I’ve written here, but it’s not really something I’d enjoy doing and some of the hairstyles also replace male ones, so the process still applies.

Outfit replacers

– You can replace the starting mercenary armour (some outfits do it by default, like Orlesian dress)
– You can replace formal wear; what you choose for starting armour can be your formal wear
– You can replace Skyhold pyjamas – what you wear around Skyhold / default casual wear.
– You can have the wedding dress as your formal wear
– There are nice armour replacers if you don’t like the look of a particular vanilla armor.
– There are ways to add some armour schematics to the game- like the craftable companion armours

In my case, I wanted to have Orlesian dress for starting armor and for formal replacer, but keep the wedding dress and have a different casual outfit. So, I used

Orlesian dress – it automatically replace intro
Used Equip Prologue for Formal Attire from this page or here to use the Orlesian dress instead of the vanilla outfit for Wicked Hearts
Installed the Dress for Skyhold from these files (it’s inside the DLC files) – this replaces ONE of the casual outfits with the wedding dress. Modified the dress with my chosen mod that changes the appearance of the wedding dress e.x. Bride Dress – Floral :Pink, but other great options are available.
Left wedding dress as is.

As a result, I have formal wear – Orlesian dress in my wardrobe and ONE casual outfit is replaced with the dress and how I modified it further. This way, I have a more varied and fun wardrobe.

Several mods replace Skyhold wear for men, women, and different races. In my case, this is what worked best. I hope this helps a little! I”m still learning about it. But as I say, I don’t need mods for this game, so this is where my exploration of mods will end.


Wicked Hearts…
is one of my favourite missions in the game. It’s engaging, a bit of intrigue. Here’s how to complete it. This guide tries to simplify things. I will not mention any storytelling bits or “grab loot” – I think it’s obvious you should grab any random loot you find and want. This is just a condensed cheat sheet/ more or less how I play it and will edit it for better readability.

1. Gather 30 power , be at least level 12-15.
2. You will need court approval for this mission to suceed. Starting approval depends on your character. You take a hit if your character is say, a mage, for story reasons (this is one reason why I love this game!), but there are plenty of opportunities to bring approval to 100. You can’t let it drop to 0 or you fail
3. Cutscene with Gaspard will play.
4. Save before doing anything else in the Winter Palace
5. Explore the courtyard. Find a noblewoman with a bubble above and interact with her. Choose “Interesting stratagem” for +5 approval. Use the search function to search for the item she wants. It’s on the statue of a lion in the bottom right Return the ring for +5 approval.
6. Explore the upper courtyard by going up stairs to the west. Eavesdrop. Find storage key in a plant pot at the end of the balcony in this area. Head back down. Enter locked storage room. Search it for a Caprice coin – it will help with rep. Search the tabletop for your first scandalous secret – collecting those also held with approval. Head up eastern staircase and find your first halla statue. You can use it to unlock the eastern storage door but there’s nothing much of worth in there, so save your halla for later.
7. Enter the palace. Cutscene with Josephine. Eavesdrop on nobles here. Depending on who you bring, some companions will be here and you can talk to them. When ready, talk to Gaspard to interact with Grand Ballroom door.
8. Grand Ballroom: Cutscene with the Empress. human rogue or warrior choose the top option for approval. Others choose middle option. Find Leliana and talk to her, then mingle with nobility and your companions. If you have Nobility Knowledge perk and +60 court approval, speak to Lady Mantillion and ask her to dance for approval. Search the area for a book.

Need to find three items: Cylinder Seal, Negotiations in upper guest gardens and letter from the Grand Library.

9. Hall of Heroes

search for Caprice coin at the bottom of the stairs
– eavesdrop on nearby elves.
– continue into the western area of the guest wing and explore here. Speak to Duke Germain and ask about Gaspard being his nephew to net more approval. Talk to Councul of Heralds’ vassal and choose Philippe is a jerk for approval. Listen to gossip and get a caprice coin between two lions in duke germain’s room.
– head to the balcony in the room at the end of the corridor and find the Cylinder seal in a flower pot.

10. Guest Gardens
– Return to the previous room and enter the garden. Cutscene with Celene’s ladies-in-waiting. Then take a look around the garden, toss any caprice coins you have for approval up. Eavesdrop. Listen to one of the eavesdrop points twice, it allows you to acquire an agent – either a templar or mage hater.
– SAVE. So far you have been acquiring court points. Now as you explore off limit areas, it will start dropping point by point as you move through restricted areas.
– Climb the lattice to the left. Turn right ands run all the way along the balcony to find a hall statue and use search to find caprice coin. Return to to the lattice and go left, open the upper garden floor using one of the halla statues and find Negotiations near the bodies. Return to the lattice. Enter the Grand Library.

11. Grand Library.
Search the shelf in the left corner of the room to reveal a hidden switch and room with the letter inside. Don’t enter it yet – grabbing the letter noiw will sound the bell and force you to return to the ballroom. Leave the room open for now. Return to the main area. Grab a vellfire, light the urns in the following order: Etienne 1 – Reville – Etienne II – Jidicael I – Judicael II – Florian.

Enter through the door to the left of where you are facing. Go down the staircase. There’s a book on the bookshelf. A door to your right is locked – open it if you are a rigue. in the room to the left there is a scandalous secre.t More scandalous secrets are on tables along the library. Once you pick all the secrets, open the library doors at the end of this room, and go back to the previous room. Now enter the bookshelf room and grab what’s inside and run to the vestibule through the library and the door you just opened.

When you try to re-enter the Grand Library, Morrigan will stop you. She will give you a key to servant’s quarters.
Spend some time in the vestibule and grand ballroom and the guest wing to give Leliana to increase approval you might have lost in the previous off-limits areas. Measure what you need. If you only need a few points – drop the coins. Secrets give considerable approval up, you might prefer to drop them with Leliana later. interact, eavesdrop on any gossip. Save when you’re satisfied with approval.

12. Servant’s quarters
Your party will join you once you enter. Remember to reequip your gear as it has been unequipped for the palace.
check the corpses for dialogue with companions

Turn right and then north to head into the kitchen. Stand on the table to grab Halla statue. There’s a codex entry near.

Go west into the garden, Before anything else, check the back left corner for another halla

Approach the fountain, cutscene will play. Venatori agents will attack. Go north until you find a staircase, climb up and them up the ladder to search for a caprice coin. Enter the room and search for a halla.

Head back down to the fountain and more west. When you find vine covered wall, turn to enter the grand apartments.
There’s another caprice coin in the bedroom and a supply cache in the kitchen. Enter the dining area – there’s another caprice coin on a small table beside flowerpots.

Go upstairs and clear the rooms, you will find a room that requires three hall to open it – enter it and get the elven locket.

You will eventually find your target. Deafeat it, cutscene will play, grab the halla statue after it ends. Jump to the ground and head south, past elven agents and into the winter Palace.

13. Dance
Head towards the Grand Ballroom but don’t enter until your character comments “fashionably late”. it nets you +10 approval. Once inside, florianne will ask you to dance.
Answers for the dance for approval rating: Let’s dance – Why don’t you educate me / Ourlais’ war is tthedas war (with nobility knowledge) / Orlais is everyone’s business (rogue) – Is that what we both want? – Wjich am I to you? – Who do you trust? – Isn’t everyone? (if approval more than 50, then you gain plus 10 approval. If below, you lose 15 approval). She will tell you to explore the Royal Wing.

At this point your approval should be maxed out.
Spend some time here If you picked up the elven locket, be sure to find and speak first to Briala and then to ladies in waiting. It will trigger a cut-scene with Celen and allow you to pursue and ending where Celen and Briala are reconciled. You can also talk to Gaspard.

Head towards Hall of Heroes. Eavesdrop. Trick Anton into speaking with Cullen (approval up), Head into trophy room – off-limits, approval will start dropping. Move towards the back of the room, enter the office and grab Secret Orders. use search function to find another quest item. Head back out.

You can speak to Leliana and hand secrets and toss the coins if your approval dropped by now.

14. The Royal Wing
Equip your armor. Find a scandalous secret to your left.
Head up and enter Royal quarters, take the next two rights – the second time through a door and find yourself with a room with another secret and a Halla statue. Head back out, go past the locked door and towards the next one on the right, where you hear screaming.

Enter this room and find an elven servant. Speak to her to obtain blackmail evidence against Briala. There is a halla statue here. Exist through the passageway in the room and follow the hallway (ignoring the door with someone yelling), go down the stairs and get another halla

return to the room where the elven servant was and head out through the door, going north – on your right from exiting this room. You’ll need five halla to open the locked door – the Empress’ quarters. Speak to the soldier tied to the bed and ask him to testify against Celene. There’s a caprice coin near the bed and a scandalous secret on a nearby table.
Leave and explore the the western side of the map. Continue west to find a scandalous secret at the bottom of the stairs, then head back up snd turn left. Enter the first dfoor on your left and search for scandalous secret and halla. Exist this room and move towards south and then west into a square balcony, where you want to enter a room through a window. There’s another halla here. Head back to the vestibule now and hand any secrets to Leliana, drop any coins. Then return to the royal wings and find the room with the scaffolding, enter the door opposite the one leading to the balcony area./ Be prepared to fight. Once the rift here is closed, talk to the mercenary captain to obtain the final piece of evidence. Then just find a way out of there.

Decision time
Once you return to the ballroom, Cullen will ask you what you should do. Pick “I’ll talk with florianne” – only available if you have 85+ approval. and should puch you to 100, if you’re not there already. I usually end up the off-limits areas with 98 approval rating. If you can’t chose this option, pick detain duchess to save Celene or Wait for Florianne to attack (Celene dies)

Once Florianne is dealt with, you’ll find yourself in a heated debate with Briala, Gapasr and Celene if she lives.
You can push for a truce between all three by telling them you have evidence against all three of them – but you need approval 85+

That’s usually how I end it, but because you have evidence for everything you can explore other options. Celene casn rule – use blackmail evidence against Gaspard who will be executed unless you intervene. Celene and Brial rule together – If you have the elven locked and discussed it before with Briala, ladies in waiting and Celene, tell them Briala helped stopped Florianne and use blackmail evidence against Gaspard and then “What about Briala’s reward?”
Gaspard becomes the new ruler – If Celene dies, use blackmail evidence against Briala and support Gaspard.
Gaspard and Briala rule together – If cElen dies, use blackmail evidence to convince Gaspard to let Briala rule. Gaspard becomes the emperor but Briala rules from the shadows.

The various endings will affect your companions differently except Varric. It’s nothing you can’t get back up. I usually don’t worry about it too much at this point.

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