Replaying DAO and favourite mods

As my inquisitor explores the vast lands, she gets curious about the past and grabs at any chance to read more about it. This is my DAI RPG excuse for revisiting DAO. Not that I need an excuse, but it makes things more fun. The Inquisitor is curious about the past and asks questions, and playing it this way makes things even more organic for me. Bioware, you did so well on all three da games. I really can spend hours on them!

Brows, hair, eye texture and a magnificent armor mod for female characters.

My favourite origin stories are female noble, Dalish elf and (female) mage. The noble origin connects with the political story art. Also the fact she can then become a queen. Female mage connects with an important Das arc of mages vs templar and creates a continuity for Cullen in DAI, and I greatly appreciate that. Female noble can become a queen, and it’s mt favourite way to end DAO, but my favourite state of the world for DAI involves the hero of Ferelden being a mage. The Dalish elf origin story is important for the elf story, da3 and I think the upcoming da4, and also among my favourite- I just hope and pray they won’t ruin the fourth part; please, please keep it as lovely as the games have been so far. The dwarf noble origin is also fun, I like all of them but my preference is for the mage / noble / Dalish elf. Nature of the beast quest and exploring Dalish camp are so so vital for da3 and da4, I hoe they will retain consistency for da4. Fen Harel, and everything, it was there from the start, I have NEVEr seen a game with this much foreplanning and focused work, so they better keep this for da4 and not forget there are players like me out there.

What’s great about DAO is that the dialogue choices are a bit more complex than in dai. Eg when recruiting Zebran it is possible to have serval outcomes. That’s the sort of thing that keeps me replaying the game, other than wanting to encounter the characters, relive the stories and the mafic of Thedas.

My favourite questlines in DAO are The Mage Origin story, the Gauntlet and the Broken Circle. I also enjoy the Dalish questline and anything to do with Alistair’s past – landsmeet is a fantastic quest, much like Wicked Eyes is in DAI. The riddles and the whole idea of the gauntlet are just precisely the kind of thing I always wanted in a game. i also absolutely LOVE Return to Ostagar. There’s a similar quest in ME2., I love their feeling, the mood, the way it adds feeling to these games.

Some ten years from now, the Temple of the Sacred Ashes will play a pivotal role


Anyway, I don’t use many mods for DAO but HAVE in fact, downloaded some cosmetic changes – hair, textures, eyes to make the characters look a little better. The installation is simple – you either put the folders in Documents > Dragon Age > packages > core > override or install via updater (dazip)

Hair / Eyes

Hairstyle day series
Anto hairstyles
Character creator expansion with DA2 tints

Brows >> Mulderitsme

Armour / Dress (other than Dahlialynn’s for Alistair’s wedding)

Phoenix armour for the female rogue but I enjoy using it for my warrior.

Universal dye kit

Respec Raven


Dahlialynn has created several mods I recommend, mostly Alistair’s nightmare and Alistair’s royal wedding, including a set of dresses and royal gold armour. The wedding scene is beautifully made and fills something mentioned in the epilogue. It’s worthwhile.

Tamlen romance – Dalish origin
I’ve found several LOVELY Dalish-origin-related mods relating to Tamlen. I just think they really fill out this origin story.
Kissing Tamlen
A Flower from Tamlen
Clan Sabrae Says Goodbye
Tamlen’s Last Goodbye

Cullen / mage origin story
There is also Cullen’s mini-romance with the female mage. And Cullen retextures to make him look more like his dai self – appreciate that.

Retconned Cullen: The installation of Cullen’s appearance retexture is a bit more complicated, follow the mod’s instruction to a T. I’m reposting the instructions here because it sometimes happens that modders delete their mods from nexus and leave, and I am keeping some of these mods backed-up for this reason, same goes for instructions.

Installation (required mods):

> Go to Inquisition Inspired Morphs download page
> Download Cullen and Isabela (without realistic teeth)
> Install hair files to override folder
   : *\Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age\packages\core\override\Hair 01
      – pn_har_Morri.mao
      – pn_har_Morri.tga
      > Cullen
– hm_har_Cull_0.mmh
– hm_har_Cull_0.mmh.bak
– hm_har_Cull_0.msh
– hm_har_ha1a_0.phy

> Go to Unique Face Textures for Companions DAO Edition download page
> Download el_companiontexturesDAO
> Install eye textures to override folder
  > *\Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age\packages\core\override\el_textures
– (for hazel-eyed version)
– (for blue-eyed version)
(pick one version!)

> Go to Pineappletree’s Vibrant Colors download page
> Download PTs Vibrant Colors 1_31 (replacement or light – just pick one)
> Install hair tints to override folder
  >*\Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age\packages\core\override\Pineappletree’s Vibrant Colors 1_31
> Pineappletree’s Vibrant Hair Colors 1_1
           > Brows
              – pt_stb_bk4.tnt
           > Hair
              – pt_har_bn4.tnt

Ser Gilmore – is an interesting idea – a whole full companion, with a full approval system and romance option for both females and males, that makes use of an abandoned character from the noble origin story. I thought it was really nice. He does have a nightmare scene in The Brolen circle, it’s one where you just need to talk to him, and no fighting is involved, but it does give insight into his fears an expansive dialogue. He’s not really my cup of tea but I thought it was nice to give him a role in the story. I prefer characters with unique sexualities like Alistair and Cullen – straight only, but it’s nice to have Ser Gilmore and give him a chance. Nicely done. DahliaLynn made a cutscene for that mod as well.

A cutscene showing what happened at Ostagar – an interesting idea that could have been done in the vanilla game.

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