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I started a game recently, and realized that I had to abandon it and start over for technical reasons related to mods after I'd finished Ostagar and had gotten to know Lady Anissa Cousland. (Which is a bit saddening.) But I've realized that with the Grey Warden Weddings mod and the fabulous clothes in RLs Swan Song mod, I don't need to be a human noble enjoying Obsidians Nobler Nobles mod the way I did for my last play-through. And surely, playing a different origin would be more fun. As I've thought through my other options, city elf fits the clothes the best. She will insist on dressing "like her betters" now that she's one of them, and revel in the hint of scandal when she talks to nobility. And since I've downloaded lots of Alistair's romance enhancement mods, I'm really looking forward to this game!

Now, I still want to play an archer rogue, just to challenge myself with a combat style I've never played. Coming up with RP reasons for those choices was a bit tricky for a human noble, but they are natural for a city elf. Alienage elves were permitted to learn to defend themselves with bows but not swords, and would naturally take to "studying" pilfering out of a desire to take what they and their poverty-stricken families needed from the wealthy humans they worked for.

But it's going to have to be a completely different character. So I'd appreciate any RP-related questions that would help me firm up my PC's personality! What I know...

  • She is a devout follower of the Maker, having of course been taught that faith from birth.
  • She wants nonetheless to "stand tall" against human oppression, even before Lord Vaughan Kendells has his "fun."
  • She wants to get out of not just the Alienage, but out of servitude to humans, into the upper class. (Iona's elevated but still subservient position as Lady-in-Waiting to Lady Landra wouldn't count.)
  • She will therefore be eager to become a Grey Warden, but not to fight the Blight (at least not initially).
  • She will reluctantly let Alistair romance her, with the benefit of mods like Alistair's Revised Romance.
  • She will want to kill Loghain at the Landsmeet, mostly for his slave trade agreement.
  • She will want Anora to take the throne & Alistair to stay in the Grey Wardens, available for a wedding!

I especially want to be sure that I can RP accomplishing one objective I've come up with: siding with the Templars at the Circle Tower for the first time ever. I've decided to go with only one mage in my party as another challenge, you see. And since that's obviously got to be Morrigan, why not do something brand new? For Lady Cousland, siding with the Templars was easy to justify: as a noble taught to exercise justice & protect her people, she would have no problem gritting her teeth and helping the Templars protect the country from a devastating threat. Even when it means killing innocents who cannot be sorted out from incredible dangers.

But... why would an elf from Denerim's Alienage side with the Templars? Helpful suggestions would be much, much appreciated. Will she simply take a human authority's word for the situation? (Knight-Commander Greagoir says he needs the Rite of Annulment.)

Thanks! -- Bitter Lily (talk) 18:21, February 28, 2017 (UTC)

Elves are allowed to use bows? I thought they were banded from using any weapons. That seems odd - a bow is more powerful than a sword, assuming the sword isn't magical.

Anyway, there's no reason why a city elf wouldn't side with the templars. They were raised in human society (sort of), so its not like with the Dalish elves or dwarves, where the character would have a neutral perspective on mages. Because blood mages is sufficient reason enough to call for the rite of annulment (from their perspective). And to be fair, aside from Wynne and her crew, Godwin, and Irving all the mages are either dead, abominations, or blood mages working for Uldred. (Yes I know that Niall is technically still alive but he's going to die no matter what happens). Unlike the finale of DA 2, where the abomination wasn't even a member of that circle, the annulment of this circle would be somewhat justified, if the PC is truly convinced that there's no other way. Silver Warden (talk) 21:28, February 28, 2017 (UTC)

Don't get me started on the plot of DA2!
I dunno about Elvish weaponry. The wiki reminds me that the signs on the Alienage walls state "Bearing arms is strictly prohibited: Elves who have swords will die upon them." Which implies that maybe only drawn steel are considered "arms." And in the final battle for Denerim, Shianni & her friends sprout bows if you talk them into defending their homes. RP-wise, Ferelden humans might not see a bow as more powerful than a sword. (I personally still have to be convinced, btw.) Or they might think it's easier to smuggle a one-handed sword into a human home than a bow. Or if humans did indeed ban all weaponry, crafty elves can make bows and practice using them out of human sight, while they would have to buy swords openly in the marketplace. Any of the above works for why my PC would turn to a bow first, and a pair of daggers only at need.
I forgot how terrified Chantry society is of blood magic. (Easy to forget, what with all the blood mages littering the landscape. Less so in Origins than in DA2, but still...) If my PC is devout, she would have attended services when the Chantry gets around to holding them. She'd have heard plenty about why the Templars have to come and remove elven children with magic from their homes and take them to the Tower. And about how "Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him," and all that.
But if she's that afraid of blood magic & abominations, it will have consequences:
  • Luckily, Morrigan is just an apostate, and one my devoutly blind elf will owe a life-debt to. A shapeshifting, spirit-healing, sneaky witch-thief, sure, but not a blood mage. (Ahem, that sex-magic ritual isn't BLOOD magic, right?)
  • However, my PC will have to oppose Zathrien as soon as she finds out that he used blood magic. Even though she's drawn to these "happy wood elves" she'd heard about from her father. (Will I ever find the right game to slaughter the elves or Witherfang? This isn't either one.)
  • When she finally gets to Redcliffe, she will also have to kill Jowan, a confessed blood mage, and Connor, a confessed abomination. (And the best solution to Connor's plight won't be available to her.)
  • She ought to smash Avernus's draught at Soldier's Peak. Certainly, I know that she'll have little ability to make use of the Tainted Blade, so this may be the time to stand on principle! (Uh, that didn't come out right, did it? LOL)
  • Certainly, she will have to kill both Sophia & Avernus. Will she be wily enough to trick a demon first?
  • She'll need to fight Flemeth, not a battle I relish.
Anything else? -- Bitter Lily (talk) 04:11, March 1, 2017 (UTC)

"Bearing arms" seems like it should translate to all weapons. Although how funny would it be if "bearing arms" was a phrase used in medieval/renaissance/enlightenment times to refer to weapons other than firearms, and not firearms as it is translated irl. Although technically a bow isn't a firearm either way so...

I think it's pretty clear that a bow is more powerful than a sword, in the same way a gun is more powerful than a bow and a bomb is more powerful than a gun: deaths per second vs risk to user. Using a sword it takes about a second to kill one, maybe two people, and in order to do so the killer needs to be right up next to his victims, so if he's not really fast or the victim survives somehow, or if there are other people near by... Swords are really high risk for their users, compared to bows, which can not only kill more people faster, bows can do so from a safe distance. Guns can kill even faster than that and potentially even farther away. And bombs, missiles and similar weapons can kill hundreds, thousands, or potentially millions virtually instantly, while the killer is safely inside an armored vehicle or bunker or halfway around the world.

As a general rule of thumb, the newer a weapon is, the deadlier (i.e. more powerful) it is. A pointy rock is less powerful than a nuke or bioweapon. A sword is less powerful than a bow. Remember that the average NPC does not have the ultimate armor of absolute invincibility the PC and his or her companions wear. The professional soldiers have plate armor at best which would not stop a well placed arrow, although it would protect them from a few sword slashes. The average poor elf or commoner wears clothing that is probably even less durable than what you or I are wearing (because modern fibers and stuff).

Morrigan is a blood mage. Wynn calls her a maleficar. In Haven, when the PC finds the blood-stained altar in the house, Morrigan says "that is human blood" to which the PC can reply "how do you know that?" and she'll say "I just do". This suggests that she's a blood mage. Oh, and in Inquisition she flat-out admits she's a blood mage, so there's that.

But the PC doesn't necessarily know she's a blood mage. Even if she finds out, the Warden can look the other way because of the life debt (which is technically owed to Flemeth and which was repayed by taking Morrigan with her) or because they're friends or because she needs her or because she sees that Morrigan is a good person despite her use of blood magic (and being a lying bitch).

Zathrain's an ass. Blood mage thing aside, there's plenty of reason to oppose him. And his death is the only way to end the curse, which nets the best ending for the werewolves/Dalish.

So kill Jowan and Connor then. That's what I did on my first playthrough, and I still find that outcome more enjoyable, even though I rarely use. It just has more emotional impact. And it's fun to punch Isolde.

I always kill both Avernus and Sophia. It's not really a moral quandary: Sophia is a demon and Avernus is an evil sob who murders wardens in order to experiment on them and extend his miserable life. The fact that he's also a blood mage is irrelevant.

Flemeth technically isn't an abomination, but the PC doesn't know that. However, Flemythal survives no matter what happens so the fight is inconsequential. If you have trouble fighting her, just stack the team with tanks and control the strongest one. The others might die but they'll last long enough to allow that one to move to her side, where her breath and tail attacks have no affect. Then use auto-attack and just spam potions until she dies. Silver Warden (talk) 07:26, March 1, 2017 (UTC)

I'm interpolating my comment to separate who I'm answering. My understanding is that swords don't need to pierce plate; a "cutting" sword is actually a highly balanced, wedge-shaped club delivering blunt force through the plate to the ribs & organs underneath. In comparison, a given arrow may or may not pierce anything vital even if it does penetrate the plate. Who is correct about the actual military might of the different weapons is, however, incidental: the question is what do the ruling classes of Ferelden/Thedas believe? The impression I have is that the more armored a foe, the more likely they are to run into melee (with a sword), and the less likely they are to hang back (and shoot arrows).
And again, even if bows are as proscribed for elves as swords, it's more likely that Adaia would have secretly taught my Warden archery than swordfighting. It's easier to smuggle the necessary wood in and handcraft a bow (and fletch arrows) in concealment than to forge a quality blade. Of course, I'm not trying to argue that all City Elf Wardens should be archers, but simply that it's not at all a stretch to say that mine is.
And yes, most of the choices I mused over are fairly standard. I've never yet killed off the elves or slaughtered Witherfang. I've never let Sophia loose on the countryside either, come to think of it. (I don't play evil characters, in general!) I've tried the "let Avernus do ethical research" choice only once. The big questions here are will my Warden pass up Avernus's draught, and will she trick Sophia into giving her the money before she kills a demon. I don't know yet. Similarly, I've tried the "kill Connor" and "sacrifice Isolde" outcomes once each, just to see how they come out, but prefer to grab the lyrium & mages from the Circle Tower. I'm just pointing out to myself that I'm going to be out of options besides slaying a known abomination -- and an innocent child, in one. Thinking out loud.
When it comes to Morrigan & Flemeth, this musing out loud seems to be quite helpful! I suppose this is a moral struggle that I'll have to see how my character resolves. I may indeed find that my Warden has to look the other way a lot. (Thanks for pointing out the evidence my Warden will likely encounter & have to not pay attention to! LOL) OTOH, I was trying to say that I won't have Morrigan out-and-out learn & demonstrate Blood Magic on the battlefield. She will be a lot more ambiguous & mysterious than she might otherwise be. As for fighting Flemeth... Thanks for the Strategy Guide!
-- Bitter Lily (talk) 22:37, March 1, 2017 (UTC)
Some thoughts…
  • From the dialog with Pol, a flat-ear who fled from a death sentence to the Dalish:
    • The Warden: "Do elves from the city learn to fight or shoot a bow?"
    • Pol: "Andraste's mercy, no! No one is allowed to walk around with any weapon. Fighting just gets you arrested. And I've never had to leave the city before, much less learn how to hunt."
    • […]
    • Junar: "I'm training Pol. He'll have to learn how to handle that bow quickly."
      • The bold formatting is from the dialog, not my choice.
    • Isn't there a dagger involved in the City Elf Origin?
  • As Silver Warden said, you are not in Morrigan's, you are in Flemeth's debt. So why be friendly to the daughter witch, and additionally accept her task to kill her mother? Shouldn't this be rather viceversa, if at all? I mean, that debt is one of your major premises.
  • If you're so eager to get out of this elven, alienage situation and "stand tall" against human oppression – why insist on the human religion?
  • Totally RP, but I didn't like the specialization manuals and that all these are automatically unlocked for each subsequent playthrough. Though Wynne doesn't teach Spirit Healer, I always take her to justify assigning this spec to somebody in the party. If you kill her, how does – from an RP POV – Morrigan learn it?
--CompleCCity (talk) 11:04, March 1, 2017 (UTC)
Why remain Andrastian? For the same reason that most freed black American slaves remained christian: because she believes. It's totally in character to keep the religion of a culture but reject its politics. That's exactly what Fenris does, and he's an escaped slave, not an impoverished member of an oppressed underclass (which is objectively worse, no matter how you slice it).
I think it's actually possible to save Wynne and still recruit the templars. All it takes to recruit the templars is to let Uldred turn Irving into an abomination. This can happen even if you have Wynne. It also gives the strongest justification for annulling the circle: in that case, the only innocent mage left in the tower is Godwin. Saving Wynne presumably also saves the children she was protecting, since they could simply follow the party back to Greagoir after the PC kills Uldred. Greagoir is not a crazy fanatic like Meredith, he would let a few kids live if Wynne told him what happened. Silver Warden (talk) 21:59, March 1, 2017 (UTC)
(This got tricky; Silver Warden technically got in before I did, but I wrote the following without reading the comments just above. However, I also had the black spirituals created during slavery & the deep black faith evidenced in many American churches today in mind.)
On weapon-use: Yes, but her mother Adaia is known to have taught my Warden to fight. I don't know from daggers, because I've only ever played a female who surely goes to her wedding unarmed. But I've seen a video of the male version, where Duncan gives the Warden-to-be his dagger & bow. Is that the dagger you're thinking of? Or Adaia's Fang? If the latter, well, sure, I was raised by a h*llraiser and rebel.
As I said a few paragraphs above, when it comes to Morrigan & Flemeth, this musing out loud seems to be quite helpful! Or rather, soliciting comments on said musing. In life-debt to an abomination, and letting her apostate (if I'm lucky) daughter accompany me... This is definitely going to take some gameplay to sort out the right response in character. Thanks for cutting short a knee-jerk answer!
Shartan supported Andraste. Elves can worship the Maker, and stand tall before Him (and Andraste). Worship of the Maker and his prophet Andraste is not necessarily acceptance of what his believers have done in his name. It will be confusing for her when she visits the Dalish, I'm sure, and exciting when she gets to The Gauntlet! What fun lies ahead!
Whereas I didn't like having to unlock a spec before a character could organically develop it in-game. How does Morrigan learn any of the spells she learns after she starts play? Evidently, Flemeth had taught her the beginnings, and she experimented on the side. Surely, that applies to Spirit Healing just as much as it would to Creation. (Different folks, different ideas.)
And one response to Silver Warden's response to commpleCCity: I accidentally took this route my first play-through. I got down to Greagoir, expecting to have saved the circle, only to hear him pronounce that it had been cleansed. What? I thought. And then I realized that Uldred had killed Irving -- he didn't even turn him into an abomination. I went back to a save game! However, this game, I want to try the heartless b*tch route, just to see what it's like, and tell Wynne it's hopeless.
-- Bitter Lily (talk) 22:37, March 1, 2017 (UTC)

I hadn't the intention of critizing the decision to stay Andrastian, it was only a thought, and could have been an explanation for a change. But for your plans with the circle this decision is the most plausible one, anyway.
I don't fully understand your exchange about efficiency differences between bow and sword or dagger, or how this belongs to the topic, but I agree with the bow idea as favorite weapon for a city elf and find it also more plausible for this origin. I haven't played it by now, so I don't know much about the details regarding combat and weapon training, but the dagger I spoke of was indeed Fang.
So far I can imagine, the Brecilian Forest and the Dalish would be my city elf's first stop on the search for allies. And I can comprehend, you might get confused there.
I don't know if it's possible to refuse taking Morrigan with your party, but that would be the best compromise between not slaughtering the person you owe your life to and remain clean of demonish influences. Beat the game without any mage? Possible.
And what about taking Morrigan with you, but not slaughter her mother? Simply betray, when you're tasked with the grimoire? Also an alternative to let your lifesaver live …
And really, killing her only because you think she's an abomination, but having an apostate in your party? Very inconsistent.
I don't fully agree with your explanation, Bitter Lily, how Morrigan (or anybody else) would learn a specialization without education, but I might come to the same conclusion in a future playthrough, myself. For my current ranger, e.g., I simply assume, that's something Dalish have in their blood by birth. Icon wink
I wonder how you will deal with Zevran, now that it's no proud Cousland anymore he tries to assassinate, and you both are elves …
All the change only because "it would be more fun"? Because, the human noble origin doesn't bring up that many questions.
No opinion to the circle situation – I never went into the direction Annulment before.
I'd really like to hear more from this "heartless b*tch", when she's on her way. Smiley --CompleCCity (talk) 13:24, March 2, 2017 (UTC)
I don't need to comment on most of what you say here, but wanting to go the Brecilian-after-Lothering round-about route to Redcliffe is probably the biggest reason to go City Elf rather than Human Noble this game. "We have a Blight to defeat, not some pointy-nosed nobleman's arse to save!" Getting Lady Cousland to pick that route would have been tough; I'd have had to keep her ignorant of the Arl's illness. My last play-through, my Lady Cousland went straight to Redcliffe to tender the Arlessa her services, ran off to the Circle Tower to get aid for Lord Connor, and then went questing for The Urn of Sacred Ashes. I wanted different priorities this time! It will indeed be fun to watch my Warden encounter worship of the "false gods" she'd heard about only from the Chantry before, but which are her heritage, instead of being a dispassionate outsider. And this Warden can do The Trial of Crows and Crime Wave gleefully; I think my last Warden did the former with distaste and abstained from the latter with horror. (She'd have turned Slim Couldry in to the town guard if she could have, honestly.) And there may be other differences that will let me enjoy the game more with a different origin.
Oooooh, go without a mage at all???? Yikes! Let me try it with just one mage first, will you? Smiley But yes, when playing a battle-mage I have outright refused to go after Flemeth, which causes Morrigan to stalk off with a snarky "You haven't seen the last of me." I've also killed Flemeth at Morrigan's behest. Most often, I've told Morrigan that I didn't find her mother's book in the tower (whether as a lie or by simply avoiding finding it) -- metagaming so I don't tick Morrigan off. Early on, I bargained to let Flemeth go and lied about it, but I the player didn't care for that solution. Lady Cousland, with her bred-in-the-bone horror at deceit, was likely going to refuse to steal from what is obviously the First Enchanter's office. Thanks for pointing out that my elven Warden will most likely prefer to bargain with Flemeth, my own qualms aside.
I had already assumed (but not mentioned) that this Warden will spare Zevran. I the player like whittling down the number of companions left to defend the Denerim Gates in the final battle (after your party takes off), but gorgeous & pitiful Zev is going to be there this play-through. Say, I can go to Honnleath but not recruit Shale, can't I?
I think I deserve details about your Warden before I give you any about mine! Smiley
-- Bitter Lily (talk) 22:46, March 2, 2017 (UTC)
Two shorts:
  1. I believe you haven't to recruit Shale, you can leave him there. But there are also possibilities to get rid of him later…
  2. You (will) find some details about mine here. "Will", because it's a work in progress, and by now I don't really know how to structure the page. Simply placing all dialog makes it way too big, so I think I will shorten that to my Warden's own dialog choices. But that should give some insights in his character at first. (Since you are not allowed to edit that page, you might want to add it to your watchlist to get informed about updates. You can do that by chosing "Following" at the bottom of the page.)
--CompleCCity (talk) 15:06, March 3, 2017 (UTC)
About City Elf and bows:
If you want a thematic fit, why not use a crossbow? The whole point of crossbows (irl anyway) is that they don't need much special training beyond point and shoot. They're infamous for allowing lower-class people to punch right through nobles' armor, and Duncan gives you one for free.
--Byzant (talk) 04:36, March 7, 2017 (UTC)
It's an interesting idea. The overall math is attractive: I save three talents by not going for Lethality; I could wear heavy armor; if I invest the talents I saved on Dual Weapon Mastery, it would let me wield high-end longswords rather than daggers if forced into melee. I figured out that I'd be capping Cunning about where I cap Strength now (since the base game's light armor requires Strength 20, while talents would require Cunning 22), and building Strength to about where I normally expect to cap Cunning (Strength 38 for the base game's heavy armor is just a bit above my normal cap of 36 Cunning). Meanwhile, I'd be building Dex up the same as before. (I'd probably try taking the extra 4 points out of my normal allotment to Con.) So I believe all it would cost is an extra rank of Coercion, plus a bit more Strength in Awakening for the higher-tier armor, compared to leaving Cunning pat.
Sadly, while the game abounds in cool longbows, I don't recall that many cool crossbows. Far more sadly: I just found out that crossbows don't take a bonus to damage from stats! Nonetheless, building a high Strength may well be worth considering for an archer rogue, even if using a longbow. Lethality isn't all that great for an archer; since I'll be sure to reach Master Archer, heavy armor becomes practical; if I'm not spamming talents, the extra fatigue from heavy armor doesn't really matter. Thanks for causing thinking to occur! -- Bitter Lily (talk) 18:37, March 7, 2017 (UTC)
Second thought: what I wasn't considering was the bonus you get based on Cunning for talents like Song of Courage. Hmmmm. -- Bitter Lily (talk) 19:05, March 7, 2017 (UTC)
I assume you're on PC since you mentioned mods earlier - there's a fix to the crossbow bug here: . That'll let it get a damage boost from Dexterity. As for cool ones, the Antique Warden Crossbow from Soldier's Peak is the best (especially since you can 'level it up'). The Imperium and Sailor's xbows are both in Lothering and are powerful too.
I maaay have done a crossbow City Elf run myself. :D Byzant (talk) 00:21, March 8, 2017 (UTC)
The Crossbows article makes it sound like it's a design decision, not a bug! As such, I'm not sure I like "fixing" it... -- Bitter Lily (talk) 04:10, March 8, 2017 (UTC)

I personally think, crossbows are a typical dwarven and human weapon, elves always use bows.
And I agree with not "fixing" them.
I – again: personally – can't imagine a rogue, wearing heavy armor, sorry. Icon wink
And one more "RP" thought, because this is topic here: I wouldn't allocate coercion simply by what is required for certain situations, but instead by the character themselves, and if it suits them. Same goes for other skills and talents, such as Stealthy or Deft Hands, Herbalism, Posion Making, and alike. (Retaining gender neutrality here, because this idea applies to characters in general.)
And a note about something I said earlier: I forgot that my character's page theoretically has a talk page, too, so there's no need for you, Lily, to add it manually to your watchlist, and there's place to discuss things. Smiley -- UserCCCSig -- You talkin' to me? -- cCContributions -- 15:26, March 10, 2017 (UTC)

Auto leveling

I thought it could be interesting to take a look at some game's/developers' decisions, regarding character progression.

Skills by origin

All origin rogues start with Poison-Making and Dirty Fighting. They automatically get a further skill through their story:

Regarding the weapon choice: city elf warriors start with Dual-Weapon Sweep, while Dalish warriors have Pinning Shot.

Assigned skills and priority

Dragon Age: Origins

If a rogue in the official campaign levels up automatically, (I believe) the following skills will be assigned in their order:

  1. Combat Training
  2. Improved Combat Training
  3. Expert Combat Training
  4. Master Combat Training
  5. Combat Tactics
  6. Improved Combat Tactics
  7. Expert Combat Tactics
  8. Master Combat Tactics
Note: "I believe", because I'm not sure if I interpreted the files correctly – I might have misunderstood something. That also applies to the priorities and all further skill listings for the companions, as well as for the talent listings and their priorities.

Though there exists a certain inconsistency with the list above, skills are prioritized in the following order for rogues:

  1. Coercion
  2. Stealing
  3. Combat Tactics
  4. Trap-Making
  5. Combat Training
  6. Poison-Making Really late, don't you think? See below …
  7. Herbalism
  8. Survival


The skill assignment for Awakening looks a little different:

  1. Combat Training
  2. Improved Combat Training
  3. Expert Combat Training
  4. Master Combat Training
  5. Poison-Making
  6. Combat Tactics
  7. Coercion
  8. Trap-Making
  9. Stealing
  10. Improved Poison-Making
  11. Improved Coercion
  12. Improved Trap-Making

The priorities include prominently the new ones from the add-on:

  1. Vitality
  2. Combat Training Far more important, here.
  3. Poison-Making Much earlier than in the OC.
  4. Stealing Changed places with Coercion, compared to above.
  5. Clarity
  6. Coercion
  7. Runecrafting
  8. Combat Tactics Much later.
  9. Herbalism Before Trap-Making!
  10. Trap-Making
  11. Survival The only one that didn't switch position.

Assigned talents and priority

Dragon Age: Origins

Assigned talents. Dirty Fighting's in the list, though all rogues have it (earlier) by default.

  1. Stealth
  2. Dual-Weapon Training
  3. Pinning Shot
  4. Dual-Weapon Finesse
  5. Dirty Fighting
  6. Combat Movement
  7. Crippling Shot
  8. Stealthy Item Use
  9. Coup De Grace
  10. Dual-Weapon Sweep
  11. Combat Stealth

The priority trees list the specializations in the first place:

  1. Assassin
  2. Duelist
  3. Bard
  4. Ranger
  5. Stealth
  6. Dual-Weapon Training
  7. Pinning Shot
  8. Dirty Fighting
  9. Dual-Weapon Sweep
  10. Deft Hands
  11. Below the Belt
  12. Melee Archer
  13. Dual Striking
  14. Rapid Shot


Talent assignment in Awakening looks totally different. The last talent in the list skips the one before it in the tree.

  1. Dual-Weapon Training
  2. Dual-Weapon Finesse
  3. Dual-Weapon Expert
  4. Dual-Weapon Mastery
  5. Dirty Fighting
  6. Dual Striking
  7. Riposte
  8. Dual-Weapon Sweep
  9. Flurry
  10. Momentum
  11. Stealth
  12. Stealthy Item Use
  13. Combat Stealth
  14. Below the Belt
  15. Deadly Strike
  16. Lethality
  17. Evasion
  18. Deft Hands
  19. Improved Tools
  20. Mechanical Expertise
  21. Coup De Grace

Very dual-weapon focussed, no single archery talent here.

The priorities only had the new ones added to the start, after those they are the same as above.

  1. Legionnaire Scout
  2. Shadow
  3. Heartseeker
  4. Accuracy
  5. Twin Strikes


The original campaign and the add-on have slightly different weightings, at which priority certain attributes are increased.

Attribute DA:O DA:OA

I have made a mixed calculation with the exact mean of both weightings, not regarding level caps or something. (That means, I don't have calculated with the OC values until level 20, and then with the DLC values – just with the average from lvl 1, up to 35.)

An auto-leveled elven rogue would theoretically have the following attributes at level 35, without any quest rewards or tomes.

  • STR: 34
  • DEX: 52
  • WIL: 28
  • MAG: 12
  • CUN: 33
  • CON: 22



If Alistair is set to auto-levelling, he'll get the following skills:

  1. Combat Training
  2. Improved Combat Training
  3. Expert Combat Training
  4. Master Combat Training
  5. Combat Tactics
  6. Improved Combat Tactics
  7. Expert Combat Tactics
  8. Master Combat Tactics


  1. Combat Training
  2. Herbalism Interesting, hm?
  3. Combat Tactics
  4. Stealing Really?
  5. Poison-Making
  6. Survival
  7. Trap-Making


Automatically assigned:

  1. Shield Bash
  2. Shield Block
  3. Shield Cover
  4. Shield Pummel
  5. Powerful
  6. Righteous Strike
  7. Overpower
  8. Precise Striking
  9. Shield Tactics
  10. Cleanse Area
  11. Taunt
  12. Assault
  13. Mental Fortress
  14. Disengage
  15. Perfect Striking
  16. Shield Mastery
  17. Holy Smite
  18. Shield Defense
  19. Shield Balance
  20. Shield Wall
  21. Shield Expertise

Priorities (as before: specializations first):

  1. Templar
  2. Champion
  3. Berserker
  4. Reaver
  5. Shield Bash
  6. Shield Block
  7. Powerful
  8. Shield Defense
  9. Pommel Strike
  10. Melee Archer
  11. Precise Striking
  12. Mighty Blow
  13. Sunder Arms
  14. Pinning Shot
  15. Dual-Weapon Training
  16. Dual-Weapon Sweep
  17. Dual Striking
  18. Rapid Shot


At level 20 and without boni:

  • STR: 41
  • DEX: 28
  • WIL: 17
  • MAG: 11
  • CUN: 11
  • CON: 29


Since you favor Morrigan as a more or less permanent companion, I list her, too.


Auto-levelling skills:

  1. Herbalism
  2. Improved Herbalism
  3. Combat Training
  4. Improved Combat Training
  5. Expert Herbalism
  6. Expert Combat Training
  7. Master Herbalism
  8. Master Combat Training


  1. Combat Tactics
  2. Herbalism
  3. Trap-Making
  4. Survival
  5. Poison-Making Should be much earlier. Remember her knowing about 15 poisons, when discussing who's the party's cook?
  6. Stealing
  7. Combat Training This late?


Automatically assigned (and in the wrong order multiple times):

  1. Winter's Grasp
  2. Drain Life
  3. Disorient
  4. Vulnerability Hex
  5. Spider Shape
  6. Horror
  7. Mind Blast
  8. Lightning
  9. Paralyze
  10. Bear Shape
  11. Flying Swarm
  12. Curse of Mortality
  13. Affliction Hex
  14. Death Magic
  15. Master Shapeshifter
  16. Sleep
  17. Death Hex
  18. Cone of Cold
  19. Death Cloud
  20. Weakness

Priorities. I wonder, how the list above would look, if the second spec here would be available to her from the start …

  1. Shapeshifter
  2. Blood Mage
  3. Spirit Healer
  4. Arcane Warrior
  5. Primal: Cold
  6. Entropy: Draining
  7. Primal: Fire
  8. Entropy: Hexes
  9. Creation: Summoning
  10. Entropy: Sleep
  11. Spirit: Death
  12. Creation: Glyphs
  13. Spirit: Anti-Magic
  14. Primal: Lightning
  15. Creation: Enhancements
  16. Spirit: Mana Alteration
  17. Entropy: Debilitation
  18. Spirit: Telekinesis
  19. Primal: Earth
  20. Creation: Healing
  21. Arcane: Mastery


At level 20 and without boni:

  • STR: 13
  • DEX: 16
  • WIL: 32
  • MAG: 41
  • CUN: 15
  • CON: 18

Perhaps this helps with some decisions. Perhaps not. Anyways … Smiley -- UserCCCSig -- You talkin' to me? -- cCContributions -- 19:13, March 14, 2017 (UTC)


I've found tables with the purpose to auto-level archers, though I don't know to which NPCs these apply. Maybe they're helpful nevertheless.

I will focus on the Awakening archer – interestingly this is a rogue, while the OC archer is a warrior. Don't care too much for the priorities: of course the new ones, added by the DLC, have been placed prominently again.

Another interesting (or odd?) point: While the OC archer favors a mix of archery and warrior talents, which are only then followed by dual weaponry and further weapon talents in their priorities, the Awakening archer focuses first on rogue and dual weapon talents, the archery talents have a lower priority.



Auto-levelling skills:

  1. Combat Training
  2. Improved Combat Training
  3. Expert Combat Training
  4. Master Combat Training
  5. Combat Tactics
  6. Improved Combat Tactics
  7. Expert Combat Tactics
  8. Master Combat Tactics


  1. Combat Training
  2. Combat Tactics
  3. Herbalism
  4. Poison-Making
  5. Survival
  6. Trap-Making
  7. Stealing

Auto-levelling skills:

  1. Stealing
  2. Combat Training
  3. Combat Tactics
  4. Improved Combat Training
  5. Expert Combat Training
  6. Master Combat Training

Priorities. Well, these are a little confusing. I will group them.

  1. Vitality, Combat Training, Survival, Trap-Making, Combat Tactics, Clarity, Poison-Making, Stealing, Runecrafting, Herbalism
  2. Vitality, Combat Training, Poison-Making, Stealing, Clarity, Runecrafting, Combat Tactics, Herbalism, Trap-Making, Survival
  3. Vitality, Combat Training, Poison-Making, Stealing, Clarity, Runecrafting, Combat Tactics, Herbalism, Trap-Making, Survival
  4. Combat Training, Combat Training, Combat Training, Combat Training, Combat Tactics, Stealing, Vitality, Clarity

The last row and the missing ones are certainly a mistake in that table.


Automatically assigned:

  1. Deft Hands
  2. Rapid Shot
  3. Pinning Shot
  4. Improved Tools
  5. Crippling Shot
  6. Below the Belt
  7. Shattering Shot
  8. Combat Movement
  9. Dirty Fighting
  10. Melee Archer
  11. Aim
  12. Defensive Fire
  13. Critical Shot
  14. Arrow of Slaying

Priorities – well I mentioned the chaos in the opening sentence. And as before, specializations and new abilities are placed first.

  1. Legionnaire Scout
  2. Shadow
  3. Assassin
  4. Duelist
  5. Bard
  6. Ranger
  7. Heartseeker
  8. Accuracy
  9. Twin Strikes
  10. Stealth
  11. Dual-Weapon Sweep
  12. Below the Belt
  13. Dual-Weapon Training
  14. Dual Striking
  15. Dirty Fighting
  16. Deft Hands
  17. Rapid Shot
  18. Melee Archer
  19. Pinning Shot


I compare the Awakening archer, with their specific attribute weightings, with the mixed calculation for the default rogue from the table above. All values for level 35.
For the columns explanation: see my comment below.

Attribute Archer Rogue Archer
Strength 26 34 34 42 34 42
Dexterity 46 52 55 62 56 63
Willpower 25 28 33 36 33 37
Magic 12 12 16 16 16 16
Cunning 46 33 56 42 58 43
Constitution 26 22 32 27 32 28
Attribute Archer Archer
Strength 26 34 34
Dexterity 46 55 56
Willpower 25 33 33
Magic 12 16 16
Cunning 46 56 58
Constitution 26 32 32
Attribute Rogue Rogue
Strength 34 42 42
Dexterity 52 62 63
Willpower 28 36 37
Magic 12 16 16
Cunning 33 42 43
Constitution 22 27 28

-- UserCCCSig -- You talkin' to me? -- cCContributions -- 12:48, March 15, 2017 (UTC)


Do these totals assume that the PC skipped all the fonts & essences in the Fade?

I'm afraid I don't have all that high an opinion of auto-leveling schemes in any game. I remember seeing a guide for KOTOR (I or II? I don't remember which one) that basically said "You'll never use this guy, so you might as well auto-level him" or words to that effect. But otherwise, I've never seen a guide tell a newbie, "Oh, it's much better to let the game auto-level your PC than to do it yourself." Or even, "Let the game have its fun with this vital NPC; they won't screw it up." Still, the Attribute totals for an archer Rogue are indeed interesting.

  • The really odd value here is the Strength 34. Either you're wasting 10 points as you stand around looking stylish in light armor, or you're wishing you'd put another 10 pts in when you go shopping in Amaranthine for a new suit of medium and see a really snappy volcanic aurum set on clearance. I'll probably prefer to stop at Str 24 and pretend I'm happy in light armor.
  • Dex 52 is the minimum you need for the high-end Rogue talents. More, more, more is clearly better!
  • A medium Willpower, which looks good to me. (I don't know what Willpower an archer needs.)
  • No real added Magic; good.
  • While Cunning 33 is a bit odd -- I don't know what the extra 3 pts buy you -- they're basically going with Cun 30 and all 4 Coercions.
  • I'm finally beginning to swallow and take the low Con as a given. (At least, this is yet another nail in the coffin for the levels of Con that I used to strive for.)

It's certainly worth keeping the votes for "stop Cunning at 30 and just buy the extra Coercion already" and "If you avoid damage, you don't have to worry about HP" in mind. Smiley
-- Bitter Lily (talk) 03:59, March 16, 2017 (UTC)

I've added additional columns to the last attributes table above (and reformatted it a little for better readability).
The "un-modded" columns contain points, gathered through Lost in Dreams, Shadows of the Blackmarsh and 1 for WIL from Witch Hunt, as well as points from the Grimoire of the Frozen Wastes, 1 Tome of the Mortal Vessel and 3 Greater Tomes of the Mortal Vessel (Golems DLC and Witch Hunt).
The "modded" columns add the reward from the Queen of the Blackmarsh (unobtainable without mod; decision depending), 1 Tome of the Mortal Vessel from Varathorn (decision depending) and 1 Greater Tome of the Mortal Vessel (unobtainable without mod).
Note: The tomes' points and the queen's reward are calculated by the same formulas as level-ups.
I share your opinion about auto-leveling, but the mechanics could help with some decisions. Icon wink
Well, STR adds to the damage of every weapon. And yes, DEX 52 is required for the highest archery talent, and I have no idea why this isn't considered in the archer formulas. But such mechanics apply to CUN – 30 is only exceeded at level 30 for the default rogue, and remember, that was a mixed calculation; you can't "buy" anything for the additional points, but it assures that you at least reach 30 at some point. And CUN determines armor penetration. About CON: "[…] it is important for all characters on the front lines of combat" (from the attributes article) – an archer usually isn't on the front line. Icon wink -- UserCCCSig -- You talkin' to me? -- cCContributions -- 14:14, March 16, 2017 (UTC)
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