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collapse/expand topics back to Main/DragonAge

12:23:46 PM Sep 17th 2011
The following entry relating to this series is on Prison Episode:

Now, bear in mind that Prison Episode is defined as a prison-centered installment of a series not otherwise about prison; this is more so a sidequest.

Not that this would disqualify it; in that trope's discussion page, battosaijoe claimed that things like levels should count if it makes up a significant enough portion of the gameplay, and kjnoren claimed to have looked through the video game section, removing the more obvious non-examples.

In any case, would you say it qualifies?
12:40:58 PM Sep 17th 2011
edited by JoieDeCombat
The sequence in question isn't so much a sidequest as it is a part of the main plotline that it's possible (albeit not easy) to bypass. Glancing at the video game examples currently listed on the trope page, I'd say that it's not that much different from, say, the Lost Odyssey and various Final Fantasy examples except in that you can skip it by managing to kill Ser Cauthrien.
12:45:22 PM Sep 5th 2011
A possible What the Hell, Hero? moment:

Doesn't it strike anyone as conspicuously hypocritical that Duncan keeps giving the spiel about how Grey Wardens do 'whatever it takes' to stop Blights (and Alistair does too), but when asked what to do if the Archdemon appears, he says 'Leave it to us, don't attempt to engage it'? Given how once the Archdemon dies the Blight is over, and given how ONLY Grey Wardens can actually score the killing blow on it, it'd make more sense to have every single available Warden, regardless of experience or (especially) emotional attachment, dogpile it and kill it, no matter how many losses are sustained.

Duncan's words before the Tower of Ishal, on the other hand, come across as an attempt to protect Alistair... which would be all nice and good if he hadn't earlier murdered Ser Jory in cold blood, ignoring how he'd be making a widow of a pregnant woman who might be unable to take care of herself. So... yeah. Shouldn't he be prepared to sacrifice Alistair in a heartbeat as well, then, since, as he keeps repeating, WHATEVER IT TAKES TO STOP THE BLIGHT? Seems like the old man can talk the talk, but not walk the walk...

And no, the fact Alistair and you are green is no excuse. Again, ARCHDEMON. Kill it, end of Blight. Makes no sense at all for him to tell ANY Warden to stay back, it'd make sense to order a bum rush. Whatever he was thinking, at that point he was gleefully disregarding his own propaganda.
12:47:29 PM Sep 5th 2011
This should go under Headscratchers. This place is where we discuss the article itself, like formatting and the like.
04:26:47 PM Sep 5th 2011
My bad, how do I relocate this?
08:52:26 AM Sep 6th 2011
You can just take it over to Dragon Age.

I already copy/pasted it there, so you should get an answer soon.
02:13:14 PM Aug 8th 2011
"It truly does feel downright ridiculous when you run across items in stores that cost half or more of all the money you can possibly get in the entire world over the course of eighty hours of playtime, I mean yeah sure these are super powered ancient relics but for crying out loud is that pair of boots that were once worn by god himself ever going to do you enough good to justify what you had to pay for it? No, just no. Those ridiculous things are maybe a third again better than what just dropped off the last major boss..."

This was put under Adam Smith Hates Your Guts and struck me as natter.
12:46:23 PM Jun 26th 2011
Consider this: IN SPACE! inverted for Warhammer 40K! (Bioware does run Warhammer online, at any rate) Explanation:

The Mages being dangerous, and possessed by demons often, and feared across the land, but they are also needed.

Templars vs. mages, is basically Inquisition vs. chaos, only less extreme (expect templars to look more like the Inquisition with the Mage/Templar war, and blood mage/demon consorters will look more like Chaos)

The Fade is basically a tamer version of the Warp. Indeed, the warp was more benign earlier in the 40K timeline.

How Humans treat the elves (and Qunari). Compare to how Imperium treats Xenos.

Just like 40K, there are also strong forces for Order, opposed to Chaos. The Chantry and Inquisition both fight for order, while the Necrons and Qunari are more extreme forces of order. It's uncanny: Necrons kill life to starve the chaos gods, Qunari enslave and silence Mages to starve demons.
10:19:03 PM Apr 14th 2011
I removed a reference to the Lady of the Forest under Stripperiffic because that trope refers to implausibly sexy clothing. The Lady of the Forest doesn't actually wear clothing.
05:24:19 AM Oct 20th 2010
Downer Ending versus Bittersweet Ending, from the trope descriptions:

Bittersweet Ending: Victory comes at a great cost. "[F]or whatever reason, the heroes cannot fully enjoy the reward of their actions, when some irrevocable loss has happened during the course of the events, and nothing will ever be the same again."

Downer Ending: An ending that is sad to tragic. Happiness in this ending turns it into a Bittersweet Ending. Kill 'em All and the Bad Guy Wins are variations.

Dragon Age always has a Bittersweet Ending, as there is always happiness in the fact that, regardless of what ending you get, the Archdemon is dead and the Fifth Blight is over.

I'll wait a few hours to see if anyone replies with an explanation for why they disagree, if they don't I'll switch it back.
08:03:07 AM Oct 20th 2010
edited by helterskelter
Putting my vote in for agreeing—the only way for this to be a complete Downer Ending is for it to be a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story. The Warden has the power to save his or her own life, and chooses not to—so you pick death. The entire point of the game is to kill the Archdemon. You successfully do so, but always at a cost. It's a Bittersweet Ending.

EDIT: Also, if endings are character specific as a Downer Ending (and I can't think of a single example of one that isn't really a Bittersweet Ending), then add it to the Character Sheet.
08:48:59 AM Oct 20th 2010
I agree too. No matter what happens to individual characters, the game always ends with the Warden's victory over the Blight. Bittersweet Ending is far more accurate.
09:08:46 AM Oct 20th 2010
@Helter Skelter

I think that Cullen would qualify as having a Downer Ending, as if he gets mentioned in the epilogue, its only to note that he became a mage-hating madman.
09:26:02 AM Oct 20th 2010
I agree as well with the Bittersweet Ending, and would like to note that it was actually one of the refreshing things about Dragon Age. Sure, you won, the world is nudged off the catastrophe curve for a little while, but that didn't automatically mean that you got your happily ever after.
05:04:40 PM Dec 10th 2010
edited by Heart
I agree, some smaller storylines are Downer Ending but the major story qualifies as Bittersweet Ending.
06:13:46 PM Sep 28th 2010
Do the listed examples qualify as Ascended Memes? I became familiar with that concept after reading these examples, but reading the page for the trope gives me a different impression. These seem to be more shout outs.
09:28:17 AM Sep 25th 2010
I won't be able to edit for a few more days so would someone please revert the edit under Game Breaker about Constitution being a Dump Stat? I do know what it means. Even with high Dexterity, there are many unavoidable attacks, such as Ram, Grab and having a High Dragon try to eat you. A high Constitution allows you to survive these attacks.
09:35:16 AM Sep 25th 2010
A Dump Stat would be a stat that you don't use because you need the points elsewhere. It's useless. I sort of agree—armor really makes up the brunt of what Constitution is needed for.
05:29:54 AM Sep 17th 2010
I sleep for 7 hours and suddenly there's natter again.
08:13:25 PM Aug 10th 2010
edited by helterskelter
Um. What happened to the page description?

EDIT: I see, it's fixed. Thanks, Irrose.
12:16:48 PM Jul 26th 2010
Hmm... Would it be possible to add the similarity to R Scott Bakker's series somewhere in here? Especially in terms of Darkspawn?
12:39:55 PM Jul 26th 2010
I've never read it—the devs have been pretty up front with their inspirations, so I'm not sure if this is a valid one. Care to explain the similarities?
04:56:52 PM Jul 26th 2010
edited by Devour
Wizards being hated and repressed by a very zealous Christianity-expy religion (whilst being taught in towers etc etc) despite still being used because they are damn useful. The religion itself could also count as a similarity, considering they're both based around Christ-ish figures - although the one in the books evolves into a Christian-esque religion during the course of the books. A vague similarity is in the symbolism of the religion itself - Christianity's cross, Inrithism's (the book's religion) Cruciform, Andraste's Flame.

The Darkspawn are where the entire concept REALLY kicks off, though. Similar in story usage, background and description. The Sranc (in the series) are pale (described as bone-white in the books), bald, vicious creatures with no desires other than raping and murdering, except when Mog-Pharau the No-God is beginning to awake or when they get forced into labour by a Nonman (about the only place this breaks down) or one of the Consult's big beasties. Sounds familiar?

Mog-Pharau itself was part of SOMETHING (probably a spaceship, described as a golden city - as in literally made out of something that looks like gold - during the book series in a flashback) that crashed into the land. Eventually humans (I'm not sure if they're mages, the books aren't explicit) awakened it, causing a bunch of stuff to happen that resulted in every child being stillborn etc etc. Basically, similar to mages turning the golden city to crap.

Ogres are analognous to some of the bigger Consult beasties, and are described almost exactly the same as they appear within the game itself. The Nonmen had massive underground cities which have since been overrun with Sranc, who themselves mined out a bunch of crap there for whatever reason.

Grey and black morality is the name of the game in the series, and it tries to present a much more cynical fantasy world view - notable since magic gets used pretty often. It just seemed REALLY similar to me.

Oh, and these are just the obvious things I picked up on whilst playing Dragon Age. I'm sure I'd find more if I had a read of the books again. The first book in the series was from 2004, and that showed MOST of these elements (except the Christ analogues).

Might just be coincidence, but considering the amount of major points that line up between the two settings (mages persecuted by temple, Christianity-expy religion, Darkspawn-type creatures etc) I do doubt it.

EDIT: Oh, and the Consult use dragons. That's neither here nor there, though.
07:37:43 AM Jul 27th 2010
It's seems like coincidence to me. If the idea of a horde of inhuman, human-shaped monsters that served a great power was unique, I'd see something, but archetypes like that occur all over the place.

The sleeping/waking thing is where I raise my eyebrows, but if the darkspawn were evil unicorns I don't think you'd notice anything, so I wouldn't say it's a big enough coincidence to warrant a possible homage or inspiration.

The Chantry having Christian themes (it also has Islamic ones) counts as Crystal Dragon Jesus, which is also fairly common.
02:18:38 PM Jul 27th 2010
Oh, I understand that. They're fairly common tropes to fantasy as a whole, but not to this particular brand of fantasy.

I read the books a few years back, played Dragon Age (and had a strange sense of deja vu) and then read the newest book out. Only after that did I realise that it was basically as if the books' entire mood and tone was put into a video game (with a different setting, of course) along with a bunch of it's tropes.

It was the mage and temple interaction that really convinced me. Mages are condemned because they are damned in both, forced to live in towers and are generally despised across the entire world. (It's begun to change a bit in the books, but I'll try not to ruin that too much.) I just don't see that often in modern fiction.

There's an Islam analogue within the books themselves, too.

Andraste is fairly damn similar to Kellhus (the Christ figure within the books) in a lot of ways. I'm advising you to read them, though, so no spoilers. :p

Believe me when I say the combination of tropes (and specifics in terms of these tropes), mood and tone just made them feel like novel and video game counterparts in different settings. I think they even explored the same themes (except Bakker's books are a lot deeper in philosophy and morality).

There IS a TV Tropes page on them: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SecondApocalypse :p
03:19:19 PM Jul 27th 2010
I admit I've never seen mages be persecuted before, but the idea just doesn't seem that inherently unique. Andraste seems to represent a combination of Christ (chosen savior of mankind), Mohammad (being a prophet that is human), and Joan of Arc (duh). Again, having a Christ figure just isn't that interesting in any sort of work. Neither is a horde.

Of all the things you mentioned, only the mage thing warrants a possible homage—but stood by itself, I don't think it's worth it. Having never read the books, I can't say anything for matching tone or mood.

I see your point, but like I've said, the devs have been pretty up front about where they drew inspiration. This just seems like a coincidence to me. If you can find Word of God confirming the relation, go ahead and put it in.

Ah, and here's my final bit of proof, that I just found: the series came out in 2004—Dragon Age was announced in E3 2004. Not a very big window.
02:24:19 AM Jul 28th 2010
Which is basically what Kellhus is, too. :p The Exalted March of Andraste ( http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Exalted_Marches ) is described almost exactly the same as Kellhus and the Crusade on the heathen Fanim. Other similarities (being betrayed by someone close to them etc) can be handwaved as being part of the whole "Christ lore" thing.

Go grab the book. ;D If you enjoyed Dragon Age, you should enjoy it immensely.

All their sources of inspiration were very much out of copyright (I think, anyhow) and had permeated into popculture as a whole. The Second Apocalypse was, as you say, released in the same year as Dragon Age was announced. Saying that is an "inspiration" and taking things so bluntly from it would be grounds for a complaint on plagiarism, I think.

Wasn't that just a concept demo in the Neverwinter Nights engine? It was in development for five years, that's plenty of time for concept osmosis (especially in terms of setting, theme, tone etc) to occur. Hell, the World of Warcraft development team basically redid the entire game a year before release.
10:37:10 AM Jul 28th 2010
I honestly don't think its worth mentioning. Again, if you want to log onto the official forums and ask, go right ahead, but to me, it just seems like a few coincidences.
08:02:17 AM Jul 11th 2010
I'm not usually picky about entries being deleted, but why did No Sympathy get zapped? It wasn't Troper Tales, it wasn't subjective (there was an observation on how you could play the game, given that a number of options are basically "Get over yourself!", a catchphrase of the trope) and it wasn't flame bait. In fact, it's a major character trait for both Morrigan and Sten. I'd be inclined just to put it back in, but if there's a reason for its deletion I wouldn't want to start an Edit War.
02:57:15 PM Jul 3rd 2010
I removed this:

Because the way this is phrased, it doesn't really qualify as Late-Arrival Spoiler. The way I understand it, LAS applies to situations when you get spoiled by promotional material for later instalments, not by the later instalments themselves. Otherwise, every goddamn sequel to everything ever would be a LAS.

Granted, I don't know anything about the promo for the novels, so it might have been a genuine LAS - however, if that is the case, the entry completely fails to mention it. If I am mistaken, then please clarify the entry before putting it back.
12:44:14 PM Jul 1st 2010
edited by agiantlemon
Is it just me or is this straying unnecessarily into YMMV / Troper Tales territory?

  • For people raised on postmodern secular ideology, this game is Darker than Dark just for the Old Testament nature of the only group with any ethical boundaries at all. One of this troper's roommates (a 20-year-old college student) actually threw his controller against the wall and refused to play the game any more after finding out token Stoic Victim Sten was not only completely guilty of and felt no remorse for the crime for which he was imprisoned and sentenced to die, but so archconservative as to make Rush Limbaugh look like Timothy Leary in comparison. "Why does everything in this game have to be so EVIL?"

Even in the first discussion with Sten it should become clear that he DOES regret his actions. Why else would he have stayed at the farmhouse for days afterwards and quietly submitted to arrest? His entire motivation to join you is because he wants to atone for his crime or die trying.
12:52:04 PM Jul 1st 2010
Sten does regret his actions. To me, this seems mostly because he lost his cool over his missing sword rather than guilt over the actual killing. But yeah..this entry is definetly Troper Tales.

I'm actually taking Some Guy's suggestion and seeing if I can't clean the page up a bit.
04:32:09 PM Jul 19th 2010
Sorry about that, I'm still a trope newbie, and was relying on my roommate's word on Sten. He broke the game disc in half before I had the chance to speak with Sten much, but his interpretation was that Sten didn't regret the killing of the farmers, but rather the loss of his honor and sword, and his idea of "redemption" was seeking death as quickly and bloodily as possible. I was told Sten eventually reveals that he slaughtered the farmer's family as a means to this end, hoping the egregousness of the crime would drive the guardsmen investigating to kill him on the spot, letting only one of the children escape to bring them word of his crime. He wasn't planning on being captured, stuck in a cage, and left to starve for weeks, though, and joined the Warden in the hope of finding a quicker death.

That's the story my roommate told me, anyhow. He's not exactly the most reliable person in the world when it comes to stuff that sets him off, though, like Sten claiming women are inferior to men. Still, he paid for the Xbox and the game (he just lets the rest of us play it when he's in class), so... whatever.
09:06:10 AM Jul 29th 2010
But Sten doesn't claim women are inferior to men. His society just doesn't allow female warriors. They also don't allow anyone to choose their own path in life.
11:59:11 AM Jul 29th 2010
edited by helterskelter
Exactly, Sten says women are priests, artisans, shopkeepers or farmers, and men are the laborers, soldiers and ashkaari, and that there isn't room for anything after that.

He feels you're stepping out of your place in society, something completely foreign and wrong to him. I'm sure he feels the same about male shopkeeps.
04:53:07 AM Jun 28th 2010
edited by DamselofDistress
"Less prevalent than some players would like, however, as it's completely possible that you will have the smuggled Lyrium from Orzammar with you at the time, yet you won't be allowed to use it to solve the quest, even though that would be the most expensive way to solve the quest by far - costing 40 or 50 gold and foregoing an additional opportunity to sell it for a profit of 10 to 58 gold and a Crow Dagger - a 98 gold + crow dagger total opportunity cost. (Further discussion is on the Just Bugs Me page.)"

This is natter. That is why it contiually getting cut from the front page. In no way, shape or form is the smuggled lyrium presented as a viable missed Take a Third Option beyond the flimsy reasoning of "Oooh, we have lyrium now. Why can't Jowan use it?" and competely ignoring a number of specifics to the ritual. - I'm the third person to have removed your entry. If you feel that it should be on the front page the onus is upon yourself to prove it is justified. Not to just bull-headly stick it back in. We may not be Wikipedia but we do have rules to follow.
07:03:18 AM Jun 28th 2010
edited by
Ah, so you did put it to the discussion page. Alright, I missed that.

First off, a certain measure of natter is alright. It's part of what gives TV Tropes its flavor. (Again, this is not Wikipedia.) It's out of control sprawling discussions that seem to hijack the page or go off topic that are a problem.

Second off, the fact that it is "in no way, shape or form" presented as a viable "take a third option" is the problem which warrants pointing out. Simple reasoning allows one to ask they question "why not?" and the strangeness here is that there is no answer presented. Certainly, you can Fan Wank an answer to it, but the actual material doesn't answer it. Unless you can provide direct evidence why smuggled lyrium with Jowan wouldn't work, this is enough of a gray zone to be worth remarking on here.

Honestly, Jowan says it either requires a lot of lyrium or blood magic, and when you have a lot of smuggled lyrium, you ought to be able to ask "hey, I've got a lot of lyrium right here. Will this do?" The fact that you can't ask seems more of a developer oversight than carefully planned out rejection for established reasons.

As for your flippant remark "the flimsy reasoning of 'Oooh, we have lyrium now. Why can't Jowan use it?' and competely ignoring a number of specifics to the ritual." Frankly, if you have to resort to mockery  * and unproven assertions  * to make yourself seem right, perhaps you should excuse yourself from this right now.
08:00:33 AM Jun 28th 2010
Actually, Natter is no longer acceptable in any shape or form. Read the notice that appears when you try to edit a page.
08:35:15 AM Jun 28th 2010
edited by DamselofDistress
Your entire reasoning is based on "uproven assertions". Jowan may have been able to use the lyrium. There may have been enough lyrium to use. The lyrium may be process right. Jowan may have enough enough power to perform the ritual without using blood...You're entirely argument is hinged on maybes. If I can't prove he couldn't of done it, you certainly can't prove he could have. Thus it should stay off the main page as it is Natter.

The main page of a work is a place to catalogue tropes, not to point out It Just Bugs Me.

EDIT: While I have been a bit insulting, telling me to "just get over myself" for disagreeing with you does not stike me as very respectful.

OT - I'm very sorry lrrose for mispelling your name. My mind has always read the "l" as a capital "I". Guess I need to go get my eyes checked.
01:38:09 PM Jun 28th 2010
edited by
@Some Guy, natter is a problem "if not kept in check" and I make a point of keeping it in check. The specific examples of bad natter also involve when natter constitutes a correction, in which case the question does need to be asked "why are you adding a correction instead of just correcting the entry?" This is me adding relevant information that does not warrant me rewriting what was already there. As such, it's an acceptable additional entry.

@Damsel Of Distress, indeed, it's unproven that Jowan can handle the ritual with lyrium. I am not out to prove he can do it. (Not here, anyway.) I am not out to raise an argument either - we have the Just Bugs Me page for that, after all. As we can't prove conclusively either way, I am stating the possibility (either way) is out there. Thus, I am merely pointing out in the specific context of taking a third option in Connor's dilemma that to many people it seemed as though there was a better, fourth option they could have pursued, which was unavailable for no apparent reason. I can pretend I'm back on Wikipedia and start pulling out sources to prove that there are people who've been bitten by the whole smuggled lyrium + connor thing if you need me to. In essence, I'm not here to vent my own Headscratchers or whatever; I am trying to demonstrate the extent of the trope.

As for respectfulness, I'll be honest. I admit I'm not exactly being respectful. Quite frankly, I've been bitten by one too many arguments on Wikipedia where both sides use polite sounding language to say "No, shut the fuck up you stupid moron. You're absolutely wrong and your suggestion is not happening." and WP:CIVIL was used as an excuse to STFU people and you know neither side has any respect for each other - the "politeness" is just dragging things out. So honestly, I stopped caring about "being nice" and instead find it liberating to bluntly express myself. If you want to know what I'm really thinking or how I feel about you, don't worry, I'll let you know: I slightly dislike you 'cause you're getting in my way and I know I'm right. (Don't worry. Prove me wrong and I'll confess.) If that bothers you, grow some tougher skin, it's the internet, and all that. I'm not particularly looking for respect either, and if you want to condescend, insult, whatever, go ahead. You also slightly dislike me for the same reasons. If you state otherwise, I will suspect you of lying to either me or yourself because your language isn't something reserved for people you are on good or neutral terms with. It's language you reserve for people you are on slightly bad terms with, which would be apt, we are on slightly bad terms with each other.

So long as we continue to brook new ground in explaining ourselves and responding to each other, the situation can be resolved. The reason why I said what I did was because if this devolves into a shouting match of "no, I'm right" then we have immediately discarded all value of discussion and someone just needs to GTFO.

And in my opinion, a good rule of thumb about edit warring is that whenever you're in an edit war, try to contribute to the article in some way outside your edit war whenever you make an edit. And don't forget, there are two sides to an edit war: You're warring too.
03:09:14 PM Jun 28th 2010

Doesn't matter. The thing with the lyrium falls under Fridge Logic, and that goes on the Headscratchers page, not the works main page. You can debate all you like about it there, it still just doesn't go here.
06:13:03 PM Jun 28th 2010
edited by
Jerrik: "lol you're wrong" is not a valid reason to delete an entry. It doesn't matter how self-assured you are. If you all you can say is "doesn't matter what you say, debate it as much as you want, but you're still wrong" you are essentially putting your fingers in your ears and trying to do whatever you damn please. Stay out of this unless you've got something useful to add.

And I'll reiterate: The reason why I am putting that entry up there is because it shows the extent of the Take a Third Option trope in that situation. That is why I initially put it there, and that is why I am trying to make sure it stays there.
07:03:24 PM Jun 28th 2010

I didn't say you're wrong. I said it doesn't belong there. There is no option where you can use the lyrium, so it doesn't fall under Take a Third Option. Something like that falls under Fridge Logic, which if you'll read the page clearly states that examples should not go on the main page, and should be restricted to the It Just Bugs Me! section.

I won't delete it, because you would probably just undo my edit again and I don't want to waste anymore time on this. But I will advise you to delete it yourself. It doesn't matter whether you're right or wrong about whether it would work, it does not belong on the page.
11:26:43 AM Jun 29th 2010
Just my 2. is being a dick but it sounds like an Averted Trope & we list those.
01:23:42 PM Jun 29th 2010
edited by DamselofDistress
I would almost be inclined to agree with that, but Take a Third Option is not only already present in that situation but is used on a number of occasions during the game.

It seems completely contradictory to say that that Redcliffe Castle is using Take a Third Option, then in the next sentence - to describe the exact same event, oh yeah it's actually averting it too. All in the attempt to justify some Fridge Logic remaining on the main page.

Not to mention the very bad precedent it sets. Where exactly is the line drawn? An Aeducan can't declare him/herself Paragon, that averts taking a third option. A female PC can't stop Alistair from killing the Archdemon though she could possibly have done so. That averts taking a third option. If you get down to it about half of the Headscratchers entries could be added to the main page.
11:03:29 PM Jun 29th 2010
edited by seems to have it right.

Damsel Of Distress, it's completely possible to play a trope straight and avert it in the same work, even in the same scene, even at the same moment. That's not a contradiction. Just because it's an Averted Trope doesn't mean that in the entire work the trope must never appear. It just means there is an incident where the trope is averted in a specific way.

And stopping Alistair isn't taking a third option. You actually don't have any option when he sacrifices himself to kill the archdemon. More to the point, however, the "very bad precedent" is nonsense. Why yes, the trope is notably averted in quite a few cases. No, that doesn't obligate us to list all of the aversions (and the thing about TV tropes is that you're not obligated to much at all), just like I don't list virtually every level in the game for Malevolent Architecture or every staff in the game for Magic Wand, etc., etc. Instead we just list the ones we like and the ones that are relevant. Which brings us back to context, the entry I added it to was about taking a third option with Connor. It is within this specific context that this entry becomes quite relevant and fitting.

CAPTCHA: dickiest... huh.

Edit CAPTCHA: dominate. HAH!
01:50:40 AM Jun 30th 2010
I don't think it's an Averted Trope. One can always argue that the amount of Lyrium required for the ritual is more than the amount you currently have. In addition, the high price on the smuggled Lyruim isn't indicative of the quantity, it's indicative of its price on the black market. The Take a Third Option for this quest is asking the Circle Mages for help, not using Lyrium instead of blood magic.

Besides, the Averted Trope of Take a Third Option is something like The Sadistic Choice, where you have to make a decision and no other option presents itself.
06:35:19 AM Jun 30th 2010
One can argue that the amount of lyrium required is more than the amount you have, but there is no proof of that either. Additionally, who knows, maybe Jowan could have used blood magic and lyrium together.

Also, while the price on smuggled lyrium is just indicative of the price, it is saying something that your lyrium ore fetches 50-65 gold while enough refined dust for a lesser lyrium potion costs you 2 silvers.

The thing about an Averted Trope is that it doesn't happen. Therefore, yes, there is leeway often enough to argue that perhaps for whatever reason it would've been a suboptimal, infeasible, or impossible for whatever reasons you desire to extrapolate towards that purpose.

The sign of an Averted Trope is when the trappings are there for you to expect the trope, yet the trope does not come into play. This is one of those cases. You have the lyrium. You have Jowan. Yet there is no mention of the possibility of using the lyrium ore.
12:28:18 PM Jun 30th 2010
edited by RedViking
The game never specifically says how much Lyrium you need. If you have it, but the game doesn't give you the option to use it, one can safely assume that you just don't have the required amount. Furthermore, it makes sense that the Circle of Mages would have a large stockpile of the stuff and that they would have more in their possession than a band of adventurers roaming around the countryside ever would. That is why using Lyrium is not a potential third option. The Sadistic Choice is choosing to kill Connor or sacrifice his mother's life to save him. The Take a Third Option is asking the Circle for help.

The burden of proof is on you to convince the rest of us that you're right, not the other way around. A lot of your arguments rely on assumptions that can't be proven one way or another, which doesn't make for a convincing case. However, this is exactly what It Just Bugs Me! is for because it keeps subjective material and Natter off the main page. Not only is the Lyrium argument already there, but the paragraph I deleted even directed people to go to that page for further information.

Why is it so important that this be on the main page when it's already chronicled somewhere else?
09:05:01 PM Jun 30th 2010
edited by
"If you have it, but the game doesn't give you the option to use it, one can safely assume that you just don't have the required amount."

See, that's Fan Wank. There's no evidence either way whether it would or wouldn't be enough. You're just using the logic of "well, 1) it didn't happen, therefore 2) it could not have happened, therefore 3) the materials/abilities/mages were not enough, therefore 4) it could not have happened, therefore 5) you are wrong." Watch steps 2-4 again and you might notice the circular logic in action. Also, steps 1-2 are a logical non sequitur.

Anyway, this burden of proof nonsense is being handled wrong. I'm not here to prove that the scenario is right, per se. I am proving that the scenario is plausible and possible (ie. it could be right) and it is because the source material doesn't properly explain away the scenarios here that the trope is an Averted Trope. If you want my scenarios for how the lyrium could be done instead of sacrificing a person:
  1. The lyrium is enough and Jowan can do it by himself.
  2. The lyrium is not enough but Jowan can use lyrium and a non-lethal blood sacrifice and do it by himself.
  3. The lyrium is enough but it takes more than Jowan, but we have Morrigan and maybe Wynne which makes it enough.
  4. The lyrium is not enough but Jowan can do it with a non-lethal sacrifice but still requires Morrigan and/or Wynne.

None of these have been disproven. The factors are sensible enough, so there are enough routes to a plausible solution that involves using lyrium instead of killing someone or going to the Circle that you can say that there is a valid trope aversion because no such solution was brought up or mentioned.
02:34:44 AM Jul 1st 2010
Taking potshots at my logical capabilities isn't going to win me over.

This still isn't an Averted Trope of a Take a Third Option. What I think this is boiling down to is that you think They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot because you don't agree with the way the game handled that particular quest.
06:55:40 AM Jul 1st 2010
Red Viking, are you telling me that despite my pointing the logical fallacies lie in your logic, you still persist in believing that logic?

Now, let me read the Averted Trope page description to you:
Sometimes, a writer uses a situation that seems indelibly married to a trope, but the trope never appears. It's not a Subverted Trope, because the lack of trope is never pointed out. Nor is it a Lampshade Hanging, because the presence of trope is never pointed out. The trope just isn't there.
That is the core meaning of averted. The writer just went past the trope. He ignored it, or it wasn't a trope at all in his culture.

It is an Averted Trope of Take a Third Option because the circumstances suggested that using your smuggled lyrium could be another option and yet the fourth option never appears, the lack of that fourth option is never pointed out. The option just isn't there.
10:37:04 AM Jul 1st 2010
You people are all being very silly. This much argument over one little entry? Really?

I have a more helpful suggestion- rewrite this page so it's up to Natter standards. We have a simple rule now, and it shows up whenever you press the edit button- all examples need to look like they were written by the same person. This means that as long as you're on the same topic as the bullet point above you, you must always integrate the information for the sake of cohesiveness.

Case in point- I have no idea what the devil Lyrium is or what it has to do with that sidequest from reading the page. An integrated example would answer that question, as well as all the complaints Red Viking is making so that we don't have to engage in ridiculous arguments like this all the time.

And for the love God and his son Santa Claus,, please Get Known.
01:37:05 PM Jul 1st 2010
edited by RedViking
@ - No, I saw your point about the logic just fine. But then you added the Logical Fallacies bits at the end there which turned your explanation into a insult directed at me. When you're trying to convince someone to come around to your point of view, you're pretty much self-sabotaging your argument when you insult them, hence my statement.

The smuggled Lyrium is specifically used in a quest to ultimately feed the Templar's Lyrium addiction. Its only purpose is during that quest. A video game is, by definition, limited in scope because the Dev Team cannot program every single, conceivable action into the game. That's why tropes like The Dev Team Thinks of Everything exist because they actually anticipated players doing a non-intuitive action and programed the eventuality into the game. In this case, the developers specifically intended for the Take a Third Option to be to go to the Circle and ask them for help. The smuggled Lyrium was specifically intended for for the Smuggled Lyrium quest. Furthermore, you have no way to prove one way or the other whether or not the Lyrium would have been enough, nor can you prove that the presence of the available Lyrium would have lessened the cost of the blood magic sacrifice.

@Some Guy - Although I appreciate that you're trying to stop the argument, my main concern is that integrating these explanations will just turn them into a huge Wall of Text. My explanation above was several lines long and, so far, a consensus hasn't been reached. Won't that just increase the amount of Natter on the main page and just be counter productive?

05:29:14 PM Jul 1st 2010
Hm, I suppose it's only fair that I show you how appropriately integrate explanations if that's what I want y'all to do.

All right, here's the original-

  • Take a Third Option: Often the best way to do certain quests.
    • Most prevalent in the Arl of Redcliffe quest. It's set up as a fairly straightforward Sadistic Choice, wherein you must either kill the demonic Connor or sacrifice his mother in order to save Connor by killing the demon directly in the Fade. However, you have the option to channel your inner Captain Kirk and demand that somebody come up with another way, leading to the suggestion of seeking the Circle of Magi's help.
      • Less prevalent than some players would like, however, as it's completely possible that you will have the smuggled Lyrium from Orzammar with you at the time, yet you won't be allowed to use it to solve the quest, even though that would be the most expensive way to solve the quest by far - costing 40 or 50 gold and foregoing an additional opportunity to sell it for a profit of 10 to 58 gold and a Crow Dagger - a 98 gold + crow dagger total opportunity cost. (Further discussion is on the Just Bugs Me page.)

With the information you've given me, I can integrate it as such-

  • Take a Third Option: Often the best way to do certain quests.
    • Most prevalent in the Arl of Redcliffe quest. It's set up as a fairly straightforward Sadistic Choice, wherein you must either kill the demonic Connor or sacrifice his mother in order to save Connor by killing the demon directly in the Fade. However, you have the option to demand that somebody come up with another way, leading to the suggestion of seeking the Circle of Magi's help. Some players were annoyed, though, in that you're not allowed to use smuggled Lyrium to solve the quest. This is probably because the smuggled Lyrium is a Plot Coupon for a separate quest and even the Dragon Age team can't think of everything.

You just have to focus on eliminating the overly wanky words in such a way that the example stays readable and looks like it was written by the same purpose. Don't be overly concerned with things like math, which will doubtlessly fly over most readers' heads, and a sidequest this simple I don't think needs to be spoilered.

...Hm, I should probably write this down somewhere, give a couple of lessons on it in Tutorial Draft.
06:35:59 PM Jul 1st 2010
edited by
Some Guy, actually, saving Connor is an unavoidable part of the main story, not a sidequest. And that "all examples need to look like they were written by the same person" rule is kinda sketchy imo. We're in danger of getting more like Wikipedia with the whole NPOV writing style it encourages, and that ruins half the fun/charm of TV Tropes. All the same, integrated the entries as you requested.

Also, I've a fervent hatred of forced online registration systems. They're everywhere, and I get sick of having to manage 10,000 accounts, so I'd rather not register and suffer the nagscreens.

Red Viking, alright, I edited it and used the alternate name for the TV Tropes page "Logical Fallacy" - have fun with it. I actually didn't even know it had an alternate name until I just checked. And moreover, I like issues to be settled with logic, s'yeah, I cba ethos/pathos. As for not being able to prove that lyrium could have lessened the blood sacrifice - c'mon, game lore tells us that the magisters entering the fade used exactly lyrium alongside blood for their ritual. And even if it is normal to limit a Plot Coupon like that (and I agree, that's probably how it happened), it's still troublesome from a story and gameplay perspective when you run into a situation like this. And expecting some overlap isn't that silly when this game has quite a few quests you can resolve in a different way from its description and they pull stunts with the same lyrium ore Plot Coupon - it's stolen if you have sex at the brothel.

02:30:41 PM Jul 3rd 2010
@ Some Guy - Thanks for the demonstration.

@ - Well, I can see where you're coming from and I'll be the first to admit that I tend to be a bit forceful in my arguments. I like issues to be settled with "what specifically is" rather than "what could be" especially in this case since anything can technically be an Averted Trope depending on the argument.

However, since you have pointed out that situations do exist in lore and some quests can't be resolved due to the stunts you mentioned, I have to admit you have a point. I withdraw my objection.
01:06:32 PM Jul 25th 2010
I still disagree with the mention of this aversion. This point is sufficiently addressed on the Just Bugs Me page. It is not an option if it will not work. As such, I will continue to delete mention any mention of using the Smuggled Lyrium to resolve the Arl of Redcliffe quest.
06:41:30 AM Jul 27th 2010
You're also deleting the entire Take a Third Option trope despite it clearly being present in the game. Please stop this. I agree with you and I think you're being rude.
11:32:25 AM Jul 27th 2010
Face of Evil writes:

My apologies. I am just tired of this Edit War and I thought by taking out the entire trope entry, I hoped it would force an end to the debate. That was a mistake.

I have no issue with this point being argued on the Headscratchers page. I also wouldn't care if it is mentioned on the trope page for Take a Third Option. But I will not compromise when it comes to listing it on the game's main page. It is not an example of an Averted Trope, it is a complaint.
11:33:28 AM Jul 27th 2010
And not a particularly valid one.
01:15:13 PM Jul 27th 2010
k. So long as you don't delete the entire Take a Third Option entry, I'll stay out of this dispute.
04:37:41 PM Jun 8th 2010
There is a comment somewhere that enemy blood mages "never seem to use blood magic spells such as blood wound or blood control." That comment is inaccurate. I've had four play-throughs on the PC and I've faced several enemies who have used blood wound on my party (although no blood mages used blood magic on easy difficulty). I can recall at least three different mages using blood wound in the Circle Tower and the Abandoned Warehouse in Denerim. Zathrian even used blood control on Alistair when I was fighting him in the Lair of the Werewolves.

This needs to be corrected. It's a complete disservice to those who play on normal, hard or nightmare.
04:54:26 PM Jun 8th 2010
If it's wrong, you can just find the comment and delete it. Misinformation should be gotten rid of as quickly as possible.
10:12:05 AM May 3rd 2010
I just have a quick question about the discussion going on about the elves at the moment.

Where is it said that they are more attractive than humans? The only comment I can think of is Leliana's conversation with Alistair where she says that some people do find them attractive. Beyond that, I can't seem to think of any.
10:54:36 AM May 3rd 2010
I think Zevran says something about elves being attractive to humans when he is discussing why the Crows recruited him. I'm also pretty sure it comes up a couple of times in the first novel, though I may be misremembering that.
02:56:19 PM May 3rd 2010
As I recall, talking to Iona in the Human Noble origin allows you to ask her "Do elves find humans attractive? The reverse is true enough." I'm pretty sure it's said a few other times, enough for me to roll my eyes when people mention it, as, like I'm saying on the main page, I don't find them really that attractive (I strained and strained to make a decent looking one in Character Creator).
05:34:48 PM May 13th 2010
Huh. Fair enough, but it's pretty easy to get through the whole game without it coming up. I can see why people are in disagreement on this.

Either way, however, that section of the page has kind of become natter. I vote we replicate the discussion in this thread for archiving purposes, and then delete the discussion. Let's keep the front page clean.
10:52:49 AM May 14th 2010
Absolutely. I got a little out of hand, and it's fine. Delete, if you will.
10:53:04 AM May 14th 2010
edited by helterskelter
  • As the quest "Nature of the Beast" reveals, elves are also no more moral or spiritually pure than humans.
    • Zathrian is no more pure—however, while the rest of the elves are considerably and understandably angry at their human oppressors, but they still live as one with the forest, still make better crafts than humans, are considered more beautiful on average, and have a special breed of animal that are their "friends"; scoffing that human horses are only beasts.
      • All of which is debatable. Both the elves and the humans claim the other side attacked first. (There are at least four theories as to why the Exalted March against the Dales began.) Better crafts than humans? Ironbark is good, but it's not the be all and end all. More beautiful? Subjective. Special breed of animal? Yes, the Halla are cool, but their scoffing at the human's relationship with horses conveniently ignores their relationship with the Mabari hounds.
      • Unless you pay attention to the in-game world, not the metagame physics of it. In game, elves are repeatedly referred to as being more beautiful than humans (seriously, it gets annoying, because I find them to be sort of ugly, on top of looking like skinny children), their crafts better (the dwarves are supposed to be best, but dwarven armor is no better than regular human armor of the same tier), and the halla can only be, er, befriended by them, are lovlier and more graceful than horses (and besides that, mabari are dogs, not mounts. Don't listen to Oghren.). Whatever the reason the Exalted March on the Dales started, they ''destroyed the elves homeland''. Twice. I liked the twist on Our Elves Are Better for this game, but, still, you see a lot of Can't Argue with Elves that continues to be annoying.
      • Leliana mentions that the Orlesians regard elven servants as graceful and pleasing to look at. Note the term "SERVANTS." At best, most elves are regarded as prize-winning animal; people will say they are a pretty dog or a cute kitty, but they don't regard them as equals. And there's no in-game indication that elven crafts are better than human work; the only one who will argue about it with an elven craftsman is Oghren, who tells Master Varathorn that iron is better than wood.

There it is, as it got out of hand.
07:39:26 PM May 1st 2010
edited by helterskelter
I did a gigantic clean-up castration of the Shout-Out section. I run down of what I did and why I did it:

  • One more for luck: In the Human Noble Origin Story, your mother tries to convince you not to go off to Ostagar with Fergus and your father. A possible reply is I have a bad feeling about all this.

That's hardly something that Star Wars made meme-worthy, I should think. It read more as a reflection over the insanely obvious evilness of Howe, and that something bad would happen.

  • Shale's personality is another shout out. She's highly disparaging of humans for their soft and squishy nature. Rather like bags of meat, in fact.

Shale is an Homage, perhaps a bit of an Expy, of HK-47, not a Shout-Out.

  • After a while since accepting Wynne into the party, if she's in the active group and you got into a scuffle with the darkspawn, she'll fall to her knees for a moment. After you return to camp shortly after completing a plot quest, she will talk to the main character about a battle she had with a powerful demon at the Circle Tower before his group got there. She tells you that she was momentairly dead after she used all the power she had to vanquish the demon, but was returned to life afterward. Bioware sure loves them some Lord of the Rings, they do.

This is quite a bit of a stretch, I should think. The way it happens doesn't even remotely parallel what happens between the Balrog and Gandalf (I'm assuming the OP was referring to Gandalf). Wynne doesn't Take a Level in Badass, but gets just one extra power, and gets to live slightly longer. This happened to her before you met her. And she's been possessed by a spirit. There's really nothing there to make a parallel.

The Maker is simply what they call their god. There's a limited amount of things to call a god that isn't God. The elves call their gods the Creators. And the Divine is what they call their Pope. Seriously, "Thank the Maker!" just parallels, with "Thank God!".

  • Alistair comments on how weird it is to find out he has a sister and repeats it out loud a few times, the last of which sounds like Darth Vader.

I...don't even know what to say. I suppose his tone of voice sort of in a very vague way sounds Darth Vader-ish, but it's not like Dark Vader at one point ever hams out a really long SEEEESSSSTAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRR.

The Empire is the Orlesian Empire. The Shadow of the Empire is just a way of referring to an assassin. Read the item description and it's vague, saying stuff how weird it is that this thing bears the seal of the Empire. Nothing to reference Star Wars.

  • Might be a bit of a stretch, but Bodahn Feddic's Back Story, involving A Noble Dwarf having him imprisoned and his comments on Nobles being very touchy seem to invoke the same view of Nobles that players of Dwarf Fortress have (Since they basically go around doing the exact same thing, but in ASCII).

Yeah, it is a stretch...especially since the reasons nobles are touchy is because they operate a caste system that gives them a superiority complex. No hidden references to Dwarf Fortress.

  • There are a few shout-outs to Dune in the Human Noble origin: your father calls you "young pup", your family is pretty much the only really decent noble clan around, and you have a shady rival family seeking your downfall, whose name begins with "H".

I didn't edit this one out, as I've never read Dune...but it seems like it's a stretch as well. The Couslands aren't the one decent nobility, the Howes aren't like a shady rival family: Rendon Howe is a traitorous douche—he's actually the vassal of the Couslands...and the first letter shouldn't make a difference. I don't know what to make of the "pup" thing (they never call you "young pup", BTW), but I assume they call you that because it's gender-neutral and doesn't baby you the way "sweetie" might.

  • Given Zevran has a Spanish accent, there's just no way his love of "rich Antivan leather" is a coincidence...

I'm going to go with it being a coincidence because you wouldn't have said anything if he had a Russian accent. There needs to be more than that to make a Shout-Out.

  • "Return to Ostagar" features a blue dragon.
    • That's a bit of a stretch...

...Yes it is.

  • This one is probably stretching it, but worth mentioning anyway: Qunari is almost an anagram for Quarian, minus one letter.

I admit it's a funny coincidence, but since that's where the similarities end (end abruptly, at that), I don't think it's worth mentioning.

  • The Chantry is a shout out to a middle age Catholic church, just ask them about Blood Mages.

It's not a Shout-Out, it's Fantasy Counterpart Culture, yasee?

My brain hurts from trying to explain repeatedly that you need more than that to make a Shout-Out... ;P

The dragons are just purple. And I don't really think Flemeth and...what was that witch's name? Must remember by myself...M...something...whatever...yeah, they aren't anything alike. Asides from crazy. And isn't that dragon pink?
03:16:30 PM Jul 27th 2010
I agree with all these changes except the removal of "I have a bad feeling about this" as a Star Wars reference. Considering how often that pops up in the Star Wars franchise, it's practically a catchphrase. And given how the home of the Human Noble and Luke Skywalker are both doomed ...
07:29:05 AM Apr 22nd 2010
edited by lrrose
Should I move the Fridge Logic section to the It Just Bugs Me! page?

Edit: The main Fridge Logic page instructs tropers to put all examples of Fridge Logic on It Just Bugs Me! pages, not on works pages, so yes I'm doing it.
09:54:24 AM Mar 27th 2010
edited by helterskelter
In regards to this:

  • Executive Meddling: This and time restraints are the reason Shale's only available via DLC instead of being in the vanilla game.
    • Not really a big deal, since all new copies, retail and download, have a code for the DLC included. Problems arise if you have a used copy, or an illegal one. Creative copy protection measures > DRM.

Specifically, the fourth bullet. I'm not seeing how it's Fridge Logic. The second person is arguing that it's okay that Shale is DLC—you get him as a part of your game if you buy the game new. You get a little card with a code you can redeem to get the DLC for free. The third person argues that unless you have a hard drive or internet access you can't use that card.

I'm really not seeing how the fourth poster is arguing Fridge Logic or saying YMMV...It's a fact. Yes, you can't get the DLC if you have no internet access. Therefore making getting the code obselete, and in no way justifying the developers saying "Oh, well, you get it for free if you buy it new." It's like buying a used game for the value of the new one.

Someone needs to explain to me—maybe I'm just being stupid—how that's Fridge Logic.
07:19:43 PM Mar 29th 2010
Simple. Without a hard drive to add content to a pre-existing game it would have simply been cut content due to the stated meddling and time constraints. Even though the DLC was available at the time of release it allowed them to continue working on it past the development cutoff for the boxed game and then release it concurrently.
11:21:09 AM Mar 30th 2010
What? I'm not asking why it's DLC, I'm asking why it's Fridge Logic for someone to say that it's pointless for you to get it in a card-with-a-code form when you don't have internet access or a hard drive.

Now, I'm just getting more confused...
09:13:11 PM Mar 7th 2010
edited by TheJoxter

The Arbitrary Skepticism trope is being considered for a Rename/Split. Please feel free to participate in the forum thread.

reason: Morrigan's disbelief is a clear case of Arbitrary Skepticism, which is believing in some things which don't exist In Real Life (werewolves, spirits, demons, etc.) but not in others (which is her). If the PC were to meet the Maker and she were to continue to be deny his existence, that would be a case of Flat Earth Atheist, not Arbitrary Skepticism.

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Leiliana and Morrigan can have an argument over the existence of the Maker, whom Morrigan does not believe in. While Leiliana claims that Morrigan should believe in him due to her constant use of magic, Morrigan argues that magic is something tangible and therefore real, while she has no proof of the Maker beyond vague notions.

First of all every time I've seen this pop up here it's been as one of Morrigan's character traits which means that it should be on the character page even if it is true.

Regardless, Morrigan seems to believe in things there is tangible evidence for (magic, werewolves, shapeshifters) and not believe in things there is no evidence for (gods, any of them) meaning that her system of belief and disbelief is structured and therefore not arbitrary. What people who add this seem to be assuming is that this is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink type world and therefore Morrigan's beliefs aren't justified, so far there has been no evidence from the series that this is the case.

What the latest person to add it in is describing is closer to If Jesus Then Aliens type thinking than to Arbitrary Skepticism. I think some of the confusion might be stemming from the fact that Flat Earth Atheism is a subset of arbitrary skepticism, as described on its page. That is, a flat earth atheist is an arbitrary skeptic when it comes to gods only but he may believe in any other random phenomena.

However: I readily admit that there may be aspects of Morrigan's character that fall under Arbitrary Skepticism but her views on religion do not apply. If anyone has an example of her showing disbelief in something which is proven to exist in game (quotes preferred if you can) please do bring it up and we can put it back in for that. Until then it doesn't really belong.

09:47:08 PM Mar 7th 2010
Arbitrary Skepticism as the trope is defined on that page does not mean "is not skeptical in a coherent fashion", e.g. "believes in magic, werewolves, and shapeshifters, but not in gods" in a world where werewolves, magic, and shapeshifters clearly exist but it's not clear that gods do. It means "believes in some things which in the real world are considered fantastical, but not others". From the page:

Arbitrary Skepticism is the tendency of characters who deal with the bizarre on a daily basis to be unreasonably closed-minded.

As the page points out, this may be justified, and in Morrigan's it arguably is - clearly in this gameworld, magic, werewolves, and shapeshifters exist, whereas the existence of gods is a somewhat more debatable point. But Morrigan clearly deals with things that even in the context of the game world are considered bizarre all the time, and is never particularly skeptical about ANY of them, with the sole exception of anything related to the Chantry, the Maker, Andraste, etc. This is rather - yes - arbitrary, especially given that while the evidence may not be dispositive, there IS evidence for at least some of the Chantry's claims - Andraste's ashes have miraculous powers, her temple is guarded by a number of spirits which all clearly endorse the Chantry's account of her life, etc. There are alternate explanations for these things suggested in the game, but really, there's no evidence whatsoever that these alternate explanations are more likely to be true, so Morrigan scoffing at the Chantry's account isn't really justified.

I agree that Flat Earth Atheist doesn't apply to Morrigan, but IMO Arbitrary Skepticism still does.
11:01:26 PM Mar 7th 2010
edited by TheJoxter
Except that it's perfectly reasonable to not believe in anything there's no evidence for. I'm afraid that the Arbitrary Skepticism page itself may be flawed or slightly misleading but let me try and explain it as I see it.

Normally because Morrigan falls under the trope but the trope has a good reason for being the game it would be a Justified trope. However, part of the requirement for being an arbitrary skeptic is that the disbelief is specifically unreasonable, so this trope is in the rather peculiar situation where anytime it is justified it no longer qualifies under the trope. That is to say:

a) Morrigan believes in elves but not gods. A seemingly arbitrary view on two fantastic creatures.

b) Elves do exist in the universe.

c) Gods may or may not exist but there's no definitive evidence either way.

d) Morrigan's disbelief is justified and therefore it is a reasonable disbelief and therefore it can not be Arbitrary Skepticism.

The only way Morrigan's belief can qualify for the trope in this example is if both gods and elves definitely do exist or if neither of them exist. The concept seems to be unnecessarily oblique when the trope page could simply say that anytime a disbelief is justified through lack of evidence the trope does not apply.

That said, there are a large number of examples on the Arbitrary Skepticism page (up to and including the page quote) that seem to follow the same logic as the people who keep applying the trope to Morrigan, namely, because certain things in their universe are bizarre and inexplicable they should believe in other unrelated things that are bizarre and inexplicable which strikes me as more Genre Blind Skepticism than anything else. That is, they don't believe in things that might be expected to be true in their genre.

I guess whether or not Morrigan belongs to this trope depends on whether we are defining the trope based on name and the page description or based on the examples of the trope provided on the page. I think we should probably have it be the former because otherwise the trope name is just confusing and somewhat counterintuitive (since people without arbitrary beliefs would also be included in the trope). On another note, perhaps this means there should be discussion on cleaning up the Arbitrary Skepticism page itself to remove poor examples or rename and reword the trope description as need be. Any thoughts?

(btw I hope this comment is clear, the way the trope is presented is a little bit mind bending)
03:44:56 AM Mar 8th 2010
edited by
It seems to me that what you're describing - fantastic creatures A and B both exist, Morrigan believes in one but not the other - would be a kind of supertrope to Flat Earth Atheist, basically the same thing but applying to all entities, not just gods. There should be such a trope, if there's not already, but given the way Arbitrary Skepticism is defined presently, I don't think that's it. Perhaps that page should be split into two separate tropes, one describing the current common interpretation and one your interpretation? They do seem to be two separate things. I definitely think that author(s) setting the rules for their own fictional universes in a way that acknowledges reader expectations of the genre to say, for example, that in this universe elves exist but dwarves don't, is a legitimate trope unto itself.

In any case, I'd argue that Arbitrary Skepticism still applies to Morrigan even under your interpretation of it. As I mentioned, there's quite a bit of evidence in-game that the Chantry's teachings may be true. All of it is left open to some doubt by the fact that there are alternate possible explanations given, but it's really a stretch to say there's "no evidence" - there's a very powerful, seemingly all-knowing spirit that upholds the Chantry account, the ashes heal any illness, etc. It's not a case, as with real world religions, where the theology has to be interpreted loosely to fit with the observed world and doesn't do a great job of predicting things - pretty much everything that happens is exactly consistent with the Chantry's account of the game's universe. Morrigan is not skeptical of other things that many people in the game doubt - e.g. stories about Flemeth - so the extreme closed-mindedness about the Chantry's teachings is odd. Not necessarily out of character, given her hatred of the Chantry for other reasons, but not really the most logical stance either.
04:50:57 AM Mar 8th 2010
On the other hand, the point is made clear that the Chantry's account may not be entirely true. One of the major points of contention is the possibility that Andraste was simply a very powerful, very devout mage rather than a prophet. The elves have their own gods, the dwarves have the Stone, and there's nothing to explicitly disprove them either, but that's a very old and volatile issue when it comes to any religion.

I'd say confidently that Morrigan doesn't qualify for Flat Earth Atheist - we call her that because we expect gods to be tangible and active in a setting of this kind, but Dragon Age is not on the same level as, say, Dungeons & Dragons, where specific gods can and will perform very real and tangible actions on a daily basis. I would even hesitate to put her in the Arbitrary Skepticism camp, as the evidence for the Maker's existence is not undeniable, as mentioned before, and she, as an apostate mage who knows that the Chantry wishes to retain uncontested control of its lands has every reason to put forth a theory concerning the creation of the world, the nature of magic, etc., which serves their interests. Questioning an largely accepted but unproven set of beliefs instilled by a powerful organization isn't arbitrary skepticism; it's just plain skepticism.
02:13:48 PM Mar 8th 2010
"Morrigan is not skeptical of other things that many people in the game doubt - e.g. stories about Flemeth"

Morrigan has an extremely good reason to believe that Flemeth exists and has significant magic powers - Flemeth is her (possibly adopted) mother and they've lived together for all Morrigan's life. I'm really not sure what more evidence you would expect her to need. And if you're talking about the specifics of Flemeth's backstory then Morrigan does say that she doesn't know how much of what people say is true.

I have to agree with the decision to remove the example, Morrigan has good reasons for believing in the things she does and very little reason for believing in the Chantry's story. Note that in one sense she actually has a stronger position than a real-world atheist since magic unambiguously exists in this world and so she can easily concede that Andraste really did perform some miracle or other and yet this would still only be very weak evidence for the existence of the Maker - see for example Andraste's ashes which have not one but two alternative explanations given, each consistent with the established rules of magic in this world.

In fact, if you keep Leliana and Morrigan in your party one of the random conversations they have neatly encapsulates the flaw in so many of the examples on the Arbitrary Skepticism page. Leliana asks how Morrigan can disbelieve in the Maker while using magic herself, and Morrigan replies that she can see magic, feel it and use it to make a demonstrable effect on the world around her, the Maker on the other hand does none of those things.
03:27:38 PM Mar 8th 2010
edited by TheJoxter
It sounds like there's at least some agreement at least that there might be something wrong with the Arbitrary Skepticism page so I'm definitely going to start a thread on that in the trope repairshop sometime in the next few days (I'll link to it in the top post once it's up). Maybe that will help to clear up the confusion.

In the mean time are there still any disagreements about whether this trope should be applied to Morrigan personally at this point?
04:04:21 PM Mar 8th 2010
On the other hand, the point is made clear that the Chantry's account may not be entirely true.

Of course. Morrigan's skepticism toward their account is particularly fierce, however - she doesn't express similar sentiments towards the dwarven or elven religions.

I'd say confidently that Morrigan doesn't qualify for Flat Earth Atheist

I agree - whether the Maker exists or not, if he does he's clearly not involved enough that Morrigan's disbelief is unreasonable.

And if you're talking about the specifics of Flemeth's backstory then Morrigan does say that she doesn't know how much of what people say is true.

IIRC she says something to the effect of "I'm not sure how much of it is true, but nothing would surprise me." She doesn't believe everything full stop, but she's not exactly a rigorous skeptic either.

One of the issues here, I think, is that Arbitrary Skepticism as it's defined on that page really seems to assume that a story has a "realistic" setting, and that characters have similar baseline assumptions about what's real and what's not to what people in the real world do. It sort of makes sense to call Agent Scully or Buffy or someone like that an Arbitrary Skeptic under that definition if they disbelieve in one supernatural being but not another, because they inhabit what's supposed to be our world and approach things with assumptions that are somewhat similar to those of real people, so it'd be strange if they assume out of hand that, say, werewolves don't exist, when they've already encountered vampires, or whatever. In fantasy/sci fi, the baseline expectations of what's real are totally different, so it's hard to evaluate how reasonable a character's skepticism is by the same standards. In a "realistic" fantasy story, someone who believed in elves, magic, etc. but not God would definitely be an arbitrary skeptic; in the world of Dragon Age, where those things are entirely unremarkable but it's still not clear if there is/are god(s), it's much more open to debate. I think there should probably be two separate tropes here - one for Scully type "realistic" arbitrary skeptics, people who remain unreasonably skeptical even after it's become clear within the story that ordinary assumptions about what's real and what's not don't apply, and another (call it Fantastical Skepticism, say) for characters like Morrigan, who believe in things that by real-world standards are fantastical because those things are commonplace in-universe, but remain (reasonably) skeptical of other things in universe. This latter type would be sort of an inversion of If Jesus Then Aliens, but it's distinct enough to be a separate trope, I think.

On a separate note, another question is what exactly constitutes a "god" in the Dragon Age universe, versus merely a very powerful being of a different sort - the Tevinter Gods clearly exist, for example, but whether they're divine or not seems to be in the eye of the beholder.
06:57:16 PM Mar 8th 2010
Morrigan's skepticism toward their account is particularly fierce, however - she doesn't express similar sentiments towards the dwarven or elven religions.

True, but elven and dwarven religions are very insular, while the Chantry is actively trying to spread its word. Elves and dwarves have no angle when it comes to religion, while the Chantry does - thus making skepticism a more reasonable stance on the matter.
04:51:06 AM Mar 9th 2010
There's also the fact that the dwarven thing with the Paragons is more of an aspect of their culture than a religion in the way we would normally use that term. The Paragons are revered as the greatest dwarves in history who significantly improved their society in some way. Really, it's more like a highly formal version of the way a human might look up to Julius Caesar/ Isaac Newton/ William Shakespeare etc. than how someone would regard a god or even a prophet.

The Paragons clearly did exist (you even meet two of them), the stories about them appear to be mostly true, and noone ever claims that they had magic powers or dealings with the supernatural beyond what is normally possible in their world. Morrigan doesn't have any reason to be significantly more skeptical of the Paragons than she does of any other historical events.
12:25:20 PM Mar 16th 2010
edited by helterskelter
Actually, I'll point out that they do believe the ancestors have an affect on that day-to-day goings on in life. They believe that the ancestors choose who wins the Provings, they are revered and called upon for protection, as in Filda.

I think Morrigan just has a reason to be more openly aggressive towards the Chantry, that hunts and prosecutes her. The other religions don't bother her, so she doesn't bother them.

I will also say the Oghren will mention to the Guardian that the resting place of Andraste is on a mountain with strong veins of lyrium, which may be what gives the place it's power. The Guardian will reply "That is not for me to question." There's also that Search for the True Prophet book, as mentioned, that questions whether Andraste was a mage or not.
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